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National Council

The ACE National Council is responsible for:

Ensuring the interests of members at state level are considered in planning and decision making.
It is made up of state/territory presidents:

  • Chair - Dr Catherine Scott – VIC Branch
  • Dr Jillian Abell – TAS Branch
  • Mrs Heather Causley – NSW Branch
  • Dr Joan Conway - QLD Branch
  • Mr Geoffrey Kay – WA Branch
  • Dr David Paterson – ACT Branch
  • Ms Pam Ronan – SA Branch


Dr Catherine Scott, MACE

Catherine Scott has taught in NSW primary and secondary schools, as well as working as a school counsellor in that state. Catherine has also worked at a number of Australian universities where she taught educational and developmental psychology to pre-service and practising teachers and trainee school counsellors. While living in NSW, Catherine served as a co-opted member of the NSW Committee and also Chaired the university panel of the ACE Quality Teaching Awards. Catherine is currently employed at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education.

Dr Jill Abell, MACE

Jill Abel has a background in teacher librarianship, systems and software project management. She has worked in government schools, colleges and curriculum and ICT consultancies as a Resource Manager and Assistant Principal prior to the current appointment at a K-12 Anglican independent boys' school. She is a member of the peak national educational, IT, records and library associations and takes an equally active role in the professional learning communities of IT educators in her current position of Director of Information Services and ICT at The Hutchins School in Tasmania.

Mrs Heather Causley, FACE

Heather Causley taught in NSW primary schools for 38 years, with 33 years in executive roles, including 15 years as a Primary Principal.
As President of ACE St George (2004-2005), South Harbour/Eastern Suburbs (2006-2009) and Inner Sydney (2010-2013), and as Secretary ACE NSW (2011-2013), Heather brings in-depth knowledge and extensive experience to ACE, and a passion for the professional development and life-long learning of educators, to her role as President ACE NSW branch.
Her current roles in educational organisations and connections to schools include: Manager Jannali BASC (10 years); Board Member Network of Community Activities (NSW OSHC), and Manager Voices of Sydney Choir (DEC - 16 years).

Dr Joan Conway, MACE

Joan Conway is a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts at the University of Southern Queensland. Joan is a member of the Leadership Research International (LRI) team and is an active consultant-researcher of the IDEAS Project. Joan teaches and supervises postgraduate students in the areas of leadership with a strong focus on the benefits of collaboration and collective intelligence for sustainable school improvement. Joan's early career included leadership positions of in state and private schools within Queensland, followed by twenty years of multiple teaching and leadership roles in both the National and International education systems in Papua New Guinea.

Dr Geoffrey Kay, MACE

Geoffrey Kay (Geoff) has broad teaching and administrative experience spanning several states and systems, including two SA secondary schools – Marion and Wirreanda High Schools and Canberra Grammar School; Canford School in the UK, Wesley College in Perth and currently Tranby College, where he is Head of the Middle School. Geoff's previous roles have included curriculum writer and examiner in Geography, Head of Geography and boarding housemaster. Geoff has also presented at many national and international conferences on middle schooling and the education of boys, and contributed to several professional organisations, including membership of ACE since 1989.

Dr Peter Kell, MACE

Peter Kell is Professor and Head of the School of Education at Charles Darwin University. He was previously at the Centre for Lifelong Learning Research and Development (CLLRD) at the Hong Kong Institute of Education from 2009-11. Peter's current research interests include teacher education, global student mobility, the internationalisation of education and training in Asia Pacific and literacy and language in East Asia.
In his current role, Peter has responsibility for undergraduate and graduate entry initial teacher education programs as well as the International Graduate Centre for Education and the Centre for School Leadership.
Peter was awarded the 2014 Northern Territory Fulbright Senior to undertake a research program in internationalising postgraduate education programs at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaigne).

Dr David Paterson, FACE

David Paterson is an Associate Professor in Teacher Education at the University of Canberra and Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of New England, where he spent many years teaching and researching in special and inclusive education. His teaching background is as a teacher of secondary English and History and subsequently a teacher of students with severe and multiple disabilities. David was for several years a Special Education Adviser before living in Canada and undertaking PhD studies at the University of Alberta.

Ms Pam Ronan, FACE

Pam Ronan is the Principal of St Francis de Sales College, Mount Barker, current President of ACE SA Branch and a member of the SACE Board of SA. She is also the former Chair of TAFESA Regional Institute Council and the current chairperson of the Association of Principals of Catholic Secondary Schools in South Australia.
In 2006, Pam was awarded the MacKillop Distinguished Educator Medal by the College and in 2011 was made a Fellow. A keen interest in community-based collaboration led to her working in remote indigenous mining regions with the Minerals division of BHP, and underpinned the development of an innovative case management program for disengaged students in South East SA. As well as working in marketing, business development and strategic planning in business and industry, Pam has teaching experience in the school, TAFE and university sectors.

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