From the Principal

The Changing of the Guard

Many in our community may not be aware that our School is governed by a Council and this group set the policies and priorities of St Columba Anglican School.

According to Governance expert Geoffrey Kiel:

The role of the Council is to:

  • Set the vision of the school
  • Approve overall structure
  • Ensure appropriate accountability
  • Make “big picture” decisions

The role of School Management is to:

  • Implement Council policies
  • Ensure systems work
  • Monitor success
  • Make day-to-day decisions

In May our School’s second Chair of Council will finish his term and step down from leadership of the Council.

Dr Gordon Burch accepted the role of Chair after the Foundation Chair, Rev. Canon Dr John Barrett OAM, stood down.

As a person, Gordon has always shown his passion for education, his family, his faith, science, his avocado plantation and the preservation and protection of the natural environment.

As Chair, Gordon has worked tirelessly for the School, using his seemingly  boundless energy to ensure the delivery of:

  •  the Performing Arts Centre Theatre,
  •  the Sustainability and Education Centre,
  •  the ongoing development of Columba Cottage Early Learning Centre, and
  • the setting up of the St Columba Foundation that will support future students by offering bursaries and scholarships.

He has also been the key player in revising the manner in which the Council operates, bringing a new and more effective approach to the governance of our School.

Gordon and his wife, Margie, have been regular attendees at the wide range of SCAS activities and concerts, as well as providing a St Columba Dance scholarship and travelling to the USA to witness our Chamber Choir perform at Carnegie Hall.

He has done all this while presiding over Council and Council Sub-Committee meetings and volunteering as a Grafton Diocesan Corporate Trustee.

The School Council has invited Gordon to continue his service to the School by serving on a number of key School Council Sub-Committees.

As School Principal, it has been a pleasure and honour to work with someone so dedicated to his faith and its expression through an excellent, holistic education.

Gordon will be replaced as Chair by Mrs Heather Norton, who brings a wealth of educational leadership experience to the role.

Heather has had a long history with the School, having been Deputy Principal and Head of Secondary in the early days of the School. After leaving St Columba, Heather took on the role of Principal at Scots College, Albury, and then Firbank College, Melbourne.

Heather returned to Port Macquarie, and lectures at University of Newcastle as well as through the National Excellence in School Leadership Institute for leaders across Australia and New Zealand. She is also active in the community through Sunrise Rotary.

During 2019 the Deputy Chair of the School Council, Mr Howard Durant, retired from Council due to ill-health. The role of Deputy Chair will now be taken up by Mr Ian Wilbore. Ian has an extensive background in engineering and has been offering the School invaluable support in its campus development as Chair of our School’s Capital Works Sub-Committee.

St Columba is indeed blessed to have people of the calbre of our School Council willing to give of their time, experience, knowledge and passion to the good governance of our School.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

We are in safe hands.

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