Dr Leoni Degenhardt PhD MEd BA Dip Ed FACE FACEL GAICD
Director - MWIA Board of Directors
Leoni’s background is in education and leadership. Now semi-retired, she continues to work with school leaders, particularly through her work as Emeritus Dean of the AIS Leadership Centre within the Association of Independent Schools of NSW. As teacher, school leader and consultant, she has worked in a wide variety of educational, socio-economic and geographic settings.
Leoni was the first lay principal of Loreto Normanhurst (1994-2008) and led the school through a strategic reinvention process. The school has since been widely acknowledged for its work of reinventing schooling to meet the needs of its students. Leoni’s PhD in Educational Leadership was based on the documentation and analysis of this reinvention process, and her book Dancing on a Shifting Carpet: reinventing traditional schooling for the 21st century, co-written with Professor Patrick Duignan, includes an extended case study of the reinvention of Loreto Normanhurst.
After leaving principalship, Leoni established her own consultancy business and worked across and beyond Australia with corporate and not-for-profit organisations, as well as with schools and school systems, in areas related to learning, leadership, strategy and organisational change. She continued and expanded this work as Dean of the AIS Leadership Centre (2011-2016).
Leoni has worked with several universities teaching Masters programs, and through membership of Advisory Boards; has published in a range of peer-reviewed journals, and presented keynote papers at international conferences. She has been a member of a range of educational boards, commissions and committees, including the National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC); the National Board of the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA); and the Loreto National Education Board. Her commitment to social justice, nurtured through Loreto, was furthered sharpened through her membership of the National Council of Caritas Australia.