• Governance

Briefing the Board Conference

PL # 12022.
Starting on 6 Apr 2019
Cancellation permitted until 29/03/2019

Event registrations closed on 2/04/2019


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:

The Australian Political Scene and the 2019 Federal Budget: Implications for Schools - Mr Barry Wallett, Executive Director, ISCA

The State and Federal Education Landscapes and School 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 school leadership... 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.

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.


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.

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.


Lynne Nixon (AISWA Staff)

Inclusive Education Coordinator

Lynne joined the Inclusive Education team at AISWA in April 2017. She has worked in the fields of both education and small business. Lynne completed her Diploma of Teaching (Primary) including studies in Special Education in NSW and taught there for a number of years. After time running a small family business and moving to Perth, Lynne returned to teaching in the role of Special Needs EA. She has since had a variety of roles within schools including learning support teacher and coordinator, supporting teachers in working with students with disabilities, curriculum coordinator including differentiation and support to particularly cater for children with learning needs. During her time as a Principal, Lynne has been passionate about creating an inclusive school culture and community. She has also been involved in supporting school leaders and school registration particularly in the area of Child Protection and Disabilities.   

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.

Kris Stafford (AISWA Staff)

Manager | Curriculum

Kris is the Manager of Curriculum at AISWA. She has extensive experience in all aspects of curriculum and assessment and policy development, and has previously provided leadership and support to schools as a K-12 Principal Consultant and A/Curriculum Manager at SCSA, and as an advisor and author for a variety of curriculum initiatives and resources. Kris has a Master of Education and also has extensive experience in the tertiary sector.

Barry Wallet


Barry Wallett, ISCA

Barry Wallett was Deputy Executive Director of the Independent Schools Council of Australia (ISCA) from February 2009 to October 2018. In November 2018, he assumed the role as ISCA’s Executive Director.

His policy responsibilities over the last few years have been associated with school funding reforms, Indigenous education, not-for-profit matters, taxation, communications and government relations. Since 2001, he has been engaged fulltime in various aspects of the education sector in Canberra; previously as Chief Executive Officer of a major industry training provider and before that General Manager of the Australian National University College.


Audrey Jackson AM

Audrey Jackson AM

Audrey moved to Western Australia to take up the position of Principal of St Mary’s Anglican Girls’ School in January 1983.  She resigned from the position of Principal in April 2007 to take up the role of Executive Director of the Association of Independent Schools of Western Australia (AISWA), retiring in mid-2008.  Following her retirement, Audrey has continued her involvement in education through membership of the State Training Board and through her work as a Registration Consultant for the Western Australian Department of Education Services.  In 2012 Audrey was appointed Chair of the Teacher Registration Board of WA.  Audrey has undertaken consultancies for a number of Independent Schools and continues her involvement in school governance as Chair of Council of Great Southern Grammar School.

In 2012, Audrey was awarded an AM for her contribution to education.

Stuart Marquardt

Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar School

Coming from Wondai in regional Queensland, Principal Stuart Marquardt attended Kingaroy High School before completing his Bachelor of Education and Diploma of Teaching through the University of Southern Queensland.

Prior to his commencement as Principal of Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar School, in Term 2, 2016, Mr Marquardt spent the past eight years as the Principal of Great Southern Grammar in Albany WA and was previously Deputy Principal and Head of Junior School at Sunshine Coast Grammar School.

Mr Marquardt is a Member of the Australian Council for Educational Leaders, the Australian College of Educators and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He has previously been Chair of the Association of Independent Schools in WA and whilst on sabbatical in 2014, Mr Marquardt completed the ‘Leadership in Evolving Vision Course’ at Harvard University (Cambridge, USA). In 2015 he was awarded a prestigious ‘Klinginstein Fellowship’ to Columbia University (New York, USA) to complete a program on 21st Century Education and Leadership.

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.


Johanne Klap

Potential Project

Potential Project5 is a world provider in mindfulness training. The company has worked with a number of large, international companies and government organisations.

Johanne Klap has a wealth of educational and leadership development experience and is an accredited corporate based mindfulness trainer.  She has post-graduate psychology and education qualifications and is passionate about contributing to educational excellence in Western Australia.

Johanne is an executive leadership coach and learning specialist and has been working in professional and personal development since 1999.  Previously, she has been a marketing manager and public relations manager.  She has secondary teaching experience in Australia and the United Kingdom, and is an award-winning university lecturer. 

Her coaching philosophy is strength-based and is underpinned by solution-focused methodology. Johanne’s passion has always been on working from people’s own deep wisdom and assisting them to realise the potential in themselves and others. She believes in harnessing existing knowledge to achieve negotiated outcomes.

Johanne has a strong and relevant academic background and extensive practical experience working with individuals and teams to achieve their goals.  Her clients include organisations and senior leaders from resource and exploration, primary producers, retail, education and the military.

Dean McDonald


Dean McDonald is CEO and part owner of RTG, a leading ICT consulting and managed services business that specialises in the K-12 education market. Dean has led the team at RTG from being a local Melbourne business with 19 staff to one that now has over 50 clients and 100 staff located throughout Australia and South East Asia.  RTG prides itself on helping educators to understand how to effectively leverage technology to empower learning and student engagement.  RTG is passionate about finding solutions and solving problems for its customers, whilst pushing boundaries that drive results.  Dean leads the team to collaborate, to contribute, and be impeccable with their word.



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