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New Principal for St Andrew’s College

On behalf of St Andrew’s College Council, the Chair, Sasha Kovic, is delighted to announce that Dr Robert Leach has been appointed as the new Principal-elect.

Dr Leach will take on the new role from January 2023 when Wayne Erickson steps down after 15 years in the position.

Dr Leach recently completed his tenure as the Vice Master and Provost of Ormond College within the University of Melbourne and brings 30 years of education experience to the role.

Sasha Kovic, Chair of St Andrew’s College Council, said:

“With a strong track record in education and pastoral care, Rob will foster a culture at St Andrew’s that supports the growth of young people and encourages the pursuit of excellence in academia, sporting participation and cultural activities, in keeping with the College’s holistic approach to student development.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank Wayne Erickson for his outstanding leadership and dedication during his tenure. Council is very proud of his many achievements and the way in which he has set up St Andrew’s College for future success. Rob will inherit a thriving organisation where student agency continues to be a hallmark of our College.

Tertiary education is a changing environment, and with his empathy for emerging adults, Council is confident that Rob will be able to navigate and continue the College’s ongoing cultural renewal. He is an inspiring leader, with the ability to engender trust and respect while being culturally aligned with the vision and mission of the College. We are sure that he will balance the progression of our College while maintaining the traditions and fabric that make this institution so unique.”

The Principal of St Andrew’s, Wayne Erickson, said:

“I’m delighted that the Council has selected Dr Robert Leach as the next Principal of St Andrew’s. Rob comes to us following his outstanding contributions to the Ormond College community over many years. Rob’s energetic engagement with students as emerging adults, and his great strengths in leading innovative practice in residential college life are only two aspects of an impressive, aspirational skill set which Rob will bring to the role. I look forward with great confidence to the future of St Andrew’s in Rob’s hands.”

Council invested significant time and effort to find a suitable successor to the current Principal, Wayne Erickson. Educational recruitment specialists Odgers Berndtson undertook an international search which resulted in a pool of high-calibre male and female applicants from NSW, interstate and overseas, with backgrounds in education, business and government. A number of strong candidates were interviewed, and Dr Leach stood out with his energy for the role and compelling vision for College.

Lara McKay, Master of Ormond College said:

Rob’s passion for the personal and intellectual development of young people has been an inspiration, as is his commitment to innovation in higher education and ensuring students leave university and college equipped with the enterprise skills needed to make an impact in the workplace and the world. As an alumnus of Ormond, Rob remains an integral part of the Ormond community and we look forward to him remaining connected to the College for many years to come.”

Rob Leach said:

“It is a rare privilege to have the chance to lead a great college such as St Andrew’s, and I’m excited by the prospect. I’ve been involved in university colleges for nearly twenty years – both as staff and student. As well as being great fun, colleges are places where young adults can grow, learn and develop their better selves. In the changing university landscape, the deeply personal experience of college life has never been more valuable.

I’m lucky to have the opportunity to lead St Andrew’s following the excellent tenure of Wayne Erickson. He has achieved a great deal as Principal, and I’m eager to build on that legacy.

Together with a talented Council and strong student leadership, I’m looking forward to working with students and staff as they use their energy, imagination, and intelligence to make St Andrew’s the best it can be.”

Dr Leach was instrumental in working on the development of Ormond College’s Wade Institute, where he is a passionate lecturer in the Institute’s Masters of Entrepreneurship program. Rob will be invaluable to St Andrew’s plans to further develop the educational offerings in the College’s new Centre for Education and in the creation of a potential degree course. Rob will also support the expansion of our Certificate of Problem Solving and the new Certificate of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Dr Robert Leach – biography

Rob was born in England and moved to Australia when he was 12 years old. He grew up in Victoria and attended The Geelong College.


After earning a BA (Hons) in Politics from the University of Melbourne, Rob moved to the University of Oxford to read an MA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. In 1992 he gained a Diploma in Education from the University of Melbourne, and was awarded a PhD in Professional Writing from Deakin University in 2001.

After spending his first working years in commerce, Rob moved into the education sector. He served two years as Proctor and Tutor at Ormond College before spending almost two decades teaching at Melbourne Grammar School and Geelong Grammar School. In 2011 he moved back to Ormond College and served as Vice Master, Provost and Acting Master during that time.

Rob and his family, which includes two teenage boys and a black Labrador called Micky, are eagerly looking forward to the move north to Sydney.