Professor John Lester

Professor John Lester has over 40 years operative and managerial leadership in Indigenous education and training covering school, TAFE and University. He has contributed at state and national policy levels in the area and is a renowned innovator in the field. His appointment as the first Indigenous TAFE Principal in Australia has been only capped through his appointment to the inaugural Aboriginal Studies Chair at University of Newcastle, which exemplifies his outstanding contribution in Indigenous education. He headed up one of only six centres of excellence for Indigenous Research in the nation, a project management of over $2.2m. His work in Indigenous education communities is celebrated by his Life Membership & re-election to Vice President of the NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group in 1998 & 1999, after holding the Executive Officers role during the foundation years of the Group in the early 1980’s. Professor Lester has held key membership positions on the NSW Vocational Education and Training Board, the Rural Communities Consultative Council and as board member of the NSW National Trust. He is a past member of the NSW Board of Secondary Education, National Aboriginal Education Committee, MCEETYA Racism In Schools Review, appointed by the Premier of NSW to the Rural Communities Consultative Council. Previously appointed to the NSW Government Expert Advisory Group on Drugs and Alcohol; and the Indigenous Higher Education Advisory Council. Appointed in 2006 as member to the national Client & Student Voice Action Group to the MCVTE.. He has managed and provided pivotal guidance on several significant innovative projects across the broad Indigenous education and training area that have gained high praise at state and national levels. His contributions at state, national and international conferences are extensive and well supported by publications and research in Indigenous education. Appointed inaugural Director of Aboriginal Education and Training with the NSW Department of Education and Training in 2005-2008 and has in mid 2009 returned to a substantive lecturing position and recently performed as Acting Dean of Wollotuka School of Aboriginal Studies.