MLC School

Board of Directors

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Methodist Ladies' College is capably governed by a Board of Directors as well as a College Management Team. Together, these leadership teams ensure the ongoing sustainability of the College and the delivery of its exceptional academic and co-curricular programs.

MLC's Board of Directors

Tony Peake (Chair and current parent)

Tony is the Government & Public Sector Leader at PwC Australia, and focuses particularly on the education sector.  In addition to being Chair of the MLC Board, Tony is a Member of the Council of the University of Melbourne, where he chairs the Audit Committee and is a member of the Finance Committee, Remuneration and Employment Conditions Committee, University of Melbourne Foundation, and University Risk Committee. Tony is a director of the Business/Higher Education Roundtable, and of Melbourne University Publishing. Tony and his wife have a daughter in Junior Secondary School, and a daughter who graduated in 2014; both girls started in Kindle and then continued through the various MLC schools. His interests include the arts (visual and performance), education and diversity in the workplace. He brings expertise in business, finance and governance to the MLC Board.

Stephen Adrian

Stephen is a senior financial leader with more than 36 years of commercial experience as a Chartered Accountant in public practice in a mid tier national chartered accounting firm. Stephen specialised early on in tax matters and then more broadly into private client work.  

Stephen is a Director of Food and Wine Victoria Ltd which stages the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and serves on the Corporate Governance and Audit and Finance Committee.  He is also a Diretor of the Australian Water Ski and Wakeboard Federation.

Stephen currently sits on the advisory boards of Viatek Holdings, Swan Plumbing Group and a number of private foundations. He is the resident Director of the Australian subsidiaries of Snapchat, Ecell Global and De Soutter Medical.

A family man with two children, he has a love of skiing, motor sport and fine food and wine.

Kate Axup

Kate is a partner at major Australian law firm, Allens. Kate's practice focuses on the energy and infrastructure sectors, with a particular emphasis recently on renewable energy projects. A strong Mandarin speaker, Kate has spent more than half of her career in China and leads the Allens China practice. Kate attended MLC for nine years and was joint senior prefect in her final year. She is also a board member of Asia Society Australia and is the mother of two teenage children, one of whom is in year 9 at MLC.

Elida Brereton (past student)

Elida Brereton has been a teacher, and for 17 years a secondary school principal in the government school system, and currently is employed by the Department of Education as a mentor of aspiring principals. She is a former National President and Fellow of the Australian College of Educators and Fellow of the Australian Council of Educational Leaders. Elida is a Director on the Board of ACCESS Ministries and of Foundation Boroondara. She attended MLC for her secondary education and is the current President of the MLC Old Collegians’ Club Council. Elida has extensive experience in school reviews, principal selection and school governance.

Jenepher Dakis (past parent)

Jen Dakis is a Consultant Psychiatrist with more than 25 years’ experience in public mental health at Royal Melbourne Hospital where she devotes considerable time to trainee education and mentoring. 

Her eldest daughter completed Year 12 at MLC in 2012 and her youngest in 2014. As an MLC parent, Jen was actively involved in the MLC Parents' Association including three years as President (2012-2014). Jen brings to the MLC Board her knowledge of the College, her experience as the School Council President at her daughters' primary school and her commitment to mental health and wellbeing.

Simon Martin (current parent)

Simon’s executive career included over 7 years as Chief Financial Officer and a director of MYOB, following which he became CEO of iCareHealth group. Prior to joining MYOB, Simon spent a number of years in investment banking and accounting. Simon is now an investor and director in a number of technology companies, including health tech providers iCareHealth (UK) Ltd and Sisu Wellness Pty Ltd, and small business service organisations Sendle LLC and Banjo Loans. He is also a director of 5point Foundation, a private charitable organisation and Big4 Holiday Parks. Simon and his wife Anna have five children, including 3 daughters currently at MLC.

Andrew Newbold (current parent)

Andrew is a qualified lawyer with over 20 years’ experience in the practice of commercial law. He was the President of the Hawthorn Football Club until this year and since retiring from that position has joined the AFL Commission, the governing body of the AFL. He is the Chairman of the education business, SEDA, which has over 2,000 Year 11 and 12 students currently enrolled. He has been a director of not for profit organisations including Vicdeaf and The Australian Childhood Foundation.  He is also on the Boards of a number of privately owned businesses. Andrew is married to Sarah and they have 3 daughters, one of whom is a current MLC student.

Marjorie Nicholas (past student)

Marjorie is a lawyer by profession, with extensive and broad ranging experience in legal practice and corporate governance. Marjorie also brings to the Board her close personal connection with MLC. Marjorie completed her secondary education as a boarder at MLC, and two daughters and two granddaughters are alumni. She chaired the MLC Development Committee, and headed the ‘Campaign for Excellence’ to fund MLC’s world-class swimming and gymnastics complex and the redevelopment of the Oval. She is a Patron and Chair of the MLC Foundation, and remains passionately committed to the advancement of the status of women, with strong emphasis on education and merit-based opportunity.

Bernard Salt (past parent)

Bernard Salt is a KPMG partner as well as the author of several highly regarded books dealing with social and cultural change. For more than 20 years Bernard has featured regularly in the Australian media offering incisive social commentary and trend forecasting. A skilled communicator, Bernard is also one the most in-demand corporate speakers within Australia and overseas. Bernard is The Australian newspaper’s Social Editor, an adjunct professor at Curtin University Business School and a frequent guest on numerous radio and television programs. A past parent, Bernard’s daughter attended MLC between 2002 and 2007.

Annie Tiso (current parent)

Annie is an accomplished finance, strategy and business-planning executive with over 20 years’ experience in the field. Prior to establishing her own firm, Annie put her CPA and MBA qualifications to good use across diverse service industry sectors including senior finance and strategy positions in higher education, gaming and aviation. In 2011, Annie steered her career towards the education sector to support her genuine belief that through innovation in education, students can enter a world full of life-changing opportunities. Both of Annie’s children attended MLC Kindle and her daughter is a current MLC Junior Secondary School student.

Diana Vernon (Principal)

Diana Vernon commenced as MLC’s eighth Principal in April 2014. Prior to her arrival at MLC Diana was Headmistress for seven years at the prestigious City of London School for Girls (CLSG).

On leaving University Diana joined an academic publishing house, before spending seven years in corporate public relations working both in-house and for agencies.  Passionate about education and the opportunities and support provided for the next generation, Diana became a Governor of a local, state sector, secondary school in London.  It was this involvement which led her to retrain and pursue a teaching career.  She trained as a Biology teacher and has taught Biology from ages 11 – 18 and Business Studies from 16 – 18.

Diana has a Bachelor of Arts, Anthropology from St Mary’s College, University of Durham and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from King’s College, University of London. While in her previous headship roles, Diana was Vice-Chairperson of the Independent Schools Education Board from 2006 – 2014, Chair of the London Schools' Fee Assistance Consortium, designed to encourage broadening access to top independent schools across London, and Chair of the East London Schools Consortium – a group of independent and state-sector girls' school heads who work together to identify additional opportunities for students across their schools.

The Principal is appointed by the Board, is the Chief Executive Officer of the College and is responsible for its management and development.

16 students were enrolled at MLC on the day the school opened: 14 February 1882.

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