COVID-19 Advice for the JCU Community - Last updated: 27 January 2022, 10am (AEST)

Dr Helen Drennen AM

Additional Member


  • Member, JCU Council
  • Member, Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee
  • Member, Awards and Ceremonies Committee
  • Member, Chancellor’s Committee


A widely recognized leader in education in Australia and internationally, in 2019, Dr Helen Drennen AM, was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Studio Schools of Australia, a groundbreaking initiative in Indigenous education across the north of Australia.

At the end of 2018, Helen completed 15 distinguished years as Principal of Wesley College in Melbourne. She was the first female to be appointed Principal in the College's 152 years history. Established in 1866, Wesley College is one of Australia's leading co-educational schools with 3400 students from early childhood to Year 12, studying the PYP, MVP and Diploma Program of the IB, on multiple sites across Victoria and in Western Australia. Between 2003 and 2018, Helen led the College through an historic period of transformation, innovation and change.

Helen's career has spanned Victorian State, Australian National and International Education, and she has taught in both Government and Independent school sectors in Australia and overseas.

Prior to her appointment as Principal at Wesley College, Melbourne, she was Academic Director for the International Baccalaureate Organization {IB) (1997-2002) based in Wales UK, and Director of the Asia Pacific region for the IB (2002-2003) based in Singapore.

She served on the IB world-wide Governing Council of Foundation for six years from 2009 to 2015, was a Trustee of the Shrine of Remembrance in Victoria for nine years from 2010 to 2018, and in June 2019 completed six years as a member of the governing Council of Monash University in Victoria. In February 2020 she was invited to join the governing Council of James Cook University in tropical far north Queensland.

In 2010, Helen was made a Fellow of the Australian College of Educators (FACE) and a Fellow of the Australian College of Educational Leaders (FACEL) in 2011. In 2016, she was recognised in the Australia Day Honours list as a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia.