Our executive

  David de Carvalho 

Chief Executive Officer          
Mr David de Carvalho

Mr de Carvalho joined ACARA in March 2019, bringing to ACARA a wealth of leadership experience from the education sector and from the public sector at both the federal and state government levels.

Mr de Carvalho was chief executive officer of the New South Wales Education Standards Authority from January 2017 until February 2019. Prior to that, he was deputy secretary at the New South Wales Department of Family and Community Services.

Mr de Carvalho has also led the National Catholic Education Commission and was head of the Higher Education Division in the Australian Government Department of Education. He started his career as a secondary school teacher and has served on the boards of the Australian Council for Educational Research and the Curriculum Corporation (now Education Services Australia).

  Russell Dyer website

Executive Director, Assessment and Reporting
Mr Russell Dyer

Mr Russell Dyer joined ACARA in June 2022, with over 40 years’ experience in education in Western Australia.

Prior to joining ACARA, Mr Dyer’s most recent position was Assistant Executive Director, Examinations, Certification and Testing in the Western Australian Department of Education supporting the School Curriculum and Standards Authority.

Mr Dyer began his career as a science teacher and has worked in a range of roles including supporting teaching and learning, gifted and talented, curriculum development, school performance and review, standards setting, senior secondary certification and the administration of Year 12 examinations and national and state testing, including NAPLAN and the Online Literacy and Numeracy Assessment. Russell has extensive experience on state and national initiatives, including implementing the reforms to the Western Australian Certificate of Education and leading the transition to NAPLAN online in Western Australia.

 Sharon Foster 

Executive Director, Curriculum
Ms Sharon Foster

Sharon Foster was appointed Director, Curriculum in November 2021. She initially joined ACARA in September 2020 as Senior Manager, leading the consultation process for the review of the Australian Curriculum.

Sharon came to ACARA from the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA), where she was the Manager of the Victorian Curriculum: F-10 Unit responsible for the development and delivery of the Victorian F-10 Curriculum. Prior to that, she worked in senior program and policy roles across the Department of Education and Training, Victoria focused on developing and delivering curriculum projects and professional learning programs.

Sharon started her career as a secondary school teacher and progressed to assistant principal before moving into the health sector to develop education programs and projects. Throughout her career, Sharon has also worked as an education and communications consultant for a range of private sector and not-for-profit organisations.


Executive Director, Communications and Strategic Relations
Ms Ann-Maree Ashburn

Ms Ashburn joined ACARA in July 2016 with over 20 years’ experience in government, communications and stakeholder relations. Ms Ashburn has worked at a senior level in government, including as a ministerial adviser, and has held senior corporate affairs and communications roles in the corporate and not-for-profit sectors, including at Oil States International, Insurance Australia Group, the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore, and Hill and Knowlton.

 Thomas Begeng 

Executive Director, Corporate Services
Mr Thomas Begeng

Mr Begeng joined ACARA in October 2019. Immediately prior to joining ACARA, Mr Begeng was managing director of a consulting practice specialising in technology transformation projects. Mr Begeng has over 20 years’ experience in a range of board, senior finance and operations roles in the corporate, government and not-for-profit sectors, including chief financial officer and board member of Medibank Health Solutions, director of corporate services for Lifeline Australia and chief operating officer of HealthShare NSW.

Mr Begeng has a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) and is a member of the Institute of Public Accountants (Australia), Institute of Financial Accountants (UK) and CEO institute.

View the ACARA executive remuneration 2017–18 (PDF 114 kb).