Big Picture People
Big Picture Education Australia Governance
Big Picture Education Australia (BPEA) is an independent network of schools and agencies, which agree to collaborate in pursuit of a shared vision of establishing a new model of schooling focused on better meeting the needs of individual students.
BPEA was established in 2006. By 2014 there were around 40 schools using the Big Picture learning model based on highly personalised learning supported by parents and connected to the world of work. Big Picture promotes intellectual rigour consistent with syllabus requirements.
BPEA is a company limited by guarantee and registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission. Also a registered training organisation (RTO), Big Picture holds deductible gift recipient status for its training operations.
In accordance with its constitution, the members of the organisation, Big Picture Education Australia, are those people or corporations who have applied for membership, have met certain conditions and have been approved by the Board.
Schools and other agencies, which participate in Big Picture’s change programs and fulfil agreed criteria, are considered to be members of the Big Picture Education Network.
Board of Directors
BPEA is governed by a board of directors who have responsibility for the organisation’s overall strategic direction and performance.
In addition to high level educational, administrative and change management experience, the board’s membership also reflects the international perspective of Big Picture’s work, including its links with the USA and its active engagement with school change in New Zealand.
The First Members responsible for establishing Big Picture in Australia are listed in the constitution and indicated with an asterisk in the list of directors below.
Once appointed, directors remain in office until they resign or are removed, in accordance with the constitution. If a casual vacancy occurs, the board may appoint a director to fill that position. However, a director appointed in this way remains in office only until elected to be a director at the next Annual General Meeting of the members.
In accordance with the constitution, the board has appointed a director to the executive role of managing director. Details of their remuneration are published in the Annual Report.
Board members are entitled to reimbursement for expenses or costs incurred in the performance of their board responsibilities. If they are engaged to do so, individual board members are also entitled to payment for professional services as agreed by the board within the parameters set out in Section 61 (2) of the constitution.
Chair - Susan French BSc (Chemistry), Dip Ed
Susan French was a member of the board of Australia’s largest restricted membership health fund ($770 million turnover) for 16 years including 8 years as Chair and Deputy Chair. Susan’s responsibilities included reporting, negotiating staff awards and contracts, and negotiating with the industry regulator and other funds. Susan has held several honorary governance positions with prominent industrial organisations and was chair of the boards of Taxforce and the Teachers Career Service. A high school principal for 15 years at Kaleen High School (ACT) and St Johns Park High School (NSW). She was active in principal professional associations and the NSW Teachers Federation at executive level, and is a Life Member of both organisations.Susan is currently working as Strategic Projects Officer for the NSW Department of Education. In this role, she was responsible for the design and delivery of the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 Education Project and is currently engaged in the development of policy and professional learning in high potential and gifted education and the review of educational provision in NSW Juvenile Justice Centres. Susan is a proud Birpai woman whose family originates on the NSW mid-north coast.
Bruce Kiloh M Ed Studies, BA TPTC TACTC
Bruce Kiloh is a former Assistant General Manager in education policy development and operations in the Victorian Department of Education and Training. Bruce had responsibility for the development of policy and guidelines in education areas including Social Justice, Middle Years of Schooling Strategy and Youth Development. Bruce has had numerous regional responsibilities including curriculum programs, school improvement and accountability, and community network building. He has had responsibility for up to 60 professional officers and budgets up to $35 million. Bruce has served on government committees at federal and state levels including the State Joint Health and Education Working Party. Bruce is a founding member of the Big Picture Board, serving as chair from 2011 to 2014. He continues to support the development of Big Picture in Victoria.
Mike Hollings MA Applied Linguistics, Dip TESOL Dip Teaching
Mike Hollings has wide-ranging experience in the education sector from teaching through to management, policy development and review. For the past twelve years he has been the chief executive of Te Kura, managing 550 staff to provide distance education to more than 25 000 students. Prior to joining Te Kura, Mike was the national manager of analysis and policy at the Education Review Office with responsibility for evaluating the quality of education in New Zealand schools and he was the acting chief executive between June 2005 and May 2006. He was chief executive of Te Mangai Paho, the Maori Broadcasting Funding Agency, from 1996 to 1999 and has held various senior management positions at Te Puni Kokiri, the Ministry of Maori Development.
John Hogan MA (London), B Ed, B App Sc (Mathematics and Statistics), Dip Teach
John Hogan is co-founder of Big Picture Education Australia. He was made a Distinguished Alumni at Murdoch University in 2015. In 1993/94 he was a Commonwealth Relations Trust Fellow at the University of London. He is currently Honorary Research Fellow at Murdoch University. Over 25 years John worked as a primary teacher, a secondary mathematics teacher and in pastoral care before working with the Education Department of Western Australia where he has been superintendent of mathematics education (K-12) and worked in school development, research, directing national projects and policy. Since 1997 John has run an education consulting business - Redgum Consulting Pty Ltd - developing innovative approaches to leading school development, classroom observation, peer support, and numeracy. He helped lead the work of the Australian National Schools Network for nearly 20 years. John has extensive experience, expertise and training in consulting, coaching and supervision; organisation, school and network development; action learning and group work; strategic and project planning, project management; curriculum development; and research and evaluation.
Michael Saxon - BSc (Pure Mathematics and Geophysics), Dip Ed (Computing Studies and Mathematics)
Mike Saxon is an educator with over 30 years experience in NSW government secondary schools. Mike has been the Principal of Liverpool Boys High School since 2007 where he has led the transformation of the school to one focused on creating the skills our your people need for a modern society. He introduced Project based Learning in 2015 and now the school uses PBL in years 7 - 10. Mike introduced Big Picture advisories in 2017 and is very active in networking and promoting Big Picture Education both within and beyond the educational community. Mike is very active in the NSW Secondary principal's association and co-leads the Learning Now for the Future reference Group which advocates for schools to transform from the 19th century industrial model of education. Mike is recognised as an innovative leader in education with Liverpool Boys High School being awarded the 2019 Australian Secondary School of the Year - Government.
Professor John Fischetti - Doctor of Education, University of Massachusetts
Bachelor of Arts, University of Virginia - USA
Professor John Fischetti is Pro Vice-Chancellor of the College of Human and Social Futures at the University of Newcastle, and immediate past President of the New South Wales Council of Deans of Education.
John received his doctorate in education in professional development, school reform and educational leadership for change in 1986 at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Previously he completed Master's work in Secondary Education and holds a BA in Economics and American Government from the University of Virginia. John holds his teaching certificate in secondary social studies and has taught high school history, economics and political science.
Prior to coming to Newcastle, John served as Dean and Professor of Educational Leadership at the College of Education and Human Development at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana.
John’s key research interests include: School Reform, Preparing Leaders for New Roles/Responsibilities, Secondary Teacher Education Global Educational Issues, Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Technology and Education Research in Teaching and Learning.
His work over the last 35 years focusses on rethinking pedagogy, assessment, schooling and teacher education. John’s equity-driven message is incorporated in his work with undergraduate, post-graduate and PhD students and his leadership of his School and Faculty.
In addition to his current role as Pro Vice Chancellor at the University of Newcastle, John was previously Dean and Professor of Educational Leadership at Southeastern Louisiana University in the US. He served as Assistant Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, Department Chair and Doctoral Program Coordinator at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. In addition we was Professor and Program Coordinator at the University of Louisville, Kentucky, as well as a lecturer at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Jennifer Parett - Principal of James Fallon High School
Jennifer is a rural principal who is passionately invested in the Big Picture design of learning, currently in the space of implementing a Big Picture Academy in its first year. she has begun doctoral studies with the Gonski Institute, with my research centring on how the design can support rural and remote learning in Australia.
Viv White AM - BA Dip (Teacher Librarianship), Teaching Cert
Viv White AM is co-founder and CEO of Big Picture Education Australia (BPEA), a non-profit company established in Australia in 2006, whose core business is ‘re-imagining education’ in response to a rapidly-changing world. Big Picture’s innovative and internationally recognised design for personalised, student-driven learning is being implemented in over 40 schools around Australia. BPEA is Australia’s only international reform and redesign Network.
In 2018 Viv was appointed to the Order of Australia for her services to education and to the reengagement of young people in learning for life.
Viv’s dynamic public speaking skills, combined with her networking and advocacy with government and education systems, has seen the Big Picture design for learning create breakthrough opportunities for thousands of young people around Australia. For example, in 2017 she established a new pathway to tertiary education, known as the Graduation Portfolio, which sees Big Picture graduates negotiate entry to a network of over 12 universities around Australia without requiring an ATAR. Prior to leading BPEA, Viv was CEO of the Victorian Schools Innovation Commission and CEO of the Australian National Schools Network. She has a thirty-year history of international work in educational reform, research, policy and practice. Viv taught primary and secondary education for 13 years, worked in tertiary research for five years as a research fellow at Macquarie University and Victoria University, and served as an adjunct professor at the
University of Western Sydney.
Viv is a Fellow of the Australian Council of Education and was admitted in 2014 to the Australian Businesswomen's Network Hall of Fame.
She is currently working with the University of Melbourne on establishing a system of micro-credentials for Big Picture secondary students that will measure and accredit achievement.
She is Sydney-based but regularly travels interstate as part of her role as CEO of BPEA.
Elliot Washor and Dennis Littky are patrons to Big Picture Education Australia and international consultants to the board.
Big Picture Education Australia is supported by a dedicated team of people around Australia.
Zoe Erbacher - Executive Assistant
Zoe Erbacher is Executive Assistant to the Board and CEO. On top of her duties as an assistant, Zoe manages the Sydney office and our social media accounts.
Before joining Big Picture, Zoe taught English as a second language to adults for Education First (EF), one of the world's largest language schools. While she holds a BA in Creative Industries, Zoe brings a diverse career history, having worked as a Graphic Designer, Corporate Trainer, Marketing Manager and as a Cheerleading Coach and Judge.
Zoe has a strong passion for social justice and education reform which can be traced to her education at Steiner schools in Bellingen, NSW and Canberra, ACT. She also grew up in a house full of teachers and family members working in the broader educational sector. Zoe is delighted to be part of BPEA and is keen to provide members with any assistance they may require.
Joe Wickert - BA Communication, Cert IV TAFE
Joe has a long history in educational multimedia and communications. He is CEO of Summer Hill Media and handles communications, media and publications for BPEA.
Over a long career in education Ann has taught and led in primary and secondary schools, mostly in the ACT. This includes ten years at the AME School in Canberra, and a range of roles in ACT Education Directorate schools, including deputy, faculty head, and executive teacher pastoral care and wellbeing. Her commitment to the Big Picture design correlates closely with a continuing passion for student wellbeing, restorative practice, indigenous education and positive psychology – and a strong personal commitment to social justice.
Ann established the Big Picture Academy at Wanniassa School in the ACT, which successfully graduated many students from 2009 to 2016.
A member of BPEA for over 12 years, Ann has worked in collaborative curriculum projects between BPEA and ACARA and is currently project coordinator for the Graduation Portfolio project, BPEA school coach and training provider.
Sara is responsible for financial administration and membership management at BPEA. Her education background is a unique combination of an undergraduate degree in French and English from the University of Sydney and a Masters of Business in Accounting from UTS.
Joanne Pettit - Communications
Joanne has been working in adult education and multimedia production for over 20 years. In her work at Big Picture Joanne produces promotional and training videos, writes our communications materials, and designs educational courses.
Joanne has a:
- Graduate Diploma in Factual TV Producing (Australian Film Television and Radio School)
- BA Communications (University of Technology, Sydney)
- Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment (NSW TAFE)
- Graduate Diploma in Adult Education (Univeristy of Technology, Sydney)
Stephen has worked in a range of roles within the Tasmanian Education Department for over 30 years. As principal in both regional and city schools Stephen was highly conscious of the need to personalise learning and to provide a broad range of authentic experiences, including learning with adults in the community. He led an action research network of principals for a number of years investigating future learning environments. Stephen presently runs his own educational consultancy including coaching the Tasmanian Big Picture schools.
Chris Bonnor AM BA (Hons), Dip Ed, Dip Soc Ed
Chris Bonnor is highly regarded for his leadership in secondary education having served as principal of two NSW high schools and as president of the NSW Secondary Principals’ Council. Chris is a Fellow of the Australian College of Educators and the Centre for Policy Development. He has been the recipient of numerous awards for his outstanding contribution to education in Australia, including Member of the Order of Australia. Chris is a frequent contributor to debates on education issues and his articles are regularly published in Australian media. He has co-authored two books dealing with policy and quality of schooling. After ten years of service, Chris recently retired from Board duties but intends to and will remain a valued contributor to Big Picture.
Deborah Chadwick is Research and Development Leader at BPEA. On completion of her PhD studying the impact of anxiety on learning, Deb sought out individuals and organisations working to transform education in a meaningful and effective way. Deb has a passion for student well-being and education reform, with a focus on evidence based best practice creating positive change in education, enhancing both the learning experiences and learning outcomes of students.
Following a short time working as an educational consultant for Big Picture, she now joins the team to continue work on research projects in NSW and nationally. Deb looks forward to working with principals, advisors, coaches and students within the big Picture network. The key research focus will be to explore the inclusion, engagement and transitions of students with disability in Big Picture schools. Deb will also be working with Joanne Pettit being involved in the accreditation, micro-credentials and evaluation project. An investigation during the COVID-19 lockdown provided an insight into the transition to learning from home for Big Picture students and advisors generating the “Unlocked Potential during Lockdown” report.
Deb has a
- Bachelor of Science Degree (Psychology & Physiology)
- Graduate Diploma in Education (Science & Maths)
- Master of Education (Human Resources Development)
- Doctor of Philosophy (Anxiety & Learning – Cognitive Load Theory)
Prior to joining Big Picture, Deb worked for 30 years in secondary, tertiary and adult education sectors. Deb still currently teaches at The University of Sydney (Conservatorium of Music). She is part of the Music Education Unit co-ordinating and lecturing Educational Psychology and Developmental Psychology to pre-service teachers.