Council and Leadership Team

Council and Leadership Team

Perth College is led by a Principal, Vice Principal, Director of Junior School, Director of Wellbeing, Director of Learning and Teaching, Director of School Operations, Director of Finance and Commercial Services, and Director of Marketing and Community Engagement.

The Leadership Team

Our Leadership Team provides vital support in daily operations and strategic direction for staff and student wellbeing, and learning and teaching. Its members include:

Clare Johansen, Interim Principal

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Clare has a passion for girls’ education and extensive operational and policy development experience in large schools. She has held several educational leadership positions in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates. She holds a Master's in Educational Leadership from UWA and a Certificate of School Management and Leadership from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. In early 2022, she was awarded the Aware Super Michael Dwyer Scholarship for Emerging Leaders. She joined Perth College in 2022, as Vice Principal and in mid-2023 became Interim Principal. Clare works with the school council and leadership team to drive the strategic vision for the school. She is committed to leading and coaching the dedicated team at Perth College to guide and influence the next generation of students to make a real difference.

Email: [email protected]

Rod Dowling, Acting Vice Principal

Rod Dowling

Rod Joined Perth College after working for over 25 years in education. Rod has held various leadership positions, including Deputy Principal, Dean of Studies, Head of Year, Head of Health and Physical Education, and Head of House. Rod has recently commenced a Doctor of Education at the University of Notre Dame, focusing on teacher attrition and retention in Western Australia. He also holds a Master of Religious Education, a Master of Education (Leadership and Management) from the University of Notre Dame, and a Certificate of School Management and Leadership from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Rod focuses on empowering his teams and students to strive for excellence and promotes a model of lifelong learning. His extensive experience in leadership, developing strategic plans, implementing visions of learning, and engaging with the whole school community will be an asset to Perth College.

Katy Howes, Director of Junior School

Katy Howes

Katy shares a great passion for community and nurturing a positive school environment. For the past fifteen years she has proudly held several leadership positions in Australia and internationally, and most recently joined us from another private girl’s school where she developed a strong interest in supporting young people to become confident and motivated lifelong learners. Katy holds a Master of Education (Leadership), a Bachelor of Education, and a Bachelor of Arts in Education (Primary) from Edith Cowan University. She also has a Professional Certificate in Positive Education from the University of Melbourne. The theory of positive education strongly influences and guides Katy’s leadership style and pedagogy. Improving and fostering wellbeing for students, staff and the greater Perth College community is always at the heart of Katy’s decision-making. 

Nicole Blyth, Director of Learning and Teaching (Years 7 to 12)

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Nicole has joined us after working for more than 20 years in private all-girls education, across several leadership positions. Nicole has previously held senior leadership positions including Dean of Academics overseeing academic administration and teaching and learning data management, and before that, she held the role of Dean of Teaching and Learning. Nicole has significant experience in leading Learning and Teaching departments through change to create thriving and collaborative learning communities. She is known for taking an innovative and well-researched approach to delivering educational excellence, ensuring students are prepared for our changing world. Nicole holds a Master of Education with Honours from the University of Western Australia focussed on ICT and teacher training. She also has a Bachelor of Education (Chemistry and Physics) and a Bachelor of Arts (Secondary Education) from Edith Cowan University.

Gary Racey, Director of School Operations

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Gary has held numerous senior leadership positions in various education sectors and has a Master of Educational Leadership. He is passionate about 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, mold, 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, and responsive to an ever-changing 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)

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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.

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 modeling 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 in 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 the School Council.

Shannan Beal, Director of Marketing and Community Engagement

Shannan Beal

Shannan has worked in strategic marketing and communications for over 10 years.  Her experience encompasses consulting, mining, government, and not-for-profit sectors.  Shannan is passionate about engaging with internal and external stakeholders to understand their objectives and work in collaboration with them to develop interesting and creative solutions to deliver strong results.  She loves to connect strategy with the stories of an organisation to create a strong brand identity and enjoys embracing new ways of thinking. Shannan holds a Bachelor of Commerce with a double major in Public Relations and Tourism Management.

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.

Jonathan Burgess, 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.

Email: [email protected]

Hamish Milne, Vice Chair

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.

Al Taylor

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 Connolly

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 Fullarton

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.

Yvette Jones

Yvette is a lawyer, nationally accredited mediator and dispute resolution professional who has worked across government, not-for-profit and tertiary education sectors.  She possesses a Bachelor of Laws, Bachelor of Arts, Graduate Certificate in Dispute Resolution and Graduate Diploma in Psychology. She is a proud Perth College Old Girl, and committee member of the Old Girls’ Association since 2021.