Mary-Lou O'Brien

Mary-Lou has had a very varied background with an extensive cross-sectoral history across education, travel and tourism, recruitment and retail. She has the rare gift of being a creative and strategic thinker, coupling that with her genuine interest in others she has the ability to quickly turn thoughts into actions. 

In 1997 she became one of Australia’s internet pioneers when she launched Australia’s first online retail business, Australia Presents. She later moved across to education after obtaining a Masters in eBusiness and Communication and a Diploma in Vocational Education and Training. Mary-Lou worked at Swinburne University as an eLearning Leader for the School of Business, a Course Convenor and lecturer of eMarketing, eCommerce, Change Management and eBusiness Systems. She moved to Melbourne Girls Grammar (MGGS) in 2009 to take up the role of Director of eLearning and she, and her team successfully transformed learning at MGGS by introducing online environments that extended the student’s capacity to learn independently and collaboratively.

To complete the digital transformation at MGGS she accepted the role of Chief Digital Officer in January 2017, and whilst this role encompassed what was previously eLearning, she oversaw the complete digital ecosystem to ensure it delivered on the School’s strategic intent and to fortify the School’s place at the leading edge of education innovation.

During her ten-year tenure at MGGS, Mary-Lou worked across numerous departments and teams including: eLearning, IT, Library Services, Business Services, CEE (Centre for Educational Enterprise), Community and Marketing. Mary-Lou was instrumental in a number of major projects across the School including the introduction of the Learning Management System eVI in 2010, instigating the first MYSET (Middle Years Science & Enterprise Tour) and SYSET (Senior Years Science & Enterprise Tour) Tours, the development of the Centre for Educational Enterprise (CEE), three major building projects, the move to BYOT (bring your own technology), the development of an avatar called eVI who represented the learning environment at the School and in her role as CDO the upgrade to the I.T. infrastructure to ensure the School was well situated for a succession plan to keep them well placed moving forward with cyber security, privacy and cyber safety at the fore.

Mary-Lou has also presented at conferences both nationally and internationally on digital transformation and architecture, online and blended learning, women in tech., social media, future of work, creativity, cybersafety and personal branding.

Further details on her projects, references, work history and qualifications can be viewed on LinkedIn.

Conference Presentations: 

  • 2017 Mar Future Schools Conference presentation & panel session, Melbourne.
  • 2017 Q & A with Schoolbox
  • 2017 Jun EduTech, Sydney.
  • 2017 Aug Schoolbox LMS Annual Conference, Melbourne.
  • 2018 Feb CDO Summit, Sydney.
  • 2018 May World Disrupt Forum, Sydney.
  • 2018 May AIS ICT Managers Conference, Canberra.
  • 2019 Feb Schoolbox LMS Annual Conference, Melbourne.
  • 2019 June Clariden 3rd Digital Innovations & Blended Learning Conference, Sydney.         
  • 2019 July Clariden 3rd Digital Innovations & Blended Learning Conference, Melbourne.
  • 2019 Jul AIS ICT Managers Conference, Queensland.
  • 2019 Jul The Educators Leadership Conference, Melbourne.
  • 2020 Oct Learning Revolution’s Home Learning Summit
  • 2020 Nov (Re)Learn: The Learning Innovation Festival

Interviews and Webinars for 2020 in a post-COVID new world:

2021 Interviews and Presentations

6 April 2021 Edugrowth Panellist. Guest moderator Tim Watts facilitated this #K12 conversation with speakers Mary-Lou O’Brien and Gary Vella. They explored collaboration in classrooms, the effect of technology on parents, and more.

14 May 2021 Keynoted for Global Victoria’s first Virtual Edtech Trade Mission to Latin America.

18 August 2021 Edutech Conference Panel: How to get Principal support for your IT Project

Speaking at the 2018 World Disrupt Forum, Sydney

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