ACARA’s reference and advisory groups

National Assessment, Data, Analysis and Reporting Reference Group

The National Assessment, Data, Analysis and Reporting Reference Group (NADAR) provides ACARA’s executive with high-level advice on the appropriateness of, and opportunities and potential risks associated with, the work proposed and undertaken by ACARA within the scope of its remit. The group ensures that jurisdictions or organisations have regular and meaningful opportunities to provide advice and feedback to ACARA on its assessment and reporting work program. The group has representatives from all departments of education, test administration authorities (where these are separate from the department), the Catholic and independent school sectors, and other relevant stakeholders.  

  • Alan Dodson, Government of Western Australia Department of Education
  • Jonathan Moritz, Tasmanian Government Department for Education, Children and Young People
  • Taylor Ashton, Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority
  • Andrew Kyngdon, NSW Education Standards Authority
  • Brian Nott, Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority
  • James Cousin, Queensland Government Department of Education
  • Ivan Banks, Government of Western Australia School Curriculum and Standards Authority
  • Elizabeth Penm, Australian Government Productivity Commission
  • Simon George, Northern Territory Government Department of Education
  • Michael Crowther, ACT Education Directorate
  • Simon Tiller, ACT Education Directorate
  • Jacky Hodges, NSW Government Department of Education
  • Lucy Lu, Australian Education Research Organisation
  • Peter Ntafillis, Government of South Australia Department for Education
  • Kevin Trimble, National Catholic Education Commission
  • Leslie O'Donoghue, Australian Government Department of Education
  • Connie Spinoso, Department of Education and Training Victoria
  • Lina Hughes, Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • Blair Grace, Government of South Australia Department for Education
  • Caroline Miller, Independent Schools Australia

F–12 Curriculum Reference Group

The F–12 Curriculum Reference Group gives high-level expert advice to the ACARA executive in support of strategic initiatives that enhance the development, implementation and improvement of the Australian Curriculum. Members of this group bring a range of jurisdictional perspectives that reflect national, state and territory priorities. The group has representatives from each state and territory, and federal government, nominated by the relevant member of the Australian Education Senior Officials Committee (AESOC), and one nominee from the National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC), and one nominee from Independent Schools Australia. 

  • Paul Cahill, NSW Education Standards Authority
  • Jason Smallwood, Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority
  • Nina Downes, Australian Government Department of Education
  • Mandy Hudson, Government of Western Australia School Curriculum and Standards Authority
  • Megan Kelly, NSW Government Department of Education
  • Gay Cumming, Tasmania Government Department for Education, Children and Young People
  • Sam Hardwicke, ACT Education Directorate
  • Mary Oski, National Catholic Education Commission Melbourne
  • Terry Gallagher, Queensland Government Department of Education
  • Helen Schiele, Independent Schools Victoria
  • Ken Lountain, Government of South Australia Department for Education
  • Jo Butterworth, Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority 
  • Kerry Hudson, Northern Territory Government Department of Education

ACARA First Nations Australians Advisory Group

The First Nations Australians Advisory Group provides ACARA with expert guidance and advice about the representation of First Nations Australians histories and cultures in the Australian Curriculum. It also advises ACARA on the protocols and cultural sensitivities that need to be considered by ACARA business units as ACARA proceeds with its curriculum, assessment and reporting programs. The group comprises individuals with demonstrated expertise in First Nations Australian education and community engagement. 

  • Zack Haddock (Chair), Executive Director, Koorie Outcomes Division, Department of Education and Training Victoria
  • Donna Hagen (Deputy Chair), Principal, St Joseph’s Catholic Flexible Learning Centre, Alice Springs 
  • Prof. Chris Matthews, Associate Dean (Indigenous Leadership and Engagement), Science Faculty, University of Technology Sydney; and Chair of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mathematics Alliance (ATSIMA)
  • Dr Kaye Price AM, Honorary Research Fellow, University of Sydney
  • Prof. Mark Rose, Pro Vice Chancellor, Indigenous Strategy and Innovation, Deakin University
  • Beth Craddy, Senior Director, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education, ACT Education Directorate
  • Jessica Endean, Acting Principal (Primary), Hymba Yumba Independent School
  • Kelly Humphrey, Leader, Aboriginal Education Strategy Aboriginal Outcomes and Partnerships Directorate, NSW Government Department of Education
  • Bronwyn Milera, Director, Aboriginal Education, Government of South Australia Department for Education
  • Donna Bridge, Principal, Brentwood Primary School, WA 

Students with Disability Advisory Group 

The Students with Disability Advisory Group provides ACARA with high-level advice and expertise regarding the needs of students with disability in relation to ACARA’s curriculum, assessment and reporting programs. The group has representatives from each state, territory and federal government education department or curriculum authority, the National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC), Independent Schools Australia, the Australian Association of Special Education, Children and Young People with Disability Australia, and peak national principals’ associations. It also includes two individuals with relevant research expertise in the area of students with disability.

  • Emma Trevor, Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority
  • Amanda Hubber, Department of Education NT
  • Angela Falkenberg, Australian Primary Principals’ Association
  • Louise Farrell, NSW Government Department of Education
  • Grant McKell, Department of Education, Victoria
  • Denise Foggo, Tasmania Government Department for Education, Children and Young People
  • Pennie Moffat, Australian Special Education Principals’ Association
  • Anna Noble, Government of South Australia Department for Education
  • Anita O'Brien, Department of Education Western Australia
  • Lisa Ridings, Independent Schools Australia
  • Esta Ryan, Australian Secondary Principals’ Association
  • Sue Tape, Children and Young People with Disability Australia
  • Sam Seton, ACT Education Directorate
  • Tracey Chamlin, Australian Association of Special Education
  • Kerryn Barnett, National Catholic Education Commission
  • Dr Dianne Chambers, University of Notre Dame
  • Dr David Evans, University of Sydney 
  • Jessica Bartlett, Australian Government Department of Education


National Testing Working Group

The National Testing Working Group is a forum for information-sharing and collaboration about NAPLAN between ACARA, testing authorities and stakeholders. The group provides support and advice on standardised administration processes and products of NAPLAN, including test development, accessibility, writing marking, and administration and reporting activities, along with providing quality assurance to achieve high-quality tests in a nationally consistent framework. The group has representatives from all test administration authorities, and the Catholic and independent school sectors.

  • Ken Gordon, ACT Education Directorate
  • Paul Becker, Tasmanian Government Department for Education, Children and Young People
  • Jonathan Ainge, Government of Western Australia School Curriculum and Standards Authority
  • Rebecca Ralph, Northern Territory Government Department of Education
  • Sharon Chapman, Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority
  • Katie Elliott, NSW Education Standards Authority
  • Alessandra Guidi, Government of South Australia Department for Education
  • Alexander Lachowicz, Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority
  • Ben Arber, The Association of Independent Schools of NSW 
  • Karen Ferrante, Catholic Schools NSW

Measurement Advisory Group

The Measurement Advisory Group provides ACARA’s executive with expert, independent educational measurement and assessment advice, and input for the National Assessment Program (NAP) and the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN). It also provides input into all other assessment and educational measurement activities defined by ACARA's Charter, work plan and priorities. The group comprises nationally and/or internationally recognised independent experts in the field of educational measurement.   

  • Prof. Ray Adams, Director, Centre for Global Education Monitoring, ACER (also Chair MAG), Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER)
  • Prof. David Andrich, Chapple Chair in Education, University of Western Australia
  • Prof. Barry McGaw, Emeritus Professor, University of Melbourne
  • Dr Gage Kingsbury, Doctor, founder and former Senior Research Fellow, Kingsbury Center at NWEA
  • Dr Catherine McClellan, education consultant and former Director, Assessment & Psychometric Research, Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER)
  • Prof. Mark Wilson, University of California, Berkeley