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3.5 Workforce management

Staff profile

As at 30 June 2020, ACARA’s employees comprised 98.57 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff, in addition to seven staff members engaged as secondees from state/territory agencies.

All ongoing employees current report period (2019–20)

Male

Female

Indeterminate

Total

Full time

Part time

Total male

Full time

Part time

Total female

Full time

Part time

Total indeterminate

NSW

15

-

15

18

6

24

-

-

-

39

Qld

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

SA

-

-

-

-

1

1

-

-

-

1

Tas.

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Vic.

-

-

-

1

-

1

-

-

-

1

WA

2

-

2

3

2

5

-

-

-

7

ACT

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

NT

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

External territories

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Overseas

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Total

17

-

17

22

9

31

-

-

-

48

All non-ongoing employees current report period (2019–20)

Male

Female

Indeterminate

Total

Full time

Part time

Total male

Full time

Part time

Total female

Full time

Part time

Total indeterminate

NSW

14

-

14

17

2

19

-

-

-

33

Qld

1

-

1

1

-

1

-

-

-

2

SA

-

-

-

3

-

3

-

-

-

3

Tas.

1

-

1

-

-

-

-

-

-

1

Vic.

3

-

3

3

-

3

-

-

-

6

WA

4

-

4

6

-

6

-

-

-

10

ACT

1

-

1

-

-

-

-

-

-

1

NT

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

External territories

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Overseas

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Total

24

-

24

30

2

32

-

-

-

56

All ongoing employees previous report period (2018–19)

Male

Female

Indeterminate

Total

Full time

Part time

Total male

Full time

Part time

Total female

Full time

Part time

Total indeterminate

NSW

17

-

17

15

3

18

-

-

-

35

Qld

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

SA

-

-

-

1

-

1

-

-

-

1

Tas.

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Vic.

-

-

-

1

-

1

-

-

-

1

WA

2

-

2

4

2

6

-

-

-

8

ACT

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

NT

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

External territories

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Overseas

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Total

19

-

19

21

5

26

-

-

-

45

All non-ongoing employees previous report period (2018–19)

Male

Female

Indeterminate

Total

Full time

Part time

Total male

Full time

Part time

Total female

Full time

Part time

Total indeterminate

NSW

12

-

12

20

2

22

-

-

-

34

Qld

1

-

1

3

-

3

-

-

-

4

SA

1

-

1

3

-

3

-

-

-

4

Tas.

-

1

1

-

-

-

-

-

-

1

Vic.

2

-

2

2

-

2

-

-

-

4

WA

3

-

3

2

-

2

-

-

-

5

ACT

1

-

1

-

-

-

-

-

-

1

NT

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

External territories

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Overseas

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Total

20

1

21

30

2

32

-

-

-

53

ACARA’s diverse workforce brings to the organisation a valuable range of skills and expertise, helping foster productive relationships within the education sector. Many staff members are considered experts in their fields, bringing to their roles important local and international experience. They have been recruited or seconded from positions within state or territory education departments, curriculum, assessment and certification authorities, non-government school sector, federal and state government agencies, and private sector. This means that ACARA’s workforce reflects the complexity and dynamism of Australia’s education community.

A key aspect of ACARA’s work involves collaboration with a broad network of advisory and reference groups from states and territories. Although members of these groups are not represented in ACARA’s staff profile, they make a significant national contribution to ACARA’s work and achievement.  

Leadership  

As part of the people strategy, greater emphasis has been placed on talent management development, engagement at ACARA. Leadership remains a key capability for our managers, and ACARA has actively supported a specific focus on developing the leadership capability through our leadership program. The program uses a blended learning approach in its delivery and impact.

In 2019–20, all managers and executives continued to participate in training, coaching and forums each quarter. The Executive Leadership Team (ELT) and all managers were invited to participate in a 360-feedback process in March 2020. This feedback, while anonymous, is highly valuable for our ELT and their managers to further build their leadership capability.

Improvements in leadership at ACARA are evident with the Leadership Program, in conjunction with conversation-based performance reviews, changing both perception and demonstrated leadership amongst managers. The Leadership Forum content and delivery are owned and driven by the CEO and executive, engaging all leaders at ACARA across all locations on a range of topics from strategic to operational leadership.

Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP)

During National Reconciliation Week 2019, ACARA launched its second RAP – ‘Innovate’. The creation of the RAP was a joint effort with all business units contributing under the guidance of the RAP Working Group, and with the support of Reconciliation Australia. It is built on the learnings,  challenges and achievements from ACARA’s previous ‘Reflect’ RAP, which ACARA launched in 2017.  

The Innovate RAP is aligned to ACARA’s strategic plan, and made up of a number of clear, tangible and practical actions that will drive ACARA’s contribution to reconciliation. It supports ACARA’s vision of improving the learning of all young Australians by supporting ACARA to ensure the Australian Curriculum is inclusive of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives, the National Assessment Program provides high-quality, culturally inclusive assessment that is respectful of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander historical and contemporary realities, and that reporting provides an evidence base to inform policymakers and governments, and assist with ensuring equitable outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.  

Over the course of 2019–20, ACARA made progress on a number of RAP deliverables, including: 

  • marking dates of cultural significance for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, including the anniversary of the Apology to the Stolen Generations, National Reconciliation Week, NAIDOC week, Indigenous Literacy Day and the anniversary of Paul Keating’s 1992 Redfern Park Speech 
  • presenting an Acknowledgment of Country at the beginning of all-staff meetings and at other ACARA events, both internal and external 
  • developing a range of documents to support ACARA staff and the RAP Working Group, including theProtocols document to assist with delivering Acknowledgement of Country or Place and a strategy for engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. All documents are created under guidance and advice from ACARA’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Group and Reconciliation Australia, or their state affiliation
  • updating internal documents to further support our reconciliation efforts and ensure that ACARA is responsive to cultural needs. These include our procurement policy and procedure, which has been revised to increase opportunities to procure goods and services from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses, and various People & Culture policies, such as our Diversity & Inclusion policy, which has been revised to ensure there are opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff to participate in cultural events and fulfill cultural responsibilities. These documents are developed in collaboration with ACARA’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Group
  • offering to all ACARA staff the opportunity to complete Cultural Competency training delivered by Arrilla Indigenous Consulting, resulting in a large percentage of staff participating. This offer will continue for all new staff to ACARA.  

ACARA is currently completing the 2020 Workplace RAP Barometer, which is a survey to monitor reconciliation at the workplace level and managed by Polity Research & Consulting. The data collected will aid significantly in our ‘Innovate’ action plans and assist us in planning the next ‘Stretch’ RAP, with drafting to start in 2021. 

Executive Leadership Team

The Executive Leadership Team (ELT) is responsible for ACARA’s day-to-day operations and contributing to ACARA’s strategic direction. The team has evolved with ACARA and comprised the following staff over the course of the financial year: 

  • Chief Executive Officer, Mr David de Carvalho (from 4 March 2019) 
  • General Manager, Assessment and Reporting, Mr Peter Titmanis (from 29 January 2019)
  • Director, Curriculum, Ms Janet Davy (from April 2018) 
  • Director, Communications and Strategic Relations, Ms Ann-Maree Ashburn (from July 2016)
  • Interim Director, Corporate Services and Chief Financial Officer, Mr Wayne Evans (from 1 July 2019 to 25 October 2019) 
  • Director, Corporate Services and Chief Financial Officer, Mr Thomas Begeng (from 8 October 2019).

Chief Executive Officer  

Mr David de Carvalho joined ACARA in March 2019, bringing to ACARA a wealth of leadership experience from the education sector and from the public sector at both the Commonwealth and state government level.  

Mr de Carvalho was chief executive officer of the NSW Education Standards Authority from January 2017 until February 2019. Prior to that, he was deputy secretary at the NSW Department of Family and Community Services. 

Mr de Carvalho has also led the National Catholic Education Commission and was head of the Higher Education Division in the federal government Department of Education. He started his career as a secondary school teacher and has served on the boards of the Australian Council for Educational Research and the Curriculum Corporation (now Education Services Australia).   

General Manager, Assessment and Reporting 

Mr Peter Titmanis joined ACARA in January 2019. His most recent position has been executive director, strategic initiatives and performance, at the Western Australian Department of Education. 

Mr Titmanis began his career as a secondary science teacher, then a university lecturer in education. He has extensive experience on national initiatives, including NAPLAN and NAPLAN Online, and has wide-ranging experience in school accountability and reporting. 

Mr Titmanis holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Science Education from Curtin University, a Diploma of Education from the University of WA, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Science from the University of WA. 

Director, Curriculum 

Ms Janet Davy joined ACARA in April 2018. She was previously deputy secretary within the NSW Department of Education, which followed her role as group manager for curriculum, assessment and teaching in the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and prior to that, secretary of the ACT Department of Education. As with many of ACARA’s staff, Ms Davy began her career as a teacher, teaching Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) to Sydney secondary students.

Ms Davy held various senior curriculum roles in the department and the NSW Board of Studies. She also worked with AusAID (Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands), undertaking high-level change management roles, including a position of program manager for the Papua New Guinea Education Capacity Building Program. 

Director, Communications and Strategic Relations 

Ms Ann-Maree Ashburn joined ACARA in July 2016 with over 20 years’ experience in government, communications and stakeholder relations. Ms Ashburn has worked at a senior level in government, including as a ministerial adviser, and has held senior corporate affairs and communications roles in the corporate and not-for-profit sectors, including at Oil States International, Insurance Australia Group, the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore, and Hill and Knowlton. 

Director, Corporate Services 

Mr Wayne Evans was engaged by ACARA for a short period while a recruitment process was underway for the role. The position was taken up by Mr Thomas Begeng in October 2019.   

Immediately prior to joining ACARA, Mr Begeng was managing director of a consulting practice specialising in technology transformation projects. Mr Begeng has over 20 years’ experience in a range of board, senior finance and operations roles in the corporate, government and not-for-profit sectors, including CFO and board member of Medibank Health Solutions, director ofcorporate services for Lifeline Australia and chief operating officer of HealthShare NSW. 

Mr Begeng has a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce (Accounting) and is a member of the Institute of Public Accountants (Australia), Institute of Financial Accountants (UK) and CEO institute.