Timothy Hawkes

Timothy Hawkes
Timothy Hawkes

Dr Timothy Francis Hawkes is an Australian educator and writer, known for his contributions to Australian and International education. He is currently Headmaster of The King's School, Parramatta (Sydney). Hawkes regularly contributes to debates about developing leadership skills and values in students and how to best educate boys.


Early life and education

Born in Adelaide, South Australia in 1953, Hawkes' initial education was at Bordertown Primary and at the Woomera Area School. Because the family moved overseas, Hawkes completed his secondary education as a boarder at King's School, Rochester in England where he became school captain. He had a particular talent for sport, playing Rugby for Durham University and doing athletics at County level. Whilst at university, Hawkes participated in the 1973 British Undergraduates Expedition to the Jotenheim region of Norway and worked with opium and heroin drug addicts at the "Society of St. Stephen" in Hong Kong. He undertook undergraduate studies at Durham University, England, graduating with a B Ed (Hons). After teaching at Loughborough Grammar School, Hawkes returned to Australia to become the Senior Boarding Master at Knox Grammar School, Sydney. He undertook postgraduate studies at Macquarie University in Sydney where he obtained his PhD in May 1988. His thesis reflected his main teaching discipline which was Geography and was entitled 'A study of factors influencing children’s ability to recognize features on black and white aerial photographs.' Hawkes also completed a Graduate Diploma in Education Administration at New England University.

Hawkes met his wife, Jane, at Durham University in England and they have three adult children.[1]

Principal of St Leonard's College

In 1989 Hawkes accepted the position of Principal of St Leonard's College, Melbourne, a co-educational independent school. During his time at St Leonard's, Hawkes engaged in a vigorous building program and raised enrolments from 1200 to nearer 1500. He also became the founding Chairman of the Heads of Independent Co-educational Schools of Victoria and was instrumental in establishing the Association of Co-Educational Schools sporting competition. Following on from a re-vitalisation of the International Baccalaureate program at St Leonard's, Hawkes served as a heads of school representative on the governing board of the International Baccalaureate Organisation.

Headmaster of The King's School

In 1998, Hawkes moved to Sydney to become Headmaster of The King's School, an independent, Anglican, day and boarding school for boys and Australia's oldest independent school. Soon after joining King's, he featured in the ABC documentary about the school and its new headmaster entitled 'King's School.' Whilst at King's, Hawkes re-built much of the School and has been an active contributor at many educational conferences both in Australia and overseas, including being a keynote speaker at the Headmaster's Conference (HMC) of Great Britain in 2003. His main focus is on the education of boys, and more recently the teaching of 'leadership' to students. His works are largely confined to primary and secondary level education but he also comments on broader matters of social interest.[2][3][4] His more recently published works at King's include the "Improve Series", and the 2010 Leadership Diary.

During the 1998, 2001 and 2004 Australian Federal Elections, Hawkes became an active participant in the national discussion on education with The King's School being frequently cited by the Australian Labor Party as an exemplar of a well-funded private school in receipt of significant government funding. Hawkes defended the right of independent schools, even well-resourced schools, to receive at least some government funding. This continued into the 2007 election.[5]

Contribution to Public Debate

Hawkes has made a strong contribution to educational debate. As the founding Chairman of the Australian Boarding Schools' Association, he has written "Duty of Care" the major training course for boarding staff still used in Australia and has advanced the cause of boarding in the media.[6][7][8] A major authority on boys' education, Hawkes has been an advisor to the Australian Federal Government, serving as a member of the "Forum on the Education of Boys" in 2002. His book "Boy Oh Boy" has become a best seller and Hawkes continues to write and speak extensively on the issue of educating boys.[9][10][11]

It is, perhaps, in the area of values education and the development of leadership skills in students where Hawkes has been most productive. His four book series "Learning Leadership" - a leadership training course for students- has become popular in many schools throughout the world. Several articles have been written by Hawkes advocating the teaching of leadership and values in schools.[12][13][14][15]

No stranger to controversy, Hawkes has been a strong defender of independent education.[16][17] He has also been criticised for being prepared to allow his students to discuss controversial topics such as intelligent design.[18] This resulted in Hawkes being nominated for the satirical Bent Spoon Award by the Australian Sceptic Society in 2008.[19]

In 2007, Hawkes was given a "Quality Teaching" Federal Government award for excellence as a school principal for "rejuvenating the educational philosophy and practice of The King's School by building on its strengths as a national leader in boys' education, residential education and leadership education. School results have significantly improved under his leadership".[20]

Hawkes has a number of interests outside of education including being patron of the "Forsight Foundation" an organisation that assists adults who are both deaf and blind.[21] He served from 2000 - 2008 as the Australian National Chairman of Overseas Missionary Fellowship and is President of the "Under 16's" an organisation that supports those who volunteered for service in World War Two whilst being under the age of 16 years.


  1. ^ At home with ... Timothy Hawkes, headmaster of The King's School in Sydney, writer and rugby tragic The Australian. 1 August 2008.
  2. ^ "The Wealth Culture". Paper presented at the Stanley Foster Foundation Conference, Regent Hotel, Melbourne, 20 August 1994.
  3. ^ "Lie wrapped in a truth is still a lie". Sydney Morning Herald, 18 May 2006 p13.
  4. ^ Regular guest on Richard Glover's "Political Forum", ABC radio 702 AM.
  5. ^ Funds squabble impoverishes schools, 17 November 2007.
  6. ^ Posh school teaches kids how to clean, The Sunday Telegraph, 12 July 2009.
  7. ^ "The boarding situation in Australia" Paper presented at the Boarding Schools' Association (BSA) Conference. Edinburgh, Scotland 2 May 2002.
  8. ^ "Boarding Schools' Resurgence "Directions in Education" Vol.10 No.11 29 June 2001.
  9. ^ "Disinheriting wealth" Paper presented at the International Baccalaureate Conference, Chateau Laurier, Ottawa, Canada, 26 July 1994.
  10. ^ "Teaching Social Responsibility." Paper presented at the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia Biennial Conference, Bond university, Gold Coast, 26 August 1995.
  11. ^ "Building a dynamic school community" Taylor's Education Conference, Sheraton Hotel, Subang Jaya, Malaysia, 29 March 2005.
  12. ^ "Conversation with students on leadership" Independence. Autumn 1999 Vol 24 No 1, p21+.
  13. ^ "New Model of Leadership launched at King's". Education Today, 30 August 2005, p30.
  14. ^ "Leadership for all students". Principal Matters, Spring 2007, p8+.
  15. ^ The Failure of Schools to Educate, Sydney Morning Herald, 8 September 2008.
  16. ^ "Reasons to fund private schools". The Age, 6 May 1993 p16.
  17. ^ "Beware the politics of envy". Sydney Morning Herald, 12 October 2000 p13.
  18. ^ Backing for intelligent design, 28 October 2005.
  19. ^ Australian Sceptic Society, 2008.
  20. ^ Quality Teaching Award, 2007.
  21. ^ Patron - Forsight Foundation.

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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