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Leading educator honoured

Media release 3 minute read

One of Australia’s leading educators, Professor Geoff Masters, has been appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in this year’s Australia Day Honours.

26 January 2014: One of Australia’s leading educators, Professor Geoff Masters, has been appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in this year’s Australia Day Honours. The Order of Australia represents the highest level of recognition accorded by our nation for outstanding achievement and service.

Professor Masters, who has been head of not-for-profit organisation the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) for the past 15 years, was recognised for his ‘distinguished service to education research, to the formulation of a national curriculum and performance reporting mechanisms, and to improved educational outcomes for young people’.

Emeritus Professor Paige Porter, Chair of the ACER Board, said she is immensely proud of Professor Masters’ exceptional achievement. “I congratulate Professor Masters on his appointment as an Officer of the Order of Australia. It is fitting recognition for his steadfast advocacy for the greater use of research in educational policy making and the wider adoption of evidence-based practices in classroom teaching,” Professor Porter said.

Professor Masters completed an award-winning doctorate in educational measurement at the University of Chicago in the early 1980s and for the past three decades has led research to develop better measures of the performances of students, educational institutions and school systems.

Under his leadership in the period 1999 to 2013, ACER conducted the world’s largest international survey of educational outcomes – the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) – across more than 60 countries. Currently, with the support of international agencies, ACER is gathering educational performance data in a range of fragile states and developing countries, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.  

Only the fifth CEO in the 84-year history of ACER, Professor Masters has written extensively on the need to reform assessment, and developed and published the national school improvement tool endorsed by education ministers in 2012 for use in Australian schools.

During his tenure, Professor Masters has overseen substantial growth in ACER’s activities through its expansion in size from around 170 staff based in Melbourne to more than 350 staff in offices in five Australian states, India and the United Arab Emirates. He has forged collaborative agreements with international research organisations and played a key role in the introduction of Australia’s first Science of Learning Research Centre – a partnership of ACER, the Queensland Brain Institute and the University of Melbourne.

Professor Masters said he felt humbled and honoured to receive the award. “Individual careers are made possible by the sacrifices of families and the support of colleagues over many years. I view this as shared recognition,” he said.

Watch Geoff Masters on assessment reform:

The Purpose of Assessment

A Growth Mindset

Professor Masters is available for interview.



Media enquiries: Steve Holden, 03 9277 5582 or 0419 340 058

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