About Us

The Australian Council for Educational Leaders (ACEL) and the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) through the Leadership Research International team (LRI) have signed a formal agreement of collaboration for the purpose of disseminating resources such as The Diagnostic Inventory of School Alignment (DISA) to help schools build capacity for success.

About ACEL

The Australian Council for Educational Leaders (ACEL) is a not-for-profit company that actively supports the development of leadership capabilities across Australia through conferences and workshops, professional learning programs, in-house publications, online learning and resources, and a comprehensive bookshop.

Access to these leadership-focused opportunities is available for classroom teachers through to system leaders.

As the premier provider of resources and experiences for educational leaders, ACEL's membership continues to expand with a growing network of over 30,000 and more than 6500 members actively connecting and participating in regular professional learning.

ACEL provides other organisations the opportunity to value-add and optimise their products, events and activities. Through the benefits of collaboration, these partnerships create significant efficiencies and generate opportunities for the greater good of education. 

Our Purpose

To inspire, support, recognise and advocate for excellence in educational leadership.

Our Strategic Goals

We cultivate a collaborative learning community of educational leaders by:

  1. Enhancing leadership capacity through delivery of high quality programs, events and publications
  2. Elevating the standing of educational leadership by recognising excellence
  3. Representing, supporting and advocating for the education profession
  4. Sustaining strong state, national and international ACEL networks

Visit ACEL's website at www.acel.org.au

About the USQ LRI Group

"Leading global thinking about building and sustaining school success!"

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We are a group of researchers and consultants from the University of Southern Queensland’s Leadership Research International group (LRI). For the past 16 years we have worked mutualistically with over 400 Australian state, Catholic, Independent, and international schools, engaging them in processes of school revitalisation that have enabled them to build sustainable capacities for continuous improvement. Our experience in the highly successful IDEAS project has enabled us to develop a deep understanding of the intricate connections between school improvement, pedagogical development, organisational alignment, teacher leadership and whole-school capacity building. We are passionate about developing teacher quality and enhancing leadership capacities of teachers and school leaders. Our experience encompasses all school sectors and locations Read more...

Our team consists of highly experienced educators and researchers who are united by a passion to develop processes that help schools become successful, sustainable and vibrant centres of learning. We look forward to hearing from you…


Team Members

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Director Leadership Research International group (LRI): Assoc Prof Dorothy Andrews

Dorothy Andrews is a researcher, consultant and associate professor in the School of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Education in the Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts at the University of Southern Queensland. Dorothy teaches in the area of leadership and organisational theory. She is the Director of the LRI group and National Director of a School Improvement program – IDEAS. The LRI team was awarded the Australian Council for Educational Leaders Gold Medal in 2003 for excellence in research. Dorothy’s current research is focused on Leadership (including Teacher Leadership), capacity building and organisational change.

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Associate Director Research: Dr Joan Conway

Joan Conway is an educator with over 30 years of experience in teaching and administration in primary, secondary and tertiary settings of Queensland and Papua New Guinea. Since joining USQ in 2003 she has developed a strong research interest in the collaborative nature and collective intelligence of professional learning communities, enabled especially through her consultative and facilitative role in supporting schools through the IDEAS process. In particular, Joan is passionate about the emergence of teachers-as-leaders as a dynamic of building capacity for sustainable school revitalisation.

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Associate Director Enterprise: Dr Shauna Petersen

Shauna Petersen has been an educator for 28 years, working in primary schools for many years in the areas of classroom teaching, Reading Recovery and Teacher Librarianship. Prior to joining USQ 6 years ago as a Lecturer in Literacy Education, Shauna worked as part of the facilitation team for the IDEAS Project in a school. She has continued that work with the LRI, becoming part of their research and consultancy team. Her research interests lie in the area of teacher leadership, which was the focus of her PhD study.

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Associate Director - Literacy Pedagogies and Learning: Prof Shirley O’Neill

Shirley O’Neill brings a wealth of experience in education, research and evaluation. Her work has been across sectors, in schools in Australia and the UK, and in curriculum/policy evaluation and school performance measurement. She is particularly interested in the role of language in learning, literacy assessment, and the impact of school revitalisation on pedagogical change and classroom discourse. She is renowned for her publications on teaching for language and cultural diversity and since 2003 she has convened international conferences on pedagogies and learning and established the highly successful accompanying journal and society.

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Research and Consultancy Team Member: Assoc Prof Lindy Abawi

Lindy Abawi taught in Primary and Secondary school contexts for over 20 years, before turning to lecturing in 2010. She has worked in Queensland and Western Australia and taught Secondary Art and English, English as a Second Language and Primary Music. Lindy is the Associate Dean Learning and Teaching within the Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts at USQ and she lectures in the field of Curriculum and Pedagogy, Coaching and Mentoring, and Diversity and Inclusion. She has been an IDEAS facilitator at a school, state and interstate level. Her passion and commitment to improving outcomes in Queensland schools has seen her conduct professional development and research primarily throughout the Darling Downs Region.

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Research Team Member: Dr Susan Carter

Susan Carter is both an educational practitioner and an early career academic. She has been an educator for 20 years, 13 of which have been spent as a principal or deputy principal in both rural and metropolitan Australia. Susan is now a lecturer in special education and a researcher in the School of Language, Arts and Specialist Education (SoLACE) at the University of Southern Queensland. She is a member of the LRI team and the SoLACE Academic Coordinator. Her research interests are in the area of leadership, Subjective Well-Being of leaders, supporting students with special needs and inclusivity.

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Research Team Member: Assoc Prof Karen Trimmer

Karen Trimmer is Postgraduate Program Coordinator–Education, with University of Southern Queensland, and previously held roles as Assistant Dean Staffing and A/Head of School.  Her scholarship and research focus is leadership for community capacity building, through research that impacts on education and social justice policy and governance through professional development and empowerment of leaders in education organisations and communities.

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LRI/IDEAS Administration & Projects Officer: Marlene Barron

Marlene Barron is the point of contact for the Leadership Research International group (LRI) and the IDEAS Project and has worked with the team since mid-2001.
Her contact details are:
Email: marlene.barron@usq.edu.au
Phone: (07) 4631 2343 International: +61 7 4631 2343
Postal: Leadership Research (LRI)
Faculty of Business, Education, Law, and Arts
University of Southern Queensland




Cheryl Bauman

Cheryl Bauman has been working in the education field for 25 years. She has held various roles within the educational system from principal, special education consultant, guidance counsellor and teacher at all levels from Kindergarten to Grade 12. She is currently teaching for several universities within their faculty of education departments. Cheryl joined the LRI in 2015. Her research interests are in the areas of promoting school improvement for sustainability by combining the use of both autonomy and collaboration on the part of principals and teachers. Cheryl has also extensively researched in the area of principal and teacher leadership.


Jenny Lewis

Jenny Lewis is an experienced national and international CEO and has provided consultancies for local and international organisations and professional associations in areas of leadership, management and quality improvement. She has led organisational and systemic reviews and implementations that build leadership capacity and a culture of high expectations, shared vision and values, collaboration, initiative and critical reflective practices that contribute to a culture of continuous improvement and strategic change.


Lyn Smith

Lyn Smith is Senior Officer, Teacher Formation, Accreditation and Development, Catholic Education Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn. Over nearly 30 years, Lyn held positions as a primary school teacher, curriculum coordinator, religious education coordinator, assistant principal and principal. In 2009, she was appointed to her current position where she is working with early career teachers, beginning principals, implementing the cycle for professional growth and other programs related to growth of the profession.



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