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Dr Darren Iselin

Director of Research
and Innovation


University of Queensland

PhD – Doctor of Philosophy

Thesis Title: How Principals Are Cultivating Sustainable School Cultures Within Christian Schools During Changing Times.

The University of Queensland, St Lucia Brisbane.


Queensland University of Technology

MEd – Master of Education

Curriculum Leadership and Professional Growth

Queensland University of Technology (QUT)


Christian Heritage College

BEd – Bachelor of Education (In-service)

Christian Heritage College (CHC)


BTeach – Bachelor of Teaching

Christian Heritage College (CHC).



The Director of Research and Innovation seeks to cultivate, showcase, and expand the second value proposition of CSA’s 3.0 vision – Thought Leadership . The role centres on research, publication, projects and innovation and ensuring that a quality research agenda within and upon Christian schools provides a means of re-framing the conversation regarding Christian schools within the public square. Significantly, in this cultural moment, there is now a growing body of high quality, independent and reliable research which affirms and supports the practices, policies and principles that underpin Christian schooling; and a growing range of research initiatives, inquiries and projects that are seeking to rigorously investigate, analyse and evaluate what researchers are classifying as a possible “Christian schools effect” within contemporary society. This role also actively engages tertiary partners in a diverse range of projects and initiatives.

Darren’s responsibilities in his role as Director of Research and Innovation include the ideation, development, publication and promotion of thought leadership and a diverse range of strategic research efforts and initiatives for CSA and its member schools. As an extension and complementary aspect of this role, he is also responsible for supporting, engaging and partnering with CSA’s tertiary partners and facilitating and promoting innovative research projects between CSA and tertiary providers.  Darren has also been the Coordinator of the Cardus Education Survey Australia, a landmark research project undertaken by a consortium of six Christian school associations. Darren has served previously served with CSA as Executive Officer (Qld) where he also oversaw national portfolio of research and tertiary partnerships.

Darren has considerable leadership experience within Christian education, and has served in a wide range of principal and senior leadership roles and responsibilities within both K-12 schooling and higher education sectors. Before joining CSA in 2018, he was President of Christian Heritage College, a fully accredited, multidisciplinary tertiary provider of approx. 850 students in Queensland. Prior to this role, he was Headmaster of Heights College, a thriving Christian school of 820 students in Rockhampton, Queensland where he oversaw a rapid growth phase within the life of College. Darren has worked at The University of Queensland as a Course Coordinator for 6 years and has also worked internationally as a Vice- Principal of a multi campus International School in Hong Kong and has held senior leadership roles in two other Queensland Christian schools.

Darren has completed extensive formal study including: Bachelor of Teaching, Bachelor of Education, Master of Education and Doctor of Philosophy. Darren’s PhD was titled: How Principals are cultivating Sustainable School Cultures Within Christian Schools During Changing Times. Darren’s thesis was awarded the Grassie-Basset prize for best thesis in Educational Administration from The University of Queensland and the Research in Educational Leadership Management Award from the Australian Council of Educational Leaders (ACEL).

Darren has developed comprehensive networks in Christian schooling and the Tertiary sector both within Australia and overseas.  He has been a central figure at all levels of Christian Education in Australia for the past two decades. He is passionate about Christian Education and is actively involved in a diverse range of educational consultancy and professional development initiatives throughout the Australia and New Zealand and Asia, regularly presenting on a range of topics including: School leadership, school culture, Christian worldview, faith formation and faith-learning integration.