Somerville House School Council

Somerville House School Council is made up of up of nine members including two PMSA Board members, up to six independent School Council members appointed from the school’s community, and the school Principal, who is a non-voting member. The Somerville House School Council is delegated the responsibility to govern and administer the performance of the school. The School Council’s role includes: 

  • establishing and implementing the Somerville House business and strategic plans.
  • monitoring the management of risks within Somerville House.
  • overseeing Somerville House’s financial and operational performance against KPIs.
  • ensuring Somerville House adheres to all policies and procedures including child protection. 
  • overseeing new School Council member appointments. 
  • being actively involved in the process of appointing the school Principal. 
  • managing the ongoing performance of the school Principal. 

The school Principal reports to the School Council and is responsible for the daily operations of the school. 

For more information about the School Council’s roles and responsibilities, please see the Somerville House School Council Charter.

When positions on the Somerville House School Council are vacant, they will be advertised on the Somerville House website, the school newsletter, the PMSA website, and appropriate websites for board positions available.  

The Current Somerville House School Council Members are:

Mr Jim Demack, Chairman LL.B, LL.M, A.MUS.A, GAICD 

Jim Demack was appointed the Chairman of the Somerville House School Council in 2017 and is also a member of the PMSA Board appointed by the Uniting Church. 

A lawyer and a Brisbane partner of a national law firm, Jim brings his legal skills with experience in major engineering and infrastructure projects, insurance, litigation and commercial law. He has a collaborative approach to problem solving in dealing with the issues that arise for both the Somerville House School Council and the PMSA Board.

  • Chairman - Somerville House School Council 
  • Member - Somerville House School Council 
  • PMSA Board member (first appointed 2013, current term until 2021) 
  • Member - PMSA Nominations and Human Resources Committee
  • Practising solicitor specialising in all aspects of construction law, particularly major engineering and infrastructure projects, insurance and litigation
  • Partner - Gadens Lawyers
  • Member - Legal Reference Committee, Uniting Church Queensland Synod

Mrs Margaret Berry  BA, MSc, MEd (Leadership)

Margaret Berry has been appointed as a Uniting Church representative on the PMSA Board and is currently the Principal at Robertson State School.

Margaret has a passion for the education of young people and has a long career in the leadership of school communities. Her daughter and sisters attended Somerville House and extended family members attend Brisbane Boys' College. Margaret has worked with school councils for over 10 years.  She has joined the PSMA Board at a time in her career where she feels she can add value and support to the PMSA's work. 

Margaret has more than 30 years experience teaching in both primary and secondary schools. Since 1998, she has held leadership positions of Head of Department, Deputy Principal and Principal of secondary schools and current Principal of a primary school. With a Certificate of Teaching, Bachelor of Arts, a Master of Education (Leadership), and a Master of Science, Margaret brings a wealth of educational experience to the Somerville House School Council and the PMSA Board.  

  • Member - Somerville House School Council 
  • PMSA Board member (first appointed 2018, current term until 2021)
  • Principal - Robertson State School
  • Member - Queensland State Primary Principals Association
  • President - South Branch Queensland Association for Gifted & Talented Children
  • Member - Queensland College of Teachers
  • Member - Uniting Church Schools Commission
  • Member - Australian Institute of Company Directors

Ms Allison Muller (nee Powell - 1994) BA (Intl Rel), B Bus (Hons), M Bus (App Fin), GAICD

Allison Muller was appointed to the Somerville House School Council in late 2019 and brings her entrepreneurial skills and twenty years of strategy and management experience in both Australia and the UK to the role. Now running her own corporate advisory and software development company providing strategic growth and new business development advice, Allison is a strategic thinker and has governance and risk management expertise. She completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors course in 2010, is a non-executive director of Lockyer Valley Foods and has previous experience in previous roles of investment committee chair.

Allison is a Somerville House old girl and has a keen interest in supporting the continuing success and development of the School. 

  • Member – Somerville House School Council (appointed 2019)
  • Graduate – Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • Non-executive Director – Lockyer Valley Foods
  • Co-founder – Big Wave Ventures

Mr Peter Thompson BA (Hons)  

Peter Thompson was appointed to the Somerville House School Council in 2018. A UK qualified chartered accountant and investment banker, Peter studied philosophy, politics and economics at St John’s College, Oxford. He spent most of his career in investment banking providing financial advice to international companies. 

Moving to Australia in 2005, Peter began his association with Somerville House in 2007 when his daughter commenced at the school. Peter is a past treasurer of Somerville House Parents & Friends Association, a director (and briefly chairman) of the Somerville House Foundation. He is a continuing donor to the Somerville House Foundation. 

Peter brings his strong finance, investment and corporate finance skills to the Somerville House School Council.

  • Member – Somerville House School Council (first appointed 2018, current term until 2021)
  • Former chartered accountant and investment banker
  • Former Managing Director - UBS Investment Bank 

Mrs Fleur Wilkinson (nee Johnston) B.A.(Psych), CAHRI, GAICD

Fleur Johnston was appointed to the Somerville House School Council in 2019. Fleur holds more than twenty years experience specialising in large scale business and cultural transformation. In her role as CEO of a management advisory firm working in health, education and community services over the last seven years, Fleur has contributed her expertise in governance, strategy, organisational design, human resource management and significant change developed primarily through her leadership roles in HR and major projects across a range of Queensland government agencies.

Fleur has extensive experience partnering with boards, CEOs, and executive teams in not-for-profit environments to define business challenges and design interventions to achieve measurable change in outcomes for the community. Her current leadership of a national education research and benchmarking practice provides her with a unique insight into the Australian education landscape.

Fleur strongly values the fundamental and lifelong importance of high-quality education. Her daughter attends Somerville House, her son attends Brisbane Boys’ College, and she is passionate about contributing to the ongoing evolution of the School. Fleur brings thorough interpersonal skills, deep expertise in faith-based education environments, as well as her professional depth in human resource management and organisational development to the Somerville House School Council.

  • Member – Somerville House School Council (appointed 2019)
  • Graduate – Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • Chartered Member of the Australian Human Resources Institute
  • Co-founder and Director - J&G Consulting
  • Chief Executive Officer - PeopleBench

Ms Maribel Reyna-Cruz B Bus (Comm)

Maribel Reyna-Cruz was appointed to the Somerville House School Council in late 2019. Maribel has a strong background in customer strategy, customer experience, strategic marketing, business strategy and performance, and change management working for leading organisations in Australia, Asia and Mexico.

Currently completing her MBA and already an accredited Qualified Practising Market Researcher, Maribel is a strategic thinker and is currently the Head of Delivery, Stores and Specialty Banking at Suncorp. She has a strong passion for empowering young women and bringing more equality and equity into society and the corporate world. 

  • Member – Somerville House School Council (appointed 2019)
  • Head of Delivery, Stores and Specialty Banking – Suncorp
  • Member - FINSIA (Financial Services Institute of Australia)

Mrs Kim Kiepe, School Principal MEd (Leadership & Management), BEd, DipT, MACEL, GAICD

Kim’s teaching and leadership experience in both girls’ and co-educational school settings extends over thirty-five years.  Appointed as Principal at St Hilda’s Anglican School for Girls in 2015, Kim’s teaching career has spanned the government and independent school sectors and TAFE settings.  Kim has extensive school leadership experience, including roles as Head of Year, Senior Years’ Co-ordinator, Head of Boarding and Deputy Principal.  

A strong background in girls’ education within Christian schools has been very rewarding in terms of helping students reach their personal best. An awareness of the importance of a collaborative and professional culture led to postgraduate study in Masters of Educational Leadership and Management.  Kim’s interest in governance, compliance, marketing and financial oversight in education has been supported through further study; she is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors course.

Kim has a great passion for leading staff in supporting the aspirations of all students, by maintaining a philosophy of encouraging girls to strive for personal excellence and develop into happy, confident and connected young women. Her personal belief is based on a commitment to intellectual endeavour, staff development and student wellbeing. 

“By creating a rich learning environment, with a strong focus on developing and nurturing of the whole person, my belief is that students can feel self-motivated and empowered to achieve their personal aspirations. Further, a school culture that places emphasis on the growth of quality relationships and a social awareness contribute to a student’s sense of purpose in a global sense.”  Throughout her teaching life, Kim has been influenced by Aristotle’s thinking - “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”  

On commencing as the twelfth Principal of Somerville House, Kim commented “I am looking forward to joining with the School community to celebrate the strong traditions of the past, while building on the School’s vision to provide the support and encouragement for students to become the best they can be.  It is my intention to work with the School’s staff to find innovative methods of facilitating learning, while promoting a culture of high expectations.”