PROFILE: Ann-marie Furney

Ann-marie Furney is a driven member of the community who is passionate about equality in rural and regional education. Since graduating from the University of New South Wales with a Bachelor of Arts (English Language and Literature), Ann-marie has taken on an active role in the educational system focusing
on pedagogy, innovation and professional learning practices. Some of her notable positions include principal of South Dubbo High and School Director
of 30 schools in Western NSW.

Ann-marie’s influence in the education sector has led to some remarkable achievements such as coordinating the development of the iTech21 technology
training centre in Dubbo, an initiative to support teachers in the integration of Information and Communications Technology into their classroom.
Following its success, other areas of NSW have adopted the program.

Her flare for innovation extended to Ann-marie’s position as Senior User with the Connected Classrooms Program and the Interactive Classrooms Project.
This role required representation of teachers, students and principals across 2200 different schools. From this, the government invested $58 million
to install interactive whiteboards in government schools across NSW.

While Ann-marie has retired from the NSW Department of Education and Communities, she now runs a consulting business called SCHMIC that assists in
leadership, management and strategic planning for schools and communities.

Ann-marie’s lifelong service to the regional community has been further exercised during her two years as a board member at RDA Orana. Ann-marie is
driven by her passion for equality, especially for the rural and regional communities who can be overlooked because of the government’s focus on
large coastal and metropolitan areas. She is interested in building the bridge between the government and regional communities to facilitate the
economic growth which areas such as the Orana deserve. Ann-marie believes that a poor history of cooperation between all levels of government and
the regions is one of the barriers faced by RDA. She feels that rural and regional people have given up remaining active with the government and
their policy-making processes because of past experiences. As a committee member, Ann-marie’s intention is to help the region move past this barrier
and achieve the vision which she shares with RDA Orana; to facilitate economic development and create opportunities, adding value to the region
to make it a place where people want to invest.

Ann-marie’s involvement in many significant projects with the NSW educational system has given her invaluable experience that is being used in her
work with RDA Orana to better the regional development of the Orana region.

Besides her commitment to RDA Orana and running her own business, Ann-marie enjoys travelling, reading and interior design.