Tim is an education leader who is a recognised innovator with over 20 years experience leading change in education systems. He now leads Knowledge Society’s most ambitious education projects. Tim helps education systems design, implement and evaluate capacity building initiatives that focus on improving teacher practice as the key lever to improve student outcomes. He has led large-scale projects in areas of leadership, student engagement, well-being and innovation in the fields of education, youth justice, employment and health. Tim is also a leading authority on student learning and engagement having written a popular textbook for Oxford University Press. He is passionate about giving every child the opportunity to reach their potential by enabling system leaders and schools across the country to deliver evidence-based practice and policy.

Influential work

  • Introduced and led the world-class digital transformation project, LEADing Lights, which provided a new whole of system-digital platform to connect staff and students across the Catholic Education WA to enhance learning outcomes.
  • Drove governance reforms at the national and State level in Catholic education.
  • Working with international experts, Lynn Sharrat, Michael Fullan, John Hattie and Melbourne University on Instructional leadership, creating a major initiative for an education system to improve student outcomes by focusing on teacher practice.
  • Drove an education and training focused agenda including expanding prison-based training and development opportunities offered to Aboriginal people for a WA philanthropic initiative.
  • Developed the Residency program, an alternative school-based model of teacher education which achieved breakthrough results for a Western Australian Faculty of Education
  • Authored a leading textbook on classroom engagement for Oxford University Press, Classroom Management – Engaging Students in Learning.


  • Strategy
  • Leadership
  • Organisational performance
  • Facilitation
  • Program design
  • Stakeholder engagement


Prior to joining Knowledge Society, Tim McDonald was the CEO of Generation One, an organisation founded by the Minderoo Foundation to end Aboriginal disparity within one generation. As Executive Director of Catholic Education WA, a system with 163 schools, 75,000 students and 15,000 employees, he introduced and led the world-class digital transformation project, LEADing Lights, which connected staff and students across the system to enhance learning outcomes. Tim was formerly an Associate Professor at Edith Cowan University, Australia’s largest school of education and holds a PhD in Education from Brooks University, Oxford.