As the Australian Council of State School Organisations (ACSSO), we represent the interests of the families and communities of more than 2.4 million children attending government schools in Australia. We are one of the oldest continuously operating parent organisations in Australia and possibly the world. We were formed in 1947 to bring together various state and territory parent groups to develop national policies reflecting the way families wanted public education to be offered for their children. Record of Office Bearers
Over time there have been some changes in the way our members in states and territory peak parent groups have approached national issues, so membership has occasionally varied. Currently we have six members. Each member nominates a Director to the Board. Scroll down to meet our team.
We believe that the primary obligation of governments, both Federal and State, is to establish and maintain government systems of education which:
In accordance with these principles, we have developed and continue to develop and update, detailed policies on a wide range of issues affecting children in schools.
ACSSO 2020 AGM was held as a virtual event on 31st October, 2020 - Roundtable Date TBC
Sharron was an active member of her three children’s school Parent Clubs for over 20 years, serving as an ordinary member and president at both primary and secondary levels. She also served on school council for over 10 years, as a councillor and president.
Sharron has volunteered with Parents Victoria Inc. for 15 years and is currently the president of Parents Victoria, the Victorian member organisation of ACSSO. Founded in 1925 as the peak body representing the collective views of parents in public education in Victoria, Parents Victoria was also a founding member of ACSSO.
Sharron’s interest in promoting and advocating for public education comes from a desire to see every child in our country having access to a first-class educational experience
Sharrron can be contacted via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Di has worked in education in both paid and unpaid capacity for the past 32 years
Di has a passion for education, in particular public education, and the opportunities it affords young people. She has led the ACSSO secretariat since 2011 but has been a significant player in parent activism since 1984 when her eldest child commenced school. She is proud of her four children’s achievements – all successes of public education.
She has held various volunteer roles in the parent movement finishing her P&C career as President of the Federation of Parents and Citizens Associations of NSW.
Di was a founding Director of Public Education Foundation whose board position she held for six years; a founding Director of Primary Ethics Board and also a founding Director of The Parenthood board.
She worked in a paid capacity for the NSW education department in a number of roles across a large area of Sydney. Her roles were all in the area of parent engagement and home-school partnerships including school based community officer, across district Community Development Officer and regional Partnership Officer – all through the Priority Schools Program.
Recognition of her work saw her commended for Meritorious Service to Public Education and Training in 2010. In 2012 Dianne was admitted as a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia for her service to public education and the community
Di’s greatest love is her family but coming a close second is her love of music. Whilst an amateur guitar player she likes to spend downtime with it, her grandchildren and her playing her vinyl albums on the new turntable.
Di can be contacted on: 0418 470 604 Email: email@example.com
Sally Whelan from QLD
Sally is currently elected Director and Deputy Chair of P&C;s QLD. She has been part of the P&Cs Qld Central Qld Area Team since 2012 and the Area Co-ordinator since 2015. She is a passionate advocate for state schooling who believes one of the best assets a school and its students can have is an active and involved P&C.
Neil is a current Board member of TASSO. He has been an active member on the Sheffield and Deloraine Primary School Associations, and is in his third year as Chair of Deloraine.
Neil proudly has three daughters, two currently at the Deloraine primary School and an older daughter who is an Associate Lawyer with the Department of Public Prosecution in Melbourne.
Neil has studied at the tertiary level in Accounting and Economics, Applied Science (Physical Education), and Visual Arts.
Neil has a keen interest in sport, particularly rowing, where he has both competed and coached on the Australian Rowing Team. He was employed as High Performance Rowing Coach at the Queensland Academy of Sport and The South Australian Sports Institute.
Neil currently assists his wife Martine in the running of their Sportswear manufacturing business ‘Simply Oarsome’ and is proud to be one of the very few manufacturers still making garments in Australia.
Neil’s life experience has meant close contact with a large number of schools, private and public, and many Universities, which combined with his current involvement in the public school sector, has helped develop a passion for equity in resourcing of our public schools.
Neil is passionate advocate for the support of teachers and teaching, and at the same time recognises the importance of parent and family engagement as means of enhancing our children’s educational opportunity and outcomes.
Paul has a large family with children spanning 3 decades, his eldest graduating from the ANU and a product of Public Education, through to the youngest yet to start early learning, with many in between in both Public and Catholic Education giving Paul a unique and balanced picture of the education spectrum within the ACT.
Paul is a strong advocate of Public Education and the importance of funding it well as the cornerstone of our society. Having a public school background himself, Paul graduated ANU computer science faciility and worked in several major Commonwealth Departments for seven years. He was the Federal Government representative on the ACT Government’s Austouch programand then struck out with his own company, Datatrax, in 1993.
Currently Paul is a parent on two P & C's in Public Schools in Canberra, as well as a Vice President of the ACT P & C Council.
Susan O’Leary combines professional educational qualifications with participation in public education over more than forty years, both as a teacher and parent. A qualified teacher with a Diploma of Teaching (Primary) and a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Legal Studies she has taught in public schools, community education and presented education and training programs in the public sector and for businesses.
Firstly as a teacher in a country infant room, participating in the Disadvantaged Schools’ Programme, then volunteering in schools, Susan has developed an in-depth knowledge of the importance of parent participation in achieving the best outcomes for students.
Susan worked for the Accident Compensation Commission (Workcover) training their people, employers, workers and service providers becoming Manager, Education in 1988. She continued on to her own training and consultancy business, specialising in workplace training and advice.
With the entry of her daughter into kindergarten, Susan joined the kindergarten committee, parent groups and school council in public schools. She was a member of the Executive of Parents’ Victoria from 2010 to 2012.
Sarah Jefferson is Course Co-ordinator of the Bachelor of Education (Secondary) at Edith Cowan University. She is also Unit Co-ordinator of assessment in the Master of Teach Secondary programme.
She is currently completing her PhD research in identifying positive veteran teachers and examining the role of social support inside and outside the workplace. Sarah is an experienced educator and her interests include public education, teachers and student diversity and inclusion.
Sarah is a proud mother of 3 children.
John is a Principal Lawyer at Australian Corporate Lawyers & Advisors and is directly related to corporate governance where he ensures corporations have corporate governance policy and procedures in place. He has 16 years experience in company secretarial services and designed governance and compliance for organisations and managed the ASIC, Austrac and NSW government compliance issues. John has led small and large teams and departments at various times, including roles as: General Counsel/Company Secretary at the University of Technology Sydney; Company Secretary/General Counsel at Apex; and governance and commercial advisory with Australian Corporate Lawyers & Advisers. In his spare time John enjoys participating in Surf Lifesaving, refereeing Rugby Union and Computer Programming.
Peter became an active participant in the education of young Australians when his eldest child commenced preschool in the early 1990’s. He became a member of the preschool committee quickly became involved in public education at a Territory and national level is a strong supporter of Public Education.
His 4 children, all undertook their education in the Norther Territory where Peter served on School Councils as a Member and Council Chair until his last child finished school. Concurrently he held several positions with the NT Council of Government School Organisations (NTCOGSO), the peak parent body in the NT, including that of President. NTCOGSO recognised his contribution to by granting him life membership.
Peter held a number of positions on the ACSSO Board and was honoured to serve as ACSSO President from 2009 to 2014. In 2016, Peter was awarded ACSSO Life membership.Peter believes that a strong and vibrant public education is vital to the survival of Australia’s democratic system. The guarantee of access to a free and quality public education should be a right accorded to every child in this country
Bec works in our office 13 hours per week and assists with the day to day operations of ACSSO Ltd. Bec joins the team with a wealth of experience in a number of different roles. In particular, she has put her highly regarded organisational skills into practice which has made a significant impact on the day to day running of the ACSSO office.
Bec is passionate about health and wellbeing. She was previously a group fitness coordinator in a health and fitness centre where she wrote and delivered group exercise classes to a range of participants including many school groups. She was also team leader of customer service where she managed a database of several thousand fitness, gymnastics and child care memberships.
To take time out, Bec loves to camp at the beach with her family in their mobile caravan, creating experiences and making memories with her husband and 2 young children.
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