Michael John NORMAN

16-11-33 to 1-3-23

Loved and loving husband of Nancy Jean (dec.)

Loved Dad/Mickey to Claire, Mark & Brett and their partners Phil, Karen & Peta

Much loved Pa of Bec, Ellen & Sam, Marcus & Annelie

Loved G-Pa to Jack, Charlie & ‘Bub’

Loved brother of

Peter, John & Wendy (dec.)

and their families

Always warm and welcoming

with a phenomenal memory

for people and their lives.

A storyteller like no other

who loved being a part of

the family & friends banter

over a meal or

a game of Scrabble.


Highly respected educator

who had such a positive

influence on so many lives.


A happy life so well lived.


No funeral as requested

by Michael.

Funeral Notice



  1. As the founding Principal of Woodleigh, Michael led the development, establishment, and early years of our School from 1974 to 1980, as it expanded into secondary education. He took what he saw in the Minimbah learning community – one not bound by tradition, open to the future – and transplanted those values, ideals, and philosophy to Golf Links Road.
    Every choice made in the design and building of Woodleigh was informed by a deep understanding of the difference between ‘education’ and ‘schooling’. His move away from institutionalised, post-industrial ‘schooling’ allowed adolescents to develop, find their passions and grow – as learners and human beings – gaining an education that was both academic and personal. In their six years of growth at Woodleigh, students would leave this place knowing themselves and the world, and understanding their place in it.
    Fifty years have passed since Woodleigh was a dream in the minds of the Minimbah community. What exists today is as much Michael’s legacy as it is a school that continues to strive to meet the contemporary needs of young people. His big-picture thinking – grounded in research, community engagement and a deep-thinking, philosophical approach – saw him guide generations of young people to find balance – balance between personal development, social responsibility, academic achievement, and practical competence. His development of cross-age learning opportunities are legendary. Perhaps his biggest legacy is the Homestead system, where students co-habit with younger and older students, learning to be responsible for and respectful of themselves, each other and the environment.
    His oft-quoted, “We ought never to do for young people what they, with a struggle, could be expected to be doing for themselves”, remains at the forefront of what we do in 2023 and will continue to do in years to come.
    Michael leaves us with a question, a challenge. “Where do we make room for insatiable curiosity, creative flair, and the free flow of bravado, or even just ‘having a go’?” Long may we continue to struggle and approach education as an adventure.
    Our thoughts, love, and support go out to Michael’s children, Claire, Mark, and Brett, and his extended family and friends.

    Adam Liddiard – Director of Community Relations – Woodleigh School March 7, 2023
  2. To dear Claire and family,Michael was a fantastic man and will be greatly missed by all. Please know that I’m thinking of you all at this very sad time with love,prayers and tears. Val Reid

    Val Reid March 3, 2023