Board Members’ Biographies

Name: Mike Bracher
Membership Category: Community Member and Board Chair
Experience: Project and Operational Management
Board Tenure: 5th year
Connection with School: Children were/are students

Summary
As a Board member for four years, I am passionate about seeing the great work the school has done in an ever-changing environment. I have three children, my daughter graduated in 2019, and I have a son in Year 12 and a son in Year 10. Originating from the United Kingdom, we have been here for 10 years and now call Perth our home.

With more than 20 years in IT, I have experience running projects and services within the government and private sector.


Name: Damien Ewington
Membership Category: Parent Member and Secretary
Experience: Geologist
Board Tenure: 3rd year
Connection with School: Two children (graduated in 2020 and Year 11)

Summary
While working as a mining industry professional for 24 years, my wife and I have voluntarily contributed to our children’s schools here in Perth and internationally.

After several years in the AXSHS community, I am acutely aware of our school’s high quality and broad-based education. I am very proud to be a parent representative on the Board, reviewing the strategies that provide best-in-class education for all of our students.


Name: Paul Currie
Membership Category: Executive Officer
Experience: 8 years on two different School Boards
Board Tenure: Continuous
Connection with School: Associate Principal Years 7-8

Summary
I have been an educational leader for over 25 years. I have worked in eight schools in various positions, including teaching Design and Technology, Head Of Department and Associate Principal. My strengths include strategic planning, school improvement and the quality assurance process. As the Executive Officer, I furbish the Board with information and fulfil project tasks as required.


Name: Melissa Clarke
Membership Category: Community Member
Experience: Business Systems and Process Improvement
Board Tenure: 1st year
Connection with School: Children are/will be students

Summary
I have joined the Board as a Community Member and new parent, with my son in Year 7 and a daughter coming across in 2023. So volunteering for the School Board is a way to “give back” to a school that will be a part of my family for potentially the next eight years of our lives.

I previously served and continue to serve on other primary school boards, giving me a strong insight into the many aspects of governance and the Board’s role.

With my business systems and processes background, I hope to assist and help the school and its community of hard-working staff facilitate positive change and celebrations and offer a new perspective as an upcoming family within the school.


Name: Geoff Cooper
Membership Category: Parent Member
Experience:
Board Tenure: 1st year
Connection with School: Children are students

Summary
As a Parent Representative, I’ll utilise 20+ years of experience in private businesses, government, consultancy and not-for-profits – having worked for the Master Builders Association, Property Council, and SGIO. In addition, I have an honours degree in Law and degrees in Economics and Communications.

This experience has included work in employee relations, OSH, budgeting, sponsorships, recycling, workers compensation, scenario planning, taxation, and building regulation.

Since 2018, I’ve been the Chair of the Ardross Primary School Board, and I previously contributed ten years as a volunteer on the Blue Gum Early Learning and Day Care Centre Management Committee.


Name: Andrew Dwyer
Membership Category: Community Member
Experience: Strategy, Finance and Transformation
Board Tenure: 1st year
Connection with School: One son at the School – Year 12

Summary
I bring skills in strategy, change and finance, developed from executive and management consulting roles. Since joining the school community, our son and family have had only positive experiences with the School. I seek to ensure all families and students have similar experiences and how digital and technology can practically, efficiently and effectively enable service and learning in a rapidly changing world.


Name: Susan Edgar
Membership Category: Community Member
Experience: Tertiary Education and Mental Health
Board Tenure: 4th year
Connection with School: Three children at the School

Summary
With over 20 years of experience in the tertiary education sector in academic and professional roles, I have a strong interest in supporting students in the transition from high school to further study or workplace learning. Currently working in mental health strategy, I am also passionate about creating supportive learning environments that promote positive mental health and wellbeing. A strong local community should support this, and I have enjoyed being involved with and supporting a variety of local sporting clubs over the last 5 -10 years.


Name: Amanda Gargett
Membership Category: Parent Member
Experience:
Board Tenure: 3rd year
Connection with School: Parent

Summary
I am the parent of a current Year 9 student and in 2019 joined the School Board and the School P&C; the latter of which I held the position of  2020 Vice President.  I have experience locally, nationally, and internationally across the Hospitality, Commercial Finance, and Building/Construction industries, including roles at General Electric, Commonwealth Bank and currently at Zeel Kitchens as Lead Commercial Joinery Estimator.  Community involvement is important to me, and I have contributed to many initiatives in various capacities.  I enjoy assisting the AxSHS Board to build on the school’s impressive reputation.


Name: Lorraine Hammond AM
Membership Category: Community Member
Experience: Academic and Researcher
Board Tenure: 2nd year
Connection with School: One children at the School – Year 8

Summary
As an Associate Professor in the School of Education at Edith Cowan University, I have a long history of researching and working with schools and teachers on effective teaching, particularly in the area of literacy. I have been a member of  Independent Public Schools Boards for over ten years and am also a former Secondary Teacher.


Name: Lee Jarvinen
Membership Category: Staff Representative
Experience:
Board Tenure: 1st year
Connection with School: Program Coordinator Year 7-8

Summary
I have been a staff member at Applecross Senior High School since 2006, working within the Health and Physical Education Learning Area as the Specialist Tennis Program Coordinator from 2006-2019, and in Student Services as the Year 7-8 Program Coordinator from 2019. I am passionate about working with staff, students and families to create a safe and respectful learning environment, providing a platform for every student to achieve their potential. I look forward to working with and contributing to the highly functional Applecross Senior High School Board.


Name: Melinda Kennington BA, BEd, MEd
Membership Category: Staff Representative
Experience: Education, Vocational Education and Training
Board Tenure: 2nd year
Connection with School: Vocational Education and Training Manager. First Teaching Prac in 1992

Summary
It is a great privilege to be the VET Manager at Applecross Senior High School. I am very passionate about my work, where I have the opportunity to support students in accessing their career aspirations and goals through a VET pathway while still at school. I have four daughters and a step-son, with four older children who had already completed a Degree at University or currently at university. Two gained direct entry through completion of a VET pathway in Senior School. VET represents a legitimate pathway in our system, and I am always very proud to acknowledge the successes of many of our VET students. I enjoy working with other Board Members to share our views and experiences to contribute to the school’s Business Plan.


Name: Harrison Edgar
Membership Category: Student Representative
Experience: 5 plus years of student council experience
Board Tenure: 1st year (until the end of the school year)
Connection with School: Head Boy/Current student

Summary
As the Head Boy for Applecross in 2021, I strive to ensure that the student’s voice is heard. I am proud to represent the student populous, and I hope to improve our already amazing school.


Name: Evelyn Ong
Membership Category: Student Representative
Experience: 5th year as student
Board Tenure: 1st year (until the end of the school year)
Connection with School: Head Girl/Current student

Summary
As the current Head Girl for Applecross, I am passionate in fulfilling my duties; to provide as much support as I can to my peers where needed and contributing where I can to the School Board. I intend to put forward new, advantageous tasks that would benefit our school in every aspect.