Secondary Education: Laying the Foundation

An exclusive panel discussion with Elena Douglas, Sarah Golsby-Smith and Elizabeth Stone

Panel discussion with Elena Douglas, Sarah Golsby-Smith and Elizabeth Stone

Is our secondary education at risk of becoming second-rate? Is the curriculum too fragmented and lacking in rigour? Have we focused too much on new trends in education while neglecting a knowledge-rich approach? Can we reverse the trajectory in international rankings by returning to fundamentals and laying better foundations?

To help uncover some of the challenges and opportunities in Australia’s secondary education sector and navigate the way forward, the Ramsay Centre is delighted to present our fifth Ramsay lecture event for 2023: a panel discussion comprising some of Australia’s leading educational experts and educators.

Please join our esteemed panellists as they share their expertise and experience, engage in a spirited and thought-provoking discussion, and propose practical solutions for moving forward.   


Elena Douglas, CEO, Knowledge Society

Elena Douglas is the founder and CEO of Knowledge Society, a social purpose business that designs and delivers school improvement and research to impact programs for Australian schools, universities and research institutes. Elena has led the establishment of Advance Global Australians in New York, as well as the Centre for Social Impact at the University of Western Australia (UWA), In the Zone Conference series and the Faith and Globalisation initiative, a partnership with the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. Her perspective is shaped by her career as an economist, entrepreneur, and historian. She teaches Philanthropy at the UWA Business School and researches eighteenth- and nineteenth-century conceptions of virtue, economics and ethics.

Dr Sarah Golsby-Smith, Head of Learning and Teaching, PLC Sydney

Dr Sarah Golsby-Smith has taught English in secondary English schools for over twenty years. She has taught in government and independent schools and has taught in co-ed, boys’ and girls’ schools, enjoying all of these spaces to teach and learn. Sarah has published work on literary theory and its relationship to pedagogy, the new rhetoric as a new theoretical space to occupy, Shakespeare in the classroom, Gwen Harwood’s poetry and theological considerations for the teacher. Her abiding interest is in the importance of the classroom as both a civic and holy space, where truth is both made and discovered.

Elizabeth Stone, Principal, Queenwood School

Ms Stone is Principal of Queenwood School. She sits on several boards, including the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation and the Association of Independent Schools NSW. She took up a Rhodes Scholarship in 1998 and completed her master’s at University College, Oxford. She later moved into teaching and taught Mathematics first in Sydney and then in the UK. She returned to Australia in 2014 to take up the role of Principal at Queenwood and will return to the UK in September 2023 as Head of Winchester College, the first woman to hold this position in its 640-year history.

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