Big Picture People
Big Picture Learning Australia Governance
Big Picture Learning Australia (BPLA) 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.
BPLA 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.
BPLA is a company limited by guarantee and registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission. Big Picture holds deductible gift recipient status for its training operations.
In accordance with its constitution, the members of the organisation, Big Picture Learning 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 Learning Australia Network.
Board of Directors
BPLA 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 is a founding member of Big Picture Education Australia. She 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. She was 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. She was awarded a Public Service Medal in 2021. Susan is currently working as Principal in Residence 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, the development of policy and professional learning in high potential and gifted education, the review of educational provision in NSW Juvenile Justice Centres and the work and wellbeing of principals. 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.
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.
Joanne Pettit - Communications and Resources
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)
Joe Wickert - Communications and Resources
Joe has a long history in educational multimedia and communications. He is CEO of Summer Hill Media and handles communications, media and publications for BPLA.
Sara Wickert - Accounts Manager
Sara is responsible for financial administration and membership management at BPLA. 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.
Ann Hill - University Pathways and Coach
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 BPLA for over 12 years, Ann has worked in collaborative curriculum projects between BPLA and ACARA and is currently project coordinator for the Graduation Portfolio project, BPLA school coach and training provider.
Tanya Ringuet - International IBPLC Coordinator and Coach
For over 25 years Tanya has been a teacher and a leader in a range of schools and universities across Queensland, Tasmania and the UK. She believes strongly in the emancipatory nature of education and is committed to empowering young people to become the architects of their own future. Her teaching, and subsequent leadership practice is underpinned by four principles: authenticity, personalisation, sustainability and reflection.
On completion of her Masters degree, Tanya sought out innovators and disruptors who wanted to design places for students to create, innovate and thrive, which led her to Big Picture. Since joining Big Picture, she has worked as an Advisory teacher, assistant principal and school coach.
Tanya was a member of the working group that developed the International Big Picture Learning Credential (IBPLC). She continues this work in Australia and is leading the international roll out of the credential.
Brooke Burns - Coach
Brooke is an experienced coaching professional who has spent more than twenty years teaching and coaching people both in formal educational and elite basketball settings. Her career in education has seen her teach and lead in private and government schools in Western Australia where she has undertaken a variety of roles including Physical Education Teacher, Year Coordinator and Program Coordinator of Professional Learning in Innovation and Engagement. Brooke's affiliation with Big Picture Learning Australia began at the end of 2012 as a beginning advisory teacher at Halls Head College where she worked to establish the school's Big Picture Academy.
In the years since, Brooke has worked on curriculum projects between BPLA and ACARA, attended a BPLA study tour of Big Picture Learning Schools in America and currently works as the Western Australian Coordinator of BPLA along with being a BPLA School Coach and training provider.
Eric Radice - Coach
Eric has spent the past 30 years in education in both the private and public system and at country and city postings. Originally a health and physical education teacher, Eric has held many roles in education including program coordinator, VET coordinator, team leader and associate principal.
In 2006, disillusioned with traditional education, Eric toured Big Picture schools in the US with two of his team members and returned to commence one of the first Big Picture schools in Australia at Yule Brook College in 2007. Having progressed multiple Advisories from Year 8 to Year 12, Eric began to support other schools in their Big Picture journey as a school coach.
In 2016, Eric and his wife started a new venture – a vineyard and restaurant in the Perth Hills. As a result, he reduced his teaching time and focussed solely on coaching. Having been a part of the Big Picture journey from its earliest days, Eric is still convinced that the design is an essential ingredient in an effective education system. His knowledge of the design continues to grow and deepen and he remains committed to helping schools implement the design with fidelity.
Jacqueline White - Coach
Jacqueline started at Morisset High School Big Picture Academy in 2017 with a mostly Year 7 Advisory and in 2022, those same students graduated Year 12 with their International Big Picture Learning Credential. Working with the same group of students for six years has been a highlight of her educational career.
Before taking on the role of a BPLA Coach, she was the Head Teacher at Morisset High School Big Picture Academy.
Her other roles within Big Picture have included being part of the team working on developing the IBPLC, supporting the IBPLC work internationally and doing various coaching work in NSW and QLD.
Cara Shipp - Coach
Cara is a Wiradjuri/Welsh woman (descending from the Lamb and Shipp families in Central Western NSW, around Dubbo, Parkes and Trangi) and currently leads Years 10-12 at Silkwood School, on the Gold Coast. She has previously run alternative educational programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, behaviour units, and literacy enhancement programs. Cara has held Head Teacher positions in English/HASS/Languages and served as President, Vice President and Editor with the ACT Association for the Teaching of English (ACTATE). Cara has completed a Master of Education focusing on Aboriginal literacy and regularly presents cultural competence training at local and National conferences.
Cara was introduced to Big Picture Education in 2010 at Wanniassa School, ACT, by Ann Hill and Shelley Lavender. It was the missing piece in the puzzle after years of trying to adapt the curriculum to students’ needs and interests within mainstream systems. She went on to create an excellence program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students at Campbell High, ACT, using project based learning and 8 ways Aboriginal pedagogy combined. After realising that she wanted to be in a school that took a whole- school approach to implementing Big Picture, she moved to Silkwood school.
Tony Wilson - Coach
Tony Wilson is based in Albury in NSW. He has worked as a Big Picture Advisory teacher at James Fallon High School for the past five years. He is currently the Advisory teacher for a Year 10 advisory class. This group of students are the second cohort he has worked with. He is looking forward to the opportunity to support the Big Picture Network this year by joining the coaching team and working with Melrose High School in the ACT.
Tony is extremely passionate about Big Picture as a design for learning. He believes that when students connect interest with practice and develop strong positive relationships with community members, they have the opportunity to thrive in their learning. Building a positive advisory culture has been the centre of his work in Big Picture and he has a keen interest in promoting a passion for reading to develop skills to access knowledge around interests for students.
Lawry Mahon - Coach
Lawry Mahon is a dedicated educator specialising in engaging children in literacy activities that are culturally appropriate. He has supported children in remote Aboriginal communities in a variety of ways, including as the founder of Story Writing in Remote Locations, (SWiRL) which reengages Aboriginal children in reading and writing by incorporating their cultural experiences and knowledge in stories they write. The program also utilises Lawry’s “five photographs” approach, connecting literacy to real-world contexts. As an educational consultant with the Brotherhood of Saint Lawrence he designed learner-centered projects for disengaged young people, ensuring they reconsidered returning to school. During his tenure as a lecturer in Education at Victoria University, Lawry explored emerging technologies in literacy education, and designed projects, such as “Person-to-Person” (P2P) in collaboration with IBM Australia. His academic qualifications include Master of Education, Bachelor of Education, Graduate Diploma in Education, (Multicultural Studies), and Diploma of Teaching.
Nikki Ladas - Coach
Nikki is a passionate secondary educator with over 10 years experience, working mostly in public schools across the Newcastle region. Nikki discovered Big Picture Learning and began work as an Advisory Teacher at Cooks Hill Campus in 2015. This reignited her love of learning and restored her strong belief in and commitment to public education. While at Cooks Hill, Nikki worked with a group of students from Year 9 all the way through to graduation. She gained valuable leadership experience as Deputy Campus Leader at Cooks Hill. After 5 years at Cooks Hill’s stand-alone Big Picture campus, Nikki spent a year working as Head Teacher of the long-established Big Picture Academy at Hunter Sports High School.
Nikki has completed a Master of Education specialising in Instructional Leadership with special interests in equity, school systems, power and relationships. She also relished the opportunity to work as a member of the working group that developed the International Big Picture Learning Credential (IBPLC), and has remained closely involved in ongoing IBPLC projects since. Nikki has worked as a BPLA coach and training provider in NSW for two years now and recently returned from maternity leave after enjoying a new treasured role as a mum.
Joanne Rutkowski - National IBPLC Coordinator
Joanne leads the National IBPLC Team. Her role includes organising professional learning, providing administrative and technical Ruby support, creating resources and producing regular communications for BPLA schools.
Before Big Picture, she worked as a high school English teacher in the public education system for 12 years.
Jax McKelvey - Executive Assistant
Jax Mckelvey is the Executive Assistant to Viv White. She will also manage the Big Picture Learning Australia National Office. Jax has experience in event production, marketing and office management. She will be available Monday, Wednesday and Fridays, at this stage.