John has been an Australian policy researcher in the area of adult and vocational learning with a special interest in the community education sector.

He was a teacher and researcher in adult and vocational learning for over 25 years at the University of Technology Sydney and its predecessors. For some years he was a member of the Board of Adult and Community Education and sometime Chair of the NSW Advisory Committee on Community Education. He is an Adult Learning Australia Research Fellow.

Since 2010 has been an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Education, Science, Technology and Mathematics at the University of Canberra, where he is working on projects with the Australian National Museum of Education.

He has researched capacity building in community adult education providers including Enterprising ACE (ALA, 2010) and Engagement, Knowledge and Capability: Connecting Research and Policy to Practice (for the Victorian ACFE Board, 2007). Download the full report or a journal article.

In 2012 he contributed a policy history of lifelong learning in adult and vocational education in Australia to the Second International Handbook of Lifelong Learning (Springer 2012). Preview the chapter here.

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Theatre for Children Sydney

John has researched the Theatre for Children founded and directed by Rosemarie Benjamin in Sydney 1937 - 1957. His uncle was a leading member of the company. Read about the Theatre for Children as webpage or a longer article. For Susan Isaacs' Freudian influence on Benjamin, see the Freud and Oceania blog.

Australian National Museum of Education

John manages the website communications of this museum, based in the Faculty of ESTeM at the University of Canberra. He has a project investigating historical images of schooling in the Federation period (1901-1920) and before. Read more about ANME here.

History of Wat Buddha Dhamma

John has a long-standing interest in the Buddhist meditation practice of satipaṭṭhāna vipassanā. He is a member of the Canberra Insight Meditation Group and a Trustee of the Buddha Sāsana Association of Australia that owns and operates the Blue Mountains Insight Meditation Centre.

Since 2015 he has been writing a history of Wat Buddha Dhamma, with Constance Ellwood. The Wat was a pioneer Theravada Buddhist organisation established as forest monastery, meditation centre and community in 1978 near Wiseman's Ferry, NSW. For a project update and more information, see the Wat Buddha Dhamma history project.