Chair of the Board
Jodie Benveniste is a psychologist, parenting author, and thought leader in parenting and family wellbeing. She is the author of five parenting books, is a regular media commentator on parenting issues, has consulted with a wide range of organisations on family and work/life issues, and has worked with significant brands as a brand ambassador.
She is South Australian State Convenor for the Australian Research Alliance for Children & Youth, is Associate Lecturer in the School of Psychology at the University of Adelaide, and is editorial advisor for ACP’s parenting magazines.
Jodie has previous board experience in the community childcare sector, has two children at the School, and is committed to seeing St John’s Grammar provide an outstanding education and experience to children, parents and families.
Board Vice Chair and Member of Finance, Audit & Risk Committee
Felicity is a lawyer with over 15 years’ experience in private legal practice, and is currently working in an in-house role for a not for profit organisation. Felicity contributes to the governance processes of the board, strategic business decisions and policy development.
Felicity is an Old Scholar of the School and is keen to see the School continue to strengthen its business, brand and market share while maintaining its unique and distinguishing identity.
Board Member, Permanent Governor and Chair of Property & Development Committee
John has been a Board member for over 30 years, has been Chairman and served on various Board Committees and panels. Interestingly, John was the original Sports Convenor. Both his children attended St John’s Grammar School.
With qualifications in building and architecture, John has been self-employed for over 40 years. As well as a busy architectural practice, John manages to find time to perform community service not only to St John’s Grammar, but also serves on the Association of Independent Schools’ Board of SA. His knowledge and experience in building development has been invaluable to the School.
Revd Dr Warren Huffa
Board Member and Parish Representative
Warren is an Anglican Priest, having been ordained in 1989. Soon after being ordained he completed doctoral studies in Theology through Flinders University. He has since served in a variety of positions in Adelaide and rural SA.
Warren is currently the parish priest of Hawthorn, a St John’s Grammar parent, and former chaplain of the Secondary Campus. Warren thinks the Christian values of the School provide an excellent context for character development of the students and believes the pastoral care of the students at St John’s Grammar is excellent. He hopes to contribute to the continuing excellence of St John’s Grammar through membership of the Board.
Sue has 20 years’ leadership experience, much of it in the education sector. She holds an undergraduate degree in Teaching and postgraduate qualifications in Business and Management.
Her comprehensive background in the field of education includes academic quality and regulatory compliance for a private training college; investment attraction and branding in government; entrepreneurship in schools; and viability analysis of trans-national university programs in Asia. She has also been responsible for strategic planning, business development and marketing functions in roles covering domestic and international environments.
Sue now runs her own consulting firm providing strategic advice and mentoring to a diverse client base. Its focus is on developing strategy that is innovative and achieves sustainable growth for individuals, organisations and communities.
Sue has the requisite background in analysis and consideration required to balance commercial drivers and changing student needs with quality learning outcomes. She has now combined this with an interest in the student experience at St John’s Grammar; in particular, preparing students for fulfilling pathways and the careers of the future.
Katie is a passionate and award-winning educator in the tertiary education sector. Her current career focus is on learning and teaching methodology with an emphasis on best practice in the area of blended learning and pioneering ways to transfer knowledge that integrates face-to-face student contact and the utilisation of technology in an online learning environment. She is an International Advisory Board member and reviewer within her field of specialisation within academia.
Prior to her current role, Katie held a range of senior leadership and management positions in Health and has been part of leading edge state-wide initiatives to review corporate processes and achieve productivity improvements. Given this she is particularly equipped in areas such as human resource management, risk management, corporate governance, strategic planning, consumer engagement, process and system redesign. She now utilises this experience and teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students in topics such as health leadership.
Katie has dual degrees, one being in education, as well as Masters qualifications. Committed to lifelong learning, in her ‘spare’ time Katie is also currently completing a PhD. which has a focus on systems improvement and technology in learning environments. She is also an active mentor to undergraduate and senior school students in areas such as the transition from school to university and successful lifelong learning strategies.
Stephen Voss is a commercial lawyer with over 30 years’ experience. He is a partner in national law firm, Thomson Geer. Stephen was a member of the Board of Thomson Geer for nine years and the National Head of its disputes department for a further six years. Stephen is a member of the Law Society of South Australia and the Law Council of Australia. Stephen brings a significant depth of legal and commercial experience to the Board of Governors.
The Role of Governance
Governance is concerned with the systems and processes that ensure the overall direction, effectiveness, supervision and accountability of the School. Board members take ultimate responsibility for the governance of the School. Governance is also concerned with the way the Board works with the Principal and staff, the School community, service providers and other stakeholders to ensure the School operates within, and for the purposes established by the Constitution.
This précis is intended to highlight and explain in brief terms the content of St John’s Grammar School’s Constitution. This précis does not cover legal or ethical issues concerning the role of the Board or its members and is not intended to replace the Constitution nor seek to determine the Board’s obligations.
The St John’s Grammar School Board of Governors is an elective, representative, and collective body.
- It is elective, in that the appointment and determination of Board members is the prerogative of members through the election process
- It is representative in that no Governor can be mandated by their constituency (where such exists eg Diocesan representatives) to adopt a particular position if they do not believe it to be in the best interests of the School. Whatever the constituency of any member, all members must act selflessly when determining the Board’s decisions
- It is collective, in that while each member has the right to argue for their own point of view and to vote for that position. However, once a collective decision has been taken Board members are required to support that decision
The function of the Board is to set the School’s policy and strategic direction, collectively ensure the delivery of its objectives, and uphold its values.
The Board is responsible and accountable for ensuring and monitoring that the School is performing well, is solvent, and is complying with all its legal, financial, and ethical obligations. The responsibilities of the Board cannot be delegated to any other person or body.
The Board’s responsibilities include:
- Strategic planning – reviewing and approving strategic direction and initiatives
- Regulatory monitoring – ensuring that the School complies with all relevant laws, regulations and regulatory requirements
- Financial monitoring – setting and reviewing the School’s budget, monitoring management and financial performance to ensure the solvency, financial strength and good performance of the School
- Financial reporting – considering and approving annual financial statements and required reports to government
- Leadership selection – selecting, evaluating the performance of, and if necessary, dismissing the School’s Principal
- Succession planning for Board and Principal
- Determining the Principal’s remuneration
- Reviewing and monitoring strategic risk management
- Having regard to the School’s ethical responsibility including the social and environmental impact of the schools operations
- Evaluating and improving the performance of the Board.
The Board should focus on the strategic direction and core policies and avoid becoming involved in day to day operational decisions. These are the province of the Principal.