Principal Wayne Axford takes as much satisfaction from Canning College’s academic success stories as he does from seeing students take giant strides in their personal development.
Students, who are sometimes nervous when they start, grow into individuals who are engaging, confident and inquisitive.
“They’ll be doing round table discussions, think-pair-share sessions and brainstorming activities where they have to put forward their point of view or creative idea and justify it,” Mr Axford said. “It’s great to see the students blossom and develop those skills over the course of their studies at Canning.”
Canning provides the important pathway to leading universities for international students not ready for direct entry to universities.
The College has a highly developed support system that provides students with additional academic services and a high level of care to give them the best possible chance of success when they reach university.
Mr Axford took on the Principal’s role in April 2020 just as the world was adjusting to the impact of COVID-19.
“We’ve had more challenges this year than we normally would but the level of support from the teachers and other support staff has been fantastic,” he said.
Canning College started delivering international programs via online platforms in July, 2020, and Mr Axford’s understanding of information technology has been a big help.
“A lot of our efforts went into the delivery of online learning,” he said. “We are continuing to make sure that the offshore students are receiving a high quality of online delivery and getting the sort of education that they need to be able to succeed both in the exams but also later at university.
“I think both onshore and offshore students will look back on this year and appreciate the level of support provided by the college. They should also be able to make good use of what they have learned over the year both about themselves and about society.”
Born in Perth, Mr Axford was inspired by his own teachers to pursue a career in education. He started teaching in 1984 at Merredin Senior High School and moved to Harvey Senior High School before joining Canning College in 1990.
“I started as a teacher of Science and Computing,” he said. “Then I progressed to Manager of Computing, Deputy Principal and Vice Principal before becoming the Principal.”
Mr Axford has developed a deeper understanding of international student needs through numerous work trips to mainland China and Hong Kong, where he visited schools and promoted the College’s unique strengths to prospective students and education agents.
Outside of his professional life, Mr Axford enjoys reading, kayaking, beach volleyball, walks along the beautiful Canning River, which is near his home, and the occasional game of golf.