Leadership and Governance
Helena College Council decides the longer-term strategic direction for the College, and ensures the school is financially viable, and sustainable over the longer term. The Council is responsible for making the decisions on the major risks that the College faces, and how those risks are managed. The role of the Principal and the Executive Leadership Team is to lead and manage the planning, delivery, evaluation and improvement of the education of our students. The Executive Team is also responsible for upholding our values and engaging with our diverse community. The Principal and the Executive Team works collaboratively with the College Council.
Helena College is fortunate to have experienced, highly skilled teaching and non-teaching professionals at every level who are committed to nurturing and challenging our students throughout their time at Helena College. Our College is lead by our Principal, Peter Coombs, and the Executive team, which includes Justin Pitt (Head of Senior Campus), Greg Miller (Head of Junior School), Dr Maree Baddock (Director of Teaching and Learning - K-12), Craig Hillman (Director of Upper School) and Nicole Sangrigoli (Business Manager).
Peter joined Helena College as Principal in July 2020 following many years of teaching and leading international schools in Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Netherlands and Singapore. Before heading overseas he taught at several schools in Melbourne, the last being Toorak College. Peter holds a Master’s degree in Education Leadership and he is an advocate of an inquiry-based approach to teaching with the aim of making learning purposeful for every student. He has presented at international education conferences on assessment and reporting and also served on independent international school accreditation teams accrediting schools in Asia, Europe and Africa.
Justin has a teaching background in Health, Physical Education and Science, completing both his degree and postgraduate studies at the University of Western Australia. He is a long-serving College staff member, holding several leadership positions, including Acting Principal for a period in 2019 and 2020. As a leader of the Student Services team, Justin believes there is nothing more important than the safety and wellbeing of children and is the lead safeguarding officer at the College. Outside of school, Justin is an active community member coaching athletics, AFL and basketball. He also chairs the Helena Sporting and Cultural Association.
Greg has over 27 years of teaching experience in various educational and leadership roles. Before joining Helena, Greg enjoyed time as Deputy Head at Wesley College, and stood in as Acting Head of Junior School, equipping him with the knowledge and skills required to successfully manage our Darlington Campus. In addition, Greg has played an instrumental role in several school re-registrations, carried out professional learning at colleges in Victoria and represented Helena College when touring schools in Singapore. Greg champions literacy, numeracy, conceptual understandings through inquiry, and positive work habits as the foundation of all learning, recognising that a holistic and collaborative approach to education is the best way to set students up to be successful life-long learners.
With over 30 years of teaching experience, Maree has come most recently from the School Curriculum and Standards Authority (SCSA) where she was a Principal Consultant, developing teaching materials and assessments, and in examination development. Before moving to SCSA, Maree was K-12 Deputy Principal at Methodist Ladies College and has held a number of educational leadership roles in other schools. She has taught in a wide variety of educational settings and has a passion for supporting the improvement of student learning outcomes. Maree holds a number of qualifications including a PhD in Chemistry along with a Masters in Science Education.
Craig holds a Bachelor of Arts Education, a Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership, a Postgraduate Diploma in Business (Marketing) and is currently completing a Master’s degree. He is a pastoral care leader as well as a passionate arts educator. Craig’s contribution to arts education in Western Australia has been in advocacy and curriculum development, with presentations and coordination at national and state conferences. He has also contributed to exam writing, checking, and marking for the School Curriculum and Standards Authority. He spent the first 14 years of his career in state schools, in two big-city high schools, a Wheatbelt district high school, and a Pilbara high school. Over the past 13 years he has worked in management and leadership roles at independent schools in the Perth metropolitan area.
Nicole holds a Bachelor of Business majoring in Accounting and Public Practice and joined Helena College in June of 2021. Nicole started her career working as a public practice accountant in Busselton before joining a large independent school in the states southwest. Since that time, she has served in a several business leadership roles working for independent, systemic and special needs schools in the southwest and Perth metropolitan areas. As the College Business Manager, she takes care of financial and administrative affairs for the College and manages non-teaching staff.
The Helena College Council
The Helena College Council is responsible for strategic oversight and governance of the school both campuses: Darlington (K-5) and Glen Forrest (6-12). Members are appointed for their professional skills, areas of expertise and enthusiasm for independent education.
Council sub-committees have responsibility for advising on Finance and Audit, and Risk, Audit, Compliance and Governance matters, supported by the expertise of members.
Members of the College Council voluntarily give their time and expertise to oversee the management of the College and ensure the school achieves its mission to educate and inspire students to be the best they can be by providing development of the whole child, having high expectations of learning and achievement, and offering creative, engaging and challenging educational experiences.
The Council’s role is to provide good governance and set the strategic directions for Helena College through each Strategic Plan. The Principal is appointed by and accountable to the Council to manage the operations of the College and deliver the Teaching and Learning program. The Principal and staff implement the Strategic Plan within the directions and policies established by Council. Progress on the implementation of the strategic plan and management of strategic risks and whole of school finances is monitored by the Council through regular reports from the Principal and sub-committees.
The Principal and the Business Manager (as Secretary to Council) attend all Council and sub-committee meetings.
- Ty Theodore, Chair of Council
- Andrew Crean, Deputy Chair of Council
- Gareth O’Neill
- Richelle Romasz
- Robyn Smart
- Alex Watt
Submission to Council can be made via please email firstname.lastname@example.org or post submissions Helena College Council at PO Box 52 GLEN FORREST WA 6071.