Professor, Gerry Higgins Chair in Positive Psychology, Director of the Centre for Positive Psychology, University of Melbourne

Professor Lea Waters (PhD) holds the Gerry Higgins Chair in Positive Psychology and is the Director of the Centre for Positive Psychology, University of Melbourne. Lea a registered psychologist (AHPRA)and holds an Affiliate position with Cambridge University’s Wellbeing Institute (United Kingdom), the Centre for Positive Organizations at the University of Michigan in the United Kingdom and is a visiting Scholar at the School of Business at Villanova University, USA. Lea is internationally recognised and has published and presented in the United Kingdom, Canada, U.S.A., Asia and Europe. Lea was named the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management Educator of the Year in 2004, received an Australian University Individual Teaching Excellence Award from the Prime Minister in 2007 as well as team Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning from the Australian Government’s Office for Teaching and Learning in 2013. Lea was the Co-Director of the 4th Australian Positive Psychology and Wellbeing Conference and is the Chair of the Scientific Committee for the 4th World Congress of Positive Psychology. Lea is a member on the advisory board for the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI). In 2005 she was awarded the Elton Mayo Prize by the Australian College of Organisational Psychologists in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the field of organisational psychology. In 2009 and 2010 she has been included in the Marquis Who’s Who in the World for her outstanding research.


  • 2010–present
    Associate Professor, Director Master in School Leadership, Melbourne Graduate School of Education
  • 2014–present
    Professor, Director of Centre for Positive Psychology, Melbourne Graduate School of Education
  • 1998–2009
    Associate Professor, Deputy Director of Master of Applied Commerce, Faculty of Business and Commerce, University of Melbourne


  • 1998 
    Deakin University, PhD (Organisational Psychology)
  • 1992 
    University of Melbourne, BA(Hons) (Psychology)

Professional Memberships

  • Australian Psychological Society
  • International Positive Psychology Association

Research Areas

  • Education (13)
  • Educational Administration, Management And Leadership (130304)
  • Psychology (1701)
  • Organisational Behaviour (150311)
  • Industrial And Organisational Psychology (170107)