Who is ACSSO?

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:

  • engage with family and community at all levels of education;
  • are of the highest standard and open to all, irrespective of race, gender, religion, social-economic status, geographic location, or ability;
  • can respond to changing landscape of education in the 21st Century and respond and develop flexible and diverse programs necessary to meet student needs;
  • discriminates in favour of those schools and individual students who are challenged with disadvantage and/or disability.

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.

Download our 2019 Annual Report

Download our 2018 Annual Report

Download our 2017 Annual Report

Download ACSSO's Policy

Download ACSSO's Constitution

ACSSO Ltd Regulations (as amended March 2019)

ACSSO 2020 Board Meetings, AGM & Roundtable Venues - Note Change - Due to covid ACSSO AGM will be held virtually on Saturday 31st October, 2020

ACSSO Life Members

Our Team

President/Board Chair:

Andrew Bidwell

Andrew is an active and enthusiastic participant in his children’s public school environments and has served as president for the local P&C. He has three children currently attending primary and secondary schools in the ACT. He supports students, parents and teachers in his local school communities.

Andrew has a social justice focus and believes that a strong education not only improves the well-being of our students, but also our nation. His interests include the future of education and relevant application to the workforce

Andrew can be contacted via email: president@acsso.org.au

Chief Executive Officer:

Dianne Giblin AM, B.Ed (Adult) Dip Mgmt, Family Engagement Consultant

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: ceo@acsso.org.au

Director: Kevan Goodworth

Kevan is P&Cs Qld CEO, and is the link between the Board, staff and approximately 1240 affiliated P&C associations. He brings to the role more than 30 years of direct and continuous experience with education in Queensland as a secondary school principal and Assistant Director-General.

He is a recipient of the Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Public Sector. He has conducted major reviews for government around curriculum and service delivery and has represented Queensland’s interests on a number of national forums. He is a passionate advocate for quality public education and has led a number of community associations which link schools, tertiary institutions and employers in formal partnerships.

He has his own independent consultancy and has worked internationally in the United Kingdom, Asia and the Americas.

Director: Sharron Healy

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

Director: Susan O’Leary

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.

Director: Sarah Jefferson

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.

Director: Jared Dickason

Jared joined the TASSO Management Committee in August of 2015 as a Southern Delegate and has since held the positions of Treasurer, Senior Vice President and has returned to the role of Treasurer for 2019-2020. When joining TASSO Jared was an active Parent Representative on the Goulburn Street Primary School Association Committee and now is their Chairperson and is a member of the Taroona High School Association.

Extensive business experience in sales, marketing, logistics and the hospitality industry both as an employer and employee, coupled with voluntary involvement with community organisations, puts Jared in good stead when it comes to governance, strategic and financial planning.

In the last 30 years, Jared has gained extensive experience in the sales, marketing, logistics and hospitality industries, owning and managing businesses with 3 to 80 employees. Businesses as varied as primary producers, such as vineyards and wineries, to businesses providing support to the Aged Care industry in Tasmania.Jared has voluntarily served as a Board Member with Made in Tasmania (1999 – 2003), At Your Service (2009 -2013), and charitable organisations Hobart City Mission, Permission to Eat Café and is currently a Board Member with Tasmanian School Canteen Association (2016 -)

Jared’s focus in the area of education is equity in funding and the way families are active participants in the education of their child, both of which impact positively on a student’s formal education enabling them to be active contributors to society.

Company Secretary: John O’Shannassy
M. Laws , M. Ed (Adult Ed), B Business, B Science (Elect Eng),Practitioner’s Certificate in Mediation, Graduate Diploma of Company Secretarial Practice CSA, Advanced Certificate in Arbitration

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.

Project Officer: Peter Garrigan

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

Communications Officer: Kim Pick

Kim led and held various positions in her children's P&C for 13 continuous years, whilst all three daughters attended primary school. She was instrumental from conception to completion in the construction of a community cottage. This project increased parent participation in many areas. Kim participated and represented her school P&C at area and regional level and sat on many panels for staff selection both school and with local area.

Kim has been in business with her husband for 38 years, whilst maintaining an Executive Administration & Management career, more recently a complete change of direction she now owns and operates a small home beauty business.

She has an active lifestyle with a love of all sports, she coached school, club and representative basketball teams for over 20 years, hobbies include photography and design and spending time with her four grandkids.

Administration Officer: Rebecca Ashford Wykes

Bec works in our office 13 hours per week and assists with the day to day operations of ACCSO 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.