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Our Team

We’re passionate about giving students every opportunity in life.

If you would like to join our team, you can see our current vacancies here.

Rosemary Conn

Rosemary Conn

CEO

Rosemary is the inaugural CEO of Schools Plus, with extensive experience in the business and not-for-profit worlds. She has worked closely with schools, corporations and the community to bring about positive change in previous roles with Beacon Foundation, CAF Australia and Deloitte. 

Under Rosemary’s leadership, Schools Plus has connected with over 25% of disadvantaged schools in Australia through programs, workshops and inquiries; and created major partnerships with foundations and corporates to support innovative programs that generate long-term change in schools and the wider education system.

In addition, Rosemary was the Co-Chair of Philanthropy Australia’s Education Funder Network (2016-2018), shifting the conversation to focus on what works and advocating on behalf of disadvantaged schools. She has made submissions to various forums, including the Review to Achieve Excellence in Australian Schools (Gonski 2.0 Review), and presented at conferences and events to raise awareness of Schools Plus and the needs of disadvantaged schools. She was also featured in the 2019 NSW Inspiring Women showcase.

Sherrill Nixon

Sherrill Nixon

Director of Donor Relations

Sherrill has been with Schools Plus since its earliest days, working with Rosemary to establish the organisation before moving into her role as leader of our donor relations and communications team. She has a background in journalism, having spent 20 years as a reporter and editor at some of Australia’s leading media organisations including Fairfax Media. Still a news junkie, her weekends are often spent reading newspapers on the sidelines of Sydney’s ovals while watching her children play sport.

Maura Manning

Maura Manning

Fair Education Director

Maura joined Schools Plus as the Fair Education Director in October 2018. Her career in education spans system and school leadership roles in the Catholic and Independent sectors. She was in the first cohort of teachers accredited as Highly Accomplished and a recipient of the Deloitte NSW Premier’s Leadership Scholarship. Maura has recently completed a thesis at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) on leadership practices that support cultures of creativity and innovation, which was inspired by Project Zero’s Cultures of Thinking project. Prior to teaching, Maura worked as a journalist and a research analyst at PricewaterhouseCoopers. She looks forward to her next career as a 19th century lighthouse keeper on the coast of Maine.

Arabelle Brewer

Arabelle Brewer

Director of Operations

Arabelle is a hands-on business strategic transformation partner and leader, with over 20 years professional experience in Business Operations, Sales & Marketing, Human Resources and Organization Management, within the commercial and not for profit sectors in Australia, New Zealand and United Kingdom. Arabelle is a member of the Australian Human Resource Institute and in 2017, won APSCO's Managing Director Recognition Award for her work and contributions in the Staffing and Human Resources industry.  Outside of work, Arabelle loves to paint, travel and taste new cuisines.

Beth Gibbins

Beth Gibbins

School Operations Manager

Beth has a wealth of experience in fundraising and events/project management. Before joining Schools Plus, she worked at a cancer support charity managing major events and community fundraising around Australia and has held a range of roles in the corporate sector. Beth is passionate about the not-for-profit sector and education equality. She is also on a mission to find the best scrambled eggs in Sydney, one brunch spot at a time. Beth manages school program operations and works to connect schools, coaches and partners across all our programs.

Bronwyn Burr

Bronwyn Burr

School Development Manager

Bron is passionate about education and the difference it can make in people’s lives. Prior to joining Schools Plus, she worked at the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership, in non-profit, industry and corporate organisations, and as a secondary school teacher both in Australia and overseas. She firmly believes, there is great work happening in Australian schools and enjoys the opportunity her role brings to tap into and share this with others.  Bron enjoys the outdoors and keeping fit, and loves travelling.

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Jeff Bruce

Lead Coach – National (excl. QLD)

Jeff has extensive experience in education in a career that has spanned almost 40 years. He is a former Director with the NSW Department of Education where he had responsibility for 34 schools in The Hills area in the North-Western suburbs of Sydney. Jeff brings significant leadership experience and is also a trained coach who has worked with many school leaders to increase their capacity to engage, motivate and inspire their school communities. Jeff loves to travel and is working his way through a bucket list of must see places to visit.

Julie Molloy 2019

Julie Molloy

Awards Program Manager

Julie has held many leadership roles in the education and youth sectors and the organisation of major events. A former high school teacher, she was selected to represent Australia on Operation Drake, a youth development venture when she sailed across the Pacific on a tall ship, working on projects to benefit remote communities. Inspired to take on challenges that have impact, Julie has organised international legal conferences around the world and major national events including for Australia's Bicentennial celebrations and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for Sydney's Olympics. Her passion for supporting the development of young Australians has led her to be the inaugural Executive Director of the Young Endeavour Youth Scheme, on the Board of Outward Bound Australia, and work with Australian Business and Community Network’s mentoring programs.

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Kristin Gomes

Project Manager – Evaluation

Kristin is our project management guru – over the past decade she has steered many significant programs in the education, health, aged care and international aid sectors for private, government and not-for-profit organisations. Kristin now works across a number of projects in Schools Plus. When she’s not in the office, she’s training for her next triathlon or mountain biking adventure.

Kristine Luszczynski

Kristine Luszczynski

Leader, Education Programs

With a deep commitment to closing the education gap, Kristine spent the first 20 years of her career as a Classroom Teacher, Assistant Principal, Regional Project Officer, Disability Programs Consultant and Learning And Engagement Officer with the NSW Department of Education, with a focus on promoting the educational outcomes of students with additional and complex needs. In 2014, she moved into national program management in the not-for-profit space. Kristine’s career showcases a breadth and depth of both teaching and management experience, and she has recently completed her MBA – graduating in the top 5% of her cohort. On the weekends, she loves nothing more than curling up with a good book.

Kylie Buberis

Kylie Buberis

State Manager – SA/WA

Kylie has an extensive background in fundraising, donor relations and marketing/communications. Having spent over a decade working for the Childhood Cancer Association, she remains incredibly passionate about supporting disadvantaged children. Kylie has spent the last two years at Schools Plus managing Victoria and South Australia and now looks forward to focusing her attention on increasing donor support for schools in South Australia and West Australia. She admits the scariest things she’s ever done is abseil down a waterfall.

Lesley Englert

Lesley Englert

Fair Education Lead Coach – QLD

Lesley has experienced the full range of education positions in Queensland including primary and secondary teacher, literacy advisor, Deputy Principal, Principal, District Director and Assistant Director General (Curriculum). She was an original Board Member of ACARA and the author of several textbooks and the award-winning digital program English Stars.

Melissa Symons

Melissa Symons

Schools Community Fundraising Officer

Melissa is a fundraising professional. Passionate about the sector, she is currently completing a Masters of Not-for-Profit Management at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). Melissa is empowering schools to drive their fundraising efforts outside their school gate to maximise donations. While working for the Royal Flying Doctor Service, she once had the eye-opening opportunity to sit in the co-pilot seat of a patient transfer flight between Broken Hill and Adelaide.

Stacey McCrae

Stacey McCrae

Team Assistant

Stacey has a breadth of experience across different industries ranging from early childhood to tech start-ups. She is the glue that holds our team together – working across all areas of the business including executive support to our CEO, HR and office management. Stacey’s other important role is chief cake baker for the team’s special occasions.

Suzanne Grant

Suzanne Grant

Fair Education Program Manager – QLD

Suzanne brings extensive experience in developing and delivering complex programs and initiatives, most recently in international education with the University of Queensland where she managed a three-year program in leadership and governance to PNG’s emerging and future leaders.  Prior to this role Suzanne had been lecturing in public policy and Australian politics at the University of Queensland.  Before her return to full time study to complete her PhD Suzanne has a rich experience working in the private sector for twenty years, both running her own consulting firm as well as working for organisations such as Deloitte and Telstra. Suzanne is the reigning Mario Cart champion in her family, which many people find intimidating.

Thomas Lopez

Thomas Lopez

State Manager – VIC/TAS

Thomas brings expert communications and relationship management experience to the Schools Plus team, having helped families establish Private Foundations at the Myer Family Company and creating La Trobe Universities' donor communication strategy. Growing up in a teaching family, Thomas is passionate about the life-changing impact an education can make. Thomas enjoys early morning running sessions, even if it means dodging a few kangaroos.

Yvonne Sewankambo

Yvonne Sewankambo

Communications Manager

Yvonne is a passionate public relations professional with a strong track record in developing and executing strategic campaigns across a number of industries, including education, publishing and performing arts. Having lived in four different countries and travelled to even more, she understands and respects the various cultural differences and audience interests when putting a plan together. Outside of work, there’s a 90% chance you’ll find Yvonne at the cinema (or making her apartment feel like one), catching up on the latest movies and adding to the long list of TV shows she already follows.

Support a School

Your generosity will help schools provide the opportunities students need and deserve to fulfil their potential. You can nominate a specific school for your donation or support projects chosen by Schools Plus.

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Why We’re Needed

Research shows that disadvantage is a huge factor in student performance. But we don’t believe a postcode or background should determine a student’s future.

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Join our team

If you are passionate about improving education outcomes for students, we’d love to hear from you.

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