Panel chair: Jacinta Webb, Director, DE International

Panel members: Kathe Kirby1, Llew Paulger2, Majella Frith3, Karen McCord4

1Director, Asia Education Foundation and Tour Leader 2017 World Class Tour and state school principals, 2017 tour participants, 2Excecutive Principal, Kelvin Grove State College, 3Principal. Wondall Heights State School, 4Principal, Bundaberg State High School

Described as ‘life-changing’ by our former Director-General, Dr Jim Watterston, the World Class International Study Tour provided 20 education leaders the opportunity to explore two educational systems which have consistently high performance in PISA worldwide – Shanghai and Singapore. These two countries also presented diverse settings providing an opportunity to compare and contract education systems not only with Australia, but within Asia.

DE international partnered with Asia Education Foundation (AEF) to offer this 10-day tour which is proposed to be repeated in 2018.  The program included visits to Queensland and Australian offices in-country, universities, government departments and training academies and institution and, of course, schools.

Hear directly from education leaders who participated in the 2017 tour about how this experience has enhanced their leadership with their school communities and Kathe Kirby who was the tour leader from AEF.  Kathe is an experienced education professional who has worked nationally and internationally over a career spanning teaching, teacher education, policy development and leading innovation in schools and education systems.

The tour has assisted education leaders in areas such as:

  • Enhancement of international engagement capability
  • Identification of effective policies to potentially adapt to a local setting
  • Enhancement of ability to implement international perspectives across the curriculum

Another valuable aspect of the tour was the opportunity for our education leaders to grow professional and personal networks within the tour group.


DE International developed the inaugural World Class Study tour to Shanghai and Singapore in 2017 in conjunction with the Asia Education Foundation.  The tour group included 18 state school principals, a departmental executive director and the director-general. The tour was a resounding success with participants reporting enhancement in the development of their schools  as global entities.  This panel of participants which includes the tour leader, Kathe Kirby from the Asia Education Foundation will discuss the aspects of the tour which they have adopted within their own school communities.


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