Firbank School Board
Our Board is the Firbank Grammar School governing body and is made up of a group of committed professionals who donate their energy, time and professional expertise to guiding the School. The prime responsibility of the Board is to ensure that policy, as well as careful financial and strategic planning, is in place. Many of our School Board members are parents of students and are leaders in their respective fields, investing much of their personal time in the welfare of the School.
Chair of the Board
Jennine Ross (Class of 87) – Jennine joined the Firbank community in 1979 as a grade four student at Sandringham House. She has over 25 years in corporate and consulting roles as a Human Resources executive. She joined the Firbank Board in 2014 and has held the positions of Deputy Chair, Chair of the Health & Safety Committee and member of the Governance Committee.
Jennine is the first female Chair in Firbank’s 110 year history and is deeply honoured to accept the position. She is also a current parent and in 2020 her daughter will be in Year 9 at our Senior School.
Denice Pitt was appointed to the School Board in October 2016. She is currently Chief Executive Officer of Online Education Services (OES), a role she has held since the company was launched in 2011. Prior to her role in the education sector at OES, Denice’s experience was predominantly in the telecommunications and outsourcing industries. She has spent time as President of Aegis Australia and nearly 10 years at UCMS Group Ltd where she undertook several roles including Managing Director of Outsourcing, Group Chief Operating Officer and Chief Executive Officer. She brings a wealth of experience as a CEO and business executive to her role as a Firbank Board member.
Denice holds a Masters of Business Management and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She is currently a Board Member for the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria Ltd (RACV) and previously served on the Board of Good Shepherd Microfinance. Denice and her husband Darren have a daughter who currently attends Firbank.
Paul was appointed to the Firbank Board in 2002 following a number of years on the School’s Planning and Building Committee which he now chairs. He has previously served on various special purpose committees and is a past member of Finance Committee. His qualifications include BE, Grad Dip Property and MBus. He has been engaged in the property and construction industry since 1981, Paul’s diverse career span roles in design, construction and development activities with the John Holland Group, Connell Group and Baulderstone Hornibrook/Elders Finance. He joined Becton in 1991 and was a Director of the Becton Group of Companies until 2006. Paul has served on a number of Boards and currently provides strategic, Group structure and development expertise at that level to a range of major property development organisations.
Paul brings significant experience to the Board with a background in residential, hotel, office, student accommodation, retail and retirement sectors, larger master planned communities, urban renewal and the strategic growth and development of significant businesses. Paul and his wife, Judy have three daughters all of whom attended Firbank since their first days of school.
Andrew was appointed to the Firbank Board in March 2011. He is the Managing Director of Imperium Capital Group Pty Ltd. Prior to establishing Imperium, Andrew has previously held roles with KPMG, HSBC Bank in New Zealand and J Boag and Son Limited. He brings a wealth of experience in business reengineering, international trade, corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, financing and business management to his role as a Firbank Board member. His qualifications include B.Com in Business Administration from the University of Canterbury in Christchurch NZ.
Andrew was previously involved with the Firbank Foundation as a committee member. Andrew and his wife Sarah have two daughters – one who is currently attending Firbank and a second who graduated in the Class of 2019.
Wayne Gordon was appointed to the School Board in 2013 and served as Chairman of the Sub-Committee for Digital Learning. He has held the position of Chief Information Officer in two top 50 ASX organisations and now provides digital and IT advisory services through his own company.
Wayne started his career in the Royal Australian Navy where he specialised in Navigation. He was posted on exchange to the US Naval Academy where he was awarded a Commendation by the Secretary of the US Navy and graduated with distinction. He transitioned into the corporate sector and spent ten years in consulting and advisory roles working with Telstra, Tabcorp and ANZ. Wayne holds a Bachelor of Science Degree (University of NSW); a Graduate Diploma of Strategic Studies, Graduate Diploma in Applied Science; and a Masters of Business (Charles Sturt University). Wayne and his wife, Rosie, have three daughters who attend Firbank.
Joanne is the most recent addition to the Firbank School Board, appointed in July 2017. Jo commenced her professional career in the pharmaceutical industry and extended her experience into regenerative medicines, both biological and surgical which saw her at the forefront of the non-invasive cosmetic industry. In 2014 Jo founded Total Face Group and as Managing Director and Board Member took the company to be the first medical aesthetic company globally to list on a stock exchange.
Jo now owns a medical aesthetic clinic in Mornington, Hannah Aesthetics and is a Consulting Partner with ‘nem’, Australia’s leading mid-market consultancy firm.
Jo sings with the 40 Choral Scholars from Firbank Grammar School and Brighton Grammar School as part of St Andrews Choir and has been a key member of this group for the past 8 years providing support to the students who are part of the School choral scholarship program. Jo’s daughter Georgina was Music Captain at Firbank in 2016 and she also has a son, Charlie, who is graduated from Brighton Grammar School in 2018.
Jo is particularly passionate about developing, encouraging and empowering young women through their senior school years and into the work place.
John Harris was appointed to the Firbank Board in December 2016 and is a member of the Finance Committee. John is the Chief Financial Officer of IRESS Limited. Prior to joining IRESS, John held a number of finance, strategy and operational roles with a focus on the financial services industry in Australia, Asia and the UK.
John is a chartered accountant and holds Commerce and Law degrees from the Australian National University. He has a post graduate diploma in business administration from Warwick Business School in the UK.
John’s daughter Emily is at Turner House
Julie Laycock who has been on the Board since 2012. She moved to Australia after completing her studies in Surrey, UK. She is a Marketing executive specialising in the FMCG and retail sectors.
Julie is a current Firbank parent with a daughter at the Junior Campus Brighton and another daughter who graduated in the Class of 2018.
Nicholas Stretch became a member of the Firbank Board in 2011. After graduating from Melbourne University in 1983 with degrees in Law and Commerce, Nick worked with Gadens Lawyers (and its predecessor firm, J M Smith & Emmerton) for 25 years. Nick is currently the managing director of Nick Stretch Legal Pty Ltd where he practices as a commercial and corporate lawyer. He is the chairman of the MA & VL Perry Foundation Limited, a charitable trust which invests its capital for the benefit of various health-related charities. Nick is married to Felicity and has five children – all boys. His two eldest have graduated from Brighton Grammar School while the younger three still attend.
Frieda Yeo was elected to the Firbank Board in 2016, and is the current chair of the Finance Committee. Frieda is a Chartered Accountant and graduate of Monash University where she completed a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) / Bachelor of Arts (Psychology). Frieda has worked in both private and publicly listed companies over the last 20 years, specialising in accounting, corporate tax and external financial reporting. She is currently an Executive Director in her family business, which has Australian and international investments in the agricultural, seafood and property industries. Frieda and her husband Nick, who attended Brighton Grammar, have a daughter who attends Firbank.