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​Woodleigh School is a company limited by guarantee. The Board of Directors of Woodleigh School comprises 7–10 members and is responsible for the governance of the School, while the Principal, who is appointed by the Board, is responsible for the day-to-day management of the School. The Board operates pursuant to the School’s current Constitution, and the Woodleigh School Board Governance Charter provides further direction.

Following is an extract from the Woodleigh School Board Governance Charter which explains the role of the Board:

  • The Corporations Act states that the Board of Directors (“Board”) of the School has the ultimate responsibility for all matters relating to the running of the School.
  • The Board’s role is to govern the School and not to be involved in its day-to-day management. It is senior management’s role to manage the School in accordance with the strategic goals set by the Board and under its direction. The Board does not have a management function.
  • The Board is responsible for and should determine all matters relating to policy and practice. It has overall responsibility to ensure that the School is well managed, that its operations are successful, and that it operates in accord to its key values.

Without limiting the generality of the Board’s role, its principal functions in relation to the School are to:

  • Set goals and provide strategic direction;
  • Appoint the Principal;
  • Determine policies governing the School’s operations;
  • Approve the annual budget and any long-term budgets;
  • Recommend to the Company’s AGM the appointment of auditors;
  • Make decisions about the School’s capital works program;
  • Manage the School’s borrowings;
  • Ensure appropriate risk management strategies are in place;
  • Approve material expenditure outside the budget;
  • Review the performance of the Principal and the Board from time to time as appropriate;
  • Establish and oversee the powers and function of Board committees such as the Finance & Executive Committee, the Projects Control Group, and the Board Nominations Committee;
  • Undertake diligent analysis of all proposals placed before the Board; and

Under the Constitution of the Woodleigh School Board, there is provision for 7-10 members of the Board. The Board’s Constitution and/or Board Composition Policy require that the Board has:

  • at least one current parent from each Campus;
  • approximately half members connected with the School and half ‘independent’ members;
  • a range of expertise covering finance, senior business/management, law, project managements, and a range of other relevant skill areas.

The Board meets approximately eight times per year for standard Board Meetings and each of these meetings is usually preceded about two weeks earlier by a meeting of the Finance & Executive Committee. The Board also holds at least two Board Conference Mornings each year to focus on more strategic or complex issues.

In May each year the Board holds an Annual General Meeting at which it reports on its operations for the previous year, including its audited annual financial accounts.

The current Chair of the Board is Dr Vanessa Gabriel. She is a paediatrician and current school parent with children at both Penbank and Woodleigh Campuses. Any members of the School community wishing to contact her about matters to do with policy, strategic directions, or other appropriate governance matters may do so via email: chair@woodleigh.vic.edu.au

Please note: all matters to do with the day-to-day operation of the School or management issues should be referred to the relevant senior staff member or ultimately to the Principal, Jonathan Walter, who can be contacted on – phone 5971 6100 or email principalsoffice@woodleigh.vic.edu.au

The Board does not involve itself in specific management issues (such as discipline, the details of curriculum, staff concerns, or the payment of fees).

DOWNLOAD WOODLEIGH SCHOOL'S ANNUAL REPORT 2017 HERE

Board Members

    

I am a paediatrician who is passionate about equity in healthcare and providing access for all, to good paediatric care. I have three children at Woodleigh, two at the Senior campus and one at the Penbank campus. I have been involved with the school for the past 10 years, initially as part of the PFG and for the past six years at a Board level.

I am also a Board member with a philanthropic trust set up to assist students from disadvantaged backgrounds, including refugees, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and homeless children, access educational opportunities. It is a great privilege to be involved at the Board level at Woodleigh and to Chair such a dynamic, cohesive and forward-thinking Board. Woodleigh is well placed to meet the challenges that our students face in the future. It embraces change which enables it to continue to be a leader in education. 

An ‘Adventurous Mind’ is not afraid to stand out. It is a mind that is willing to take journeys, follow new paths, that are sometimes unchartered but always lead to discovery and possibility. It can swim against the tide and strive to achieve goals that at times seem unattainable. It is innovative, willing to explore, lateral thinking but above all is happy in its own skin. 

   

I am a public accountant specialising in small business and superannuation. I enjoy working with my clients to assist them to achieve the best outcome possible with the resources available to them.

I am also an experienced Board member, having worked in both advisory roles and directorship roles across a range of different industries. I love learning and I am passionate about the education of children. This passion initially led me to join the Penbank Board in 1990, followed by the Woodleigh Board in 2001. Recently I also joined the Board of Independent Schools Victoria, a not for profit organisation representing more than 200 independent schools around Victoria.

It is a privilege to support the education of children in Woodleigh’s dynamic learning environment.

An “Adventurous Mind” explores without trepidation, is strategic, nimble, inquisitive, probing and challenges the status quo.

    

I am a consultant specialising in providing corporate finance advice to the owners of substantial private businesses. In addition, I am an experienced executive and non-executive director across various industries including retail, property, media, financial, and children’s disability services.

My three children were destined for “traditional” private school education until my wife and I discovered Woodleigh and thought about how best to equip our two daughters and son with the values, energy and skills they will need for an exciting, but uncertain future. It is a pleasure to be involved with the passionate and skilled team on the Woodleigh Board as we manage the present, chart the way forward and continue to develop and deliver the best possible academic, social and experiential education for our children’s futures.

An ‘Adventurous Mind’ is energetic, not bounded by convention, courageous, strategic, passionate, analytical and collegiate. Change is not a threat, it is stimulating and an opportunity.

    

I am a business owner of a collaborative co-working space and marketing/entrepreneurship consultant; deeply passionate about innovation, start-ups, kids with ideas and building creative strategies to support business growth.

With a background in accounting, advertising and building brands, I feel fortunate being a Board member for such a well-respected and forward-thinking school. Woodleigh has built a strong community and is well equipped to educate and empower future change makers, passionate thinkers and confident people. 

I have three children, one son at Penbank campus and two daughters who will flourish and benefit greatly from an experiential education at Woodleigh.

An ‘Adventurous Mind’ is curious, is free to think, sees opportunity, challenges the norm, discovers passions, is not afraid to take personal risks and strive to be the best version of itself. It is willing and capable of solving problems and brave enough to create solutions to make a bigger difference in the world.

     

I am an accredited business law specialist and registered trade mark attorney with around 20 years’ experience as a commercial lawyer in private practice.

Despite a traditional education, I was broadminded enough to marry a Woodleigh girl (Louise Mace, class of ’89) and am now fully converted, with three children growing up at Woodleigh.

An ‘Adventurous Mind’ looks beyond what is to what could be, has the vision and drive to explore those possibilities and is willing to experiment, learn and enjoy the journey.

   

I served almost 20 years in the Australian Navy before working for companies such as Linfox and BHP Billiton, and since then have been consulting to a wide range of businesses in logistics, project management, strategic thinking and general problem-solving.

I have had close ties with Woodleigh, with Peta, my wife who is a past student and an active member of the PFG, as well as sending our three children to Woodleigh over the last ten years. I joined the Board just over a year ago and was motivated to join because our children have received so much from their time at Woodleigh that I wanted to give something back. I am thoroughly enjoying the opportunity of serving the Woodleigh community and participating in the Board activities, and particularly looking forward to some of the exciting initiatives that the school is putting into place. 

Curiosity and passion ignite the ‘Adventurous Mind’ to explore in areas previously undiscovered, enabling vigorous learning and growth.

   

Having worked in the property industry for around 30 years, I initially joined the Woodleigh School Board in 2011 to offer my skills in property development and project management as the school was about to embark on the development of a masterplan for the school and in particular the redevelopment of the Homesteads.

After working for several property development and management consulting companies for most of my career, I formed my own business at the beginning of 2016. 

I have a son who completed Year 12 at Woodleigh in 2015, a daughter who finished in 2017 and two further children at Senior campus and Minimbah. We are a committed Woodleigh family who enjoys being a part of the community in various ways. As a Board member and father I feel proud to be involved in a school that develops its educational ideas in new and innovative ways.

An ‘Adventurous Mind’ finds new ways to tackle problems and find solutions, pushes the boundaries to explore different pathways and grows as a learner while doing so. They are not afraid to challenge normal conventions.