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The Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) is governed by a seven member board that includes nominees from each of the three schooling sectors and four Ministerial nominees selected on the basis of expertise relevant to the functions of the Authority.

Mr Brian Short (Chair)

Mr Brian Short (Chair)

Nominee of the Minister having the qualifications, experience or standing the Minister considers relevant to the functions of the Authority, and appointed as chair of the Authority

Brian retired as Headmaster of Brisbane Grammar School in 2013 after a 40 year career in secondary education. He remains involved in education as Director of the Non-State Schools Accreditation Board, Deputy Chair and Director of the Independent Schools Queensland Block Grant Authority and an Adjunct Professor at Griffith University. His curriculum leadership roles have included Head of Department, Dean of Studies and Deputy Headmaster–Curriculum, and his teaching experiences have included university lecturing in educational leadership and Australian national government.

Brian’s highlights as a curriculum leader include helping to create the professional learning cultures that enabled the successful introduction of one of the first Australian whole-school learning frameworks at Brisbane Grammar School and more recently the technologically rich pedagogies that are necessary for innovative 21st century learning spaces.

Brian had considerable grassroots involvement in the Board of Senior Secondary School Studies, a predecessor of the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority.  He served as a District Review Panellist, a History Curriculum Sub‑Committee member and was part of the original Queensland Core Skills Test Committee.

Brian is a Fellow of the Australian College of Educators and the Australian Institute of Management, member of the Australian Council of Educational Leaders and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Ms Leanne Nixon

Ms Leanne Nixon

Nominee of the chief executive of the Department of Education and Training

Leanne is an Assistant Director-General in the State Schools Division of the Department of Education and Training (DET) Queensland. She is responsible for developing and leading innovative strategies that drive school improvement and enable every student to reach their potential.

As a long serving educator, Leanne has worked with a range of students across Queensland, from the coalfields of Central Queensland to the outback community of Cunnamulla. Notably, she has served as Foundation Principal of the Queensland Academy for Health Sciences on the Gold Coast; Executive Principal of Calamvale Community College; a Teaching and Learning Auditor and Executive Director – Independent Public Schools team in Central Office.

Leanne brings to the QCAA board expertise in curriculum design, capability development, and change leadership at school and system levels. She is a Fellow of the Australian Council for Educational Leaders and a Director of the Queensland Education Leadership Institute Board.

Leanne believes that enabling every student to reach their potential is about ensuring they experience effective teaching from teachers who understand their learning needs, throughout all their years of schooling. In her view, as educators, we need to do the things we know work more consistently, more often, and in more schools.

Mr David Robertson

Mr David Robertson

Nominee of Independent Schools Queensland

David is Executive Director of Independent Schools Queensland. David has worked in the independent schooling sector for the past 25 years. He joined Independent Schools Queensland in 2002 as Director, Strategic and Government Relations. Previously, he worked for the Association of Independent Schools of Victoria for 12 years, including in the position of Executive Director, Operations.

David has a wealth of experience within the independent schooling sector, particularly in the areas of funding, planning, governance, operations and administration. He has an extensive knowledge of government regulatory requirements for independent schools. David has also worked extensively with both Federal and State Governments representing the interests of the independent sector.

David serves on a wide range of school education committees and working groups at ministerial, departmental and stakeholder levels.

David is a member of the Australian Society of Association Executives and the Institute of Company Directors. He is also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management.

Ms Lisa Jeffcoat

Ms Leesa Jeffcoat, AM

Nominee of the Queensland Catholic Education Commission

Leesa has experience as an educator and administrator in Catholic and independent schools. Leesa holds a Diploma of Teaching (Primary), a Bachelor of Arts, a Bachelor of Education (Hons), a Masters in Educational Administration, as well as letters in Speech and Drama and Music. Leesa also holds fellowships with the Australian College of Educators and the Australian College of Educational Leaders, as well as membership of the Australian Institute of Management. In 2013, Leesa was awarded the honour of Member of the Order of Australia in the General Division.

Leesa was appointed to the role of Diocesan Director of Catholic Education (Diocese of Rockhampton) in 2001. Prior to this appointment, she taught in both primary and secondary schools and held senior leadership roles within Catholic Education (Diocese of Rockhampton). Leesa has a particular interest in teaching and learning and the promotion of educational opportunities in rural and regional settings.

In addition to her role as Director of Catholic Education, Leesa is the Chair of Mercy Health and Aged Care (Central Queensland Ltd) which operates four Mater hospitals and three aged-care facilities in Central Queensland.

Leesa also held the position of Chair of the Queensland Studies Authority from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014.

Professor Doune Macdonald

Professor Doune Macdonald


Nominee of the Minister having relevant corporate, governance or financial qualifications or experience

As Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching & Learning) at The University of Queensland (UQ), Doune is responsible for achieving the university’s teaching and learning objectives, including innovation in teaching and learning, digital learning, development and recognition of excellent teaching, quality assurance and enhancement, curriculum reform and renewal, and research in teaching and learning that centres on improving student learning outcomes.

Following an early career teaching health and physical education in New South Wales and Queensland, Doune returned to UQ as a lecturer in 1990 and in 1998 won an Australian Award for University Teaching. She served as Head of School of Human Movement Studies from 2004–2013. During this period, Doune sat on various Health and Physical Education committees for the Board of Secondary School Studies.

Doune has published 14 books and more than 200 book chapters and research papers in curriculum, policy and equity and has undertaken curriculum evaluations for state and national initiatives. This culminated in her role as the Lead Writer for the Australian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education.

Doune is an International Fellow of the National Academy of Kinesiology, USA, a Fellow and Board Member of the Association Internationale des Ecoles Superieures d'Education Physique (AIESEP), a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD) and serves as a trustee of the Brisbane Grammar School and sits on Grace College Council. Doune also chairs the State Ministerial Advisory Committee on Women and Girls in Sport and Recreation and sits on the Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research Advisory Group. She has previously held directorships with UQ Sport Ltd and St Margaret’s School.

Professor Carol Nicoll PSM

Professor Carol Nicoll PSM


Nominee of the Minister having the qualifications, experience or standing the Minister considers relevant to the functions of the Authority

As Executive Dean of the Faculty of Education at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Carol is responsible for the management and leadership of one of Australia’s largest Faculties of Education and one of Queensland’s largest providers of graduate teachers.

Carol’s early career was as a Queensland secondary school teacher and head of an English department. She served in a variety of roles in several of the QCAA’s predecessor bodies. During the 1990s, she was a panellist, an accredited marker and then Chief Marker for the Writing Task of the Queensland Core Skills Test for the Board of Senior Secondary School Studies. She worked as a senior research officer at the Tertiary Entrance Procedures Authority. During this time, Carol worked at QUT and The University of Queensland as an academic focused on teaching and learning in higher education.

Carol joined the Commonwealth public service in 1999 and held numerous senior executive positions in the Federal Department of Education — head of the team that developed the 2003 higher education reform package; Minister Counsellor for Education, Science and Training, Australian Embassy, Brussels; Group Manager of the Industry Skills Development Group; Group Manager of National Education System Group and National Coordinator of the Building the Education Revolution program.

Carol was the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (2010–2011) and the inaugural Chief Commissioner and CEO of the national regulator for Australian higher education, the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (2011–2014). Carol currently serves on the School Councils of Kedron State High School and Corinda State High School. She was awarded a Public Service Medal on Australia Day 2004 for outstanding public service.


Nominee of the Minister having the qualifications, experience or standing the Minister considers relevant to the functions of the Authority

Last updated: 13 April 2018

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