Key Contacts at AISNSW

You can reach AISNSW between business hours on (02) 9299 2845.


Jo McLean
Head of Professional Services

For advice and support concerning whole-school wellbeing and accessing consultancy support in relation to the Emerging Minds and Be You resources please contact Jo McLean.

Student Services

Workplace Management

Lisa Ridings
Associate Chief Executive: Student Services

For advice and support concerning individual student plans and students with diverse needs please contact Lisa Ridings.

Cathy Lovell
Associate Chief Executive: School Operations and Governance

For advice and support concerning work health and safety, employment relations and workplace management please contact Simon Spence.



Pamela Hatfield
Head of Communications

For advice and support concerning media enquiries or website information please contact Pamela Hatfield.

Maurice Cummins
Chief Information Officer

For advice and support concerning ICT please contact Maurice Cummins.

Information for schools impacted by the NSW bushfires 
Frequently Asked Questions 

Student Support 

Where can I get resources to support my students when they return to school? 

Advice on how to support students is available at the following links. AISNSW can assist independent schools across the state to become familiar with and/or implement these comprehensive resources by providing no-cost consultancy support.

As a parent/carer, who can I speak with about my child’s circumstance to gain relevant counselling support? 

If students would like to speak to someone anonymously or before school starts back, they can contact: 

How do I help other parents/students in my schools should they need assistance?  

Some families may need help, others not. So, to avoid any misunderstanding it is suggested that any parent/carer who wishes to help other families, connect with their principals so a sensitive, coordinated approach is taken.

Will counselling support be provided for staff and students impacted by the bushfires?  

The Australian Government has funded Beyond Blue to provide an additional 25 liaison officers to support schools directly affected by the bushfires.  

If students would like to speak to someone anonymously or before school starts back, they can contact: 

Where can we get extra help? 

  • Parent Helpline 1300 1300 52 
  • Kids Helpline  1800 55 1800 
  • headspace: 1800 650 890 
  • Mensline 1300 789 978 
  • Your doctor 
  • Local community health centre 

Where can I get information to support the mental health of students?   

Large-scale distressing events affect our school communities in many ways. 

The Australian Government has funded the Emerging Minds Community Trauma Toolkit and Beyond Blue’s Be You resources. 

How can I help with donations of goods, services or cash? 

GIVIT supports communities by working with all local charities, recovery agencies and support organisations to ensure goods and services reach the people who need them, while reducing the workload of front line personnel in bushfire affected areas.  

For those wanting to support the recovery effort, you can go to to see what is needed or to pledge a donation. 

Back to School  

Who will contact me if my school is not operational? 

Please see non-operational school updates

Independent schools should notify AISNSW on 9299 2845 if their school is non-operational due to adverse weather conditions, bushfire activity, emergencies or other incidents.  

What will happen at my school should fires continue?  

Schools should review their emergency management plans and take advice from the local RFS to ensure the safety of all staff and students.  

School Operations 

How can I check if transport is available for students to get to school? 

Please contact Transport NSW on 131 500 or visit their website for School Travel.

Alternatively, you can contact your local public transport bus service operator which can be found on the above website for your area. 

How should I record student absence as a result of bushfires or flood?

If your school was closed due to bushfire or flooding, you do not need to mark the roll and should note on the attendance register that the school was closed for the day (in the same way that you would record a staff development day). The day(s) that the school was closed are not counted in attendance calculations. If the school is open but some students did not attend because they were directed by authorities not to (i.e. to evacuate or stay at home (or similar e.g. Novel Coronavirus), you should mark the reason for their absence as a variation to attendance using the ‘F’ code for flexible as the students were not required to attend. For further advice about recording attendance contact Caraline Cloke – Assistant Head, Regulations and Programs

Will my students on assisted transport be able to be transported to school from start of term 1? 

Please contact Assisted Student Travel Program on telephone 1300 338 278 or email if you have any specific enquiries regarding a service or a student.  

How do I access support if my NDIS disability support providers are impacted by the bushfire situation? 

NDIS participants impacted by the bushfires are prioritised to ensure they continue to receive their disability related supports. Contact NDIS 1800 800 110 to discuss your situation. 

I am concerned about student health and the bushfire smoke, where can I get information? 

Visit NSW bushfires for health information on how to prepare, respond to and recover from the current NSW bushfires and high temperatures. Includes advice on checking air quality levels, reducing exposure to bushfire smoke, managing medications, and returning home safely.

I work in/operate an Early Childhood Education Centre. What is the advice from the NSW Department of Education on operating? 

Any questions about the closure of an early childhood education service should be referred to the Early Childhood Education Directorate on 1800 619 113 or via email at from 7am to 7pm.

How should I manage contact from local media? 

All queries should be directed to the school Principal or their delegate. The AISNSW Media and Communications Office can assist.