BRUCE WINTHER – High Stamina and an Endless Passion for Education

November 2016 / 22/11/2016

Determination, high levels of energy and a 100% commitment to the wellbeing of Flinders students are the trademarks of this extraordinary man.

Tell us about yourself, your career and how you came to Flinders?

After seven years of country service for the SA Education Department and 17 years at Scotch College, Adelaide, I was ready for a change and an improved leadership position. Our family visited the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast in 1998 and we dropped in to see Flinders in its infancy. Just a few weeks later, the Head of Primary position at Flinders was advertised and our family decided I should apply.

How would students and staff describe you?

Friendly, fair, determined, supportive.

What are the main challenges you faced as the Principal?

Making enough time to see and interact regularly with students; balancing the different needs of students, staff and parents and ensuring that strong progress continued to be made while I held the acting Principal position.

What makes you so passionate about Flinders?

Having grown up with Flinders over the past 18 years, I feel part of its fabric and family.

I feel incredibly proud to be a part of this wonderful community comprising friendly students, hard working staff and committed parents.

What are your interests outside of school?

Sports especially tennis and AFL, reading, gardening, travel and my family.

Have you lived in any amazing, interesting or out-of-the-way places?

I have lived in many houses in South Australia and Queensland. I lived in and ran a Boarding House at Scotch College for seven years looking after 30 boarding students from around the world. The favourite place I have visited would be Cinque Terre in Italy.

What is your favourite TV show?

I enjoy series such as Breaking Bad, Vikings, Game of Thrones, Mad Men and the Fall.

What is your favourite food?

An eclectic range but Vietnamese, Indian and Italian are some of my favourites.

When you finished school, what were your dreams?

I wanted to be a teacher or archaeologist.

What advice would you give to young people and parents today?

To young people: Give everything your best shot. Roald Dahl was right when he said “lukewarm is no good”. To parents: Guide and support your children but don’t over protect them.

If you could sit down to dinner with any six people in the world, who would you pick and why?

There are so many people I admire but I would rather have dinner with my wife Debbie, my sons Leigh and Todd, their partners, Amy and Kat and my granddaughter, Aida. We all live a long way away from each other, so I would love to catch up with them all again soon.

An outstanding career

Bruce joined Flinders in 1999, bringing experience, ideas and enthusiasm for education.

In 2011, he was given the John Laing Professional Development Award for his contribution to the professional learning of other Independent School Heads.

More recently, he served as President of the Queensland Branch of IPSHA (Independent Primary School Heads of Australia).

Bruce is committed to providing our students with an exceptional education that builds body, mind and spirit and produces confident, lifelong learners.

Bruce’s school leadership roles also have included Junior School Deputy Head, Head of House and Boarding House Master at Scotch College Adelaide, and Deputy Principal at Flinders.