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What Previous Employers Say About Me

A reference from Margaret Gordon project leader for my last position can be accessed through the hyperlink. 

The following selected comments from written references ( scanned copies of these can be supplied) reveal a consistently high level of professionalism in positions I have held over the years.

“Harry demonstrated a mature and professional approach to all classes. He demonstrated a terrific ability to take charge of classes, sometimes at short notice, and engage the students in a confident manner. Harry's involvement with these schools found him primarily working with local Aboriginal students who come from a non-English speaking background. Many of whom have grown up in difficult low socio-economic circumstance. Harry demonstrated a terrific ability to communicate effectively with Indigenous people. His manner with staff is one of support, inclusion and concern and Harry's easy, confident manner means he is able to communicate very effectively with people at all levels.”

This is a joint reference from principals in the Arnhem Group Schools, N.T., Australia (Dr.Gerry McKeown, Alyangula, Alissa Fremmer, Umbakumba, Luke Forgie, Angurugu and Adrian Conroy, Milyakburra) December 2008

“Harry is a dedicated and highly skilled professional. He has wide ranging expertise and an excellent capacity and willingness to learn. ….He has a superb work ethic and has consistently demonstrated his capacity to multi task and deliver to deadlines. Further Harry has demonstrated a capable approach to problem solving and a willingness to consult and engage others. I find Harry to be personable and approachable and have been most impressed with the speed with which he learned a whole new system and stepped up to perform his duties as an executive teacher.

Kerryn Oliver  (Former Principal Nulunbuy High School, N.T., Australia) December 2007

“……Harry is a loyal and supportive member of our staff. He maintains good relationships with colleagues, students and parents. He is an efficient administrator, and meets deadlines in a timely fashion. A very capable organizer, Harry can be relied upon to approach complex tasks methodically and with diligence.

 This teacher has taken performing arts at our school to a higher level than I had anticipated would be possible. Harry’s productions have been very popular with the entire community.

 A gentleman by nature, Harry is an affable man with an excellent sense of humour. I recommend him without reservation to your establishment, knowing that he can be relied upon to provide excellent service.”

Gez Hayden  (former Director, Nanjing International School, Nanjing, China) June 2007

“…..I have been very impressed with Harry’s ability to motivate administrators, colleagues, students and assistants to ensure successful large productions. This was done in spite of some notable difficulties, throughout which Harry remained calm and focused, encouraging cast and crew to get on with their jobs. Growth in student involvement has reflected Harry’s positive approach, with numbers trebling over the last three years to now include almost half the students.

 Harry has been a trusted colleague who is able to accept and work with decisions which do not necessarily suit him. He voices concerns in a reasoned fashion and is supportive of administration and colleagues and students. Harry sets high standards of commitment and works very hard at modeling these.

 …….I recommend Harry to you as a person who is very capable in his field, exhibits personal moral strengths and can work collaboratively with students and staff.”

Richard Swart  (Principal, Nanjing International School, Nanjing, China) June 2007

“Harry has shown himself to be a conscientious, high principled, highly competent, hard working, faithful teacher, who has maintained high standards and obtained good results from his students. Harry has had the responsibility of establishing the Drama Dept. and has done so with vigour and innovation. Drama has become popular with students and the musicals organised by Harry have been a major success.”

Rees Davis( Principal, King’s Christian College, Gold Coast, Australia )


In search of full-time employment I have recently returned to live in Victoria from the Gold Coast, Qld. This year and last, while seeking a full -time position in a very competitive teaching market, I have done CRT work.

In 2012 I replaced a teacher on long service leave as a Film and Television teacher for term 1 at Hillcrest Christian College and, for the remainder of the year had a short contract as an English,Geography/History teacher at Kings Christian College.

Prior to this I had extensive experience teaching ESL students in remote communities in Australia and in the UAE and China.

In 2010 I had a contract with Cognition Education(NZ) on behalf of the Supreme Education Council of Qatar. My position, as a member of a team which provided training in the new Qatar English Curriculum Standards for Master Trainers and Entry Level and Proficient Level ESL Teachers, was the apex of a very varied and successful career in education. I enjoyed the position very much despite some significant challenges for the team. At the conclusion of the contract our team was so successful that we were invited to apply for positions as English Consultants directly with the SEC. I succeeded in gaining one for the following school year. However, a ministerial review, prior to commencing the contract, brought about a change in policy and unfortunately all ex-pat contracts were cancelled.

My varied career includes much experience in planning and managing teaching programs as well as events of all kinds within the education environment and for a period of time I worked in the professional theatre. I have also run full-scale musical productions, plays, talent shows, concerts, theatre restaurant performances, school camps, parent information evenings, primary to secondary school transition programs, promotional events, school socials,

Past coordinating positions include, subject and year level coordinator in schools, middle school coordinator, professional stage manager, manager for the Berwick Secondary College Performing Arts Centre, manager of the Victorian College of the Arts, Grant St. Theatre.

I have taught in schools in the states of Victoria, Queensland and the Northern Territory in Australia and also in the United Arab Emirates and China. I have successfully taught school students from KG to Grade 12, and taught, coached and mentored tertiary students, teachers and other adults.

In addition to the Qatar project previous adult training experience includes:

• Training English teachers to provide support to students with literacy problems.

• Advising and mentoring Primary and Chinese teachers at Nanjing International

School in the implementation of performing arts in their classroom work.

• Training Primary Teachers to achieve basic level competence and certification in ICT.

• Training Tertiary level students in stage-management and stage technician skills.

• Training students of all ages in voice production, non-verbal communication skills and public speaking.

• Training actors of all ages.

(References from past employers and supervisors confirm a consistently high level of professionalism, adaptability and flexibility in every position I have held. See special section below "What previous employers say about me").

(For a quick identification of strengths as a teacher/trainer, see a 'snapshot' reference prepared by Margaret Gordon, the team leader of the Supreme Education Council of Qatar project. )

Recent PD Courses

2012  Queensland College of Teachers Verified List of PD for the year.

2010/2011  I consider my entire time as an English Trainer in Doha as PD. The Qatar English Curriculum standards exemplify the most current in educational trends in English teaching. Our team was engaged to train teachers to implement these standards in the classroom. In order to teach the standards we needed to become fully acquainted with them.

2008  THRASS 2 Day Workshop, Groote Eylandt, Australia (see  )

2008  Accelerated Literacy 2 Day Workshop Groote Eylandt, Australia (

2006IBO Arts and Inquiry Course, Sydney, Australia    (see

2005  IBO Art in MYP Course, Chang Mai, Thailand        (see

2004  IBO Middle Years Programme, Nanjing, PR China    (see

2004  IBO Primary Years Programme, Nanjing, PR China  (see


Administrative Skills
highly developed organisational skills having, in addition to being departmental head in a number of schools, worked as a professional stage manager and theatre manager experience in sourcing materials and resources for various programs and projects and managing budgets effectively have developed maintenance programs for school facilities and planned and supervised many projects to improve facilities in schools much experience in devising and managing schedules and time-tables much experience in creating and maintaining filing systems
People Skills
have worked successfully in a wide variety of social, cultural, educational and professional environments treat all people with respect and use tact and diplomacy in culturally or socially sensitive contexts have learned how to communicate effectively to minimise confusion and misunderstanding always work towards reconciliation in situations where work and personal relationships create conflict have a good sense of humour and the ability to use it to de-stress stressful situations  am a team player; willing to carefully consider alternative points of view and yield for the sake of group consensus where necessary; but also confident enough to persist in presenting a convincing argument when needed References from many different supervisors and employers recognise my well developed skills in this area.  See the "What previous employers say about me" section of the webpage below.
Written Communication Skills
have developed a very high level of skill in a broad range of written communication, utilising an excellent knowledge of the English language and an extensive vocabulary responsible for the development of curriculum for English, Drama, Literacy, both collaboratively and individually. Have also created programmes outside of my area of training: Music and ICT many years experience in report writing, proposal writing, project briefs, production briefs etc well developed creative writing skills have written an e-book "Organised Chaos: A Very Practical Guide to Drama Teaching" which I now sell in Kindle format and hard-copy through
Presentation and Performance Skills
many years experience as a public speaker, presenter, actor and singer. many years experience training students and adults in the effective dynamics of public speaking, how to structure speeches, overcome fear and how to work with an audience or class very effective skills in creating workshop presentations utilising a range of different media and effective teaching and learning strategies.
ICT Skills
excellent knowledge of computer operations and maintenance procedures touch typist very comfortable using a range of applications, the internet, file management, and installation and set-up procedures for hardware, peripherals, and software. able to teach others how to use the computer and solve common problems with computer operations. have created my own website very capable using PowerPoint or similar software to create presentations that include animated slides, powerful graphics, graphic organisers and images and embedded video and audio. created and maintained the project calendar, for the PDTECS project in Qatar, using Outlook and uploaded and maintained all data on the project MOSS website. have stayed current in the use of ICT in the classroom by utilising a range of  Web 2 applications in my teaching programs.

Work experience

Previous training and administration positions

During my long and varied career I have also held positions as:

Drama Coordinator and Year 8 Coordinator Kings Christian College

Performing Arts Centre Coordinator, Berwick Secondary College

Promotions and Development Officer, Youth Hostels Association of Victoria

Theatre Manager for the Grant St. Theatre, Victorian College of the Arts Drama School

Tutor in stage-management and stage technician skills, Victorian College of the Arts Drama School and Melbourne University Union Theatre

This has given me invaluable organisational experience, PR skills, training experience in a broad context and great confidence in my ability to function effectively in new and challenging situations.

Apr 2012Dec 2012

English, History and Geography teacher

Kings Christian College

For 3 terms last year I taught Yr 9 and 10 English and Yr 8 History/Geography. The position became available when a teacher left the school after 1st term. I had to very quickly gain knowledge of school curriculum and more importantly specific changes that have taken place within the Queensland education system.

Jan 2012Apr 2012

Film and Television teacher

Hillcrest Christian College

I completed a short contract replacing one of the film and television teachers who had been on long service leave. Although I had not taught this subject  for many years, I was able to successfully take on the role.

Jan 2011May 2011

English Teacher

Yirrkala School

I was a Yr 9 English and Numeracy teacher for just over a term at Yirrkala School on the Gove Peninsula in the Northern Territory. Teaching in remote Aboriginal schools has provided me with the greatest challenges as an English teacher. I feel I was able to meet that challenge and provide a quality educational experience to the students despite the practical limitations of the school environment, lack of resources and the inherent challenges of teaching in an indigenous community. The contract was cut short when I had to return to the Gold Coast for family reasons.

Nov 2009Jun 2010

English Trainer

Cognition Education

Below is a list of duties compiled by my project leader Margaret Gordon for a personal reference.

Co-operatively and individually designed and planned a series of four hour workshops (PowerPoint, support materials and resources) for the English Entry Level and Proficient Level programmes. This also included effective Quality Assurance and moderation processes.

  • Effectively coached and mentored a group of G10-G12 English Master Trainers during their Level 1 training during Semesters 1 and 2 which involved 30 hours of workshops and on-going support of more than 90 hours per Master Trainer.
  •  Skilfully co-facilitated with English Master Trainers to present the English Entry Level professional development programme to a group of G10-G12 teachers during Semester 1 and 2. The Entry Level programme involved Harry facilitating two series of comprehensive workshops each totalling 60 hours of basic teacher training to new English Teachers.
  • As a sole facilitator, capably delivered advanced teacher training at Proficient Level to experienced teachers, English coordinators and senior management. This Proficient level programme involved Harry facilitating a series of comprehensive workshops totalling 60 hours.
  • Competently delivered professional development teacher training programmes which included theory, methodology, strategies, and practical techniques for teaching English as an additional language.
  • Capably undertook a series of comprehensive in-school lesson observations which were followed by constructive feedback sessions to improve classroom teaching.
Jan 2009Nov 2009


Finalised work on 3 educational resources, two of which have been launched on the market:

The Games Box (a range of colour-coded, categorised classroom games in a box for English, Drama and Primary school teachers) 

The Impro Teachers Kit ( a complete program in a box for the teaching of Dramatic Improvisation)

The Language Teachers Games Box ( a set of games and exercises suitable for use in a communicative English language class to be produced at a later date)

Wrote an e-book: Organised Chaos: A Very Practical Guide to Drama Teaching

Created a website

Although I already had significant experience and previous training in teaching ESL and Literacy I completed a Certificate Course in TESOL to keep my ideas and skills fresh. (see Certifications section below)

Jul 2007Dec 2008

Northern Territory Department of Education and Training

Various roles as determined by departmental need:

Middle School Coordinator, Nhulunbuy High School . Involved oversight of the years 8 and 9 and also supervising the transition of students from Year 6 and 7 at Nhulunbuy Primary School to Middle School. The role required me to liaise with other staff from this school and other schools, to communicate with parents, to manage behaviour of students and work on policy formulation. (see comments below from Kerryn Oliver the former principal in regard to my performance in the role)

ESL Teacher, Grade 6 to 12 Numbulwar Cummunity Education Centre. All students at this school were Aboriginal and had very limited English. Teaching required the development of very specific strategies that were culturally and socially sensitive.

Pool release ESL and classroom teacher for schools in the Groote Eylandt area. This was again teaching predominantly Aboriginal ESL students with severely limited English ability but also involved responding to the needs of a broad range of classes which changed on a daily basis. Students ranged in age from Grade 2 to Year 12. 

(See comments below from Dr Gerry McKeown, Luke Forgie, Alessa Fremmer and Adrian Conroy)

Aug 2004Jun 2007

Whole School Head of Arts

Nanjing International School

During my 3 years at NIS, in addition to teaching performing arts (Drama and Music) to students from K to G10, I had extensive administrative experience:

Nanjing International School has a school population of mostly ESL students. There are very few native English speakers in the school. 40% of the students in the school are Korean. They arrive with little or no English. It was the first international school in China to implement all 3 of the IBO programs (PYP, MYP and IB Diploma. I taught classes with mixed  English language abilities. The teaching of English was a part of every teacher’s role in the school in addition to other subjects being taught and I had to develop strategies to accommodate this in the class.During that time I saw students make great progress in their English language abilities as a direct result of being involved in drama and drama productions and see great potential in the use of drama methodology in the English class. some students went from very poor levels of ability in English language to performing acting roles to the whole school community.

  • responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of the Visual and Performing arts curriculum K to 12 for the International Baccalaureate PYP, MYP and IB Diploma programs in the school, including Scope and Sequence documents KG to Grade 5
  • devised and implemented the Performing Arts program (Drama/Music) from Year 6 to 10
  • worked closely with primary teachers in the school to guide and mentor them in structuring performing arts activities into their unit plans
  • provided ongoing support and advice to staff in regard to the use of the performing arts space in the school and in the organisation of presentations and performances at all levels of the school
  • in charge of the after-school instrumental music program at the school
  • responsible for the preparation and management of the Arts Department budget, covering the purchase of resources and materials for classes Pre K to 12 for Visual Arts, Music and Drama
  • wrote, produced and directed two very successful large scale theatrical productions
Apr 2002Jun 2004

English and Social Studies Teacher

International School of Choueifat Ruwais

There were only a handful of native English speaking students at this schooI. I taught Grades 5, 6 and 7 students from various countries in the Middle East and also Pakistan, India, Indonesia and the Philippines.

The school taught the SABIS system, a Middle Eastern approach to education which relies heavily on rote-learning, memorisation and testing in a teacher-centred approach. I believe that through this experience I  gained an understanding of key aspects of the educational, cultural and social contexts of the Middle East and a greater appreciation of Australian education systems.


Contract Teacher

Education Queensland


ICT teacher and coordinator, Nerang Primary School.

  • wrote and implemented an ICT course for grades 3 to 7,
  • ran the school computer lab
  • managed the network of computers throughout the school.
  • ran a basic computer skills competency course for all teachers in the school

English and Drama teacher at  Robina High School  ( I proposed the implementation of a literacy program in the following year for low achievers in Year 8 .)

Second year at Robina High School

  • organised and ran the literacy program
  • trained other teachers to provide in-class support for the program
  • produced many supplementary curriculum documents and tests to monitor student progress
  • tested students before and after the program

(Results were excellent with some students gaining as much as 6 years in their reading age with significant improvement in their spelling. Some students gained 4 years in reading age in a 10 week period. Unfortunately, despite its proven success, the program was dropped by the new Head of English who was opposed to the teaching of phonics.)

Year 3 - English and Social Studies Teacher, Merrimac High School




Certificate in TESOL

ITAA accredited course

ESL in the Mainstream Certificate

ESL in the Mainstream

Literacy Tutors Certificate

University of Newcastle, Australia