Professor Dorothy Andrews

Director Leadership Research International group (LRI)

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.

Assoc Prof Joan Conway

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.

Professor Lindy Abawi

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. In 2017 she led a team of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal educators in the development of a recently launched free Open Education Course called Understanding Australian Aboriginal Educational Contexts.

Dr Shauna Petersen

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 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.

Dr Susan Carter

Research Team Member
Dr Susan Carter

Susan Carter is both an educational practitioner and an academic. She has been an educator for 28 years, 13 of which have been spent as a Principal or Deputy Principal in both rural and metropolitan Australia. Susan is currently the Program Director of the Master of Learning and Teaching in the School of Education (SoE) at the University of Southern Queensland. She is lecturer in special education and a researcher, involved in numerous projects with schools. Her research interests are in the area of inclusion, wellbeing, leadership, and special needs. If you would like her to work with her you are most welcome to make contact

Dr Michelle Turner

Lecturer (Early Childhood Education)

Michelle Turner has been a practising early childhood educator for over 25 years and is currently lecturing in Early Childhood Education at the University of Southern Queensland.

Her research interests include the development and continuance of professional identity, early childhood leadership and advocacy, and early childhood literacy. Her PhD research was around the impact of reform on early childhood educators, and the implications of this for their professional practices.

Professor Karen Trimmer

Research Team Member

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.

Tania Leach

Lecturer (Curriculum and Pedagogy)

Tania Leach is a Lecturer in Curriculum and Pedagogy at USQ with extensive experience as a Regional Project Officer in the Darling Downs South West Region for Education Queensland and member of the Leadership Research International at the University of Southern Queensland. She has taught students from Prep to year 12, worked within the roles of Education Queensland STEM Champion, Head of Department, and Head of School.
Tania has a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Pedagogy and is a current Doctoral Candidate with a focus on exploring policy coherence.

Marlene Barron

LRI/IDEAS Administration & Projects Officer

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.

Dr Cheryl Bauman

Dr Cheryl Bauman

Cheryl Bauman has been working in the education field for 25 years in Canada. 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.

Dr Belinda Gasston-Holmes


Belinda Gasston-Holmes has been an educational practitioner for more than 20 years, holding various leadership positions. Her primary research focus is working with principals and middle-level leaders to collaboratively develop a shared sense of accountability for building capacity for quality teaching and leading for learning. In addition, Belinda’s work involves leading teachers to self-assess their professional growth using the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. Belinda was a recipient of two awards in 2018: ACEL New Voice in Educational Research Scholarship and ACEL Qld Inspiring Leader- Research in Educational Leadership and Management Award.

Cecily Andersen


Cecily Andersen is an experienced educator with over 40 years’ involvement in teaching, school leadership and district and regional educational leadership roles within primary, secondary, inclusive education and Indigenous community settings across remote, rural and regional areas throughout Queensland. Since 2016, Cecily has worked as a casual teacher and researcher in the School of Management and Enterprise at the University of Southern Queensland, and is an associate member of the LRI. Cecily has developed short courses in Coaching, Mentoring and Providing Feedback for University of Southern Queensland UPSKILL programs, and a Master’s course in Coaching and Mentoring. Cecily is a current Executive Coach, Work Place Assessor and Trainer, with research interests in how coaching and mentoring build capacity and wellbeing in others, which is the focus of her PhD study.

Jenny Lewis


Jenny Lewis MEd BEd Dip.Ed FACE FACEL FCCEAM is an experienced national and international consultant and provides leadership coaching and facilitation roles for international, national, and state education systems to develop innovative, performance focused sustainable practices that cultivate flourishing education systems and schools.

Jenny has led systemic and organisational reviews and reforms in Education Quality Assurance, Evaluation and Accreditation; Supervisor, Principal and Teacher Professional Standards and Performance Development processes; Professional Development and Learning implementations; and Future Focused Formal and Post School Learning, Assessment and Credentialing processes in differentiated  geographies in the Asia and Pacific Regions, the Middle East, and Southern Africa.

She is currently an education advisor for the Australian Government Palladium led Technical Assistance for Education System Strengthening (Indonesia) and the Pacific Secondary School Scholarship Program. She is also currently facilitating the Pacific Educational Leaders Partnership and is a member of the Pacific Education Research Network.

Jenny is a member of the AITSL Teacher Performance Assessment Expert Advisory Group which is currently reviewing all teacher performance assessments developed by Initial Teacher Education providers and is a member of the ACER Certified Practising Principal Board. She is a sessional lecturer in Early Childhood Leadership and is completing her PhD reviewing high impact international principal preparation certification and registration programs.

Presentation: Leading in Uncertain Times

Lyn Smith

Lyn Smith is an experienced educator with over 30 years immersed in teaching, school improvement and leadership. She has held several leadership roles in Primary schools and since 2009, head office roles supporting early career teachers and beginning principals through coaching and mentoring. She has researched teaching practice and system alignment in schools. She has led policy reviews and enhanced practices to ensure they support building capacity and culture in a number of schools. Lyn leads Archdiocesan strategic direction in the growth and development of teachers working with the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers most recently through proficient and higher level teacher accreditation. She is a certified national assessor of highly accomplished and lead teachers and was the recipient of the Archdiocesan Excellence Award for her work with teachers and school leaders across the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn in 2016.