The NESA Board

The Board sets the direction for NESA and what we need to do. Learn about the members of the Board and their role in the delivery of NESA's activities.

About the Board

NESA is governed by a Board, which sets the strategic direction for NESA. The NESA Board is made up of 12 to 14 members. The Board works with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to support NESA in achieving its goals.

The Board guides NESA to fulfil its functions and delivers policy directions set by the Board and the Minister.

The Board has created several Committees, with the approval of the Minister. The Committees:

  • have been delegated functions, on behalf of the Board
  • can give advice or assist the Board with its functions.

NESA Board members

NESA Board member Peter Shergold

Professor Peter Shergold AC

BA, MA, PhD, Hon. Litt.D (UNSW), Hon. Litt.D (UWS)

Peter is an Australian academic, company director, and former public servant. He has chaired recent Government reviews into education.

He has been:

  • the Chancellor of Western Sydney University
  • Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
  • awarded a Companion of the Order of Australia and a Centenary Medal.
NESA Board member Jenny Allum
Board member

Jenny Allum

BSc, GDipEd, MA, DLitt

Jenny has been Head of SCEGGS Darlinghurst since 1996.

Jenny has previously been:

  • Manager of the Curriculum Branch of the Board of Studies NSW
  • Chair of the NSW/ACT Branch of the Association of Heads of Independent Schools
  • on the NESA Board Curriculum Committee.

She is a Fellow of the Australian College of Educators and has an honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of NSW.

NESA Board member Murat Dizdar
Board member

Murat Dizdar PSM


Murat Dizdar PSM is the Secretary of the NSW Department of Education, which delivers quality education and training services for the people of New South Wales. This includes the Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) sector, government and non-government schools, and the Vocational Education and Training sector.

NESA Board member Margery Evans
Board member

Margery Evans


Margery is the Chief Executive of the Association of Independent Schools of NSW.

She has spent her career in education, starting as a teacher, progressing to school principal and executive leader.

Margery has previously held roles as CEO of Independent Schools Australia, Academic Director for Aga Khan Education Services and CEO of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership.

NESA Board member Robyn Evans
Board member

Robyn Evans

MEd, BEd, DipEd

Robyn is the President of the NSW Primary Principals’ Association representing NSW Primary Principals. She collaborates with the NSW Department of Education corporate and executive personnel to make recommendations to shape policies and practices in NSW schools.

  • Vice President Australian Government Primary Principals Association
  • Principal Casula Public School.
NESA Board member Angelo Gavrielatos
Board member

Angelo Gavrielatos OAM

BA(Hons), DipEd

Angelo Gavrielatos is the immediate past President of the NSW Teachers Federation. 

Before election, Angelo led Educational International’s (EI) Global Response to the growing commercialisation and privatisation of education.

Angelo was the Federal President of the Australian Education Union for 7 years before beginning work with EI, when he led the national Gonski schools funding campaign.

NESA Board member Dr Sally Howell
Board member

Dr Sally Howell

BEd, MA, PhD

Sally has spent her career supporting students with disability as a support teacher, inclusion consultant, university lecturer and principal. Current and recent roles include:

  • President, Australian Association of Special Education (AASE) NSW Chapter
  • Expert Panel Member, Institute of Special Educators (InSped)
  • Principal, Macquarie University Special Education Centre (MUSEC) School (2013–2023)
  • NESA Policy and Advisory Committee member.
NESA Board member Gary Johnson
Board member

Gary Johnson

BA, DipEd

Gary was the Principal of Cherrybrook High School from 2003 to 2024.

He has also been:

  • Principal of Jamison High School
  • Deputy Principal, Asquith Boys High School
  • HSC marker and HSC Marking Supervisor on the Curriculum Committee of the NESA Board since 2017
  • a nominee of the Minister representing secondary principals on the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards.
NESA Board member Christine Legg
Board member

Christine Legg

BEd(EC), DipT(ECE)

Christine has been CEO of KU Children’s Services since 2011 and  is the former President of Early Childhood Australia.

She is a member of:

  • NSW Dept of Ed, Early Childhood Advisory Group
  • Australian Dept of Ed Early Childhood Education and Care Reference Group
  • Advisory Boards at Macquarie University, Notre Dame; and Western Sydney University
  • Executive Member of NSW Early Childhood Australia.
NESA Board member Paul Martin
Board member

Paul Martin

BA(Hons), DipEd

Paul was appointed as NESA CEO in December 2019. He is an ex-officio member of the NESA Board and current member of the ACARA Board.

Paul has held past positions as:

  • Executive Director, Quality Teaching, NESA
  • Policy advisor for NSW and Australian Governments.
NESA Board member Dallas McInerney
Board member

Dallas McInerney


Dallas McInerney is the CEO of Catholic Schools NSW, the peak body of the state’s almost 600 Catholic schools with responsibility for their funding, distribution, compliance and governance.

Dallas previously held senior roles in the private sector and in Government.

He is an alumnus of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Young Leaders Programme with delegations through Asia. Before this, he interned for H.E Kofi Annan, Secretary – General of the United Nations in New York. He holds Masters degrees from the Universities of Sydney and Oxford.

NESA Board member Elizabeth O'Carrigan
Board member

Elizabeth O’Carrigan OAM

BEd. M. Educational Admin, MA (Theology), Masters of Educational System Leadership, Grad. Cert. Gifted Education, GAICD, FACE, FACEL

Elizabeth is a passionate educator with 30 years leadership experience as Principal and Director across city and rural communities. She has an enduring commitment to raising student outcomes and coaching and mentoring future leaders.

NESA Board member Nathan Towney
Board member

Nathan Towney

BTeach, BHlthPhyEd

Nathan is a proud Wiradjuri man from Wellington, NSW. He has been the Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous, Strategy and Leadership since 2019. He has held various teaching and leadership positions, including Principal of Newcastle High School.

He is:

  • Chair of the NSW Vice-Chancellor’s Indigenous Committee
  • Chair of NUSport Board
  • Chair of the Aboriginal Education Forum.
NESA Board member Veronica Yewdall
Board member

Veronica Yewdall 

BEd, DipTeach

Veronica is an Assistant Federal Secretary of the Independent Education Union of Australia (IEUA)

Before beginning work as an officer of the IEUA, Veronica had more than 30 years of experience in Primary schools in the non-government sector, teaching all grades from Kindergarten to Year 6. During that period, she held both acting and substantive leadership positions across 2 schools.

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