Independent Directors

Christine Cawsey AM

MEd (Admin), BA, DipEd, FACEL

Christine Cawsey is the immediate past president of the NSW Secondary Principals’ Council (NSWSPC) and a former member of the executive Australian Secondary Principals’ Association. She is the current principal of Rooty Hill High School - a highly successful, cosmopolitan, and comprehensive 7 – 12 school in the western suburbs of Sydney.

From 2001 – 2005, Christine was a member of the Premier’s Council for Women. In 2007, she was awarded the National Awards for Quality Schooling for Excellence by a Principal and in April 2008, her book, Learning for Leadership (written with Michelle Anderson from ACER) was published. As a result, in December 2008 she was named one of Sydney’s 100 Most Influential People by the Sydney Morning Herald. In 2009, she was awarded the ACEL Hedley Beare Prize for Educational Writing by ACEL. Again, in 2011 she was recognised with the Macquarie University Alumni Award for Distinguished Service to her profession and in August 2011, was appointed to the Board of the AFL’s newest club, the GWS Giants.

Christine is also a member of the 2012 ACER LLEAP Board. She was made a member of the Order of Australia in January 2012 for her work as a principal and educational leader in western Sydney and joined the board of the Smith Family in January 2013.

Diane Joseph

Diane provides leadership and direction to the operations of one of the Territory’s largest directorates. She is responsible for advising the Minister on key strategic and policy issues, working with other agencies across Government, and providing strategic educational leadership to ACT public schools and their principals. She is accountable for 87 public schools educating over 43,000 young people, a staffing profile of 5800 educators and officers and an annual budget in the order of $1.1 billion.

Diane has played a key strategic role in influencing education policy at a local and national level. She was a Director of the Board of the Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) 2012-2015, Chair of the Senior Officials Group (AEEYSOC) for the COAG Education Council 2014, and an observor member on the Board of the Austrailan Curriulum and Reporting Authority (ACARA) 2014. She has provided significant input into progressing national On-Line Assessment.

As a public service leader Diane is known for her ability to work collaboratively and with integrity in integrating services across government, community and business to support every learner to remain engaged and to become a productive and responsible citizen. Her fundamental belief it is that it is vital that students leave our schools, our higher education institutions, and our training organisations, with expanded opportunities resulting from significant academic and personal growth

Ross Fox

Ross began as Executive Director of the National Catholic Education Commission in July 2013 leading the new commission which has been substantially reformed by the Bishops Commission for Catholic Education. In this role Ross is responsible for national policy development and advocacy on behalf of 1730 Catholic schools which enrol more than 760,000 students and receive almost $8billion in government funding. Prior to his current position Ross was the Director of Policy Research and Communications at the Catholic Education Office Melbourne and Executive Officer of the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria Ltd. He has been active in education policy at a state at national level in the non-government sector since 2007.

Ross was educated at UNSW (Bachelor of Engineering, First Class Honours) and Oxford University (Honours MA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics). He has a depth and range of practical and consultancy experience in a diversity of situations – from McKinsey & Company working across Australia and New Zealand as a management consultant to remote Indigenous communities in WA where he was a relief store manager and acting community development adviser. He has also worked in industry in business improvement roles and as a senior policy advisor.

Branch Appointed Directors

Australian Capital Territory

Ms Kerrie Blain

BA Dip Ed (Sydney), FACEL

Kerrie Blain trained as a teacher after completing an Arts Degree in Mathematics, Geology and Education and a Diploma of Education, at Newcastle University, NSW. After briefly teaching in North-West NSW, she continued her teaching career in Cambridge, where she taught in a variety of schools.

After returning to Australia with a small family, Kerrie spent many years in a parenting role. In 1998, she returned to a Mathematics teaching position at Alfred Deakin High School, Canberra. In 2002, she moved to Telopea Park School / Lycée Franco-Australien, a large bi-national (French and Australian) K to 10 government school, where she is currently the Principal.

As an ACEL National Board member and a long-standing member of the executive of the Canberra Branch, including the last 6 years as President, Ms Blain has been a committed advocate for ACEL. She has worked to increase the involvement of all sectors and has been instrumental in developing a cohesive executive team.

New South Wales

Ann McIntyre


Ann McIntyre is recognised for her work in effective teaching and leadership and school and system improvement.

Ann is an educational researcher and writer who provides powerful professional learning. Ann is an honorary in education at the University of Sydney and is the Australian national researcher for the International Teacher Policy Study with the University of Stanford in California.

As the Director of Professional Learning and Leadership Development in NSW she was driven by her deep understanding of the power of the alignment of teacher, leader, school and system learning and their impact on student outcomes. She led the development of professional frameworks, standards, programs and research. As superintendent of schools and school principal she received numerous excellence awards and while principal received a school quality assurance report stating “this school is on the leading edge of best practices in teaching and learning.” Ann was a key writer of the Great Teaching Inspired Learning teacher quality reform agenda in NSW.

As a result of her contribution to educational leadership Ann has been awarded; the Churchill Fellowship, the Vincent Fairfax Ethics in Leadership Award, the inaugural Sydney Leadership Award, the inaugural ACE Leadership in Professional Learning award, the ACEL Patrick Duignan award for Leadership, the NSW ACEL Fellowship and the National ACE Fellowship.


Northern Territory

Mr Tony Roberts

Dip Teaching (Queensland University of Technology); Bachelor of Education (University of South Australia)

Tony Roberts has worked as a teacher and principal in the Northern Territory for approximately 20 years. His school leadership roles range from principal in a one-teacher school to principal of larger schools including primary and secondary settings. Two years ago, he relocated to the Northern Territory. In this time Tony has been in the role of Director Schools Performance - Darwin and is currently Acting Executive Director for the Darwin and Katherine ranges.

In his role as a school principal, Tony has modeled exemplary practice in developing his own learning and, at the same time, demonstrated the power of the academic within the role of practicing principal. His ability to draw learning from a wide range of sources and translate that into challenging, engaging and practical learning for others is a reason his expertise is widely sought by others.

With the belief that successful learners have a better chance in life, his commitment to strengthening education has been built from the ground up from classrooms. Tony Roberts brings credit to ACEL and does much to maintain ACEL as the leading association for the wide range of educational leaders in Australia.


Dr Deborah Kember

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

Deb is a teacher by profession, with currently working as a Director in the State Schools Division of the Queensland Department of Education, Training and Employment. She has dedicated over 30 years to the school education sector In Australia and New Zealand as a project manager, policy developer, university lecturer, school leader and teacher

Deb’s belief in the power and excitement of collegial professional learning led her to take on leadership roles during her career such as President of the Queensland Society of Information Technology in Education, followed by President of the Joint Council of Queensland Teachers' Association. The latter role led to national professional community leadership that included the role of Vice-President of the Australian Joint Council of Teacher Professional Association and interim board member of Teaching Australia.

Deb joined ACEL in 2005 to broaden her thinking about leadership and learning. She has been a member of the Queensland Branch Executive since 2010, becoming a Fellow in 2014 then Queensland President and a National Director.


South Australia

Dr Jenny Stanley

Ed D, M Ed Management, B Ed, Dip T ECE, Cert PR.

Jenny currently divides her time between her roles as Principal Consultant for Practical Education Solutions and a lecturer in the Educational Leadership and Management program at Flinders University. She has extensive experience in the education sector as an early childhood educator, TAFE teacher and an educational administrator.

Her areas of interests and specialisation in education are student and parental engagement, quality improvement, governance and educational management.

Her previous roles as an education system administrator have included policy development, review and audit; quality improvement; program development; school and corporate governance.

Her Doctor of Education thesis, investigated student engagement with their education and retention in the senior years of schooling, resulting in the development of a program to support student engagement and the development of independent learning skills.

Jenny is a committed ACEL member and holds a number of positions in the organisation as:
•    President of the ACEL SA Branch
•    ACEL National Board member
•    Company Secretary
•    Chair of the ACEL Audit and Risk Committee,
•    Member of the ACEL Advocacy committee.


Ms Anne Foale

BA TasUni, Diploma of Teacher Libaraianship Tas Coll of Adv Edu., Grad Dip Teaching ACU, Master of Ed Leadership ACU, MACEL, MACE

During her career, Anne has been a Teacher in Tasmanian government schools and Tasmanian Catholic education. She has held senior leadership roles for past 20 years including Deputy Principal and Principal (currently Principal of St James Catholic College, Cygnet). Anne was the recipient of John Laing Award from Principals’ Australia in 2010. Anne was also a Member of the Tasmanian Branch of CaSPA and was on the organising committee for national conference of CaSPA in Hobart in 2010.

Her experience includes, but not limited to, providing professional opportunities for leaders in cross sectoral forums and raising the profile and public appreciation of teachers and leaders in education through the Awards program.

She believes that challenges are mostly around trying to meet the professional needs of a new generation of Leaders who are technically savvy and more selective about the tools and programs that will suit their developing needs – the ACEL’s Capability Framework is an excellent resource to keep in the fore front of this challenge.


Mr Jeremy Beard

B.Sc.Ed (Unimelb); M.Ed(Unimelb); ICF (GCI)

Jeremy has been a member of ACEL since 1995 and has been the President of ACEL Victoria since mid-2010. He has also been with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development since 1975.

Fulfilling many roles in schools before becoming the Principal at Koonung Secondary College, Jeremy was involved in a broad range of curriculum and professional learning initiatives. His most significant achievement is in initiating Australia’s largest annual teaching and learning conference in conjunction with Elaine Brownlow.

Most recently, he has taken up a leadership role in school improvement as the Regional Network Leader for 52 primary, secondary and special government schools in the Boroondara and Dandenong Ranges local government areas. In this role he has led a consortium of schools focussed upon data, assessment and collaborative teacher teams in partnership with the University of Melbourne. He has developed high level skills in analysing school and system data to assist schools in the development of evidence-based strategic plans centred on personalised student learning.

Western Australia

Mr Keith Newton

M Ed Man; B.A. Social Science FACEL

Keith is the President of ACEL WA. He has more than thirty years of work and research experience in the field of school review and improvement, innovation and educational leadership. He holds a position of Senior Lecturer at Edith Cowan University with particular responsibility in the Master of Education (Leadership) program. He is also the Director of Learning Programs for Fogarty EDvance (a school improvement program for low SES schools) run by the Fogarty Foundation and works with the Department of Education Services in the area of performance review for Independent Public Schools and non-government school registration.

Keith also works as a private consultant, to provide advice and background papers to government and non-government agencies and schools on matters relating to school governance, innovation, review and improvement, and leadership.

He has served as a teacher, Principal, District Director, Executive Director and Deputy Director-General of Schools in the then Department of Education and Training in Western Australia.