Dr Debra McDermott

Presenting : Leadership for well-being and happiness: Positive psychology in an Australian university language centre in the UAE.

Dr Debra McDermott has been an English language instructor, teacher trainer and academic administrator in the UK, South America and the Middle East for more than 25 years. She started her career with the British Council and has since worked in several higher education institutions as well as a bank training department and a training consultancy. She is currently Director of the University of Wollongong in Dubai College which comprises an active language centre offering courses in English and Arabic, and a large test centre providing IELTS and OET exams to more than 1,000 candidates per month.  Debra’s research interests include learner motivation, graduate employability, and teacher credibility.  Experienced in managing multi-cultural teams, she strongly believes in a collegial, collaborative and constructive approach to both teaching and leadership.  This led to an interest in positive psychology as a means of effecting organizational development and enhancement which acknowledges, draws on, and builds on the talents and qualities of individuals.   Debra has spoken at numerous conferences, most recently in Austria, Indonesia and the UAE.