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Our Board and leadership team

Board of directors

Our Board is made up of education, business and government leaders with decades of high level, diverse leadership experience.

Noel Pearson – Founder and Co-Chair

Noel is an Indigenous Australian, who has spent decades advancing reform on native title, economic development and social policy for his people in Cape York Peninsula. He is Director of Strategy of Cape York Partnership and Co-Chair of Good to Great Schools Australia. Noel intends to devote the next decade of his working life to education reform and is working closely with government and business to form partnerships to advance education opportunities for Australian children.

Tony Denholder – Partner Ashurst Australia and Co-Chair

Tony is the head of Ashurst’s resources practice in Brisbane, specialising in energy and resources, government and native title. He has advised companies in the mining sector for over 15 years including Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton and was recognised as one of Australia’s leading lawyers in the 2009 to 2014 editions of Best Lawyers Australia.

Richard Ah Mat - Chair, Cape York Land Council

Richard (Richie) Ah Mat is a descendant of the Yupungathi peoples from western Cape York and the Wuthathi people of the eastern Cape region. Born on Thursday Island, and later moving to Weipa, Richie led the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU Weipa Branch) in the mid 1990’s against mining giant Comalco, in the fight against individual contracts. In 1997, Richie was elected as the Chairperson of the Cape York Land Council, an Aboriginal organisation appointed by the Minister for Indigenous Affairs as the Native Title Representative Body for the Cape York region. Richie held this role for 4 years before serving as the Land Council’s Executive Director for a further 4 year period. In 2009, Richie returned to the role of Chairperson and has held the role since.

Richie is the co-chairperson of the Cape York Partnership group and serves on the board of Good to Great Schools Australia, Balkanu Cape York Development Corporation, the Forestry Industry Advisory Council, Bama Civil and Construction Services, Ngak Min Health, Cape York Girl Academy and Djarragun College.

Richie was elected as a founding member of the Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council and is committed to the promotion of economic and social development of First Nations people of Cape York and across the nation.

Peter Chandler - Former Northern Territory Minister for Education

Peter is General Manager Operations at FoodBank NT and a former member of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly. As Minister for Education, Peter was instrumental in bringing GGSA’s Literacy in Remote Schools program to the Northern Territory. As a recipient of the Winston Churchill Fellowship, Pater travelled to Canada, the US and the UK to study animal management, welfare and disaster management.

Our leaders

Our leaders have a wealth of collective experience in delivering the Good to Great Schools Australia agenda.

Bernardine Denigan – Chief Executive Officer

Bernardine Denigan is the founding CEO of Good to Great Schools Australia (GGSA) and former CEO of Australia’s leading Indigenous think-tank, Cape York Partnership. Bernie has led GGSA to become Australia’s leading provider of evidence-based effective teaching to schools.

Under Bernie’s leadership, GGSA has partnered with the Queensland Government for more than ten years to implement GGSA’s unique school improvement model through the Cape York Aboriginal Australian Academy (CYAAA). During this time, CYAAA has transformed the Hope Vale and Coen campuses from chronically low performing to the top of majority Indigenous schools, as evidenced by departmental data.

Bernie also led the development and implementation of several national education programs funded by the Australian Government that promoted school improvement and effective teaching. Results from these programs have led to unprecedented successes in the schools they were implemented in.

As CEO of Cape York Partnership, Bernie led the establishment of partnerships between Indigenous people and state and federal governments to pursue empowerment through education and community development.

In 2008, Bernie received a Churchill Fellowship to study education reform in the United States. This award is for Australians to explore other countries’ new ideas, innovation and excellence. Bernie’s fellowship led to the development of GGSA’s effective teaching model, and the design of a remote Indigenous schooling model adopted by CYAAA.

Harvard Business School awarded Bernie a scholarship in their personalised Leadership Development Program, which develops decision-making and leadership skills by deepening understanding of core business operations and broader business knowledge, global perspectives and leadership insights.

As CEO of GGSA, Bernie leads and drives the development of the business with a focus on innovating education products that delight customers.

Megan Moore - School Partnerships Manager

Megan Moore leads the School Partnerships team at Good to Great Schools Australia. She started her career in the corporate sector specialising in leadership and strategic planning, before moving into education. As an education leader, she has more than 16 years of experience in Catholic, independent, international, rural and remote schools.

Megan has led several schools, including a K–12 academy in Indonesia, where she was the founding principal. In several school leadership roles across Queensland, Megan has performed strongly in strategic planning, curriculum development, project planning, and implementing departmental and school priorities.

Megan started her teaching career in Brisbane at an all-boys Catholic school, and became principal at rural and remote schools in Queensland. She worked with students from low socio-economic and remote backgrounds, sparking her focus on teacher development. Megan has initiated and led projects focusing on developing teaching skills to improve student outcomes, particularly in numeracy.

After leading a school in Jakarta, Megan returned to Australia, becoming principal of an independent school north of Brisbane. In 2019 she became a consultant, partnering with schools to implement technology for teaching and learning programs.

As School Partnerships Manager at GGSA, Megan works with school leaders to develop school improvement plans using quality curriculum and training programs. Megan works with schools on their pathway from Poor to Great by developing a personalised approach using explicit instruction. Megan leads a specialist team of educators and curriculum designers delivering quality products that delight customers.

Interesting fact: Megan has been a qualified swim coach for more than 20 years, teaching learn to swim and squad training. She is also an avid swimmer and is currently training for a long-distance ocean swim.

Cassy Coggins - Professional Learning Manager

Cassy Coggins is Professional Learning Manager at Good to Great Schools Australia. She leads the development of GGSA’s professional learning platform, the Mastery Teaching Pathway, and has more than 15 years of experience in the school education sector. Specialising in project management, curriculum development and adult training in school education, Cassy has worked in four different departments within the Northern Territory Government.

Cassy has provided professional development for teachers working in remote Aboriginal communities across Arnhem Land as the Innovative Learning Technology Facilitator with the Northern Territory Department of Education. She directed the renewal of information communication technology (ICT) component of the Northern Territory Curriculum Framework.

Cassy has provided training for staff in the Northern Territory Government, from face-to-face training in aggression minimisation to virtual training in Microsoft Teams. As director of the Education and Training Unit through the COVID-19 pandemic, Cassy’s team delivered virtual training for new child protection workers replacing a face-to-face induction program.

Cassy completed her Bachelor of Science and a Graduate Diploma of Primary Education. She began her teaching career as a classroom teacher at Wanguri Primary School, a public school in Darwin’s northern suburbs. One of her most rewarding teaching posts was in the Intensive English Unit at Sanderson Middle School. Here Cassy taught students who were in immigration detention, aged between 12 and 1,6 and from a variety of Middle Eastern and Asian countries.

As Professional Learning Manager at GGSA Cassy leads the Mastery Teaching Pathway team ensuring that modules delight our customers.

Interesting fact: Cassy has travelled to every continent except Antarctica, backpacking around the world for about eight years after completing her bachelor’s degree.

Nadine Prince - Publishing Manager

Nadine Prince is Publishing Manager at Good to Great Schools Australia where she oversees the publication of our curriculum, teacher professional learning and school improvement products. She has been in publishing for more than fifteen years, working mainly in educational publishing from early childhood to tertiary and everything in between.

As Project Editor at the Cengage Group, Nadine edited and project managed multiple award-winning titles, winning the Best Student Resource (Senior): Mathematics/Science category three years in a row at the Educational Publishing Awards Australia. These titles included Human Perspectives ATAR (2016), Psychology VCE (2017) and Investigating Science in Focus (2018). She was also named Editor of the Year by Cengage for her outstanding achievement on Food by Design, a resource for the teaching and learning of Food Technology in Years 7–10.

As Editorial Manager at Macmillan, Nadine led a team of editors and managed the primary, secondary and custom publishing lists. She also travelled to India to build the capacity of staff at subsidiary publisher SPS. Under her guidance, the typesetters and illustrators expanded their skill set to suit the Australian market and expand their clientele in this country.

She has been a panellist for Editors Victoria and has presented to postgraduate publishing and editing students at the University of Melbourne.

Nadine completed a Bachelor of Arts (Literary Studies) at Deakin University, minoring in Sociology and History. She also completed a Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing at CAE, then a Master of Creative Writing, Publishing and Editing at the University of Melbourne, specialising in book publishing.

Nadine has also worked extensively as a freelance editor, writer and ghost writer, authoring a wide range of publications including biographies, textbooks, university courses, educational materials and technical documents in a diverse range of subjects including English, engineering, accounting, computing and science. Nadine began her publishing career as a web developer and intern at independent feminist book publisher Spinifex Press, where she also proofread the critically acclaimed Kungun Ngarrindjeri Miminar Yunnan (Listen to Ngarrindjeri Women Speaking).

As Publishing Manager at GGSA, Nadine leads a team of editors to edit and deliver curriculum, professional learning and school improvement products with a focus on instructional design for improved educational outcomes and learner experience.

Interesting fact: Nadine visited the Matrimandir (Sanskrit: temple of the mother) in the experimental township Auroville, Tamil Nadu, when she travelled to India in 2018. A geodesic dome covered with gold discs, the Matrimandir took 37 years to build and also contains the largest optically perfect glass globe in the world.

Justin Reeves – Business Services Manager

Justin is an experienced operations manager with over 15 years’ experience in the global mining and health industries. He is passionate about effectively managing and mentoring his teams to deliver successful outcomes and exceed goals.

As the Business Services Manager at Good to Great Schools Australia, Justin oversees the organisation’s operations including finance, contract management, human resources, IT, assets and facilities, administration, and workplace health and safety, providing an oversight on behalf of the CEO.

Justin spent much of his career working internationally delivering specialist mining equipment packages to some of the most remote areas of the world for companies such as BHP, Rio Tinto and Barrick Gold.

More recently he was a part of the operational management team implementing the recovery strategy for a struggling ASX listed national dental group. As part of this strategy he developed and implemented a procurement and automated accounts payable system across the organisation.

In addition to this Justin is also a qualified meditation teacher and brings deep sense of composure and intuition with all tasks he performs.

In his role with Good to Great Schools Australia, Justin works in developing and implementing business strategies, financial plans, modelling and reporting and is a part of the senior management team, making strategic decisions about the organisation’s policies, practices and compliance points across the business.

Interesting fact: Justin grew up in Indonesia and is an avid cook and foodie. He has run an Asian cooking school and luxury meditation retreat with his wife that was featured twice on national travel shows.

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