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 - Chris Ryan PSM BA, Dip Ed MA
Chris Ryan has had extensive experience as an educator, researcher, policy advisor and administrator. He was a member of the senior executive of the NSW public education system for more than ten years. As executive director, his responsibilities included the management of communications, media, information and risk. He has also served as an advisor to a number of peak state and national education authorities. Chris was a long serving director of the NSW Talent Development Program and is currently a director of the Public Education Foundation. He has been the recipient of a number of awards recognising his service to education and training, including the Public Service Medal.
Deputy Chair - Joanne Roberts Dip Teaching, Cert A Grad Dip (Computers in Ed), Special Cert (Clinical Teaching)
Joanne Roberts is a former board member of the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority and a past state coordinator of the Australian National Schools Network. Joanne has worked as a teacher and a principal in both primary and secondary sectors of education and her career has included work as a curriculum consultant in the Victorian education system. Joanne held a substantial education and administrative role with the Victorian Schools Innovation Commission. Joanne’s current research interests include the primary years and the development of personalised curricula.
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. His Big Picture Board responsibilities include research and evaluation.
Bruce Kiloh M Ed Studies, BA TPTC TACTC
Bruce Kiloh is a former senior 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 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. His current work involves the review of government and non-government schools and team and leadership development. 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.
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. 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 more than 12 years, Susan is currently the principal of St John’s Park High School in south-western Sydney. Active in principal professional associations at the executive level, Susan represents the NSW Secondary Principals’ Council on the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Aboriginal Education and Training and is a member of the Secondary Principals’ Council State Assembly. Susan is a proud member of the Birpai people of the NSW mid-north coast.
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 seven years he has been the chief executive of Te Kura, managing 400 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.
Keith Reams BSc (Chemical Engineering)
Keith Reams is a principal and the lead economist with Deloitte. Keith is a former managing director with Appraisal Economics, an international economics consulting practice and prior to joining Appraisal, Keith held a senior management role with Price Waterhouse Coopers in New York. Keith currently sits on the board of trustees and is the CFO of Big Picture Schools California, Inc., a non-profit management organisation that manages several public secondary school initiatives in California and supports the development of new schools in that state that implement the Big Picture educational model.
James Walker BA (Commerce)
James has extensive experience in building businesses and commercialising technology. He has led and managed global companies across a wide range of industries, including hotel marketing, biotechnology and mining and safety services. Over the past fifteen years James has completed multiple capital raisings on both the Australian and London stock exchanges as well as through private equity and other sources. James is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and holds a Bachelor of Commerce form the University of New South Wales.
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 has been a Commonwealth Relations Trust Fellow to the University of London and is currently an Honorary Fellow at Murdoch University. John worked as a primary and secondary 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 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 has 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 and network development; action learning and group work; strategic and project planning, project management; curriculum development; and research and evaluation.
Viv White AM - BA Dip (Teacher Librarianship), Teaching Cert
Viv White is co-founder, managing director and company secretary of Big Picture Education Australia. Prior to being a leader in this innovative venture, Viv was CEO of the Victorian Schools Innovation Commission and co-founder 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 has taken the lead in establishing Big Picture Learning International (BPLI), a venture that will influence governments and educational institutions and launch more schools for disadvantaged and disengaged youth.
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.
Joe Wickert - BA Communication, Cert iv TAE
Joe has a long history in educational multimedia and communications. He works with Summer Hill Media, the Australian National Schools Network and handles communications, media and publications for BPEA.
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 has been working in adult education and multimedia production for over 20 years. Alongside her work with Summer Hill Media, Joanne works with Big Picture in the design of our educational courses. Amongst other qualifications, Joanne holds a Graduate Diploma in Adult Education and a Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment.
In 38 years working in education, Peter has been a school leader for 25 years, including principal in 3 different schools over 18 years. He has worked as a curriculum consultant and state co-ordinator of the innovative National Schools Project. He has worked in rural, regional, metropolitan and international schools and taught from kindergarten to university. These roles have taken him to all regions of NSW, all states and territories of Australia, to Brunei and the UK. He and his family have lived in desert, rainforest and alpine regions, an Aboriginal community and a Muslim society. Peter was the Big Picture Hub Leader for the Hunter region in NSW and is currently coaching Big Picture schools in NSW.
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 is school coach for the Tasmanian Big Picture schools and the Tasmanian Network co-ordinator.
Katie Thorburn is the Executive Assistant of Big Picture Education Australia. In this role she directly helps the CEO and the Board with the day to day operations of the organisation. Originally from Narromine NSW, Katie moved to Sydney to study political economy, sociology and gender studies at the University of Sydney. Before joining Big Picture, Katie was co-Women’s Officer of the University of Sydney and lead the campaign against sexual violence on campus. Katie describes herself as a political activist with a passion for education, feminism, mental health, rural opportunities and Indigenous rights. She sees working for Big Picture Education Australia as a way of pursuing those passions. In her spare time, Katie is also a comedian, focusing on stand up as well as sketch writing and performance.