Australia and Canada are similar countries regarding their history, economy, culture, and many social values. Their education systems, however, perform differently in international comparisons. In this study I compare educational equity in South Australia and Alberta during the first two decades of this century. This research uses qualitative data from semi-structured interviews with ten key high-level education system leaders and experts in South Australia and Alberta to explore how policies and reforms have addressed educational equity in these jurisdictions from 2000-2018. Three main findings of this study are: education policies and strategies in Alberta have facilitated equity more directly as part of educational improvement than in South Australia; collaborative professionalism has been a key driver of policy implementation in Alberta whereas South Australian policy implementation has relied more on compliance and competition between schools; and Albertan and South Australian policymakers have understood equity in education differently, especially how equity and excellence relate to one another.