Kevin Mackay

  • Bachelor of Special Education

Your current role?

"I have been the Principal of Dandenong North for thirty-one years, and the Principal of two other schools as well during a 51-year career in education. I enjoy the variability of challenge that is part of the role of Principal. No two days are ever the same. I also enjoy working with a high-performing staff and young children who are forever shining examples of joie de vivre. Perhaps, most importantly, I value being part of a team that helps to shape a better society and contributes to the productivity and happiness of a significant number of young Victorians."

Why did you choose to study at Monash University?

"The knowledge and skills that I gained because of the Bachelor of Special Education experience have made me a much better teacher and leader than I would otherwise have been. The self-esteem and confidence that came with the successful completion of the degree added a new dimension to my life. It is safe to say that those two years of my life represented a significant career-related turning point towards a more productive, rewarding and successful professional career."

Highlights of your time at Monash University?

"My fondest memory of my time at Monash was the collegiality of the cohort members of my particular course. The facilities were particularly impressive and I loved the student café for the magnificent hamburgers they used to produce. I learnt to SCUBA dive as part of the student Union clubs program and am still a diver to this day."

What aspect of the course has best prepared you for employment?

"The best advice I've received is that, as a leader, you have to be aware that there will be spurts of growth and times of die-back. There will be stragglers and there will be front-runners. A leader's job is to understand the dynamics of all that and to work out how to keep the whole shooting match moving in the desired direction."

Advice for future students?

"My advice to current graduates starting out in their career is to enjoy what you plan to do or be. Be resilient because there will be setbacks. Associate with successful people, and observe and learn from them. Take career risks, and treat other people as you would want to be treated. Surprise and delight both your employer and your customers."