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The Board

The Board consists of 11 members nominated by the Minister for Education and appointed by the Governor of South Australia, and the SACE Board's Chief Executive (ex officio).

Members have a broad range of relevant backgrounds and expertise required to enable the Board to carry out its functions effectively.


Presiding Member

Prior to stepping away from full-time employment, Ruth was the Executive Director: Human Resources at the University of South Australia. She joined UniSA in 2008 following several years as a senior executive in the South Australian Public Service.

Before joining the tertiary education sector, Ruth was Director Workforce Development with the Department for Education and Children’s Services. In this role she led the iconic South Australian Centre for Leaders in Education, responsible for leadership training and professional development for school leaders across SA.

Some of her earlier appointments in education included Deputy Principal and Acting Principal of Seymour College, and Director of the Office of the Chief Executive for public education in SA. 

Ruth’s passion and enthusiasm for raising the bar and driving performance and improvement has seen her initiate many policy reviews, workforce strategies and organisational projects. She was officially recognised by the University of South Australia as a University Fellow in 2017, for her outstanding achievements and contribution to UniSA in areas of Human Resources and Organisational Development.

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Pam Ronan - SACE Board

Deputy Presiding Member

Pam was appointed to the inaugural SACE Board in 2008 and has been Chair of the Accreditation, Recognition, and Certification Committee of the SACE Board since 2009. Her roles as the Manager of Learning and Wellbeing for 102 Catholic schools in South Australia, as well as leadership in School Quality and Performance for Catholic Education SA have required working on local, state and national projects and initiatives in educational leadership, innovation and change.

With 17 years of experience leading two large Reception to Year 12 Catholic co-educational colleges, Pam is also a Fellow and former President of the SA Branch of the Australian College of Educators, as well as a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Australia Professional Managers Association. 

Pam is also a recipient of the MacKillop Medal for outstanding educational leadership and Leadership Excellence Awards, as well as being a Company Director for the past 18 years.

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Board Member

Having enjoyed a distinguished career across New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, and the United Kingdom, Tim Browning was commissioned at the start of 2018 as the 15th Headmaster of St Peter’s College. 

Tim attended the University of Queensland, obtaining Honours in Mechanical Engineering. He also holds a Graduate Diploma in Education , Master of Educational Studies, and Graduate Certificate in Theology.

Tim is passionate about education, curriculum development, and finding opportunities for students to experience both enthusiasm  for, and a depth of, study. In 2018, Tim collaborated with the University of Adelaide to pilot Year 12 early entry to tertiary study based on prerequisite school subject results. Soon afterwards, he initiated the SACE  Cyber Studies curriculum development project, which has now moved to pilot stage . This project has drawn in schools and students from all three sectors (Government, Catholic, and Independent) and sees industry experts delivering up-to-date curriculum material to South Australian students.

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Eliza CHUI

Board Member

Eliza has led diverse teams across multiple countries to facilitate international partnerships in trade, investment, education, and R&D — during a long career in government, diplomacy, and higher education.

She was formerly Austrade’s Special Project Lead in International Education, after serving as the South Australia State Director when returning to Australia in 2020 upon conclusion of 10 years of diplomatic postings. She is also a member of the Seymour College Board.

Eliza led the Australian Government’s trade and investment promotion efforts in Taiwan as Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner in 2015–20. She was the Consul (Education) and Education Commissioner for North Asia in 2010–15; based in the Australian Consulate-General in Shanghai, she led Austrade education teams in Taiwan, Hong Kong and mainland China, Korea, Japan, and Mongolia, to reposition Australian education and training in the region.  

Previously, she held wide-ranging leadership roles in policy, management, and global marketing at several Australian universities, including 14 years at the University of Adelaide from 1996 to 2010.

Eliza firmly believes education is a change agent for social mobility and is passionate about equipping the next generation with the knowledge and skills to meet and solve challenges.

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Georgette ELSTON

Board Member

Georgette is an experienced director with a demonstrated history of working in the public sector on high profile and transformational projects. Georgette is skilled in industrial policy, strategic planning, project management and stakeholder relations. She is a strong public administration professional with a Master of Arts (M.A.) focused in International Affairs from Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (Carleton University).

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Diarmid LEE

Board Member

Diarmid has theoretical and practical training and experience in cultural reform in a diverse range of businesses and organisations and previous high-level Board experience. He has broad experience in non-educational entities and education.

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Peter Prest - SACE Board

Board Member

Peter is Chief Financial Officer at The University of Adelaide and a member of the SACE Board’s Planning, Finance and Performance Committee since 2014 and Chair from July 2021.

Peter’s broad financial, commercial, and general management experience in Australia, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand extends across a broad range of large and complex organisations, including Hills Limited, DB Schenker, Ernst & Young and more recently as Chief Financial Officer at the University of South Australia.

Peter held non-executive director positions at UniSA Health Pty Ltd, from 2005 to 2022, and South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC), from 2017 to 2022. In 2014 Peter spent two months at Harvard Business School studying the Advanced Management Program to build on his MBA (Advanced) from The University of Adelaide. Peter is also a member of Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand, the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is a certified Enterprise-wide Risk Manager.

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Marilyn SLEATH

Board Member

Marilyn is a retired executive from the Department for Education. She has been a Superintendent, Director and Executive Director in Education and led the International Education Services Team for 18 years, during which time they achieved the Australian Business Excellence Award in 2020, Gold in 2017, and Bronze in 2015. 

Marilyn has a long record of achievement in leading major change in education and has worked in the tertiary sector at the University of Ballarat for five years. She has a strong understanding and experience in strategic change management, school leadership, governance, and stakeholder engagement. 

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Michaela BENSLEY

Michaela Bensley - SACE Board

Board Member (ex officio)
Chief Executive, SACE Board of South Australia

Michaela is the Chief Executive of the SACE Board of South Australia. Michaela has a history of leading an education organisation at a range of levels across a diverse range of functions and has been the Deputy Chief Executive of the SACE Board for the last three years. 

In close partnership with the Chief Executive, Michaela worked to implement the Board’s vision by supporting the leadership direction and governance necessary to ensure the successful delivery against strategic and financial goals. 

Michaela is heavily invested in the SACE Board’s purpose of shaping education so that students thrive. Her deep understanding of the SACE ensures there is essential alignment between this purpose and its articulation in the pillar of Connected Qualification. 

Michaela is excited by the opportunity to build on the SACE Board’s business maturity as a Bold Leader, particularly in the areas of continuous improvement, evaluation, automation, and customer service excellence. 

With a commitment to adaptive leadership Michaela’s approach supports and promotes an innovative and inclusive workplace culture, focussed on delivering services that align with strategic purpose and create maximum impact.

Michaela continues to represent the SACE Board on a range of state and national committees and forums.

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