Principal's Welcome

As the twelfth Principal of Somerville House, I acknowledge those colleagues who have come before me.  Each day as I walk through my office and pass a portrait gallery of the past Somerville House Principals, I am reminded of the responsibility I have to carry on the legacy established by Miss Eliza A Fewings. Somerville House has a long history of tradition and pride. Since its foundation in 1899, Somerville House has epitomised the essential elements of a leading girls’ school: intellectual endeavour, teaching excellence, a caring Christian community, a wealth of opportunities and a stimulating environment fostering innovation and growth.  120 years later, the School’s outlook continues in the tradition of Miss Fewings, as the Founding Principal who established a school designed to educate young women to take a leading role in society.  Today, Somerville House is focussed on educating the next generation of fearless leaders of change so that they are well-prepared for the future workforce of the 2030s.

I am honoured to be part of this passionate, inclusive and supportive school community. The vision, purpose and values of Somerville House align closely with my own personal philosophy and ambition for girls’ education. Somerville House offers an exemplary educational environment with a culture of academic scholarship, Christian faith serving as a strong foundation for enhanced social and emotional wellbeing, and a strong sense of meaningful community service and civic engagement experiences.  

What a privilege it is for us to be part of the Somerville House community. Collectively, we can encourage each student to develop confidence and connection to their individual purpose.  Specifically, we can help our students learn to trust their voices, as sources of power and encouragement, to self and others, and to have a fulfilling life that makes a meaningful contribution to society.

I encourage you to learn more about Somerville House.  Please explore our website, visit our social media platforms or take a 24/7 Tour.

Mrs Kim Kiepe

Leadership Team 

The Leadership Team at Somerville House oversees all aspects of the School’s operations. Our Leadership Team members are listed below: 

Mrs Kim Kiepe

Mrs Kim Kiepe MEd(Leadership & Management), BEd, DipT, MACEL, GAICD has led Somerville House as its twelfth Principal since January 2019. Kim’s teaching and leadership experience in both girls’ and co-educational school settings extend over thirty-seven years, spanning the government and independent school sector. Most recently, Kim was the Principal at St Hilda’s Anglican School for Girls in Perth, Western Australia. She 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 advantageous 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. Throughout her teaching life, Kim has been influenced by Aristotle’s thinking: Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all. 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, developing into capable, confident, compassionate and connected young women. Her personal belief is based on a commitment to intellectual endeavour, staff development and student wellbeing. “By creating a vibrant learning environment, with a strong focus on developing and nurturing of the whole person, students are empowered and self-motivated to achieve their personal aspirations. Further, a school culture that emphasises quality relationships and social awareness contribute to a student’s global sense of purpose,” Kim said.

Mrs Jo Matherson

Mrs Jo Matherson BSc, DipEd, Assoc.LEADR, MACEL commenced with Somerville House as the Deputy Principal in January 2020. Jo brings with her fourteen years’ experience teaching in regional independent girls’ boarding schools and understands the importance of a balanced education with a focus on strong academic foundations, fulfilling co-curricular activities and a robust wellbeing program, all grounded in faith, to provide the platform for each individual student to achieve their best. As the Deputy Principal, Jo is responsible for curriculum oversight, professional staff development, student wellbeing, the extra-curricular program, boarding, policies and procedures and daily organisation of the School.

With a career spanning twenty-five years, Jo’s extensive teaching and leadership background, including Acting Head of School at PLC Armidale in 2014 and Acting Principal of The Glennie School in Term 3 2019, means that she has developed a thorough knowledge of girls’ learning and growth. Jo’s teaching background is in science and mathematics, and Jo is currently studying her Master of Education in eLearning and the Graduate Certificate in Professional Practice. Jo endeavours to provide opportunities for students to explore their talents and support them to persist in achieving their best in all aspects of their schooling; growing the mind, body and spirit. She enjoys working with staff to build their capacity to collaborate and develop leadership skills to fulfil their potential and maximise their job satisfaction.

Ms Chris O’Gorman

Ms Chris O'Gorman BSc, DipEd, Cert IV Theol&Min grew up in Brisbane and trained as a mathematics and science teacher at the University of Queensland. After teaching for three years in the government system, she joined the staff of Scripture Union (SU) Queensland (Qld). She worked as a Schools Ministry Worker, setting up and resourcing voluntary Christian groups in schools, running a vacation camping program, and helping set up Chaplaincy in government schools.

After 12 years at SU Qld, Chris went back to teaching Maths, Science and Christian Education at Brisbane Boys’ College (BBC). She was also on the pastoral care team at BBC as a Head of House and remained at BBC for 11 years. In 2007, Chris was appointed as Senior Chaplain at Somerville House, where she teaches Christian Education, takes Chapel services and assembly devotions, offers pastoral care, and develops the Christian life of the School.

Chris is passionate about helping people connect more closely with Jesus Christ, and understand God’s grace as expressed through Christ’s life, death and resurrection. Her life and ministry are driven by the motto ‘Know Jesus and make Him Known’. Chris is a credentialed pastor in her denomination.

Ms Renee Bromiley

As Business Manager, Ms Renee Bromiley BCom, CPA, GAICD oversees the School’s business functions including finance, technology services, facilities, and corporate enterprise and provides high-level support to the Principal, School Council and PMSA Board as part of the School’s governance arrangements.

Before joining Somerville House in late 2017, she held several senior leadership roles both locally and internationally and has a diversified skill set and a keen interest in strategic planning, capital projects, business planning and analysis and business improvement initiatives.

She holds memberships with CPA Australia and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Renee champions a healthy lifestyle and is always motivating her staff to achieve their personal best both at work and in other pursuits.

Mrs Julie Brunckhorst

Mrs Julie Brunckhorst BA, DipT, MACEL, Dean of Student Wellbeing, has held various roles in her fifteen years at Somerville House including Head of Year, and teacher of Learning Enhancement Literacy and English. Julie’s teaching and educational leadership experience of more than thirty years have spanned co-educational government schools and independent Christian girls' and boys' schools. Previous to Somerville House, Julie has been Deputy Principal, Head of Department - English, Head of Year, Boarding House Supervisor, teacher of English, Economics and History, and Manager of Human Resources across Queensland offices in an international professional services firm.

Julie is passionate about positive wellbeing. Her professional focus has always been on building positive, respectful relationships, to provide a secure space where those with disparate needs can flourish. She believes in empowering students and staff: to think creatively and critically to achieve individual potential, to develop educational and personal capacity for resilience, and to celebrate a life of meaning and care for the greater good. She is particularly interested in building community, in creating a sense of belonging and empathy for others. Julie’s current leadership research and initiatives centre on the correlation between wellbeing and achievement.

Julie’s collaborative approach has been inspired by William Butler Yeats, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire”.

Mrs Wendy Jurss

Mrs Wendy Jurss MLearning & Innov, GradDipEd, BA, AMusA, MACEL commenced at Somerville House in 2020 as the Dean of Academic Programs.

Wendy has had over twenty years’ experience in Independent schools, most recently as the Director of Teaching and Learning at The Springfield Anglican College. During this time, she worked with the teaching staff and middle leaders to develop a strong academic culture, an innovative and contemporary curriculum; and a learning environment which fostered the growth of 21st century skills. Wendy has also held leadership positions, including the Director of Creative Arts and the Head of Music.

A passion for the Arts has driven Wendy’s desire to assist all students in discovering their personal strengths and abilities to achieve excellence in their chosen field. She enjoys developing new and flexible ways for students to be able to challenge themselves and make new discoveries. Wendy holds a Bachelor of Arts (Music) from QUT (Queensland University of Technology), an Associate Diploma of Music (Flute) from the AMEB and a Masters of Learning Innovation from QUT. Upon graduation from her initial Music degree, Wendy was also awarded a University Medal.

Over many years, Wendy has enjoyed forming connections with the broader community and has found these connections to also enhance the learning experiences for students. She was a member of the Qld Committee of the Redkite Cancer Fund for Children, developing fundraising opportunities in schools through music. Wendy has also been a member of the Board of Education at the University of Southern Queensland, where she developed curriculum programs for her students. A passionate educator, Wendy considers the needs of students to be of the utmost importance and strives to develop a culture where students feel happy, safe and connected.

Email: WJurss@somerville.qld.edu.au

Mrs Frances Greene

Mrs Frances Greene MEdSt, GradDipEd, BAHons commenced at Somerville House as the Head of Boarding in January 2020. Frances has spent approximately fifteen years working in the education sector in both Australia and the Republic of Ireland and has specialised in teaching language across a range of contexts and residential settings.

Most recently, Frances was the Director of Student Experience at Duchesne Residential College, which is located at The University of Queensland (UQ), St Lucia campus. In this role, she oversaw the pastoral care of approximately 200 young women residing in the Sacred Heart College and enrolled in undergraduate programs across several Brisbane universities. Frances completed a Master of Educational Studies (Guidance and Counselling) at the University of Queensland while working as an academic tutor in the School of Education. Subsequent positions included teacher of French at Moreton Bay College and Career Counsellor at Sheldon College.

Frances is originally from County Antrim in Northern Ireland, where she attended St Louis Grammar School. During her schooling, she was very fortunate to be a scholarship recipient to study a language at a residential college in County Donegal every year during the holiday season. At the age of 19, she became a residential supervisor and teacher at the same college. Frances is committed to the education and pastoral care of young women and is specifically passionate about the deeply embedded feelings of pride and belonging in boarding communities.

​Ms Taryn Miller

Ms Taryn Miller BBus (Human Resources), DipLeadership&Mgt commenced as the Human Resources Manager in May 2019, with the recent appointment to Director of Human Resources in Feb 2021, overseeing the provision of the School’s Human Resources services, policies and programs.

Before joining Somerville House, she has held key senior HR leadership positions over the last seventeen years across industries such as the Queensland Government, Residential Building, Civil Construction and Student Accommodation.  She has developed a diverse skillset across areas such as providing operational support and guidance to Executive Management, implementation of HR teams and strategy both nationally and internationally, HR Administration, Attraction & Retention, Learning & Development, Organisational Development, WH&S & Regulatory Compliance and Policy & Procedure. 

She holds the level of CAHRI membership with the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI).

Taryn is passionate about the employee experience and lifecycle within an organisation.

Mr Peter Yeates

Mr Peter Yeates (M.IT) commenced at Somerville House as the Director of Technology Services in November 2021.

Peter is an enthusiastic champion for effectively utilising Information Communications Technologies (ICT’s) to facilitate improved organisational outcomes.

Before joining Somerville House, he worked in ICT for twenty years, predominantly in education, including State, Catholic, and Independent schools. Prior to that, he held supervisory and managerial roles for fourteen years in the Hospitality industry, where his collaborative, team building and ICT skills were honed. Peter is a Certified Professional member of the Australian Computer Society (ACS) and is currently the Queensland Branch Committee - Honorary Secretary. Most recently, he has attained microCredentials in recognition and validation of achievements against a defined set of skills, knowledge and competency in Cyber Security, Operations Management & Information Security (Gold – SFIA Level 5).