Executive Leadership

School leadership is executed through the Principal, the Executive Team and the Council of Governors.

Rebecca Clarke


Rebecca has been Principal of Walford since October 2012. She is dedicated to developing a world-class education for girls and young women and is committed to preparing young people for a world that is increasingly unpredictable. Rebecca has extensive leadership experience and presently serves on the boards of the Association of the Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA) where she Chairs the South Australian Branch, the Association of Independent Schools of South Australia (AISSA) and Resthaven. Rebecca is a member of the University of Adelaide Advisory Boards for the School of Education and the School of Computer Science and is an Ambassador for Catherine House. She has graduate and postgraduate qualifications in Education, Educational Leadership and Business Administration, and commenced her career as a teacher of English.

Mandy Hore

Deputy Principal

Mandy joined Walford as Deputy Principal in 2015 bringing with her extensive experience as an educational leader in independent schools across Australia. Having spent most of her career as a Director of Learning and Teaching and Deputy Principal, Mandy brings a formidable understanding of how to empower staff to lead initiatives that improve outcomes for students. She is a passionate advocate for girls and young women, helping them develop confidence in their capabilities as learners and as compassionate, responsible people. Mandy has postgraduate qualifications in Educational Leadership.

Alice Speirs

Acting Head of Senior School

Alice Speirs is a dedicated and passionate teacher, with an interest in building agency and supporting the potential of our students, both in and out of the classroom. After a ten-year career as a Chartered Accountant, Alice made the move to education. Her philosophy for teaching economics and legal studies is to encourage students to engage with the world in meaningful ways, providing opportunities for students to analyse contemporary and relevant issues, often drawing on our school community for experiences outside the classroom and engagement of subject matter experts.  As a past president of the Business and Enterprise Teachers’ Association, Alice has been the recipient of an Outstanding Service award for her contributions to the teaching profession.

Jessica London

Head of Middle School

Jessica London is a strong pedagogical leader who is passionate about teaching, curriculum and improving the wellbeing of each student under her care. With undergraduate qualifications in both Education and Psychology, and a Masters in Education, Jessica makes a difference in the lives of students by leading high quality pedagogical practices and wellbeing initiatives. A past premier league and State hockey player, Jessica actively promotes the merits of co-curricular activities and she leads the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award program at Walford. Jessica serves on the Association of Independent Schools (AISSA) REAL Committee, a group that is leading evidence-based research to improve approaches to the teaching of adolescent learners.

Kate Barber

Head of Junior School

Kate’s professional experiences span across Early Years, Primary and Tertiary settings. She joined the Executive Leadership Team at Walford in 2022 .

Kate is passionate about designing opportunities and learning spaces for young girls, that enrich the personalised journey from Early Learning to the Upper Primary educational setting.

Kate values wellbeing as an integral element of the curriculum and demonstrates genuine warmth, energy and care when working with young learners and their families.

With an unwavered focus on core curriculum foundations, Kate’s vision extends to incorporate multimodal and digital literacies, as essential elements of contemporary education. Kate has a postgraduate Masters in Gifted Education.

Brian Parsons

Director of Learning and Teaching

Brian Parsons’ thirty years in education has been spent in regional and metropolitan schools where his journey into leadership commenced in a combined role as Curriculum Development Coordinator and Head of Science. Committed to pedagogical practices that move students from surface to deep learning, Brian’s work in schools has been complemented by almost twenty years in curriculum development and assessment with the SACE Board, primarily in the field of Physics. Brian has completed a Master of Education (Educational Leadership) from UniSA. As Director of Learning and Teaching, Brian works collaboratively with teachers and leaders to create and deliver meaningful learning experiences that promote agency and prepare students for life beyond the school gates.

Nancy Johnson

Director of Finance and Corporate Services

Nancy was excited to make the move to South Australia and join Walford in 2019. She has extensive finance and business management experience across a broad range of industries including health, mining, shipping and retail. Nancy is a member of CPA Australia and holds qualifications in International Business, Marketing, Accounting and Finance and Secondary Education. Nancy plays a pivotal role in financial management and strategic direction of Walford and is passionate about using her skills and experience to enable the delivery of high quality education at Walford.

Karin Dunsford

Director of Marketing and Community Engagement

In her role as Director of Marketing and Community Engagement, Karin enjoys meeting prospective families as they visit Walford for the first time, and then sharing in their journey from enrolment, through the school years to graduation and then life beyond the School gates.

Following her successful career as a teacher, Karin has combined her love for teaching English with her passion for sharing the Walford story through many different forms of communication, to inspire our community about the past and to be excited about the future. With grandparents as pioneers in the newsprint industry and a family background in country newspapers, where stories were frantically penned to meet the deadline, it is no surprise that communication and marketing are in her veins!

Karin is regularly called upon to share her knowledge and expertise in school marketing. She is a Fellow of EducatePlus, through which she presented a TED Talk. In addition to her teaching qualification, she has a Master of Business Administration, specialising in Marketing.

Council of Governors

Walford, like most other independent schools, has a Council of Governors which is responsible for the governance of the School.

The Council appoints the Principal who is responsible for the management of the School. The Council, working closely with the Principal and her executive team, determines the nature and values of the School, and future developments. It is responsible for determining the annual budget and monitoring external changes that may have an impact on the School.

The Council meets monthly during the school year to review the life of the School, review performance against budget, monitor progress against annual targets, receive information and determine actions.

During the year School staff present to Council information on specific educational topics. The Council regularly reviews the strategic plan in relation to future plans for the School, national and international trends in education and school governance, economic and social issues and government policy.

The members of the Council of Governors are:

  • Mr Peter Hastings (Chair)
  • Mr Matt Johnson (Deputy Chair)
  • Mrs Jane Brooks
  • The Rev’d Gary Hillman
  • Ms Kathryn Presser
  • Mr John Rawson
  • Mrs Margaret Taylor
  • A/Prof Elizabeth Thompson
  • The Rev’d Canon Jenny Wilson
  • Ms Dena Vassallo
  • Ms Rebecca Clarke (Principal)
  • Ms Nancy Johnson (Secretary/Director of Finance and Corporate Services)