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Leadership Research International (LRI)

Program Profile

We are a group of researchers and consultants from the University of Southern Queensland’s Leadership Research International (LRI). For the past decade we have worked with over 350 Australian and international schools, engaging with them in processes of school revitalisation that have enabled them to build sustainable capacities for sustainable 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 and, most importantly, improving quality outcomes for students, especially those in disadvantaged communities. Our experience encompasses all school sectors and locations.

More information is available on the IDEAS website.

Current Research Projects

Current research projects include:

  • USQ/LRI and Canberra Goulburn Catholic Education (Lyn Smith) – Schools working with SWP to enhance Teacher Quality. (Joan Conway and Dorothy Andrews)
  • USQ/LRI Research – Meta-Strategic Leadership - Marian Lewis, Dorothy Andrews and Joan Conway (The purpose of the study is to build on the existing literature and extend our understanding of meta-strategic leadership – though a series of case studies on school and system leaders, all of whom have been working with IDEAS (engaging in parallel leadership processes).
  • A local primary school with a long history of involvement with the LRI and IDEAS has been extremely successful in attracting and supporting students with varied social, emotional, cognitive and physical needs through a school-wide approach to inclusion. (Fellow Researcher: Mark Oliver) An extensive research project was conducted with over 30 participants from various stakeholder groups being involved: the Principal, the Head of the Special Education Program; the Curriculum Coordinator; special education staff; students with diagnosed learning needs; parents of students with special learning needs; students without special learning needs; parents of students without special learning needs; visiting specialists; Education Queensland’s District Student Support Officer; and, teachers of mainstream classes. 
  • Two local primary schools with high levels of cultural diversity and students with special needs are engaged in a similar research project on inclusion with the emphasis on broadening the study to include students from diverse cultural backgrounds. (Fellow Researchers: Dr Marian Lewis, Dr Karen Spence, and Sharon Louth) 
  • The other flow on project is investigating effective transition support strategies for students with special needs as they make the move from Primary to Secondary school contexts. Three school campuses are currently involved in this project and the researchers are working with teachers and the Head of each Special Education program. (Fellow Researcher: Susan Carter and Associate Professor Karen Noble). The transitions project above is a pilot project to provide basic findings that will support an application for an Ian Potter Foundation Grant in 2015 which will be conducted across three states. Currently there is little documented research in this field. (Fellow Researchers: Associate Professor Mary Keefe from La Trobe University and Dr Kathleen Tait who is a Sydney based USQ academic)

Program Members

Research leader: Associate Professor Dorothy Andrews

Research Team

  • Dr Joan Conway 
  • Shauna Petersen 
  • Dr Lindy Abawi 
  • Dr Mark Dawson 
  • Associate Professor Shirley O’Neill 
  • Professor Frank Crowther 
  • Dr Marian Lewis 
  • Susan Carter 
  • Deborah Geoghegan