Senior Leader/Leader Community Engagement Profile
Broken Hill born, Daniel Fusi has Barkindji and Tongan heritage. He spent his schooling years between Sydney and Menindee, finishing his HSC at St Gregory's College, Campbelltown.
Daniel ran a popular cafe, where most of the young people of Menindee frequented, before he started working at the school in 2008. The principal of Menindee Central School at the time, Brian Debus, visited Daniel weekly to get advice on how to engage the students the way Daniel was able to, through the cafe. Eventually, he accepted an appointment at the school as the Aboriginal Male Educator, and worked in this role for 4 years. His motivation for taking the position was to help the school understand and work with the students, ultimately improving their educational experience.
Daniel said that one of the best aspects of being employed at the school has been working with parents, followed now by their children. The strong foundation of these relationships with families enables Daniel to continue to improve the lives of the students both at and beyond school.
In 2013, through the Connected Communities Strategy, Daniel was successful in obtaining the Senior Leader Community Engagement position at Menindee Central School. Two of the initiatives in which Daniel has been integral in the development of, include Enterprise Park and the City Country Alliance (CCA). Through his support of the CCA, schools that visit Menindee on a regular basis, continue to have an experience that exceeds their expectations of life in rural NSW, one in which schools involved promote, as part of their competitive retention initiatives.
As well as giving visiting schools a valuable experience, Daniel is pivotal upholding the school's belief that it is important to create opportunities for young people, broadening their experience of the 'world outside Menindee'. This philosophy is underpinned by the school's Wellbeing and Discipline policy, where good attendance and commitment to school life is rewarded, through excursions to the Schools Spectacular, Uluru and overseas in their HSC year. Daniel's strong relationships with the school's families enable students to be allowed to travel away from Menindee, knowing he is going with them.
Daniel has seen a lot of change at the school in the years he has worked there. One of the most significant changes has been the increase in the number of Aboriginal staff employed at the school, from two to over 10, in a variety of positions across the school, including the Executive Principal. These staff represent families across the community and are instrumental in helping young people stay connected to school.
The generational connection Daniel has to the school through his own family keeps him committed to its continual improvement.
Senior Leader Community Engagement
Menindee Central School