Professor Adrian Piccoli


Professor Adrian Piccoli is Director of UNSW’s Gonski Institute for Education. The Gonski Institute was established in 2018 with a mission to address growing inequality in Australian education as well as improving access for students to high-quality education wherever they may live or go to school.

Prior to his role with the Gonski Institute for Education, Professor Piccoli served as a Member of NSW Parliament for 19 years and as the NSW Minister for Education for 6 years from 2011 until 2017. Professor Piccoli is widely respected by the Australian education sector for his leadership in education policy particularly in relation to needs-based school funding reform, his support and strengthening of the teaching profession in Australia and his focus on the learning needs of disadvantaged children particularly those living in rural and remote Australia

In 2017 he was made a Fellow of the Australian Council for Educational Leaders.

Adrian has recently published his first book, 12 Ways Your Child Can Get the Best Out of School.


Honours and Prizes

  • 1999: Elected to NSW Parliament, representing the rural seat of Murrumbidgee (now the seat of Murray) on behalf of the National Party
  • 2008: Elected Deputy Leader of the National Party
  • 2011: Chosen by the Premier to serve in Cabinet as Minister for Education, responsible for early childhood, school education, vocational education and university education in NSW
  • 2013: Chaired the Australian Standing Council on School Education and Early Childhood

Educational Leadership Conferences

  • 2014: Gave a keynote address on public policy to The Education World forum in London
  • 2015: Presented a keynote address to the International School Leadership Symposium, Zug Switzerland on policies to improve equity in education 
  • 2016: Participated in a panel presentation at uLead conference in Alberta, Canada with Pasi Sahlberg and Carol Campbell on the political challenges of implementing public policy
  • 2016: Convened the NSW Education Symposium which brought together international presenters including Xiaoyan Laing from The World Bank, Pasi Sahlberg, Charles Leadbeater as well as leading teachers, principals and school administrators targeting reform implementation in NSW and Australia
  • 2017: Delivered a keynote presentation to uLead conference in April
  • 2011-2016: Presented keynote addresses to numerous Australian education conferences

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