Education Services Australia (ESA) is a ministerial company established by the Education Council. The company membership comprises all Australian Ministers with responsibility for education.

The Board

ESA is governed by a board of directors led by an independent chairperson, and comprising both representational and independent expert members. The current Board membership is:

Ms Diane Joseph — Board Chair


Diane Joseph is a public policy expert with significant experience in the education and training sectors. Diane’s expertise in policy and strategy is based on a background of more than 35 years working in public service, including as Director-General of Education and Training in the Australian Capital Territory, a breadth of senior executive positions in the ACT and Victoria, as well as a secondary school principal and teacher.

Ms Sharyn O'Neill — Australian Education Senior Officials Committee (AESOC) nominee


Sharyn O’Neill is Director General, Department of Education, Western Australia. She is responsible for providing quality education for all Western Australians who choose public schooling.

Mr Malcolm Wells — Independent expert


Malcolm Wells is a former Deputy Secretary in the Tasmanian Department of Education, with responsibility for further education and training. Prior to this he was General Manager responsible for public education in the state’s north-west. He has extensive experience in the school sector and more recently in vocational education and training. Malcolm is a member of the Teachers Registration Board of Tasmania.

Dr Gabrielle Phillips — Australian Government nominee


Gabrielle Phillips is the Branch Manager of the National Data Reform Branch, Schools and Youth Cluster, Australian Department of Education and Training. Gabrielle responsibilities have included providing strategic policy advice and leading programmes on improving national data and evidence. Previously Gabrielle has held roles in the Commonwealth in Child Care, Early Childhood Education and Family policy.

Ms Kathe Kirby — Independent expert

Kathe-KirbyKathe Kirby is an experienced education professional with a career spanning teaching, teacher education, policy development and leading innovation in schools and education systems. Ms Kirby was Executive Director of Asialink and the Asia Education Foundation (AEF) since 1995.

Mr Mark Lamont — Independent expert

Mark-LamontMark Lamont has knowledge, experience and networks in education, enterprise and technology innovation. Mark has engaged in transformational school and further education initiatives at local, system and international levels, and with education technology services providers across Australia and worldwide.

Ms Anne-Marie Lansdown — Independent expert

Anne-Marie-LansdownAnne-Marie Lansdown is Chief of Staff to Australia’s Chief Scientist. She has a track record in a breadth of policy and planning as a senior public servant in the national science, research and education sectors, and extensive international education and collaboration experience. As Deputy CEO of Universities Australia she built on her knowledge and networks nationally and internationally in the education, science and research sector. 

Mr John Mula — Non-Government Schools Representative

John-MulaJohn Mula is the Director of Tasmanian Catholic Education. Prior to this appointment John was Director of Schools for the Diocese of Armidale. John is a teacher and educational leader with 35 years of experience in a diverse range of educational settings including private training colleges and schools.

Mr Sergio (Sam) Spadavecchia — Independent expert

Sergio-SpadevecchiaSam Spadavecchia has extensive experience in general management, finance, management consulting, risk, audit, and Information Technology. Sam has been the independent expert (non-Director) member of the Finance, Risk and Audit Committee for six years.

Prof. Andrew Vann — Universities Australia representative

Andrew-VannAndrew Vann is the Vice-Chancellor and President of Charles Sturt University. Previously he held various senior academic and administrative roles at Central Queensland University and James Cook University. He lectured in structural engineering at University of Bristol prior to coming to Australia in 1996.

Andrew Smith — CEO


Andrew Smith has qualifications in education, science and business and brings to the role of CEO extensive experience and expertise in strategic leadership in the education, training and not-for-profit sectors. Previously Andrew has been the CEO of the Australian Council for Private Education and Training and Vice President (Engagement) at Swinburne University.