The School Council

The role of the School Council

The government and management of the School shall be the responsibility of the St Columba Anglican School Council constituted with the powers and functions contained within the Ordinance under which it operates.

Within the limits of the ordinance and Diocesan regulation, School Council has responsibility for:

  • Goal-setting and long term planning
  • Selection, appraisal and pastoral care for the Principal
  • Budget control and financial management
  • Political matters, promotion and public relations of the School
  • Finance: fee structure, fund-raising policy and government grants
  • Industrial relations: provision of remuneration and conditions
  • Provision of land, buildings and other capital improvements
  • Maintenance and provision of resources and equipment
  • Legal matters

School Council delegates authority to the Principal to manage the daily operation of the School and the implementation of policy. It also delegates authority to committees to allow various matters to be researched and discussed prior to consideration by School Council.

School Council committees, not including ad-hoc committees, are:

  • Finance Committee
  • Needs Assessment Committee

Generally, School Council ensures that the overall direction and operation of the School is in accordance with the agreed Vision Statement.

School Council Members

Dr Gordon Burch | M Rur Sc. PhD(UNE) FAIAST - Chair of Council

Gordon has a background in rural science and has been awarded a Fellowship of the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology. Gordon has served as Executive Director to the Australian Science and Technology Council (ASTEC) and was also Chief Scientist to the Australian and New Zealand Food Authority (ANZFA). While living in Canberra, Gordon maintained an active role in the Canberra Goulburn Anglican Diocese, serving for several years on Bishop-in-Council, and was involved in the establishment of Radford College in Canberra. Gordon currently serves as a Lay Minister in the Wauchope Parish, is a Corporate Trustee of the Anglican Diocese of Grafton, and is a member of the Grafton Diocese Synod.

Mr Howard Durant | Deputy Chair of Council

Howard is the owner of a local company specialising in roof restoration, which has branches in Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour and Ballina. Howard is a qualified toolmaker, mechanical engineer and also has qualifications in Business Administration and Management, and WHS Workplace Training. He also has experience in union negotiations, contract administration, public relations and staff management. Howard is involved in many service organisations such as Apex, Rotary, Surf Life Saving and numerous sporting clubs.

Dr Stephen Begbie | MBBS FRACP

Stephen is currently the Director of Medical Oncology and a Physician at Port Macquarie Base Hospital. He is also a Director of Clinical Cancer Research for the North Coast Area Health Service, a member of the Mid North Coast Local Health District Governing Board and Chairman of Health Service Development and Innovation Committee. In 1996 he became a Fellow of the Royal Australian College of Physicians. Stephen has had extensive experience training resident doctors and medical students and was appointed Conjoint Lecturer, UNSW in 2002. He has also been involved in extensive clinical trials and research in the cancer field. Stephen is a recipient of the Premier of NSW Community Service Award.

Mr David Crofts | BA(Sc) DipT

David Crofts has over 34 years' experience in education and teaching in NSW Government and private schools, and 25 years on School Executive as Head Teacher Science and Agriculture at The Scots School Bathurst. He also has extensive experience in Pastoral Care as part of his role as Head of Day Students at The Scots School. David has also been involved in the setting and marking of Higher School Certificate examinations. David is a reader and Parish Treasurer of St Matthews Anglican Church, Wauchope.

Mrs Jennifer Crofts | DipPhysEd/HlthEd

Jennifer Crofts has 35 years' teaching experience in NSW Government and private schools, ten years of which was as Head of Department for Personal Development, Health and Physical Education at All Saints College, Bathurst. Jennifer also has 15 years' experience as Year Co-ordinator and Head of Day Girls and Pastoral Care at All Saints College, which brings to the Council a sound knowledge of student welfare and Pastoral Care programs. Jennifer is a reader and a member of MU at St Matthews Anglican Church, Wauchope.

Mrs Chen Gaul | CA BFA(UNE) MAppTax(UNSW)

Chen Gaul is a Chartered Accountant specialising in business advisory services with extensive knowledge and experience in tax, accounting and superannuation. Chen is a director of Macquarie Business Accountants. Before moving to Australia in 1996, Chen worked for several multinational companies in China including Ford Motor Company in the areas of international trading and logistics management. In 2013 Chen was appointed lecturer with Charles Sturt University teaching Taxation Law. Chen is Treasurer of Hastings Education Fund which provides financial support and assistance for local students to pursue higher education. Chen is also a board member of the Edmund Barton Centre which provides mentoring and advice for regional business.

Mr Graeme Kightley | BSc BEd MA

After obtaining a Bachelor of Science Graeme began work as an Exploration Geologist. He then worked in London for a year before returning to Australia and taking up a teaching position teaching Science, Geography and Technical Drawing. During his teaching career, Graeme has had roles as Faculty Coordinator, Work Experience Coordinator and Sports Coach. In 1995 Graeme was appointed the Director of Studies at William Clarke Anglican School Kellyville. He then moved on to St Andrews Cathedral School in Sydney, where he was Deputy Head of School until his retirement. Graeme has now retired to the Port Macquarie area and is a member of Port Anglican Church, where he oversees their Operation Christmas Child project, and is also on the Parish Council.

Mrs Heather Norton | MEdAdmin BEd DipT

Heather Norton commenced teaching in 1981. In 2005, after a long career at NEGS Armidale, she was appointed as the Foundation Deputy Chair of St Columba Anglican School in Port Macquarie. In partnership with Foundation Principal Mr Chris Pitt, she was instrumental in guiding the school through the first HSC. During 2007, Heather was chosen as the first female Principal of The Scots School Albury and from 2008 to 2014 Heather revisited girls’ education as Principal of Firbank Grammar School. She remained in Melbourne until her retirement in 2017. Heather holds a Master of Educational Administration (UNE) and has studied leadership at Harvard University. She is currently planning further study of psychology to pursue her interests of staff and student welfare.

Mrs Oliva Sakamoto | MCouns TAE

Olivia has a Masters in Counselling and is a graduate journalist. She has also worked as a Journalism TAFE teacher and University marker. Olivia has worked with both public and private schools as well as graduate educational institutions to implement new courses in journalism and workshops in pastoral care. Over the last fifteen years, Olivia has held counselling and pastoral care advisory roles within educational institutions and local Christian churches, both in Victoria and in NSW. Olivia is an invited member of the Golden Key International Honours Society and is a small business owner.

Dr Allison Stanfield | LLB(Hons), LLM, PhD

Allison has over 24 years' experience as a lawyer and in business. In her legal practice, Allison advises business owners on all aspects of setting up, running, selling and acquiring businesses, and provides her clients with advice on corporate structure and property leasing. In addition to her business law expertise, Allison also provides a range of technology law advice to clients including drafting and negotiating software development and licensing agreements, web and domain hosting agreements and intellectual property agreements. Allison maintains unique expertise in electronic evidence and is an expert in electronic contracts, electronic signatures and electronic discovery. In 2015, Allison completed her PhD in the authentication of electronic evidence. Allison has consulted to courts and tribunals on the implementation of technology, including the Federal Court of Australia, several state Supreme Courts and some international courts. Allison has previously been a Telstra Business Women's finalist and an Outstanding Alumni at QUT.

Ven. Stuart Webb | BSc, Post Grad Dip Theol, MTheol

Stuart Webb is currently Rector of Port Anglican churches and has three teenage children attending St Columba Anglican school. Stuart worked as a scientist in both the paper and mining industries before being ordained a Priest in the Anglican Church of Australia in 2006. Stuart has served two years on the Bond University Ethics Commission, eight years on the Board of the Ministry Education Commission Brisbane Diocese and two years on the Anglican Board on Mission. Stuart led and served in three church communities on the Gold Coast, Roma and Kawana Waters in Queensland before taking up his position in Port Macquarie in 2016.

Mr Ian Wilbore | BSc (ElecEngineering)

Ian is a registered professional engineer with over thirty-five years’ experience in heavy industry and mining, covering technical and project management for the provision of process and mining installations, housing and building work such as roads, electrical, water and waste system reticulation. Ian has also had experience in health and safety management, mentoring, subordinate development, risk management and corporate governance. Ian and his wife Lorna are members of St Thomas Anglican Church.