The Australian principal occupational health, safety and wellbeing survey: 2017 data

Mental depression Mental health school principals Employee mental health Mental health promotion Australia

The survey has run nationally every year since 2011 in response to growing concern about principals’ occupational health, safety and wellbeing. Since the project began, approximately 50% of Australia’s 10,000 principals have taken part. Many have completed multiple surveys.

The aim of this research project is to conduct a longitudinal study monitoring school principals and deputy/assistant principals’ health and wellbeing annually. Principals and deputy/assistant principals’ health and wellbeing in differing school types, levels and size will be monitored along with lifestyle choices such as exercise and diet and the professional and personal social support networks available to individuals. The turnover of principals and deputy/assistant principals within schools will allow investigations of moderator effects, such as years of experience prior to taking up the role. The longitudinal study will allow the mapping of health outcomes on each of these dimensions over time.


  • Not enough being done to assist stressed and overworked school principals
  • Job demands of principals have increased
  • Mental health issues associated with staff and students are increasing causing additional stress
  • Unacceptable levels of offensive behaviour, bullying and violence are being inflicted on principals by parents and students
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