Our Education Consultants

Our network of highly skilled coaches are experienced educators and school leaders who have the knowledge and understanding of Victorian Education policies, priorities and initiatives.​

They speak the language of the Department and have hands on knowledge of the challenges of improving the outcomes for students within the MYLNS framework.​

Please contact us:


Our coaches are highly experienced in working with middle leaders, learning specialists, Principals, and Assistant Principals through the PLC (Professional Learning Communities), PLC Coaching and Leading Excellence in Classroom Practice programs. They are skilled in coaching schools how to create a high performance learning culture, building leadership of staff and navigating through change.

Cambridge Education's Consultants are education experts who were/are exceptional school leaders or teachers; highly motivated and engaging facilitators; passionate and knowledgeable about school leadership, empowering effective teachers, and building positive climates for learning.

Meet some of our Education Consultants below.

Alison Davis
Alison is a committed educational leader, passionate coach and energetic consultant.

Her passion for school improvement has impacted more than 50 countries and remains unabated for over 40 years. Alison has extensive leadership experience in national and international markets including Asia, Asia Pacific (APAC) and the Middle East. Alison builds quality relationships at all levels of leadership, coach leaders and teaches as a collaborative, life-long learner. Her expertise is in educational leadership, capacity building and professional learning.

Innovative learning practices designed for schools are successful because they are proven, practical and contextualised to meet the needs of learners. Alison analyses and designs solutions for schools and tailors teaching and learning improvement through engaging, research-driven strategies that builds strong learning communities.

Chris Botheras
Thirty eight years in education as a teacher, educational leader and consultant.

Teacher Educator in Mathematics Education at Victoria University. International educator, school leader, coach, mentor and consultant for 15 years in three states in the United States.

Extensive experience in the development and presentation of teacher professional learning programs in schools and at university. Specific curriculum professional learning programs in mathematics education. Experienced in delivering face-to-face presentations for school leaders and teachers at school, cluster, network and district levels. Extensive experience as a Numeracy & Mathematics consultant to P-12 schools. Teacher in Middle School Math/Science with a focus on the Middle Years of schooling, the needs of students in their learning and the supporting of teacher pedagogies, curriculum knowledge and assessment development, including the use of data to analyse and support teachers in implementing the learning goals for students.

Has led all stages of change in schools, School Improvement Plan (SIP) and Annual Implementation Plan (AIP) development and evaluation, development of the Professional Learning Community (PLC) and methods to work collaboratively to meet the SIP and AIP goals, curriculum development and alignment, pedagogies for effective teaching and learning, facilitation of PLC’s, coaching in the classrooms and providing feedback. Extensive examination and use of student data to drive teacher professional learning.

Led a range of school-based research projects through the Innovations and Excellence project, including Success for Boys, Thinking Tools for learning, Transitions within and across schools, Assessment focus to introduce Assessment for, as, and of learning and a new reporting system.

Graeme Luck
An extensive teaching and leadership career with experience across the Victorian State system including schools, regional and central offices

. An established track record of supporting effective learning and teaching improvement programs using a range of coaching and development approaches. Highly effective leader experienced in supporting and developing diverse multidisciplinary teams to maximise the effectiveness of their work in challenging primary and secondary settings.

Greg Sperling
Eighteen years as a Principal, including role of Foundation Principal of two new schools developed from green field sites.

Thirty five-years’ teaching career which includes extensive experience in the Victorian State system and brief stints in Aboriginal community schools in Far North Queensland and in the Catholic Education system.

Has led schools which have been typified by innovative curriculum programs, especially with a Middle Years focus and a strong emphasis on relationships and effective teaching practice.

Extensive experience in all levels of school operations, including curriculum development, staff and leadership team formation and development, Performance and Development structures and processes for the 21st century.

Wide experience in senior years provisioning models, school/business and industry partnership development, Learning Space design and resourcing, alignment of resources to student outcomes and all technical dimensions of educational leadership.

Recent facilitation experience in a wide range of Bastow, Department of Education and Training (DET) and Australian Education Union (AEU) programs.

Extensive experience in leading and coaching School Improvement and Leadership teams, establishing Professional Learning Communities, initiating and leading Classroom Observation, Student Agency and feedback (Pivot) processes.

Long term mentoring and coaching experience with emerging leaders, new Principals and leadership teams.

Experienced Principal mentor and Middle Leaders coach.

Heather Hopcroft
Heather Hopcroft has had a 40-year career in education, in school, regional and central roles including Bastow Institute of Leadership.

Heather is an excellent communicator, facilitator and strategic thinker. She has a wealth of educational experience, understanding and passion for enhancing leadership in schools.

As an accredited coach and educational consultant with a proven track record of providing practical support based on first-hand experience and an extensive knowledge base, she continues to work as a facilitator and coach in the Professional Learning Communities (PLC) program. As well, Heather delights in mentoring and coaching Principals in The Department of Education and Training (DET) programs, guiding teachers in online learning with Literacy Assessment, facilitating Pivot Workshops and supporting Pre-Service teachers in their placements.

Heather has also worked as a principal in three metropolitan primary schools where her leadership was characterised by a strong teaching and learning focus and the facilitation of teamwork and collaboration. She has been highly involved in coaching and classroom observation across her own schools and in colleague's schools, leading Instructional Rounds programs

Building and enhancing the capacity of teachers and principals has been a core element in her many workshop and keynote presentations at conferences, locally, nationally and internationally.

Kylie Graham
Experienced school leader who has worked within the State, Catholic, Independent and International school systems over the past 33 years.

Development of both state and national curriculum documentation within a wide range of schools. Experience working with Leadership Teams in designing and implementing school wide processes and strategic plans. Significant expertise in the design and delivery of professional learning programs for teachers within a variety of school environments. Experience working with schools across Australia when implementing Visible Learning. Consultancy work for ISV (Inquiry Learning & Thinking Skills).

Extensive experience in public speaking and facilitation, conference keynote addresses, workshop development, whole school meetings and professional learning programs related to Teaching & Learning and Addressing the Learning Needs of Students.

Lisa Sperling
Lisa Sperling was a teacher and school leader for 30 years in the western suburbs of Melbourne, focusing specifically on achievement, relationships and leadership development.

Lisa taught English year 7-12 for 30 years, was literacy coordinator at Deer Park High school and led the literacy improvement initiatives at Copperfield College in the role of Campus Principal. She has Principal class experience for 15 years, most recently as Principal at Williamstown High School. As a result, she has extensive experience and success working with many aspiring leaders and aspirant principals and leadership teams in schools.

She also has current knowledge of whole school instructional practice, curriculum development and the formation of effective accountable leadership and PLC teams. Highly developed skills in data analysis, school accountability, school improvement theory and practice as well as a deep understanding of current Government policy and programs. Lisa has been an Associate and Facilitator with Cambridge Education (2015-current). She is an Accredited School Reviewer and ongoing coach to School Leadership Teams.

She was a critical friend in development and facilitated The Bastow High Performance Learning Culture program 2015–2017. She was involved in the design of the DET Professional Learning Communities pilot and has continued to work as a facilitator in this initiative from 2016-2019. As a facilitator and coach, she has provided expert hands on knowledge and real examples of the systems and processes necessary to develop effective PLC teams in schools. In recent facilitation and coaching work, Lisa has worked extensively with primary, secondary and special schools on literacy and numeracy improvement using the PLC inquiry cycle and latest literacy and numeracy approaches.

Marg Orme
Marg has over 40 years of experience in the education sector, both locally and internationally.

This includes classroom teaching, school leadership, education and training manager, education consultant and over 13 years’ experience in the Central office of the Victorian Department of Education and Training (DET).

Marg has extensive experience in developing and managing complex education projects, including the Department’s high-profile teacher overseas professional learning programs and developing and presenting blended and online professional learning.

As an educational consultant in New York, Marg worked in schools to develop and implement programs to improve learning outcomes for all students. This included demonstrating high impact instructional practices to teachers, facilitating professional learning workshops and customising professional learning to meet specific improvement goals.

When working with schools, Marg emphasizes the importance of classroom embedded professional learning and the development of supportive high-performance learning cultures. An unrelenting focus on building teacher self-efficacy through knowledge, skill and capacity building and the critical importance of working with evidence and coaching others to work with evidence has been an enduring characteristic of Marg’s past work.

As an education and training manager, Marg selected, trained and assessed teachers to work in schools throughout Victoria and managed assessment teams in assessing competency to inform the development of future training programs. She also managed the systematic state-wide evaluation of educational programs and implemented and refined processes to collate and interpret data.

Meenah Marchbank
A qualified and accredited coach and educational consultant with 40 years’ experience in Victorian education.

Accredited Executive Leadership Coach and Solution Focussed Coach with Growth Coaching International (GCI) and has completed over 400 hours of coaching with Principals, Assistant Principals, Leading Teachers and Learning Specialists.

During 22 years as a primary school principal (of schools up to 850 students), led significant change including Self Managing Schools, Quality Schools and International School Accreditation. Awarded High Performing Principal Study Award to investigate Improving School Systems. Previous Board Member of Geelong Science and Technology Centre (GSAT) and the Council for Internationally Accredited Schools Australia (CIASA).

Committed to developing the skills of teachers, teams and leaders in schools, believing that by building on our strengths and collaborating with others we can achieve far greater outcomes than the sum of our individual work.

Coaching and mentoring at the school level with Leadership Teams and Principals, building capacity individually and collectively. Trained as a Bastow Mentor and as a Victorian Aspirant Principal Assessor (VAPA) panel member. Currently mentoring a number of new Principals. Accredited member of the International Coaching Guild and the International Coaching Federation.

Meredith Carracher
Meredith has 36 years’ experience in education with the Victorian Department of Education and Training (DET) with responsibilities at a School, School Council, Network and Regional level.

With 19 years as a Principal in diverse school settings, Meredith provides high quality educational and school leadership support to schools and the wider educational community.

An accredited Growth Coaching International coach, Meredith is a skilful high-performance coach and Bastow trained mentor for School Executive and Teacher Professional Improvement. She currently coaches and mentors experienced school leaders, school improvement teams and aspirant middle leaders towards performance improvement.

Meredith is an experienced facilitator and coach through a range of DET’s key school improvement, leadership and curriculum initiatives including Leading Professional Learning Communities; Coaching for Professional Learning Communities (PLC) Pilot Schools; Leading Excellence in Classroom Practice - a blended learning program for Learning Specialists; Bastow Principal Health and Wellbeing mentor; Victorian Aspirant Principal Assessment Panel member and Supporting Teachers at Regional and Rural Schools (STARRS) Local Coordinator. Her coaching and mentoring experience is diverse in terms of settings and personnel. Meredith enjoys and is experienced in working with educators across Victoria and in all sectors - primary, secondary and special settings; metropolitan and rural; large and small schools; individuals and teams. She is a competent user of digital technologies including delivery of services within an online environment.

Meredith’s recent school-based experience coupled with up-to-date knowledge of current DET initiatives ensures she is able to offer support and guidance widely. Her practical, ‘down to earth’ personality, empathy and professional intuition further enhance the coaching experience for coaches.

Michelle Nowak
An educator for over 27 years, Michelle currently excels as an educational consultant and literacy coach, which involves work with school leaders to design, implement and embed sustainable Coaching Models.

Practical implementation of Middle Years Literacy Support (specifically its literacy component) comprised part of her research at Monash University.

Michelle has worked with leadership personnel to design and implement researched-based initiatives, such as coaching programs and professional development for staff in order to enhance student outcomes in literacy. Through her association with University of Melbourne Network of Schools (UMNOS), she has worked on teams to provide training to principal groups and success coordinators.

Nikki Deighton
Founder, Director and Principal Consultant of dk2, Nikki has extensive experience in working with educators to help them in leading organisational change aligned with Department of Education and Training (DET) initiatives and school strategic plans, developing curriculum content, designing and facilitating engaging professional learning.

Nikki designed and facilitated the Bastow Institute’s highly successful Leading Schools in the Digital Age. She is skilled in mentoring leaders in sustaining changes particular to their own school contexts, leading teams remotely and in the new pedagogical opportunities afforded by remote and flexible learning. Committed to students being at the centre of all planning, Nikki brings a strong understanding of social and emotional wellbeing to all her work.

Nikki has worked with DET Victoria, (Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) and Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), Microsoft Australia and Microsoft Asia Pacific, the Asia Education Foundation, Red Cross, the National Australia Day Council, Education Services Australia, the Australian Emergency Management Institute, the Department of Planning and Community Development and the Department of Health.

Prior to working as Manager of the Online Education Unit at DET, Nikki taught English and Humanities in a western suburb secondary school, including a brief stint in the UK, with leadership roles in Curriculum, Learning Support and Literacy, and Sub-School Coordination. She is skilled in working with disengaged and disadvantaged students demonstrating low confidence in and negative attitudes towards their schooling. During her time in one of the state’s largest 7-12 secondary schools, Nikki introduced an integrated planning approach to teaching students in the middle years, led the introduction and embedding of digital technologies in learning, instituted a parents as tutors program and managed over 250 students – with behavioural, cognitive and socio-emotional issues – designing targeted and customised literacy and numeracy interventions.

Noelle Burdekin
Extensive and highly regarded educational leadership experience with deep and contemporary knowledge of school education and the strategies associated with improving student outcomes.

Principal appointments were in underperforming low socioeconomic schools. These schools had a high percentage of Koorie students and English as a second language (ESL) students. Working with staff in these schools, Noelle designed and implemented strategic interventions aimed at improving outcomes primarily through building teacher efficacy. This improvement was achieved through developing professional learning teams that included structured coaching conversations, reviewing data sets and observational patterns in a culture of high expectations.

Formal training in cognitive coaching and experience with Blended coaching models provides a foundation for highly developed skills in coaching and mentoring and a sophisticated understanding of the coaching relationship.

Pauline Rogers
An experienced educator with management experience. Trained as a teacher and taught for a number of years before moving into project management.

Roles have included Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Council of Education Research (ACER) specialising in mathematics and numeracy, Information and communications technology (ICT) design and teacher education, in the area of national and international assessment and reporting; and recently at Essential Assessment as the Manager of the Teaching and Learning team. Work at ACER involved analysing data and writing reports including for Ministries of Education internationally.

Holds a PhD in teacher professional learning, in the mathematics context, focussing on coaching, and professional learning. This complements a large amount of project work of developing content and presenting to wide ranges of educational audiences; including teachers, school leadership and principals.

Richard Lloyd
Richard has been a principal for over 12 years, mainly in low socio-economic status and multi-cultural schools.

Due to the success of their school’s reading and numeracy strategies, Richard and his staff were asked to present at a conference at Bastow where educators from overseas attended.

Since 2017, Richard has taken on the role of facilitator for the Inspire-Emerging Leaders program through Bastow for the Kingston Network, working with teachers in their first to fifth years of teaching who show leadership potential. This is a role that he has enjoyed as well as received very positive feedback. He is a qualified coach and mentor, successfully utilising his experience in many instances with staff during reviews and classroom situations.

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