Neil McDonald

Neil McDonald

About Neil

Neil has been an experienced teacher and principal in a range of schools from primary through to secondary, across special education and inclusive contexts and large complex P-12 schools. As chief executive officer of three large organisations and having significant experience in HR within the state school sector, he brings a diverse background enabling him to support and walk alongside aspiring leaders and leaders at all levels.

As a fully accredited coach with GCI, Neil has coached large numbers of middle leaders and aspiring managers through to principals and senior leaders in government. Neil understands the complexities and challenges that old, new, beginning and experienced leaders face. Neil’s coaching style is one where he enjoys to connect and understand the environment and challenges that person is facing.


  • Leadership Development

  • Strategic Leadership

  • System and Organisational Reform

  • Change Leadership

  • Speaker

  • Coaching and Mentoring

  • Personal Development



  • Bachelor of Education
  • Certified Coach
  • Accredited facilitator: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, GENOS Coach, Crucial Conversations


CEO of EDGE Institute


CEO Queensland Education Leadership Institute (QELi)
  • Connected QEli to global partners – GENOS, Crucial Conversations, AITSL, Grattan Institute, Growth Coaching
  • National provider of programs to over 6000 participants a year
  • Cross sector partnerships- State Schools, Catholic Education and Independent Schools


Dept of ED Organisational Transformation Ex -Director)
  • Led the release of $535M Great Teachers-Great Results program
  • Programs included: Master Teachers, University Links Upskilling Program, Principal Review Process, Teacher Capability Program

Prior to 2014

  • Parliamentary Review of Senior Assessment
  • Review of Q’land OP and planning of Qld ATAR
  • Implementation of the Australian Curriculum
Principal- Curriculum into the Classroom C2C
Assistant Regional Director Metropolitan Secondary Schools
Executive Principal Brisbane Distance Education
Principal Browns Plains SHS
Principal Springwood SHS
Teacher, HOD, DP.

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