Board

Angus James

Chairman

Angus brings more than 30 years of corporate finance experience and a background on boards in the business, arts and education sector to his role as Chairman of Schools Plus.

A former Chief Executive of ABN AMRO Australia and New Zealand, he is now the Principal Partner at independent corporate advisory business Aquasia. He is also a past Deputy Chairman of the Australian Chamber Orchestra, and a non-Executive Director of the Business Council of Australia, the Australian Financial Markets Association and the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority.

Belinda Wall

BA, Dip Ed, University of Wollongong | MA, Macquarie University

Professional Certificate Instructional Leadership, University of Melbourne

Belinda has broad and extensive experience within the public education system and is currently Director, Educational Leadership for the Wollondilly Principals Network. Belinda was the Principal of Woonona High School in Wollongong; has been the Deputy Principal of three high schools; and held the executive positions of District Guidance Officer (Senior Psychologist) and Relieving Student Welfare Consultant.

Belinda was elected by her peers to the position of President, Secondary Principal Council, Illawarra South East Region in 2013. In 2017, she was seconded by the Department of Education to the position of Principal School Leadership, collaboratively mentoring and coaching principals with a focus on continuous school improvement and building leadership capacity.

Belinda has forged significant learning partnerships between schools and tertiary settings and collaborated with the University of Wollongong in broadening the scope of a Quality Teaching and Mentoring Program for pre-service teachers and their supervising professional experience mentors.

In 2017, Belinda was one of 12 inaugural recipients of the Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards.

Catherine Brenner

Catherine has been in the business community for more than 25 years as a senior investment banker and as a non-executive director and chair in the education, arts, health, community, manufacturing, fast moving consumer goods, financial services, property and building materials sectors. She is the proud daughter, granddaughter and sister of school teachers.

Catherine holds an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management (UNSW) and a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Economics from Macquarie University.

Kim Williams AM

Kim has had a long involvement in the arts, entertainment and media industries in Australia and overseas. He has held various executive leadership positions since the late 1970s, including as chief executive at News Corp Australia, FOXTEL, Fox Studios Australia, the Australian Film Commission, Southern Star Entertainment and Musica Viva Australia and also as a senior executive at the ABC.

Kim has also held numerous board positions, including as chairman of the Australian Film Finance Corporation (which he founded in 1998) and the Sydney Opera House Trust.

He was appointed a Member in the Order of Australia for his services to the arts and public policy formulation in the film and television industries. Kim is a current board member of numerous commercial bodies and foundations and serves as a commissioner of the Australian Football League. He is also the chairman of the Thomson Reuters Founders Share Company – the Trustee of the Reuters Trust Principles which require independence, integrity and freedom from bias in all Reuters News reportage.

Michael Devine

Since 2019, Michael has been Director of the Frankston North Education Plan and a Senior Education Improvement Leader in the South East Victoria Region of the Department of Education and Training (DET). Prior to this, he was Principal of Western Port Secondary College in Hastings Victoria.

Throughout his extensive career, a key focus for Michael has been addressing the impact of education in low socio-economic and disadvantaged communities, through individually tailored and whole-school cohort programs. He has also had an unrelenting focus on whole-school improvement and cultural change, to achieve positive results in academic, social and emotional outcomes. In his current role, Michael is director of a project that brings together DET, Frankston City Council and the Colman Foundation (Our Place) to transform the Frankston North community and deliver improved educational, health and wellbeing outcomes, with a vision for the project that ‘every child and family is successful in learning and life’.

Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree, a Diploma of Education and Masters in Education from Monash University, and a Certificate in Educational Leadership from Harvard University. He is also an inaugural Commonwealth Bank Teaching Award recipient.

Peter Jackson

Peter was CEO of Melbourne Football Club from 2013 to 2018.  Prior to his time with Melbourne FC, Peter held various positions in the AFL industry including CEO and/or Managing Director of Essendon Football Club from 1996 -2009. Following his retirement from Essendon, Peter was appointed Chairman of AFL Victoria as well as Chairman of AFL SportsReady. He relinquished these roles after joining Melbourne Football Club.

Peter has also operated as a consultant providing strategic advice, mentoring and leadership development for companies as well as to some other AFL clubs.

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), facilitating conversations focused 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. Rosemary was named as one of the Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence in 2019, and was also featured in the 2019 NSW Inspiring Women showcase.

Lisa Paul AO PSM

FAICD, FIPAA, FANZSOG, FACEL, FAIM

Lisa was Secretary of the federal Department of Education (2004-2016). In 2020 she has been Coordinator of BizRebuild, a Business Council of Australia initiative to help communities affected by the 2019-20 bushfires recover. She also holds positions on many boards including chairing headspace, the National Youth Mental Health Foundation, chairing the Audit Committee of the Australian Academy of Science and sitting on the Future Battery Industry Cooperative Research Centre board and the government’s Naval Shipbuilding Advisory Board. 

Ebru Davidson

Company Secretary

Ebru is a corporate lawyer and partner at the national law firm, Thomson Geer. Ebru has extensive experience in private and public mergers and acquisitions, equity capital markets and securities law. Ebru is an accredited Chartered Secretary and a member of the Governance Institute of Australia.


Our Leadership Team

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

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 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.

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.

Karen Robertson

Director of Fair Education

Karen joins School Plus with extensive experience in education and a variety of key strategic roles. As a passionate advocate for the power of education to enrich lives, Karen moved from classroom teaching to leadership positions and has held roles as Principal, Head of Inclusive Education, Consultant, as a Director of Programs and CEO with a number of Not for Profit organisations. She has a passion for increasing opportunities and awareness for students not reaching their potential and has worked extensively on initiatives to support disadvantaged students, helping to bridge the gap. Karen’s unparalleled grasp of current educational realities is equally matched by her big picture thinking, and practical solutions to navigate change. When not at work you will find her enjoying time with family and with her four-legged friends.

Claire Jenkins

Director of Marketing and Communications

Claire has over 20 years of marketing and leadership experience across a wide range of industries, including retail, recruitment, aged care, real estate and tourism. She moved from the UK to Australia in 2014 to take up a role as Sales and Marketing Director for Merlin Entertainments and joined Schools Plus in March 2020 to fulfil a lifetime ambition to help support disadvantaged children. As the mother of 2 young children, Claire’s travelling days have been curtailed temporarily, but she loves to explore the beautiful surrounds of Sydney, with particular emphasis on the vineyards.