Sandra Craig

Manager, National Centre Against Bullying

Career highlightsSandra Craig

  • Former teacher in a large secondary college managing a sub-school of over 200 year senior students
  • Taught fourth year students at Deakin University, completed two Master of Education degrees and a Postgraduate Diploma of Vocational Education and Training (curriculum)
  • Extensive knowledge about bullying behaviour in schools, due to her teaching career and involvement in the development of a number of initiatives focused on reducing bullying in Australia
  • Provided research for the 'Review of Anti-bullying Policy and Practice', for the Victorian Education Department, which underpinned the 'Safe Schools are Effective Schools' strategy; the evaluation of the Department of Education's 'It's Not OK to be Away' student attendance strategy
  • An independent consultant for the Innovations and Excellence project in Werribee - identifying factors contributing to low attendance rates in year nine, secondary college students
  • Worked with RMIT University as a researcher and developer for the Alannah &┬áMadeline Foundation's eSmart system
  • Delivered seminars at two NCAB conferences
  • Written articles for Education Quarterly, Education Matters, Vodafone parents' magazine and submissions to government bodies.
  • Redeveloped and rewrote the Alannah &┬áMadeline Foundation's Better Buddies Framework, a peer support program for primary schools, in line with recent federal and state government educational initiatives.

Question and answer

Why is the issue of bullying of particular interest to you?

A teacher of many years' experience, in the classroom and also as an administrator, I have had to deal with numerous bullying incidents. After leaving teaching, I was involved in teaching fourth year pre-service teachers at Deakin University and found they were desperate for research and experience-informed knowledge about bullying at school. I was then involved in a research project for the Victorian Education Department under the leadership of Professor Helen McGrath, which examined anti-bullying policy and practice in Victorian Government schools. We produced an extensive report, together with case studies of effective practice.

The results of this study informed the 'Safe Schools are Effective Schools' strategy. Involvement in each of these areas has shown me how important whole school approaches are, to student behaviour and wellbeing under enlightened, informed and effective leadership.

Where do you believe you have made a difference in your field?

I'm lucky to have had the experience of meeting former students, who have told me I made a difference to them, collectively and individually. A number have become teachers and lay the blame at my feet.

On a larger canvas, I know I've made a difference with the anti-bullying research project, as it provided evidence-informed information to schools and a coherent strategy.

Perhaps the most exciting and far-reaching project has been my involvement in the Alannah & Madeline Foundation's eSmart system for schools. As a member of the research and development team, I worked with the Consultancy and Development Unit at RMIT to conduct a needs analysis and develop the model and actions that sit under the different domains of activity in the eSmart Framework. I believe eSmart will have a significant impact on the wellbeing and safety of coming generations of Australian students.

How has your area of expertise helped you to contribute to NCAB over the years?

I have led teams of teachers and sub-schools of up to 250 students. This, together with my teaching, years of study and research experience, have fed into my work with NCAB. I have helped organise a number of NCAB conferences and contributed by presenting seminars in several of them. I count myself extremely lucky to work with some of the best minds and most interesting people in Australia.

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