Council of Governors
Walford, like most other independent schools, has a Council of Governors which is responsible for the governance of the School.
The Council appoints the Principal who is responsible for the management of the School. The Council, working closely with the Principal and her executive team, determines the nature and values of the School, and future developments. It is responsible for determining the annual budget and monitoring external changes that may have an impact on the School.
The Council meets monthly during the school year to review the life of the School, review performance against Budget, monitor progress against annual targets, receive information and determine actions.
During the year School staff present to Council information on specific educational topics. The Council regularly reviews the strategic plan in relation to future plans for the School, national and international trends in education and school governance, economic and social issues and government policy.
The members of the Council of Governors are:
- The Most Rev’d Geoffrey Smith (President)
- Mrs Pamela Martin PSM (Chair)
- Mr Jamie McKeough (Deputy Chair)
- Mr Peter Hastings
- Mrs Jane Brooks
- Mr Richard Dennis PSM
- Mr Tom Hester
- Mrs Patsy Murray
- Ms Kathryn Presser
- Mrs Margaret Taylor
- A/Prof Elizabeth Thompson
- The Rev'd Canon Jenny Wilson
- Ms Rebecca Clarke (Principal)
- Ms Wendy McFarlane (Secretary/Business Director)
- Mr Ian Gore (Minute Secretary/Accountant)
Senior Executive Team
It is critical that Walford empowers girls and young women to understand that gender should never obstruct an outcome they choose. My secondary education, undertaken by scholarship, enabled me to experience first hand the opportunities that an all girls’ school can provide.
There is no greater privilege than leading a school where learning is the priority. Each day at Walford provides an opportunity to engage with students who are willing to give anything a go, and who value the reward that comes from striving to achieve one’s best.
During my almost twenty years in education, I have enjoyed working collaboratively with teachers helping them grow their capacity to support young learners thrive. My work with teachers in international contexts through the International Baccalaureate Organisation and my post graduate studies in leadership and business administration have provided rich opportunities for learning which for all of us in schools, must be ongoing.
Beyond Walford, I love being a mother and step-mother to four children, who ensure that the fun and joy that fills each day continues well after the bell rings.
Rebecca presently serves as a member of the Association of Independent Schools of South Australia (AISSA) board. She is also a member of the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA) Board, the Anglican Schools of Australia (ASA) Board and she is a member of the SACE Board’s Principal’s Partnership Strategy group.
It is a joy to be entrusted with, and be a part of, one of a child’s most important life journeys – education. I love engaging with young people to guide and facilitate their individual growth and help them to achieve their personal best.
I’m committed and passionate about girls' education and, through my daughter, who was educated at Walford, have seen first hand the benefits that this provides. The world has much to offer young women whose education has enabled them to develop confidence and realise the value of giving everything a go, working hard and striving to achieve personal best.
My position is one that enables me to work with, engage and get to know all members of our community. Being in a small school helps facilitate this, every girl knows that she is an important part of our 'family' – it is a pleasure to work in an environment that is so warm and caring.
My focus as an educational leader is on developing students as learners and as individuals, whilst enhancing teacher excellence. It is a privilege to work alongside our Principal, Rebecca Clarke, and the Walford staff in a school where learning is the priority and where each member of the community is encouraged to achieve their best and actively participate in the diverse school life that Walford presents.
Over a 30 year career, I have actively continued my learning and beyond school enjoy a busy family life filled with sport, music and fun!
Head of Senior School
At Walford we aim to foster the learning and development of each girl in ways that honor her individual strengths and needs.
It is a tremendous privilege to lead in a school where the learning of girls in both academic and co-curricular contexts is placed at the forefront of everything we do. I believe that our Senior girls ought to have entry into the disciplines that reflect their strengths and best promote their growth, to be supported in striving for academic excellence and to develop a strong sense of self efficacy through community engagement, service and leadership. We aim to augment the growth of our girls toward autonomy by providing them with opportunities to reflect upon and evaluate their own progress and develop the broad capabilities needed to thrive in an ever changing and complex world.
Through dedicated service to girl’s education and completion of a Master of Education (Educational Management) through the University of Melbourne, I have an enduring commitment to ongoing learning and value seeking evidence as a means to inform and enrich my practices.
Head of Middle School*
I am a firm believer in the benefits of single-sex education, and in my role at Walford I have the opportunity to make a difference to the education of girls through high quality pedagogical practices. My previous role as the Coordinator of the Primary Years Programme of the International Baccalaureate has given me a thorough understanding of how the IB applies to, and enhances, the girls' education at each stage of their schooling at Walford.
My own love of learning led me to recently complete my Masters in Education (Leadership and Management).
*Jessica is presently on maternity leave.
Head of Junior School
I am a passionate educator with more than 20 years teaching experience both in Australia and England. I see the International Baccalaureate offered at Walford as a fantastic framework that enables educators to lead student learning towards purposeful outcomes, and to focus on the development and celebration of the whole child. I also love the way that Walford is able to focus specifically and unapologetically on the unique developmental needs of girls, in all areas.
I have been lucky enough during my career to teach children from the Early Years through to Year 6. I have also worked in a Specialist capacity developing the talents of students through enrichment programs. Outside of school, in addition to my work as a team leader in the State Emergency Services, I was a volunteer counsellor for Parent Helpline for some time and it was here that I developed, through formal study and experience, the skills for supporting and guiding families through a whole range of life’s challenges. These skills also underpin my ability to be able to support students as they navigate the changing social landscape they experience throughout their schooling, while they build their resilience and self-confidence.
I have two wonderful children who enjoy many pursuits including tennis, football, chess, violin and guitar. When I am not working I love to spend time with my family and continue with the renovation of our old home.
Director of Learning and Teaching
Students should leave school with the ability to recognise their strengths, tackle challenges with confidence and make a positive difference to the world around them. This ability comes from the challenges and opportunities that the school provides. We need to help them to learn and experience success so that they can make informed decisions about their future. The skills and attitudes that our students learn and practise at school are what they will use later in life, no matter what they choose to do after school. It is through providing a range of stimulating activities and helping students connect what they have learnt to other areas of their lives that we provide a meaningful learning experience. The subjects that our girls study develop their knowledge, understanding and specific skills. Importantly for their future, the subjects also provide a context through which their positive approach to collaborating and solving problems is fostered. The teaching expertise at Walford and the openness to explore how we can continue to improve the learning of our students give me confidence that Walford will continue to provide an outstanding foundation for our girls’ ongoing development.
My thirty years as a teacher have been spent in a range of metropolitan and country schools, mostly in South Australia, but including short stints in Canberra and the UK. I have taught students from years 3 to 12 and, in the senior years, both the IB Diploma Programme and the SACE. During the last twenty years, I have held a variety of school leadership roles in middle and senior schools; some that have focussed on Learning and Teaching and some that have focussed on Science. In addition to my school experience, I have contributed to curriculum development in the SACE and Australian Curriculum as well as assessment for the SACE Board. I appreciate the benefits of keeping my knowledge up-to-date and I am currently half-way through my Master of Education in Educational Leadership.
Outside work, I am kept busy by our two adult children, our middle school-aged daughter and our menagerie of pets.
Prior to joining Walford in 2000 my professional experience was predominantly in the finance area of large corporations and in public practice as a CPA until I took up a position with an all boys school in Adelaide and entered the education sector. This fortunate occurrence revealed a wonderful opportunity to support the education of young people through the application of my professional qualifications and experience and it changed the course of my career.
My role as Business Director covers a diverse range of responsibilities from finance and accounting, regulatory compliance, administration and asset management to grounds, buildings and maintenance, catering, cleaning and security. I also perform the secretarial function for the Walford Council of Governors. My role is professionally challenging, personally rewarding and never dull or routine. One day is rarely the same as the next.
As a mother I support single gender independent education and my son (PAC 2012) and daughter (Walford 2006) have both enjoyed its benefits. My role at Walford is one that supports the teaching and learning of students through the provision of appropriate facilities and a sustainable financial future. It is a privilege to apply my professional skills in such a dynamic environment and to actively promote the Walford motto of 'With Courage and Truth' in the conduct of the business affairs of the School.