Last week the Annual General Meeting for the Governing Council was held. Thank you to all who came along to be a part of that meeting and a special thank you to the Student Representative Council members who presented their work to the attendees.

The Woodend PS Governing Councillors for 2024 are:

Parent Representatives:
Shannon Schedlich
Laura Harlow
Louise Scanlon
Katie Hales
Kristin Spraakman
Mandy Higgins
Rhiannon Newton
Kerry Middleton
Jess Simmons
Laura Arbon

Staff Representatives:
Melanie Goudie
Laura Smith
Kellie Najjar

Leadership who attend:
Steve Freeman
Jane-Ann Natar
Cathie Luke
Aimee Aparicio

The Act and Governing Council Constitution outline the functions and powers of a Governing Council, which include: 

  • strategic planning for the school (setting the broad direction and vision of the site, and monitoring and reviewing the site improvement priorities)
  • determining policies for the school
  • determining the application of the total financial resources available to the school
  • presenting operational plans and reports on its operations to the community and the Minister for Education, Training and Skills
  • involving the school community in the governance of the school


The following is the Principal’s Report tabled at the meeting:


The MYOJO program at Woodend continued to excel in 2023 and 2024, with many families hosting Japanese students for the first time. Families provided them with a taste of family life in Australia, as well as introducing them to our culture and in particular our native fauna. The teachers and classes at `Woodend were also welcoming and inclusive, making the Japanese students feel right at home during their visit. They taught a lesson and presented gifts to our students, teachers and families.

The welcome dinner and assembly were highlights of the MYOJO program, allowing the students to experience the warmth and excitement of the Woodend community. The students participated in various activities during their stay, including excursions to the Central Market, and visiting different classes to experience day-to-day life at Woodend. The Farewell Assembly showcased the talents of the MYOJO students, with performances ranging from skipping and dancing to kendo and taiko drumming, providing a memorable send-off.

Woodend observed days of significance including Remembrance Day, World Down Syndrome Day, Autism Awareness Day, and Harmony Day, with various activities and initiatives aimed at promoting inclusivity and understanding among students and the community. The school’s Student Representative Council (SRC) has been actively involved in initiatives focusing on student voice and wellbeing, with students participating in workshops and discussions on public education and student agency.

Learning Conversations were held to facilitate communication and goal-setting between teachers, students, and families, further enhancing the partnership in ensuring successful learning outcomes. The school also celebrated STEAM Week, where students engaged in various activities, workshops, and presentations aimed at fostering critical and creative thinking skills. Visitors and scientists from various fields shared their expertise and inspired students with new ideas and tasks related to STEAM.

Woodend participated in events such as the Bully Zero Workshops, Adelaide Show scarecrow competition, Book Week celebrations (Read, Inspire, Grow), and Mother’s Day and Father’s Day gift stalls, further enriching the school community and promoting inclusion and appreciation.

Sports events played a significant role in the school’s calendar, with students participating in various competitions and clinics ranging from cricket and soccer to AFL and netball, track and field championships and cross country events. More than 21sporting opportunities were presented for both boys and girls to be involved in during the last 12 months.

Parents continued to be involved in many facets of our school life, from volunteering in the classroom and on excursions, working in our school canteen, being on Parent Network and helping with fundraising and stalls for Mother’s and Father’s Days, coaching and managing numerous sports teams, supporting and managing Pedal Prix, on various committees such as grounds, finance and OSHC, plus Governing Council. We thank everyone for their ongoing valuable and dedicated support of our school.

Thank you to our Governing Councillors who have been a part of the Governance of this school over the last year (or in many cases much longer). A significant element of my role as Principal is to listen to the community through your representatives,  and I have appreciated the frank and open discussions I have had with Governing Council and Parent Network over the last twelve months.

Special thanks go to Karen Gunton who has retired after being on the Council for 11 years, 10 of which were as Chairperson, Mark Fahey, 10 years, Sindy Bakhuis, 5 years and Samantha Gregory, 2 years.

I wish also to thank all of our teachers and school service officers who work diligently to provide an education that develops the whole child. I am in admiration at the energy and dedication shown by all staff in their work at Woodend. The team around the child is very evident in all that we do. The leadership team is an amazing group of people who have high level skills in leading across a wide range of responsibilities, and who continue to further their own learning to better assist others in the task of education.

2023 and 2024 has been the time of building at Woodend, with he development of new and upgraded facilities that support STEAM (2 learning areas that are already being well used), literacy and sport as well as creating a refreshed look that further encourages our students to be active and engaged learners.

The library is the final building to be handed over which will happen early next term. The COLA is well used throughout the day, both at play times, by our Phys Ed specialists and class teachers. Assemblies have resumed and it is pleasing to be able to invite parents and carers to view children performing or leading in an assembly.

In conclusion, Woodend’s diverse and inclusive programs, events, and initiatives have created a supportive and engaging learning environment for students, fostering creativity, understanding, and community spirit. The school’s commitment to promoting diversity, student agency, and wellbeing is evident in its various activities and initiatives throughout the year.

Our school values of Respect, Community and Care are modelled in all of our endeavours as a school.

Steve Freeman