QLD Branch President - Karen Fox

Bruce Addison Elizabeth Benson Lee Catterall
Tracey lee Cook Elizabeth Foster Racquel Gibbons
Tameika Grist Norman Hunter Alexander Mason
Sandra Nissen John O'Sullivan Williams

Karen Fox

ACEL QLD Branch President

Having enjoyed a long career as an educator across all sectors, Karen has fulfilled a number of senior leadership positions with a focus on curriculum, teaching and learning, leadership development, and more recently, in school governance. Karen has designed and facilitated educational and leadership courses at school and tertiary level and has worked within the corporate and professional services sector in the development of programs associated with leadership and organisational culture. Karen has recently worked on targeted curriculum projects through the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority and with schools and other organisations in culture and strategic planning, and through mentoring early career teachers and leaders.

Karen has been an active member of ACEL since 2006 and an elected member of the ACEL Queensland Branch executive member since 2017. She was admitted as a Fellow of ACEL (QLD) in 2012.

Karen is committed to developing and sustaining professional dialogue across all school sectors, all levels of education and policy development, and through acknowledgment of the important role of members of the broader educational community, including researchers, parents, and those in system and school governance. 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.

Bruce Addison - BA, BBus (Econ), BEdSt, PhD, MAICD, FACE, FACELQ

Branch Executive Member

After commencing work in the world of commercial banking, thirty years have now passed in the Independent Education sector. Currently I am Deputy Principal (Academic) at Brisbane Girls Grammar School. Along the way it was a privilege to have co-ordinated and taught postgraduate subjects in both curriculum and leadership at the University of Queensland. This experienced helped to further shape my understanding and practice of educational leadership.

Schools to me are the essential bedrock of our civil society. The teaching profession needs strong advocates and this is why peak bodies such as ACEL are so very important.

I enjoy reading and writing and have published in a number of internationally peer reviewed and national editor reviewed journals. One of the core areas of my work revolves around teacher professional growth and practice. When not enmeshed in schools and education, my garden is my quiet place to tend, rest and restore.


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

Branch Executive Member

Liz is currently Principal Program Officer – Leadership Development in the Queensland Department of Education and an Australian Council of Educational Leaders Queensland Branch Executive Board Member. Her previous roles include: Deputy Principal, Director Pedagogy and School Improvement Officer in the QLD South East Region (DET).

In 2018 Liz established the ACELQ Pivotal People Middle Leaders network on the Gold Coast. Pivotal People is a professional collegial network for educators in middle leadership that aims to create engaging and intellectually stimulating conversations with educators about issues important to middle leaders.

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 Business Faculty 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).

Lee Catterall

Branch Executive Member

Lee has worked in both private and public education sectors throughout NSW and QLD for more than 35 years. During her career Lee has held numerous key leadership roles. Lee has been in her current role as the Deputy Head of Ormiston College for the past five years. Lee was promoted to this role after a five year tenure as the Head of Junior School. Ormiston College is a P-12 coeducational non-denominational Christian College of 1400 students and is located in the Redlands.

Key achievements in Lee’s almost ten years at the College include playing a key role in the development of the College’s award winning Teaching and Learning Framework, redefining the Student Wellbeing Framework and expanding Service Learning programs for students aligned to the Christian Values of the College.

Lee is a highly dedicated and motivated educational leader who is focussed on achieving the best outcomes for all students. She holds a Bachelor of Education, Diploma in Teaching and is currently studying a Diploma in Counselling. Lee is an active member of IPSHA, an aspiring Leader within AHISA and current member of ACEL.

In 2019 Lee was proud to be presented with an ACEL award for Excellence in Educational Leadership. Aside from her leadership role, Lee actively engages in the co-curricular life of the College most notably through her love of and talent in music, conducting and inspiring a Junior School choir of over 80 Prep to Year 2 students.

Lee believes that ACEL is an incredibly important educational organisation for teachers and leaders and looks forward to making a positive contribution as part of the Queensland Branch Executive in the future.

Tracey lee 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.

Elizabeth 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 Education Improvement Branch, 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.

Tameika Grist

Branch Executive Member

Tameika is a passionate learner, keen to share the joy of improving education with all she works with. She is committed to finding research based approaches to stimulate practice in schools. Tameika has a long held interest in developing teachers, and is committed to developing leaders and teachers within her own school and beyond, to be pivotal forces for change in their environment.

Tameika has been working in education for over 25 years, from early childhood education through to senior secondary. She actively seeks ways to collaborate with educators across all sectors in person and online, within her region, State, Nationally and Internationally, building and sharing knowledge that will benefit all students in all schools. Previously based in Tasmania, Tameika also enjoyed serving the educational sector through her involvement with the ACEL Branch Executive, including the role of Tasmania Branch President and National Board Director. Her ongoing focus is to develop the skills and mindset that will enable students of all ages to be effective learners for life.

Tameika is currently Xavier Catholic College’s, Head of School (Secondary).

Norman Hunter

Branch Executive Member

Norm Hunter OAM is an educational consultant with a particular focus on leadership and strategic thinking. He has a special interest in school culture, believing it to be the major factor in a school’s effectiveness. Norm was a founding Co-Principal, then Principal of Hillbrook Anglican School in Brisbane. Previously he was a primary teacher, an education sergeant in the Pacific Islands Regiment in Papua-New Guinea, and a secondary teacher of English and Modern History.

Qualifications - Norm has a Certificate of Teaching from Kelvin Grove Teachers' College, a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Queensland, and a Master of Education (Leadership and Management) from the University of Southern Queensland for which he was awarded the Dean's Commendation for Outstanding Achievement.

Recognition - Norm’s contribution to Queensland and Australian education has been recognised through national Fellowships of the Australian Council for Educational Leaders and the Australian College of Educators. He has been awarded the Biennial ACE Queensland Medal, the ACEL Excellence in Educational Leadership and Nganakarrawa Awards, and the Medal of the Order of Australia for his services to educational leadership.

Alexander Mason - BA, LLB, Grad Dip Ed, Grad Dip Leg Prac, FACELQ

Branch Executive Member

Alexander is currently Leader of Teaching and Innovation at St Peters Lutheran College Springfield and has filled several curriculum and student wellbeing roles across middle and senior schools.

He has qualifications in international relations, history and law, and prior to joining the teaching profession, he worked as a construction lawyer developing skills directly relevant to educational leadership.

A past recipient of an ACEL 'New Voice in School Leadership' scholarship in 2016, he worked with the Queensland Branch Executive sub-committee to craft ‘A Statement of Commitment to the Profession of Teaching’.

Through his work with ACEL 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), FACELQ

Branch Executive Member

Sandra works with school and system leaders to support strategic planning, effective professional development and quality teaching and learning. Starting out as a Science teacher, Sandra has taken on Director roles in Teaching & Learning and Professional Learning in P-12 schools. She has also worked for AITSL, consulted for ISQ and continues to coach within online courses for Project Zero (Harvard Graduate School of Education). She has worked in all three sectors and is currently supporting State Schools within the Department of Education in Queensland.

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. She focused on research in professional learning, leadership, and career development during her Masters in Education. Sandra was awarded a scholarship to complete the Advanced Leadership Program with Nesli. In 2019 Sandra was recognised as a fellow of ACELQ.

Sandra has been a member of ACEL for more than 15 years. She is passionate about the role of professional associations and networks in supporting existing (and emerging) leaders to access new ideas, engage in ongoing reflection and build understanding.

John O'Sullivan Williams - MEd (QUT), BEd (QUT), BA (QUT), MACEL

Branch Executive Member

John is currently the Head of Middle School at West Moreton Anglican College. Over the course of 20 years, he has served in a number of pastoral and curriculum leadership positions across Queensland independent schools as well as working further afield in Japan and the United Kingdom.

John has a passion for developing leaders. In 2019 he was awarded an ACEL ‘New Voice in School Leadership’ scholarship for his work with emerging leaders across multiple contexts. His recent work has seen him focus on developing leadership in early career teachers and ultimately, challenging attrition rates.

Continuing to develop leaders across online platforms and physical environments remains a priority for John, ensuring that ACEL remains relevant and well represented for our educational leaders.