The Leadership Research International (LRI) is a team of researchers and consultants from the University of Southern Queensland. For the past 20 years the group has worked mutualistically with over 400 Australian state, Catholic, Independent, and international schools, engaging them in processes of school revitalisation to help them build sustainable capacities for continuous improvement.

The team’s highly successful IDEAS project has enabled it to develop a deep understanding of the intricate connections between school improvement, pedagogical development, organisational alignment, teacher leadership and whole-school capacity building. They are passionate about developing teacher quality and enhancing leadership capacities of teachers and school leaders. Their experience encompasses all school sectors and locations.

To contact the LRI team, email the LRI project administrator at [email protected] or ACEL’s team at [email protected].

Associate 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 within 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 the school improvement program – IDEAS. In 2003, the LRI team was awarded the Australian Council for Educational Leaders Gold Medal for excellence in research. Dorothy’s current research is focussed on leadership (including teacher leadership), capacity building and organisational change.

Associate Professor Joan Conway

Associate Director Research

Joan Conway is an educator with over 30 years of experience in teaching and administration in primary, secondary and tertiary settings in 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

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

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 six years ago as a Lecturer in Literacy Education, Shauna worked with the facilitation team for the IDEAS Project in a school. She has continued that work with the LRI, becoming a 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

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.

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 current PhD research is around the impact of reform on early childhood educators and the implications of this for their professional practices.

Dr Renee Desmarchelier

Senior Lecturer (Critical Pedagogies)

Renee Desmarchelier is a Senior Lecturer (Critical Pedagogies) in the Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts. Her research interests include critical pedagogies, Indigenous knowledges, curriculum innovation, science education, Indigenous activism and social media.

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, 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 a 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.

Michèle McGill

Honorary Lecturer

Michèle McGill has been engaged with pre-service and postgraduate teacher education for over three decades in Tasmania, Queensland as well as in Alberta, Canada. She has held numerous leadership roles at University of Tasmania and University of Southern Queensland. Her primary research focus is assisting teachers to uncover their personal pedagogies through a variety of narrative methods such as critical incident, case studies, biography and the use of written anecdotes. She retired from USQ in late 2017, and now holds an Honorary Lectureship at the University of Southern Queensland. Her research interests have continued through publishing, conference presentations and working with the LRI with a focus on assisting teachers to uncover and acknowledge their own personal pedagogies and how that understanding can influence their teaching and learning practices.

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. Her contact details are:
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (07) 4631 2343 International: +61 7 4631 2343
Postal: Leadership Research International (LRI)
Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
University of Southern Queensland
Toowoomba Q 4350 Australia

Dr 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.

Dr Belinda Gasston-Holmes


Belinda Gasston-Holmes has been an educational practitioner for 19 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 with regard to 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’s New Voice in Educational Research Scholarship, and the 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’s research interests include leadership in complex contexts and how school leaders use coaching to build capacity in others.

Jenny Lewis


Jenny Lewis is an experienced national and international CEO and has provided consultancies for local and international organisations, as well as 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 the Senior Officer Principal/School Support, School and Family Services, Catholic Education, Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn, and is an associate member of the LRI.