Fellows Support Group Steering Committee

ACEL Victoria Fellows Support Group Steering Committee:


Associate Professor Noel Stonehouse (Convenor)

Noel is a previous National President of ACEL and Victorian Branch. He is currently a principal fellow and associate professor in the Centre for the Study of Higher Education, Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne. His academic interest is in Educational Leadership and change in a global context. He has worked in over 30 countries and was a former primary teacher.


Cynthia Merrill

Cynthia was the VIT’s Group Manager, Registration and Accreditation. Cynthia has dedicated nearly 40 years service to education. This includes 24 years of teaching in Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland, six years as principal, four years as Manager of the Registered Schools Board and three years at the Institute.


A focus of her work during her career has been on student-centred learning, curriculum development and teacher professionalism. Current work focuses on the registration and monitoring of schools in the non-government sector within an environment of continuous self-evaluation and school improvement.


Dr Wendy Cahill DSG



Wendy has served in several senior administrative positions in education, including the role of director of academic leadership at University of Melbourne, where she worked on leadership challenges and strategic agendas with the Deans and Department Heads across the faculties of the University. During this time she consulted widely also to private and public sector organisations.


Recipient of a prestigious international Fulbright award in 1986, her study in the United States was reported in her doctoral thesis on the resource and support of educational leaders. Early career highlights included primary principalship in the north-western suburbs, then regional director for the north-western zone of Catholic education, moving on to deputy chair of primary schools for the Catholic Education Office of Victoria. Dr Cahill was also principal of a P-12 independent school in the eastern suburbs .In 1993 she was awarded a Fellowship of the Australian College of Education (FACE). Her citation recognised “extensive nationwide contributions to primary, secondary and tertiary education, as well as to private and public sector organisations”. In 2006, Wendy also was awarded an honorary fellowship from the Australian Council of Educational Leaders (FACEL). In 1992 she accepted an appointment from the Attorney General as community representative and served for five years as a member of the Attorney General’s Law Reform Advisory Council (Victoria). From 2003 to April 2011, Wendy was Head of iNet Australia, an international arm of the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, UK. In 2010, she was awarded a Papal Honour (Dame) for her meritorious contribution to the Catholic Church and wider community through educational leadership.


Wendy continues to network and offer resource and support across the three educational sectors. She presents occasional addresses at national and international conferences and currently is appointed as senior fellow, Graduate School of Education, at The University of Melbourne. She continues to draw on the richness of previous international experience and has continued her work on strategies and processes as well as research projects, to improve educational outcomes for students, by working with schools, universities and educational institutions nationally and internationally. She constantly promotes international networking and facilitates a global approach to alert and judicious leadership at all levels, to ensure creative school governance, strategic school organisation and the raising of achievement in teaching and learning.


Dr Richard Cotter

As Senior Fellow of The University of Melbourne, Dr Cotter teaches Policy Analysis and Public Accountability in the Master’s program, which also involves delivering programs in Hong Kong and Singapore. Dr Cotter has been a full-time member of the academic staff at The University of Melbourne, The University of London, Hawthorn Institute of Education and Melbourne Teachers’ College. Teaching focused on Leadership, Policy, Curriculum and Philosophy. Early school teaching was across both primary and secondary.


Dr Cotter was a foundation Director and until recently a member of the University of Melbourne School Review Team, contracted by the Victorian Department of Education to review over 350 schools in the Northern and Western suburbs of Melbourne. This work extended from 1996 to 2004 focusing on school performance in areas such as student learning, curriculum provision, participation of parents, quality of school leadership, quality of professional interaction and parent and student satisfaction with their schools. In addition, he has conducted large scale consultancies for a variety of non-government schools.


Adjunct Professor Ian Ling

Dr Ian Ling is an Adjunct Professor at Victoria University, Melbourne Australia. He holds bachelor degrees in Science and Education, and a masters and doctoral degree in Education from the University of Melbourne. He is a fellow of both the Australian College of Leadership (FACEL) and the Australian College of Educators (FACE).


In 2011-12 he led a ten-month evaluative enquiry for the Association of Independent Schools of South Australia relating to the commonwealth’s Smarter Schools National Partnerships program. In 2009 he completed an eight-month evaluative enquiry for the Association of Independent Schools of Victoria, relating to their trial of a Rewarding High Quality Teachers Program.


He has been involved in program evaluation projects at state, national and international level and has presented papers related to these projects at national and international conferences.


He has taught courses in program evaluation at masters and doctoral level at Victoria University, the University of Melbourne, and Assumption International University Thailand, as well as courses in quantitative and qualitative research methods at the first two of these universities. He has supervised or co-supervised more than 30 masters and doctoral students at all three of these universities.


Prior to this involvement in tertiary education, he directed curriculum policy and professional development at a three-campus coeducational independent school in Melbourne. He was involved at all levels of this school’s programs – from early childhood (including providing a brief for the construction of a specialist facility for developing creativity using Reggio Emilia principles) to Year 12. He has also been a deputy principal, a head of two secondary school departments (chemistry and geology), and a classroom teacher of science, mathematics, geology, chemistry and health and human relations in a teaching career covering more than 50 years.


Dr Barbara Fary

Dr Barbara Fary was Principal of Camberwell Anglican Girls’ Grammar School from 1989 to 2000. Prior to that, she had a wide experience as a teacher of Mathematics in both government and non-government schools.  She also has a strong research interest having worked for a number of years on research projects within the Faculty of Education at Monash University, where she also taught in the curriculum and assessment area. She served on the External Review Panel for the revised VCE Mathematics from 1993 to 1995, and was a member of a number of advisory committees at the former Victorian Board of Studies. From 2001 she was a member of the Deakin University and University of Melbourne school review teams.


In 1993 she was made a Fellow of the Australian College of Educators (FACE).  This was followed in 1996 by the award of Fellow of the Australian Principals Centre (FAPC), and in 1999 by the award of Fellow of the Australian Council for Educational Leaders (ACEL).  In 2000 she was a co-recipient of the ACEL Hedley Beare Educator of the Year, and in 2002 she was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for services to education.