National Council Members


Over the past 30 years, Grant has undertaken a number of teaching and leadership roles across a variety of educational contexts, both nationally and internationally. He has had extensive experience working in both primary and secondary schools as well as in the tertiary sector. While working for the Department of Education in Queensland, Australia, he has been a classroom teacher, Learning Support Teacher, Educational Consultant and School Principal. He has been involved in numerous national and state education committees and has worked on many and varied educational projects and programs.He is regularly invited to present key addresses and join symposia to present his work in different state and national forums in the areas of literacy leadership and pedagogy.

Grant has been recognised in a number of forums for his contribution to education. In 2002, he received the Australian Prime Minister’s Millennium Medal: For distinguished service to education. In 2011, he was the Recipient of the Director General’s Bursary for Excellence; and more recently in 2012, he was a Finalist, Australian Institute of Management – Professional Manager of the Year.


Chris Walsh has worked across diverse contexts in Asia, North America, Europe, The Middle East and Australia to provide pre- and in-service teacher education, professional development and theorise new ways technology can assist educators in designing literacy curriculum and pedagogy relevant to students’ lifeworlds. Much of his academic and research leadership in developing contexts has centred on building institutional capacity—using digital technologies—for training and developing a high-quality teaching workforce in countries most hampered by the lack of qualified teachers (Afghanistan, Bangladesh and India). Within developed contexts, his work leverages the power of technologies to assist pre-service teachers and practicing educators connect their teaching practices to students’ lifeworlds by drawing on their individual, family and community funds of knowledge (Australia, Austria, Greece, USA, and the UK).

Chris is the lead applicant, co-applicant or co-investigator on world-leading research funded by the European Commission, the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), the Australian Research Council (ARC), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), The AIDS Research Foundation (amfAR), the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) and the Spencer Foundation which totals more than $25 million (AUD). He currently edits Digital Culture & Education (DCE), a peer-reviewed and open-access international journal and is on the Editorial Board of Literacy.


Beryl Exley has been an early and middle years teacher since 1987. She is now an Associate Professor in language and literacy education at the Queensland University of Technology. Her contributions to ALEA include: executive of Meanjin Local Council since 2001; secretary for the AATE/ALEA National Conference in 2005; ALEA Queensland Director since 2006; National Publications Director since 2013 and representation on IDOC (International Development Oceania Committee) since 2005. Her research interests and consultancies in schools include the teaching of reading, writing, listening and speaking and applications of functional grammar, visual literacies, multiliteracies pedagogy and critical literacies. She also supervises higher degree research students and is the Coordinator of the Master of Education program at QUT.

Her research publications are available,_Beryl.html.



Wendy Rush oversees the various activities of the ALEA National Office in Adelaide. With the support of Lucy Carberry and Jared van Abkoude, she manages all aspects of ALEA business including membership, finances, web development, marketing, permissions and copyright issues and the ALEA bookshop. Wendy also provides a range of support services to the ALEA Executive members and State Directors. She has more than twenty years experience in professional association management, has international business qualifications and holds a BA in Communications (Media and Children's Literature) from the University of South Australia. Her personal interests and activities include publishing and community broadcasting.


Currently Wendy Bean is a self-employed education consultant. Prior to that role she taught for many years for the NSW Department of Education. She regularly works in schools across all sectors, supporting teachers and leadership teams to achieve better outcomes for students. Her Honours Master of Education explored the relationship between teacher learning and school culture. Since her early years of teaching Wendy has been a member of ALEA, has written some journal articles, is a regular conference attendee and sometimes presenter. More recently she has taken several roles on the ALEA Sydney North local council participating in a range of activities locally and nationally. In 2014 she received the ALEA Medal. Wendy regularly presents at local, national and international conferences and has written several books for teachers. She maintains a keen interest in literacy education, particularly writing and spelling.

ACT (Acting)

Robyn Frencham has been an early childhood and primary teacher for over 30 years in the ACT. During this time she has also worked as an Early Literacy Officer and Indigenous Literacy and Numeracy Officer and has developed and presented many workshops for teachers and parents. She helped to organise two national AATE/ALEA Conferences in Canberra. She has been Vice President and President of ALEA ACT Local Council and has also been acting ACT State Director.



Bio to come



Linda Mahony is an ALEA Top End Local Council member. She has been an early years teacher in formal school settings for almost 20 years before becoming a lecturer and researcher in literacy and early years within the School of Education at Charles Darwin University. Linda researches in the fields of preservice teachers’ language and literacy, teachers’ pedagogy for teaching early years grammar and punctuation in the Northern Territory, early childhood preservice teachers’ practicum experiences and decision-making processes, and teachers’ pedagogy for constructing support for young children experiencing parental separation and divorce. Linda is copy editor for the journal Practically Literacy: The early and primary years.



Sue Hamilton-Smith is the former president of the ALEA Mackay & Whitsundays Local Council and before then their secretary and committee member. Sue has been an organiser and regular contributor of local and state wide professional development, as well as submitting to ALEA journals and presenting at national conferences. She currently works full time for Education Queensland in the position of Pedagogy Coach and previously as a Literacy Coach, Literacy and Curriculum Project Officer, Literacy Learning Development Centre Coordinator, Distance Education and Classroom Teacher at schools across Queensland. Sue has also worked with the CQUniversity and pre-service teachers completing their Bachelor of Learning Management. In 2012, Sue was awarded the Australian Professional Teachers Association Meritorious Contribution to the Profession Award.



Rosemary Kadow’s experience in education spans 35 years across three educational sectors. She has worked as a classroom teacher from the early through to middle years, Acting Deputy Principal, Reading Recovery teacher and Key Literacy teacher. Rosemary is passionate about literacy and literacy education and in her current role supports teachers and schools through facilitating literacy professional learning. Rosemary has been an active member of the ALEA SA Local Council since 2005 and was secretary 2009-2011. She is Co-Convenor of the 2016 AATE/ALEA National Conference in Adelaide.


Margaret Luckman has been a primary teacher in Tasmania since 1983, with experience teaching prep to grade 6. She has been a Literacy Mentor in a primary school, guiding the school literacy program and working with teachers from kinder to grade 6 helping them develop their skills and enrich their literacy pedagogy. Margaret has been an active member of the ALEA Tas South Local Council since 2001 and treasurer since 2005. She was a member of the organising committee of the 2009 AATE/ALEA National Conference, and is involved in organising the 2017 National Conference.



Debra Edwards has been an active member of ALEA for many years including holding executive roles within the Central Victorian Local Council of ALEA since 2000, and on the Victorian State Executive. Debra has worked in a range of preschool, primary, secondary, tertiary and community educational settings since 1982. Her particular area of interest is students who are experiencing difficulties with literacy and she is a qualified reading recovery teacher as well as special needs educator. Debra is currently the Course Coordinator of the Bachelor of Education at La Trobe University, Bendigo campus, and Lecturer in Literacy and English Education. Debra is passionate about enthusing pre-service teachers about literacy and literacy education, as well as contributing to the professional development of teachers and research about rich literacy experiences for school age students. Debra was co-convenor of the 2011 ALEA National Conference in Melbourne.


Grace Oakley is currently the coordinator of the Master of Teaching in Primary Education and Associate Dean Teaching and Learning at the Graduate School of Education, the University of Western Australia. She teaches pre-service teachers as well as providing professional development to in-service teachers, mainly in the areas of literacy and technology. Grace has conducted research in several areas of language and literacy, including the use of ICTs to assist students who struggle with reading fluency; using mobile technologies and digital storytelling in schools to improve language and literacy learning; intercultural communication and language learning through digital storytelling (Australia-China and Australia-Japan); and how Australian primary teachers assess reading comprehension processes. Grace encourages pre-service teachers to become writers of e-books to help them develop a deeper understanding of multimodal writing processes, and is currently conducting research in this area. She is also involved in work in the Philippines and Cambodia to raise teachers’ capacity and children’s literacy achievements. As well as many journal articles, she has co-written Language, Literacy and Early Childhood Education (Oxford University Press) and A Closer Look at Spelling in The Primary Classroom (PETAA).

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