Associate Professor Tom O’Connor completed a Bachelor of Arts (with majors in English and Legal Studies and a Diploma of Education (with English, Drama and Business Studies). He then went on to complete a Graduate Diploma of Educational Administration, a Graduate Diploma of Religious Education, a Master of Education(Contemporary Language Education) and a Master of Arts (Online Education), a Master of Educational Policy (International) and a Doctorate in Postmodern Theory.
Assoc. Prof. O’Connor commenced his teaching career in secondary schools focusing on English, Drama and Media Studies. He has taught at secondary schools in Australia, the United Kingdom, Ireland and the United States. In Australia he worked at CRC St Albans where he became English Co-ordinator. He held leadership positions at CRC Sydenham and As Deputy Principal-Curriculum he oversaw the successful amalgamation of three schools into the Caroline Chisholm Catholic College. He was part of the team that created the first VCE English curriculum (1988).
He combined his secondary teaching with lecturing at Griffith University and Central Queensland University in Arts and Business education. Dr O’Connor developed the Business Curriculum for the Saudi VET sector (2001) before he moved full time into higher education as Head of Business at Ras Al Khaimah Women’s’ College (2002-5), part of the Higher Colleges of Technology system of the United Arab Emirates. He was appointed Project Manager to develop the Victoria International School Sharjah, a joint project between the governments of Victoria and Sharjah (UAE) designed to bring Australian pedagogy to the emirate.
He returned to Australia to take up the role of Curriculum Director and Acting Principal at Thomas Carr College. He commenced partnerships with Lianyungang Foreign Language School, and Wenzhou No.21 School to deliver the VCE in China (2012). He then moved to Firbank Grammar School as Head of Transnational Education, where he expanded the number of schools delivering VCE offshore to ten, making Firbank the largest provider of VCE offshore.
Assoc. Prof. O’Connor has written and directed musical productions throughout his career. “Here’s to Macbeth” was staged in Melbourne and performed at the University of California, Davis. “Test – a Cricket Musical” was sponsored by the Sunshine City Council and performed on the Kinder Smith Reserve, Braybrook. He produced the first ever version of “Pirates of Penzance” in the Middle East at the Ras Al Khaimah Sailing Club, sponsored by the Ras Al Khaimah Police Department. “HeartQuest – a celtic opera” was performed at the “Feile an Phobail” in Belfast, Northern Ireland as part of the peace process and was sponsored by the European Union and the State Department of the United States Government. “Heartquest” was performed at the Athenaeum theatre in July 2002
Assoc. Prof. O’Connor is currently a Fellow of the UBSS Centre for Scholarship and Research and a consulting Principal at Shanghai Normal University Tianhua High School.
Assoc. Prof. Tom O'Connor