Chris Wardlaw

Senior Advisor

Chris has vast experience in the government and education sectors working in senior leadership roles in both Australia and Hong Kong. He is a highly experienced consultant as well as a writer, speaker and teacher at both the secondary and university levels. In a parallel sporting career, he was also a two-time Olympian and the Head Coach of the Australian Track and Field Team at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000.

Chris recently retired as Deputy Secretary at the Victorian Department of Education and Early Child Development (2009-13). Chris had a leadership role in the development of the Government vision for languages, education, the policy statement, Towards Victoria as a Learning Community, New Directions for School Leaders and Teachers, and preparation for school funding reform (Gonski).

Chris is currently working as a consultant across jurisdictions in Australia on a range of education matters at the provider, region, state and national level. He worked as an in-house consultant for six weeks in Brunei in 2009 on their school accountability reform.

Serving as Deputy Secretary for Education in the Hong Kong Government from 2002 to 2008, Chris had the responsibility for curriculum, assessment and quality assurance for pre-primary, basic education and senior secondary education. During this time, Hong Kong further improved its already high standing in a range of international assessments, including PISA, TIMMS and PIRLS. Prior to this, Chris had a long career in Victorian education where he had a leading role in major reforms supporting school-level decision making, evaluation and review, and school curriculum provision.

Chris has written and spoken extensively to many audiences on education reform and specific school reform agendas. He also taught economics and history at university and secondary levels, prior to moving into educational policy and administration. He was awarded the Public Service Medal (PSM) in the 2013 Queen’s Birthday Honours list and was made a Fellow of Monash University in 2013.

Somehow Chris also found the time to be a two-time Olympian, the Head Coach of the Australian Track and Field Team at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, career coach of Olympic marathoners Steve Moneghetti and Kerryn McCann, and current coach of Craig Mottram. He was also awarded the Australian Sports Medal in 2000.

Chris is addicted to many things including the need to run every day, listen to some music, mostly new/alternative country and sees a film at least once a week. Chris has now retired twice but is practicing it very badly. Chris has too many heroes, but gives pre-eminence to Muhummad Ali, Johnny Cash, Brian Wilson and Orson Welles.

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