Doug Thomas | Principal & Winner - 2023 Primary School Principal of the Year Award
Claremont College

Doug Thomas, Principal & Winner - 2023 Primary School Principal of the Year Award, Claremont College

Doug is Principal of Claremont College, an Anglican co-educational primary school in Randwick, Sydney where he has been the Principal for 17 years. In 2023 he was winner of the Australian Primary School Principal of the Year (Non Govt School) and listed in the 'Education Hot List Top 50 - representing the cutting edge of educational excellence in Australia. Claremont College is recognised for its educational excellence and innovation. The school’s whole-school learning space transformation and refurbishment project has received a number of architectural awards. Claremont College has received world-wide attention for being an innovative ‘future school’ with its team focussed collaborative teaching model. Leaders from schools locally and from further afield visit to learn about this innovation. As a case study, the change management story behind the transformation and its success is powerful and available on the Claremont College website (see Research Project). This research is used by other school teams and is referenced by tertiary institutions. Doug’s passions and interests include; creating a safe and inclusive, vibrant and positive school culture, supporting and promoting teacher professional learning and wellbeing, building highly effective teams, growing leaders, contemporary school design and master-planning, strategy for school improvement and future proofing, and also global education, particularly in the third world. Doug travels every year to Northern India where his family has set up with currently fourteen small school centres in slum and remote jungle areas. One of the main priorities of the charity is to promote equity and inclusion providing access to education for students who do not attend school. The school centres target children living in poverty in slums, remote and isolated places and advocating for those with disabilities. When in India Doug mentors school leaders and works alongside teachers to support them with their teaching and other aspects of their work. He has also trained the local police, social workers, politicians and NGOs in anti-human trafficking programs, participating in other community initiatives and humanitarian endeavours. Doug tries to blog regularly at

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