About ACSA

Purpose and Vision

The Australian Curriculum Studies Association Incorporated (ACSA) was established in 1983, providing a national forum for sharing, debating and creating educational curriculum scholarship, policy and practice for those engaged in curriculum work. As a not-for-profit organisation, ACSA is a broadly based educational association supporting the professional interests of educators in curriculum work from all levels and sectors within and beyond Australia.

Curriculum involves what is taught (knowledge, understandings, skills, values); how it is taught (pedagogy, teaching style); and how it is assessed (assessment, testing, reporting). Curriculum shapes and is shaped by social, political, economic and historical forces. It involves the selection, interpretation and implementation of culturally-based knowledge, skills, values and beliefs.

ACSA works to support educators so that all students have access to a meaningful, relevant and engaging curriculum. ACSA provides national advocacy and leadership in curriculum. It is committed to curriculum reform informed by the principles of social justice and equity and respect for the democratic rights of all.

ACSA achieves these goals through alliances and interaction with education groups and broader local and global community organisations. ACSA seeks to cooperate with teachers and schools, professional associations, governments and government agencies in order to pursue its goals. ACSA acts as an advocate for the profession in forums where education policy is shaped. It engages in research, innovation, policy development, critique and dissemination of curriculum ideas.

Through membership of the Australian Curriculum Studies Association you are part of a group that:

  • Provides curriculum leadership across the nation
  • Provides a national voice on curriculum matters
  • Influences policy development
  • Engages in curriculum research
  • Encourages critical and reflective curriculum practice
  • Provides forums for the exchange of information on curriculum developments
  • Develops and publishes curriculum resources and materials
  • Conducts a biennial conference and biennial curriculum symposium
  • Engages in professional learning and conversation through online webinars

Please refer to the ACSA Principles regarding curriculum development.

Governance and structure

The Australian Curriculum Studies Association (Inc) is a broadly-based professional association with Australian and international members. Members include teachers and principals; educational administrators and consultants; teacher educators, academics and educational researchers; parents and students.

The ACSA Executive Committee is responsible for conducting the affairs of the association through the Secretariat, which is registered in the national capital, Canberra.

The ACSA Executive Committee consists of three elected officers (the President, Vice-President, Honorary Secretary/Treasurer); other elected members; an appointed Conference Convenor; appointed Editors of Curriculum Perspectives; and may at times have up to two co-opted members. Co-opted members must be members of the Association and are appointed by the Executive Committee.

The current ACSA Executive Committee:

President

Dr Deborah Price

Dr Deborah Price (PhD, MEd, MEd Stud, GradCert MthEd, BEd, DipT), is Research Degrees Coordinator and Senior Lecturer Inclusive Education and Wellbeing at the University of South Australia (UniSA): Education Futures. She is an Executive member of the UniSA Centre for Research in Educational and Social Inclusion (CRESI) and currently President of the Australian Curriculum Studies Association (ACSA). Her educational research focuses on: Inclusive Education; Disability; Educator and Learner Wellbeing; Social Justice; Culturally and Religiously Responsive Pedagogy; Curriculum; Teacher Education; Bullying, Persistent Bullying and Cyberbullying; Youth Studies and Voice; Capabilities and Strengths-Based approaches; and Inquiry, Participatory Design and Action Research methodologies. Deborah is currently on the University of South Australia Generative Artificial Intelligence Working Group. View bio

Secretary / Treasurer

Ms Jenene Rosser

Mrs Jenene Rosser (MEd, BSci, BEd, DipEd) is the current ACSA Conference Convener, and has most recently been the Executive Manager (Curriculum & Assessment), Independent Schools Queensland. Jenene has represented Independent Schools Australia (ISA) on the ACARA F – 12 Curriculum Reference Group (CRG) and is also a member of the ACARA Curriculum Directors Group (CDG). She has represented Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ) on a number of committees and working parties for curriculum and assessment in Queensland. Her active interest in curriculum theorising and curriculum scholarship, showcases her passion around equity in education. Jenene has been a long-term supporter of ACSA.

Chief Editor

Dr Philip Roberts

Dr Philip Roberts (PhD, BEd) is the Chief Editor of the ACSA’s Journal publication Curriculum Perspectives. Dr Roberts is also an Associate Professor in Curriculum Inquiry & Rural Education, University of Canberra. View bio

General Member

Dr Gavin Hays

Dr Gavin Hays (PhD, MEd Leadership, BA, BTeaching), is currently Principal, Marian College, Kenthurst, NSW. He was previously Head of Contemporary Learning and Research within the Catholic Education Catholic Diocese of Parramatta and supported schools as they navigated change in implementing contemporary learning pedagogies and inspecting impact. He has supported schools in implementing and sustaining pedagogical change in the areas of Inquiry Learning, Project and Problem Based Learning, Flipped Learning, Retrieval Practice and STEM. He has been involved in a number of international training opportunities within the United States, Singapore and Finland. From these opportunities he is an accredited PBL trainer within the New Tech Network and is recognised as a Problem Crafter by Republic Polytechnic in Singapore. In 2019 he completed his doctoral study on developing a new measure for conceptual knowledge under Professor Dr Henk Schmidt at Erasmus University, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, co-supervised by Assistant Professor Dr Jerome Rotgans from the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

General Member

Dr Kate O’Connor

Dr Kate O’Connor (PhD, B Public Policy & Management (Honours), BA) is currently Senior, Education Policy and Leadership, School of Education at La Trobe University. View bio

General Member

Dr Emily Ross

Dr Emily Ross has held senior leadership positions at the QCAA, the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) and the interim National Curriculum Board, as well as in Queensland government and independent schools. Emily’s research focuses on curriculum and assessment policy and its implementation, particularly in areas of STEM education. View bio

General Member

Ms Narelle Morris

Ms Narelle Morris is a member of the AAMT (Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers) Council, and has held various roles within the QCAA (Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority). She has been part of the QAMT (Queensland Association of Mathematics Teachers) executive for many years, and facilitates the QAMT Senior Teachers Supporting Teachers program. Narelle has taught in Victoria, London and Queensland, and has attended the inaugural AAMT Exchange program to Singapore. Narelle is a Mathematics teacher with 35 years’ experience. She has a passion for supporting teachers, especially in regional areas.

General Member

Dr Helen Schiele

Dr Helen Schiele is a Principal Consultant, Senior Early Childhood Specialist, at Independent Schools Victoria. She works at a national and state level in the curriculum space with the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA), and Department of Education (DE) at a state and federal level, advocating on behalf for the early childhood sector. View bio

General Member

Jonathon Carpenter

Serving both locally and abroad, Jonathan has held various leadership positions whilst working in five schools, across three sectors, in Australia and Indonesia. Throughout his 19 years in education, he has taught students from Years 5 - 12. Additional Bio

General Member

Olivia Kirk

Olivia comes to us with 20 years’ experience in primary education across state and independent schools. She has held a variety of positions including Head of Teaching and Learning, Curriculum Coordinator, Learning Support Coordinator, Literacy Coach, classroom teacher, and specialist teacher. She is currently Assistant Head of Junior School - Academic Programs at Somerville House. Additional Bio

ACSA Office

The ACSA Office is registered in the nation’s capital Canberra, and is the first point of call for queries regarding the biannual national conference, biannual national symposium, webinars, convention development, membership, journal publications and ACSA publications. Staff support the ACSA Executive Committee to outwork their vision for curriculum conversation and development across Australia and abroad.

The ACSA Office is staffed by an Executive Director, a Marketing, Communication and Events Assistant, and a Finance Officer.

Executive Director

Mrs Helen Vonow

Mrs Helen Vonow (MEd, GradDipEd, Dip T, Cert IV BusMan), has substantial experience in leadership and management having worked and taught from ELC to Year 12, across a diversity of education sectors including Department, Catholic, Lutheran and Independent school settings. Helen has held various roles including Head of School, Deputy Principal, Assistant Principal and a variety of curriculum leadership positions. She has a passion for all things curriculum, and has extensive experience in event and project management both within schools and the wider community. Helen also brings to the table 30 years of business development experience.

Marketing, Communications & Events Assistant

Miss Jasmine Vonow

Miss Jasmine Vonow has almost completed a Bachelor of Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship. She has experience in business development and operation, and has a personal interest in marketing. This ACSA role is a fantastic stepping stone for Jasmine to launch her long term career aspirations in HR. She's as excited to join us at ACSA as we are to have her!

Finance Officer

Mr Darren Cossens

Mr Darren Cossens (CPA, Public Practice Certificate, BBus(Accy)), is an accounting and business professional with 42 years’ experience in finance. The last 20 years he worked as a Business Manager of a secondary college in South Australia. He has extensive experience in business development, project management and grant application preparation. He has served as a member of a number of Boards (Primary and Secondary Schools), and at State Association level. Darren has also previously held roles as a Senior Accountant, CPA Sole Practitioner, and worked in the bank as a Investigating Accountant and Relationship Lending Manager.

ACSA Awards

Garth Boomer Award

The Garth Boomer Award is made to members of a team of two or more educators who have made a significant contribution to promote collaborative principles in a school. Through the Garth Boomer award, ACSA recognises and commemorates Garth Boomer's substantial contribution to educational thinking and practice. ACSA and Mr Boomer share a similar educational philosophy.

View recipients here

2023 – Pymble Ladies' College, NSW

2019 - Sunbury College VCAL team

2017 - Silkwood High School

2013 - Australian Science and Mathematics School

2011 - Dandenong High School Leadership Team, Victoria

2009 - Josh Levy and Melissa Ibrihim, ruMAD? Team from the Education Foundation, a division of the Foundation for Young Australians

2007 - Wooranna Park, Dandenong North, Victoria

2005 - Access Unit, Swan View Senior High School, Western Australia

2003 - Buranda State School, Woolloongabba, Queensland

2001 - Willunga High School, South Australia (Team Award)

1999 - Titjikala School, Northern Territory (Team Award)

1997 - Year 7 and 8 Teaching Team, Endeavour Hills Campus, Eumemmerring Secondary College, Victoria (Team Award)

1995 - Pat Thomson, Paralowie R-12 School in South Australia (Individual Award)

Colin Marsh Award

The Colin Marsh Award is presented for a quality contribution to the curriculum debate, through published work in the ACSA journal Curriculum Perspectives

View recipients here

2023 – Cathie Burgess, Katrina Thorpe, Suzanne Egan and Valerie Harwood - Learning from Country to conceptualise what an Aboriginal curriculum narrative might look like in education.

2021 - John Hughes - Antecedents of the New South Wales Curriculum Review: an introduction to the New South Wales curriculum style.

2019 - Amy Morris and Cathi Burgess - The intellectual quality and inclusivity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content in the NSW Stage 5 History syllabus

2017 - Agathi Argyriadi & Marina Sotiropoulou-Zormpal - Engaging first-graders in language arts through ‘art-flow activities’

2015 - Philip Roberts - Curriculum for the country: The absence of the rural in a national curriculum

2013 - Kevin Lowe and Tyson Yunkaporta - The inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content in the Australian National Curriculum: A cultural, cognitive and socio-political evaluation

ACSA Life Membership

The ACSA Life Membership Award is in recognition of outstanding contribution to the Association over a period of time as well as members who are significant educators in their own right. This is the highest award that can be achieved by an ACSA member. Life Membership Awards are presented at the ACSA Biennial Conference.

View recipients here

2023 – Katherine Schoo (Brisbane Conference)

2023 - Deborah Henderson (Brisbane Conference)

2017 - Garry McLean (Sydney Conference)

2017- Kathryn Moyle (Sydney Conference)

2011 – Tony Mackay (Sydney Conference)

2009 – Alan Reid (Canberra Conference)

2005 - Joan Warhurst (Sunshine Coast)

2005 – Lesley McFarlane (Sunshine Coast)

2003 – Ian MacPherson (Adelaide Conference)

2001 - Murray Cropley (Canberra Conference)

2001 - Kerry Kennedy (Canberra Conference)

1999 – Robin McTaggart (Perth Conference)

1999 - Jim Cumming (Perth Conference)

1997 - Leonie Ebert (Sydney Conference)

1997 – David Lanley Smith (Sydney Conference)

1997 - Colin Marsh (Sydney Conference)

ACSA Photo Gallery

To view the ACSA photo gallery please click here.