School Council

The Somerville House School Council is responsible for the good governance of all aspects of the schools’ operations.

The 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 (PDF 1.08M).

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.  

School Council members

Our current School Council members are listed below: 

Mr Jim Demack, Chair

Mr Jim Demack LL.B, LL.M, A.MUS.A, GAICD  was appointed the Chair 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.

  • Chair - 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

Mrs Margaret Berry BA, MSc, MEd (Leadership) 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
Mr Matthew Miller

Mr Matthew Miller Assoc. Dip Bus (Real Estate Val), GradDip Urban & Reg Plan is a senior Brisbane property executive with 30 years experience and extensive commercial business acumen, governance experience and stakeholder and relationship management capability. 

Currently the General Manager Queensland at Dexus, Matthew’s primary role is building, motivating and growing strong teams to deliver successful projects. He is well known in the property industry as an industry leader who tackles difficult projects with great success.

Matthew has strong connections to Somerville House – he is a current parent and his wife is a past student. He is a passionate advocate for independent schooling, particularly girls’ education.

Key current and previous appointments, roles and qualifications include:

  • Member – Somerville House School Council (first appointed 2020, current term until 2023)
  • Former Chair – Corporate & Commercial Real Estate Committee, Property Council of Australian (Qld Division)
  • Past board member – South Bank Corporation
  • Past board member – Brisbane City Council Inclusive Brisbane Board
Ms Allison Muller (nee Powell - 1994)

Ms Allison Muller (nee Powell - 1994) BA (Intl Rel), B Bus (Hons), M Bus (App Fin), GAICD 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 Surf Lifesaving Queensland and has previous experience in previous roles of investment committee chair.

As an Old Girl, Allison 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 – Surf Lifesaving Queensland
  • Founder – GOYA Consulting
Mr Peter Thompson

Mr Peter Thompson BA (Hons)  was appointed to the Somerville House School Council in 2018. A UK (United Kingdom) 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 
Ex-officio members
  • Mrs Kim Kiepe, School Principal MEd (Leadership & Management), BEd, DipT, MACEL, GAICD (Ex-officio) 
  • Mrs Jo Matherson, Deputy Principal  BSc, DipEd, Assoc. LEADR, MACEL (Ex-officio) 
  • Ms Renee Bromiley, Business Manager BCom, CPA (Ex-officio)