Valad | Solutions to support learning




About Valad Solutions

info_512pxGREYValad Solutions was formed in 2009 by a group of four like minded individuals. In 2017 the company changed its structure to include two Executive Directors, three Founding Directors and a team of Associate Directors.

The Executive Directors are Emma Richardson and Robyn Timmins. The Founding Directors of the Company include Geoff Emmett, Leon Kildea and Bruce Kiloh. The Company has grown to include a number of Associate Directors who bring new knowledge and expertise to Valad Solutions.
Our Associate Directors include Carol Every, Mandy Dunn, Joan Sibley, Heather Norbury, Lucy Glover, Jacqui Holston and Gaye Peel. New members of our team join us for specific projects as required. Biographies of our team can be found in the ‘Our Team’ tab of this site. Valad Solutions is well known and respected for the high level consultancy services it offers to our clients.

Our Services

Research and Evaluation Services

Valad Solutions is able to deliver a comprehensive research program to meet the needs of any client. This includes:

  • Surveys and analysis: We provide design and delivery (online or print copy) of surveys and the analysis of the data from small to large samples on a local, national or international scale
  • Case studies: Valad Solutions provide both quantitative and qualitative solutions to clients research questions. Case studies can support survey data providing a deeper analysis of trends and issues or can be constructed independently to provide rich policy data
  • Focus Groups: Valad Solutions has a breadth of networks to draw on to provide focussed consultation on issues and questions to direct broader research initiatives
  • Data analysis: Valad Solutions is able to analyse demographic and performance data to support policy options and evaluate implementation outcomes

Enhancement – Communication and Facilitation Services

Valad Solutions has direct experience in the design and delivery of large scale professional development services. The Directors are highly competent public speakers and can deliver policy and program advice in a comprehensive and supportive manner using a range of technologies suitable for the client and their audience.

Valad Solutions have a breadth of knowledge of venues across Victoria and the capability to deliver or facilitate state-wide or national programs.

The Valad Solutions team has extensive expertise in curriculum and assessment, and qualifications design and evaluation at a state and national level.

Our Team

Emma Richardson | Executive Director

Emma Richardson 

Executive Director 

B. Arts, Dip. Ed, M.Ed (Research)

Emma has been working as an Education Consultant since 2006. In this time, she has built a strong client base of government and non-government organisations. She leads the significant contracts of school review held with the Victorian Registration and Qualification Authority (VRQA) and the Victorian Department of Education (DET), as well as leads research and evaluation projects for Valad. Her recent consultancy work has also included directly supporting a number of schools in Victorian with the development of curriculum systems, contributions to the ongoing development and delivery of teacher professional development programs, and directly conducts reviews of Independent Schools and DET schools in Victoria against minimum legislated standards. Emma has been an active member of the academic research community and has been presented with a research award from the Australian Association of Research in Education. Emma’s work encompasses Early Childhood Education, Primary and Secondary teaching contexts. Emma also brings expertise from work prior to teaching, where she worked in the corporate sector. Various roles in administration and human resources led to work in diverse fields such as advertising, banking, IT and facilities management

Robyn Timmins |Executive Director

Robyn Timmins

Executive Director

M.Ed.PA, B.Ed. (Secondary), ANZSOG Executive Fellow.

Robyn has worked as a teacher and teacher educator and has held executive and senior management roles in the public and private sectors for the past 30 years. Although focused primarily on education, her work experience includes marketing services and print media. She is a results driven accomplished senior project manager. Robyn joined Valad Solutions as an Associate Director in June 2016, and became an Executive Director in August 2017.

Key capabilities:
• exemplary leadership
• agile and critical reasoning
• high level analytical and conceptual thinking
• effective use of data and evidence and the capacity to formulate sound advice to government and boards
• initiating and leading policy reform
• presentation and research skills
• adept at building and managing relationships with stake holders and managing change

Recent projects/work:

  • Child Safe Standards Implementation Feedback Project, Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA).
  • Mapping the provision of high academic ability and specialised programs in Victorian government schools, Victorian Department of Education and Training

•A study to assess the feasibility of TAFE institutes being the primary provider of VET certificates to government school students and development of an improved funding model with Grant Thornton Australia Limited, Victorian Department of Education and Training.
• Mapping the existing provision of specialist Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) resources for Victorian government schools including an interactive map, Victorian Department of Education and Training.
• Development of resources to support the implementation of the Victorian Government’s Child Safe Standards in schools, Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA).

Prior to joining Valad Solutions Robyn held executive positions with the Victorian Department of Education and Training, the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority, and (acting) General Manager Curriculum with the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority. In 2015 Robyn led the start-up phase of the Victorian government’s Tech Schools initiative.

Robyn has worked on large scale testing programs and national projects including Mind Matters as a Senior Project Manager at Curriculum Corporation. She has experience in the regulation of schools, vocational education and training, higher education, home schooling, accreditation of courses and qualifications, and in high stakes curriculum development.

She also led the major IT project which delivered the on-line State Register of Victorian schools, higher education and training organisations, including publication for the first time of school performance data at the VRQA.

Geoff Emmett | Founding Director

Geoff Emmett

Founding Director

M.Ed.(Research), Dip App Chem., TSTC.

Geoff has worked as a teacher and regional consultant and has held executive and senior management roles in the Victorian and Commonwealth public sectors in education over the past 40 years. His work has been primarily in curriculum and assessment and support for schools and teachers. Geoff was a Founding Director of Valad Solutions when it was established in 2009.

Key capabilities:
• high level project management
• analytical and conceptual thinking
• use of data and evidence to support and facilitate school improvement
• initiating and leading policy reform and development
• presentation and research skills
• building and managing relationships with clients and stakeholders
• report writing.

Recent projects/work:
• school reviews in government schools (peer and priority) and non-government schools including primary and secondary, metropolitan and rural schools
• a study of the targeted use of data for school improvement and the publication of case studies of exemplary practice in five Victorian schools
• principal advisor to the Colman Foundation (and a member of the school council) in the development and implementation of a Birth to Year 9 school and early learning centre, in partnership with the Victorian Government, in Doveton Victoria
• development of a draft VCE Study Design (Extended Investigation) and evaluation of the effectiveness of the assessment design
• evaluation over three years of the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority Industry Themed Curriculum Project.

Prior to establishing Valad Solutions with three colleagues Geoff held senior management positions with the Victorian Institute of Teaching and predecessors to the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority including the Board of Studies and the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Board. He was also seconded for extended periods to provide policy and program advice to three Victorian Ministers of Education.

Geoff has worked on National and International projects including national curriculum initiatives, a major Victorian mental health project and an investigation into the establishment of a VCE school in Indonesia. He has published a range of monographs and articles including a chapter in Teachers as Learners: Critical Discourse on Challenge and Opportunities, (Ed Ora Kwo), Comparative Education Research Centre, The University of Hong Kong, Springer, 2010.

Leon Kildea | Founding Director

Leon Kildea

Founding Director

B.Ec., Dip.Ed., Grad Dip Ed
Leon has worked in a range of roles in education over 40 years including work as a teacher and principal in schools as well as a senior manager responsible for leadership development and school improvement at regional level. His work includes state-wide curriculum development at the senior secondary level and strategic planning for school and broader communities. Leon was a director of Valad Solutions during its formative years.

Key capabilities:
• instructional leadership (including curriculum development, management, delivery and assessment)
• developing/conducting professional development workshops and seminars
• executive coaching and mentoring
• analysis and strategic use of data
• strategic planning and change management
• stakeholder consultations and research
• review and investigation skills

Recent projects/work
• reviewed government schools in Victoria and Queensland
• audited independent schools for compliance with legislated standards
• presented workshops and seminars to overseas delegates on education fact finding visits to Australia (Indonesia, Philippines)
• researched the quality and cost of vocational education provision in Victoria
• facilitated the development of instructional models for government and Catholic schools
• designed systems for the development, management, review and quality assurance of education programs in schools in Victoria
• designed and conducted professional development seminars on high quality assessment techniques in secondary schools
• developed resource material for teachers and principals on improving classroom teaching techniques

Bruce Kiloh | Founding Director

Bruce Kiloh

Founding Director


Over the last 40 years, Bruce has worked in a range of positions in education including teacher, senior manager and executive at central and regional levels; and more recently as a consultant in the education and corporate sectors.  He has extensive experience in policy and program development as well as leadership and team training.  Bruce is a Founding Director of Valad Solutions.


Key Capabilities:

  • Relationship building with clients and stakeholders
  • Team and Leadership development
  • Policy and Program design and implementation
  • Facilitation and Workshop leadership
  • Analysis, research and negotiation skills
  • Preparation and navigation of advice at all levels
  • Innovative thinking and problem solving
  • Change Management

Recent Projects / Work:

  • Priority and Peer Reviews of Government and Independent schools
  • Program design, resource development and implementation of “Aspirations” Project for Year 9 students and families in Victorian Government schools
  • Design and implementation of leadership development programs including “Navigator” in the corporate sector
  • Design and facilitation of Team Building programs
  • Design and implementation of training programs for teachers in Big Picture schools exploring a student passion / needs basis for negotiating curriculum, training, further education and work
  • Chair of Big Picture Education Board
  • Doveton College SC member (Colman Foundation representative), creating new partnership arrangements for school governance, planning and resourcing

Prior to Valad Solutions Bruce held executive positions with the Victorian Department of Education at both regional and central levels.

As Assistant Regional Director for Western Metropolitan Region Bruce had responsibility for Curriculum Programs, School Improvement and Accountability, Student Welfare, Community Network Building, School Councils, Network Leadership Development, Emergency Management and Human Resource Management for 150 schools.

As an Assistant General Manager in central administration Bruce developed policy and guidelines for large and complex areas including the Middle Years of Schooling Strategy, The Victorian Youth Development Program, Physical and Sport Education, Vocational Education and Training, Gifted Education (Bright Futures Policy), Koorie Education (Koorie 2000 Policy) and Gender Equity.

Bruce also drafted speeches for Ministers, ran major international, national and local conferences and undertook extensive research including “Koorie Student Attendance and Engagement in Government Schools”.

Bruce has also developed and conducted extensive leadership programs in the corporate sector.

Mandy Dunn | Associate Director

Mandy Dunn

Associate Director

Dip Teaching (Primary) – Deakin University

B Ed – La Trobe University

Mandy has over 40 years’ experience in education as a teacher, principal, Regional Network Leader and educational consultant. She has a wealth of educational experience and has high level skills as a mentor, coach and instructional leader. Mandy joined the Valad team as an associate in 2015.

Key capabilities

  • School improvement, data analysis and strategic planning
  • Building leadership capacity
  • Coaching and mentoring

Recent work has included:

  • Facilitation of Peer Reviews
  • Lead reviewer of Priority Reviews
  • Coaching of school leaders and leadership teams
  • Facilitation of coaching programs

Mandy has been an accredited reviewer since 2015.  She has facilitated both Peer and Priority Reviews in primary and secondary schools across regional and metropolitan Victoria.

Prior to joining the Valad team, Mandy worked as a principal in three eastern metropolitan primary schools where her leadership was characterised by a strong teaching and learning focus and the facilitation of teamwork and collaboration. As a principal, Mandy was adept at setting direction, promoting consistency and coherence, nurturing the talents of others and developing a positive school culture. Mandy has driven school improvement as a former Regional Network Leader, overseeing school improvement across primary, secondary and special schools. During this time Mandy worked closely with principals and school leadership teams, developing leadership capabilities and providing advice and support on the implementation of consistent high quality teaching and learning practices. Mandy has a Certificate in Professional Coaching (Growth Coaching International).

Carol Every | Associate Director

Carol Every

Associate Director

M.Ed. (School Leadership), B.Ed. (Secondary), B.Sci. (Health Promotion).

Carol has more than 20 years’ experience in education leadership, teaching, community development and consulting. Carol’s extensive experience spans whole school teaching and learning strategy, curriculum development, engagement and wellbeing, pathways, transition and workforce planning. She is a skilled facilitator with experience engaging stakeholders in strategic direction and planning.

Key capabilities:

  • Pioneering curriculum development.
  • Writing and reviewing training material, policies and procedures reflecting changing requirements, relevant industry standards and legislative requirements.
  • Engaging, supportive, transformative and targeted leadership.
  • Consultative strategic planning and change management.
  • Highly skilled and personable facilitator.
  • The application of quantitative and qualitative methodologies including data analysis, case study and narrative.
  • Highly developed stakeholder management and engagement skills.
  • Exemplar project management ensuring all initiatives and key program milestones are delivered on time and within budget.
  • High personal drive and work ethics.

Recent projects/work:

Carol has held numerous leadership roles within schools including staff and student management and curriculum design, development, implementation and evaluation.  As an assistant principal, Carol was responsible for whole school teaching and learning, engagement and wellbeing, pathways and transition and workforce planning.

Since beginning with Valad Solutions in 2012 Carol has undertaken projects with the education, community and business sector. Her most recently projects have included;

  • writing and trialling nine years 9-11 unit resources and support documentation (including advise for school based policy) for the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation
  • provision of coaching and mentoring advice to a growing large secondary school developing and implementing their senior years structure to ensure all students can achieve their desired pathway. This included policy development, a structure that supports flexibility of student loads and staff professional development
  • design, trial and evaluation of a DET program addressing the need for raising aspirations of students in rural and remote schools
  • biannual evaluations and overall review of the Butterfly Foundation ‘BodyThink’ facilitator training programs.

The community and school based programs and projects Carol has lead include;

  • a year 7 to 12 whole school curriculum plan/ scope and sequence
  • a year 7 to 12 careers and pathway developed process
  • a domestic violence peer education youth focus program in 152 Victorian schools
  • a pathway focused senior school structure and curriculum based on choice, engagement, equality and personalisation
  • an integrated, interdisciplinary, team teaching and learning middle school program
  • a holistic learning support structure that provided referral to and partnerships with community based support programs and agencies.

Carol has worked on many school improvement projects addressing disadvantage and lifting student achievement. Her Masters of Education (Leadership) was research based exploring the how team teaching impacts on teaching and learning outcomes.

Joan Sibley | Associate Director

Joan Sibley

Associate Director

Qualifications: Diploma of Teaching (Primary), Graduate Diploma, Student Welfare

Career summary:  

Joan has over 40 years’ experience in education as a teacher and principal. During her career she has demonstrated high-level instructional leadership skill and curriculum knowledge. Joan’s school leadership was characterised by high aspirations and teamwork. Joan has led and supported individuals, teams and schools in continuous school improvement and strategic planning. Joan joined the Valad Solutions team in 2015.

Key capabilities:

  • Highly effective relationship building skills
  • Extensive experience in building teacher and leadership capacity
  • Highly developed understanding of poverty and disadvantage
  • Extensive curriculum knowledge
  • Excellent submission and report writing skills
  • Excellent data analysis and strategic planning skills
  • Highly developed understandings of poverty and disadvantage

Recent work has included:

  • Facilitation of Peer Reviews
  • Lead reviewer of Priority Reviews
  • Mentoring of school leaders
  • Development of curriculum
  • Presentation of a Department of Education and Training program aimed at raising aspirations of students in rural and remote schools

Prior to joining the Valad Solutions team as an accredited reviewer in 2015, Joan was the principal of a large provincial primary school. She developed a school culture, which focused on excellence in teaching and learning and high expectations for all stakeholders.

Ensuring that all of her students had equal access to an excellent education was driven by Joan’s strong commitment to social justice.


Lucy Glover | Associate Director

Lucy Glover

Associate Director

B A (Psychology), Grad. Dip. of Teaching

Areas of expertise

Lucy has recently held leadership roles both as an assistant principal and as a Network Improvement Consultant in the Western Metropolitan Region.  She has driven school improvement as a former Network Improvement Consultant, overseeing school improvement across primary, secondary and special schools in the Wyndham Network (WMR). During this time Lucy worked closely with principals and school leadership teams, developing leadership capabilities and providing advice and support on the implementation of consistent high quality teaching and learning practices, as well the design and implementation of interventions, such as the GRIN (Getting Ready in Numeracy) Program.  She has expertise in school improvement, data analysis and strategic planning.

Lucy has participated in international study tours to the USA, to research programs that build aspiration and achievement in communities with low tertiary engagement. In particular, Lucy engaged with schools who offered early college (university) programs as well as AVID schools.
Lucy is an experienced presenter and facilitator of the McREL Balanced Leadership and Classroom Instruction that Work programs. Lucy is an outstanding communicator, facilitator and strategic thinker.  She has a wealth of educational experience and has high level skills as a mentor, coach and instructional leader. Lucy has completed the School Reviewer Accreditation program.

Recent Work History

Lucy has held various leadership roles in P-12 schools, both in the government and non-government sectors, including Head of Senior School and Assistant Principal. Most recently, Lucy was Assistant Principal of a large P-12 College in a growth suburb of outer western Melbourne, where she was responsible for the development of all aspect of years 9-12 from the schools inception.

Her leadership is characterised by big picture, strategic thinking, high aspirations for all students, strong instructional leadership and promoting consistency, collaboration and collective efficacy.

Heather Norbury | Associate Director

Heather Norbury

Associate Director

B Ed – Primary

Heather joined Valad Solutions in 2015 and has over 35 years of experience in schools. She brings a strong skill set to her role as a reviewer. Although focussed mainly in primary education, her experiences include a deep understanding of conditions conducive to continuous school improvement, a strong record of curriculum knowledge, development and implementation and a proven capacity in the analysis and interpretation of data. Heather is a graduate of the Eleanor Davis Women in Leadership Program and qualified in Reading Recovery and an EMR Early Years Numeracy Train the Trainer Coordinator.

Key Capabilities

  • exemplary leadership skills demonstrated at a network and regional level in Literacy, Numeracy and Student Wellbeing
  • extensive experience in analysing data to inform teaching and learning and curriculum development
  • highly effective mentoring and coaching skills used to build teacher capacity to inform differentiated learning and identification of students’ ‘point of need’ learning requirements
  • strong human relationship capabilities

Recent projects/work

  • extensive experience in both Peer and Priority reviews across many different school settings, ranging from very small rural schools to large suburban schools with diverse family backgrounds.
  • extensive experience in facilitating reviews in several DET regions, particularly in the Western suburbs and Northern rural Victoria.
  • active involvement in various project teams at Valad Solutions in the development of curriculum at both a secondary and primary level
  • active involvement in school reviews as a Principal, Assistant Principal, Leading Teacher (Numeracy) and Curriculum and Team Coordinator and Challenge Partner.
  • member of the Principal class in several schools in the north east Victorian region
  • Principal of a small school in metropolitan Melbourne
  • represented Knox Principals as a member of the SSS Executive for Knox/Dandenong Ranges networks and the Knox Principal Executive
  • participant in the Principals as Leaders of Literacy program and combined with Reading Recovery training, have been influential in the improvement of teaching capacity with a focus on reading improvement for all students
  • worked with teachers and schools for many years, across the eastern suburbs, in the implementation of Early Years Numeracy program

Jacqui Holston | Associate Director

Jacqui Holston

Associate Director

B A, Dip Ed

Jacqui has had over thirty years experience in Victorian Government secondary schools which has involved a variety of leadership positions. She has six years’ experience working in a regulatory environment (VRQA) and has also worked in the Department of Education and Training’s Tech Schools Division. She is highly organised with excellent stakeholder management skills. Jacqui joined Valad Solutions as an Associate Director in April 2017.

Key capabilities:

  • well developed analytical thinking skills
  • highly skilled in assessing school policy and procedures in relation to relevant legislation and regulations
  • research and report writing skills
  • stakeholder management skills
  • team building skills
  • results focused

Recent projects/work

  • registration of government, Catholic and independent schools
  • involvement in and input into the VRQA Child Safe Standards workshops, activities and meetings
  • preparing a risk assessment to underpin the 2017 VRQA independent school review process
  • providing specialist advice on policy issues to a range of internal and external stakeholders (Tech Schools Division)
  • providing high level executive support to a range of Department of Education and Training committees
  • preparing and presenting detailed and comprehensive reports, Ministerial briefings and submissions relating to policy and operational issues

Jacqui is very experienced in analysing and articulating a prospective school’s compliance with the Minimum Standards for school registration and a school’s ongoing compliance through the school review process. She has participated in the VRQA School Hot Review process, assessing the approach by external reviewers to a government school’s compliance with the Minimum Standards.

Jacqui coordinated the first major review of the Guide to the Minimum Standards for School Registration and provided executive support to the VRQA Board committee that developed the VRQA Future Direction Statement to inform the VRQA’s approach to regulation.

Jacqui has detailed knowledge of curriculum development and has represented the VRQA on the ACARA panel for recognition of alternative curriculum frameworks.

Gaye Peel | Associate Director

Gaye Peel joined the Valad Solutions school review team in 2018. Gaye has more than 40 years experience in education as a principal and teacher. She is strongly committed to school improvement, has led rigorous staff performance and development processes, school self-evaluations and strategic planning actions in a variety of schools. Her knowledge of Literacy education and the development of Student Voice is extensive. This knowledge was honed during her work as a Reading Recovery tutor and Early Years trainer. As a Principal, Gaye successfully built and enhanced the capacity of teachers to deliver high quality classroom practice through instructional leadership.

Gaye was a Principal class officer for 16 years. A significant highlight was the opportunity to be Assistant Principal of a new school which increased enrolment from 223 to 706 in 7 years. Throughout that time, she was integral to the development of the culture and core infrastructure of a successful school. Another highlight was the opportunity as a Principal to build and develop the capacity of teachers to deliver high quality classroom practice to improve student outcomes. Gaye has welcomed the opportunity as a school reviewer to interact with school communities and support them to work together to maximise the educational outcomes of all students.

Get in touch

You can contact us via email to

or telephone +61 3 9587 9775

Client Testimonials

There has been a real shift in the school over the last few years and engagement with you and your curriculum support has been one of the significant factors in generating the change and developing an understanding that students deserve meaningful curriculum.

Alan MarrPrincipal Dromana Secondary College

I am very satisfied with the quality of service provided by our Valad consultant. In addition to having a wealth of relevant experience to draw upon, the consultant was a highly skilled coach. He asked probing questions and skillfully steered our thinking towards the key issues to be resolved. The end result of our collaboration was a highly successful curriculum design project that is now making a significant impact across the College.

Chris MunroProfessional Learning Leading Teacher

Our reviewer was able to establish a confident and trustful relationship with our team from the onset while working to engage and challenge each member of our team in a supportive manner, to draw the most out of our school review in a very short timeline. She catered her approach to our particular situation and worked with us to enable us to meet our aspirations as outlined in our self-evaluation, while providing independent expertise and perspectives which facilitated the development of meaningful and relevant recommendations for our school. I would not hesitate in recommending Valad Solutions to any school looking to select an accredited school reviewer.

Doug ElliottPrincipal, Great Ryrie Primary School

Valad Solutions provided undivided, expert, knowledgeable and timely service to my school. They were very approachable; they followed up on agreed actions and took a real interest in supporting us in our endeavours to improve and document the curriculum in our school, that is now supporting more consist delivery across classrooms. Valad Solutions while remaining ever helpful and supportive, pushed us to be better than we were, looking for excellence and this direction has placed the school in a very good position to cope with a changing national landscape in curriculum delivery and design. The approach was scoped professionally and was innovative. The consultant worked in a very collaborative way, listening carefully to us and our needs; providing astute advice on processes and material that we should consider in achieving our goals.

Tim BluntPrincipal, Sunshine Secondary College

We were very happy with our workshop, it was exactly what we needed.

Laura SpenceLeading Teacher, Elisabeth Murdoch College

The experience of the reviewer empowered me, as Principal, to clarify my school’s journey and set future directions for a strong improvement agenda.

Jennifer ManuelShepparton