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Alumni profile: Dr Greg Morgan

Greg Morgan
Greg Morgan, Head of School at Australian School of Applied Management

When I began my PhD I had a vague idea that I wanted to explore what might lie at the heart of leadership.

I took nearly 10 years to complete the study and came to realise I needed that amount of time to understand and learn what I needed to learn about the field of inquiry, the methodology and myself.

My PhD study evolved into a phenomenological and autoethnographic inquiry into who I am as a leader. (When I began I had never even heard of ‘phenomenological’ or ‘autoethnographic’.)

I must acknowledge the wisdom and empathy of my supervisor, Dr Roya Pugh, for nurturing the gradual awakening in me which I needed for completing the study; and also the flexibility of Curtin for allowing me the time and space needed for my unstructured learning to unfold.

The study led me to a much richer understanding of contemporary leadership than I would otherwise have attained. It enabled me to iteratively reflect on and inquire into my practice of leadership, the process of which had a personally transformative effect. The learning journey sparked by my PhD, and which will continue for as long as I draw breath, has also enabled me to offer leadership professional learning to colleagues across a range of sectors, culminating in my taking up a senior position with a private company engaged in developing and offering leadership programs.

Can you provide an overview of your career to date?

After a full career in schools, from classroom teacher to principal, the learning from my PhD had me yearning to continue my career of teaching and learning, but now with a changed focus of working more with adults about their understanding and practice of leadership.

Tell us little about your current company and role.

I am currently the Head of School for the National Excellence in School Leadership Initiative (NESLI), an arm of the Australian School of Applied Management. NESLI provides state-of-the-art live, online-face-to-face leadership programs for school leaders throughout Australia, New Zealand, the Asia-Pacific and parts of the USA.

My role is primarily around taking online leadership classes for school leaders, while also, when time allows, article writing and developing new material and programs.

What is your greatest career achievement to date?

While peer and department recognition has been affirming, my greatest achievement remains seeing the ‘Aha!’ moments in students’ eyes – formerly school students, and moreso now their teachers and principals.

Rewards and recognition:

  • 2007 Australian College of Educators Quality Teaching Award
  • 2015 Principals Australia Institute John Laing Professional Development Award