ACEL appoints Dr Barbara Watterston as Chief Executive Officer

ACEL appoints Dr Barbara Watterston as Chief Executive Officer

by Freya Lucas

April 29, 2021

The Australian Council of Educational Leadership (ACEL) has formally welcomed Dr Barbara Watterston as its CEO following her term as Acting CEO over the past six months.


ACEL is best known in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector for its work to actively support the development of educational leadership capabilities in a variety of contexts through conferences and workshops, leadership programs, in-house publications, online resources, and a bookshop. 


ACEL is the largest professional association in the education sector in Australia and the wider Asia-Pacific region. It has a growing network of more than 7,000 members and over 45,000 educators, with branches in each state and territory.


Dr Watterston has extensive experience across all education sectors and has held a range of executive leadership positions within education and not-for-profit organisations.  


She has been recognised nationally and internationally for her contribution to educational leadership and professional learning, with her expertise regularly sought out to contribute in an advisory capacity through numerous university, departmental, school and professional boards. 


Her doctoral thesis focused on gender, leadership, and learning, which informed her contribution as co-editor of the book Women in School Leadership: Journeys to Success, and more recently, Step In, Step Up with co-author Jane Kise, which has received a silver medal in the 2020 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards.


Dr Watterston began her term as Acting CEO following the recent ACEL Global Online Conference in which she participated as host and moderator.  She has since been working closely with the Board in setting ACEL’s strategic plans.


To access Dr Watterston’s full bio, please see here. For more information about the work of ACEL, see here