Early Career Leadership Opportunities in Australian Rural Schools


  • Lorraine Graham University of New England
  • Judith Miller University of New England
  • David Paterson University of New England




Due to the difficulties inherent in staffing rural schools in Australia, it is increasingly common for beginning teachers to fill school  leadership roles early in their careers. The purpose of this paper is to explore the accelerated progression of some early career teachers who have been offered leadership opportunities in rural schools. Results are drawn from seven semi-structured interviews with early career educators that focused on their experiences of leadership opportunities in rural Australian schools. Quotes from participants illustrate the discussion of the core themes that emerged from the data. Specifically, the themes of Access to Leadership Opportunities and the Nexus of Personal and Professional serve to construct important understandings of the challenges that can accompany teachers' early transition to school leadership roles. By engaging with the challenges presented by rural contexts, it appeared that many of the teachers interviewed in this study were taking a 'fast track' to personal and professional growth, as well as school leadership. This paper describes some of the challenges of early school leadership and provides valuable information to inform staffing decisions and policy matters.




How to Cite

Graham, L., Miller, J., & Paterson, D. (2009). Early Career Leadership Opportunities in Australian Rural Schools. Australian and International Journal of Rural Education, 19(3), 26–36. https://doi.org/10.47381/aijre.v19i3.573