Principal Ms Curtis AM recognised in King's Birthday Honours List

It is with immense pride that we can announce 168’s Principal, Ms Ros Curtis AM, has received a Member of the Order of Australia General Division in the 2024 King’s Birthday Honours List for her significant service to education and professional associations.

Ms Curtis AM has been Principal of 168’s since 2011. In that time the school has flourished – from increased enrolments (by almost 80% across her tenure), the enhancement of the campus and provision of outstanding facilities, including a new state of the art sports precinct, to the enrichment of the student experience through improved quality of programs and student offerings. The wider 168’s community is more connected than ever before, with increased Old Girl involvement and a strong Foundation, which has helped facilitate vital fundraising which has enabled both the school improvements and provision of needs-based bursaries.

Ms Curtis says she was humbled to have received the award but also immensely proud that the vital importance and significance of educators and of education – which holds in its hands the future of not just the next generation but the future of the country – has been recognised through this award.

“Now more than ever the importance of education and of good educators must be uppermost in the minds of society and of government.

“We need dedicated and experienced professionals at the helm of educating our children, and for our graduates to see this as the rewarding career path; I can attest to the immense satisfaction that service to the profession and to the education, growth and wellbeing of our children, together with stewardship of other educators, has brought me,” Ms Curtis said.

Ms Curtis began her career as a History and Drama teacher and has held a variety of roles from teacher to senior leader in six schools – Shailer Park State High, Moreton Bay College, Brisbane Girls Grammar School, St Hilda’s School, St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School, and 168’s Anglican Girls School.

She has been recognised for her scholarship and leadership multiple times across her extensive career. Upon completing her Masters of Education in Leadership and Management in 2005, Ms Curtis received the Australian Council for Education Leaders (QLD) award from Queensland University of Technology for Academic Excellence in postgraduate study in Educational Leadership.

Throughout her career, Ms Curtis developed an interest in school leadership structures and their effectiveness, curriculum leadership, mentoring aspirant leaders, effective governance and change leadership and management. In 2011, she received the John Laing Award for her significant contribution to the professional development of Senior Leaders in Schools. In 2018, she received an Excellence in Educational Leadership Award from The Australian Council for Education Leaders (QLD), recognising outstanding educational leadership across the teaching profession and contributions to advancing learning for students and aspirant leaders. At 168’s, Ms Curtis has continued her passion for stewarding professional development for educational leaders, instigating courses and conferences for early teacher, middle leaders, and aspirant senior leaders, not just for 168’s teachers but offered to teachers at other Queensland schools.

In 2020, 2021 and 2022, Ms Curtis received an Excellence Award for School Principal of the Year – Non-Government in the prestigious Australian Education Awards. Under her leadership, 168’s has also received three Employer of Choice awards from the Educator Magazine (2021, 2022 and 2023).

In addition, in 2023, the school received the Queensland Government Queensland Reconciliation Award Winner in the Education category for its Reconciliation Action Plan.

“Given we are now the largest Yalari partnership school in Australia, this was particularly rewarding, and I am very proud of the work and progress being made by our educators and students in this space,” Ms Curtis said.

Ms Curtis holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours), a Diploma of Education, a Masters of Literary Studies, and a Masters of Education (Leadership and Management). She is a Queensland Fellow of the Australian Council of Education Leaders, the Institute of Managers and Leaders and the Australian College of Educators. She is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors Course (GAICD).

Ms Curtis is a representative on the national board of AHISA (Association of Heads of Independent Schools (and was previously Queensland Branch Chair); she is a member of the Board of Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ) and Chair of the Education Committee of ISQ; and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Business School at Bond University. Ms Curtis has also previously held the position as Chair of the Alliance of Girls’ Schools Australasia (now the International Coalition of Girls’ Schools). This significant contribution to professional associations across the years is indicative of her passion for the education of children as well as the teaching profession.