Solutions to support learning

MEET THE TEAM

 

 

OUR TEAM

Our team all began their careers as teachers and have worked in education and training to become school leaders, senior regional education leaders or senior public service executives. They have grounded experience and expertise that has placed Valad Solutions as a leader of the provision of education consultancy services.

Biographies of our team can be found below.

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      Emma Richardson

      Founding Director, Executive Director

      Bachelor of Arts, Diploma of Education, Master of Education (Research).

      Emma is a passionate educator and is proud to lead the Valad Solutions team into its second decade. Since the Company was established in 2009, Emma has welcomed and supported many new team members as they collectively deliver high quality, expert advice and programs across education sectors. She is motivated by her desire to support systems, schools and educators to provide the best opportunities for student learning; particularly for those experiencing disadvantage.

      As a Founding Director of the Company in 2009 and now the sole Executive Director, Emma is responsible for ensuring that all services provided by Valad Solutions meet and exceed client expectations. Her knowledge and expertise are informed by her work in consultancy since 2006, which has included school reviews across three sectors, research and evaluation, and the design and delivery of professional learning.

      Prior to consultancy, Emma was an active member of the academic research community. She has taught internationally and locally at university and held numerous roles in schools as a teacher and school leader. Emma’s work encompasses Early Childhood Education, Primary and Secondary teaching contexts. Emma also brings expertise from work in the corporate sector prior to teaching. This included various roles in administration and human resources in diverse fields such as advertising, banking, IT and facilities management.

      Bruce Kiloh  

      Founding Director

      M Ed Stds, BA, TPTC, TAPTC

      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.

      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.

      Robyn Timmins  

      Founding 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.

      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

      Carol Every 

      Bachelor of Education (Secondary), Bachelor of Science (Health Promotion) and Master of Education.

      Carol has more than 25 years’ experience in education, leadership, community development and social work. She is motivated to support and empower systems, schools and organisations to enhance educational and social outcomes for young people and their communities.

      As a member of the Valad Solutions team, Carol’s experience spans school reviews, the development and delivery of professional learning, and the provision of targeted curriculum advice to schools and systems. She has proven to be a skilled facilitator; able to engage with a range of stakeholders, and to enable strategic planning through the gathering of feedback and student voice in her work with schools and their communities. Carol has collaboratively developed online teacher professional learning modules, and specifically those designed to build teachers’ understanding of a range of social, academic and wellbeing needs of adolescent learners.

      Before joining the Valad Solutions team, Carol held school principal and leadership roles, including strategic resource management, staff performance and development, wellbeing, response to intervention and curriculum leadership. Carol has worked on Department of Education, school-based and community improvement projects; aimed at addressing disadvantage and lifting student achievement and outcomes.

      Christine Wakeling 

      Certificate in Financial Management for School Personnel, Graduate Diploma Educational Policy and Administration, Certificate B, Hawthorn Teachers’ Centre, Trained Primary Teachers’ Certificate

      Christine is a highly experienced educator, school leader and consultant who brings a breadth of knowledge and expertise to the Valad Solutions team. Christine became an accredited Catholic school reviewer in 2012, joining Valad Solutions in 2021. Since then, she has continued to conduct improvement and compliance reviews in both the Melbourne Archdiocese of Catholic Schools (MACS) and compliance reviews in the Sandhurst Diocese. Christine is also an integral member of the Valad Solutions team who provide specialised services to the Victorian Regulations and Qualifications Authority (VRQA).

      Christine’s work history also includes specialist reviews and investigations, including compliance processes related to the VRQA Minimum Standards, and research on behalf of the Department of Education and Training (DET) into a number of its workforce development programs. Christine is also an accredited coach and mentor; working, in her role as principal, within the Department’s leadership coaching programs.

      Her extensive previous leadership experience and further study inform her work supporting schools and systems with their accountability, organisational effectiveness and school improvement. Christine is known for her high levels of interpersonal skills and her ability to quickly establish effective professional relationships.

      David Mann 

      Diploma of Teaching (Primary), Bachelor of Education.

      Prior to joining the Valad team in 2021, David had over 40 years’ experience as a teacher, principal and in regional leadership roles. He led small country schools and two metropolitan primary schools. Throughout his career, David has been committed to school improvement through implementing evidence-based strategies, relying on analysis of data and using this to inform strategic planning. He has always had a strong focus on developing staff capability to ensure high quality, differentiated learning programs for students. David’s commitment to implementing structured approaches to peer observations and teacher feedback was a defining feature of his leadership.

      David had the opportunity to experience educational jurisdictions in New Zealand, Singapore, USA and Shanghai; most recently, participating in the Leading Asia Capable Schools program. He has a passion for positive education and neuroscience and how they can be implemented to improving student learning in the classroom. David is an accredited growth coach.

      David’s work in facilitating school reviews is enhanced by his wealth of educational experience and his high level skills in mentoring, coaching and instructional leadership. David is a respected and sought-after consultant, who is known for his considered and personal approach.

      Diana Matheson 

      Graduate Diploma in Special Education, Graduate Diploma in Reading and Language, Diploma of Teaching (Primary).

      Diana Matheson (Di) has over 40 years of experience as a teacher and school leader. Prior to joining the Valad Solutions team in 2020, she held principal class roles in primary, secondary and specialist schools in complex, culturally diverse and disadvantaged communities. Her most recent leadership position was in a multi campus college in Geelong. Di has also worked as a Senior Adviser to principals, providing support around high-quality schooling and early learning elements. She has been a finalist in the Victorian Education Excellence Awards.

      Di has led School Improvement Teams, which has involved mentoring and building leadership capacity while driving the implementation of high-quality teaching and learning practices. She has presented and facilitated professional learning focussed on Literacy and Numeracy teaching and learning practices, student engagement and wellbeing.

      Since 2020, Di has become a key member of the Valad Solutions team, working across a range of areas such as conducting compliance and improvement school reviews, developing and delivering state-wide face-to-face and online teacher professional learning programs, and collaborating on targeted projects such as in the area of the Victorian Senior Secondary Reforms. Di is well regarded for thorough approach to her work and her commitment to the provision of high-quality education for all students.

      Wendy Ross 

      Bachelor of Education, Graduate Diploma in Information Technology Systems, Masters of Education (School Leadership)

      Wendy joined the Valad Solutions review team in 2020. Prior to this, she was contracted to undertake school reviews in Primary, Secondary and P-12 schools for the Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS).

      Wendy has worked as a teacher and educational administrator at senior management levels in both the Government and Catholic sectors for 33 years; including as Deputy Principal at a Catholic Independent Preparatory to year 12 school. In this role she demonstrated her skills and knowledge in leading strategic direction, policy development, compliance and staff professional learning. She is passionate about helping schools to improve student outcomes through implementing effective change strategies.

      Wendy works as both a member of the Valad team as a Catholic school reviewer and as part of the team that undertakes compliance audits of independent and government schools for the Victorian Regulations and Qualifications Authority (VRQA).

      Gaynor Robson-Garth  

      Bachelor of Science, Graduate Diploma (Education), Master of Education.

      Gaynor joined Valad Solutions in 2020 and has over 45 years of experience in schools; in teaching and leadership roles in the Government and Catholic sectors in South Africa, New South Wales and Victoria.

      In her final principal role, Gaynor led a Catholic school for girls in the Dominican tradition.  As principal, Gaynor established immersion opportunities and justice initiatives to educate young women about their positions of privilege and their potential to make a difference.

      In her roles as an educator and more recently as a school reviewer, Gaynor has an unrelenting focus on excellence in learning and teaching and on the full flourishing of every student.  She is committed to empowering young people to have a voice and agency and to working with others to envision a better world for all.

      In 2016, Gaynor received the John Laing Award for Professional Development from the principals Australia Institute in recognition of her commitment to developing a culture of tailored professional learning.  Gaynor has been the Vice President of the Principals’ Association of Victorian Catholic Secondary Schools (PAVCSS) and was named a Chartered Fellow and Life Member of the Association in 2019. In 2019, she was awarded an Australian Council for Educational Leadership (ACEL) Vic Fellowship Award.

      Heather Norbury 

      Bachelor of Education 

      Heather joined Valad Solutions in 2015. Prior to this, she had over 35 years of school experience in Victoria. She brings a strong skill set to the role of reviewer, including her understanding of conditions conducive to continuous school improvement, a high level of curriculum knowledge, development and implementation, and a proven capacity in the analysis and interpretation of data.  

      Heather has extensive experience in reviews across many different school settings, ranging from very small rural schools to large suburban schools with diverse family backgrounds. Heather has successfully facilitated reviews at many varied and specialist school settings. 

       

      Heather’s prior educational experiences roles include those as Principal, Assistant Principal, Leading Teacher, Curriculum Leadership and Team Coordinator. She held these positions in a range of schools across regional areas and metropolitan Melbourne. During these times, Heather illustrated a commitment to ongoing professional learning, graduating with Women in Leadership program credentials, qualifications in reading interventions and as trainer of teachers in early years numeracy. 

      Jacqui Holsten  

      Bachelor of Arts, Diploma of Education. 

      Jacqui has been a member of the Valad Solutions team since 2015, conducting a range of specialist school and non-senior secondary school compliance reviews and mentoring and supporting the development of the Valad Solutions team members.  

      Jacqui has over ten years’ experience working in a regulatory environment at the Victorian Regulations and Qualifications Authority (VRQA). She is highly skilled in analysing school and higher education curriculum and student learning in relation to relevant legislation and regulations. Jacqui has extensive experience in preparing and presenting detailed reports, Ministerial briefings and submissions relating to policy and operational issues. 

      In 2012, Jacqui coordinated the 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 which informed the VRQA’s approach to regulation. In 2014, Jacqui represented the VRQA on the ACARA panel for recognition of alternative curriculum frameworks.  Jacqui also participated in the VRQA School Hot Review process; assessing the approach by external reviewers to a government school’s compliance with the Minimum Standards. She finalised the site visit review process, liaising with both reviewers and the schools engaged in these reviews.  

      Most recently, Jacqui has worked on Amendment of the accredited Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) course and accreditation of the Victorian Pathways Certificate as a Foundation Secondary Certificate course.

      Jan Hayes 

      Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Theology, Diploma of Education, Graduate Certificate (Educational Law)

      Jan began her career as a secondary teacher in government schools in both the country and metropolitan areas, filling positions including areas of subject, year level and wellbeing coordination. She has held a range of teaching and school leadership roles in Catholic secondary and P-12 schools with a consistent focus on improving outcomes in student wellbeing and engagement, in staff professional development, occupational health and wellbeing, and in curriculum and pedagogy.

      In addition to her educational leadership in schools, Jan has worked as a sessional lecturer with emphasis on curriculum and pedagogy in History and English in teacher education, as a leadership coach and in leadership appraisal and review. While engaged in the area of History teaching and curriculum as team member and chair of state-wide committees, she developed and delivered programs and workshops for teachers and lecture programs and seminars for students.

      Jan has been facilitating Catholic school reviews since 2012 in the Archdiocese of Melbourne and since 2018 in other dioceses, within a range of contexts and changing system frameworks.

      Jan joined Valad Solutions in 2021, working as a member of the Valad team as a school reviewer. Her qualifications and previous experience enable her to offer high-level advice and support to schools in the areas of accountability, school improvement and organisational effectiveness.

      Jane Warren 

      Bachelor of Education (Primary), Diploma of Teaching (Primary), Trained Special Teacher’s Certificate, Certificate in the Education of the Intellectually Handicapped 

      Jane joined Valad Solutions at the start of 2020. Prior to this, she was a school principal for nearly 20 years. Jane is a passionate educator with a history of implementing curriculum innovation, focused literacy and numeracy programs and systemic change. Her expertise and high level communication skills enable her to lead supportive yet instructive review processes for schools and their leadership teams. 

      Jane started her career as a teacher in special education settings before working in primary schools. She implemented whole school curriculum change in two primary schools that led to improved learning outcomes, wellbeing and engagement for students. As an educational leader, Jane was committed to ongoing learning, evidenced by her international visits and networking, and completion of further study at Harvard University. Her last school leadership role resulted in Education Excellence and Leadership Awards for improved educational outcomes, at both a state and national level.  

      Since 2020, Jane has worked alongside other Valad Solution’s team members to develop and present state-wide teacher professional learning in literacy and numeracy. She designed and facilitated online learning communities for direct support teachers and those instructional leaders focussed on leading the initiative and building capability within their schools. This included the development of a professional learning rubric that enabled teachers to self-direct the development of their leadership capabilities. 

      Jane is also an integral member of the school review team at Valad Solutions, providing both compliance and improvement school reviews in the government sector and for the Sandhurst Diocese.  

      Jane is committed to working with educators to support their instructional and pedagogical practices that will enhance students’ engagement and learning outcomes. 

      Joan Sibley  

      Diploma of Teaching (Primary), Graduate Diploma (Welfare). 

      Prior to joining Valad in 2015, Joan worked as a classroom teacher, leading teacher, assistant principal and principal. Her leadership was characterised by high aspirations and collaborative teamwork. As a passionate advocate for social justice, she has been committed to ensuring the wellbeing of her students and advocating for equal access to an excellent education for all. Throughout her career, Joan has worked collaboratively with stakeholders from varied backgrounds. 

      As part of the Valad Solutions team, Joan has consistently led high quality reviews in a broad range of varied school settings including small rural and remote schools through to larger metropolitan campuses. She conducts school reviews across the Primary and Secondary sectors. An extensive knowledge of data, curriculum and teaching practices, combined with excellent communication skills has enabled her to promote trust and respect as she facilitates these reviews.  

      In 2021 and 2020, Joan worked collaboratively with the other members of the Valad Solutions team to achieve the delivery of online teacher professional learning modules, which focussed on building teacher knowledge and understanding of student cognition and engagement.  

      Joan has also been involved in supporting Victorian Regulations and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) to assess home schooling applications from 2022, and to conduct compliance reviews of education providers in the independent sector. 

      Dr Judith Gurvich (Judi)  

      PhD., Master of Education (Leadership, Policy and Change), Bachelor of Arts, Graduate Diploma in Educational Administration, Diploma of Teaching. 

      Judi has been a school reviewer with Valad Solutions since 2020. She was the former principal of two government schools, and also led an agenda of school improvement as a Regional Network Leader within the Department of Education in Victoria.  

      Judi has a wealth of experience in in all aspects of school operations and educational leadership. This includes coaching, mentoring, strategic planning, staff performance and development, program development, recruitment, mediation, conflict resolution and community engagement.  

      Prior to joining the Valad Solutions team, between 2017 to 2021, Judi worked in teacher education as a lecturer and also developed comprehensive curricula in the areas of literacy, child safe practices, professional practice and educational psychology. She completed her PhD in 2017. Her thesis explores principals’ experiences of regional networks and examines organisational networks in the corporate, not-for-profit and educational sectors from perspectives of governance, learning and leadership.  

      Kevin Enright  

      Diploma of Education, Bachelor of Education, Master in Educational Leadership, EI accreditation 

      Kevin joined the Valad Solutions team in 2020. He is committed to supporting schools through the school review process to continuously improve outcomes for their students.  

      Kevin was a primary school principal for 20 years. He has also worked as an acting senior education advisor to principals, as an assistant principal and a classroom teacher. Kevin was a principal network leader and worked to support schools and school leaders in this role. During this time, Kevin was recognised as a high performing principal in state-wide programs, where his work in supporting improved student outcomes in literacy, through enabling effective Professional Learning Communities, was acknowledged. He is passionate about all aspects of education – particularly improving the education system in Victoria, wellbeing and the growth of the whole child.  

      Kevin has significant knowledge and experience in empowering school leadership teams to build high performing schools; through developing capability in teaching and leadership, engaging school communities, and improving outcomes for all students by using a data-informed strategic approach. He has coached and mentored principals over many years. Kevin is also internationally accredited to facilitate workplace improvement through a focus on measuring and building emotional intelligences competencies.  

      Kylie Graham  

      Master of Education, Postgraduate Diploma in Gifted Education, Bachelor of Education 
      Bachelor of Arts in Education (Journalism) 

      Kylie joined Valad Solutions as a school reviewer at the start of 2022. She is an experienced educational leader who has worked within the State, Catholic, Independent and International school systems over the past 36 years. From these leadership roles, and from her work as teacher education lecturer and educational consultant, Kylie brings a wide range of knowledge and understanding about a broad range of school settings; including bilingual International Schools, Independent Schools, and schools in lower socio-economic areas.  

      Kylie also has an international coaching background and has experience working with school leaders, teachers and students when using data to drive school improvement. She has facilitated professional learning and provided educational coaching within a variety of Department of Education priority programs and initiatives.  

      Lucy Glover  

      Bachelor of Arts, Diploma of Education, Master of Evaluation (current) 

      Lucy is an experienced reviewer and school improvement consultant, engaged in projects which promote improved educational achievement, engagement and wellbeing outcomes for students.  Since joining Valad Solutions in 2016, she has been engaged in a range of initiatives and services, including school reviews in Department of Education (DET) schools and Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS), curriculum development, and the development and delivery of professional learning.  

      Lucy also leads the Valad Solutions team that provides school review and registration services to the Victorian Regulations and Qualifications Authority (VRQA); assessing compliance of new government and Catholic schools seeking registration, as well as schools seeking a change of scope. 

      Lucy’s school experience included working in a range of senior leadership roles in independent and government schools, across K-12 and specialist settings. She has a well-developed understanding of the stages of learning for students, including those with complex needs. Lucy is a passionate advocate for the value of education in creating opportunity for all young people, regardless of their background.  

      Prior to her career in education, Lucy worked in the mental health sector, primarily with young people. This helped develop an understanding of the critical role of health and wellbeing in enabling students to flourish. Lucy maintained this interest in positive psychology in education and has been an accredited Mental Health First Aid trainer. 

      Mary Bourke 

      Bachelor of Arts, Diploma of Education, Master of Educational Studies (Student Wellbeing) 

      Mary joined the Valad Solutions school review team in 2021, after a successful career as both a teacher and school leader in schools across Victoria. She has a strong and ongoing commitment to building dynamic and innovative learning communities within education settings and brings this commitment to all her work within the Company.  

      Mary has an enduring record of engaging all stakeholders involved in the process of continuous improvement. From 2012, her work with curriculum leaders within schools focussed on improving teacher collaboration and evidence-based pedagogical practice. Prior to that, Mary led student wellbeing and subject teaching teams to understand and design strategies that support a student’s wellbeing to ensure effective learning.  

      Mary has specific knowledge of the complexities involved in the preparation and completion of successful school reviews. With her experience facilitating and designing working to improve learning opportunities and outcomes for all students in schools that were facing the challenges of change, she understands each school’s journey to improvement is different.  

      Dr Mary Lovelock 

      Diploma of Teaching, Bachelor of Arts, Graduate Diploma (Religious Education), Graduate Diploma (Education Studies), Master of Education, EdD. 

      Mary joined Valad Solutions in 2021 as a member of the review team to conduct compliance and improvement reviews within the Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS).  

      Mary’s experience in education began as a teacher in Catholic primary schools. Mary brings her experience as a former principal and in senior sector leadership positions to her work with schools.  

      Mary has worked for the State Government and Catholic education offices in both Melbourne and Ballarat. Her areas of knowledge and expertise are in curriculum and assessment development from Foundation level to year 10, learning and teaching, school improvement, leadership and policy development, compliance and risk management and leading school reviews.  

      Natalie Toohey  

      Bachelor of Education. 

      Natalie joined the Valad Solutions review team in 2022 after more than 35 years working in education as a teacher and principal. Since then, Natalie has conducted a broad range of school reviews across regional, rural and metropolitan settings, in both Primary and P-12 schools and across a variety of school sizes and different socio-economic backgrounds.  

      Natalie is passionate about assisting schools to build reflective practices, evaluate their impact on student learning and plan strategically for maximised student outcomes. Her expertise in these areas draws from her roles within schools, where Natalie strived to embed strong cultures of collective efficacy and collaboration. She is committed to school improvement and has a practical and recent knowledge of how to lead effective strategic planning, implementation and evaluation processes. Natalie has a deep understanding of student agency and effective, evidence-based teaching practices. Her experiences as a teaching and learning coach, mentor and instructional leader underpin her strong skill set as a school reviewer.  

      Shane Frost

      Bachelor of Education

      Shane has held a variety of roles at the school, region and state-wide level with both the Department of Education in Victoria and the Tasmanian Education Department over the past 36 years. These have included work as a teacher, Principal, Regional Literacy Leader, Principal Network Leader, Regional Superintendent, Director of the Professional Learning Institute, and Director of Performance and Review.  During this time, he has led projects in research and evaluation, teacher and leadership professional learning, and curriculum development and at both the state and national level.

      Shane has a deep understanding of the regulatory environment in both Victoria and Tasmania, having extensive experience in both education departments. In Tasmania, in his role as A Principal Network Leader Shane supported schools in achieving compliance with policy and regulatory requirements. Shane also led the evaluation, development and implementation of a revised school review model for the Department of Education to ensure schools met policy and compliance standards. More recently, Shane has been engaged in government school reviews in Victoria as part of the Valad Solutions team, including compliance with the Minimum Standards for School Registration.

      Shane’s expertise in teaching and learning has been recognised nationally. He has presented at the National Government Quality Teaching Project Conference.  Shane has been a member of the Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) Expert Teacher Steering Committee during 2016-2018. He has also been a representative on the AITSL School Leadership Advisory Group, AITSL Quality Teaching Advisory Group and the AITSL Professional Growth Network.

      Shane has significant experience in leading long term multi-faceted professional learning programs in the areas of literacy and numeracy. Most recently, Shane led the Valad Solutions team in the development and delivery of the middle years literacy and numeracy initiative teacher professional learning; a state-wide, three year program. He has extensive experience in program design, effective facilitation of professional learning and evaluating the short- and long-term impact of professional learning programs.

      Sharyne Rankine  

      Bachelor of Education, Diploma of Primary Teaching. 

      A former primary school principal and deputy principal of a Kindergarten to year 12 school, Sharyne has had a career-long interest in developing high quality teacher practice to achieve improved student outcomes.  

      Sharyne joined Valad Solutions at the end of 2021 and has conducted school reviews across primary, and P-12 college settings in the state and independent school sectors since this time.  

      In addition, as the Assistant Director in School Improvement for the Association of Independent Schools, Sharyne has conducted school reviews and worked with school leadership teams to interrogate data and construct strategic plans. She has also designed and facilitated professional learning in the areas of curriculum and pedagogy. Sharyne has also facilitated core professional learning modules and acted as a school mentor across a range of government school initiatives in Victoria.  

      Wendy Larcombe  

      Bachelor of Education, Master of Education (School Leadership), NZ Trained Teacher Certificate, Diploma of Teaching (NZ). 

      Wendy joined Valad Solutions at the start of 2020 and since then has conducted numerous government school reviews across a broad range of primary, secondary and P-12 college settings. 

      Previously, in a 30-year career with the Department of Education in Victoria, Wendy worked as a teacher, leading teacher, principal and senior education improvement leader. Wendy received a regional Outstanding School Leader award for her work in improving the outcomes for students while principal of a large regional primary school. Her knowledge and understanding of curriculum and pedagogy enabled her to lead others to develop quality teacher practice; resulting in high levels of student achievement and engagement in her schools.  

      In her years as a senior advisor, Wendy worked intensively with principals and school improvement teams in a network of primary and secondary schools, a special school and a P-12 College. She qualified as a Leading Literacy Master Trainer; delivering professional learning to cohorts of teachers and school leaders from her network and the wider area.  

      As part of the Valad Solutions team, in addition to her role as a school reviewer, Wendy has worked on development and delivery of online professional learning content in Literacy and Numeracy government schoolteachers in Secondary settings. Wendy has also joined the Valad Solutions compliance review team conducting audits of independent schools and education providers for the Victorian Regulations and Qualifications Authority (VRQA).