Our people

The AEU NT Branch Executive is the main governing body for the union outside of the annual conference. All of its members are elected and the overwhelming majority are full-time teachers and educators working in schools and other educational institutions.

Elected officials and staff

Full-Time Officers

The President and Secretary are full-time elected officers who manage the day-to-day affairs of the Branch. They are assisted by the office team

Branch Executive

The Branch Executive is responsible for the strategic and financial management of the Branch between annual Conferences. All positions are elected and apart from the President and Secretary, all members of the Executive typically serve in an honorary capacity

The current make up of Executive (as of 22 March 2023) is:

  • Branch President - Michelle Ayres, full-time officer
  • Branch Secretary - Rachael Metcalfe full-time officer
  • Vice-President (General) – Brian Gray, relief teacher
  • Vice-President (TAFE) - VACANT
  • Treasurer – Michael Stimpson, Nhulunbuy High School
  • Women's Officer - Melody O'Meara, AEU NT office staff
  • Indigenous Councillor - VACANT
  • Alice Springs Regional Councillor - Gillian Furniss, Centralian Senior College
  • Alice Springs Regional Councillor - Ken Guest, Acacia Hill School
  • Arnhem Regional Councillor – Alessa Fremmer, Angurugu School
  • Arnhem Regional Councillor – Amanda Vrymoet, Ramingining School
  • Barkly Regional Councillor - VACANT
  • Darwin Regional Councillor - Deb Lamb, Nightcliff Middle School
  • Darwin Regional Councillor - Melissa Rabar, Nemarluk School
  • Darwin Regional Councillor - Nim Jayawardhana, Henbury Special School
  • Darwin Regional Councillor – Emily Parker, Darwin High School
  • Katherine Regional Councillor – Sarah Colomb, Centralian Middle School (position to be vacated once Katherine-based member elected)
  • Katherine Regional Councillor - VACANT
  • Palmerston and Rural Regional Councillor - VACANT
  • Palmerston and Rural Regional Councillor - Robyn Bierton, Taminmin College
  • Palmerston and Rural Regional Councillor – VACANT


  • Administrative Officer – Janette Moore
  • Special Projects Officer - Mick McCarthy
  • Special Projects Officer – Melody O’Meara
  • Project Officer (membership) - Bridget O'Dwyer

    Branch President
    Michelle Ayres

    Michelle was appointed President by the Branch Executive in April, following the resignation of Jarvis Ryan, who served as Branch President for almost seven years. Michelle was the Executive Councillor for the Barkly Region from 2019 and has always been a passionate advocate for the members of her sub-branch and region. She is an early years and primary teacher and spent six years at Arlparra School. She has a passion for Trauma Aware Education and is studying this as part of her Masters through Queensland University of Technology. She stepped into the role of President because out of a desire to push for major changes to education in the Northern Territory and strongly believes that the best way to achieve this is by fighting for a far more equitable funding model.

    Our people

    Branch Secretary
    Rachael Metcalfe

    Rachael Metcalfe is a long-standing AEU NT member and has held the role of PAR Executive Councillor since 2019. Her education background is as a SEN teacher and secondary school teacher in Aotearoa NZ, the UK and NT. Despite some big shoes to fill following the departure of Adam Lampe, she is excited about taking on the challenges of this multi-faceted leadership role and co- stewardship of our branch. She has taught across a wide range of settings and contexts in the NT: three remote schools and homelands, two SEN schools and primary satellite classes and a middle school. She has held school leadership positions in the UK and managed (ST1–ST3) a specialist setting within an adolescent mental health unit for eleven years. Rachael stands for a union that is fair, compassionate, and unstinting in its pursuit of the best conditions, support for its members and the future of NT Public Education.

    Our people

    Vice-President (General)
    Brian Gray

    Brian is a passionate primary teacher who got involved in his union to advocate for his remote colleagues and students. He worked for six years in Yuendumu and Yirrkala while serving as a sub-branch rep, regional president, and secretary, and has been a member of Branch Executive for the last two years. Brian's vision is a strong and democratic union made up of active and well-informed members, a well-funded and equitable public education system, and a new generation of qualified local Aboriginal teachers and school leaders across the NT's remote communities.

    Our people

    Join the Australian Education Union

    The Australian Education Union represents and advocates for all teaching staff in public education, as well as many support workers.

    Office hours

    Monday - Friday: 8:30am to 4:30pm
    Saturday: Closed
    Sunday: Closed
    Public holidays: Closed

    © Authorised by Rachael Metcalfe, Branch Secretary, Australian Education Union Northern Territory Branch, Darwin (2023)

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