Executive Leadership

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

Dr Deborah Netolicky

Principal

Joining Walford in 2023 as the school’s ninth principal, Deborah brings more than 20 years of experience teaching and leading in outstanding schools in Australia and England: Presbyterian Ladies’ College Perth, Methodist Ladies’ College Melbourne, Caulfield Grammar School Melbourne, Brentford School for Girls London, Ibstock Place School London, Wesley College Perth, and St Mark’s Anglican Community School Perth. A dedicated school leader and lifelong learner, Deborah holds a doctorate in effective school change and sits on national and international education committees. Her research, writing, and leadership have been consistently recognised through awards, and she is often invited to contribute to education conferences, peer-reviewed academic journals, books, and media. In 2022 she was named on The Educator Australia’s ‘Hot List’ of innovative educators and ‘Most Influential Educator’ list. Deborah is passionate about education that empowers girls and young women to live lives of courage, compassion, and growth. She is committed to building positive school cultures of trust, inclusivity, and excellence.

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.

Georgina West

Head of Senior School

Georgina West commenced the role of Head of Senior School in 2016 following her experience as a leader in another independent girls’ school in Adelaide. Georgina’s belief in a rigorous education that is balanced with opportunities to support others beyond the school community is central to her leadership of the Senior School. She empowers young women to see the possibilities of the endless pathways before them and models the importance of lifelong learning through her own studies. Georgina has undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in education and is presently undertaking a law degree through the University of Sydney.

Alice Speirs

Acting Head of Middle 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.

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
  • Dr Deborah Netolicky (Principal)
  • Ms Nancy Johnson (Secretary/Director of Finance and Corporate Services)