"Interesting survey, made me think of my work and life in general. I'm happy I spent the time on doing the survey. Thank you."

"Thanks for the opportunity to participate. I think the work you are doing is outstanding."

"Great survey ... interesting to see how you come at the same aspect from several different angles ... Thanks for the opportunity to take part."



What is the project about?
The Principal Health & Wellbeing Survey is a confidential survey, independent of all employer groups, professional associations and unions.


Firstly, you will be able to track your job-related personal health and wellbeing over time, with an individualised report returned automatically upon completion each year.


Secondly, global results will build a longitudinal picture of the state of health and wellbeing for school principals nationally. These trends will be provided to policy makers in a “State of the Nation” report about the real, but often hidden, costs and benefits of initiatives such as the introduction of a national curriculum and changes to national testing and accountability requirements.


Who is undertaking the project?
This project is being conducted by Associate Professor Philip Riley and Professor Herb Marsh at Australian Catholic University.


Professor Herb Marsh is an international researcher and is arguably one of Australia’s leading academic researchers. Professor Marsh will contribute his extensive expertise in Positive Psychology, statistical modeling, and measurement expertise, to this project.


Associate Professor Philip Riley, a former school principal, spent 16 years in schools before moving to the tertiary sector. He researches the overlapping space of psychology, education and leadership. Associate Professor Riley has been conducting the Principals Wellbeing survey since 2011 and has expertise in running large-scale data collections.


Why is the collection of this data reasonably necessary?
The collection of this data is necessary to allow the research team to holistically understand the antecedents, and outcomes, of environmental and personal factors relevant to principal health and wellbeing. As such, the information you personally provide will assist in better understanding how we can create an environment conducive to content and healthy school principals.

Where will your data be collected from?
The majority of the data collected will be derived from the Principals' Health and Wellbeing survey. Additional data will be collected from the publicly available MySchools website database, matched to the school in which you work.

Consequences of all or some of the personal information is not collected
The only negative consequence of not providing all or some of your personal information will be a lesser comprehensive profile made available to the research team. As such, some analyses may be unable to be conducted on the data you provide. However, we stress no information needs to be provided by you which you do not wish to share.

Use of a pseudonym
Participants will be assigned a personalised RGI (Randomly Generated Identifier), which will stay then same each year you conduct the survey. This will allow researchers to be able to match you data from previous years, but also will maintain your privacy from the researchers, as they will not be provided with your actual name.

Publication of Data
The Australian Research Council, our main funding partner, requires that any publications arising from a project must be deposited into an open access institutional repository within a twelve month period from the date of publication. The ARC strongly encourages the depositing of data arising from a project in an appropriate publicly accessible subject and/or institutional repository. As such, the findings arriving from this project are intended to be published in an open access (i.e., publicly available) source. We again stress, no information about yourself, or your specific school, will be identified. No one will be able to identify you from the aggregated data, or findings within any written report or article using the data.

Are there any risks associated with participating in this project?
Some of the questions asked are of a personal nature. Should participation cause you any distress you may wish to seek individual help such as counselling. The project website, contains contact details of all agencies that can provide help to you, grouped by location. Simply click on the map of your state to access links to each agency. The contact information is updated annually. Associate Professor Riley can arrange individual assistance, which may involve some cost to you. He can be contacted on (+613) 9953 3770, or via email:, or Alternatively, localised health and wellbeing information can be found on at


Australia Specific

New Zealand Specific, or by telephone on 13 11 14 
In addition, Beyond Blue also offers a 24 hours/ 7 days a week telephone service on 1300 22 4636, or by telephone on 0800 543 354. In addition, the Ministry of Health also offers a 24 hours/ 7 days a week telephone service “Healthline” on 0800 611 116


As a registered psychologist with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency A/Prof Riley is bound to act at all times within the guidelines of the psychologists' Code of Ethics. Therefore, if you disclose an immediate and specified risk of harm to an identifiable person or persons that can be averted only by disclosing information you have supplied we will immediately pass this information on to the closest local agent legally responsible for the protection of the individual and/or general public.


What will I be asked to do?
Participation involves completing a confidential online survey. Your results can be accessed immediately through a secure, password protected, website once you have completed answering the questions. We will contact you again each year following completion of the initial survey for an annual update of your status.

How much time will the project take?
The survey takes approximately 1 hour to complete the first time you complete it. You can complete it over multiple sessions, by logging back in with the secure password sent to you by the system when you agree to participate. Follow up annual surveys will take approximately 40 minutes to complete.


What are the benefits of the research project?
All participants receive an instant, individualised report on their personal health and wellbeing status and can compare this to others.
This project will map policy interventions to changes in principals’ motivation and well-being, and share information about the most productive and cost-effective interventions with key stakeholders across Australia.


Can I withdraw from the study?
Participation in this study is completely voluntary. You are not under any obligation to participate. If you agree to participate, you can withdraw from the study at any time without adverse consequences. You may choose to participate in some or all of the surveys. You should also be aware that you are able to withdraw from participation at any time and have all your information removed from the project, by informing us in writing up to one month before the publication of the annual report of principal health and wellbeing.


Will anyone else know the results of the project?
No one will have access to your individual results. Aggregated and nonidentifiable results from this research may also be disseminated for report and/ or publication, such as in an academic journal, book or conference proceeding. An annual report of the survey will be posted on each year.


Will I be able to find out the results of the project?
You will be able to download a free pdf copy of the report from


Who do I contact if I have questions about the project?
Associate Professor Philip Riley, 115 Victoria Parade, Fitzroy Victoria 3065
Mail: Locked Bag 4115, Fitzroy MDC, Fitzroy Victoria 3065
Telephone: +61 (0)3 9953 3730
Mobile: +61 (0)4 3881 4628


What if I have a complaint or any concerns?
The study has been reviewed by the Human Research Ethics Committee at Australian Catholic University (review number 2014 186V). If you have any complaints or concerns about the conduct of the project, you may write to the Manager of the Human Research Ethics Committee care of the Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research).


Manager, Ethics
c/o Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Res

earch) Australian Catholic University
North Sydney Campus PO Box 968
NORTH SYDNEY, NSW 2059 Ph.: +612 9739 2519
Fax: +612 9739 2870

Any complaint or concern will be treated in confidence and fully investigated. You will be informed of the outcome.


Where can I find ACU’s Privacy Policy?
ACU’s Privacy policy can be found at the following hyperlink


Entities to whom personal nformation is usually disclosed.
No other entities will be provided with, or have access to, your personal information.


Overseas recipients of personal information.
No overseas recipients will be provided with, or have access to, your personal information.


I want to participate! How do I sign up?
If you decide you would like to participate and that you have sufficient information to make this decision, please download and save this information page. The survey will re-open next year.