Manisha Gazula

Manisha Gazula started her teaching career in 2004 as a casual teacher in some of the tough and complex schools in NSW. When she first took on a role as a relieving principal, she took it upon herself to find a way to raise the learning outcomes of the most vulnerable students in NSW. Manisha has been on a journey of continuous improvement so she can be a well-informed leader with a clear vision and a path towards the vision.

Manisha has an incredible track record as school leader, where she has consistently improved school-wide results, even when working under challenging circumstances. When she arrived 8 years ago at Marsden Rd Public School, where one in 5 students is a refugee (mainly Afghan, Iraqi or Syrian), most students finished Year 6 with reading age of Year 4.

Through relentless focus, high expectations of teachers and students, a curriculum program with sequential learning plans by subject, explicit instruction pedagogy and standardised assessments, she has turned Marsden Road into a model school. For the past three years, on average 60% students made above average progress in reading. In numeracy 70% are achieving above average progress compared with students from similar backgrounds. In Writing, the school has achieved above state average in the last two years.

Marsden Road Public School attracts visits from school from various sectors and from all over Australia. Since 2018, over 200 schools have visited the school to observe the teaching practice. The school has also been a case study for educational researchers including Australian Education Research Organisation (AERO), Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) and The Grattan Institute.

Manisha has presented at several forums and conferences since 2018.

Director and Founder of the Centre for Independent Studies

Professor of Public Policy and Director, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis in the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University


Sociologist, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Sydney.
Author of The New Authoritarianism

Director, Free Market Foundation, (Hungary)

Health Director, Health and BioSecurity, CSIRO

Director and Founder, Academy of Ideas, London, (UK)

Founder and CEO, Cognoscenti Group

Executive Director, The New Zealand Initiative (NZ)

Australian writer and columnist for the News Limited Press

Research Director, CIS

Programme Co-ordinator of the Masters of Urban and Regional Planning, The University of Western Australia

Chinese Canadian human rights advocate

Senior Research Fellow, Culture, Prosperity & Civil Society Program, CIS

CEO and Founding Director, China Matters

Former Liberal member of the Australian House of Representatives and Cabinet Minister

Pro Vice-Chancellor Arts and Academic Culture, and Professor of History, Australian Catholic University

Cancer researcher and clinical oncologist, with Genesis Care Newcastle

Founder and President, Middle East Forum, publisher Middle East Quarterly Journal, (US)

Professor of Economics, University of Melbourne

Senior Research Fellow and Director, Culture, Prosperity & Civil Society Program, CIS

Internationally acclaimed novelist and journalist, (US)

Head of Economic Research, Reserve Bank of Australia

Executive Director, CIS

Professor of Economics at Stanford University; Senior Fellow in Economics at the Hoover Institution and Chair of the Working Group on Economic Policy, (US)

UQ-CSIRO Chair in Personalised Nanodiagnostics, Professorial Research Fellow, School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, University of Queensland

Diplomat, American Board of Pathology

Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure

Liberal Party Member for Berowra

Australia’s Ambassador to China from 2007 to 2011, Chairman & CEO of Geoff Raby and Associates Ltd based in Beijing

Director of China and Free Societies program, CIS

Senior Research Scholar, Marron Institute of Urban Management, New York University, (US)