Brooke Sweeney

Position ST3 Assistant Principal
Organisation Lajamanu School
Location NT

Brooke was born and raised in Melbourne, where she lived her whole life before moving to the Northern Territory in 2016.

Brooke began her first degree after leaving high school and studied a Bachelor of Teaching (Secondary)/Bachelor of Arts. In her final year she discontinued to leave and have her child. As a single mother Broke spent some years away from education and returned to study a Bachelor of Education P-12 and Victoria University.

During her final year at Victoria University Brooke was selected to take part in a global teaching practicum and spent 5 weeks in Malaysia teaching at a Chinese School in Kuala Lumpur.

After completing her degree Brooke taught in Melbourne for a year and seeking new challenges and experiences moved with her son to the Northern Territory to teach on a remote Indigenous island. Here she taught students from year 2 to year 8 and credits this year of teaching as an amazing year of growth and learning.

Brooke then took a position at Lajamanu school as a classroom teacher and impressed the leadership team with her commitment to teaching and learning programs, professional development and community engagement. Brooke excelled at structuring teaching and learning programs to the needs of the students and creating engaging and innovative ways of supporting and extending her students. She took on roles to support other teachers and worked across the school with staff to embed high quality teaching.

That same year the Preschool had been assessed as not meeting the National Standards in many of the quality area. Brooke felt like there was an opportunity there to raise the standard of the Preschool teaching and learning program and give the community a quality start to their education. She worked with staff and community over a period of about 8 months. The Preschool was then assessed again in 2018 as meeting all of the 7 national quality standards but also exceeding the standards in 2 of the quality areas.

This then ignited a passion in Brooke to give as many young children and families access to quality Early Education programs and engage many of the families with young children in education as early as possible. She then worked as the Family Educator in the FaFT program and over the course of a year built the program up to have up to 20 families attending and engaging in the FaFT program at the school each day.

In 2019 Brooke took on a leadership role within the school and was also a mentor to new teachers to the Territory. She worked closely with the Principal to embed a collaborative approach across the school and structured teams who worked together on innovative ways and plans to increase community engagement both at school and out in community.

Brooke lead further projects across the school that same year in the areas of curriculum and teacher professional growth. She developed systems to coach and support staff in their teaching and learning programs and work collaboratively on school improvement priorities.

In 2019 Brooke was named the Northern Territory School Leader of the year for excellence and innovation in achieving significantly improved outcomes for Territory students.

Brooke completed the NESLI Advance Leadership for Women course which she credits as further developing her coaching skills, ability to grow high performing teams and desire to inspire and support future female school leaders.

In 2020 Brooke moved into the Assistant Principal position at Lajamanu School where she began developing and creating new approaches to lead the implementation of the school strategic strategy for 2020. She leads a group of teachers who are developing a whole school curriculum and assessment plan that is relevant to their remote location and culture, whilst still maintaining high expectations of teaching and learning. She is also mentoring these teachers in the practices of using a cycle of inquiry and the processes of collaborative professionalism to do this work with integrity and vigour.

Brooke is also leading the Lajamanu implementation of a 3 year project across 4 schools to embed inclusive practices and a trauma informed approach across all areas of the school and begins her Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership in the second half of the year.

Brooke’s goals are to continue to grow and develop as a leader and to have a high value impact on all teaching and learning programs at a systemic and local level for improved outcomes for all students throughout their educational journeys.

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