• Governance

Briefing the Board Conference

PL # 12022.
Starting on 6 Apr 2019
Cancellation permitted until 29/03/2019
For Members$270
For Catholic Members$270
For Non-Members$350
Registration Close Date 3/04/2019
Register Now

Registrations open to

  • AISWA Member Schools (non-CEO)
  • Catholic Member Schools
  • Non-Members


Briefing the Board is AISWA's annual conference for school governors and school leaders. Conference keynote and workshop presentations cover a range of issues relevant to leading schools from the perspective of governors and school leadership.

2019 Briefing the Board Conference Keynote Presentations:

What do students need to learn for their future? - Mr Pasi Sahlberg, Finnish Education Consultant

The State and Federal Political Landscape as it pertains to Education and Funding - Ms Valerie Gould, Executive Director

Working Together - School Board Chairs, Board Members, and Principals - Co-presented by Mrs Audrey Jackson, Chair, Great Southern Grammar and Mr Stuart Marquardt, Principal, Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar School (former Principal of Great Southern Grammar).

Conference workshops will cover various topics including dealing with the media, school finances, legal and industrial issues, school registration and compliance, catering for diverse student populations, ICT and working in a digital age, and risk management... among others.

More Information


Valerie Gould (AISWA Staff)

Executive Director

Valerie Gould became the Executive Director of the Association of Independent Schools of WA in July 2008. She has worked for many years in the Western Australian education system with her first four years teaching Economics and Mathematics. The following seven years were spent working in New York with Ernst and Young, and being greatly involved in the introduction of microcomputer applications into business. She returned to WA in 1986 as Director of Computing at St Mary’s Anglican Girls’ School for seven years.

During the early 1990s she worked with the School Curriculum and Standards Authority (at the time the Secondary Education Authority) for four and a half years before joining AISWA as the Manager of Curriculum and Australian Government Targeted Programs. She has been with AISWA for more than 10 years and has worked closely with schools and other stakeholders in the areas of curriculum change, Curriculum Framework and Senior Secondary Education; and in meeting government regulations from a national and state perspective. Valerie has a Bachelor of Economics and a Diploma of Education, and is a Fellow of the Australian College of Educators and the Australian Council for Educational Leadership.

Ron Gorman (AISWA Staff)

Deputy Director

Ron is Deputy Director of AISWA. He has extensive experience in teaching and leading a diversity of schools in WA and Victoria.  Ron manages innovative programmes and university partnerships for AISWA. He is a member of the Global Educators Leaders Partnership and has been awarded Fellow of Australian Council of Educational Leadership (WA). Ron is also Chair of the Australian Children's Literature Alliance working closely with the Australian Children's Laurette.

Gary Robinson (AISWA Staff)

Registration And Compliance Consultant

After graduating with a Bachelor in Science (Chemistry) and a Diploma in Education Gary started teaching in 1979 as a science teacher at Norseman District High School. After teaching for 9 years in Department of Education schools in a range of subjects including Chemistry and Physics he moved to Albany, with his family, where for the next 20 years he taught at Bethel Christian School. He was Principal of the school for his last 8 years in Albany. From Albany Gary and his wife moved to Esperance to teach at Wongutha CAPS, a boarding school for Aboriginal students. Gary was offered and accepted a position at AISWA in 2007.

Gary’s first role at AISWA was to support the Aboriginal Independent Community Schools (AICS) as they took on older students as a consequence of the raising of the student leaving age. Gary then worked in the newly created Policy and Registration space for a few years before taking on the management of the AICS support team. Since 2013 Gary has been back as a consultant in the Registration and Compliance area where he works alongside Therese Bamford.

Gary has an interest in Occupational Safety and Health and Risk Management and is one of the OS&H Representatives at AISWA.

Therese Bamford (AISWA Staff)

Registration And Compliance Consultant

Therese has worked at AISWA for a number of years, previously in the Aboriginal Schools Support Unit and in the administration of a Commonwealth funding program for the CGA. 

Since 2014 Therese has worked in the area of school registration and compliance, which involves supporting schools with their renewal of registration process and assisting all member schools with queries related to school registration and compliance with the Registration Standards and Requirements. Therese works in this role alongside her colleague, Gary Robinson.  When not visiting schools she and Gary are a contact point for school compliance queries and are involved in presentation delivery, school constitution review, the development, review and maintenance of policy and procedure guidelines, governance guidelines, production of the Registration and Compliance Focus newsletter and other documentation associated with registration and compliance.

Peter Crosbie (AISWA Staff)

Assistant Director

Peter Crosbie was appointed Assistant Director in January 2016. This leadership role includes developing AISWA’s capability in STEM and learning technologies and working effectively with teachers and other stakeholders across the state.

Peter has a professional engineering qualification and has extensive industrial and business experience which includes working for defence establishments and a variety of engineering consultancies.

He has worked for many years in the Western Australian education system including 12 years at Hale School as a teacher and Head of Technology. Whilst at Hale School for more than seven years, Peter was an Adjunct Lecturer in Design and Technology at Edith Cowan University Perth. He has been a member of many state and national educational working groups and steering committees. He is the Contact Liaison Officer (CLO) for Scootle in the (WA) Independent School jurisdiction and is responsible for the registration of schools new to Scootle and training of Scootle administrators and teachers.


Nigel Briggs (AISWA Staff)

Industrial And Workplace Relations Consultant

Nicola Davidson (AISWA Staff)

Manager Of Leadership & Teaching Quality

Nicola is committed to the transformative possibilities of education. She has a keen interest in working with others to implement research and policy into practical processes and strategies. She has had sixteen years experience in leadership positions with independent and government schools. She has worked in both school and policy settings where much of her work was about gaining consensus from diverse interest groups.  

Most recently she has come from a K-12 regional AISWA school where she was a member of the Executive. She has taught across all phases of schooling.  In addition to her work in schools, she has spent time as a literacy consultant, writing for First Steps and in senior secondary policy development and design.

Nicola is keen to work with teachers and school leaders to translate their vision into practice and to help them link the work they currently do with the AITSL standards.


Ian Curlewis

Partner, Lavan

Ian is the lead partner in the employment and safety practice at Lavan.  Ian has practised in WA for over 30 years in workplace relations, equal opportunity and school law.

Ian conducts reviews for both government agencies and the private sector, assessing the client’s compliance with statutory requirements and general employment law principles.  Ian is experienced in drafting, negotiating and interpreting employment contracts and industrial agreements.  He represents employers before industrial and equal opportunity commissions and the Courts.  He has over a long period managed and advised about the employment aspects of workers’ compensation claims, stress claims and bullying allegations.

Ian has extensive experience in advising secondary and tertiary educational establishments on operational issues including sexual harassment, dress codes, privacy and policy issues, keeping of records, duty of care, and workplace safety, child protection statutory compliance and governance.  He has advised on the implementation of disciplinary processes  and workplace disputes.

His clients in the education sector include a large number of Independent and Catholic schools and local universities.

Ian is a past Chairman of the AISWA Board and its current representative at ISCA meetings in Canberra.  Ian is also Chair of the Board at St Mary’s Anglican Girls’ School and a member of the Teachers Registration Board of Western Australia.



Michael Jensen

Senior Associate, Lavan

Michael is a senior member of the Industrial Relations and Employment Law team at Lavan.  Before joining Lavan (which was then Phillips Fox) in 1995 Michael spent 7 years working as an industrial advocate for a major Western Australian employer association.  Prior to that he worked as a cartographer with an engineering firm, based both in the office and on site. 

Michael advises clients on industrial action, unfair dismissals, employment contracts, enterprise bargaining, equal opportunity matters and discrimination issues. He regularly provides advice in relation to disciplinary and dismissal proceedings and represents employers in State and Federal Industrial Commissions and the Equal Opportunity Commission.  He has a thorough understanding of the interrelationship between workers compensation claims and employee relations and has previously represented Risk Cover and other insurers at Work Cover.

Michael has broad-based knowledge and experience in the areas of EEO, employee relations and workers compensation.  He provides strategic advice on industrial relations, EEO and workers’ compensation issues to public and private  sector organisations.


Sam Kronja

Director of Finance & Corporate Services, Presbyterian Ladies’ College

Sam has been the Director of Finance & Corporate Services at Presbyterian Ladies’ College (PLC) since 2007. Currently he is a Board Member of AISWA (since 2011) and Chrysalis Montessori School (since 2014). Previously he was the Business Manager at Corpus Christi College, Bateman, from 2003 to 2006 and was appointed to the Catholic Education Office Finance Committee in 2005 to 2006. He has been on the Board of St Paul’s Catholic Primary School, Mt Lawley and a former President and Vice President of the Association of School Business Administrators (ASBA) in Western Australia and also on the National Executive of ASBA.

Sam commenced work with Ernst & Young in 1991 and was admitted as a Chartered Accountant with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in 1994. He has worked in a number of different sectors including mining exploration, entertainment, information technology, managed investments, retail and education. Sam was admitted as Chartered Secretary with Governance Institute in 2002 and admitted as Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management in 2010. 
Experiencing a life as a WAFL and AFL field umpire, coach and currently an AFL Match Day Official, has fashioned a ‘thick skin’ that has proved very useful for an accountant working in education.




Event Segment

Date / Time

Starts: 08:30
Finishes: 16:30


Swan Christian College
381 Great Northern Highway
Middle Swan WA 6056

Learning Area

  • Governance

School Area

  • Leadership

Event Contact

AITSL Standards