Leanne Compton (Chair)
Leanne Compton has been a member of the Advisory Committee since 2018 and in August 2021 became Chair. Leanne is the Curriculum Manager for Design and Technologies at the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA).
Leanne trained as a Home Economics teacher and taught in rural, regional and metropolitan schools throughout Victoria. During this time she held a range of leadership positions including Home Economics, Health and Physical Education, VCE and Careers education coordination and Curriculum Standards and Framework (CSF) leader for Barwon South Western region. She also lectured in home economics education at several universities on a sessional basis.
Leanne has held various project management roles at Curriculum Corporation (now known as Education Services Australia) where she managed the MindMatters website as well as co-managed the national Values Education project. Leanne has also worked as a senior project officer for the Victorian Department of Education in the Digital Learning unit where she was responsible for the development of many resources to support teachers including the delivery of professional learning and management of the Digital Education Revolution eduSTAR software in Victoria.
Leanne has written a number of highly successful text books and various digital resources in the areas of food and health and human development. Leanne’s interest in digital learning motivated her to complete a Master of Information Technology in Education at Melbourne University, and she has presented at many national and international conferences on digital learning in the classroom. She is currently completing her PhD at RMIT University in the area of digital learning.
Leanne is now responsible for Design and Technologies curriculum in Victoria from Prep to Year 12. This includes the VCE studies of Food Studies, Product Design and Technology (including Textiles), Agricultural and Horticultural Studies and Systems Engineering as well as the F-10 Victorian Curriculum: Design and Technologies and the management of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) specialist teachers.
Leanne maintains a strong interest in home economics education and often delivers professional development for teachers through her professional associations with Home Economics Institute of Australia and Home Economics Victoria. Leanne is a Past-President of both Home Economics Institute of Australia and Home Economics Institute of Australia (Victoria) and has been a member of numerous committees for her professional associations including Membership, International Affairs, Professional Development, Telecommunications and Website Task Group.
Professor Donna Pendergast
Professor Donna Pendergast is Dean and Head of the School of Education and Professional Studies. She commenced her career as a secondary trained home economics and science classroom teacher and holds Bachelor, Masters and Doctoral degrees in home economics education. She is a proud O’Malley scholar, receiving scholarships during her doctoral journey almost two decades ago. She has published extensively with more than 200 refereed books, reports, journal articles and chapters; and has completed projects valued at more than $5 million from external funding.
Donna is a passionate educator and researcher with a global proﬁle in the ﬁelds of home economics; adolescent teaching and learning with student engagement, social and emotional wellbeing, and sense of belonging key priorities. She leads a dynamic school of teacher and professional educators who are committed to preparing the next generation of teachers and related professionals through agile and socially just educational practices.
Donna is a Fellow of the Home Economics Institute of Australia (HEIA) and served as President, Queensland representative and journal editor. She completed two terms as Vice-President of the International Federation for Home Economics (IFHE), Pacific region and established and continues to serve as editor of the International Journal of Home Economics (IJHE), now in its 14th year.
Donna is a Board Director and Chairperson of the Teacher Education Expert Standing Committee of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL). She is Chairperson of the Queensland Educational Leadership Institute (QELi) and of the Queensland Council of Deans of Education (QCDE). She is Vice-President of the Australian Council of Deans of Education (ACDE). These roles reﬂect the esteem with which she is regarded locally and nationally and enable her to contribute to shaping the future of education in collaboration with others. In 2015 Donna received the Research Supervision Award in the Griﬃth University Vice Chancellor’s Research Excellence Awards, and in 2017 a National Commendation from the Australian Council of Graduate Research for Excellence in Graduate Research Supervision. She has supervised more than 40 doctorates to completion. In 2018 she was awarded the Australian Council for Educational Leadership (ACEL) Miller-Grassie Outstanding Leadership Award for her contribution to the education profession.
Donna belongs to a family that places high value on the transformative potential of education and her aspirations have been shaped by these beliefs.