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School board

The key functions of the St Columba’s Board are to provide advice on education matters relating to whole of parish including the school.

The purposes of the Board are to:

  • act as an advisory body to the parish priest and principal, on matters concerning education in the parish
  • act as a forum for discussion on matters concerning education in the parish primary school
  • provide a link between the parish priest, principal, teachers and parishioners in relation to the provision of Catholic education in the parish community
  • promote community development by fostering a strong interrelationship between parish and the parish primary school, Catholic secondary colleges and pre-schools.

Responsibilities include:

  • promote the Catholic ethos of the school and to support the Religious Education programs
  • provide advice on the development and review of school policies
  • plan for the future of the parish primary school and its ability to accommodate future enrolments
  • provide advice on budget planning and finance-related matters
  • contribute to the selection process for the school principal
  • ensure the appropriate provision of faith development and RE programs for children attending Government schools
  • foster adult education in faith.

Board Members

Father John Petrulis
As Parish Priest serving the communities of Sacred Heart St Kilda and St Columba Elwood for the last ten years. Our school community is a special focus of my ministry. I strive to work collaboratively with our Parish Team to support our principal, staff, children and their families.  Fostering a living relationship to our wider Parish community which includes the wonderful ongoing education of service to those in most need with our Sacred Heart Mission is also another call of my heart with you.

Daniella Maddalena
Daniella became the principal of St Columba’s at the beginning of 2015. She was previously the vice principal of St Joan of Arc.

Bern Bradley
Bern is the Deputy Principal of St Columba’s and leads the St Columba’s Student Wellbeing Services.

Mardi Gorman (Secretary)
Mardi is an education consultant and currently works in schools and networks of schools providing advice and support for schools in the area of literacy. She has two daughters at St Columba’s, Mia and Ally. Mardi is looking forward to working alongside the leadership team and parent to ensure that all students are provided with a high quality, well rounded education.

Michael Ilott
Michael has two children at St Columba’s, Clare and Eloise. Michael currently holds the position of Deputy Principal at CBC St Kilda. Michael has extensive experience in Catholic education and prior to moving to Melbourne was the Director of Pastoral Care and Wellbeing at St Patrick’s College, Strathfield (Sydney). He has previously held senior leadership positions as a Human Resources Manager within the finance and commodities sector.

Simon Lewin
Simon has three children at St Columba’s, Joshua, Olivia and Maya. Simon is a Property Development Manager and a senior member of a boutique developer company and has vast experience in the construction industry including working on numerous education construction projects. With this experience Simon will add value and guidance to the implementation of the construction program planned for the coming years and is looking forward to working with the board to continue the growth and success of St Columba’s.

Rebecca (Becky) Matthews
Rebecca is a full time program coordinator so spends her days organising and coordinating the many moving parts of a large organisation digital transformation including people, resources, finances, reports, stakeholder management etc. She currently has two sons at St Columba’s, Maddock and Felix. Rebecca brings to the board fresh eyes, ideas and enthusiasm to get things done. She is passionate about harnessing the power of our small community to work together to achieve great things at St Columba’s.

Melissa Prime
Melissa is a successful business owner and active member of the local community.  Melissa is the mother of Dexter and Archie and is focused on developing ideas and strategies for engaging and retaining older students at St Columba’s.

Deb Cadzow
Mother to Olea and Simpson. Small business owner, lover of family and holidays. Who feels strongly about justice, work and community. Who needs a holiday, to work harder and give more. Who fears fear and is anxious… very anxious. Who gives help, money and whatever I can. Who is known as a tiger mum and who my kids fear and who fears her kids.

Joanne Kennedy
I am a mum of 2 precious kids (Paras and Levi). I enjoy nothing better than going for a walk with my family, grabbing a coffee and heading to the local park. I am so glad having chosen St Columba’s as the primary school for my kids, because it feels so safe, like an extension of our family.

Christine Mitchell
I have worked in the Parish for twelve years, ten as Catechist to children in schools in the wider Parish, a role in which I continue. I am also responsible for adults who wish to become Catholic and choir co-ordinator across two choirs. Two years ago, my role was increased and my title changed to pastoral worker, which took me into the hostel to work with the residents. After completing my Masters in Theological Studies at the end of last year, and achieving accreditation as a pastoral associate, I moved into this role, with the retirement of Maria George. My duties continue as of the last twelve years but now there is more to do!

My bachelor degree is in psychology, previously I worked as a community development worker with long-term unemployed people, youth, people in housing crisis and a few other places. I worked for a while as a legal journalist and then I began a publishing house in the 1990s, predominantly working in non-fiction titles, with an emphasis on cathartic writing. I am married with two children, who are both in the creative arts.

Jeremy Smith (Chairman)
Jeremy is a partner at Gadens, where he has practised corporate and tax law for over 18 years. Jeremy has particular experience advising charitable and educational institutions on governance and legal issues. Jeremy is father of Ned and Pippa and is committed to the ongoing success of St Columba’s as the little school with a big heart.

2018 Board Meeting Dates
February Tuesday 13th
March Friday 13th
April No Board Meetings
May Tuesday 1st
June Tuesday 5th
July Tuesday 31st
August Tuesday 28th
September No Board Meetings
October Tuesday 16th
November Tuesday 27th (AGM)

If you would like to learn more about the board, or are interested in joining the board, please contact Daniella Maddalena.
Board Nomination Form