NSW Branch President - Kylie Lipscombe

Michael Bezzina Tony Bracken Sue Bryen
Suzanne Fern Joanne Jarvis Rhonda Kaidbay
Kirsten Claire Macaulay Kristen Joy Murray Brad Russell
Andrea Stringer Gregory B Whitby

Dr Kylie Lipscombe

ACEL NSW Branch President

Dr Kylie Lipscombe is Senior Lecturer and researcher and Associate Academic Program Director of postgraduate studies in Educational Leadership at the University of Wollongong. She has 20 years experience in educational organisations such as schools and university. Kylie is passionate about the nexus between educational leadership and practice, and how leading impacts both teacher and student learning practices. Her program of research works closely with leaders, teachers and children in the fields of educational leadership, middle leadership, teacher collaboration, and professional learning. She is a keen contributor and leader in professional associations and is currently the academic leader of the NSW Department of Education Aspiring Principals Leadership program.

Michael Bezzina - BA(Hons), DipEd, MEdStuds, PhD., FACEL, FACE

Branch Executive Member

Michael Bezzina has been Director of Bezzina Consulting since 2018. He specialises in assisting schools and systems to build capacity in leading for learning. His previous role was as Director of Teaching and Learning at Sydney Catholic Schools. Prior to this he was Director of the Centre for Creative and Authentic Leadership and Head of the School of Educational Leadership at ACU and Director of Religious Education and Educational Services at Catholic Education Parramatta. He has been a secondary school teacher, school leader, teacher educator, consultant, evaluator, system administrator, process facilitator and researcher.

He is a fellow of both ACEL and ACE. He has received the Patrick Duignan Award from ACEL, and an Outstanding Educator Award, and the Ron Ikin award from ACE. He holds an adjunct Professorship at ACU.

Dr Tony Bracken

Branch Executive Member

Tony Bracken’s current role is Assistant Director School Improvement at the Catholic Schools Office Broken Bay Diocese, NSW, with recent experience as Acting Director of Schools. In 2016 he received a Leadership Award for his leadership role in Leading Learning in Broken Bay, and in 2019 was awarded a Fellowship with ACEL NSW.

Prior professional experience includes a senior role at the Catholic Education Office in Parramatta and beforehand a secondary principal.

Tony has continued to maintain academic contact with the university sector, including sessional lecturing role in the Masters of Educational Leadership at Australian Catholic University and past or current advisory roles with two other universities. For two years he contributed to the National Policy Committee of the Australian College of Educators and coordinated the national response to the Chief Scientist’s national report on a science nation.

Tony’s continued work with ACEL reflects a deep commitment to the advancement of the profession by contributing to the capability of educational leaders to face into the challenges and opportunities in a period of rapid change.

Sue Bryen

Branch Executive Member

Sue Bryen is a Professional Learning Leader at Corwin Australia. This role includes working with school leadership teams and teachers to plan and implement school wide improvement processes. Delivering and presenting seminars and workshops throughout Australia Sue has opportunity to promote and support communities of educational practice to use evidence based practice to improve student outcomes. Prior to this role Sue has held numerous positions within the NSW Department of Education since 1999 including Teacher, Instructional Leader and Principal. Sue is passionate about continual learning and has benefitted from undertaking a variety of leadership learning opportunities in NSW including the inaugural PPA Principal Credential, M.Ed (Educational Leadership) through UoW and is a Fellow of Leading Educators Across the Planet (LEAP). Sue intends to empower others through developing their self-efficacy and voice and sees the access to quality professional learning as key to promoting and enhancing equity for all learners.

Suzanne Fern

Branch Executive Member

Suzanne has worked in Catholic education for 40 years in Sydney and country NSW. She has enjoyed over 25 years in leadership including her current role as Head of Teaching and Learning Services for the Diocese of Maitland Newcastle. Prior to that she was the Foundation Principal for the newest Primary school in the Diocese – St Aloysius Catholic Primary School, Chisholm.

Suzanne has always sought opportunities to serve and contribute to the broader education community. Current and previous roles include working for or representing NESA, ACSP, AITSL, ACEL, ACE, IEU and PAI. She was awarded the John Laing Professional Development Award in 2015. Suzanne is enthusiastic and passionate about leading and learning in collaborative and creative ways based on evidence based research.

Joanne Jarvis

Branch Executive Member

Joanne Jarvis is the Director of the NSW School Leadership Institute (SLI). She is passionate about public education and the role that a dynamic, future-focussed education system can play to enable young people to see the world as full of possibilities, empowered to determine their own futures. Joanne is a highly experienced, successful NSW secondary school principal, leading significant cultural change to achieve whole-school improvement. She has expertise in assessment, curriculum development and school leadership and has been an active contributor to the professional learning of teachers and school leaders throughout NSW over an extensive period of time. Joanne was the recipient of a Public Education Foundation Scholarship and is a member of the executive of the NSW Australian Council of Educational Leadership (ACEL). She is also a NSW and a National Fellow of ACEL.

Rhonda Kaidbay

Branch Executive Member

Rhonda is a passionate education leader with extensive experience in leading and managing quality teaching across different curriculum areas and stage groups. Rhonda started her teaching career in 2001 in South West Sydney. Since then she has worked in an American International School in Abu Dhabi teaching the International Baccalaureate curriculum. She returned to Sydney and the NSW Department of Education (DoE) to become a quality teaching and literacy consultant for the Northern Sydney Region. Rhonda has also worked with NESA's assessment branch and the well-being team with the NSW DoE. She is an active member in Project Zero Sydney's steering committee and is passionate about quality teaching and learning and best pedagogical practices. Rhonda is currently teaching the Head Teacher of Social Sciences and Languages at Ryde Secondary College.

Kirsten Macaulay

Branch Executive Member

Kirsten’s is the Director of Teaching at St Andrew’s Cathedral School. Her professional interests are both encouraging teacher efficacy and excellence in teaching.

As the Director of Teacher, Kirsten leads her team to develop professional learning based on evidence and best practice informed through current research. She also mentors, supervises and supports teachers to professionally build their capacity through all Accreditation processes.

Kirsten’s professional commitment to educational leadership includes presenting at conferences on Teaching Practices and Accreditation drawing on her experiences as a Music Educator, ex-NESA Chief Examiner (Music), Educational Researcher, Accreditation Supervisor (NESA and AIS) and Assessor (ISTAA). She is currently completing her Doctoral thesis on how teachers use questions to activate deep thinking and learning in students and is passionate about connecting educators to learn and grow professionally.

Kirsten’s teaching excellence has been recognised with National awards from the Australian College of Educators (ACE, NSW) and the “Outstanding Professional Service Award” from the Australian Society of Music Educators (ASME, NSW). Before her current role, Kirsten has 25+ years of experience as an Educational Leader, Head of Department and teacher.

Kristen Murray

Branch Executive Member

Kristen Murray has a background as a school and system leader in the Department of Education. She has extensive experience in research based professional learning, quality pedagogy and innovation. Her drive for all students to be exposed to strong meaningful teaching and life worthy learning has its roots in her leadership in low socio-economic schools and as a visual arts and gifted and talented teacher. She is passionate about empowering leaders, teachers and students to become curious learners and critical and creative thinkers.

Currently Kristen is a consultant helping teachers and school leaders use innovative practices to develop their students’ skills in deep learning and critical and creative thinking.

Brad Russell

Branch Executive Member

Dr Brad Russell is currently the NSW Department of Education Director, School Agency and Digital Leadership.

Brad has extensive experience in designing, implementing and leading professional learning for educational leaders and teachers. His areas of expertise and research include reading, effective pedagogy and standards based practice.

The cohesion and alignment of systems, policies, procedures and practices based on research are the drivers for Brad’s work. He is regarded as an innovator, leader and collaborator by his colleagues and peers.

Brad’s interests are collective responsibility for social cohesion and building social capital, gardening and Greyhound Adoption. He has been awarded the NSW ACEL Fellowship and a previous recipient of the NSW Premier’s Award for Education.

Andrea Stringer

Branch Executive Member

Qualified as a K-6 teacher by NESA, Andrea has a global perspective on education as she is credentialed in Washington and California. She has a Master of Education that focused on Primary Mathematics and a Graduate Certificate in Gifted Education. Andrea received the Keith Tronc Award in 2015 for most outstanding teacher and is on the editorial board of School Leadership & Management Journal. As managing consultant for NSW/ACT at Growth Coaching International, Andrea’s role incorporates coaching leaders and educators, facilitating workshops and strategic planning. She believes that an educator's professional learning should be personalised and empowering. Andrea has a passion for supporting women who aspire to be educational leaders and her doctoral research focuses on coaching in education.

Gregory Whitby

Branch Executive Member

Greg Whitby is a teacher, advocate, administrator and leader. His mission to transform schooling for every child and young person is driven by a strong commitment to justice and equity.

As a Catholic Education leader in the Parramatta and Wollongong Dioceses in NSW, Greg has led significant cultural change with a focus on innovation, collaboration and investment in teachers’ learning. Prior to this, he was a teacher and school leader in government and Catholic schools. He has also lectured in the faculty of business at Western Sydney University.

Greg’s service to education has been recognised through the 2018 Australia Day Honours list with the award of the Australian Medal (AM) and the award of a Papal Knighthood in the Order of St Gregory the Great in 2013. He has received a presidential citation from the Australian Council of Educational Leaders and in 2017, he was awarded the Australian College of Educators Sir Harold Wyndham Medal for his contribution to the education of young people in NSW.

Over 20 years and particularly the last several years, Greg Whitby has led a system transformation of Catholic Schooling which has influenced the global provision of schooling.

Focusing on improving the outcomes for each student in every learning environment through great teaching he has challenged and driven change of both the learning and teaching and digital enablers to support new and innovative teacher practice.