Victoria Branch

VIC Branch President - Annette Rome

Kara Baxter Hayley Dureau
Charlotte Forwood
David Gurr Fiona Hutton Steven Kolber
Fiona Longmuir Cameron Paterson
Ashley Pratt
Melissa Riley Lauren Sayer  

Annette Rome

ACEL VIC Branch President

Annette was previously on the senior executive of Lauriston, Wesley, MLC and Korowa and is passionate about the teaching profession. Though trained as neurophysiologist, her interests includes the education of young people to operate globally, ethically and knowledgeably. Her PhD on International Mindedness led to a ‘Certificate of Global Responsibility’ and opportunities to contribute to the work of the OECD in global competencies. This work was nominated for an Educator Innovation in Curriculum Award (2020). She is an IB Jeff Thompson Award winner for research on changing understandings of Indigenous ways of knowing.

She was member/coordinator of the CSE International Education Action Group and CSE Indigenous Education Focus Group and an adjunct lecturer at MGSE (University of Melbourne). She has written a significant number of science and education texts, articles and resources and has presented at over 30 national and international conferences. She was named on The Educator’s Hot List in Australia (2018) and in 2019 was in the Knowledge Review Top 10 Influential Educators in Australia. In her time at SMBG, the school has been shortlisted for The Educator Best Strategic Plan and named an Educator Australian Employer of Choice (2021, 2022). Annette was nominated for Principal of the Year (2023 - non-Government). Annette is an active member of ACEL and ACE and is honoured to be a National Fellow of both for over 10 years. She was also involved in the Practising Principals Certification (ACER). She has served on the national boards of ACE and The Songroom. She is a founding member of the JMB Foundation for young people with acquired brain injuries and was an active campaigner for the NDIS (2015). In 2022 she was appointed an Ambassador for Epilepsy Australia. Her passion in education is for the development of young people and educators so that they may become the best they can be for all humanity and the planet.

Kara Baxter

Branch Executive Member

Kara is the Dean of Teaching and Learning at Strathcona Girls Grammar. She is dedicated to fostering a culture of innovation, excellence, and professional growth. Prior to her role at Strathcona, Kara was the Deputy Principal Learning and Teaching at John Paul College and Head of Teaching and Learning 7-12 at Mentone Grammar. With a strong focus on innovation and continuous improvement, Kara has implemented transformative initiatives that have propelled teaching and learning and played a pivotal role in shaping the strategic vision of these institutions.

Kara holds a Master’s degree in Education Leadership and has presented at the CDES Psychology Conferences and HTAV Conferences. Kara is passionate about empowering educators with the necessary skills and knowledge to thrive in a rapidly evolving educational landscape

Throughout her career, she has led the design and implementation of comprehensive professional learning programs including the development of innovation in the classroom, pedagogy and wellbeing. In addition, she also created numerous leadership initiatives across the whole school, that embrace strategic, tactical and operational educational practices that center on teachers and students.

Hayley Dureau

Branch Executive Member

Hayley Dureau is an Assistant Principal at Mentone Girls’ Secondary College. In 2022 she was the Mathematics Master Teacher in the inaugural Teaching Excellence Program at the Victorian Academy of Teaching and Leadership. Prior to this, she held the position of Leading Teacher: Head of Student Voice at Mount Waverley Secondary College. Hayley holds a Master’s of Instructional Leadership and is a doctoral candidate (Doctorate of Education) at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education.

Hayley has shared her work in Student Voice with educators in Australia, and worldwide. She was a recipient of the national 2021 Commonwealth Bank Teaching Award and was named the Australian CHOOSEMATHS Outstanding Secondary Teacher Awards in 2018 by the Australian Mathematica Sciences Institute. As a recipient of the 2017 George Alexander Foundation Fellowship, Hayley undertook applied research in Student Voice and STEM Education in Denmark. In 2016 Hayley was name Victorian Department of Education and Training Outstanding Secondary Teacher of the Year and was a 2016 ACEL New Voice in Educational Leadership Scholar.

Charlotte Forwood

Branch Executive Member

Charlotte is a dually registered Primary/Secondary Teacher and Certified Practising Speech Pathologist with experience working in government, independent and special schools (Foundation to Year 12) in Australia and the UK. She has a particular interest in vocabulary development, language and literacy skills, Developmental Language Disorder, metacognition, curriculum design, and design thinking. She enjoys sketchnoting, tinkering with tech and helping students find their voice. Charlotte is currently the Director of Learning Design and Development at Camberwell Girls Grammar School, and a lecturer in the Learning Intervention Department at the University of Melbourne’s Graduate School of Education.

Charlotte is currently a Global Ambassador for Raising Awareness of Developmental Language Disorder (RADLD), Co-coordinator of the Boroondara Gifted Network, Co-coordinator of the Think Forward Educators Secondary Teachers Network, and a learning designer for The DLD Project.

David Gurr

Branch Executive Member

David is a Professor in Educational Leadership within the Faculty of Education at the University of Melbourne, and has a 44-year background in secondary teaching, educational psychology, school supervision, and research and teaching in educational leadership. His scholarship is particularly focussed on exploring the many facets of successful school leadership, including principal, middle leader and system perspectives. He is a founding member of the International Successful School Principalship Project and the International School Leadership Development Network. He has published and presented extensively. David is a senior associate editor of the Journal of Educational Administration, past editor of International Studies in Educational Administration and the ACEL publications Leading and Managing, Monograph and Hot Topics. David is a past Vice President of ACEL and received ACEL’s Gold Medal in 2014.

Fiona Hutton

Branch Executive Member

Fiona is a highly sought after experienced executive search professional and keynote speaker, with extensive leadership networks and deep insight into the current and future landscape of education. As the founding Director of Hutton Consulting Australia, Fiona successfully transitioned from a career in school leadership into executive search. Her client portfolio includes leading schools in the Independent, Government and Catholic sectors in addition to education related organisations at a system level. Fiona is actively involved in developing leadership capacity specifically at Senior and Executive levels, additionally reviewing Principals and senior leaders for the independent sector. She currently advises at a school governance level in the areas of salary benchmarking, principal remuneration and wellbeing packages, strategic planning and succession planning. Fiona’s impact on addressing the gender gap in senior educational leadership positions has seen her provide career advice and guidance for over 5,000 women, actively encouraging and supporting females to apply for roles resulting in 64% of search roles been won by women. She is passionate about educating School Boards on the importance of including a range of wellbeing initiatives into their remuneration packages to ensure the sustainability of Principals in their roles, and has led the shift into implementing professional supervision for Principals now leading trauma affected communities. Shortlisted for Telstra Business Woman of the Year (2019, 2020) and Victorian finalist in the small business category (2021/2022), recently, Fiona was recognised by the Australian Business Journal as one of the top 20 influential educational leaders in Australia to watch (2021). She currently is a Victorian Branch Director of the Australian Council of Educational Leaders and a National Telstra Business Awards Judge.

Steven Kolber

Branch Executive Member

Steven Kolber is a Curriculum Writer with the Ngarrngga project, at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, within the University of Melbourne. He was a proud public school teacher for 12 years, being named a top 50 finalist in the Varkey Foundation’s Global Teacher Prize. He is passionate about teacher collaboration which he supports through organising Teach Meets and running #edureading (an online academic reading group). His most recent publication, ‘Empowering Teachers and Democratising Schooling: Perspectives from Australia’, co-edited with Keith Heggart explores these topics further. Steven has represented teachers globally for Education International, at the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the OECDs Global Teaching Insights, and UNESCOs Teacher Task Force 2030.

Fiona Longmuir

Branch Executive Member

Dr Fiona Longmuir is a Senior Lecturer in Educational Leadership at Monash University. Her research interests focus on advancing understanding of just and equitable schooling arrangements. Fiona has led a significant national study of issues in the Australian teaching workforce. She co-leads the Monash Educational Workforce for the Future Research Lab and contributes regularly to public and policy discussions that inform the sustainability and wellbeing of teachers and teaching in Australia. Fiona is also currently working on a national project investigating the emotional labour of principals and the impacts on practice and career sustainability. She has also investigated the impact of crises on education and is part of an international team of researchers looking at practice and wellbeing through and beyond the COVID-19 disruptions. Prior to her academic work, Fiona was a teacher and school leader in Melbourne primary schools and she is an ACEL (Vic) Fellow.

Cameron Paterson

Branch Executive Member

Cameron is the Director of Learning at Wesley College, Melbourne and was previously Director of Learning and Teaching at Shore School, Sydney. He has earned four Masters degrees, the most recent from Harvard University, and he also works with Harvard’s Project Zero. His accomplishments have been recognised with the 21st Century International Global Innovation Award for Teaching, a Churchill Fellowship, and he has been a top 50 nominee for the one-million-dollar Global Teacher Prize. He is the co-editor of Flip the System Australia: What Matters in Education, as well as a staff writer for Getting Smart.

Ashley Pratt

Branch Executive Member

Ashley Keith Pratt is an educational leader with experience in various educational settings across Victoria. Ashley is currently the Executive Director, Curriculum, Pedagogy, and Innovation at Melbourne Girls Grammar and the President of the History Teachers’ Association of Victoria. Additionally, Ashley has worked with the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority on several curriculum development projects.

He has been awarded The Educator Rising Star Award in 2022 and has produced several award-winning publications for Cambridge University Press. In addition, Ashley has completed the Company Directors Course with the Australian Institute of Company Directors, the Certificate in School Management and Leadership at Harvard University, and is an accredited Growth Coach with Growth Coaching International.

Melissa Riley

Branch Executive Member

Melissa is an experienced, executive-level school leader and currently Deputy Principal - Pedagogy, Learning Design and Innovation at Sacred Heart College in Geelong, having held a variety of IT and Curriculum leadership roles throughout her career. Melissa has a keen interest in the development of education in a post COVID-19 context - the possibilities for rapid innovations at scale and reimagining the way we 'do' education. In her eyes, a move to a more flexible, personalised and meaningful educational experience for students is within our grasp, and certainly the recent developments in the field of AI make these goals all the more achievable. Melissa has spent time as a Board Director for the Professional Teachers' Council of NSW and the History Teachers' Association of NSW, having been involved with high level governance in the form of organisational restructure and constitutional reform at the latter. Being a strong advocate for the profession, particularly the increasingly challenging space of educational leadership, Melissa is committed to the work of ACEL and hopes to make significant contributions during her time on the Executive of the Victorian branch.

Lauren Sayer

Branch Executive Member

Lauren Sayer is an inspiring education leader passionate about driving positive change in teaching and learning practices. Currently leading as the Director of Curriculum at the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA), Lauren is dedicated to fulfilling the VCAA mission of providing high-quality curriculum, assessment, and reporting to enable lifelong learning.

Previously, Lauren served as the Executive Director of Research and Innovation at Melbourne Girls Grammar (MGGS), where she led and collaborated across the institution, enabling teachers to embrace evidence-informed practices in their professional work, thus enhancing student learning outcomes. Lauren also was the founding Co-Director of the Melbourne Girls Grammar Institute (MGGI), a global educational community hub dedicated to innovation and leadership in education practices. At MGGI, Lauren forged strategic educational partnerships, both locally and internationally, and played a crucial role in implementing successful pedagogical changes that transformed teaching and learning methodologies.

Lauren's expertise lies in embracing evidence-informed practices aligned with the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) standards. In addition, she has extensive knowledge of leveraging information and communication technology (ICT) to enhance curriculum delivery, explicitly focusing on personalised learning, as demonstrated in her work as Director of Digital Learning at Haileybury.

In addition to her school leadership roles, Lauren made significant contributions as the Head of Teaching and Learning at the Royal Children's Hospital Education Institute. Collaborating with a team of dedicated educators, she implemented evidence-based, innovative pedagogical models to support the educational needs of chronically ill children across Victoria.