Western Australia Branch

WA Branch President - Mathilda Joubert

Vince Bellini Ray Boyd Carol Daniels
Tamara Doig Daniel Groenewald Rachael Lehr
Krystal McKnight Kathryn Netherwood Gary Racey
Maree Whiteley

Mathilda Joubert

ACEL WA Branch President

Mathilda Joubert is Director of Excellence and Innovation at Sheridan College and Lecturer in Leading School Improvement. Prior to this role she worked for seven years as a system leader leading school improvement at Swan Christian Education Association. Her varied background includes working as Innovation Consultant to companies like Coco-Cola, Unilever and Phillips, researcher to Sir Ken Robinson, creative learning consultant, policy advisor, primary and secondary school teacher and academic. Mathilda is a true cross-disciplinarian and an advocate of lifelong learning with two bachelors and three masters degrees (in music, languages, education, cognitive neuropsychology and business) and currently completing her PhD at UWA, studying the measurement of student creative thinking skills. She has worked directly with more than 500 schools on a range of successful school improvement initiatives and has advised national governments (e.g. Australia, Lithuania and the UK) on curriculum and assessment policy development, including acting as expert advisor for ACARA on Creative and Critical Thinking Skills. She continues to advise schools on the teaching and assessment of creativity and is currently evaluating the FORM Creative Schools program for the WA Department of Education.

Vince Bellini

Branch Executive Member

Vince is an accomplished educator currently serving as the Vice Principal of Emmanuel Catholic College. With over four years of experience in this role and an additional six years as a Deputy Principal, he is passionate about developing the next generation of leaders. Vince is driven by a deep desire to empower and mentor aspiring leaders, equipping them with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in their own leadership roles. Through his guidance and mentorship, Vince instils in these individuals the confidence and abilities needed to make a positive impact on their communities and beyond. Consistently demonstrating a strong commitment to educational excellence and innovation, Vince actively seeks out new strategies and approaches to enhance the learning experience for students, always striving to create a dynamic and engaging environment. Being part of ACEL has allowed Vince to stay informed of the latest research and educational trends, bringing the learning acquired back to his communities. This has provided students and teachers with the best possible educational pedagogy and equipping them with the skills they need to thrive in an ever-changing world. Vince's Christ-centred, child-focused approach to leadership underscores his commitment to students' holistic growth. He recognises the importance of providing a nurturing and inclusive environment that supports the pastoral needs of each member of the community he serves.

Ray Boyd

Branch Executive Member

Ray has 34 years' experience in the public education system, 22 of these as an educational leader. In 2019 he became a Principal Fellow with the Department of Education after undertaking leadership development at Harvard. In 2014 Ray was recognised as WA Primary School Leader of the Year. He is also an ACEL State and National Fellow. Ray completed his Doctorate in 2022, examining the influence that the AITSL Principal Standard had on principal development in the Western Australian public education system and was recognised by Science of Teaching and Learning Australia in 2022 for his contributions to education and improving outcomes for children.   

Carol Daniels

Branch Executive Member

Carol Daniels is currently the Foundation Principal of the recently opened Piara Waters Senior High School. Carol has over 30 years of leadership and teaching experience which are grounded in public education in South Africa and in a range of educational contexts within Western Australia.

As a leader and lifelong learner, Carol inspires, motivates, and creates an environment where people learn and grow. She has a passion for teacher and leader development, underpinned and fostered by professional knowledge and lived experience.

Carol has successfully led school improvement initiatives in complex and challenging contexts, enacting cultural and transformational change, and resulting in positive outcomes for stakeholders. During the recent COVID crisis Carol was asked to be part of a selected group of Principals to offer advice and consultative leadership during this challenging period.

Carol is looking forward to serving on the ACEL WA Executive and confronting the challenges of a changing education milieu.

The world is changing rapidly. If we want to foster peoples’ ability to learn, live, lead and work in that changing world, the way we approach education and leadership must support the future. Developing 21st century learning skills is a strong focus in Carol’s new school context, and she believes that working collaboratively in a cross sectoral environment will not only strengthen and support education but will result in innovation and new opportunities.

Tamara Doig

Branch Executive Member

Tamara is the current principal at Rostrata Primary School in Willetton, Western Australia. Prior to this she spent more than 8 years as a school leader at primary schools in Perth; including two years as principal at Wembley Primary School and deputy principal for just over 6 years.

Tamara’s focus as a school leader is building a positive, culturally safe, creative and future-focused school culture in which students are equipped with the foundational competencies, learning dispositions and thinking skills needed to succeed and staff feel supported, heard and valued. The work of Tracey Ezard inspires Tamara’s approach to leadership; she strives to be a Ferocious Warmth leader, leading with courage and compassion in her school community.

Tamara’s leadership skills have been recognised by FORM WA, in publications titled, ‘Creative School Leadership’ and ‘A Field Guide to Assessing Creative Thinking in Schools’, in addition to a vignette called ‘Creative Leadership in Western Australia’ which can be located on YouTube following her engagement in the Creative Schools program. Tamara actively supports cross-sectoral education collaboration and was a foundation committee member for TeachMeet in WA and @WAedConnect on Twitter.

Daniel Groenewald

Branch Executive Member

Daniel Groenewald is an experienced learning and development specialist passionate about developing people, teams, and organisations. He currently works as a leadership consultant in Catholic Education Western Australia, coordinating and facilitating several of the system leadership programs for 159 schools. Daniel is also a trained English teacher who has taught in primary, secondary, and tertiary sectors. Daniel has recently submitted his Doctorate in Education at the University of Notre Dame, focusing on high-performing executive school teams. Daniel’s qualifications and certifications include Master of Education, Master of Arts, Bachelor of Arts (Hons), Diploma of Education, Graduate Certificate in Catholic Leadership.

Rachael Lehr

Branch Executive Member

Rachael Lehr is the Associate Principal at Dayton Primary School; a newly-opened school. She is passionate about empowering and supporting teachers and leaders (both within their school and beyond) to believe in themselves and reach their fullest potential.

Rachael endeavours to ‘lead by example’, embodying lifelong learning, embracing discomfort, and constantly seeking personal growth. She is focused on the authentic integration of digital technologies and STEM learning into the classroom, believes in the power of instructional coaching to bring about effective change in teaching and learning, and upholds that positive relationships are the key to successful learning and wants every child to know that they truly matter.

Rachael hosted #PrimarySTEMChat on Twitter for many years, and is a previous recipient of the ACEL New Voice Scholarship and was awarded an ACEL Fellowship in 2019. As well as strengthening the leadership capabilities of their current team, Rachael is keen to share this knowledge extensively in order to positively influence the wider education system – something that being on the ACELWA executive team enables.

Krystal McKnight

Branch Executive Member

I am an experienced educator who has worked across primary, secondary, and tertiary sectors in the areas of Education and Music Education. My current role is Head of Learning Area (Arts) at Ballajura Community College. I have a passion for leadership and lifelong learning, endeavouring to be at the forefront of educational leadership through the completion of a Master Educational Leadership degree and now as a PhD candidate.

I have an interest in 21st century leadership skills such as creativity, critical thinking and problem solving, which forms part of my research into requisite skills and attributes for secondary school leaders. I take great pride in empowering students, teachers, and leaders to strive to be their best through positivity, support and leading by example.

Kathryn Netherwood

Branch Executive Member

Kathryn is an educator with extensive experience as a principal, teacher, mentor, and coach. Kathryn is currently a Sessional Academic at Edith Cowan University in Teacher Education and an Independent School Reviewer for the WA Department of Education. Kathryn recently completed a twenty-two-year tenure as Principal at Lance Holt School, Fremantle where she had the privilege of leading an independent community school. As a lifelong learner Kathryn perused post graduate academic studies in two areas of special interest Educational Leadership and Wellbeing completing a Master of Educational Leadership at the University of Western Australia and a Professional Certificate in Positive Education at the University of Melbourne. Kathryn is committed to contributing to the teaching profession and is looking forward to promoting and supporting ACEL as a member of the WA Branch Executive.

Gary Racey

Branch Executive Member

Gary is the current Director of Operations (PK-12) at Perth College. He has held the senior executive leadership roles of Principal and Deputy Principal for the past 12 years, always seeking to lead by example through commitment, vision and passion.

Gary has taught in all education sectors, including public and independent schools, from district high schools to large K-12 faith-based organisations. He has a passion for 21st century learning and pedagogy, using flexible and engaging spaces to motivate and engage young people and staff. His vision is to globalise education by connecting the classroom to the real world, transforming lives and revolutionising education through a contemporary approach to thinking, teaching and learning.

Gary has developed multiple innovative programs and was featured in the ‘Educator Magazine Top 50 Hotlist’ in 2017, being acknowledged as one of the outstanding and influential educators in Australia. He is also a previous recipient of the ‘ACEL WA Certificate of Excellence in Educational Leadership’.

Maree Whiteley

Branch Executive Member

Maree Whiteley works with teachers and curriculum leaders to bring innovative and practical pedagogies into the classroom, through special projects and purposeful whole-school planning. Currently working as an AISWA Consultant with specific expertise within the Humanities and Social Sciences Learning Area, School Culture and Middle Leadership. This gives Maree the perfect platform to co-design learning for educators to go beyond the curriculum, exploring areas of global imperatives for our young people, such as ethical and humanitarian issues, critical thinking and cultural competence. Maree continues to enjoy sharing her experience, knowledge and expertise with others in workshops, conferences and connecting with others via online forums.