Sharyn O’Neill - Director General
Sharyn O’Neill was appointed Director General of the then Department of Education and Training in June 2007, the youngest Director General of Education ever appointed in this State.
Ms O’Neill is only the third woman to head the largest public sector agency in Western Australia, and is responsible for leading the State’s public education system of more than 800 schools, and about 300 000 students and 45 000 staff.
With a clear focus on students at the centre of all decisions, her 2007 Classroom First strategy was a blueprint for the future and gave a clear mandate for public education – for every student to be successful, every teacher to be effective and every school to be good. The strategy continues to inform all decisions and directions.
Ms O’Neill has led some significant changes to public education in Western Australia. These include more flexibilities for schools; the move of Year 7 students from primary to secondary school; a new school funding model driven by the learning needs of students; and more support and services for children in the early years of their development and learning including Child and Parent Centres, and KindiLink.
She is a member of the Australian Education Systems Officials Committee. She is also chief executive officer of the Country High School Hostels Authority. In 2016 she was awarded the Institute of Public Administration (WA) Patrons Award and was also made a Fellow of the Institute in recognition of her contribution to public administration in Western Australia.