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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.

Michael Ilott
Michael has two children at St Columba’s, Clare and Eloise. Michael currently holds the position of Director of Senior Campus at Xavier College having also been the 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 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.

Seamus Power
Seamus’ son Botao is a student at St Columba’s.  He is an experienced business leader having led a number of companies as CEO and Managing Director. Seamus has a Masters in Business Administration, is a qualified Engineer and is passionate about Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education and its importance to Australia’s future prosperity. He is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is looking forward to contributing with the board, teaching staff and parish community to continue the positive path that St Columba’s is on.

Nick Mitchell
Nick is the Managing Director of an asset management company, leading the business in its sales and marketing with his goal being to help everyday Australians meet their financial goals. Nick has 23 years industry experience across asset management, financial technology and advice. He also maintains a strong connection to theatrical arts both personally and professionally. With two daughters at St Columba’s – Bette and Rosie – Nick remains committed to the ongoing success and growth of the little school with a big heart.

Leanne Barnes
Leanne holds a degree in Fine Art and post graduate qualifications in Public Policy and Project Management.  She is driven by making a difference and delivering outcomes, and is experienced in economic, industry, research and business development. Always working to find innovative and creative solutions to complex problems or to streamline processes, she is looking forward to contributing to the Board and the development of St Columba’s Primary School.  Leanne is currently Senior Advisor to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research and Enterprise at Swinburne University of Technology where she is heavily engaged in projects and strategies relating to the emergence of the fourth industrial revolution.  She is interested in the latest developments in work and skill development, and best practice in preparing students for their work future, in a world experiencing rapid change brought about by the impact of digitalisation and advanced technologies.

Susan Nicholson
Susan has two children at St Columba’s, Clancy and Ella.  She has extensive experience across financial services and retail industries with well known brands like Australia Post, Wesfarmers, WEX and GE.  A seasoned marketing and product leader, Susan enjoys creating better customer and business solutions through both process efficiency and innovation particularly in relation to new technology. Susan is an advocate for diversity and has been involved in Women in Payments for many years serving on both the board and awards Committee.  Susan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and a Masters in Marketing. A school that gives a child the confidence to feel they can be their best is a story Susan is keen to play a role in.

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.
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 and achieving accreditation as a pastoral associate, I moved into this role after 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, and 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.

Saskia Koffijberg
In May 2019 we moved from Holland to Melbourne. Back home I was a funeral director for relatively young people with more personal wishes regarding their funeral. Coming here, I wanted to focus on our two children first before I would start working again. We chose this school because it is small, the student-teacher ratio is very good and even though I am not religious, I do see the added value of learning – from a Christian point of view – to care about others and nature. Our eldest girl (Winter) is currently in 1/2 and she loves it. Her English went from zero to 10 in a matter of months. As Chair of the PFA I look forward to creating some fun and memorable events.

2020 Board Meeting Dates
February Tuesday 11th
March Tuesday 17th
April Tuesday 28th
May No Board meeting
June Tuesday 9th
July No Board meeting
August Tuesday 11th
September Tuesday 8th
October Tuesday 20th
November No Board meeting
December Tuesday 1st (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