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College Leaders

Our College Leaders ensure that all areas of our school have the same aspirations and work together to achieve common strategic goals. They review all policies, procedures and processes aligning them with our Vision, Mission and Values.

Executive Leadership Team

Principal, Ms Rebecca Clarke

 

Joining us at the beginning of 2023, Rebecca brings a wealth of experience as an educational leader to her role as MLC Principal. Dedicated to developing and delivering a world-class education for girls, she is passionate about providing an excellent learning experience for students. Rebecca is committed to fostering a community of belonging and inclusivity and preparing our students for the world beyond our campus. Known for her ability to empower her staff and students, Rebecca’s leadership approach is strongly relational and focused on a future vision for our College.

Rebecca joins MLC after serving for 10 years as Principal of Walford Anglican School for Girls, a leading Pre-Primary to Year 12 Day and Boarding School in Adelaide. Prior to leading Walford, Rebecca held the position of Deputy Principal at one of South Australia’s largest independent co-educational schools, Woodcroft College. Serving on two University of Adelaide Advisory Boards as well as holding positions on the Association of Independent Schools’ Board of South Australia (AISSA) and acting as South Australian Branch Chair of the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA), Rebecca was also a board member of Resthaven, one of South Australia’s largest not-for-profit aged care community service providers affiliated with the Uniting Church of Australia.

Rebecca holds graduate and postgraduate qualifications in Education, Educational Leadership and Business Administration. A finalist in the Telstra Business Awards and awarded the Educational Leadership Medal by the Australian Council of Educational Leaders, Rebecca is widely recognised for her extraordinary capabilities and dedication to continuous learning. In May 2024, Rebecca will become the Chair of the WA branch of the Association of Heads of Independent Schools (AHISA), a role that also sees her serve on the AHISA National Board.

 

Deputy Principal Years 7-12, Miss Katy Moore

 

As the Deputy Principal (Years 7-12), Katy has the specific responsibility of leading and overseeing Senior Years teaching, pastoral care and academic operations. She is also involved in planning strategic initiatives and driving key projects. A very important part of her role is building relationships and engaging with all of the College’s staff and students.

Katy has an extensive background in all-girls’ education, which is invaluable as she leads the MLC Senior Years. She came to MLC from Iona Presentation College, Mosman Park via PCW, Melbourne, where she held several roles including Head of Senior School, Leader of the Curriculum Portfolio, Leader of the Pastoral Care Portfolio, Assistant Deputy Principal, Head of Year and Head of House. With a Bachelor of Education (Secondary) and a Master of Education (Leadership & Management), she is a passionate leader and educator who strives to ensure that teachers and students receive the support they need to succeed.

The most enjoyable aspect of her role is being part of the MLC community and experiencing the strength of what can be achieved when girls uplift and encourage each other. She highly values the inclusive nature of MLC and is grateful to witness this each day. She also says that the College’s dedicated and collegial staff make working at MLC extremely rewarding.

Deputy Principal ELC-Year 6, Mrs Kylie Cross

 

As the Deputy Principal (ELC-Year 6), Kylie demonstrates a passion for working in partnership with parents, teachers and students to discover and nurture every girl’s individual talent. Kylie’s values align with those of the College, and she is committed to the strategic focus of the school to provide individual care and excellence in education for girls. Kylie has experience across varied educational settings including remote communities, the Department of Education and independent schools. She has a bachelor’s degree in Primary Education and a Master of Education with a specialisation in leadership and school improvement.

Director of Corporate Services, Mr Ross Gilchrist

 

As the Director of Corporate Services, Ross has oversight of finance and commercial operations of the College, including grounds and maintenance, buildings and information technology.

Ross joins MLC from Perth College where each of his three girls were educated and where he held the position of Director Commercial Services Risk and Compliance from 2018.

A Chartered Accountant, beginning his career in audit and then tax, his commercial roles have taken him from Perth to London, Melbourne, and Brisbane. In more recent times, prior to joining the education sector in 2018, Ross held senior finance leads positions with operational responsibility for Australian and Asia Pacific.

Ross joined the education sector with a desire make a positive contribution to the lives of students. This drive saw him become part of the Association of Independent Schools of Western Australia (AISWA) Capital Grant Committee in 2019 and which, from 2023, he now Chairs. In late 2022 he was also invited to become part of the AISWA Low Interest Loans Committee.

Director of Learning and Teaching Excellence, Dr Penelope Russell

 

Joining the MLC community in 2024, Penelope is responsible for leading and driving the development of a contemporary and relevant pedagogical framework that inspires excellence in learning and teaching from Kindergarten through to Year 12.

She previously held the position of Director of Teaching and Learning at the Anglican Schools’ Commission (ASC), where she led teachers and advised Principals across sixteen schools in the creation and execution of learning and curriculum frameworks. Prior to moving to Perth, she worked at Presbyterian Ladies’ College (PLC) Sydney for 13 years, where she discovered her passion for teaching girls whilst developing her own career as a teacher and school leader.

Recently graduating with a PhD from UWA, Penelope’s focus area qualifies and equips her as an expert in curriculum development and change in independent schools. Her passion to coach, mentor and collaborate with staff to build purpose in girls’ lives through the development of research-driven, innovative and effective approaches to learning and teaching makes her an excellent addition to the MLC leadership team.

Director of Community Relations and Development, Ms Kirstyn Johnson

 

Kirstyn attended MLC, then studied Arts/Commerce at UWA before living and working in London, Melbourne, Sydney and New York for ten years. Her early career was in management consulting, helping large corporate clients improve efficiency and performance to achieve business growth. Returning to Perth to raise three kids, Kirstyn moved from the corporate to the community sector, working with not-for-profits in communications and philanthropy, raising much-needed funds for important causes.

Back at MLC as a staff member, her role as Director of Development & Alumni Relations connects the wider MLC community with the opportunity to support the MLC Foundation, which provides scholarships, capital building works and an endowment to ensure MLC has a strong financial base to underpin a strategic vison for the future. Investing in girls’ education transforms communities, countries and the entire world, and says that it is a privilege and joy to play a small part in that.

Director of Marketing and Communications, Ms Lavinia Thurairatnam

 

As the Director of Marketing and Communications, Lavinia oversees the end-to-end marketing, communications and admissions initiatives across all integrated platforms for the College’s past, current and prospective students and families.

Lavinia attended Monash University Melbourne graduating with a Bachelor of Business and Marketing. Having worked and lived in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Australia, primarily in integrated multinational Advertising, Communication and Digital Consultancies for renowned international brands, Lavinia’s family made the move to Western Australia at the beginning of 2022.

Before joining the MLC Community, Lavinia led the Marketing team at the University of Melbourne’s, School for Continuing and Professional Education School for almost two years, before retuning into Senior Client partnership roles at leading Agencies in Melbourne and Perth. In her role at MLC, Lavinia enjoys the opportunity to be part of a leading brand in girls’ education with a team that has a purpose to support the growth and development of young women.

Senior Leadership Team

Director of College Operations, Mrs Vanessa Smith

 

Vanessa started at MLC in 2007 as an Economics specialist. Over her time at the College, she has held many different roles, including Head of House, Head of Year and Head of Global Learning. Vanessa has been the Director of College Operations since 2021, a role that includes oversight of the College’s innovation and co-curricular programs, development of teachers’ pedagogical skills and planning for major student events.

She has a Bachelor of Economics, Bachelor of Arts and a Graduate Diploma in Education, with specialisations in Economics, History and Mathematics. Vanessa is an enthusiastic and passionate teacher and leader, who takes great joy in working with MLC students and staff as they strive to make a positive contribution to the world.

 

Director of Boarding, Mrs Jodie Mellor

 

Jodie commenced at MLC as Director of Boarding in 2023. With an early career history in Hotel Management, Jodie combines her drive to provide young women with an exceptional education alongside her commitment to nurture health, wellbeing and independence of girls by striving to provide a happy, safe and inclusive boarding home.

Jodie has led a broad range of educational leadership portfolios in her previous roles as Deputy Principal, Head of School, Year Level Manager, Head of Careers, Operations Manager and Vocational Education and Training Coordinator within both the government and independent sectors. She has a Bachelor of Business (Tourism Management), Graduate Diploma in Education, Graduate Certificate in Career Development, Graduate Certificate in Education Business Leadership and a Master of Education specialising in Leadership.

Jodie has a strong appreciation of the history and achievement of the MLC Boarding community and looks forward to further developing this pride in our Boarding girls as together we navigate an increasingly complex and connected global community.

Director of Early Learning, Mrs Melanie Leevers

 

As the Director of Early Learning, Melanie’s role is to build relationships with the early childhood educators, children and families that attend MLC’s Early Learning Centre.

With a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood) and over 30 years of experience, she began her teaching career in Forrestfield WA, where she taught Kindergarten classes for 10 years. She moved to Sydney in 2003 where she held the position of Director of Pymble Turramurra Pre-School up until 2022 when her family returned to Perth.

Melanie enjoys the opportunity to be leading the way to create a ‘lighthouse’ early childhood service at MLC, where advocacy for children and families is at the heart of everything that we do. She prides herself on creating an exceptional work culture in a positive and supportive manner, respecting one another as early childhood professionals to deliver a high-quality education to the children at MLC Early Learning.

Chaplain, Ms Simone Smalley

 

Chaplain Smalley is responsible for running Chapels for staff and students, which allows us all to pause and honour our foundations as a School of The Uniting Church and explore our spirituality and wellbeing. She also teaches Religious Education in the Senior Years and oversees Service Learning affiliated programs, activities and committees at the College.

With a Bachelor of Ministry (University of Divinity), Graduate Certificate in Human Rights (Curtin University) and currently completing a Master of Human Rights (Curtin University), a career highlight for Chaplain Smalley before MLC was 14 years working with The Salvation Army in Tasmania, the Northern Territory and Western Australia.

She is constantly inspired by our students, watching them learn, discover and become who they want to be in an environment that is supportive and engaging. She also enjoys working with staff who demonstrate such incredible commitment to providing the highest standard of education for our students.

Head of Curriculum and Analytics, Ms Jacqui Sherriff

 

As the Head of Curriculum and Analytics, Jacqui’s role is to lead the curriculum development from Kindergarten to Year 12, oversee academic tracking of all students and coordinate timetabling, examinations and reporting.

Passionate about the education of girls, Jacqui previously taught Mathematics and Physical Education in Australia and her native South Africa. She also owned her own IT business for 12 years and worked in the corporate world as an IT consultant and software developer.

Joining the MLC community in 2014, Jacqui enjoys engaging with students and assisting them to grow in knowledge and achieve their potential. She also enjoys working with the amazing teachers, who are passionate about their subject area and continually looking to develop their courses in the best interests of their students.

Head of Senior Years, Mr Brendan Coutts

 

As the Head of Senior Years, Brendan is responsible for providing strategic leadership in the areas of student wellbeing, pastoral care, pathways and academic progress across Years 10-12. He has a key focus on creating a community of belonging within the Senior Years as well as the management of all matters related to student wellbeing, leadership and operations. With a Master of Education (Advanced Pedagogy), Graduate Diploma in Education and Bachelor of Arts, Brendan joins the MLC Community from Iona Presentation College where he held several leadership positions including Head of House (Acting), Dean of Operations and Head of Year. Prior to this, he worked for the Department of Education.

What Brendan enjoys most about his role is being able to provide high level support and guidance to our students so they can strive, thrive and work towards achieving their personal best. Having worked in all-girls contexts, he has come to understand the value of such an environment in fostering a strong sense of empowerment, respect and confidence in young women so they are able to fully engage in their environment and aim for their version of success with less inhibitions, distractions and limitations. Brendan believes the College’s strong commitment to the exceptional holistic education and development of the whole person aligns closely with his own values and is central to being a successful Head of Senior Years.

Head of Middle Years, Ms Amanda Robertson

 

As the Head of Middle Years, Amanda is responsible for working collaboratively with a wide variety of staff including the Heads of Year and Mentors in Years 7-9 to ensure that all students and families feel supported and valued both pastorally and academically.

With a Bachelor of Science (Exercise and Health Science) and Graduate Diploma in Education, she has worked as a Teacher of Health and Physical Education, Physical Education Studies and Psychology at MLC since 2008. During her time at the College, Amanda has held several leadership positions including Head of House, Head of Year and Head of Sport.

What she loves most about her role is getting the chance to work with a number of different staff across multiple areas within the College in order to support Middle Years students reach their personal potential. With coaching qualifications in AFL Level 3 and playing 2 international sports herself, Amanda has a good understanding of coaching and working with people from a diverse background.

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