Barry McGaw is a part-time Vice-Chancellor's Fellow at the University of Melbourne and part-time Chair of the Board of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. From 2006, he was a half-time Professorial Fellow in the in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, first as Director of the Melbourne Education Research Institute and then, in 2009 as the founding Executive Director of the Cisco, Intel, Microsoft international Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills project. Prior to returning to Australia at the end of 2005, he was Director for Education at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). He had earlier been Executive Director of the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), Professor of Education at Murdoch University, Head of the Research and Curriculum Branch in the Queensland Department of Education and a science and mathematics teacher in Queensland secondary schools.
Professor McGaw is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, the Australian Psychological Society, the Australian College of Educators and the International Academy of Education. He has been President of the Australian Association for Research in Education, the Australian Psychological Society, the Australian College of Educators and the International Association for Educational Assessment.
Professor McGaw received an Australian Centenary Medal in 2001 and was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia in 2004.