The Somerville House Foundation was founded in 1984 by a group of parents and Old Girls with a mutual passion and belief in the transformative power of education. 

Our Board

Dr Sandra Hastie, Ex Officio

Dr Sandra Hastie, Somerville House Principal, EdD, M.Ed (Admin) Hons, B.Ed. Dip Tchg 
Click here to view full profile under 'Leadership Team'.

Fiona Gaske, School Advisory Council

Ms Fiona Gaske, Somerville House School Council Chair, M Sp Path St, B Mus, GAICD
Click here to view full profile under 'School Council Members'.

Bethwyn Todd, Chair

Ms Bethwyn Todd BSc, MBA, GAICD, (Class of 1989) is a strategic business leader with executive leadership experience in Australia, USA, China and across the Asia Pacific region. Most recently she served as Vice President and Asia Pacific President of FMC Corporation (NYSE: FMC) where she led the growth and transformation of the business, tripling revenue and significantly increasing market share and profitability.

Prior to FMC, Bethwyn was Managing Director of Monsanto Australia, successfully growing the business through the introduction of game changing biotechnology to Australian agriculture. Her eight-year tenure with the company comprised several commercial, corporate affairs and regulatory roles and she was pivotal to the successful transformation of the business during this period.  
 
Bethwyn has extensive strategy, financial and corporate governance experience. She has an inclusive leadership style with a passion for inspiring, mentoring and developing talent and creating diverse, high performing organizations.
 
She currently sits on the University of Queensland ChangeMakers Board and has served on multiple not-for-profit trade association and foreign subsidiary boards across Australia, USA, China and Asia Pacific over the past 20 years.

Michelle Allan, Deputy Chair

Since September 2020, Ms Michelle Allan has led the Duchesne College community as Head of College and Chief Executive. She has spearheaded the development of a new strategic vision for the College focused on the key pillars of leadership, culture and sustainability. At Duchesne, Michelle leads a professional team to deliver high-quality university accommodation and academic and wellbeing support in an environment where young women can aspire to achieve their potential and become actively engaged global citizens.

Prior to joining Duchesne, Michelle led the development of a new international high school in inner-city Brisbane that opened in January 2021. Michelle oversaw all facets of the school’s growth, including strategic and business planning, governance modelling, and framework development for education and wellbeing.

Michelle earned a Bachelor of Arts with a Double Major in Japanese and an MBA from The University of Queensland. She also worked as Deputy Director of Global Engagement, within UQ’s International Office.

Additionally, Michelle has experience across several roles in the Queensland and Commonwealth Governments, including as a diplomat in the Australian Embassy in Tokyo. Early in her career, Michelle also spent several years living and working in Japan.

Career highlights

  • Director School Programs – IES College
  • General Manager International – Charlton Brown
  • Director Communications and Community Relations – Brisbane Girls Grammar School
  • Deputy Director (Global Engagement) – The University of Queensland
  • Counsellor (Education) – Australian Embassy, Tokyo
  • Manager – North Asia, Department of State Development
Rebecca Bauer, OGA Representative

Ms Rebecca Bauer BA (Econ), (Class of 1988) and one of Brisbane’s most highly-regarded Executive Search recruitment specialists, with more than 18 years’ experience in a range of senior leadership and consulting capacities. 

Currently Principal Consultant at Hudson, Rebecca leads Executive Search Recruitment for Queensland, and is a part of a niche team delivering services of this level nationally, attracting Australian and global talent.

Rebecca has successfully supported the appointment of senior executives and partnered with boards and state and national leadership teams, across industries, for highly visible and sensitive assignments. She has significant experience managing Executive Search assignments for State Governments across Australia, and delivering highly specialised and functional appointments, as well as their most senior leadership roles, in the public interest.

Prior to the two decades in recruitment, Rebecca had a professional sales and marketing career within the property, retail and healthcare sectors, in both Australia and the UK.

Key current and previous appointments, roles and qualifications include:
·         Member – PMSA Nominations and Human Resources Committee (appointed 2020)
·         Principal Consultant – Hudson Queensland
·         Co-Vice President – Somerville House Old Girls’ Association
·         Director – Somerville House Foundation
·         Chair – Somerville House Foundation Nominations Committee
·         Judge – Telstra Business Women’s Awards Queensland
·         Judge – Telstra Business Awards Queensland

Wade Bidstrup, P&F Representative

Mr Wade Bidstrup was appointed as the Somerville House Parents & Friends (P&F) Director to the Board of the Somerville House Foundation in 2021.

Wade is a grain farmer from Warra on the Darling Downs. Wade continues to contribute to a number of local community groups around Jandowae.  

Wade graduated from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) with a Bachelor of Engineering (Mech) in 1999 and completed a post-graduate-certificate in Rural Science from the University of New England (UNE) in 2003. 

Wade and his wife Sally have three daughters boarding at the School.

Prior to joining the Foundation Board as a Director Wade was actively involved In the Somerville House Community. He is a member of the Parents & Friends (P&F) Executive and has also been involved with the Boarding House and Rowing Support Groups. 

Wade is a passionate advocate for regional and rural scholarships to enable girls to access the best opportunities possible. 

Kiran Goel, Community Engagement Chair

Ms Kiran Goel is a QUT graduate, with a Bachelor of Business degree and is a Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA) with over two decades of diverse professional experience. Her journey has been marked by a blend of entrepreneurship and corporate expertise, spanning across various industries.

Currently serving as the Chief Operating Officer at Suro Health, a leading medical firm specializing in psychiatric medicolegal reports for civil and criminal cases, Kiran has spent the last 12 years driving the success and growth of clinical and medico-legal aspects of psychiatric care. Her strategic leadership and operational acumen have been instrumental in positioning Suro Health as a reputable entity in the medico-legal field. This evidenced by Kiran demonstrating her leadership abilities as she owned and managed a prominent private psychiatric clinic in Yeronga for approximately ten years. This experience laid foundation to her skills in healthcare management and provided her with invaluable insights into the complexities of the medical sector.

Beyond her professional endeavours, Kiran is deeply committed to community service and philanthropy. Her involvement as the President of the Parents and Citizens Association at her local school for nearly three years spearheading strategic initiatives focused on fundraising, policy development, and fostering a supportive school environment. Additionally, Kiran actively volunteers at prominent boys' independent schools in inner-city Brisbane, further contributing to educational and youth development initiatives.

Her commitment extends to charitable causes, including volunteering at the community kitchen at St. Andrews Uniting Church in Brisbane City and organizing events to raise awareness about health issues in collaboration with organizations such as the Heart Foundation and the Australia and New Zealand Mental Health Association.

Furthermore, Kiran serves as a Professional Mentor with CPA Australia, leveraging her expertise to guide and mentor young professionals in accounting and finance. Her mentorship role reflects her passion for nurturing talent and empowering the next generation of corporate leaders to navigate the competitive landscape successfully.

Kiran is a past parent of Somerville House, her daughter commenced her Somerville House educational journey in junior school and was a graduate of the class of 2023.

Sarah Hackett, Director

Ms Sarah Hackett is the Managing Director at Place Estate Agents and Principal of Place New Farm. Sarah began her career in real estate in 1997 and quickly grew to the top 1% in her field. In 2002, with the help of her two business partners, Sarah founded Place Estate Agents, a residential agency with a specialist focus on Brisbane. Since then, the company has gone from strength to strength, employing approximately 550 staff across 19 offices in the Brisbane region.

Selling high-end real estate and developing relationships with high net-worth buyers and sellers in both local and international markets, Sarah has achieved unrivalled reach in both the Luxury and Riverfront Residential Market and Prestige Apartment Project Sales.

A passionate advocate for females in business and empowering women, Sarah channels this passion through numerous activities. Consistently ranked as "Agent of the Year" and recently receiving such accolades as Australia's Most Influential Woman in Real Estate in Australia and the #1 Female Agent in Queensland via The Courier Mail. Sarah is actively involved in recruitment and mentoring throughout the Place offices. With 67.8% of employees female and 50% of the Advisory Board also female. Sarah strives to inspire not only female real estate agents but also hopes to inspire the younger female generation.

With community being at the heart of Sarah's brand, she has previously been involved in numerous community events developing relationships with businesses and the locals. Sarah is a Sommerville House Old Girl and a current Somerville House parent.

Since 2019, Sarah has been an active member of the Young President's Organization, the world's largest leadership community of chief executives, coming together to learn from one another, strive for growth and make a difference in the businesses and world we impact.

Sarah Page, Risk & Finance Chair

As a dedicated Board Director, Ms Sarah Page brings a wealth of expertise and a passion for driving corporate strategic success and fostering individual achievements within the organization. With a diverse background spanning law, accounting, management, human resources, acquisitions, and integrations, Sarah Page possesses a unique ability to think holistically about the organisation in strategic planning.

Combining extensive experience in Human Resources with a strong foundation in Legal and Accounting knowledge from tertiary studies and CPA qualifications, Sarah Page has a comprehensive understanding of the crucial people and financial drivers that underpin business success, and the importance of governance and risk management.

Throughout Sarah Page's distinguished career, she has held pivotal leadership roles, including Chief Financial Officer, Corporates Services Director and Head of Human Resources. These positions have granted them extended accountability across various areas, including compliance, risk management, IT, business development, and partnerships. She has a strong comprehension of Director duties holding Director roles in her own companies, professional roles as Company Secretary and volunteering on not-for-profit Boards and Advisory Boards over recent years.

Sarah Page is disciplined, goal-oriented, and excels in designing and implementing initiatives to enhance business capabilities. Her strategic approach includes improving bottom-line profits through process optimization, reviewing performance efficiencies via tailored coaching plans, and skillfully negotiating with culturally diverse stakeholders to realize strategic objectives.

With a dedication to continuous improvement, Sarah Page learns from both successes and mistakes, fostering a culture of appreciation and growth across the organization. As a Board Director, she brings a strategic vision, operational acumen, and a genuine commitment to fostering the success of the organization and its people. She has a track record of improving bottom-line profits, reviewing performance efficiencies, negotiating and influencing stakeholders, and continuously learning and refining processes.

As a Board Director at the Sommerville House Foundation, Sarah is committed to contributing to the strategic planning and decision-making processes, ensuring financial integrity, and driving the organization's growth and success.

Jane Rowan, Nominations Chair

Ms Jane Rowan BA (Journalism) GAICD is a senior communications, marketing, and stakeholder engagement leader with over 25 years’ experience in corporate communications, strategic and integrated marketing, digital content, social media, advertising, and partnerships. She is currently the Marketing and Communications Manager for Home Instead Australia and New Zealand.  

Jane is a passionate advocate for mental health reform and is a regular participant in the Liptember Foundation’s annual fundraising campaign for women’s mental health. She has been one of the campaign’s top fundraisers over the past two years. She is a Non-Executive Director of Upbeat Arts Australia, which provides arts programs promoting inclusion and connection for those living with mental illness.

Jane is a second-generation Somerville House Old Girl (Class of 1989) and a former Somerville House parent. She was initially appointed to the Somerville House Foundation as the P&F’s Director in 2020, before her appointment as an Additional Director in 2021. Jane is Chair of the Somerville House Foundation Fundraising Committee.

She is also a member of the Australia and New Zealand Mental Health Association (ANZMHA) and a member of the peak body for community and stakeholder engagement sector, IAP2 Australasia.  

Foundation Mission, Priorities & Structure

Our Mission

The Somerville House Foundation is committed to providing exceptional learning opportunities for Somerville House students to encourage them to become the best they can be. The Foundation supports the School in delivering its strategic intent with objectives that are aligned with the School’s Master Plan. All the Foundation does builds upon the rich culture of philanthropy at the School and across our community.

Our Vision

The Foundation works to inspire all those involved in the school community, past and present, to commit to a culture of philanthropy for our girls as rich as those that are present in boys' schools.

Our Priorities

As a tax-deductible fundraising vehicle, the Foundation partners with the School to deliver programs and projects that have a lasting impact on the educational journey of Somerville House students. This is achieved through raising and managing funds via appeals, events and initiatives to assist the School with current and future development priorities.

Our Structure

The Foundation operates as a company limited by guarantee and is registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission. We operate collaboratively with the School under the requirements of the Corporations Act, with a professional Board of Directors. Board members bring a diverse mix of skills and experience, and great passion for our cause.