UWA Graduate and school principal providing an opportunity for his students to grow

17/08/2022 | 3 mins

Grovelands Primary School principal Mark Bradshaw (BA ’87) is passionate about helping children to grow; cultivating their passions; and exposing them to opportunities for their future.

All stem from Mark's own dream of pursuing a university education.

Despite growing up on a farm in Tambellup, next to the Stirling Ranges, Mark says he knew his future lay elsewhere. He set his sights on higher education and completed a Bachelor of Arts in 1987 at UWA.

“As a boy from country WA, my experience at UWA was life changing”, Mark, one of the first in his family to attend university, said.

Living at Currie Hall, campus life involved enjoying sports events, social clubs, movie nights, and hanging out at coffee shops, with UWA a place he made life-long memories and best friends.

"Without attending university I would never have had the opportunity to enjoy the rich experiences I have had in my life."

After UWA, Mark pursued further studies in anthropology and sociology and he eventually gained teaching qualifications, leading to a rewarding career as an educator.

Working in primary and secondary schools in the city, country and remote areas, his experiences span from being a mainstream to a remediation teacher, behaviour modification specialist and student services manager. As an educator, his passion became building school environments where children could safely grow.

Appointed a deputy principal and then principal, his leadership roles allowed him to further develop his passion.

Mark Bradshaw, Grovelands Primary School principal with two of his students

Image: Mark Bradshaw, Grovelands Primary School principal with two of his students

Never tiring of helping children be their best selves, Mark has devoted his career to working in underserved communities and providing opportunities for young people.

One way he helps students develop their learning is through the Children’s University WA Partnership program with UWA. 

Grovelands Primary School has been a partner school of the program, which provides primary school students with access to extra-curricular learning opportunities through a ‘Passport to Learning’, since 2021.

The passport allows kids to ‘travel’ to learning destinations including Scitech, Perth Zoo, the Art Gallery of WA, their local libraries and parks and to UWA campuses for special holiday programs.

Students record their learning hours across the year before attending a graduation ceremony on campus, wearing caps and gowns, just like UWA graduates. The program works closely with lower ICSEA and regional school communities.

"It’s an opportunity for these children to engage widely. It’s just increased the breadth of their engagement."

The program emphasises lifelong learning and accessibility of education for all, with learning experiences designed to link to higher education learning and courses.

“In my school community I really want my kids to aspire to further education and until we got involved with Children’s University, I hadn’t really had opportunities to expose them to those options”, Mark said.

“Aspiration is really why we got involved. We want our kids to aspire.”

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