Dear colleagues,

Welcome to Lisa Davias our newly appointed CEO

On behalf of the PESA Board, it is with great pleasure that I announce the appointment of Lisa Davias to the position of Chief Executive Officer at PESA from 8 March 2023. Lisa is a driven and passionate individual with a broad range of experience in Business Operations and People & Culture Strategy. Born and raised in Cornwall in the UK, Lisa began her career working for the BBC as an Assistant Director and Stage Manager. Lisa holds a Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies and Video Production from Buckinghamshire Chilterns University. Lisa subsequently commenced working at Accenture, a global professional services organisation, where she built her career over the next fourteen years including a move to Sydney. While at Accenture Lisa gained a wide range of skills across multiple areas including Marketing and Communications, Business Operations and People and Culture. Significantly, this is where Lisa’s passion for Wellbeing and Positive Psychology began.

During her time working in Marketing and Communications at Accenture, Lisa was primarily responsible for client events and stakeholder engagement. Lisa’s role in Business Operations saw her executing activities relating to business transformation programs. Within the People and Culture Strategy Team, Lisa developed and led initiatives to support the talent strategy, specifically relating to employee experience and engagement. As a cross-over between these two later roles, Lisa implemented, launched, and maintained a successful employee wellbeing program.

Lisa is currently leading Employee Experience at the University of Newcastle. She resides in Newcastle with her husband and two children. We look forward to welcoming Lisa when she commences her role as Chief Executive Officer at PESA on 8 March 2023. I know that you all join me in congratulating Lisa on her new role at PESA.

Congratulations and thank you to Johanna Leitch

Johanna Leitch has been offered an exciting opportunity to work with Awards Victoria and will therefore, regrettably, be concluding her time as Chief Executive Officer at Positive Education Schools Association (PESA) on 24 March 2023. The role at Awards Victoria (which is also Johanna’s previous employer) offers Johanna the opportunity to take on new challenges about which she is passionate as well as providing the opportunity to pursue some important personal life goals. As you may be aware, Awards Victoria is a significant supporter of PESA, being both an institutional member and more recently a corporate partner of PESA. Johanna is committed to continuing to work with and support PESA, through the ongoing relationship between Awards Victoria and PESA and her new role.

I would like to take this opportunity to warmly thank Johanna for her valued dedication and commitment to PESA over the past year. During her time with us Johanna led PESA’s growth following the global pandemic which saw an increase in revenue streams, including a 10% increase in institutional membership, the securing of new corporate partners and contributions from new donors and one of PESA’s most successful conferences to date. Johanna has also helped create new infrastructure and foundations to support PESA’s continued growth through the introduction of a new IT system and the creation and launch of PESA’s digital PD program. With the expertise of our pro bono lawyers, Minter Ellison, Johanna helped secure DGR status for PESA. Johanna has grown PESA’s brand awareness through new key industry partnerships including becoming the official wellbeing event partner for EduTECH 2023 and the official partner of The 2023 Educator Special Reports Series.

On behalf of the PESA Board, I extend our immense gratitude and appreciation to Johanna for her hard work and her outstanding contribution to wellbeing in the education sector during her time as Chief Executive Officer at PESA. We wish Johanna all the very best for the future. We also look forward to continuing to collaborate with Johanna at Awards Victoria. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you as PESA members for your ongoing support and I will look forward to another wonderful year for PESA ahead.

Warm regards,


Anne Johnstone
PESA Chair