Senior Leadership Team

Joanne Sheehy M.Ed, B.Ed (Hons)
Principal

The role of Principal is to lead and direct all Operations on the Prep to Year 12 Arundel Campus. The Principal is responsible for the following: 

• Educational curriculum of the College;
• Promotion of equity and excellence for all;
• Ensuring a high quality of teaching and learning;
• Sound financial management of the College;
• Development of Campus-specific policy;
• Development of all staffing, resourcing and operations of the College required to achieve the Objectives of the College.

Ms Joanne Sheehy joined A.B. Paterson College in 2003. She has held numerous leadership positions at the College including the Head of Mathematics, Dean of Studies, Head of Senior School, Assistant Principal and now the Principal.  Ms Sheehy has a Bachelor of Education (Hons) with double majors in both Physics and Mathematics as well as a Masters of Education in Leadership and Management. 

Ms Sheehy has been instrumental in developing student-related programs, structures and policies, most significantly in the areas of student leadership, personal development curriculum and student services.  She combines her strong academic and pastoral background with a collaborative style of leadership and an ardent belief in creating an inclusive educational environment where individual strengths can be encouraged and nurtured.

Darren Harvey
Assistant Principal

The role of Assistant Principal is a key leadership role in the College, reporting directly to the Principal, and is responsible for all day-to-day operations of the College. The Assistant Principal deputises for the Principal as is required and works within and assists the Principal in the leadership of the Senior Leadership Team. As such the Assistant Principal’s key accountabilities include the following areas:

  • Administration of College Prep to Year 12
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Pastoral Care and Student Behaviour Management
  • Co-curricular Activities
  • Statutory Compliance
  • College Budget
  • Human Resource Management
  • Community Engagement

Mr Darren Harvey joined A.B. Paterson College in 2022. Before joining the team at A.B., Mr Harvey was a key educational architect in the founding of fellow independent school, Sheldon College in Brisbane. This developmental work at Sheldon College has led to many leadership opportunities throughout his career including Director/Deputy Principal and middle management portfolios. These include the portfolios of Co-curricular, Academics, Student Wellbeing, Operations and founding Director of the Australian School of the Arts.

Darren has a Bachelor of Education and Master of Leadership having focused his research study on ‘How the development of cohesive executive leadership teams can positively impact on organisational culture’.

Stephen Cooke
Director of Business & Finance

Before joining A.B. Paterson College as Director of Business and Finance in 2021, Stephen held a number of senior leadership roles in the Independent School Sector both in New South Wales and Queensland along with other senior roles in the Queensland government and several leading QLD universities.

He brings a broad range of financial, systems integration, capital redevelopment, industrial relations, and governance experience to the College – all focused on student development and outcomes.

Stephen has a Bachelor of Commerce (Economics), a Master of Business Administration (Executive), a Graduate Certificate in Corporate Governance, and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

He is driven by providing opportunities for others to grow, develop and contribute back to their community. This is shown through years of volunteer experience across the local volunteer Surf Life Saving community, as well as youth development programs with the Kokoda Youth Foundation on the Gold Coast. 

Charlotte Brook
Head of Senior School

The Head of Senior School is the immediate delegate of the Principal/Head of College in matters pertaining to the Senior School. The Head of Senior School is responsible for the leadership, development, financial viability, staffing and day-to-day management of the Senior School.

Charlotte joined the Mathematics Department of A.B. Paterson College in 2015, moving into the role of Head of Dennis House in 2016, and was appointed to the position of Dean of Senior School in 2018. Prior to arriving in Australia, Charlotte taught at a variety of independent schools in England where she held the leadership positions of Head of House and Gifted and Talented Coordinator.  

Simon Edgar
Head of Junior School

The Head of Junior School is responsible for the planning, development, and operation of the Junior School, under the direction of the Principal. The Head of Junior School also has a special responsibility in the development of Junior School staff and is accountable for building positive and effective relationships amongst staff, students, and parents in the Junior School. This includes ensuring communicating in a timely and effective manner with parents and external groups, demonstrating sensitivity and responsiveness when addressing individual challenges and concerns, and recognising student and staff achievement in an appropriate and timely manner. Prior to joining A.B. Paterson College in 2019, Simon held a variety of leadership positions across independent schools in Australia, including the Head of Junior and Middle School at SCOTS PGC College, and Deputy Headmaster – Curriculum at Guildford Grammar Preparatory School in Perth, Western Australia.

Simon considers himself a lifelong learner, which is evidenced by his ongoing commitment to professional and leadership development, having completed a Bachelor of Arts (Primary Education), Bachelor of Education, and a Master of Education, majoring in Educational Leadership. He is currently undertaking leadership courses as well as a Doctor of Education through the University of Southern Queensland.

Belinda Pilgrim
Head of Academic Academy p-12

The Academic Academy is a sub school of A.B. Paterson College in 2023. Belinda is the new Head of The Academy. The Head of the Academic Academy is responsible for supporting the needs of academically gifted and high-ability learners from P-12. Belinda will work with Junior and Senior School staff, monitoring the students' academic progress and providing a large variety of academically enriching and challenging opportunities for our students from staged Acceleration programs to International level competitions.

Belinda joined A.B. Paterson College in 2018. She has held the position of Director of Teacher Development and Effectiveness and Head of Academic Excellence, Growth and Development before taking on the role of Director of Student Academic Performance in 2022. Prior to moving to the Gold Coast, Belinda predominantly worked in NSW and Victoria. She has held various leadership positions including Dean of Students, Director of Boarding, Head of English and Languages, Year Coordinator and Head of Stage 6 Learning. Belinda is very passionate about supporting each child’s academic journey, ensuring they all achieve their best possible results.

Nathan Burgess
Director of Activities

The Director of Activities is responsible for leading and overseeing the delivery of the College’s Co-Curricular Program. The Director of Activities plays an important leadership role to all stakeholders of the College to ensure the delivery of a high performing program.


 Nathan Burgess joined A.B. Paterson College in 2022. He is an experienced leader in the Education industry, specifically relating to school-based Co-Curricular programs. Nathan has previously worked in Colleges that have excelled across a number of disciplines, ensuring students have access to a wide range of activities to help them find their niche. Throughout his career in various school leadership roles, Nathan has built successful and sustainable programs through progressive and strategic thinking and planning.

Nathan has a genuine passion for coaching and mentoring, allowing students to foster a lifelong love of all things Co-Curricular. Nathan has a strong interest in progressive theories around coaching/teaching and is always looking for opportunities to implement these theories in his programs.

Nikki Ward
Director of Community Relations and Development

The Director of Community Relations and Development is responsible for leading and managing the Community Relations Department, the development and implementation of all corporate strategies for branding, marketing, social media, communication, media, partnerships, community engagement and public relations.

Before joining us at the College in 2017, Nikki held Director positions at some of Australia’s largest and most recognised media organisations, including but not limited to, The Nine Network and Southern Cross Austereo's Hit and Triple M Networks. Nikki brings with her over 19 years of professional, extensive experience across the Corporate Communications industry.

Nikki has been a guest speaker at a number of national conferences, events, and leadership seminars.  Nikki's professional experience brings many benefits to our College community and beyond, to create wonderful new opportunities and, in turn, strengthen our community relationships.

Tim Grosser

Tim Grosser
Director of Operations and Planning

As part of the Senior Leadership Team, the Director of Operations and Planning is responsible for the day-to-day organisation of the College, the efficient coordination and effective utilisation of staff, the development of staff, and the planning associated with major events, functions and the College calendar.

Tim joined A.B. Paterson College in 2015 as Head of Mathematics and was appointed as Director of Operations and Planning in Term 4, 2017. Prior to this, he has held senior roles in independent schools in both Queensland and New South Wales.

Sue Walduck
Director of Teacher Development and Effectiveness

The Director of Teacher Development & Effectiveness is responsible for the induction of all new teachers to the College and ensuring their understanding of the Teaching for Understanding framework. In addition, Sue works with teachers new to educating in Queensland, with their submission of a portfolio for full registration with the Queensland College of Teachers. The Director of Teacher Development & Effectiveness oversees the College Mentoring Program that measures teacher success through the 37 national AITSL standards.

Sue joined our College most recently in 2020 during the online learning period when most students were working from home. She was however very familiar with our College as she had worked here from 2001 to 2007 and then again in 2011. She has been the Head of Mackellar House at the College, a Head of Faculty, Coordinator of International Programs and the Director of Staff in Independent Schools throughout Queensland.

Sue has a strong passion for co-curricular programs and outdoor education to support the development of the whole student.

Caitlyn Hoffman
Director of Early Learning

The Director of Early Learning is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Early Childhood Centre, ensuring high quality standards in relation to the National Quality Framework, the Early Years Learning Framework and the National Services laws.

Caitlyn leads a strong and dedicated team of Early Childhood Educators, who work closely together in the development and facilitation of appropriate and meaningful programs for children attending the service.

Caitlyn joined A.B. Paterson College in June 2017 and has been a part of the ever-evolving Early Childhood industry for over 10 years. She completed her Diploma in Children and Community Services in 2009. She is an established Director and has had additional experience in consultation services, providing advice and assistance to many Childcare and Outside School Hours Care Services across Australia. Caitlyn enjoys studying and is currently studying for her Diploma of Leadership and Management. 

Rachel Horner 
Dean of Studies: Academic Academy

The Dean of Studies: Academic Academy is responsible for ensuring the best educational outcomes for all Academic Academy students in Years P – 12, by guiding and advising on course offerings, monitoring their academic progress as they transition through school, and overseeing the Academic Curriculum in Years 7 – 12 for Extension classes and Academic Academy students.

Rachel joined A.B. Paterson College in 2021. Prior to moving to the College she held various leadership positions in schools in the UK, NSW and on the Gold Coast. These included Assistant Head of Learning and Teaching, Head of Learning Enhancement and Head of Year. She is passionate about supporting the individual learner and finding pathways for all students to be able to access their education and achieve to the best of their ability.

Liam Burke
Deputy Head of Senior School: Pastoral

The Deputy Head of Senior School: Pastoral is responsible for the pastoral development and care of students, including both the formal Pastoral Care program, based upon Positive Education principles, and the operational pastoral care of all students within the Senior School.

Having originally pursued a career in Science, Liam began his teaching journey after a back operation gave him time to reflect on his true calling. He went on to complete a Bachelor of Education at RMIT, including Science units, and emerged as a qualified Primary (Generalist) and Secondary (Maths, Science and P.E.) teacher.

Over the coming years, Liam held various roles in Primary and Secondary schools in Queensland and Victoria, including Head of Campus, Maths and Science teacher, as well as teaching at a special assistance school for disengaged and disadvantaged students. It was here that his passion for student wellbeing grew. In his most recent previous role, Liam helped pilot a state-first Year 9 program, focusing on personal development as a priority for students at such a critical age in their development.

Liam was excited by the opportunity to join A.B. Paterson College in 2020 where he enjoys having a positive impact on the wellbeing and pastoral care of students every day.

Bob Nicol
Deputy Head of Senior School: Teaching and Learning

The Deputy Head of Senior School: Teaching and Learning is responsible for curriculum matters in Years 7 – 12. Working with the Curriculum Team related to pedagogy and curriculum implementation to facilitate innovation and best practice in the teaching and learning process. The role encourages engagement, skill development and understanding so that each student can maximise their personal and academic potential.

Bob joined the College in 2023 after working in a range of regional and metropolitan independent schools. His leadership experience includes roles in curriculum, pastoral care, and operational administration. These roles included serving as a District Panel Chair with the QCAA and supporting a range of independent schools in the Accreditation process. Prior to joining the College, Bob was a Head of Faculty and later long serving member of the Saint Stephen’s College Executive.

Bob is passionate about the opportunity to support the staff and students to achieve their goals. 

Sara Bakanay
Deputy Head of Junior School: Pastoral

The Deputy Head of Junior School: Pastoral is responsible for the pastoral development and care of students, including both the formal Pastoral Care program, based upon Positive Education principles and the operational pastoral care of all students within the Junior School. 

Sara joined the College after teaching for more than two decades across Prep-Year 12 in Languages as well as working as a Languages Head of Faculty. Sara speaks six languages including Japanese and French. She was a member of the Senior Japanese Panel for many years and is currently a confirmer and external marker for French. In addition to holding a Master of Education in Teaching Second Languages, Sara is in the process of completing her Master of Education in Guidance and Counselling as she is passionate about student welfare and well-being. 

Sara was excited by the opportunity to join A.B. Paterson College in 2021 where she enjoys having a positive impact on the well-being and pastoral care of students every day.

Rebecca Taylor

Rebecca Taylor
Deputy Head of Junior School: Teaching and Learning

The Deputy Head of Junior School: Teaching and Learning works closely with the staff and students from Prep – Year 6 on all matters relating to curriculum, pedagogy and instructional techniques; and with the Director of Teaching and Learning and other Senior Leaders to ensure the very best educational outcomes for students in the Junior School.

Rebecca joined the College in 2008 as a primary school teacher following her graduation from the College as a student and her university studies. She has international teaching experience following her appointment in England and has held a range of leadership positions at our College, including eMentor, Head of Instructional Leadership and Development, and Head of Learning Analytics. 

Stephanie Bryan
Head of Foundation & Alumni

The Head of Foundation and Alumni is responsible for the effective running of the A.B. Paterson College Foundation with particular focus on raising community awareness and engagement. The role of the Foundation is to provide a strong philanthropic support mechanism to the College community through the awarding of scholarships, bursaries and the development of College facilities.

Before joining A.B. Paterson College, Stephanie has held a number of marketing and business development roles within the education sector including, but not limited to, National Marketing Manager for UniLodge Australia, Head of Marketing for Independent Student Living in London and General Manager of School Partnerships at Bond University. Stephanie brings with her a strong suite of skills that will ensure the Foundation is able to build a legacy that will continue to provide for our College community for generations to come.