Richard Owens, Ph.D.

Director of Learning and Strategy, Woodleigh School
Director, Woodleigh Institute
Australia Hub | AUSTRALIA

Dr. Richard Owens is the Director of Learning, Strategy, and Innovation at Woodleigh School, a multi-campus, pre-K to 12 school on the coast in south-eastern Australia. The school nurtures the learning of young people who can apply their knowledge (mind) to solve real-world challenges (hand) and make a difference in the lives of others (heart).  He is also the Director of the Woodleigh Institute, an innovation lab that explores creative approaches to education for sustainability, intercultural understanding, and leadership. Through the Institute, he convenes the annual ReimaginED Conference – a participatory, cross-sector gathering that aims to develop our collective capacity to address complex challenges in education.

Richard is the National Coordinator for the Mastery Transcript Consortium (MTC) in Australia. In this role, he leads the local hub for a global network of schools who are introducing digital secondary school transcripts that recognize and celebrate the unique strengths, abilities, interests, and achievements of all students. He is a member of Learning Creates Australia’s The Learner’s Journey Project and the University of Melbourne’s New Metrics Project. These two national initiatives are developing new, holistic ways to support, recognize and assess learning in Australia. Richard also helps lead the LESNW Leadership Labs, a multi-year leadership project dedicated to the renewal of a school region through a focus on systems leadership and awareness-based change.

Richard has served as a classroom teacher, curriculum coordinator, Deputy Head and Head of School, and was the founding Director of an international center for leadership and learning based in Singapore. He specializes in the areas of professional and organizational learning, leadership development, and school innovation and improvement. Richard has worked with teachers, school administrators, regional executives, academics, and system leaders from Australia, Asia, South America, and Europe. His research has been published in a variety of academic and professional journals. Richard has presented at a range of national and international forums, including the UNESCO-APEID International Conference, the ICSEI Congress, and the International Conference on Thinking.

By participating in the Master Practitioners program, Richard hopes to bring systems awareness to school communities in Australia, with a vision to help build the capability of their young people for systems thinking, systems sensing and social-emotional learning.