The Preshil Council

The Corporations Act (‘the Act’) and the Constitution of the Preshil Association (‘the Constitution’), establish that as the Board of the Preshil Association, Council has ultimate responsibility for ensuring the School is well managed and that its operations are successful.

Andrew McMeekin

Member of School Council since 2012
President 2014 - current
Member of Audit & Risk committee (Chair)

I joined Council in 2012 after my son started at Blackhall Kalimna in Year 9. Like my fellow councillors at the time and those I currently serve with, my interest was sparked by a desire to make whatever additional contribution I could to the School. Having had an alternative secondary education and knowing many alumni of Arlington there, I felt a strong connection that was only strengthened after watching the influence Preshil had on my son. I have been privileged to have been on Council during a period of considerable change that has seen us go from strength to strength without ever losing sight of who we are

Claire Justin

Member of School Council since 2018
Vice President 2018 - current
Member of Capital Works Committee
Member of Remuneration and Nominations Committee (Chair)

I joined Council in 2018 after having been a parent at Preshil for seven years. All five of my children attend or have attended Preshil. My eldest was part of the first cohort of students to complete the IB Diploma in 2019, the same year that my youngest began her school life as the first cohort of children to enjoy the newly renovated 5s.

From the time my cousins attended Preshil in the 90s, I have had my eye on the School. As a child attending a conservative, religious, private school,Preshil struck me as an idyllic, liberating environment where children were living the dream. Now, as a parent and board member at the School, my perspective remains the same.

My decision to join the board was driven by a belief that Preshil plays a pivotal role within Victoria’s educational offering which informs my strong desire to see the School flourish with integrity in an uncertain future.

Andrew Apostola

Member of School Council since 2017
Vice President 2018 - current
Member of Audit & Risk committee

Andrew is the co-founder of Portable,a purpose led digital innovation and design company founded in Melbourne. Portable uses design and technology to help organisations transform the way in which they deliver services, particularly in the areas of justice, healthcare, education and government. His specific areas of expertise are in strategy, finance and technology.

He has been a council member of Preshil for the past four years, where he's acted as Secretary as well as Vice President for the past two years. He alsochaired the School's strategy committee in 2018 and 2019. Andrew has a long history in secondary education. In early 2020 he worked with his team on reviewing and providing recommendations for the roll out of digital learning across secondary schools in Papua New Guinea. In 2019 he co-authored a report entitled Design for Education, which outlines how schools should use design practices to improve their systems and the user experience of teachers and students. In 2018 he worked with the NSW Department of Education to help design a future hub across the State for students, parents and teachers. In his early career he worked across Victoria and Tasmania connecting secondary school curriculum to digital media at over 150 schools.

Outside of education, Andrew’s main areas of focus are in justice, government and retail and he works actively in these areas through his various roles. He is the author of a range of publications, including Taking Back Retail (2012), which looks at how brands can move into the digital age; Hacking the Bureaucracy (2016), a guide to government innovation; Redesigning Work (2017), a report into how design can respond to the changing workforce; and Data Driven Design (2017) which outlines thecase for merging design and data analytics into the same discipline. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from RMIT and a Postgraduate Diploma in English Literature from Melbourne University and is currently enrolled at Melbourne University's Senior Executive MBA program.

Justin Baré

Member of School Council since 2017
Treasurer 2020 - current
Member of Audit & Risk Committee
Member of Remuneration & Nominations Committee

I have been a Preshil parent since 2016 and my children are in the 11s at Arlington and Year 9 at Blackhall. We chose Preshil for its commitment to progressive education, and the way in which courage is ingrained in the School’s culture and its approach to students. I joined the School Council in 2017 and I think it is important that the School’s governance is characterised by the same culture of courage that we want to see for our children.

I am employed by the University of Melbourne Student Union as its Chief Executive Officer andhave worked there since 2006. UMSU represents all students at the university as well as providing a range of student support services and student engagement programs.We are a student-led organisation that has a particular focuson student welfare and engagement. Prior to working for UMSU I worked in the higher education sector in roles related to student advocacy and welfare.

Since joining the Preshil School Council I have been a member of the Strategy committee in 2018 and 2019, and I have been the Treasurer since July 2020. I currently sit on the Audit and Risk committee and the Remuneration and Nominations committee.

I have a Bachelor of Arts from Monash University and a Masters of Tertiary Education Management from the University of Melbourne.

Philip Winbanks

Member of School Council since 2007
Member of Audit & Risk Committee

I have been on Council for the last 13 years under three Principals and have witnessed an incredible growth in the ethos of Preshil; main improvements being the implementation of the IB, a strong support from parents and students, the formation and adherence to the Courage document and Strategy Policy, debt reduction and a fabulous group of educators.

I came to Preshil as an independent Chartered Accountant with 47years of practice and experience,including 12 years asTreasurer to a Catholic church and school. My outside interests were as a Probation Officer and life member and president of football, basketball and netball clubs.

I originally came onto Council for 3 years but have found the Preshil community and all that it aspires to hard to leave.

Emma Zipper

Member of School Council since 2018Member of Audit & Risk Committee

I have been a member of Council since my daughter, Ilana, started at Preshil in Year 9. I am a lawyer with a background in corporate law, regulatory (particularly in the health and technology sectors) and governance. Having been a General Counsel and Company Secretary in an international health care group for 15 years, I felt that my experience in the Boardroom could be helpful by bringing my exposure to best practice corporate governance and understanding of risk management in the context of a regulated sector.

I was motivated to join by a desire to make a difference to a school that embraced innovation in education. I was inspired by the ethos and history of the School as a leader in progressive education and the focus of the School on the education and wellbeing of every student, encouraging them to become creative and courageous lifelong learners in a rapidly changing world.

I have really enjoyed this time on Council.

Doug McCurry

Member of School Council since 2015
Principal’s Appointment 2015 - current
Member of Remuneration & Nominations Committee

I am an educational researcher at the Australian Council for Educational Research specialising in testing and assessment. I have always been interested in progressive education. I taught for two years in the late 1970s at ERA, the school formed by Preshil parents because there was then no secondary Preshil.

I taught for three years at Blackhall before being offered a job at ACER in 1988. I was in contact with various Preshil staff, and was aware of development at the School over the next 25 years. I presume I had the honour of being suggested as an educator for Council by my esteemed predecessor, Eva Strasser.

When I resigned from Preshil at the end of 1987 Margaret Lyttle called me at home and said her curse would pursue me down the generations. On the day of my last Preshil staff meeting I was for the first and only time quite incapacitated by a migraine headache. Margaret sent me a parting gift of one of her favourite books and wrote on the inside cover that I would return. I am very happy to do so, even if in a small way, as a member of the School Council.

Cressida Batterham-Wilson

Member of School Council since 2014
Member of Capital Works Committee

I joined the School Council in 2014. I attended Preshil for the entirety of my schooling, and had worked at Arlington after graduation as a teacher's assistant, and again after graduating with a Bachelor of Teaching (Primary).

I returned to Preshil in 2013 after working in dispute resolution and public health. It was a tremendous honour to join the School Council as my father, Mondie, had been Chair for many years, working alongside Mug both while I attended and beyond.

I am a passionate advocate for the Preshil way, my children attend here, and this year I'm Acting Head of the Arlington Campus

Graham Parr

Member of School Council since 2020
Member of Remuneration & Nominations committee

I joined Council in 2020 as a Preshil parent and an educator with four decades’ experience in schools and universities. When systems across the world are forgetting the crucial importance of diversity, creativity, and positive relationships in education, Preshil stands as a beacon of hope.

I look forward to working with my fellow councillors and the rest of the Preshil community in this exciting period of renewal and consolidation.

Belinda Esperson

Member of School Council since 2020
Member of Capital Works Committee (Chair)

In the late 1970s I moved in Year 9 from a local high school to the then newly acquired Blackhall campus. I loved Preshil from day one - the respect for the individual, the beautiful and relaxed school environment and teachers who truly loved teaching. My experience as a student at Preshil has profoundly influenced how I have lived my life since.

My two boys have attended Preshil in their secondary years - Felix successfully completed the IB Diploma last year and Otto is currently in Year 10.

I recently joined the Council to contribute my experience and skills gained in a career in business and design, and my experience and understanding of the unique nature of Preshil, to actively support the continued success of the School into the future.

Fiona Cowell

Member of School Council since 2018

My eldest child started at Preshil in 2016, midway through Year 7. My other two children subsequently moved schools as well, and we were able to enjoy time at Arlington. Currently they are in Years 11, 10 and 7 at Blackhall Kalimna.

I joined the Council in 2018 to try and contribute to the remarkable school that Preshil is. Since then I have been part of the Strategy team and I have been involved as a school ambassador, regularly participating on school tours and at information mornings (pre-COVID), chatting with both prospective and new parents.

I love being part of the Council and come away from the meetings inspired and amazed by the incredible staff and leadership at the School.

When not at school or busy with the family,I work as an obstetrician gynaecologist

The Preshil Association

The Preshil Association is an unlisted public company limited by guarantee whose primary objective is to provide a progressive education for children from pre-school age.
The Association owns and operates Preshil, and its members comprise parents, guardians, teachers, alumni, and friends and neighbours of Preshil.  It holds an Annual General Meeting each April or May.

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