Council and Leadership Team
Meet our dedicated leadership group
Perth College is led by a Principal, Vice Principal, Director of Junior School, Director of Wellbeing, Director of Learning and Teaching, Director of Innovation, Director of Finance and Commercial Services and Director of Marketing and Community Relations.
The Leadership Team
Our Leadership Team provides vital support in daily operations and strategic direction for staff and student wellbeing, innovation and learning and teaching. Its members include:
Helen Aguiar, Principal
Our Principal, Helen Aguiar, joined Perth College in 2019 with a passion for educating young people and a desire to equip girls for life in the global world beyond school. Helen believes in being authentic and proud of one’s story. She encourages students to be brave, dream big, push themselves forward, step outside their comfort zone, reflect and bounce back from failures. Helen has a background in teaching and senior leadership positions in Anglican and Catholic schools in Western Australia and holds a Bachelor of Education (Secondary Teaching), having specialised in English and Humanities. She also has a Master of Education in Leadership and Management and a Master of Religious Education (specialising in pastoral care).
Clare Johansen, Vice Principal
Clare has a passion for girls’ education and extensive operational and policy development experience in large schools. She has held a number of educational leadership positions in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates. She holds a Master's in Educational Leadership from UWA and the Certificate of School Management and Leadership at Harvard Graduate School of Education. In early 2022, she was awarded the Aware Super Michael Dwyer Scholarship for Emerging Leaders. She joined Perth College at the start of Term Three, 2022. As Vice Principal, Clare provides high-level support for the Principal, works with the leadership team to drive the strategic vision for the school and has oversight of the campus, from Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12 with day-to-day responsibility for running the Senior Campus. She acts for the Principal in her absence.
Katie Petchell, Director of Junior School
Katie joined Perth College in 2018 and has held a number of teaching and leadership positions nationally and internationally, with 16 years of her career spent in independent girls’ schools. She is a future focused and motivated leader, who is committed to supporting holistic opportunities for young people, which foster the development of skills for active global citizenship. She advocates for contemporary approaches to education, anchored by the need to ensure that curriculum and pedagogy is demonstrative of 21st century requirements. A commitment to wellbeing as a platform for overall academic success underpins her approach to strategic decision making and she honours the knowledge families can bring in making shared decisions about their child’s growth and development.
Gary Racey, Director of Learning and Teaching
Gary has held numerous senior leadership positions in a variety of education sectors and has a Master of Educational Leadership. He has a passion for 21st Century learning and pedagogy that engages young people and prepares them to be global citizens. He seeks to influence the world of education to change, mould and transform students’ lives for the better, through a technology-driven approach coupled with self-directed learning and a pastoral philosophy. He is passionate about preparing children to be resilient, responsive to an everchanging world, and to develop values that will enable and encourage them to serve the wider community. These goals and aspirations revolve around creating an environment that leads education; a contemporary approach to thinking, teaching and learning that embodies a culture of innovation.
Lucy Sabatini, Director of Wellbeing (Year 7 to 12)
Lucy is responsible for enhancing all aspects of student wellbeing and ensuring that this underpins the School's Vision, Purpose and Values. With extensive experience in the fields of Pastoral Care and Learning and Teaching, Lucy relishes opportunities to support and empower young people by engendering an authentic approach in the wellbeing field. As well as leading and improving Perth College’s flagship InsideOut program, Lucy also oversees supporting First Nations students, and supports the Heads of Year, Chaplain, Health Centre and Psychologist/Counsellors in their roles. Lucy holds a Master of Education (Leadership), a Bachelor of Education (Human Biology and Economics) and a Graduate Certificate in Education (Leadership and Management). Lucy believes that wellbeing must be placed at the heart of education; she is driven to support every young person to flourish, thrive and achieve.
Andrea Holloway, Director of Innovation
Andrea joined Perth College in 2020 with a mission to provide an education that will make a difference to every student. The thirteen years during which we have the care of our students are vital in establishing the foundation on which they will build their capacity to learn and the mindset that they will take into the world. Andrea is passionate about working in education, particularly now, when we have every opportunity to shape a different way of doing things. Where educators can create an environment where each and every student sparks passions, grows skills and attributes, learns how to build meaningful relationships and contributes to the world. From this vision, Perth College's sparc initiative was created.
Sharon Caspersz, Director of Finance
Sharon is a qualified Certified Practicing Accountant with over 15 years of financial leadership experience in the independent education and not-for-profit sectors. This has built a solid foundation in executive, strategic and operational governance, as well as further enhancing her capability in leading change in the workplace, achieving cost efficiencies and capability improvements by mentoring and role modelling a growth mindset in others. Sharon’s passion for leading multi-functional teams and building positive professional relationships to deliver continual improvement of business management systems and functions, will allow the School to deliver informed strategic decision making into the future. As Director of Finance, Sharon has overall responsibility for strategic leadership of the Financial, Commercial, Risk, Compliance and Property Management business services functions at the School. This role also sits on School Council.
Adam Selwood, Director of Marketing and Community Relations - Acting
Adam brings a wealth of community engagement, leadership and tertiary experience to this position. In addition to completing a Bachelor of Commerce degree at Curtin University, Adam has served in various leadership positions throughout his career including Manager of Game Development and Head of Female Football at the West Coast Eagles, all of which had a strong focus on strategy, marketing and team culture. Adam has a strong passion for leadership development, consulting for several large organisations including, BHP and Byrnecut. Joining Perth College in 2021 as, Adam utilised his expertise to design and implement the Sports Development and Performance Program.As Head of Sports Development and Performance, Adam has effectively collaborated with various community stakeholders, showcasing his ability to cultivate successful and mutually beneficial partnerships and implement unique initiatives for the long-term benefit of the School.
The School Council
In support of the Principal and Executive Team, the School Council provides strategic direction for the future of Perth College, and prides itself on being functional, cohesive and passionate about advancing Perth College as a leading school for girls.
Vikki De Alwis, Chair
Vikki is a Leader in the Health, Safety and Environment function at Chevron Australia. Prior to this, she held leadership and specialist positions in information technology in Perth and London. She holds a Master’s in Business Administration with Distinction, a Bachelor of Commerce, and a Masters in Occupational Health and Safety. Vikki is an Old Girl of Perth College and served as the Student Representative Council President in her final year. She joined the Perth College Council in 2013, representing Provincial Council. Vikki was Vice Chair of the Council from 2016 until June 2022, when she stepped into the role vacated by journalist, broadcaster and academic Andrea Burns.
Jonathan Burgess, Vice Chair
Jonathan has a Bachelor of Arts and Post-Graduate Diploma in Urban & Regional Planning from Curtin University. He has a three-decade career in town planning and urban design with a portfolio that includes National and State award-winning projects. Jon started his own consultancy in 2001, he contributes to professional committees and industry bodies, lectures at Curtin University and mentors young graduates. Jon joined Council in 2015, he is Chair of the Facilities Committee and is the current representative on Council for the Friends of Perth College. Jon is a past president of Friends of Rowing and his daughter Brianna graduated in the Class of 2022.
Alex is a Certified Financial Planner with more than 17 years’ experience in the industry, specialising in superannuation, investments and cashflow management. In addition to being a Director at WealthCo Advisory, Alex sits on the investment committee of Mont Partners. This role involves the review of asset allocations and investment holdings. Alex has worked in a range of financial institutions, including BT Funds Management, Westpac, MLC and NAB Financial Planning. He also holds a Diploma of Financial Advising from the Australian Securities Institute.
Al is a Western Australian business leader who has built and grown one of Australia’s most successful communications agencies – 303MullenLowe – and is now at the helm of hospitality and brewing group Triple-1-Three. He is President of West Australian Music (WAM) and holds a number of other board and strategic advisory positions across a range of industries.
Al is focussed on building organisational capabilities in culture creation, empathy and creativity, and is an award-winning behaviour change strategist, having consulted to State and Federal Governments and Australia’s most well-known commercial organisations. He is also a passionate supporter of the arts and the Australian creative community.
Al’s two daughters currently attend Perth College.
Monique is Financial Controller of Greatland Gold plc. Monique is a qualified Chartered Accountant with over 15 years of experience working in both practice and public listed companies and within mineral extractive industries. Monique commenced her career with PricewaterhouseCoopers, working across both Audit and Financial Advisory teams. Monique has held senior finance roles with several listed businesses, including Conocophillips and Santos Limited, and has a strong focus on driving continuous improvement around financial reporting, systems and processes. Monique is an Old Girl of Perth College and joined the Perth College Council in 2022.
Stephanie is a Physiotherapist with 40 years experience across government and private not for profit organisations in Australia and the United States. She holds a Bachelor of Applied Science and a Graduate Diploma in Health Science. Stephanie is a Perth College Old Girl (1975-1979), serving as Head Day Girl in her final year, and is the parent of a 2017 leaver. Stephanie has served on the PC Old Girls’ Association committee since 2018 including as President since 2019. She was appointed as the OGA representative to Council in 2023.
Hamish is a management professional with a long history of working with not for profit organisations, including numerous roles with the Anglican Church Diocese of Perth. He is currently the WA State and Training Operations Manager for The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. Hamish holds postgraduate degrees in history and business from the University of Sydney, and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Currently the Deputy Chair of St Bartholomew’s House, he has been on that Board since 2010. A parent of girls in the junior and senior school, Hamish has a strong interest in history, contemporary art, ethics and governance. He has been a lay member of human research ethics committees for over 20 years, and is also a member of the WA Reproductive Technology Council.