The NSWCDE is the peak body representing NSW Teacher Education Providers, University Faculties and Schools of Education. The NSWCDE leads the delivery and development of education programs, partnerships and research. It acts as an advocate for pre-service and in-service teacher education.

The NSWCDE fulfils its role by

  • Providing a forum in which Deans of Education and others concerned with education meet to share information about education,
  • Facilitating collaboration in education including facilitating collaboration of special interest groups within education,
  • Encouraging and supporting research in education,
  • Establishing mechanisms for monitoring the quality and status of education,
  • Debating education issues of policy and administration,
  • Providing independent professional comment and advice to Government and other agencies on issues in education,
  • Providing an informed public voice on matters associated with education,
  • Affiliating with other organisations with interests in education.

NSWCDE is the state affiliate of the Australian Council of Deans of Education for New South Wales.


“In terms of student achievement, the teacher is a more significant factor than any other kind of school resource.” (US National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future)

“In a completely rational society, the best of us would aspire to be teachers and the rest of us would have to settle for something less, because passing civilization along from one generation to the next ought to be the highest honor and the highest responsibility anyone could have.” (Lee Iacocca)

“Have you ever been at sea in a dense fog, when it seemed as if a tangible white darkness shut you in and the great ship, tense and anxious, groped her way toward the shore with plummet and sounding-line, and you waited with beating heart for something to happen? I was like that ship before my education began, only I was without compass or sounding line, and no way of knowing how near the harbor was.” (Helen Keller)

“I believe that education is the fundamental method of social progress and reform. All reforms which rest simply upon the law, or the threatening of certain penalties, or upon changes in mechanical or outward arrangements, are transitory and futile… But through education society can formulate its own purposes, can organize its own means and resources, and thus shape itself with definiteness and economy in the direction in which it wishes to move… Education thus conceived marks the most perfect and intimate union of science and art conceivable in human experience.” (John Dewey)

There are many reasons why people choose teaching as a career. These include:

  • To make a difference in the lives of young people;
  • To combine creativity and intellectual challenge;
  • To make a worthwhile social contribution;
  • To share their passion for learning, especially in a particular area;
  • Personal fulfilment and a sense of achievement.

Teach… and make a difference.



Life Members

Year Awarded             Recipient 

no date recorded            Professor Bob Meyenn

2012                                 Professor Terry Lovat

2013                                 Professor Don Williams

2014                                 Professor Steve Wilson

2016                                 Mr Patrick Lee

2017                                 Professor Peter Aubusson

2018                                 Professor Toni Downes

2019                                 not awarded

2020                                 not awarded

Selection Criteria for Life Membership

  • The nominee shall have been a member of the Council.
  • The nominee has had an extraordinary career as a Dean of Education (or equivalent role as noted in the NSWCDE constitution) and has exemplary service over an extended period to Council.
  • The nominee has made a compelling contribution to the Council in its advocacy, mission, policy development and purpose.
  • The nominee has made significant contributions across the many fields of Education in a regional, national, or international contexts, through research, practice and/or leadership.
  • The nominee has been an outstanding educational leader and demonstrated significant leadership and advocacy in the sector.
  • Normally, there will be a maximum of one recipient per year.
  • There will be a maximum of 12 active honorary life members at any given time.
  • Life membership nominations will be considered individually on the basis of personal attributes and achievements and not in comparison to others.
  • The above criteria are provided as guidance, and exceptional nomination may be considered and endorsed by Council.

Selection Process for Life Membership

  • A life membership nomination can be made by members of the Council and must be provided to the Secretary in writing one month before the annual general meeting (AGM).
  • The nomination should include written evidence with sufficient and substantive information.
  • Three brief letters of support from academic colleagues must be submitted with the nomination.
  • The process will be managed by the President of NSWCDE.
  • The President will discuss the nomination with the NSWCDE Executive, taking into consideration the life membership selection criteria to make an informed decision.
  • The Executive will, if it accepts the recommendation, pass a resolution to recommend the nominated member to the Council.
  • The nomination will be reviewed by the Council at the meeting following receipt of the nomination, and before the annual general meeting.
  • Election to life membership will be held during the annual general meeting. Election will be by a simple majority vote, by a show of hands or written vote, after a recommendation.
  • The election of a Life Member will be announced immediately following the election.
  • The NSWCDE will publicise the new life members on their website following the AGM.


Avondale University
Sherry Hatingh

Charles Sturt University
Will Letts 

Excelsia College
Leonardo Veliz

Alphacrucis College
David Hastie 

Australian Catholic University
Mary Ryan 

Australian College of Physical Education
Kim Goode 

Macquarie University
Sheila Degotardi

Southern Cross University
Amy Cutter-MacKenzie-Knowles

University of Canberra
Barney Dalgarno 

University of New England
Sue Gregory 

University of New South Wales
Kim Beswick 

University of Newcastle
Susan Ledger 

University of Notre Dame
David Geelan

University of Sydney
Debra Hayes  

University of Technology, Sydney
Lesley Harbon 

University of Wollongong
Penny Van Bergen 

Western Sydney University
Michele Simons 

Members of the Executive


Professor Mary Ryan 
Australian Catholic University

Vice President

Professor Amy Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles  
Southern Cross University


Professor Sue Gregory 
University of New England


Professor Michele Simons 
Western Sydney University

Members of the Executive

Executive Support: Lauren Weber 
Australian Catholic University

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