Our people

Robert Allwell – CEO Executive Director

After teaching and then working as a literacy consultant with independent schools in NSW and Victoria, Robert founded the company in 1974 and since then has built lasting and productive relationships with a significant number of Australian schools including many of our highest performing schools. He prides his organisation on providing schools with the highest level of professionalism and assessment instruments of the highest reliability, validity and integrity.

Karyn Watson – COO Executive Director

Prior to joining Academic Assessment Services in 2002, Karyn Watson worked in a number of Independent Schools as Director of Development and EA to the Principal. She has built a strong rapport with client schools and staff. Initially Karyn managed and coordinated the testing services provided to all schools. Currently she oversees all of the office management and has a particular interest and focus in the Scholarship area of the business.

Dr Paul Montuoro – PhD Chief Psychometrician

Paul joined Academic Assessment Services in 2017. Paul is responsible for assessing test validity, reliability and stability. His major focus has been on developing the vertical scales linking all AAS assessments (NPI), as well as the equating of the AAS scales to NAPLAN scales. He oversees the development of new test products and reporting formats. Prior to joining AAS Paul was a researcher at La Trobe University. He has extensive educational experience in State and Independent schools in Victoria. Paul is currently undertaking further research at the University of Western Australia in conjunction with Prof Stephen Humphry.

Jan Hart – Manager Learning Analytics

Jan has had a long and distinguished career in education. Prior to joining AAS, Jan was Deputy Principal-Curriculum at The Scots College; Principal-The Avondale Grammar School, Singapore, and more recently Head of High School at Moriah College. Jan understands the complex dynamics of school operations through extensive K – 12 leadership experience in schools in NSW and Singapore. She has a commitment to evidence based research and has always believed in the importance of the use of valid and reliable data to inform school improvement agendas. For many years Jan was a member of AIS Professional Learning Advisory Group and the AHISA Directors of Studies Conference Committee. She has presented at conferences locally and in interstate and international settings.

Harry Liem – Director of IT

Harry has worked at AAS for the past 17 years. Before joining AAS, Harry worked with Willis Towers Watson and was responsible for developing major proprietary software systems. Harry brings with him a breadth of IT experience across the educational sector. Harry designs the architecture for test reporting and analysis and oversees the implementation by other IT staff.

Jim Richardson – Manager Writing Assessment

Prior to joining Academic Assessment Services, Jim was the Senior Test Administration Officer for NAPLAN Writing at NESA for over 7 years. In this role, he was responsible for supervising the marking of the NAPLAN Writing test in NSW/ACT. He has also had senior roles in the marking of all major writing tests in NSW since 2001. These include the Basic Skills Test (BST), English Language and Literacy Assessment (ELLA), Primary Writing Test (PWT) UNSW Writing Competition (ICAS).

His teaching background includes stints in the Northern Territory, Hong Kong and Israel and over 20 years as the Head of Miller Intensive English Centre in Western Sydney. He has a M.A. in Applied Linguistics focusing on writing assessment.

Tracey Ralston – Office Manager

Tracey joined Academic Assessment Services in 2009. Tracey is responsible for maintaining the day to day procedures of the business, ensuring the timely delivery of results. Tracey has a broad range of administrative experience. Tracey manages the CEO’s diary, the testing calendar and engages with school personnel and AAS staff in an exemplary fashion.

Lindsay Phillips – Chairman Non-Executive Director

Lindsay was appointed Academic Assessment Services Chairman in 2012 and provides valuable business advice and guidance to the company board. Lindsay Phillips has been involved in private equity for over 30 years, commencing in 1987 with M.J.H. Nightingale & Co. Limited in London/New York and subsequently Australia since 1995. His experience includes seven years (1980-87) with Price Waterhouse and twenty eight years in investment banking/ private equity in the United Kingdom, Europe, USA and Australia including five years (2007-12) as Managing Director of Lazard Australia Private Equity. Lindsay is currently Chairman of two investment funds – Phoenix Development Fund and Nightingale Partners – focused on providing patient expansion capital to family companies Lindsay Phillips is a Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and New Zealand.