Senior Leadership Team

Simon Edgar

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 Head of Campus. The Head of Junior School also has a special responsibility in the development of Junior School staff.

The Head of Junior School 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, Simon held a variety of leadership positions across independent schools in Australia, including the Head of Junior and Middle School at The 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 development, having completed a Bachelor of Arts (Primary Education), Bachelor of Education, Master of Education, majoring in Educational Leadership. He is currently undertaking a Doctor of Education through the University of Southern Queensland.

Gary Smith
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 works in close collaboration with the Head of Junior School and the Director of Early Learning. Together this team are responsible for the leadership and day-to-day management of the three sub-schools of A.B. Paterson College (Arundel -Early Childhood Education, Junior School and 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.

Gary joined A.B. Paterson College in June 2019. Prior to this, he began his teaching career in the U.K. graduating with a BEd (Hons) from the University of Gloucestershire. After a number of leadership roles in the U.K., including Deputy Principal and Education Adviser for Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes, he later immigrated to Australia in 2007. Whilst in Australia, Gary has worked in both State and Independent Schools in leadership roles. In 2012 he left Education Queensland to begin the first of two Principal positions in the Independent Schools sector. 

Ian Taylor

Ian Taylor
Director of Activities

The Director of Activities is responsible for the co-curricular activities of the College, including the co-ordination of the Sporting program and the College cultural program, incorporating Performing Arts, Public Speaking and Debating. The Director of Activities leads a talented and committed team of coaches and supports the Coordinator of Interschool Carnivals.
Ian joined the College in 1993 and was appointed to his current position as Director of Activities in 1996.

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 17 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 will bring many benefits to our College community and beyond, to create wonderful new opportunities and, in turn, strengthen our community relationships.

Afzal Shariff

Afzal Shariff
Director of ICT Services

The Director of ICT Services is responsible for the IT infrastructure of the College and for ensuring that technologically is geared to best support the education of our students and to enable the business operations of Administration.

The role encompasses delivering technology to classrooms and ensuring the seamless integration of IT into pedagogy and not merely as an ‘add-on’. IT and associated devices are important educational tools, but like any tool, are only for for specific purposes. Our pedagogy drives the technology needed and not dictated by it.
Prior to joining A.B. Paterson College, Afzal has held former positions, such as IT Manager at a local independent school and the Director of IT at Brisbane Boys College. Afzal has extensive experience in the tertiary education sector, having worked 10 years for the Queensland University of Technology.

Afzal has a Bachelor of Information Technology degree (majoring in Information Management) and an Associate Diploma in electrical Engineering from Queensland University of Technology.

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.

Toni Kirton

Toni Kirton
Director of Positive Education and Leadership

The Director of Positive Education and Leadership is responsible for the development of Positive Education, Service Learning, Student Leadership, Staff Wellness and Community Engagement across the Prep to Year 12 campus of the College. The Director of Positive Education and Leadership works closely with the Director of Teaching and Learning to ensure the seamless integration of the principles of positive psychology into our leading, and research-based pedagogy.

Toni was appointed to this position in January 2016, after commencing at the College in 2014 as the Career and Guidance Counsellor.  She has held various positions in both State and Independent schools including Year Level Co-ordinator, Student Advisor and School Counsellor.  Toni considers herself a lifelong learner, which is evidenced by her commitment to her professional development, having completed a Master of Education, majoring in Educational Leadership, and a Master of Educational Studies, majoring in Guidance and Counselling.

Belinda Pilgrim

Belinda Pilgrim
Director of Teacher Development and Effectiveness

The role of the Director of Teacher Development and Effectiveness is to lead and promote a leading Performance Development Culture (PDC). The Director of Teacher Development and Effectiveness is responsible for the planning, implementation, evaluation and support of the College’s professional learning programs for teachers and supports teaching staff in their growth and development as professional educators.

This role is rarely found in Australian Schools and represents a significant investment in the professional development, efficacy and proficiency of our teachers, thereby enabling them to better serve and support our students.

Belinda joined A.B. Paterson College in 2018 and was appointed to the position of Head of Academic Excellence, Growth and Development later that year. Prior to joining A.B. Paterson College, Belinda has held a variety of leadership roles at Independent Schools in NSW including Dean of Students, Director of Boarding, Head of Department, Stage 6 Co-ordinator and Head of Year Advisors/Pastoral Care. Belinda is committed to supporting the professional growth of teachers by improving teaching practice and maintaining a high standard of teaching and learning at A.B. Paterson College.

Charlotte Brook

Charlotte Brook
Dean of Senior School (Currently on Maternity Leave)

The Dean of Senior School is responsible for ensuring the best educational outcomes for all students in Years 10-12, by guiding and advising on course offerings, supporting the pastoral needs of students, monitoring their academic progress as they proceed from Years 10 to Year 12, and overseeing and taking responsibility for all moderation processes within the College.

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. 

Melissa Presland

Melissa Presland
Acting Dean of Senior School 

Melissa is our Acting Dean of Senior School while Charlotte Brook is on maternity leave. The Dean of Senior School is responsible for ensuring the best educational outcomes for all students in Years 10 - 12, by guiding and advising on course offerings, supporting the pastoral needs of students, monitoring their academic progress as they proceed from Years 10 to Year 12, and overseeing and taking responsibility for all moderation processes within the College.


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. 

Steve Clacher

Steve Clacher
Deputy Head of Junior School: Pastoral Care

The Deputy Head of Junior School: Pastoral Care is a key leadership role in the College, reporting directly to the Head of Junior School, and is responsible for the development of the pastoral care program, the pastoral care of all students, and the development of all students within the educational program of the Junior School. 

The Deputy Head of Junior School: Pastoral Care works in close collaboration with the Deputy Head of Junior School: Teaching and Learning to deliver a unified and seamless education within the Junior School.