Professor Michele Simons is the Dean and Head of the School of Education at Western Sydney University. She is a graduate of the University of South Australia and the South Australian Institute of Technology. Before joining Western Sydney University late in 2013, Michele was based at the University of South Australia where she held roles as a Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor and Head of School/Dean of Education.
At Western Sydney University, Michele has been involved in University-wide projects supporting university- schools engagement, equity pathways to university and partnerships between vocational education and training and universities. Michele has a strong interest in changing trends and shifts in the ways in which education can be challenged to work for the interests of all learners – from early childhood education, children and young people in schools and learners in a wide range of community/post-school institutions and in the higher education sector.
Michele has been an active researcher for more than three decades. The common threads across her work is an interest in workforce planning, learning in the workplace and initial and ongoing professional learning for teachers, leaders and other professional staff employed across all sectors of education. Her most recent projects examined the role that school principals play in retaining teachers and an evaluation of initiates to enhance career education in secondary school settings.
Michele has been an active contributor to a number of national educational organisations including the Australian Association for Educational Research and the Australiana Vocational Education and Training Research Association. This service has included terms as President, Secretary, Treasurer and convenor of national conferences. She currently sits on the boards of a number of organisations in the higher education, early childhood, and secondary schools sectors.
Michele is the current President of the Australian Council of Deans of Education which is a peak organisation for all Higher Education Providers conducting teaching and research in the discipline of Education. Michele’s ambition for ACDE is that it becomes a visible advocate for the discipline of education in its broadest sense in the current and future higher education sector in Australia and that this is achieved in collaboration with the profession and government partners.