School Council

The School Council is made up of up of nine members including up to seven independent School Council members appointed from the School’s community, one PMSA Board member who is the Council’s Deputy Chair, and the School Principal who is a non-voting member. 

The Somerville House School Council is a sub-committee of the PMSA Board and provides strategic advice to the School Principal and the PMSA Board regarding the governance and performance of the School. 

The School Council’s role includes providing strategic advice on a range of matters including: 

  • school culture and Christian focus
  • the Somerville House business and strategic plans
  • the Somerville House master plan
  • provide advice on areas of risk
  • Somerville House’s financial and operational performance against financial performance thresholds 
  • effective communication with school stakeholders
  • provide support and guidance to the School Principal 
  • advice to the Board to implement the School Strategic Plan
  • advice to the Board on effectiveness of enrolment strategy.

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: 

Ms Fiona Gaske, Chair

Ms Fiona Gaske M Sp Path St, B Mus, GAICD was appointed the Chair of the Somerville House School Council in 2021.

An elected Councillor from 2012 to 2020, Fiona brings her comprehensive experience in strategic planning and policy formation in complex organisations and environments. She is a competent, transparent leader with high-level knowledge and practice of corporate governance and performance, with significant experience on boards and chairing committees. 

Fiona is the current Chair of Regional Development Australia Darling Downs and South West and has an expansive vision and leadership expertise in rural and remote community issues, strategic innovation, diversification and sustainable futures for rural communities. As Executive Director of the innovative social enterprise LANAH, she advocates for community-led initiatives, with holistic goals to combine emotional and social wellbeing through sustainable and feasible projects, focussing on business, culture and the arts.  

Key current and previous appointments, awards and qualifications include:  

  • Chair Regional Development Australia - Darling Downs and South West 
  • Graduate Australian Institute of Company Directors  
  • Fellow – Australian Rural Leadership Program  
  • Director South West Health and Hospital Board  
  • Finalist Queensland Regional Rural and Remote Women’s Network 2014  
  • South West Regional Economic Development Committee 
  • Local Government Association of Queensland’s Regional Economic Development Advisory Group 
  • Queensland Government Advancing Regional Innovation Program Committee 
  • Queensland Great Artesian Basin Advisory Committee 
Mrs Margaret Berry, Deputy Chair

Mrs Margaret Berry BA, MSc, MEd (Leadership) GAICD 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. 

Key current and previous appointments, awards and qualifications include:   

  • 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
  • PMSA Board member (2018 to 2021)
Mrs Tracey McFarland

Mrs Tracey McFarland B.Business, GAICD is a highly experienced executive with thirty years of experience in strategic marketing management, customer experience, transformational change and operational improvement.   

Tracey has a proven track record in large market-leading service organisations and is recognised for her energy and achievement drive in consumer services, strategic vision and operational planning, innovative thinking and change leadership.  

Currently, the Chief Experience Officer – People & Culture and Customers at Goodstart Early Learning, Tracey strives to create better solutions to human needs and build brands, teams and reputation off the back of better experiences and business outcomes.   

Tracey is a Somerville House graduate of the Class of 1990, current parent and third-generation Somerville House family. 

Key current and previous appointments, awards and qualifications include:  

  • Executive Committee – Goodstart Early Learning  
  • Mentor - Minerva Network Australia - mentoring elite sportswomen on commercial challenges of being a professional athlete 
  • Graduate - Australian Institute of Company Directors (2019) 
  • Former Management Committee – Chief Customer Officer Forum Australia (2010-2017)  
  • Australian Direct Marketing Association - National Young Direct Marketer of the Year – (2003)  
  • Bachelor of Business (Marketing) with Distinction – QUT   
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
Mrs Trisha Squires

Mrs Trisha Squires MAICD, GrapDipIntlDev, BA, DipYouthWork is a passionate advocate for youth, women and education.

Trisha is a recognised leader, winning the 2019 Tasmania Telstra Business Women’s Award (Medium & Large Business) and the 2019 Jill Lindsay AFL Scholarship. She is a Founder of the Reach Broadbridge Fund, a school providing education to primary school-aged children on Thailand’s Phi Phi Island. Trisha was also Young Australian of the Year in 2006 for her work in the aftermath of the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami.

Trisha recently completed an Executive Certificate in Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School and the AICD Company Directors’ course. Trisha is known for her leadership qualities, clear strategic thinking, and resilience.

Trisha’s board experience and background in sports administration is an asset to the Council and her outstanding personal achievements are an inspiration to the students.

Key current and previous appointments, roles and awards include:

  • Director – AFL Cape York Limited
  • Director – Tasmanian Football Foundation
  • Winner – 2006 Young Australian of the Year
  • Winner – 2019 Tasmania Telstra Business Women’s Award (Medium& Large Business)
  • Winner – 2019 Jill Lindsay Scholarship
  • Participant – 2020 AIS (Australian Institute of Sport) Talent Program for Sport Executives scholarship
  • Current Head – AFL Queensland
  • Founder – Reach Broadbridge Fund
  • Former Member – St Michael Collegiate School Foundation Committee (2019)
  • Former board member – Family Life, International Women’s Development Agency, The National Youth Mental Health Foundation (Headspace)
  • Former CEO – Reach, St Kilda Youth Service and AFL Tasmania
Ex-officio members
  • Mrs Kim Kiepe, School Principal MEd (Leadership & Management), BEd, DipT, MACEL, GAICD (Ex-officio) 
  • Ms Renee Bromiley, Business Manager BCom, CPA, GAICD (Ex-officio)