In 2010 Gillian was awarded the MNZM for Services to Education.
Gillian has had extensive experience in secondary and tertiary teaching and educational leadership in the New Zealand public and independent school sectors.
- Secondary teacher of mathematics and computing and principal lecturer and Head of Mathematics Education at the Christchurch College of Education.
- President of the Canterbury Mathematics Association and a member of the Third International Mathematics and Science Survey Advisory Committee
- Team leader for the New Zealand Mathematical Olympiad teams in Sweden and Moscow and a member of the New Zealand Mathematical Olympiad Executive Committee.
- Principal of Rangi Ruru Girls’ School , a top ranking and highly regarded independent school in Christchurch, for nearly fourteen years
- President of the Association of Heads of Independent Schools (NZ) and deputy chair of the NZ Independent Schools Council.
- Founding director (co-principal) of Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti (now Ao Tawhiti), an innovative secondary school which was established in 2003 and has attracted international interest for its educational philosophy and design.
- Guardian of the Secondary Futures project which ran for six years from 2003 to 2009 and developed a co-constructed future vision for New Zealand education
- Advisor in Educational Leadership (Support Services) and mentor for First Time Principals Programme
- Advisor and educational strategist for the NZUWC (United World College) Trust
- Advisor to a number of educational institutions and organizations and an Affiliate of CORE.