First Nations Connections

Meet our Aboriginal Community Education Officer and Aboriginal Education Teacher

Meet our Aboriginal Community Education Officer and Aboriginal Education Teacher

John Burns – Principal

John began his career as a Physical Education specialist and upper primary classroom teacher. He then served as a Principal in the South East of SA for seven years. 

He served as a Head of School / Executive Principal for nineteen years in International Schools, leading Reception to Year 12 schools, from 150 to 900 students. 

After nineteen years of working internationally, John returned home to Adelaide with his family to end 2021, taking up the position of Principal at East Torrens Primary School in 2022.

John looks forward to serving the Largs Bay School community. He enjoys being part of schools with a dynamic vision, inspiring values and a clear site improvement plan. He also enjoys communities where students are proud of their school, their personal development and taking action in the world around them.

Other Experience: 

–   John has been an Executive Board Member for International Baccalaureate (IB) World Heads Council.

–   He served as National Director / Chairperson for the Australian Chamber of Commerce (AUSCHAM) in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. 

–   He serves as a Council of International Schools (CIS) Accreditation Team Member and Chairperson.

South Australian Experience

–   Principal, Largs Bay School, Adelaide, SA (2023)

–   Principal, East Torrens Primary School, Adelaide, SA (2022)

–   Principal, Glencoe Central Primary School, South Australia (1998 – 2001)

–   Principal, Tarpeena Primary School, South Australia, (1994 – 1997)

International Experience

–   Head of School, International School of Paris, France (2018 – 2021)

–   Head of School, Pechersk School International, Kyiv, Ukraine (2013 – 2018)

–   Head of School, Australian International School Saigon, Vietnam (2007 – 2013)

–   Head of School , Medan International School, North Sumatra, Indonesia (2002 – 2007)

Teaching Experience

–   Primary School – Classroom teacher, Physical Education specialist

–   Middle School – English, Humanities, Information Technology, EALD


Karen Ahang - Aboriginal Community Education Officer

Karen is the Aboriginal Community Education Officer (ACEO) at Largs Bay School, she is a South East First Nations woman with cultural connections to the Tanganekald First Nations People in South Australia and the Arrente People in Northern Territory. Karen has lived and worked in the Largs Bay School community for over 20 years.

Karen’s ACEO role includes working with teachers in the implementation of Aboriginal Cultural Studies and Aboriginal perspectives in curriculum design and delivery. Karen works alongside teaching staff to develop and maintain relationships with Aboriginal students, parents and families whilst being a go-to person if need be and providing advice on the cultural diversity of Aboriginal groups.

One of Karen’s core beliefs is inclusivity in diversity and believes all children should have equity in their opportunities to engage and succeed on their learning journey.

Carmel Watson - Aboriginal Education Teacher

Carmel Watson is the Aboriginal Education Teacher at Largs Bay School, her focus is on creating culturally safe and inclusive learning environments that identify opportunities for growth and support students in developing essential skills in literacy, numeracy and creativity. Her goal is to work where each Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child and young person is a proud and confident learner, achieving at their highest potential.

Carmel brings a wide range of experiences in her teaching background. She started her teaching journey teaching in remote Aboriginal schools including Santa Teresa in the Northern Territory and Ernabella (Pukatja) in the APY Lands. She worked as one of the first Aboriginal Education Teachers in Port Augusta for a number of years then as a classroom teacher at Mansfield Park School. Carmel has been at Largs Bay School for 26 years in various roles spending the majority of those years as the Aboriginal Education Teacher, a role she has great passion for and commitment to.

Carmel believes strong identity, belonging, culture and history are a source of strength that helps and enhances learning and participation for all students.