From the tentative steps of a young girl to the confident stride of a respected leader, Gilda Pussich is again walking through the gates of her beloved secondary school, this time as its Principal.

As a former student at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College (OLSH) Kensington, it’s safe to assume her younger self would be deeply impressed with the important role she now plays.

She is taking her school into the future, inspiring and guiding today’s OLSH girls along their own journeys.

Joining OLSH at the start of Term 1 in 2024, Gilda brings over 13 years of experience as a principal, gained from highly successful tenures across the Sydney Catholic Schools (SCS) system.

This wealth of unique experience positions Gilda well to lead OLSH, with a clear vision to uphold the school’s legacy while ushering in a new era of excellence.

“The education I received at OLSH was second to none and I want students to have the same opportunities that I was given at OLSH. 

“My parents were not wealthy but due to my education here, I could have followed any path my heart desired. I chose to become a teacher and eventually became Principal,” Ms Pussich said. 

And her top priority? Doing all she can to continue to strengthen the schools’ HSC position.

“We have a strong legacy of excellent outcomes, and we’re on a mission to continue to set high expectations and strive for success. 

“We have a winning formula with the right staff and leadership team. The girls trust their teachers, who in turn believe in their abilities, and give them extra time and attention,” Ms Pussich explained.

A specialist in girls’ education, Gilda’s return to OLSH follows accomplished leadership roles as Principal at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic College Burraneer and Mary MacKillop Catholic College (MMCC) Wakeley.

During her time at MMCC, Gilda led the school to its best-ever HSC results in 2021, climbing an enormous 104 positions to 138th in the Daily Telegraph media rankings. She followed up this phenomenal result again in 2022, with the school continuing to improve and placing 134th.

“Girls thrive in environments where they cultivate strong relationships with their teachers and peers. Collaboration enhances their learning experience, particularly when the material is relevant and contextualised to their lives,” Ms Pussich said.

At the heart of Gilda’s vision for OLSH is a focus on student engagement and empowerment, bolstered by access to the unparalleled opportunities in education, sport, and extracurricular activities available to all students across the SCS system.

“Our students come first for me, with their emotional and social wellbeing placed always at the forefront. 

Initiatives at OLSH such as the expanded Year 9 elective program further aim to challenge students beyond traditional boundaries, fostering relevance and enthusiasm in learning. 

Gilda’s formative years at OLSH were marked by a nurturing environment that continues today, with the school being a true community of the heart.

Her family have also been deeply involved with the school. Her sister was a student, her father a proud member of the Parent and Friends Association, and her mother ran the canteen.

“OLSH was and is a remarkable school where I had a really fond experience. The legacy of the Sisters, combined with the dedication of wonderful teachers, formed the person I am and made me want to become a teacher,” Ms Pussich said. 

OLSH has changed a tremendous amount since Gilda spent her days in its classrooms as a student, but a deep understanding of the school’s heritage serves to help her lead the OLSH of tomorrow. 

“Teaching is such a rewarding career, especially when someone you taught comes back and shares the impression you made in their life – how you directed their career and family life – and wants to show you off to their loved ones,” Ms Pussich said. “It touches you immensely.”