Dr Lisa Schmidt will be the next Executive Director for Lutheran Education Australia.
Associate Professor Schmidt, who is currently the Dean of Education for the College of Medicine and Public Health at Flinders University in South Australia, will succeed Mr Stephen Rudolph, who is retiring from the role later this year.
In announcing the appointment, LEA Board of Directors Chair Dr Neville Highett said Dr Schmidt would bring ‘an extensive and valuable range of attributes, experiences and achievements’ to the role, which would ‘equip her well … in what is a challenging and changing environment’.
‘Through her various roles in the education sector and Lutheran education, she possesses an appreciation of the major issues facing Lutheran schools and systems’, Dr Highett said. ‘Further she is strongly committed to a vibrant, sustainable Lutheran education sector into the future.’
Dr Schmidt, who has been a member of LEA’s Board of Directors since 2013, has degrees in theoretical physics, applied mathematics, biological sciences and education, with a PhD in cancer research.
When she takes up the new role in January 2019, she will become the fourth national director for Australian Lutheran education and the first woman to hold the post, after Mr Rudolph, the late Dr Adrienne Jericho and Pastor Tom Reuther.
Mr Rudolph said Dr Schmidt’s appointment was ‘exciting’ for Lutheran education in Australia. ‘She is an immense talent in the field of education – highly intelligent, very qualified and extremely capable’, he said. ‘And she will bring a wonderfully fresh perspective to the role.’
Dr Highett said the Board also wished to acknowledge the contribution of Mr Rudolph, who has been Executive Director for the past seven years. ‘In particular his Christian faith and commitment to Lutheran identity in our schools and to service and ministry has been very much appreciated’, Dr Highett said.