If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile

Research interests


Sociology of Education, Comparative and International Education, Aboriginal Education, Indigenous Education, Higher Education, Adult Education, Buddhist Education, Leadership and Management Education, Sustainability Education, Complex Adaptive Systems

Organisational Development

Strategic Planning, Change Management, Diversity Leadership and Management, Indigenous Leadership Development, Emergent Organisational Transformation, Leadership and Management of Organizational Sustainability, Complex Adaptive Systems

Supervision interests

  • Organisational Development and Professional Practice
  • Education of Indigenous and Other Traditionally Oriented Peoples
  • Sociology of Knowledge
  • Emergent Organisational Transformation
  • Education for Sustainability
  • Teacher Professional Development and Learning in Indigenous Education
  • School Leadership of Indigenous Education

Monash teaching commitment

EDF 2031 Indigenous Perspectives on Teaching and Learning (both Priary and Early Years)

EDF 4513 Indigenous and Traditional Education in a Global World

EDF 5657 Indigenous Perspectives on Professional Practice

EDF 5665 Environmental Education, design and learning for sustainability

EDF 6823 Management and Change

Community service

I am a member of the Worowa Academic Reference Group. Worowa is an independent Aboriginal Boarding School for young women, Healesville, Victoria.


I work in the Faculty of Education and am an Associate Professor. My research theorizes cross-cultural understandings of the cultivation of wisdom and examines how higher education and schooling are harming or supporting the sustainable education of wise, global citizens. This project is transdisciplinary in nature involving studies of culture, professional practice, and organisational transformation as they influence the cultivation of wisdom in education.

Originally trained as a social worker in the 1970s, I worked in Australia, UK and Spain, returning to Australia in the late 1980s. I began my academic career in the 1990s, first undertaking a Diploma of Education specialising in Indigenous Education and went on to Honours in Sociology and Education. Achieving a University Medal, in 1993 I won an Australian government Research in Asia award to undertake my PhD studies in Thailand. In 1997-1998, I was the Smuts Visiting Fellow in Commonwealth Studies at the University of Cambridge, UK.

My teaching, supervision, and research spans organisational development, leadership development, professional skills development in mainstream service provision to Indigenous peoples, and theorising knowledge exchanges within complex, postcolonial democratic states. I have worked with schools across Australia and internationally, with clients such as Telstra, DIMIA, Visy, ADFA, and Victoria Police in organisational development programs, and have led collaborative research partnerships with universities and communities in Australia, Sweden, Slovak Republic, Canada, Japan, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia.

In 2000, I co-edited and contributed to Local Knowledge and Wisdom in Higher Education laying the foundation for my theoretical work on the transfer of knowledge across a diversity of cultures under globalisation. The outcomes of my recent ARC Discovery Grant have been a national conference and a co-edited special edition of The Artefact journal honouring the work of Beth Gott. In 2012-2013, I co-led two research projects, the outcomes of which have informed government policy and produced publications on teacher standards in Indigenous Education.

My most recent publication is Leading and Managing Indigenous Education in the Postcolonial World (Routledge 2014). I am also Editor of the ANZCIES flagship journal International Education Journal: Comparative Perspectives.

Research area keywords

  • Wisdom in Education
  • Comparative Education
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
  • Values education
  • Sociology of Education
  • Leadership Development
  • Teacher Professional Development and Learning
  • Food and Indigenous-Settler Relations

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2008 2021

Research Output 1995 2018

Buddhist pedagogy in teacher education: cultivating wisdom by skillful means

Ma Rhea, Z., 15 Mar 2018, In : Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education. 46, 2, p. 199-216 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Indigenist holistic educational leadership

Ma Rhea, Z., 2018, Educational Leadership as a Culturally-Constructed Practice: New Directions and Possibilities. Wilkinson, J. & Bristol, L. (eds.). 1st ed. Abingdon: Routledge, p. 118-136 19 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

Rights-based Indigenous education in Australia: evidence-based policy to pedagogy

Anderson, P. J. & Ma Rhea, Z., 2018, Evidence-Based Learning and Teaching: A Look into Australian Classrooms. Barnes, M., Gindidis, M. & Phillipson, S. (eds.). Abingdon UK: Routledge, p. 205-216 12 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Towards an Indigenist, Gaian pedagogy of food: deimperializing foodScapes in the classroom

Ma Rhea, Z., 15 Mar 2018, In : Journal of Environmental Education. 49, 2, p. 103-116 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Frontiers of taste: Food sovereignty, sustainability, and Indigenous-Settler relations in Australia

Ma Rhea, Z., 2017, 1 ed. Springer. 208 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBookResearchpeer-review

Activities 1997 2014

  • 10 Peer review responsibility
  • 5 Editorial responsibility
  • 1 External research organisation, centre or institute
  • 1 Submissions to industry or govt committees, commissions and inquiries

International Education Journal (Journal)

Zane Ma Rhea (Editor in chief)

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial responsibility

ANZCIES (Publisher)

Zane Ma Rhea (Associate editor)
1 Jan 2014

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial responsibility

Monash University Publishing (Publisher)

Zane Ma Rhea (Associate editor)
1 Jan 2013

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial responsibility

Environmental Education Research (Publisher)

Zane Ma Rhea (Peer reviewer)
1 May 2013

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review responsibility

Reconciliation Action Plan

Zane Ma Rhea (Member)
2 May 2012

Activity: External Academic EngagementSubmissions to industry or govt committees, commissions and inquiries