Senior Leadership Team

A.B. Paterson College Leadership Teams
Our College is led by a number of leadership teams, each tasked with specific roles in the overall planning, development and operation of our College. The College consists of a Prep to Year 12 co-educational school, an Early Learning Centre and a Vacation Care Centre, all located on the Arundel campus.

Executive Team 

The Executive Team of the College is led by the Chief Executive Officer, and are responsible for policy development, capital infrastructure, overall planning, financial planning, community engagement, and delivering the Strategic Vision of the College Board.

Brian Grimes -  Chief Executive Officer

The Chief Executive Officer is responsible to the College Board on all matters pertaining to compliance and legislation, prescribing the educational direction of the College, ensuring a positive, warm and engaging culture within the organisation, and has strategic oversight of all aspects of the College.

The Chief Executive Officer has a specific brief to further the opportunities and strength of the current campus, raising the educational profile, creating opportunities for staff, and opening up our College to an international world of opportunities for our students, thereby providing an 'A.B.' education for young people for generations to come.

Brian has a Bachelor of Science degree (majoring in Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry), a post-graduate Diploma of Education from the University of Western Australia, and a Masters of Education from Edith Cowan University in Western Australia.

Brian is a member of the Australian College of Educators, the Australian Council for Educational Leaders, the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and the Association of Heads of Independent Schools Australia, and has been admitted as a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and a Member of the CEO Institute.

Brian has presented at a number of National and International conferences and symposiums and has a firm belief that the heart of education is indeed the education of the heart.

Joanne Sheehy - Principal/ Head of College

The role of Principal/ Head of College is to lead and direct all Operations on the Prep to Year 12 Arundel Campus. The Principal/ Head of College is responsible for the following:
• Educational curriculum of the College;
• Promotion of equity and excellence for all;
• Ensuring a high quality of teaching and learning;
• Sound financial management of the College;
• Development of Campus-specific policy;
• Development of all staffing, resourcing and operations of the College required to achieve the Objects of the College.
Joanne has held a number of prominent positions prior to joining A.B. Paterson College in 2003. She has held numerous leadership positions at our College including the Head of Mathematics, Dean of Studies, Head of Senior School, Assistant Principal and now the Principal/ Head of College.  She has a Bachelor of Education (Hons) with double majors in both Physics and Mathematics as well as a Masters of Education in Leadership and Management. 
Joanne has been instrumental in developing student-related programs, structures and policies, most significantly in the areas of student leadership, personal development curriculum and student services.  She combines her strong academic and pastoral background with a collaborative style of leadership and an ardent belief in creating an inclusive educational environment where individual strengths can be encouraged and nurtured.

Sam Kanoun - Director of Finance  
The Director of Finance plays an essential role in the Administration, Operations, Strategic development and Forward Planning for the College with respect to all Financial Services.

The Director of Finance is the most senior advisor to the Chief Executive Officer on all matters to do with College Finances, Government Funding and Payroll functions, and reports directly to the Board on all Financial matters.

The Director of Finance is fully accountable for the management of all financial transactions, and assists the Princiapl/ Head of College and Director of Early Learning in managing accounts and payroll on a day to day basis. In addition, the Director of Finance leads the Finance Department in accordance with recognised accounting practices and procedures.

Nikki Ward - Director of Community Relations and Development

The Director of Community Relations and Development is responsible for leading and managing the Community Relations Department and team, the development and implementation of all corporate strategies for communications, branding, marketing, social media, media, partnerships, community engagement and public relations.

Before joining us at the College in 2017, Nikki held Executive Director positions at some of Australia’s largest and most recognised media organisations, including but not limited to, The Nine Network and Southern Cross Austereo's Hit and Triple M Networks. Nikki brings with her over 17 years of professional extensive experience across the Corporate Communications industry.

Nikki has been a guest speaker at a number of National conferences, events, and youth leadership seminars.  Nikki's professional experience will bring many benefits to our College community and beyond, to create wonderful new opportunities and, in turn, strengthen our community relationships.

Richard Worsey - Director of Teaching and Learning 

The Director of Teaching and Learning is responsible for all teaching and learning activities of the College, including the development of eLearning systems. Richard Worsey leads the Curriculum Team, where his primary objective is to design, implement and evaluate the teaching program that incorporates the strengths of Teaching for Understanding - engagement, differentiation and challenge and ensures that A.B. Paterson College creates opportunities for effective learning to occur in every classroom, and for every student. The focus of which is to immerse students in a rich curriculum that allows them to discover the joy and challenge of learning.

Richard commenced at A.B. Paterson College as Head of Science in 2010, before being appointed as Director of Teaching and Learning in 2012. Prior to arriving in Australia, Richard taught at various schools in England after graduating with an Honours degree in Physics and a Master's in Semiconductor Devices from Lancaster University. Past leadership roles include Head of Physics, Head of House, Student Achievement Leader and Science College Leader. In 2010, Richard was selected by the Harvard Graduate School of Education to become an international coach in their Teaching for Understanding Course and is responsible for educating teachers throughout the world on pedagogical practices.

Caitlyn Hoffman - Director of Early Learning
The Director of Early Learning is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Early Childhood Centre, ensuring high quality standards in relation to the National Quality Framework, the Early Years Learning Framework and the National Services laws.

Caitlyn leads a strong and dedicated team of Early Childhood Educators, who work closely together in the development and facilitation of appropriate and meaningful programs for children attending the service.

Caitlyn joined A.B. Paterson College in June 2017 and has been a part of the ever-evolving Early Childhood industry for over 10 years. She completed her Diploma in Children and Community Services in 2009. She is an established Director and has had additional experience in consultation services, providing advice and assistance to many Childcare and Outside School Hours Care Services across Australia.  Caitlyn enjoys studying and is currently studying for her Diploma of Leadership and Management. 

Senior Leadership Team

Gary Smith - Head of Senior School

The Head of Senior School is the immediate delegate of the Principal/Head of College in matters pertaining to the Senior School. The Head of Senior School works in close collaboration with the Head of Junior School and the Director of Early Learning. Together this team are responsible for the leadership and day-to-day management of the three sub-schools of A.B. Paterson College (Arundel -Early Childhood Education, Junior School and Senior School).

The Head of Senior School is responsible for the leadership, development, financial viability, staffing and day-to-day management of the Senior School.

Gary joined A.B. Paterson College in June 2019. Prior to this, he began his teaching career in the U.K. graduating with a BEd (Hons) from the University of Gloucestershire. After a number of leadership roles in the U.K., including Deputy Principal and Education Adviser for Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes, he later immigrated to Australia in 2007. Whilst in Australia, Gary has worked in both State and Independent Schools in leadership roles. In 2012 he left Education Queensland to begin the first of two Principal positions in the Independent Schools sector. 

Simon Edgar - Head of Junior School

The Head of Junior School is responsible for the planning, development, and operation of the Junior School, under the direction of the Principal/ Head of College. The Head of Junior School also has a special responsibility in the development of Junior School staff.

The Head of Junior School is accountable for building positive and effective relationships amongst staff, students and parents in the Junior School. This includes ensuring communicating in a timely and effective manner with parents and external groups, demonstrating sensitivity and responsiveness when addressing individual challenges and concerns, and recognising student and staff achievement in an appropriate and timely manner.

Prior to joining A.B. Paterson College, Simon held a variety of leadership positions across independent schools in Australia, including the Head of Junior and Middle School at The Scots PGC College, and Deputy Headmaster – Curriculum at Guildford Grammar Preparatory School in Perth, Western Australia.

Simon considers himself a lifelong learner, which is evidenced by his ongoing commitment to professional development, having completed a Bachelor of Arts (Primary Education), Bachelor of Education, Master of Education, majoring in Educational Leadership. He is currently undertaking a Doctor of Education through the University of Southern Queensland.

Ian Taylor - Director of Activities

The Director of Activities is responsible for the co-curricular activities of the College, including the co-ordination of the Sporting program and the College cultural program, incorporating Performing Arts, Public Speaking and Debating. The Director of Activities leads a talented and committed team of coaches and supports the Co-ordinator of Interschool Carnivals.

Ian joined the College in 1993 and was appointed to his current position as Director of Activities in 1996.


Toni Kirton - Director of Positive Education and Leadership

The Director of Positive Education and Leadership is responsible for the development of Positive Education, Service Learning, Student Leadership, Staff Wellness and Community Engagement across Prep to Year 12 of the College. The Director of Positive Education and Leadership works closely with the Director of Teaching and Learning to ensure the seamless integration of the principles of positive psychology into our leading, and research-based pedagogy.

Toni was appointed to this position in January 2016, after commencing at the College in 2014 as the Career and Guidance Counsellor.  She has held various positions in both State and Independent schools including Year Level Co-ordinator, Student Advisor and School Counsellor.  Toni considers herself a lifelong learner, which is evidenced by her commitment to her professional development, having completed a Master of Education, majoring in Educational Leadership, and a Master of Educational Studies, majoring in Guidance and Counselling.

Belinda Pilgrim - Director of Teacher Development and Effectiveness

The role of the Director of Teacher Development and Effectiveness is to lead and promote a leading Performance Development Culture (PDC). The Director of Teacher Development and Effectiveness is responsible for the planning, implementation, evaluation and support of the College’s professional learning programs for teachers and supports teaching staff in their growth and development as professional educators.

This role is rarely found in Australian Schools and represents a significant investment in the professional development, efficacy and proficiency of our teachers, thereby enabling them to better serve and support our students.

Belinda joined A.B. Paterson College in 2018 and was appointed to the position of Head of Academic Excellence, Growth and Development later that year. Prior to joining A.B. Paterson College, Belinda has held a variety of leadership roles at Independent Schools in NSW including Dean of Students, Director of Boarding, Head of Department, Stage 6 Co-ordinator and Head of Year Advisors/Pastoral Care. Belinda is committed to supporting the professional growth of teachers by improving teaching practice and maintaining a high standard of teaching and learning at A.B. Paterson College.

Afzal Shariff - Director of ICT Services

The Director of ICT Services is responsible for the IT infrastructure of the College and for ensuring that technologically is geared to best support the education of our students and to enable the business operations of Administration.

The role encompasses delivering technology to classrooms and ensuring the seamless integration of IT into pedagogy and not merely as an ‘add-on’. IT and associated devices are important educational tools, but like any tool, are only for for specific purposes. Our pedagogy drives the technology needed and not dictated by it.

Prior to joining A.B. Paterson College, Afzal has held former positions, such as IT Manager at a local independent school and the Director of IT at Brisbane Boys College. Afzal has extensive experience in the tertiary education sector, having worked 10 years for the Queensland University of Technology.

Afzal has a Bachelor of Information Technology degree (majoring in Information Management) and an Associate Diploma in electrical Engineering from Queensland University of Technology.

Tim Grosser - Director of Operations and Planning

The Director of Operations and Planning is responsible for the day-to-day organisation of the College, the efficient coordination and effective utilisation of staff, the development of staff, and the planning associated with major events, functions and the College calendar.

Tim joined A.B. Paterson College in 2015 as Head of Mathematics and was appointed as Director of Operations and Planning in Term 4, 2017. Prior to this, he has held senior roles in independent schools in both Queensland and New South Wales.


Charlotte Brook - Dean of Senior School 

The Dean of Senior School is responsible for ensuring the best educational outcomes for all students in Years 10 to 12, by guiding and advising on course offerings, supporting the pastoral needs of students, monitoring their academic progress as they proceed from Years 10 to Year 12, and overseeing and taking responsibility for all moderation processes within the College.

Charlotte joined the Mathematics Department of A.B. Paterson College in 2015, moving into the role of Head of Dennis House in 2016, and was appointed to the position of Dean of Senior School in 2018.

Prior to arriving in Australia, Charlotte taught at a variety of independent schools in England where she held the leadership positions of Head of House and Gifted and Talented Coordinator. 

Melissa Presland - Acting Dean of Senior School 

Melissa co-ordinates the Science Program from Prep to Year 12, including Chemistry, Biology, Physics and Marine Science.  She teaches general science in Years 7- 9 and Senior Chemistry and Biology.

Melissa joined the College in 2002, moving from a teaching position, to Assistant Head of Wright House in 2005, and to Head of Science in 2012.


Rebecca Taylor - Deputy Head of Junior School: Teaching and Learning

The Deputy Head of Junior School: Teaching and Learning works closely with the staff and students from Prep to Year 6 on all matters relating to curriculum, pedagogy and instructional techniques; and with the Director of Teaching and Learning and other Senior Leaders to ensure the very best educational outcomes for students in the Junior School.

Rebecca joined the College in 2008 as a primary school teacher following her graduation from the College as a student and her university studies. She has international teaching experience following her appointment in England and has held a range of leadership positions at our College, including eMentor, Head of Instructional Leadership and Development, and Head of Learning Analytics. 

Steve Clacher - Deputy Head of Junior School: Pastoral

The Deputy Head of Junior School: Pastoral is a key leadership role in the College, reporting directly to the Head of Junior School, and is responsible for the development of the pastoral care program, the pastoral care of all students, and the development of all students within the educational program of the Junior School. 

The Deputy Head of Junior School: Pastoral works in close collaboration with the Deputy Head of Junior School: Teaching and Learning to deliver a unified and seamless education within the Junior School.