Dennis Yarrington

President, Australian Primary Principals Association (APPA)

Building and Creating a Contemporary Learning Community

Dennis Yarrington has been the Principal of Harrison School, a new and expanding Preschool to Year 10 School in Canberra, Australia. The school caters for 1500 students. Dennis has a Masters in Educational Leadership, Masters in Special Education and a Bachelor of Education. He has been involved in education for over 30 years, including the positions of teacher, executive Teacher, consultant and Principal of a small country school, a large regional school, Special School and establishing a large metropolitan P-10 school. Dennis has been involved with concept designs for new schools in the ACT. He has presented at State, National and International conferences on leadership, school culture and implementing learning communities. Dennis is Vice-President of the Australian Government Primary Principals Association and is President of the Australian Primary Principals Association. He is currently developing a leading school in the integration of technology, 21 Century learning tools and structures and an inclusive school community. This includes teaching and learning communities and a coaching culture to improve teacher performance.


The journey taken to build and create a school is not one without challenges and rethinking. The opportunity to create a learning environment that will be relevant and reflect the future is a most rewarding and unique experience. As a principal of a new school I have had the experience of influencing and developing the learning environment of over 1500 students and 170 staff from the ground up. I will share the journey, identify key relationships required and outline the major aspects of building a new school community.