Hon. Professor Alan Watson AM

University of NSW

P:  (02) 9385 1763


Alan Watson is Hon. Associate Professor in the School of Education at the University of New South Wales where he has taught human growth and development in relation to education.  He is a former President of the NSW Institute of Educational Research and has served on the Board of the Australian Council for Educational Research.  His main areas of research and publication have been the cognitive development of children in relation to teaching and learning with special interest in reading.  He has also published research on educational quality and school staffing, teachers in mid-career and children’s understanding of secrecy.

For twenty years he has worked to combat poverty and to lift educational standards in Tanzania.  In 1998 he established the Katoke Trust for Overseas Aid – a Sydney based agency which provides medical, educational and agricultural assistance to Tanzania.  In 2009 the Trust founded the Katoke-Lweru Secondary School.   His work in education and in third world development was recognized in 2002 with the award of the International Citation of Merit by the International Reading Association.   In 2012 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM). 

The citation for the award of the AM reads, “ For service to the international community as Founder of the Katoke Trust for Overseas Aid, to the people of Tanzania, and to education.”

Further information about Alan:



 Dr Ken Sinclair


Kenneth E. Sinclair

BA (Hons 1) Sydney, 1962;  EdM, PhD Illinois, 1965

Ken is a former Associate Professor and Head of the School of Educational, Psychology, Measurement and Technology at the University of Sydney, where his career spanned a period of more than 40 years. His research interests focussed on motivational processes in teaching and learning (especially the influences of student and teacher anxiety), the application of information technology in education, and on the transition of university graduates into the professional workplace. His writings are widely published, nationally and internationally, in books, journal articles and conference proceedings. His teaching interests lay in the areas of cognitive and affective processes in education and computer applications in education. In 1984 he established SUMEC (Sydney University Microcomputer Education Centre) and in 1985 one of the first full graduate degree programs in Computers in Education in Australia.

Ken is a former President of NSWIER and was elected as Patron in 2014. 







Previous Patrons:

Associate Professor Ray Debus

Dr Ray Debus taught and researched in the area of educational psychology at the University of Sydney from 1958 to 1996; since his retirement he has been an Honorary Associate in the School of Development and Learning. His earlier research and publications centred on children's observational learning of cognitive strategies and attributional processes in student learning. His major continuing research and scholarly interests lie in areas of motivation in education, the operation of self-processes and contextual influences in learning and self-regulation, and teacher-student interaction from the perspective of social-cognitive theory.




Emeritus Professor Don Spearritt AM

Professor Don Spearritt, Emeritus Professor (Education) of the University of Sydney,

 maintains his interest in measurement in education and research methodology in education. His recent research includes:

  • educational implications of models of cognitive abilities
  • factor analytic studies of reading, listening, writing and speaking skills, and associated verbal skills
  • evaluation of international comparative studies of educational achievement



Professor Paul Chandler

Executive Director Early Start

Pro Vice Chancellor (Inclusion & Outreach) 



Professor Chandler holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) from Sydney University and a Master of Science in Psychology and PhD in Education from UNSW for which he received the Beth Southwell Award.

 In 1993, he became the first person to ever receive an Australian Research Council fellowship in education.  Over the next seven years his research in cognition and learning would attract over $3 million of research funding from ARC and industry partners.

Professor Chandler completed two terms as Head of School of Education at UNSW before being appointed Dean of Education at the University of Wollongong in 2007. 

In 2008, at a National Press Club event, Professor Chandler was awarded as one of Australia's ten most pre-eminent researchers.  In 2009, Professor Chandler was appointed by the federal government to the Indigenous Higher Education Advisory Council.  Professor Chandler is a past president of the NSW Council of Deans in Education. 

In 2013, Professor Chandler was appointed Executive Director Early Start and Pro Vice Chancellor (Inclusion & Outreach) at the University of Wollongong.