QLD Branch President & National Director - Deborah Kember

Elizabeth Benson Mark Campling Karen Fox
Alexander Mason Sandra Nissen Lee-Anne Perry 
Martyn Savage Holly O'Sullivan Williams Tracey Cook
Liz Foster Racquel Gibbons

Deborah Kember - BHMS (ed) Qld, GradDipEd(CompEd) QUT, MEd QUT, PhD QUT. FACEL

ACEL QLD Branch President

Deb has dedicated her career to improving school education for young people in Australia and New Zealand as a teacher, school and system leader, university staff member and professional association leader. She began her teaching career in Queensland as Head of Department Sport, Health & Physical Education and Geography.

Deb is currently a Director in the State Schools Division of the Queensland Department of Education and Training working on system wide evidence-informed improvement. Establishing the State Schools Evidence Hub, supporting common languages and processes is a career highlight.

Career highlights include establishing the Australian Institute for Teaching & School Leadership in Brisbane; working on the first draft of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers; contributing to the establishment of the Learning Place, DET’s eLearning environment; and working with the Queensland University of Technology oz-Teachernet team who pioneered teaching and learning using the internet.

Deb joined ACEL in 2005 to broaden her thinking about leadership and professional learning. She has been a member of the Queensland Branch Executive since 2013, becoming a Fellow in 2014 then Queensland Branch President and a National Director.

Elizabeth Benson - Grad DipEd (DU), BBM (Mon U ),MEdL (MU),MACEL

Branch Executive Member

Liz is currently School Improvement Officer in the South East Region (DET), having moved to the Gold Coast, from Victoria 18 months ago. Liz’s most recent role in a school was as Learning Leader in a Victorian Secondary School. Liz’s passion is working with middle leaders and principals to create collaborative cultures and structures for school improvement. Liz has consulted to the Victorian Association of Secondary School Principals, facilitating workshops and conference presentations on creating professional learning communities and practitioner action research. Liz has also taught in the Northern Territory Catholic system and at Monash University.

Liz has been granted a Masters in Educational Leadership from Melbourne University, Graduate Diploma in Education (Deakin University) and a Bachelor of Business Management from Monash University (First Class Honours).

Since moving to the Gold Coast Liz has worked with a wide range of government primary and secondary schools to support them to implement effective reading pedagogy and collaborative practices. Liz is keen to learn more about education in Queensland and contribute positively to the teaching profession through ACEL.

Mark Campling - Dip T (MGCAE), BEd. St (UQ), FACELQ

Branch Executive Member

Mark is Regional Director of Metropolitan Region, the largest, fastest growing region in Queensland with over 28% of state school enrolments, 1/3 of Early Childhood Education and Care facilities and over 560 Registered Training Organisations. Mark is leading the Building Future Schools Fund, which includes the construction of two new high-rise schools in inner city Brisbane. He took on the role to tie the work back into the region, and to deliver modern facilities with learning spaces for holistic education enhanced by key partnerships with the Queensland University of Technology and the University of Queensland.

Mark has over three decades of principal and executive experience across a diverse range of schools and regions in Queensland. He was appointed Regional Director in March 2014 after five years as an Assistant Director-General, in State Schools Division. As Assistant Director-General, Mark oversaw the state-wide delivery of the Curriculum into the Classroom (C2C) project, Teaching and Learning Audits and the introduction of Independent Public Schools. As Regional Director, Mark has embedded a strong culture of differentiated support for principals with an emphasis of developing professional learning communities focused on school improvement.

Mark has more than 20 years’ experience as a Principal in primary, secondary and P-12 schools across Queensland. He is a Life Member and former Vice-President of the Queensland Association of State School Principals. The performance and welfare of students has been the moral compass for all of Mark’s work.

Karen Fox - BA (UQ), Dip Ed (UQ),Grad Dip Media (AFTRS), M Ed (USQ), FACELQ

Branch Executive Member

Having enjoyed a career as a secondary school teacher across all sectors, Karen has also fulfilled a number of senior leadership positions. She is currently working across a range of projects in curriculum policy, research and development, the facilitation of professional learning for educators and other professionals, and in school governance. Karen has also worked within the corporate sector in the development of programs associated with leadership and organisational culture. She has taught and developed courses in education and communications at the tertiary level.

Karen has been an active member of ACEL since 2006, firstly through the Darling Downs Local Area Network, and since 2015, within the Queensland Branch Executive. Karen was admitted to as a Fellow of ACEL (QLD) in 2012.

Karen’s professional and research interests focus on the processes required to develop cultures of learning, enhanced collaboration through evidence-based decision-making, and the integral role of assessment for learning. She has a particular interest in building leadership capacity for middle, as well as for senior leadership teams, and her abiding passion is to seek all opportunities to advocate for the teaching profession as a vocation of hope and a source of leadership for the broader community.

Alexander Mason - BA (UQ), LLB (UQ), Grad Dip Ed (QUT), MACE, MACEL

Branch Executive Member

Alexander is a senior humanities teacher who has filled several curriculum and pastoral care roles in middle and senior school. He has qualifications in international relations, history, and law, and prior to joining the profession of teaching, worked as a construction lawyer, developing skills directly relevant to educational leadership.

In 2016, he was awarded an ACEL 'New Voice in School Leadership' scholarship and subsequently worked with the Queensland Branch Executive sub-committee to craft ‘A Statement of Commitment to the Profession of Teaching’. He is a former Co-Chair of the Brisbane Metropolitan Group of the Australian College of Educators.

Through his work with ACEL and similar forums, he seeks every opportunity to collaborate with peers and fellow practitioners in order to contribute meaningfully to policy and practice within the Australian teaching profession.

Dr Sandra Nissen - B.Sc.(Hons I), Dip. Ed. (UQ), PhD (ANU), MEd (QUT), MACEL

Branch Executive Member

Sandra started her teaching career as a Science teacher and moved into roles with a focus on leading professional development and teaching and learning within P-12 schools.  She has worked in all three sectors and is currently a Master Teacher at Lowood SHS.  Sandra has also spent time as a Senior Project Officer for AITSL, consultant for ISQ, and an online coach for WIDE World based at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Sandra studied Science, and then Education, at The University of Queensland, before completing a PhD in Chemistry at the Australian National University.  She has been awarded the Peter Doherty Postgraduate Scholarship for excellence in Science Education.  More recently she has completed a Masters in Education at the Queensland University of Technology, and was awarded a scholarship to complete the Advanced Leadership Program with Nesli. 

Sandra aims to deliver professional learning that is more than a one-off event.  Ongoing professional collaboration can empower people to continue to reflect upon, and improve, their practice.  Sandra has been a member of ACEL for more than 15 years.  She is passionate about the role of professional networks in supporting existing (and emerging) leaders to access new ideas, engage in ongoing reflection and build understanding. 

Dr Lee-Anne Perry AM - BEd (Hons), MEd, EdD, Dip CL, FACEL, FACE, GAICD

Branch Executive Member

Dr Lee-Anne Perry is the Executive Director of the Queensland Catholic Education Commission. Prior to her appointment to this role in 2015, Dr Perry was Principal of All Hallows’ School, Brisbane, and provided outstanding leadership to that community for over 16 years. Dr Perry also served as Principal of Mt Alvernia College, Kedron and of Mt Carmel College, Wynnum following a teaching career in state and Catholic schools both in New South Wales and Queensland. Dr Perry holds a Doctor of Education from the Queensland University of Technology, a Master of Education, Bachelor of Education (First Class Honours) and Diploma of Christian Leadership.

Over many years Dr Perry was a member and Deputy Chair of the Queensland Catholic Education Commission. She has taken on leadership roles and made active contributions on Executive Committees of Principals’ Associations and curriculum and educational leadership boards including the Queensland Studies Authority. Dr Perry is currently the Deputy Chancellor of Queensland University of Technology, a member of the QUT Council, Chancellor’s Committee and Planning and Resources Committee. She is also a Director of the Queensland Education Leadership Institute (QELi). Lee-Anne is a Fellow of ACEL.

Martyn Savage - BEd, Grad Dip RE, MEdL, MACEL

Branch Executive Member

Martyn is currently the Principal of St Anthony’s, a large catholic primary school located at Alexandra Hills, Brisbane. He has been a Principal and Assistant Principal for over 11 years and has worked across many schools throughout Brisbane and in Ontario, Canada.

Martyn holds a Bachelor of Education, a Graduate Diploma in Religious Education and a Masters of Educational Leadership. In 2014 he completed a Leadership and Management Program in the Columbia Business School Executive Education, Columbia University New York.

Martyn is passionate about establishing effective and positive relationships with students and their families, and the staff of the school, and believes that this is the key to creating a culture of trust. Connecting with students and their families regularly and displaying authentic interest in the students will build a culture where teachers, students and families work together to assist to achieve improved student learning and achievement. It is more about emotional connectedness than cognitive or physical connectedness. Students will forget most of what we made them think but they will never forget how we made them feel.

Holly O'Sullivan - MEd (QUT), MDramaEd (GU) , BEd (QUT), BA (QUT), MACEL

Branch Executive Member

Holly is Dean of Students and Academic Welfare (Years 7 -9) at St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School. Her previous leadership roles included Drama Coordinator, Head of Year 10 and Director of Community Engagement at Hillbrook Anglican School as well as Student Management Leader for Year 9, School Speech Night Co-ordinator and Basement Arts' Co-founder (a community theatre company for past/future students and parents). Holly has led lectures and workshops at various Drama Queensland conferences and explored how dramatic conventions can be used as a tool for change in a whole school context in her postgraduate studies. Holly has also worked in both Japan and the United Kingdom. 

Holly joined ACEL in 2013 to engage with educational leaders from across the profession. She was co-opted to the ACEL Queensland Executive in 2014, joining the Awards Committee. In 2017, she was elected to the Queensland Branch Executive and is now Awards Committee Chair. She believes that ACEL is valuable for all teachers and administrators who have a keen interest in leadership.  She is determined to ensure that ACEL continues to provide innovative opportunities for teachers to engage in educational leadership and contribute to creating strong, focused and contemporary thinking leaders and schools.   

Tracey Cook - BEd (GU) MACEL

Branch Executive Member

Tracey is a Lead Principal (Capability) in State Schools Performance, Department of Education. Tracey’s passion is investing in the capability and growth of school leaders to positively influence and impact their learning communities.

Tracey has over two decades of educational and executive experience across a diverse range of schools and roles in Queensland. Her broad leadership experience spans across roles as a Principal of three secondary schools, a School leader, principal advisor, principal project officer, Head of Department and Teacher. Tracey is an executive member of the Queensland College of Teachers Professional Standards Committee and is an AITSL trained assessor of Initial Teacher Education programs. Tracey is a Queensland delegate for AITSL’s Leading for Impact and a mentor for the Women in Leadership program.

Tracey is substantively a Principal of a Secondary State High School, proud to have facilitated the transformation of a learning community with a focus on building a culture of leading and learning. She has won a National Innovative Schools Award, an NAB State Award for Community Impact, Regional Leadership Awards and published articles on Educational Leadership.

Liz Foster - BEd MACEL

Branch Executive Member

Liz is currently the Principal of MacGregor State High School in Brisbane. Over the past 15 years, she has served in leadership positions at Ferny Grove State High School, Stretton State College and Kelvin Grove State College.

Liz has an interest in the development of educational leaders and the building of high performing team cultures. She facilitates with the Metropolitan Leaders Program, recognised by ACELQ in 2018, and mentors both school and tertiary leaders. She regularly presents at seminars and conferences for Queensland University of Technology, University of Queensland, Department of Education, Property Council of Queensland and the Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation.

In 2015, she was appointed as chair of the Advisory Board for the Faculty of Education, Queensland University of Technology and is a member of the Principals Advisory Committee for the Department of Education.

Liz has been a member of ACEL since 2012 and continues to advocate for the opportunities and importance of professional organisations, which enable us to stretch boundaries in thinking through conversations, research and practice.

Racquel Gibbons - BEd (QUT), MACEL

Branch Executive Member

Racquel is the Acting Assistant Director-General for the School Improvement Unit, Queensland Department of Education. She is leading the monitoring and support of school performance through school reviews.

Raquel has led student learning in primary schools across Queensland, from Central Queensland, to the Darling Downs and the Gold Coast. While Principal at Mabel Park State School, she took on a system leadership role to redesign state-wide support for performance development processes as well as tutoring education students at Griffith University.

In recent times, Racquel supported many more schools in their improvement efforts working as Assistant Regional Director in the Metropolitan Region. She worked closely with the Queensland Education and Leadership Institute to design and develop leadership and mentoring programs for our next cohort of school leaders.

Raquel is a passionate advocate for early childhood education and equality. She believes that supporting the next generation of the teaching profession is an important responsibility for all educational leaders.