The ACECQA Board

The ACECQA Board is appointed by, and responsible to, the Education Ministers for the overall strategy, governance and performance of ACECQA. The responsibilities of the Board include:

  • providing strategic direction and assisting management in the development and monitoring of strategic and performance objectives required to effectively and efficiently implement the functions of ACECQA 
  • overseeing the ongoing performance of ACECQA consistent with its enabling legislation
  • providing policy advice about future directions and making recommendations to the Education Ministers for implementing and administering the National Quality Framework (NQF)
  • guiding and monitoring ACECQA’s performance against its strategic plan and operational work plan.

The Board of ACECQA brings together a dedicated team, with a wealth of relevant experience and commitment to improving education and care outcomes for Australia’s children. Up to eight members are appointed from nominations by each state and territory, up to four members are appointed from nominations by the Australian Government and the Chair is appointed independently by the Education Ministers. The Deputy Chair is appointed from the 12 members.

ACECQA Board Members

Ms Annette Whitehead – Chair

Ms Annette Whitehead head_shot

Annette Whitehead has 40 years of experience in social policy development and program management across a range of government agencies. She has held strategic leadership positions in several portfolios including ageing, disability, early childhood, child safety, and education and training.

Dr Anne Glover AO – Deputy Chair

Dr Anne Glover head shot photo

Anne Glover is an international education and development consultant with extensive experience in designing, implementing and evaluating development programs. Anne specialises in systemic reform and the development of fair and efficient education systems. For more than 20 years she has worked with regional governments – Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Kiribati and Vanuatu – to develop and implement education reform agendas at national, state and local levels.

Anne also has specific expertise in early childhood care and education. A child advocate with a long commitment to promoting and protecting children’s rights and working proactively to support children’s access to and participation in education, Anne has more than 30 years of experience in the early childhood education and care sector as a practitioner, academic, researcher and mentor. Beginning her academic career at the University of South Australia in 1983, Anne has been responsible for early childhood program and course development and coordination, undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, and supervising higher degrees. A keen researcher committed to rigorous and ethical research, she was a Foundation Member of the UniSA Early Childhood Research Group and the Paediatric Wellbeing Research Group, and is currently an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at UniSA.

Anne is actively engaged in various organisations concerned with children’s well-being and is the Presiding Member of the SA Child Development Council.

Mr Mark Campling

Mark has over 40 years of experience in education. During this time, he has been a principal of a range of schools. He was also the Assistant Director-General of Education for Queensland, where he led the development and implementation of statewide teaching and learning initiatives including reviews, the supervision and coaching model for school principals, Curriculum into the Classroom, as well as overseeing the implementation of the state schooling response to the National Partnerships initiative.

In his final four years as a senior public servant, Mark was the Regional Director of Education for the Metropolitan Region in Queensland. As part of this role, he had accountability and responsibility for all state schools, training facilities and early childhood centres.

During his career Mark has chaired the Queensland Sports Board, was a member of the Executive Management Board for Education in Queensland and chaired a range of cross-government committees tasked with addressing the needs of students in out of home care and student disengagement.

In 2018 Mark retired from fulltime work and established a consultancy where much of his work has focused on coaching senior public servants, school leaders and their teams, as well as working with systems in their change management processes. He has also facilitated many communities of practice across Queensland in K-2, where the focus has been quality, transition, partnerships and improved performance.

Mrs Ros Cornish

Photo of Ros Cornish

Ros Cornish has 40 years of experience in the education and care sector. Until her recent retirement, Ros was the Chief Executive Officer of Lady Gowrie Tasmania – a not for profit, multi-faceted organisation providing a range of services to children, families and those who work with them.

Her long and active involvement with Early Childhood Australia at both a state and national level, contributed to the success of this peak organisation in areas of advocacy and business development. It also provided the opportunity for Ros to represent ECA on many national reference and advisory groups, including the National Children’s Services Forum and Early Years Reference Group. Her advocacy roles always focused on ensuring children’s rights and needs were central to any decision-making process. Ros is deeply caring and fearless, often challenging agendas but always with alternatives and solutions in mind – an approach that influenced positive change and reform. Her advocacy role was recognised in 2022 when she was awarded the Barbara Creaser Memorial Lecture Award.

Ros’ leadership was acknowledged by induction into the Tasmanian Honour Roll for Woman in recognition of the contribution to the community, and as Professional Leader of the Year by the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. These accolades demonstrate her long-term commitment to promoting leadership development, ongoing professional development, community participation and advocacy to support quality, social justice and equity in the early years.

Currently Ros is Co-Chair of the Early Learning for Three-Year-Old initiative, a Tasmanian Department of Education, Children and Young People initiative to support participation in early childhood programs. She is also President of FKA Children’s Services – a Victorian based organisation.

Mr John Cossons

Photo of John Cossons

John Cossons has several decades of experience as a professional director in the not-for-profit sector across a range of entities, developing a strong understanding of the importance of governance, strategy and risk as business imperatives.

This background saw John engaged as a contract facilitator with the Australian Institute of Company Directors from 2013 to 2020, delivering modules in Governance; Strategy and Risk; and Finance for not-for-profit directors.

John has extensive experience in the education sector in the NT, having been a senior executive until his retirement from full time employment in 1995 and more recently involved in a range of NT Government education sector roles. Recent roles in this sector include as the independent chair of the NT Department of Education’s Key Stakeholder Advisory Group: Early Childhood and School Aged Education and Care since its inception in 2010 and the independent chair of the Department’s Audit and Risk Committee.

Past education sector roles include as an independent member on the selection panel for all Department of Education Independent Public Schools and as the Independent Chair of the NT’s Non-Government Schools Ministerial Advisory Council. In 2010, John was commissioned by the NT Government to undertake a review of community based child care services’ governance and business models to ensure they continued as viable entities.

Ms Carmen Garcia AM

Photo of Carmen Garcia

Carmen Garcia is a nationally recognised expert in diversity and inclusion, and award-winning specialist working with refugees and migrants. She has 20+ years of experience in public relations, marketing and organisational positioning, international education, training and employment, migration, settlement, and business development.

Carmen has policy and practice expertise in workforce planning, development and recruitment, corporate social responsibility, design thinking, and strategic company and organisational profiling. She has engineered employer-led diversity employment programs working with Australia’s most iconic companies to increase workforce participation and employment outcomes for refugees, migrants, women and young people.

She is the current CEO and Founder of Community Corporate, a national certified social enterprise building strategic cultural inclusion and social impact across government and the corporate sectors through inclusive employment. She has held strategic leadership positions in the NGO sector including as former CEO of Multicultural Youth SA and Chief Strategy Officer of Access Community Services in Queensland.

Carmen sits on various boards and committees including government appointments to the Australian Multicultural Council and as a Commissioner on the South Australia Multicultural Commission. She co-convenes the Solstice Media 40 Under 40 Entrepreneurs Alumni in SA and In April 2022, was appointed as the first female and youngest Honorary Philippine Consul to South Australia.

She has an MBA and Bachelor of Arts degree (public policy and international relations). In 2022 she co-authored “Social Impact Investment: An Australian Perspective” published by Routledge. Carmen is passionate about transforming policy into practice in the area of cultural inclusion for all children to thrive.

Ms Barbara Hingston AM

Barbara Hingston profile image

Barbara Hingston is an experienced non-executive director, former senior executive and social work professional, committed to improving health and social outcomes for vulnerable communities, families and individuals.

She has held professional roles and diverse board memberships in multiple Australian states. These include in tertiary and primary health service systems, youth mental health, disability, family and sexual violence prevention, and response agencies, as well as regional economic development and associated social capability and capacity building for communities. 

As Chair and member of boards and committees, Barbara has assured high standards of governance to build effective culture and strategy, grow customer and workforce inclusion, and develop integrity in provision of high quality, equitable and safe service provision – in health, youth mental health, oral health, disability, family violence and health professional standard regulation. 

Her former executive experience includes corporate leadership of government and non-government organisations and senior social work practice and management in family and sexual violence organisations, public health and primary care. 

Complementary to her board portfolio, Barbara consults in strategy and change management, corporate governance, stakeholder consultation, workforce capability building, together with professional mentoring, coaching and career transition services for senior executives.  

Barbara was awarded Membership of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to community health and to people with disabilities. She is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a member of the Institute of Community Directors Australia. 

Ms Akiko Jackson 

Photo of board member Ms Akiko Jackson

Akiko Jackson is an internationally experienced non-executive director and strategy adviser with more than 30 years of experience as an executive in the financial services industry including CBA, Macquarie Bank and Westpac in Australia; Shinsei Bank and Mitsubishi Tokyo UFJ Financial Group in Japan; and as a strategy management consultant in the US and Australia. She has worked in both the private and public sectors, in both large corporations and start-ups and has extensive experience in risk management, large scale digital transformation, strategy development, equity raising and leadership development. Akiko is a Fulbright Scholar with an MBA from Stanford University, and a Bachelor of Laws from Keio University, Tokyo. She is bilingual in English and Japanese.

Akiko is a non-executive director of Pepper Money Ltd. and Foundation & Friends (F&F) of the Botanic Gardens. She also chairs the F&F Finance, Audit & Risk Committee, is a member of the Infrastructure NSW Audit & Risk Committee, the Transport for NSW Audit & Risk Committee, and the Pepper Money Audit & Risk Committee and Nomination & Remuneration Committee. Akiko is on the coaching panel and an executive coach to senior executives in the Victorian public sector. 

Her past non-executive director and strategy advisory roles include non-executive director of 86 400, a member of the Advisory Committee of the Australian Treasury, the Portfolio Advisory Council of Services Australia and the Strategy Advisory Committee of the Department of Home Affairs, and Chair/Senior Reviewer of Capability Reviews of multiple Commonwealth Departments.

Mr Brad Jolly

ACECQA Board member - Brad Jolly

Brad Jolly has many years of experience working in senior roles across the public and private sectors. His public sector career has focussed primarily on public policy development, program implementation and industry regulation.

He has held executive management responsibility for the implementation of the National Quality Framework (NQF) in Western Australia. He has also contributed to national policy development, which supports the operation of the NQF Australia-wide.

Brad has a strong interest in providing opportunities for educational growth and development and currently holds an executive leadership role with the Western Australian Department of Training and Workforce Development. He has also contributed over several years to the governance of a number of for-purpose organisations as a director and currently serves on the board of Study Perth.

Brad holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Western Australia and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Ms Sandra Lambert AM

ACECQA Board member Sandra Lambert

Sandra Lambert has more than 35 years of experience working in the public sector and education. She was a teacher and principal before moving into a number of roles in educational administration in the ACT Government, including as Executive Director of Schools and Training responsible for policy and programs in government schools at all levels. She then worked in other senior executive ACT Government roles and was the Chief Executive of the then ACT Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services from 2002 to 2010, where she was responsible for children’s services across public and private sectors.

After 2010, Sandra held a variety of positions including on the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, the Cultural Facilities Corporation, the Land Development Agency Board (LDA) and as Chair of the Risk, Business Continuity and Security Committee in the then Department of Human Services (DHS). She then spent almost two years in New York, New York State and California working as a consultant in educational leadership and English language arts.

On returning to the ACT in 2015, she resumed her role on the LDA and was Deputy Chair for its final year of operation. Currently Sandra is Chair of the ACT Remuneration Committee, a member of the ACT Homes for Homes Advisory Group and works as an executive leadership coach. She also participated as an independent member on two of the then Department of Human Service Committees. Sandra is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Managers and Leaders and was admitted to the Order of Australia in 2012 for expertise in public sector leadership and management.

Dr Jessa Rogers

Dr Jessa Rogers

Dr Jessa Rogers GAICD (Wiradjuri) is a nationally recognised educator and researcher with extensive experience in education, teaching and learning. She has held academic, executive and pedagogical roles across primary, secondary and tertiary education in both Australia and New Zealand. Dr Rogers is an Honorary Associate Professor at the Australian National University (ANU) and an Australian Research Council (ARC) Fellow (DE230100140) at Queensland University of Technology. She is a Fulbright Scholar (Harvard University), a Churchill Fellow, and a graduate of Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Dr Rogers’ research is centred on Indigenous research methods and methodologies, and draws attention to the voices of Indigenous young people, with a focus on boarding school experiences in Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and mainland USA. She holds qualifications in Indigenous Studies (PhD, ANU), Education (MEd, USQ; BEd(Hons I), QUT) and Creative Arts (BCI (Drama), QUT). She is an author and editor of best-selling education books including “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education: An Introduction to the Teaching Profession” (Cambridge University Press), and “Teaching: Making a Difference” (Wiley). Dr Rogers has several years of management consulting experience, and brings advanced skills in culture, strategic leadership, and community and stakeholder engagement. Dr Rogers is a board member of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia and St Philip’s College (Alice Springs) among other appointments.

Professor Marc de Rosnay

Head shot photo of Professor Marc de Rosnay

Marc de Rosnay is the Professor of Child Development and Academic Director at Early Start, University of Wollongong. He leads transformational early childhood initiatives involving the university and community, with the goal of improving developmental, educational, and social opportunities for vulnerable children. With the team at Early Start, Marc works to translate current evidence on child development and early learning into everyday care and professional practices, and to develop systems to support children, families and educators in regional and remote contexts. He also provides support for various community and charity organisations, as well as state and Australian government initiatives.

In 2003 Marc was awarded a Churchill College Fellowship (University of Cambridge) in recognition of his original work on emotion understanding and development in infancy and early childhood. In 2006 he moved to the School of Psychology, University of Sydney, where he held an Australian Research Council (ARC) Postdoctoral Fellowship between 2007 and 2010.

Marc’s own research focuses on how children become socially and emotionally competent, with a particular interest in the ways in which we understand and care for children, on the one hand, and the ways in which they understand us, on the other. In addition to his scholarly outputs, Marc has worked consistently to communicate research about early childhood and development into the public forum and has taken a leading scientific role in various documentaries (including the Life at series on ABC television).

Ms Madeleine Smith

Madeleine Smith

Madeleine Smith has 35 years experience in the Victorian public service, including 20 years as an executive. Most recently Madeleine was the head of the Victorian regulatory authority for early childhood education and care services. She was instrumental in the development of the National Quality Framework and established the regulatory authority in Victoria.

Madeleine initially trained as a social worker, working in child protection in Melbourne’s western suburbs, and at the Royal Women’s Hospital. Madeleine has extensive experience in managing complex regional services including child protection, youth justice and public housing. She has expertise in organisational change and implementing significant sector reforms.

Madeleine has been regulating early childhood services for over 20 years and is currently on leave from the Victorian Department of Education and Training.