Our team

Our team of experienced, dedicated and energetic professionals are committed to improving the learning outcomes for children and young people.

Our vision is to create powerful leadership learning across all levels of the education system so that Victoria becomes the best education system in the world. A system that inspires learning and optimises opportunities for every Victorian.

Our mission is to build a highly capable education workforce led by exemplary educational leaders, highly skilled teachers and early childhood professionals who improve student outcomes in a rapidly changing and complex world.

Director, Neil Barker

Bastow Director Neil Barker

Neil has long and varied career in education, spanning more than 34 years.

He has worked as an educator in juvenile justice settings, specialist and primary schools, and in the Zoo Education Service at Melbourne, Healesville and Werribee zoos.

As the Schools Education Manager at the former Federal Government Emergency Management Australia and while working for a not-for-profit organisation, he ran a range of national consultations and developed curriculum materials, programs and resources for schools.

Neil was the Principal at Wales Street Primary School between 1997 and 2007. In this time, the school earned a strong reputation for developing students as independent learners and for having an engaged and committed school community.

Neil moved into the central office of the Department of Education and Training (the Department) in 2007 and managed a policy unit focused on broad system issues, including funding for students from disadvantaged backgrounds and businesses working with education. During this time, he lead the establishment of the not-for-profit foundation, Schools Connect.

In 2013, Neil was appointed as Operations Manager at Bastow, and was appointed Director in 2014.

Neil has led significant growth of Bastow in recent years, ensuring that Bastow provides courses and programs in rural and regional Victoria, increasing participation by more than 239 per cent since 2014, introducing high quality online learning opportunities, extending provision of professional learning and support for system leadership, and leading engagement with educational leadership professional learning organisations, both nationally and internationally.

Course Provision team

It takes more than just tea and biscuits to provide a memorable and fit-for-purpose learning experience.

Charged with overseeing the life cycle of Bastow’s complex portfolio of courses and programs, the Course Provision team engages directly with schools, participants and providers to successfully deliver professional learning across Victoria.

Upholding Bastow’s course quality and service standards requires the Course Provision team to manage contracts, scoping and stakeholder satisfaction, as well as undertake consultation processes and learning data analysis to produce reports and recommendations that support the betterment of course design and delivery.

The team also partners with both internal and external stakeholders to deliver the quality learning experiences that we are renowned for.

Digital Learning team

Our Digital Learning team supports the digital aspects of initiatives within Bastow and across the Department's Professional Practice and Leadership Division.

Our team is responsible for the digital learning components of our professional learning. We work closely and creatively with our leadership team, departmental stakeholders, external providers and partner organisations to deliver innovative digital solutions.

We focus on ensuring the digital aspects of learning design align with the high quality standards of all our professional learning.

Learning, Development and Innovation team

Great learning requires intentional design and development. We use a deliberate process to ensure that the courses and programs delivered to educational leaders are of the highest quality and designed for optimal engagement for all learners.

Our Learning, Development and Innovation team is responsible for designing our professional learning and overseeing the delivery in accordance with the learning design.

Drawing on our curriculum development process, and guided by our Professional Learning Principles, we investigate the needs of the learners to ensure the learning design attends to their needs, as well as enabling educational leaders to enact the capabilities built through the professional learning.

The team also have responsibility for gathering and analysing the evidence of the learning experience, using this to inform ongoing refinement of our professional learning. Both new and refreshed professional learning move through our curriculum development process, commencing with a strong learning design informed by evidence, designed to maximise engagement and intended to transform learner capability.

Marketing and Stakeholder Engagement team

Our Marketing and Stakeholder Engagement team works collaboratively with Bastow and Department staff, the school community and other key stakeholders to ensure quality communication and stakeholder engagement.

The team’s responsibilities are to:

  • align communications and stakeholder engagement with strategic directions and policies
  • raise awareness of our leadership initiatives and participation with our professional learning
  • ensure the integrity of our brand and voice is maintained across all our work, including the website, social media, publications and marketing materials
  • develop strategic partnerships with international education organisations, leadership centres and professional associations
  • support an ongoing professional conversation through our Alumni and thought leadership events.

Operations team

Our Operations team develops, implements and oversees our systems, policies and procedures to ensure the highest level of operational effectiveness for all our facilities and services. This includes developing and implementing quality assurance processes, feedback and monitoring systems for continuous improvement of our products and services.

Regional Partnerships team

​​​​​​The Regional Partnerships team expands the reach of high-quality leadership development across Victoria. The team works closely with Regional Directors to establish strong partnerships with education networks throughout Victoria.