Graham Leddie commenced his appointment as Deputy Head of College at Waverley College in January 2016.
Mr Leddie is responsible for student wellbeing at the College including its design, development, implementation and evaluation. He chairs the College executive’s operational meetings and supports the Head of College in the overall strategic development of the school.
He is passionate about boys’ education and believes that their learning outcomes are closely linked to the quality of the teacher and also the students’ social and emotional wellbeing. “A wellbeing programme needs to focus on developing a boy’s heart, mind, body and soul. Key elements include the building of positive relationships, integrity, compassion, humility, tolerance, resilience and moral courage,” he said.
Head of College Ray Paxton, welcomed Graham Leddie to the College community.
“Graham’s work with EREA [Edmund Rice Education Australia] schools speaks for itself and he brings invaluable experience and talent in leadership and learning.” said Mr Paxton.
“Waverley College is at the forefront of Catholic education in Australia and has a strategic direction to liberate the potential of every learner, I am excited to be a part of the College as it continues to educate young men, challenging them to actively reflect on their learning and to develop habits that help them become lifelong learners.” said Mr Leddie.
Prior to his appointment at Waverley College, Mr Leddie was Deputy Principal at St Joseph’s Nudgee College in Queensland, an Edmund Rice School which participates in the GPS Association. Prior to the role as deputy he held two other senior positions as Dean of Administration and Dean of Learning and Teaching. During his early teaching career he worked at the Rockhampton Grammar School and SCECGS Redlands.
Mr Leddie shared some of the highlights from his time at Nudgee:
“Being a Boarding school, I got to work with a diverse range of boys from all over QLD, NT, NSW and the Pacific Islands. Some boys had only ever been educated by the School of Distance Education when they arrived; others had come off properties so large it took them an hour to drive from home to the front gate.
Whilst at Nudgee I was able to challenge myself on both staff and student immersions, including to India, Cambodia and Buru (an indigenous Community in Far North Queensland). These experiences developed my understanding of cross-cultural and inter-religious dialogue while also giving me a greater understanding of the educational needs of people at the margins.
I was part of a team that developed a whole-school learning framework. Common language and practices were embedded across the school with all key stakeholders playing their part. Overall academic achievement improved and our students ended up with better choices when they graduated.
I particularly enjoyed working with the College’s Indigenous Education Program which was part of Andrew Penfold’s National AIEF Scholarship program. This sought to create experiences that encouraged Indigenous students to find their path and transform their and their communities futures. One opportunity also saw me take three boys to Rome for the Canonization of Mary MacKillop where they danced at the Vatican.
Part of my portfolio at Nudgee was to create dynamic, technologically driven learning and play spaces and to rejuvenate a tired campus. The College spent over $50M over ten years and upgraded all of its facilities. Working closely with the architects and builders I was able to bring significant change to the learning and work spaces at the College.
Nudgee was previously a Years 8-12 school. Eight years ago I coordinated the process to start up a Junior School. All of the approvals, staffing, planning, development of the facility, procedures and policies were my responsibility. Year 7 students were transferred to high school in Queensland only in the last two years and the Junior school is now full.
When I first started at Nudgee, most of the schools in the Queensland GPS system rowed, but Nudgee did not. I started the program and developed a very positive culture across the shed. We started with 25 boys in Year 8 and built up each year. In our second year of open competition we won the Head of the River. After 14 years of open competition Nudgee has won 7 Heads of River and five overall points championships. Last year we won the National VIII Rowing Championship Schoolboy VIII race ahead of Joey’s, Melbourne Grammar and SHORE.”
On a personal note, Graham has two children, Hamish in primary school and Laura in high school. He loves most sports and the outdoors. He has climbed many mountains around the world including Aconcagua and Kilimanjaro. He was educated at Sydney Grammar, is the youngest of 3 boys and holds a Masters of Educational Leadership and a Masters of Religious Education from the Australian Catholic University and Boston College. Recently he completed the Business Executive Program at the Stanford Business School where he focused on developing innovative practices, strategic leadership in dynamic environments, managing bias in strategic judgement and strategic crisis management.