CSSK Governance and Management Structure
Castlemaine Steiner School & Kindergarten supports and promotes the principles and practice of Australian democracy, including elected representation, the rule of law, equal rights for all before the law, freedom of religion, freedom of speech and association and the values of openness and tolerance.
CSSK Constitution (updated 2020)
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors ensures that all of the School’s fundamental principles, embodied in its values and mission statement, are inherent and implemented in all programs and activities of the School. It has ultimate responsibility for all matters relating to the overall planning and running of the school, ensuring a strategic approach to the School’s future by setting major objectives, policy frameworks and strategies, to review and monitor adherence to systems of risk management, governance and legal compliance, including the legal responsibilities as employer of all Staff at the School. The Board’s role is to govern the School and not to get involved in day-to-day management of its operations.
The Principal leads the whole school community to effectively manage resources to achieve the school’s goals in collaboration with the Executive Team. The Principal reports directly to the Board of Directors.
The Business Manager is responsible for effective management of the School’s business and finances. The Business Manager reports directly to the Principal.
The Executive Team consists of Staff representation from across the School:
Principal/Educational Leader, Business Manager, Administration, Sites and Grounds Coordinator, Curriculum/Assessment Coordinator, College member and Specialist Teacher
This Team meets regularly as an operational “think tank” for the Principal/Educational Leader to discuss compliance matters e.g relating to Schools Operations Guidelines, health mandates, VRQA registration, emergency management planning, OH&S, Child Safety
Matters that may affect the education of the students are also discussed at College meetings. E.g. distance learning, festivals, teaching/learning.
Student Care Leader and Professional Practice Leader are two whole-school roles currently under development, which together will lead and coordinate evidence-informed practices related to engagement, wellbeing and learning.
The College of Staff, works collaboratively and commits to guiding the pedagogical, cultural, and spiritual ideals of CSSK. Through study, self-development, and in working with the 7 Core Principles of Steiner Education, the College of Staff informs overarching decisions affecting curriculum, teacher development, strategic planning, festival life, and adult education.
*Currently the College consists of nine Class Teachers (Prep – C8) and the Educational Leader. At the end of 2021 the College agreed to an expanded model to include all staff at CSSK, who express an interest in and commitment to guiding the educational and spiritual direction of the school. An updated terms of reference for the College is currently being drafted to include the following tasks:
- Child study
- Artistic development for Staff
- Studying Rudolf Steiner’s indications on child development, the curriculum and anthroposophy, through his lectures, related readings, audio files and keynote speakers of Steiner Education.
- Participating in SEA and other Waldorf/Steiner courses and Professional Development.
- Planning festivals
- Inputting into strategic planning
- Inputting into curriculum/program implementation and reviews
- Monitoring/reviewing selected policies
- Student wellbeing and engagement
Keppel Cassidy – Keppel is a social worker who has worked in the mental health field in regional Victoria for the past 6 years. He brings to the board extensive training and experience in group work and interpersonal communication, and many years as a student of anthroposophy. An alumni of the Melbourne Rudolf Steiner School, he is passionate about Steiner education and its vital role in educating the young people who can transform and renew our society. He holds a Master of Social Work from Federation University and a Graduate Diploma of Counselling and Psychotherapy from the Cairnmillar Institute.
Anna Campbell – Anna has worked in the education field with varying age groups from 3 to 14 year olds, since 1977, as a Primary school teacher in both city & country State schools, as a Kindergarten Director and overseas in Korea & Northen Ireland. She has been at CSSK as a class teacher from 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Education, Graduate Certificate Early Childhood Teacher and Foundation Course in Rudolf Steiner Education.
Ian Cuming – Ian was on the Board of a community house in the Yarra Valley for over 25 years, on the Board of the Little Yarra Steiner School for 1 year, and his children went through Little Yarra. He also lived and worked for several years on a Camp Hill community in England (an anthroposophically-based supported living community for people with disabilities), and more recently was a biodynamic farmer in the Yarra Valley until his retirement.
Michele Forbes – Michele has many years’ experience as an educator in both Steiner schools and remote indigenous schools in the Northern Territory. She taught at Castlemaine Steiner School in the early years, then at Mount Barker and Willunga Steiner Schools as a relief and contract teacher and at Alice Springs Steiner School as a classroom teacher. She was Principal of a remote Aboriginal school in NT, held a leadership position at the school in Yuendemu and managed a project to start a primary boarding school on Groote Eylandt. She has recently assisted a group to establish a Steiner School on the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia, including working on governance and Constitutional documents.
Amanda McDonald – Amanda currently works at CSSK as a class teacher. She has 15 years’ experience working in a variety of schools (both Mainstream and Steiner) and has taught various year levels and mixed age groups. Previous experience includes volunteering as a Support Worker, assisting a child with autism using the ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis) Therapy Program. She holds a Bachelor of Education, Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Teaching, Foundation Course in Rudolf Steiner Early Childhood Education and a Certificate of Rudolf Steiner Education (Primary).
Marian Goodman – Marian Goodman has a whole life history of close involvement with the Waldorf School and the Anthroposophical Movements. She trained in Eurythmy in Germany and the USA and has been a practicing Eurythmist since 1989. Marian has held Board and Treasury positions at Eukarima School and for The Christian Community respectively and has a keen interest in Governance, supervision and support in ensuring a healthy, strong, flourishing and resilient school.
Beatrice Varga – Beatrice is a parent of two children at CSSK, an alumni of The Melbourne Rudolf Steiner School and a Program Manager working for an International not-for-profit, focusing on public health research, policy, organisational governance and development practice. She holds master’s degrees in both Public Health and Social Policy. Beatrice is passionate about the benefits and opportunities a sound Steiner education provides, never more so than in current times.
Nerrida Johnson (Principal) – Nerrida is an experienced Steiner educator and school leader who was Principal of Cape Byron Steiner School for 7 years, and a Class Teacher for many years at Chrysalis and Milbi Steiner Schools. Most recently, she worked for two years as Principal of Hargy International School in Papua New Guinea, a new high school that she has guided through the challenges of its first years. Nerrida brings a depth of experience in Steiner education and anthroposophy, together with strong school leadership skills and the ability to bring people together to unite behind a shared vision. Qualifications: Bachelor or Teaching; Graduate Diploma of Creative Writing;
Hayley Bridgwood (Student Care Leader) – Hayley has a Bachelor of Sciences (Honours) as well as postgraduate qualifications in Teaching, Educational Leadership & Management, and Learning Difficulties Education. In the 20 years prior to commencing as a Staff member at the School, Hayley served as a member of the CSSK Board of Directors, and was employed as an Education Lecturer at the University of Melbourne, an Educational Consultant for the Victorian Department of Education & Training, and as Educational Leader and Classroom Teacher in school contexts. She was also twice nominated for the Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Teaching
Neil Bowker (Business Manager) – Neil has a Bachelor of Economics, as well as postgraduate qualifications in Psychology, Not-for-profit Business Management, Human Resources Management, and is a qualified CPA registered accountant. Prior to commencing at the school, Neil had ten years experience working in not-for-profit organisations, including as the Finance and Services Manager at the Victorian Allied Health Professionals Association, and Executive Officer at the Fair Trade Association. He also has ten years of experience in the Commonwealth Department of Employment, Education and Training.
The latest AGM minutes are available here: AGM Minutes 2022
The latest audited Annual Financial Statement is available here: Annual Financial Statement 2021
The latest Annual Report is available here: Annual Report 2021
The school receives its funding from five main sources:
- Tuition Fees and charges received from parents
- Commonwealth and State government grants on a per student basis
- Capital Works grants and other special purpose grants from the Commonwealth government
- Fundraising by parents and other special events
- Donations and grants from individuals, groups and philanthropic organisations