ACEL President

Stephen Gniel


Steve is Regional Director, South Eastern Victoria Region (SEVR) in Victoria.  The region includes more than 400 state primary, secondary and specialist schools, as well as over 1000 early childhood services providing funded kindergarten programs.  The region has a current population of 76,751 children in kindergartens and more than 166,000 students in state schools.

Steve is currently leading the Education State reform across all areas of education in the region to give every Victorian the best learning and development experience. The region’s staff team of more than three hundred dedicated officers work with early childhood service providers, state schools, training and higher education providers as well as with community organisations and other government agencies to maximise the opportunities for children, young people and families.

Steve’s school based experience is diverse and extends across primary and secondary schools. His last two school appointments were as principal at Macgregor Primary School and then Kingsford Smith School both in Canberra. Before joining the Department of Education and Training in Victoria Steve was the Deputy Director-General in the ACT Department of Education and Training following a number of other school system leadership senior executive roles. Steve is married with three young children who have recently joined him in the move from Canberra to their new home in Melbourne.

Steve’s passion for the professional development of educational leaders across all levels and sectors first brought him on to the ACEL Board as an independent director. He was instrumental in shaping the organisation’s Strategic Plan and has been in the role of ACEL President since October 2016.

Steve’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Education, Masters of Business Administration and further study through both Harvard University, the Australia New Zealand School of Governance (ANZSOG) Executive Fellowship Program and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.