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Community & Business

14 January, 2022

Local School Principal Earns Highest Academic Honours

On Thursday, 16 December 2021, at a graduation ceremony for Flinders University in Adelaide, Shaun Kanowski was officially presented with his Doctorate or PhD. Leanne (wife) and Clare (daughter) were present to help celebrate this achievement.


Dr. Bev Rogers and Dr. Shaun Kanowski. Photo courtesy Leanne Kanowski

Dr. Kanowski’s research into principal well-being commenced in 2017 and ended in June 2021 with the completion of his thesis titled “Being in Principalship: an ontological inquiry of well-being experiences”. 

Rather than focusing on the causal factors contributing to a principal’s well-being, such as workload, stress, burnout and managing the abusive behaviours of others, Dr. Kanowski included and analysed stories from a range of principals from around Queensland in his research, as the data from which to base his findings. 

He argues that well-being is a phenomenon that matters in our everyday lived experiences and that we all experience the presence and absence of well-being as integral to our human condition.  

A PhD is quite different from other degrees, in that it makes an original contribution to knowledge. An average of 1.1% of people in OECD countries have earned a PhD. Dr. Kanowski plans to use his research to write a book and to enter the university sector as a teacher / researcher.

 To him, “lifelong learning” is not just a phrase, and he hopes that his example may encourage students to continue pursuing their goals, regardless of their age, circumstances or career choices.     

Dr. Kanowski would like to acknowledge his two Supervisors, Professor David Giles and Dr. Bev Rogers, as well as his family, friends and colleagues, who supported and encouraged him throughout his PhD candidature.


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