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The River Nile School welcomes highly experienced and passionate educational leader to the consider the position of Principal, Term 1, 2024 start.

After nine years of exemplary service and outstanding leadership, Lisa Wilson AO, the Foundation Principal, has announced her retirement. Consequently, The River Nile School is now in search of a highly experienced and passionate educational leader to the position of Principal, starting in Term 1, 2024.

Applications are warmly invited from engaging and highly skilled educational leaders who are committed to working with a trauma-informed, healing orientated practice with young people from diverse cultural backgrounds, cultivating and strengthening a positive teaching, learning, and working environment for all staff and students.

The Principal position requires:
  • An outstanding leader with exceptional strategic and operational skills.
  • An excellent communicator who builds community, identity, and wellbeing.
  • An innovative educator, able to inspire relevant, authentic, and contemporary programs.
  • An exemplifier of continuous improvement and collaboration who builds stakeholder capacity.
School Environment:
The River Nile School (RNS) is a registered, independent, specialist senior-secondary school delivering an Applied Learning curriculum to young women from Humanitarian refugee backgrounds who have disrupted schooling or are struggling to cope with mainstream school. River Nile is a registered charitable organisation thus allowing full fee relief for all students.

All students who attend RNS have English as an Additional Language (EAL) so developing student levels of language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) is a central focus.  RNS offers students the VCE Vocational Major (VM) and the Victorian Pathways Certificate (VPC) with an integrated program with projects negotiated with and developed by students. It provides a high-challenge, high-support learning environment with a strengths-based approach.  

RNS offers small class sizes, and our team work collaboratively to achieve the best possible outcomes for each student with personalised learning, wellbeing and support programs. As many of our students have experienced complex trauma, we embrace trauma-informed practice to support student wellbeing and regulation and build engagement and learning.  Our team takes a personalised mentoring approach, empowering students to address the complex challenges and trauma in their lives by building respectful relationships which strengthen their progress, success and achievements.  Each student is supported to plan a career pathway specific to their aspirations and goals as they transition from our school.

Based in North Melbourne, our school is in its seventh year. RNS grew out of the River Nile Learning Centre (RNLC) established in 2006 to assist the African refugee community.  Since then, we’ve grown substantially, and our student cohort now comprises young women from many regions.  As a growing school filling a unique gap in the education sector, we are striving to build strong foundations to empower young migrant women to gain the language, life, and work skills to integrate and thrive in the community.

RNS has 100+ students and a strong team of professionals including registered teachers and allied professionals with social/youth work, multicultural engagement, and refugee health expertise. Our team brings different and overlapping strengths, skills, and experiences to respond holistically to students’ educational needs in a respectful and productive learning environment.  Our annual government school income exceeds $4 Million.

For further introductory information see RNS YouTube Clip 

Position Summary:
The Principal leads, develops and promotes the academic, wellbeing, professional and humanitarian reputation of the River Nile School in alignment with its strategic direction. The role has overall responsibility for the professional leadership and management of the River Nile School, ensuring high quality standards in teaching and curriculum design, learning delivery, educational engagement and wellbeing, childcare, business and administration management and compliance.

It is essential for the Principal to have the capability to build and strengthen a positive school culture consistent with the RNS Mission, Values and Strategic Plan.  They will demonstrate an understanding of leadership in the context of a diverse multicultural community alongside the impact of trauma. Compassion, empathy, and a breadth of experience working in such communities will be required.

As an academic leader and mentor, the Principal must motivate, encourage, and inspire the development of a strong, effective, and efficient teaching team and wellbeing support team that operates ethically and with a clear focus on delivering outcomes for individual students and for the River Nile School as a whole. They must provide effective, dynamic, and visionary leadership and promote a culture of encouragement, support, and guidance to ensure that every student can fulfil their true potential.

Key Accountabilities and Deliverables (abridged – full PD available in Applicant Pack)

1. Leadership to achieve Mission, Vision, and Strategy

2. People Management

3. Teaching and Learning

4. Engagement and Wellbeing

5. Reputational, financial and risk management

6. Professional Standards and Development

Qualifications, Experience and Credentials
  • Strong Academic and Teaching qualifications at Masters level.
  • Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT) – full and current registration.
  • Minimum 5-years school leadership experience, preferably in working with young adult students from diverse backgrounds.
Key Selection Criteria

1. Significant and proven management and leadership experience, with the ability to lead and manage all activities, staff, and students to ensure productivity, safety, and compliance.

2. Experience and understanding of educational engagement for young people who have experienced barriers to schooling; and of working with a trauma-informed, healing orientated practice with young people from diverse cultural backgrounds.

3. Excellent knowledge of and experience in delivering Senior-Secondary and Applied Learning curriculum.

4. Proven ability to model excellent teaching and learning skills utilising a broad range of learning strategies, technologies, and techniques. Experience and understanding of the needs of EAL, preliterate and low literacy learners with limited prior schooling.

5. Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to engage and relate effectively with a wide range of stakeholders including education providers, industry, the wider community and education and training bodies. The ability to relate with care and empathy with students and our school community members and maintain a professional guide and administrator role.

6. Understanding of relevant legislation, Minimum Standards for the Registration of a School and Child Safe Standards.

7. Demonstrated capacity to ensure that the school’s human, physical and financial resources are efficiently allocated and managed.

Highly desirable

8. Outstanding ICT systems, documentation, record keeping, reporting and compliance capabilities.

9. Experience in school building project planning and management.
 Employment Conditions
  • Competitive salary commensurate with qualifications and experience; access to tax-effective salary packaging, training and development opportunities, and an employee assistance program
  • Pre-Employment Disclosure Declaration
  • Mandatory Reporting / Child Safety – evidence of up-to-date training
  • VRQA Schools Fit and Proper Person – Statutory Declaration
  • RNS Responsible Person’s Private Interest – Statutory Declaration
  • National Police Check and Working with Children Police Check
Terms and appointment:
Commencing in Term 1, 2024 the Principal is a five-year, full time, fixed term 2024 –2028 leadership position, reporting to The River Nile School Board.
The successful applicant will have a small teaching load.

There will be a regular appraisal of performance based on agreed criteria. If you are an engaging and highly skilled educational leader with the personal energy and stamina to respond to the needs of the young women attending The River Nile School, we would love to hear from you.

For a confidential conversation, enquiries regarding the application process or to obtain an Applicant Information Pack, please contact:

National Head of Executive, James Mundy +61 422 228 164, E: [email protected] or

Senior Executive Consultant, Brendan Fraser +61 438 618 604 E: [email protected]  

Applications Process:
Applications will be processed as they arrive and may be too late if they come after Monday, 11 September 2023.

The River Nile School reserves the right to interview and appoint prior to the closing date.

Your application should be compiled one PDF document and consist of a:
  • One page covering letter.
  • Two-page statement addressing the key selection criteria, as outlined in the Applicant Information Pack.
  • Curriculum Vitae, including the contact details of two professional referees.
  • Copy of all qualifications including Academic Transcripts, Working with Children Check and VIT registration (or equivalent).
Applications marked “CONFIDENTIAL” should be emailed to James Mundy, National Head of anzuk Executive: [email protected]

A concurrent search is being conducted.

The River Nile School reserves the right to interview and appoint prior to the closing date.

The River Nile School is a Child Safe environment in which there is zero tolerance for child abuse. It is a condition of employment that all employees comply with all relevant policies and procedures, including Child Safe policies.

Additional reading and reference materials:
Website: River Nile School
Facebook: River Nile School | Facebook
Annual Report: RNS23-2022-AR.pdf (

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