Karen Starr

Karen Starr



Karen leads SHK’s Education practice after an extensive career in education. Karen also undertakes select executive appointments for organisations that have a public / people focus. Her appointments include university executives, school principals and education directors, CEOs and their direct reports.

Karen has held senior leadership roles as University Professor and Chair, school principal (K-12), chief state-wide curriculum writer, author and researcher (focusing on education leadership, education business, policy, equity and adult learning). She also spent 19 years in the mutual banking sector as a company director.

Karen brings a broad range of professional experience to her work, complemented by research insights, and extensive national and international networks in the business, higher education, vocational education and training, schooling (government, independent and Catholic), and early learning and education sectors, including a large range of professional associations. Currently, Karen serves as International Adviser to the Association of School Business Officials International (USA) and is on the Editorial Board of three international scholarly journals. She has received numerous commendations throughout her career including winner of a National Telstra Business Woman of the Year Award for the not-for-profit sector, Educator of the Year Award (Australian Council for Education Leaders (Victoria) and Vice Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence.

Karen holds a Doctor of Philosophy, and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, the Australian College of Educators and the Australian Council for Educational Leaders.

Recent appointments

  • Faculty General Manager – university sector

  • Head of People and Culture – government statutory body

  • Director / CEO – important state government agency.