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Michael Brett

Principal - Bundaberg Special School


Ric Day

Ric Day


Current Location: North Coast Regional Office

Professional Interests & Experiences: Foundation Schools, Special School Principal, Lead Principal, Executive Policy and Liaison Advisor.

QASEL contributions: Member since 2002, Former Vice-President, Key contributor to ECDP and Disability Royal commission Position Papers, Former host of "Ric Day Tonight"

Vice President

Ray Hack

Ray Hack

Vice President

Current Location: Metro Regional Office

Professional Interests & Experiences: Age-appropriate Pedagogies including Walker Learning, DDG Principal Congress Member, Book week dress up champion.

QASEL contributions: Long term member since 2005, QASEL Submission to the Royal Commission.  

Western Suburbs Special School

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Tracy Cronin

Vice President

Current Location:  Townsville Community Learning Centre – A State Special School

Professional Interests & Experiences: Student voice and communication access for all students. Engaging, authentic differentiated curriculum access for complex learners. Developing middle leaders and aspirants

QASEL contributions: Active QASEL management member since 2014. QASEL Conference Committee member since 2015. QASEL representative on the QCAA Senior Secondary Curriculum, Assessment and Certification Committee as the QASEL ‘Diversity and inclusive education representative’. QASEL CON Townsville North Qld Co-organiser.

Vice President (HOSES/DP Special ED)

Karen Collishaw

Karen Collishaw

Vice President (HOSES/DP Special Ed)

Current Location:  Edens Landing State School

Professional Interests & Experiences:  Developing positive relationships and high expectations for all learners; seek opportunities to collaborate with colleagues to continually improve practice; value the many experiences of being a team member..

QASEL contributions:  Member since 2009, State Councillor since 2010, Contributor to the QASEL Constitution, long term QASEL Conference committee member.

Acting Principal

Simone Coogan

Simone Coogan


Current Location: Ascot State School

Professional Interests & Experiences: adult learning, the intersection of professional standards and our practice in schools

QASEL contributions: Served on Management Committee since 2016, Conference MC since 2014, Service Award   


Renae Somerville

Renae Somerville


Current Location: Western Suburbs Special School

Professional Interests & Experiences: Developing the next school leaders, Regional Health, Safety and Wellbeing Representative, Teaching and Learning Branch, Manager C2C – English, mathematics, science and HASS (SWD), Head of Special Education Services across high school and P-12 locations

QASEL contributions: Long term member since 2006, State Councillor and Management Committee member

Head of Special Education

Steve Leese

Steve Leese

Acting Deputy Principal

Current Location: Townsville Community Learning Centre

Professional Interests & Experiences: Inclusive practices, experience in special school, primary and high school settings.

QASEL contributions: member for over 10 years including as state councillor, management committee, resident heckler of the Mic Captain at QASEL CON  



Natalie Petersen

Head of Special Education Services

Current location: Nursery Road Early Childhood Development Program

Professional interests and experiences : Early intervention, early years curriculum, transitions to school, family-centred practice. Contributor to Metropolitan ECDP Working Party, Yuggera Culture in Community Cluster, local early years networks. 

QASEL Contributions: Member since 2020. Secretary of QASEL ECDP Sub-committee. 

Aspley Special School

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Ches Hargreaves


Current Location: Aspley Special School

Professional Interests and Experiences: School and System leadership; Coaching School Leaders; Positive Behaviour for Learning; Positive School Culture; Human Resourcing

QASEL Contributions: Member since 1991: Management Committee 1992-2021; The first non-Brisbane based member on ASEAQ Management Committee 1992; President Northern Queensland ASEAQ Branch 1992-93, Secretary/Treasurer Metro West ASEAQ Branch 1998-2002; Secretary ASEAQ 2004-2006; Vice President ASEAQ 2007; President ASEAQ/QASEL 2008-2014; Life Member.


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Susan Christensen


Awaiting information

Acting Principal

Bronwyn Paxton

Bronwyn Paxton


Current Location: Woody Point Special School

Professional Interests & Experiences:  Early Intervention, organisational wellbeing, positive education, student centred approach to pedagogy and engagement

QASEL contributions: QASEL member since 2008, State/ Regional Councillor 2010-2012, 2018-2020

Ipswich Special School

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Steve Roberts


Current Role: Principal

Current Location: Kuraby Special School

Professional Interests & Experiences: Building capability to support outcomes for students with disabilities in all settings.

QASEL contributions: Long term member. QASEL presentation in 2021 with Caroline de Hennin “Intention Collaboration for Inclusive Practices”

Mitchelton Special School

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Sarah Lockwood


Current Location: Nursery Road State Special School

Professional Interests & Experiences:  Ensuring all children have access to individualised, quality curriculum delivery and all leaders have the ability to and understand the necessity to differentiate and individualise education experiences. Principal Advisory Working Party Student Wellbeing Package. Special School Representative for Teacher Learning Centre. Teacher Learning Centre Rep for Metro Teaching and Learning Advisory Group. Active member of the QTU Special Education Committee.

QASEL contributions: QASEL member since 2008, executive committee member, conference committee member since 2010, QASEL rep Infrastructure advisory group, QASEL rep WPHS advisory group


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Rachel Dougherty


Current Location: Red Hill Special School

Professional Interests & Experiences: Comprehensive Literacy Instruction for all, Inclusive Practices Advisory Group- Metro Region, firm belief that Special Educators transform Teaching & Learning so that SWD achieve lives of choice not chance.

QASEL contributions: Member since 2015, QASEL Presentations 2015- ‘Leading AAC implementation through Action Research- Master Teacher’  and 2016- ‘The power of an Instructional Coaching model to build capability from within.’

Beenleigh Special School

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Robyn Ferguson

Deputy Principal

Current Location: Forest Lake SHS

Professional Interests & Experiences:  quality pathways for all students, quality consultation with parents and young people to ensure fully informed decision making, engaging curriculum and pedagogical practices, developing leadership and staff capacity.

QASEL contributions: QASEL member since 2013, Management Committee Member, Chair of DP Special Committee, QASEL representative on DoE QCE systems PRG and QCAA senior secondary committee

Vice President

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Andrew Thompson


Current Location: Redland District Special School

Professional Interests & Experiences:  Senior school student pathways post school, Building staff capability and supporting aspirants, Member of selection panels for Principal and Deputy Principal positions, Linking ECDP staff with other early childhood settings

QASEL contributions: Member since 2007, Vice President 2014-2020, Management Committee 2009- current, Conference Convenor 2016- current, QASEL Rep to ASEPA Management Committee 2019- current


Regional Councillors

QASEL Resized

Vilma Minisini

Far North QLD

Awaiting Information

QASEL Resized

Lisa Wright

Far North QLD

Awaiting Information

Claire Cheyne

Claire Cheyne

North QLD

Current Role: Principal

Current Location: Burdekin School

Professional Interests & Experiences: NQR Health, Safety and Wellbeing team member, QASSP Student Services Chair, finding new ways for our kids to access, engage and achieve.

QASEL contributions: Member since 2016, QASEL Safe and Respectful Schools Roundtable representative, QASEL panel representative.  

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Jenny McLeod

Central QLD

Current role: Head of Special Education Services

Location: Biloela State School

Professional interests: Building teacher capability, Professional networks in Central Queensland

QASEL contributions: Member since 2006, Vice President – HoSES, Regional Councillor.

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Erin King

Central QLD

Current Role: Principal

Current Location: Rockhampton Special School

Professional Interests & Experiences: CQ Principal Forum, Building close relationships with neighbouring schools and working collaboratively for engaging students with disabilities.

QASEL contributions:  Member for a few years now, QASEL Councillor, Representative on the Leadership pilot (dare to lead) and representative for safe and respectful school community roundtable.

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Glenn Gatehouse

Darling Downs South West

Awaiting information

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Lynne Madle

North Coast

Current Role: Deputy Principal Special Education

Current Location: Kepnock State High School

Professional Interests & Experiences: Creating an inclusive culture and awareness of diversity. Building networks and bringing colleagues together, staff and student well-being.

Creating a collaborative school and community mentoring partnership with Central Queensland University that will progress effective pedagogical practices, differentiated teaching and classroom management for pre-service teachers before they enter the classroom.

An opportunity for pre-service teachers to work with educators in the classroom, making links with pedagogy and receiving constructive feedback while also benefitting our staff through reflection and developing their own practices.

QASEL Contributions: Member since 2016 and Regional State Councillor.

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Janet Firmstone

North Coast

Current position: Acting Principal

Current Location: Hervey Bay Special School.

Professional Interests and Experience: Inclusive curriculum; Positive behaviour for learning; Developing teachers as leaders, Head of Special Education Services across primary and secondary settings.

QASEL Contribution: State Council member since 2019.


Nicholas Alexander

North Coast

Current Role: Principal

Current Location: Palmview State Special School

Professional Interests & Experiences: Early Intervention of AAC, Taught in the UK for 7 years, DP over three schools, more superhero outfits than suits.

QASEL contributions: Member since 2014, QASEL presenter at QASELcon, Always last to find a table at the QASELcon dinner. 

Alastair Hanna

Alastair Hanna


Current Role: Acting Principal

Current Location: Claremont Special School

Professional Interests & Experiences: Experience across both Special School and Mainstream Settings.  Parent and Communty Engagement.  Student Learning and Well-being.  Most Improved Christmas Dress Up Competition

QASEL contributions: First Time Regional Councillor.  Part of the QASEL Communications A Team Strikeforce.  Reluctant Dancer.  

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Tony Egan


Current Location: Runcorn State High School

Professional Interests & Experiences: Long Serving Secondary School HOSES, Specialisation as a Teacher of the Deaf, Currently Junior Secondary Deputy Principal but still with a keen interest in special education.

QASEL contributions: QASEL Regional Councillor for 4 years

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Megan Cameron


Current Location: Geebung Special School

Professional Interests & Experiences: Part of the leadership team across 3 special schools, Curriculum, Engagement and pedagogy, Positive Behaviour for learning

QASEL contributions: Member since 2019, new to the position of Regional Councillor

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Kate Eldridge

South East

Current Location: Beenleigh Special School

Professional Interests & Experiences: Experience in Special Education, Education Officer and Counselling experience in custodial settings, currently Head of Department – Curriculum. Strong interest in ensuring the well-being of all learners.

QASEL contributions: New to the position of QASEL Regional Councillor – SER

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Angela Armstrong

South East

Current Location: Loganholme State School

Professional Interests & Experiences: Leader of inclusive education in rural and urban primary school contexts; working collaboratively across clusters to forge strong partnerships and support transitions; Positive Behaviour for Learning coach.

QASEL contributions: Member since 2019, State Councillor since 2021, member of HOSES sub-committee


Nicole Rouen

South East

Current Location:  Beenleigh Special School

Professional Interests & Experiences: Trauma-informed practice, senior schooling and post school pathways and building the capacity of aspiring leaders and teachers new to special education (not necessarily graduate teachers).

QASEL contributions: Member since 2005. During this time I have held positions on Executive - Secretary and Treasurer, Management Committee and Conference Committee.  

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