About Us

What is Safe Principals?

Safe Principals is a company dedicated to the safety of school communities Australia-wide. It is an OHS consultancy firm which was established to assist Australian school Principals, Executive and staff with their Occupational Health and Safety concerns. The Managing Director is Steve Esler and the Adminstrator and Web Manager is Karen Esler.

SPC_Conference _2009

Karen & Steve Esler at Albury SPC Conference 2009

Steve Esler


B.A. Dip.Ed; M.Sc. (Macquarie Uni); M.Ed.Admin. (University of New England);

Cert. IV OH&S; Cert. IV Training and Assessment; J.P. 

  • Principal (PH1) for 17 years
  • Background in industrial and nuclear chemistry, Science HT, Deputy Principal and Principal
  • Leader of NSW Secondary Principals' Council OHS Reference Group for 10 years.
  • OHS adviser for schools, principals, DET and NSW Teachers Federation
  • Qualified (Certificate IV) in OH&S and Workplace Training and Assessment
  • Life Member of the NSW Secondary Principals Council

Steve Esler led the SPC's
OHS Reference Group for ten years and was a highly successful Secondary Principal (PH1 - Principal of a High School with over nine hundred students) for 17 years. His initial qualification was in Industrial Chemistry followed by a Diploma of Education, a Master of Science degree (in Nuclear Chemistry) and a Master's degree in Educational Administration. He also holds Certificate IV in both Occupational Health and Safety and Workplace Training and Assessment. Steve is a Justice of the Peace.

Karen Esler


Dip. Teach. (WBCAE), B.Ed. (UWS), M.Ed (Special Ed.) (UoW) 

  • A qualified teacher with over thirty years experience teaching in Primary and High Schools
  • Post graduate qualifications in Education and Computing
  • Substantial office and organizational knowledge
  • Karen is the Administration Manager of the company

Why Safe Principals?

"Safe" implies protection and feeling relieved and comfortable.

Steve Esler knows just how important it is to achieve safety and protection for staff, students and visitors from any hazards in the workplace so that the real job of schools - teaching and learning - can be implemented.

"Principals" are the site managers of their schools under Australian OHS Legislation and as such are "where the buck stops".

Highest _risk


As a DET NSW State High School Principal (PH1) for seventeen years, Steve is very much aware of the issues faced by Principals in the day to day management of their particular environment.

By providing school Principals with expert consultancy and advice, Steve is able to help them implement safety principles in their workplaces. This results in a school with a culture of safety and care for everyone as well as fulfilling the legal obligations of OHS legislation. Hence the business name "Safe Principals".

Safe Principals
- Logo


A ship's lifebuoy is the logo which Steve and Karen chose as their distinctive company icon. This is in line with Steve's love of all things nautical.

Since he was a boy and sailed down the Parramatta River on a kapok mattress, Steve has had a passion for boats. His enthusiasm for both water and safety gave him the impetus to train with Forbes Carlisle, a renowned swimming coach, at the Ryde Pool to a level in the sport where he gained a Bronze Medallion and was therefore qualified to rescue any hapless swimmers - something he has done on numerous occasions in rough surf.

For many years Steve and Karen have been owners of speed boats and enjoyed giving their family and friends waterskiing lessons and rides around Sydney and the coast.

Safe Principals
- Motto


This catchy phrase came quite readily to Steve's mind as a very appropriate tag line for the business. Principals have a multitude of concerns to sort out daily and are in charge of a microcosm at their school site. Steve offers a helping hand - figuratively throws them a lifebuoy! - so that Principals do not feel like they are "up to their neck in it" or overwhelmed by just one more major issue to deal with - OHS compliance.

Principals and staff want to get on with their main game - quality teaching. Steve's input for one, two or three days enables them to do just that. By sharing his wealth of knowledge and experience on safety matters, Steve rescues Principals from what can often seem a quagmire of OHS mandatory requirements.