The Ruyton Reporter - Spring 2014 - page 3

spring 2014
New Foundations
Ms Leanne Sparkes commenced her role as
Ruyton’s Business Manager and joined the Board
as Company Secretary in January 2014. With more
than 15 years’ experience in the independent
schools sector, Leanne has an impressive track
record in business operations, including financial
management, fundraising, governance, human
resources, occupational health and safety, risk and
stakeholder management and strategic planning.
This experience comes from working in a wide
range of schools, including, most recently, Toorak
College and Melbourne Girls’ Grammar School.
After overseeing the successful completion of building programmes at other schools,
Leanne is excited to be involved in the current building projects here at Ruyton.
As she says,
‘I gain immense satisfaction from bringing the passion and excitement of
the teaching team together with the creative skill of the architectural team, to realise
beautiful pedagogical spaces for our girls. Our dream is for them to have the best and
most up to date facilities in which to work hard to achieve their dreams.’
Leanne has joined Ruyton at the
time when we have embarked on
the realisation of a new Master Plan.
The first stage, the redevelopment
of South House into a new learning
space for our Year 4 Students, has
been completed on schedule. The
freshly landscaped space outside
South House provides an outdoor
learning space for group collaboration
or individual learning and includes a
vegetable garden and outdoor oven.
Construction on the new Margaret McRae Centre began in the winter holidays.
Leanne will continue to work closely with the project manager, builders and architects
to ensure as little disruption as possible occurs to the girls and the staff throughout
the building phase. Completion of this stunning new building is scheduled for the
beginning of the new school year in 2016.
In addition to the management of these building projects Leanne has been working
with a team of staff to review the school administration system. The current database
will be replaced with one which will improve our internal efficiencies, provide easy
access to important student information for our staff, and enable our parents to update
information and pay their accounts online with ease. We aim to have a new system in
place by the commencement of the 2015 school year.
Leanne is overwhelmed by the welcome she has received at Ruyton.
‘As a business
professional with genuine passion and interest in the education and future of young
people, I am extremely privileged to be a member of the compassionate and inclusive
community at Ruyton and I look forward to a long association with the School.’
Community Matters
The Other Side of our Finance Controller
‘How many cars do you have in your collection at present?’
This was a question often asked of Mr David Toleman, recently
retired Finance Controller, especially after a long weekend or
holiday when he may have had the opportunity to add to the
collection. David is an avid collector of veteran Nissan vehicles,
with the odd Toyota and Chevrolet thrown in. It is not
unknown for David’s attention to be captured by
a vehicle parked in a street and for David to knock on the front
door of a house and make an offer for the vehicle.
All of David’s friends are well aware of his motor vehicle
obsession, but it would come as a surprise to many of his
colleagues and to most Ruyton parents. In the past 18 years
at Ruyton David has overseen and implemented many
changes at the School. Being responsible for the preparation
of the monthly and annual financial statements he has
contended with changes required by the Corporations Act, the
Tax Act, Audit Standards, Charities Commission and ASIC.
David has also managed the ever-expanding volume and
complexity of reports to the State and Federal Government
for a multitude of purposes.
David has an Accounting degree and is a Certified Practising
Accountant (CPA), but also holds a degree in Science. He came
to Ruyton fromWalter and Eliza Hall, where he held a similar
role in their finance department. During his 18 years at
Ruyton, David has maintained a low profile among the Ruyton
staff. He worked quietly and diligently, ensuring the payroll
was processed on time, accounts, reports and statistics were
prepared and loans and investments were administered
correctly. David’s role has been varied and complex: it requires
attention to detail and timely execution to meet its many
demands. David always sought to assist staff with their
enquiries in a courteous and friendly manner, choosing to look
on the bright side of any issue and often adding a humorous
comment to the conversation to lighten our day.
In 2007 David surprised everyone when he announced that he
was getting married to Karen. It was a relationship that had
developed through their mutual enthusiasm for Nissan motor
vehicles and although it started out as a long distance
relationship, Karen is now settled in Melbourne and enjoying
retirement with David.
I wish David the very
best in retirement,
with thanks for all his
support and friendship
during our time
together at Ruyton.
Mr Peter Sharples,
former Business
Are you in touch electronically
and sustainably?
We are proud of the Ruyton Reporter and from your
comments know that it is a much valued and useful tool
of communication. We are now able to offer an electronic
version. Go to the Ruyton web page and click on Publications
to see an archive of past editions or follow the link below to
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Many of you may wish read the Ruyton Reporter online
in preference to the traditional posted hard copy. Please
email Elizabeth Beattie at
if this is the case.
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