Marie Murphy at CLASS coaches and mentors school leaders. She sits elegantly in a red leather chair, reading some latest research material. She is wearing a black and white animal print sleeveless shirt and a classy black skirt.
Dr Marie Murphy coaches and mentors school leaders.


Dr Marie Murphy is the director of CLASS: Coaching Leaders in Australian Schools. CLASS came about as a result of Marie’s broad experience as a principal and teacher (Special Education) in culturally diverse schools with low socio-economic status. She has a strong commitment to equity and believes that everyone is entitled to quality education. Marie has seen first-hand the way education transforms young peoples’ lives.

Marie believes parents are a critical element in bringing this about, and actively builds the relationship between parents and teachers, the school and community. She values distributed leadership in schools and has successfully achieved this in the schools she has led. She believes that ‘leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders’ (Tom Peters).

Marie considers it is vital for school leaders to be nurtured and supported in managing the complexities of engaging staff, parents and communities in diverse school settings. As a school principal for 20 years in Sydney’s south-west, she has successfully led the development of her staff and community to create cohesive, harmonious communities, with improved academic outcomes.

Marie's school communities have received national, state and regional awards for cohesion, harmony and leadership, and achieved above national benchmarks in literacy and numeracy. Marie is a charismatic and inspirational leader, who has mentored and coached others to be successful in their leadership aspirations. Her speciality is nurturing the talent in others.

What CLASS offers

CLASS supports principals and school communities to develop cohesive, high performance cultures. CLASS provides a tailored professional service that includes:

• Coaching and mentoring for individual principals

• Coaching and mentoring for collegial principal teams and leadership teams

• Staff professional learning and workshops

• Parent focused planning for increased parent involvement in your school

• Community consultations

• Interview preparation

• Guidance with action research

For your leadership coaching and mentoring needs, teacher professional learning and parental engagement, contact CLASS.

CLASS experience

Dr Marie Murphy is an experienced educator, coach, mentor and researcher. She holds qualifications in education, coaching and human resources. Marie has worked as a principal, researcher, team leader and teacher in a range of educational settings and systems. Marie has recently completed doctoral studies on the relationship between schools and parents from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds, and the work of leaders in building this relationship.

Marie has been involved in further research investigating Pre-Service Teachers’ Professional Experience at Western Sydney University and been a recent guest lecturer in their Masters of Leadership program. She is also currently teaching in the Masters of Teaching at the University of Sydney.

As a principal Marie worked collaboratively with staff and parents to transform school cultures into cohesive, constructive environments. Now she enjoys working with school leaders to support them to reach their goals and make decisions that lead to the best changes in their school. Her clients comment that she provides useful analysis and insights based on the school’s immediate needs.

Marie works with schools to develop parent friendly cultures and school environments that foster communication between parents and teachers. She works with school staff in a creative, flexible way to develop strategies and programs that meet the needs of each school community. Marie also conducts Community Consultations and works with schools communities to action the findings.
The best part of Marie's job is working with others to develop strategies and programs that meet a school’s needs. Clients value her collaborative, outcomes-based approach and her capacity to work with individuals and teams to develop strategies that suit specific school environments.

Marie’s qualifications

• Doctorate of Education (Western Sydney University) submitted. Reconceptualising parent Involvement in a Culturally and Linguistically Diverse School Community.

• Master of Arts, Special Education (Macquarie University)

• Graduate Diploma in Business Administration (Charles Sturt University)

• Bachelor of Arts (Macquarie University)

• Certificate of Coaching (Stolmack & Associates; GROWTH Coaching)

• Diploma in Teaching English as a Second Language (Sydney College of English)

• Diploma of Teaching (Charles Sturt University)


• NSW Director-General of Education and Communities Award for the role of Developmental Coach for the Aboriginal Teacher Leadership Program (2012)

• South Western Sydney Regional Director’s Choice Award for School Excellence (for School Leadership) (2011)

• Leadership Scholarship: Leading Australia’s Schools (2008)

• Professional Doctorate Program Initiative, University of Western Sydney (2010-2015)

• National Literacy Award (2008), Department of Education and Training, Australia

• Cohesive Community Award (2006), Department of Education NSW

For your leadership coaching or mentoring needs, teacher professional learning or parent focused planning: