A/PROF David Gurr

A/PROF David Gurr


  • School leadership; School Improvement; Leadership development; School supervision; school review; Educational accountability.



  • Dr David Gurr (D.Ed.) David has a background in secondary teaching, educational psychology, school supervision, and research in educational leadership. His career in education spans over 37 years. He is an associate professor in educational leadership within the Melbourne Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne. 

    He is a leading member of the International Successful School Principalship Project, which is a team of international researchers investigating successful school principalship in more than 20 countries, and the International School Leadership Development Network, recently formed to explore across more than 20 countries the preparation and development of school leaders.

    He has published extensively internationally and locally with 160 publications including four books (and one forthcoming), 32 book chapters, 51 journal articles, 29 professional articles, 25 conference publications, and 18 contract reports. His career measures of impact include a 'h' citation index of 24. Previous analysis of impact in 2013 placed him above the mean for Australian education professors, and above the mean for Go8 professors, according to Albion (2012, Benchmarking citation measures among the Australian education professoriate, Australian Educational Researcher, 39(2). pp. 221-235). 

    In 2007 he was the co-editor with Professor Duignan for the ACEL/DEST book, Leading Australia's Schools. With a publication date of 2014, he was, in 2013, the co-editor with Chris Day of the Routledge book, Leading Schools Successfully: Stories from the Field. 

    David is involved in consultancy work in the Victorian school system including conducting government school reviews and independent school inspections, and involvement in a range of professional learning programs for the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and the Catholic Education Office, Melbourne. 

    David is activel   


Member of

  • Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Full member 1998 - 2018
  • Australian Council for Educational Leaders. Fellow 1991 - 2018
  • Commonwealth Council for Educational Administration and Management. Full member 1991 - 2018
  • Australian Association for Research in Education. Full member 2010 - 2017
  • American Educational Research Association. Full member 2000 - 2013


Selected publications


Additional Grant Information

  • David was part of a team that was awarded and ARC Discovery Grant to research successful school leadership in Australia; he was made the chief investigating officer on this proposal in the second year of the research. He has received numerous faculty grants, most recently for studying in 2011 professional learning communities in schools. David has been involved in leading major government contracts associated with conducting government school review (eight years), and providing a Master of School Leadership (five years), and he has been part of contracts associated with reviewing Schools of the Future (four annual surveys), pedagogical leadership (three years), team leadership (thee years), and literacy leadership and strategic literacy leadership in Catholic schools (three years). He has evaluated leadership programs overseas (e.g. Blue Skies, Hong Kong, 2010) and been involved in conducting school reviews in Hong Kong. In total David has been involved in category 1, 2 and 3 research grants totalling more than 26 million dollars.   


Education and training

  • DEd, University of Melbourne 1996
  • MEdPsych, University of Melbourne 1991
  • GDipEdCoun, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology 1985
  • DipEd, University of Melbourne 1979
  • BSc, University of Melbourne 1978

Awards and honors

  • The Gold Medal is the most prestigious award of ACEL. For outstanding contribution to the study and practice of educational leadership., Australian Council for Educational Leaders, 2014
  • Hedley Beare Educator of the Year, 2012. The most prestigious award for ACEL Victoria., Australian Council for Educational Leaders, Victoria, 2012
  • National Fellowship, Australian Council for Educational Leaders, 2006
  • Fellow of the Australian Council for Educational Leaders, 2006
  • National Presidential Citation, Australian Council for Educational Leaders, 2004
  • Fellowship of the Victorian Branch, Australian Council for Educational Leaders, Victoria, 1999



Available for supervision

  • Y

Supervision Statement

  • I am currently supervising or co-supervising 12 students in various stages of completing Masters or Doctoral level research programs. Examples of areas explored include: successful school leadership in Australia and overseas, middle level school leadership, system leadership,distributed leadership in schools, school-community networks, school formation, marketing in schools, teacher experience of schools, influence on employment mode on teacher aspirations. I have supervised to successful completion 34 doctoral and 21 masters research students, and have examined more than 60 research thesis from across the world.