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Personal profile

Career Highlights

Leigh has a background in teaching, counselling, advising, consultancy and research in primary, secondary, special, inclusive and higher education. A link between all her roles in various organisations has been her passion for teacher, leader and student wellbeing. Her main areas of research and teaching have been focused on wellbeing, mindfulness, relational teaching and learning trauma sensitive practice, inclusion and autism.

Leigh has conducted research and provided professional learning and advice to teachers and leaders in variety of research, policy,  teaching  and leadership roles and  contexts, within South Australia, nationally and internationally including the Brooklyn Waldorf School,  New Hampshire Community College, the Inter-University Institute of  Macau, China, Willunga High School, Willunga Waldorf School, UniSA, Flinders  and the SA Department for Education. In addition she has a small private practice in counselling and art therapy.

In her teaching, research, professional learning provision, consultancy and counselling she has in recent years been particularly interested in bringing together her learning and experience gathered in all her roles and trainings. 

Leigh has long been passionate about the creation of active and supportive learning environments in higher education as reflected in her  Faculty (2012), University Vice Chancellor  (2016) and College (2022) teaching awards for mindfulness, relational teaching and sustained high quality post graduate teaching.

Leigh has coordinated the Graduate Certificate and Masters in Wellbeing and Positive Mental Health  courses and the Graduate Certificate in Counselling Vulnerable Children and Young People since 2019.  She has coordinated and taught in a number of  of undergraduate and post graduate topics in wellbeing, mindfulness, and relational and trauma sensitive teaching and learning.

Research Interests

  • mindfulness in school and higher education
  • teacher professional learning
  • wellbeing
  • holistic, creative and expressive pedagogies  
  • trauma
  • counselling
  • spirituality and education

Supervised Students Successes

  • Mar 2019 Gaylene Denford- Wood - Vice Chancellors Award for Thesis Excellence

Completed Supervisions

Principal Supervisions:
  • Creativivity in Teacher Professional Learning (PhD)
  • Mindfulness and Teacher Wellbeing (PhD)
  • Mindfulness in Classrooms (PhD)
  • Empowerment of Parents of Children with Special Needs in Nepal (PhD)
  • Integral Theory in Leadership (Ed.D)
  • Inclusion of children with special needs in Bangladesh (Masters by Coursework Dissertation)
  • Religious Instruction (Masters by Coursework Dissertation)
Associate Supervisions:
  • Students at risk (PhD)

Completed Supervisions

Dr Nicole Albrecht

Dr Judith Foggett

 Dr Kamal Pokrel

Dr Gaylene Denford Wood

Dr Desiree Gilbert

Education/Academic qualification

Diploma, Centre for Educational and Clinical Art Therapy

Award Date: 27 Aug 2022

PhD, University of South Australia

Award Date: 3 Apr 2011

Diploma, Psychotherapy, Centre for Effective Therapy

Award Date: 20 Oct 2010

Master, Flinders University

Award Date: 3 Apr 2005

Diploma, Diploma of Education, Flinders University

Award Date: 10 Mar 1995

Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Arts, Monash University

Award Date: 20 Apr 1982

External positions

Project Officer Wellbeing and ARC Research, South Australian Department for Education


Project Officer Learning Difficulties, South Australian Department for Education


Students at Risk Coordinator, Willunga High School


Secondary English and Special Education Teacher, South Australian Department for Education


year 5/6 teacher, Willunga Waldorf School


Research Areas

  • Education

Supervisory Interests

  • Spirituality
  • Qualitative and participatory methodologies
  • Mindfulness
  • Teacher wellbeing
  • Student wellbeing


  • L Education (General)
  • Mindfulness
  • wellbeing
  • trauma sensitive practice
  • relational teaching and learning


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