Date of Submission



This research study explores the issue of school community leadership in Catholic primary schools within the Diocese of Lismore. In so doing it seeks to understand and reconstruct the school community leadership role of the principal. This topic is worthy of study as an analysis of public education in Australia has highlighted an enduring controversy regarding the ‘community’ dimension of schooling. Further, the Catholic Church teaches that community is central to the nature of its schools. A comprehensive analysis of key literature in education, sociology, theology and leadership theory, revealed a number of key insights that informed the study. Here it is found that community is a contested, dense and widely appropriated sociological concept, of which the application to schools is problematic. Three major models of community could be applied to schools. Hence, there is a call for a careful and rigorous debate concerning the application of community to schools. Leadership and community exist in a binary relationship for Catholic school principals. Yet, the model of leadership required for community remains elusive. Finally, the principalship is in transition and suggestions toward a new model are being proposed...


School of Educational Leadership

Document Type


Access Rights

Open Access


251 pages

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Faculty of Education