Introducing Walford's 9th Principal

Dear Members of the Walford Anglican School for Girls community,


On behalf of the Walford Council, I am delighted to announce that following a comprehensive search to find the right candidate to lead Walford into a bold and ambitious future, Dr Deborah Netolicky will be the next Principal of Walford commencing in January 2023. 

We worked in partnership with Hutton Consulting Australia on this recruitment and were impressed by the calibre of interest this esteemed position attracted. Deborah is an exceptional appointment for Walford, bringing skills, highly regarded experience and a philosophy that will enable her to provide inspirational leadership to our school.

Deborah is an experienced educational leader and currently the Head of Teaching and Learning at St Mark’s Anglican Community School in Perth, where she has led teaching, learning, staff development, and the implementation of the St Mark’s learner attributes and Future Ready Curriculum. Prior to leading at St Mark’s, Deborah held the position of Dean of Research and Pedagogy at Wesley College in Perth and had extensive leadership and teaching experience in single sex girls’ schools, namely Brentwood School for Girls in England, Methodist Ladies’ College in Melbourne, and Presbyterian Ladies’ College in Perth.

Deborah is the winner of many awards for educational leadership and research, and was most recently named as one of Australia’s Most Influential Educators. An experienced keynote presenter, she spoke earlier this week on “Future Alternatives for Educational Leadership” at the Australian Council for Educational Leaders National Conference. Deborah is additionally a published author, podcaster, Honorary Research Associate at Murdoch University, and Chair of the Board of Karrinyup Primary School.

As a trained coach, and strong advocate for reconciliation, inclusion and diversity, Deborah is committed to supporting staff and students to thrive in a caring, inclusive, and vibrant community. In particular, she believes that teaching and learning should focus on who we are preparing our young people to be and to become for their future in the world. Walford Council is particularly excited that Deborah is passionate about empowering women to live a life of confidence, courage, compassion, and learning. These are ambitions that all of us share for our girls.

We were continually impressed by Deborah’s accomplishments in leading high performing teams to deliver on strategic and innovative leadership of K-12 curriculum, pedagogy, staff and student learning culture, and staff and student wellbeing. A lifelong learner, she holds qualifications from four of Perth’s universities—a Bachelor of Arts from Curtin University, a Master of Arts from the University of Western Australia, a Graduate Diploma of Education from Edith Cowan University, and a Doctor of Philosophy from Murdoch University. Deborah’s award-winning PhD thesis focused on transformational professional learning and leading effective school change.  

It is evident that Deborah has the skills and talent to passionately guide Walford into the next phase of our strategic plan and 130th anniversary. Much like our pioneering suffragette founder, Lydia Adamson, we can boldly build upon this legacy, and the heart of Walford, in future-fit ways. 

Deborah is looking forward to working with Rebecca Clarke to ensure a smooth transition. We will be recognising and celebrating Rebecca’s outstanding contribution to the Walford community over the coming term, and we look forward to introducing Deborah, her husband and two sons to the Walford community in 2023.


Yours faithfully

Peter Hastings
Chair, Walford Council of Governors

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