School Board


Neil Cook
MMC Board Chair
chair@mmc.vic.edu.au

School board

Melbourne Montessori College is a not-for-profit, independent school and an incorporated entity under the Corporations Act 2001.

The MMC Board is responsible for the governance, vision and strategic direction of the school. The Board determines and implements the school’s key values and principles, appoints and works closely with the Principal, reviews MMC’s financial performance, ensures our school complies with legal obligations, and approves school policies.

The MMC Constitution, the Corporations Act and state and federal regulations for early childhood education and schools determine our governance structure.

How the Board works

The Board meets monthly with our school community electing Board members for a two-year term. The Board appoints a Chair, Deputy Chair, Finance Director and Company Secretary. Board members also sit on various working groups and each member volunteers their time and expertise.

Much of the Board’s work is done through committees and working groups made up of parent representatives and at least one Board member. Working groups include:

  • Finance
  • Buildings and Grounds
  • MMC Foundation
  • Risk and Compliance

The Principal is the school’s Chief Executive Officer and is responsible for the day-to-day management of MMC, implementing the Board’s strategic plan and effectively managing the school’s resources.

Meet Our Board Members


Neil Cook Board Chair

Qualifications:

Graduate Diploma in Construction Management and qualifications in change management, design thinking and operations management.

 

Experience:

Neil has more than 25 years of strategy and operations experience in the legal sector. He is the Global Legal Operations Director for Computershare with responsibility for improving the operational effectiveness and efficiency of the company’s legal team across eight countries. Appointed as Chair in 2021, Neil’s vision is the future betterment of MMC.

 

Connection to MMC:

Neil has two children at the school. His daughter joined Cycle 1 in 2021 and his son is in Cycle 2.

“As someone who came up through a traditional education system, I saw the drawbacks of such a learning environment, and I was really drawn to how Montessori encourages a deep love of learning and self-led discovery. This is critical if our children are to maximise their potential in the jobs of the future, as well having connection to, and care for, each other and our country.”


Court Haas Finance Director

Qualifications:

BBA (Finance and Accounting) and United States Certified Public Accountant

 

Experience:

Court was appointed to the MMC Board in December 2020 and brings more than 20 years of experience in finance and accounting. Court is part-time CFO of communications agency Think-HQ and an independent CFO advisory consultant. He has held senior finance roles with ASX- listed businesses and with chartered accounting firm, EY, in Australia and the United States.

 

Connection to MMC:

Court’s daughter is in Cycle 2 and his son is in Cycle 1.


Alice Champion Company Secretary

Qualifications:

BSocSci (Psychology), BArts (Honours), AMI Montessori 6-12 Orientation Certificate.

 

Experience:

Alice was appointed as a Board Director in May 2021 and works for the national representative body for Montessori education in Australia, MSCA. Alice undertook a PhD in Sociology before focusing on supporting and progressing Montessori education. She has experience in qualitative research, administration, events, marketing and as a university lecturer and tutor. Alice holds an AMI Montessori 6-12 Orientation Certificate and is completing a Graduate Diploma of Education (Montessori 6-12).

 

Connection to MMC:

Alice has three children in Cycle 2 at MMC.

“I investigated Montessori education when my eldest daughter was one. I was so pleased to find an approach that aligned with our family values and what my husband and I understood about child development and psychology. My children have attended Melbourne Montessori College since 2015, beginning in the Parent Toddler group and progressing through Early Learners to Cycles 1 and 2. Training as a sociologist helped me understand and appreciate the methods by which Dr Maria Montessori established her principles and practice. Completing the AMI 6-12 Orientation Certificate reinforced Montessori is an education for a modern world and also reinforced the deep importance of Montessori education for our children, community and wider society.”


Julian Isaacs Board Member

Qualifications:

B Business (Accounting) Swinburne University of Technology, CPA, Registered BAS Agent

 

Experience:

Julian was appointed to the MMC Board in 2020 and brings more than 25 years of experience in SMEs as Head Accountant and/or Financial Controller across industries with intrastate, interstate and overseas subsidiaries. For the past 11 years, Julian has run his own bookkeeping business. He has been involved in many committees and boards, mostly community-based and not-for-profit. He is also a director of the charity, Impact For Women.

 

Connection to MMC:

“I chose MMC because it fitted my child’s learning style and they also wanted to complete the IB. The MMC community is one of warmth, friendliness and inclusiveness. I would not have volunteered for a seat on the Board if I didn’t feel it matched my personal values and I could do something to improve the school’s future.”


Clare Kermond Board Member

Qualifications:

BA (Journalism), MA (Sociology) PHD candidate researching autistic secondary students and their experience of school.

 

Experience:

Clare is a scholarship recipient affiliated with Latrobe University’s Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre and has shared her research at prestigious national and international conferences. With a background in journalism, editing and strategic communications spanning more than three decades, Clare has contributed to publications including The Age and Sydney Morning Herald and has held senior editorial roles with The Age and Melbourne Magazine. Clare has served on multiple school councils and the ScoutS Parent Committee and has managed community basketball and netball teams.


Emily Dacal Board Member

Qualifications:

BS Child Psychology with a Minor in Child Development (SDSU).

 

Experience:

Emily was appointed a Director in May 2021 and has been an active member of Melbourne Montessori since 2008. In addition to working as an Educator at Forestville Montessori (NSW), Emily founded the Northern Beaches Spanish School in Sydney and served as an original founding member of Urban Montessori Charter School in Oakland, California.

 

Connection to MMC:

Emily has two children attending MMC in Cycles 2 and 5.

“My partner and I chose a Montessori education because our parenting style aligns with the Montessori philosophy. We believe and have experienced through our children that a Montessorian will be curious about their environment, humanity, community, and each moment is an enjoyable learning opportunity that becomes a lifelong gift rather than an education that ends once the school day is done. We chose MMC because from the moment we walked through those front gates, we felt accepted, understood and welcomed.”


Tribly Dsouza Board Member

Qualifications:

Masters in Commerce and MBA in Human Resource and Organisation Behaviour.

 

Experience:

Tribly was appointed a Director in May 2022 and is a seasoned Product Manager with more than 15 years of experience in creating and managing profitable portfolios. She is passionate about identifying emerging trends and developing solutions that meet customer needs. Tribly excels in go-to-market strategies, team management and building strong partnerships and has a track record of delivering results in highly competitive markets.


Lukas Konieczny Board Member

Qualifications:

Bachelor Of Planning and Design, Bachelor of Property and Construction.

 

Experience:

Lukas has 20 years’ experience in the construction industry and is Director of Newpol Construction, a commercial building company. As Construction Director, Lukas retains overall responsibility for project delivery, providing all appropriate support and direction to project teams to ensure each client’s needs and project objectives are met.

 

Connection to MMC:

Lukas is an MMC Alumnus, having attended the school from 1989 and his own children attend the school.

“With first-hand experiences to draw on, I felt the environment and self-led learning experience of Montessori education were perfect for my own children. I have already noticed the emotional and intellectual growth within our children, which would not be matched within any traditional education system.”

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