Barker College

Barker College has been selected as an Employer of Choice in The Australian Business Awards 2023. The Australian Business Award for Employer of Choice [EOC] recognises organisations that develop workplaces that maximise the full potential of their workforce through established policies and practices which demonstrate effective employee recruitment, engagement and retention.

“In line with our motto Honor non Honores it is not the Award, but the intentional striving towards a work environment where all employees are enabled to thrive and in keeping on par or ahead of worker expectations that supports our values laden culture of excellence. There is a large body of literature demonstrating the importance of care for staff as an important way of ensuring outstanding quality in the experience of students and families.  This award is a credit to the staff at the College, who all contribute to our wonderful culture.”

Phillip Heath AM, Head of Barker College and Alison Binet, Deputy Head People & Culture

Founded in 1890, Barker College is a leading co-educational Anglican School, employing over 1000 employees in teaching and academic pathways and a wide range of technical support roles. Staff join an educational institution unmatched in the Australian education sector for the variety of professional opportunities and the unique opportunity to work in high-impact social education programs in indigenous education, humanitarian and international programs and innovative bi-lingual learning environments. 

Barker College operates an early learning program, four primary schools, a senior school, a boarding college, an outdoor education facility and an in-house research facility. The primary service is the education of young Australians for the future. It includes campuses and programs in metropolitan Sydney, regional New South Wales and remote North East Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. Barker College also has several foundational programs establishing the college as an employer innovator in the Australian education sector, including co-education from Kindergarten to Year 12, three On Country Indigenous schools, a Humanitarian Program, an International Robotics program and an in-house research institute, the Barker Institute. 

Under the guidance of the visionary leadership of the CEO (Head of Barker College), Barker College’s employee engagement strategy provides broad professional development opportunities and a sense of community within a large education workforce, being connected by a mutually agreed Mission to inspire every learner, every experience, every day. Results from Strategic Reviews in 2018 and 2021 demonstrate a strong values alignment (over 95%) by Barker College staff committed to the school’s success and culture. 

Employees enjoy a positive work environment and a holistic employee health and wellbeing program to sustain a healthy workforce: 

  • Nutritious daily meals provided by an onsite Food Services Team.
  • Access to world-class onsite gym facilities and program facilitated by qualified staff.
  • Daily access to an onsite Aquatic Centre.
  • Access to onsite Health Centre and Staff Primary Health Care initiatives.
  • Psychology Services onsite and referral to an external EAP support service.
  • Mental Health First Aid, with 58% of permanent staff trained to respond to mental health concerns.
  • Employees participate in Lift@Baker, which commenced in 2023, a tailored, evidence-based, holistic wellbeing program.

All staff are valued and supported throughout their careers and are encouraged to thrive in their roles through ongoing professional development, research, feedback and self-reflection. Barker College’s new staff orientation programs continue through ongoing mentoring, internal coaching through their College of Teachers program, external coaching, leadership and aspiring leadership programs and travelling fellowships. A feedback culture for employees has also been embedded and practised through informal and formal pathways. The successful trial of a formal 360-structured software program called Educator Impact led to the full adoption of the program by Barker College in 2022, tracking employee growth and professional satisfaction to retain and motivate employees around fulfilling their professional goals. 

For information about Barker College, visit

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