ACEL CEO

Dr Barbara Watterston, CEO

Barbara has extensive experience in education and has held a number of executive leadership positions across Australia within the education and not-for-profit community sectors. An engaging facilitator, Barbara’s national and international research, consultancy, high performance coaching, and speaking engagements, centre on leadership development that emphasises the impact of high-quality leadership on creating the enabling environments for students to learn.

An author, Barbara’s most recent co-authored book Step In, Step Up: Empowering women for the school leadership journey, received a silver medal in the international 2020 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards.

Recognised for her contribution to educational leadership and professional learning, her national research report, Insights: Environmental Scan Principal Preparation Programs contributed to five major national recommendations for preparing future school leaders. This has informed her design and delivery of bespoke emerging, principal and system leadership programs.

Barbara was the inaugural recipient of the Women of Achievement Award (WA DoE), is an Honorary Fellow of the Melbourne Graduate School of Education and is a National Fellow of the Australian Council for Educational Leaders. Her expertise is regularly sought out to contribute in an advisory capacity as a member of numerous university, departmental, school, and professional boards.

She has a special interest in the links between leadership sustainability, wellbeing, and impact on performance to ensure learning, for all, can thrive.