Executive Profiles

Executive Officers:


Burns, Natalie

Natalie Hatton Grad Cert (Special Education), Grad dip Education, Bachelor Social Sciences, Principal Joondalup Education Support Centre. Natalie commenced working at Burbridge School in 2000. She has worked as a volunteer, Education Assistant, Teacher, Associate Principal and now Principal in numerous Education Support Centres and Schools both north and south of the river. Natalie has been the Principal at Joondalup   for 5 years and is a member of numerous networks, and collegiate groups within the Education Support and Primary   field. Natalie.Hatton@education.wa.edu.au.


Vice President:


Margaret Keen B.Ed. Grad Cert (Spec Ed), M.Ed (Spec Ed). Principal, Rockingham Beach ESC. Margaret began her teaching career at Pegs Creek Primary School in Karratha. She left the Education Department of WA in 1986 to travel Australia. Upon return eight years later she was offered a position at Rockingham Beach ESC and found her niche teaching children with special needs. She completed Graduate Certificate in Special Education and Masters of Education at Edith Cowan University. She took on the acting Principal role of Rockingham Beach ESC for five years before being appointed to the position in 2008. Margaret.Keen@education.wa.edu.au.



Debi Taylor - M.Ed Special Education Needs, B.Ed. Hons (Spec. Edu). Principal, Cloverdale ESC. Debi commenced her teaching career as a Technology teacher teaching metal work in a large secondary school in Portsmouth UK, before moving into Special Education. She was a Deputy Head Teacher at a PMLD school and helped establish a new special needs school in Portsmouth which amalgamated two existing schools. She moved to Australia with her family in 2009 and gained her first position in WA as a Deputy Principal at Durham Road in 2010. In 2014 she moved to Padbury to work as a Consultant in the More Support for Students with Disabilities Initiative. In 2017 Debi became the Principal at Cloverdale ESC. Deborah.Taylor2@education.wa.edu.au.


Jo K.jpg

Jo Kriziotis - M. Ed (Special Education), B.Ed (Special Education), B.Arts (Primary) Deputy Principal, West Coast Secondary Education Support Centre. Prior to her teaching career Joanne gained extensive experience working in the disability sector as an education assistant and social trainer. Since 1996 she has worked, both locally and in the UK, as a special educator for students with mild to severe and multiple disabilities across the primary and secondary sector as both a primary and secondary classroom teacher, Upper School and VET Coordinator. Over the past 7 years she has held leadership positions within various education settings as Deputy Principal and Principal. Joanne.Kriziotis@education.wa.edu.au.

Executive Committee Members:


Dr Catherine Kapiteyn - Principal, Burbridge School. She has over 15 years of experience as a special educator in both the education support centre and school settings working with students with mild to severe and multiple disabilities. Catherine has an interest in research and development in the education support sector and has designed and conducted research projects that have been published and presented at an international conference. One project investigated videotaped self-monitoring and self-management strategies for students with autism and was published in the Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability. A second research project comprised the investigation of the behavioural fluency paradigm and fluency training with students with reading problems and this was presented at the Second ABAI International Conference in Brazil. A further publication on this topic was then included in an educational text for use in undergraduate course studies. Catherine.Kapiteyn@education.wa.edu.au


Paul M Jones - B.Ed Hons with QTS - University of Liverpool, Psychology (Education)  – University of London, Graduate Basis for Registration (GBR) in Educational Psychology, Principal, Cyril Jackson Senior Campus ESC. Paul commenced teaching in the UK, working in a number of special education schools and centers including a school which provided intensive intervention to support emotional and behavioral difficulties. During a gap-year in Australia, he worked in a school for specific purposes in Western Sydney.  Paul became a teacher, senior teacher then Deputy Principal at Durham Road School before gaining the Principal role at CJSCESC. He is a strong advocate for students with disabilities in the wider community. Paul regularly represents CJSCESC and the Department of Education at district or system level through network principal meetings, providing professional learning for ASDAN.  Over his time with the Department of Education, Paul has led professional development across many regions for Ngaanyatjarra Lands Remote School, to facilitate collaborative practices within ASDAN network of schools. As a principal, he is a passionate ambassador for innovation and best practice in the provision of education for students with disabilities.  His role within WAESPAA is to support country and regional members. Paul.Jones2@education.wa.edu.au


Jodie Norwell – B.A. Education (Primary), M. Ed (School Leadership) Deputy Principal, Gwynne Park ESC.   Jodie started her career in rural WA at Avonvale PS and Avonvale ESC.  She has 22 years of experience as a special educator, both in local and education support settings, and across high school and primary school year levels.  She has held various leadership positions over the last 5 years, mostly recently as Principal at Maddington ESC during 2015 - 2016. She has an interest in Autism and complex behaviour and has previously coordinated a successful Autism program which supported students with ASD at Canning Vale College. Jodie.Norwell@education.wa.edu.au



Fiona Forbes - Principal, Peel Language Development School. Fiona  has worked in early childhood, primary, secondary, tertiary and special education fields for 26 years. She has been a principal for the past 19 years in special education working for the past 15 as the Principal of a unique special school catering for early childhood students with language disorders. Fiona also leads within her school a state-wide service for teacher development in supporting students with speech, language and communication difficulties in mainstream schools. Fiona holds an Honorary Doctorate with the Australian Catholic University. She is the current President of the International Confederation of Principals and Board Chair of the Australian Special Education Principals’ Association. Fiona has numerous publications in the area of special education such as recently the Journal of Research in Special Education (2014) and Support for Learning (2013). Fiona has lead the development of Leading Learning 4 All a leadership website to support inclusion in Australian Schools. She continues to represent leaders and to write and present papers both nationally and internationally on inclusion, educational leadership, initial teacher education, curriculum, and assessment. Fiona.Forbes@education.wa.edu.au.

Ex-Officio Committee Members

Retired President


Merrilee Wright M.Ed (School Leadership), B.Ed. Grad Cert (Spec Ed), Principal, Gwynne Park ESC. Merrilee commenced teaching Secondary English in 2000 before moving to Canberra. Since returning to WA in 2005 she has worked as a Level 3 Classroom Teacher at Cannington Community ESC, for the Curriculum Council developing the English WACE Preliminary Units, assisted the Curriculum Council with Professional Learning and Preliminary Unit validation cross-sector and appointed as a Teacher Development Coordinator for the Preliminary Units in 2009. During her next role as Deputy at Warnbro SHS ESC she also assisted ACARA in the development of the Australian Curriculum for SEN. In 2011 Merrilee joined Canning Vale College as an Associate Principal leading teaching and learning support for SEN inclusive of the Education Support and Autism Extension Programs. In 2015 Merrilee became Principal at Gwynne Park ESC and is currently a Director in the Public School Review team. Merrilee.Wright@education.wa.edu.au.

Conference Convenor


Roslyn Hamling - Diploma of Education (Early Child. & Ed. Psych), B. Ed. (Spec Ed) Deputy Principal, Carson Street School. Ros commenced her teaching career as an Early Childhood Teacher. Upon her return to the city from Wundowie DH she began teaching at Wirrabirra PS and developed a keen interest in teaching students with special needs. Ros completed her Bachelor of Education (Special Needs) whilst coordinating the Education Support Unit at Bull Creek PS and then co-shared the position of Principal at Langford ESC. Ros has been the Deputy Principal at Carson Street School since 2001 whilst continuing support of the WAESPAA Conferences and Awards Night. Roslyn.Hamling@education.wa.edu.au.

WAESPAA Executive Officer


Katherine Green - School Officer, Gwynne Park ESC. Kathy has supported the work in various Education Support contexts as a School Officer for the Teaching and Learning Support Team at Canning Vale College before moving to Gwynne Park ESC. Kathy continues to assist the Education Support South Network (ESSN) in the management and coordination of Annual Conference registrations and has supported WAESPAA in an Administrative role supporting the Executive Team since 2015. Katherine.Green2@education.wa.edu.au

C/- Gwynne Park ESC
11 Tijuana Road
Brookdale WA 6112

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