Release type: Media Release


New Chair for ACARA


The Hon Christopher Pyne MP
Minister for Education and Training
Leader of the House

Minister for Education and Training, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, today welcomed the appointment of Emeritus Professor Steven Schwartz AM as the new Chair of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA).

Professor Schwartz comes to the role at a particularly busy time for ACARA and is uniquely qualified to take on this challenging role.

“Professor Schwartz will provide an ‘experienced pair of hands’ as ACARA’s work enters its next phase,” Mr Pyne said.

“Steven is currently Executive Director of the Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, a former Vice-Chancellor to three universities and has held governing board posts in Australia, China, Malaysia, the USA and UK. In 2013, he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for service to education.

“Professor Schwartz couldn’t be better placed to take on this challenging role given his excellent record as an outstanding educationalist and is highly regarded as an organisational leader, known for his vision and strategic leadership skills.

“As Chair, Professor Schwartz will be responsible for leading the Board as ACARA delivers an extensive work programme around curriculum, assessment and reporting at the national level.

“Among his many new responsibilities will be leading the strategic direction of ACARA, ensuring the effective and efficient functioning of the Board, and providing counsel to the CEO of ACARA.”

Mr Pyne said in terms of key priorities, Professor Schwartz will chair the Board of ACARA as it oversees work, including the following:

  • continuation of ACARA’s work stemming from the Review of the Australian Curriculum
  • any changes to the My School website stemming from the review of the My School website and the Australian Government response Making My School better, which considers possible improvements to the website
  • development of its next four-year work plan for the next quadrennium for consideration by Education Council in September 2015
  • all the elements of work to bring the delivery of NAPLAN online as agreed to by all education ministers.

“I congratulate Professor Schwartz and the new board members on their appointment and look forward to the ongoing productive and successful partnership as ACARA continues to deliver on its curriculum, assessment and reporting agenda,” Minister Pyne said.


ACARA is responsible for the management of curriculum, assessment and reporting at the national level and reports to all Australian education ministers through the Council of Australian Governments’ Education Council.

ACARA is overseen by a 13-member Board of Directors, made up of nominees of each of the Australian and State and Territory governments as well as the Catholic and Independent school sectors. Professor Brian Caldwell is the current Deputy Chair.

Member New or reappointed Postion
Emeritus Professor Steven Schwartz AM (Chair) New Executive Director of the Australian Council for Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS)
Dr David Howes New

Executive Director

Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority
Ms Jayne Johnston New

Chief Education Officer

Office for Education

Department for Education and Child Development
Mr Paul Hewitt New

Executive Director

Curriculum, Teaching and Assessment/Registrar of Teachers

NSW Boards of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards
Ms Liz Banks Reappointment

Deputy Chief Executive

School Education

Department of Education

Northern Territory
Ms Susan Bowden Reappointment

Deputy Chief Executive

School Education

Department of Education

Northern Territory
Emeritus Professor Patrick Garnett Reappointment


WA School Curriculum and Standards Authority
Dr Tim McDonald New

Executive Director

Catholic Education Western Australia