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spring 2016

Community Matters

The end of 2016 ushers in a new era for

the Ruyton Board. President Ms Kathryn

Watt has announced she will be stepping

down from the Board at the end of the

year in order to pursue a new career

direction. Kathryn has served on the

Board since 2009 and as President since

2012. The School is indebted to Kathryn

for her astute leadership, in particular

her involvement in the development and

implementation of the School 10-year

Masterplan, approved in 2013, the

Strategic Plan in 2011 and 2016, and the

recruitment of Principal, Ms Linda

Douglas, in 2010.

Kathryn’s legacy includes the depth

and breadth of the Ruyton Board. She

brought best practice governance

principles to Ruyton, including refining

the skills matrix to clearly identify skills

gaps at the Board table and she opened

up the Board application process to the

entire School community and beyond,

to ensure greater diversity and


‘We are privileged at Ruyton to have

such a connected and supportive


said Kathryn.

‘We have

been overwhelmed by the generosity

and expertise of those who have offered

to serve on the Board.’

Kathryn has contributed enormously to

the School and established a strong

culture of governance that will stand the

School in good stead in the future. Her

familiar and smiling face will still be seen

around the School, as she will continue

as a member of the Ruyton Foundation,

supporting and further developing

philanthropy at Ruyton.


Mr Peter Kanat will take on the role of

President of the Board from 1 January

2017. Peter, husband of Old Ruytonian,

Robyn Kanat (Bate ’80) and father of two

Old Ruytonians, Zoe (’11) and Sarah (’14)

has had a long history of supporting

Ruyton. Peter has been on the Board and

also has been the President of the

Ruyton Foundation since 2007, where he

has spearheaded the School’s fundraising

efforts. Board member Ms Kylie Taylor

will take on the role of Deputy President

from 1 January 2017, to fill the role

previously carried out by Peter. Kylie has

been a Board member since January 2013,

and currently has a daughter in the

Junior School.


In 2016 Ruyton welcomed four new

directors to the Board:

Ms Fiona Griffiths

(’87) brings her

expertise as a commercial lawyer and

her experience with the Melbourne

Theatre Company Foundation Board and

Auburn Primary as School Council

President. She currently has a daughter

in the Junior School. Fiona has been

appointed to Chair the Ruyton

Foundation, replacing Peter.

Ms Melanie Higgins

(Blomquist ’92) is

passionate about the need to prepare

future workers to be adaptable,

technologically capable and astute

learners able to acquire new skills and

navigate multiple career paths. She has

over 17 years of experience in senior

consulting roles for blue chip financial

services clients and sales, strategy and

operations. Melanie has daughters

enrolled to attend Ruyton in future years.

Mr Bruce Bayley

has over 18 years’

experience in the education sector and is

an entrepreneurial business strategist

with experience across a range of

sectors, including technology, health,

staffing services, consumer goods and

financial services. He has two daughters

in the Senior School.

Mr Cameron Price

will be known to some

members of the community already as

the Vice-President of the Henty Rowing

Club, in which his daughter is involved.

After 25 years as a corporate lawyer at a

leading law firm, Cameron is currently

General Counsel at the Future Fund

(Australia’s sovereign wealth fund),

where he advises on legal, governance

and governmental matters. Cameron

is Chairman of the Board’s new

Governance Committee.

We are delighted to welcome these

new appointments to the Board. The

expertise and passion they bring to their

roles is invaluable to the School and,

as a community, we are grateful for

their generosity in giving their time and




In 2016 two members of the Board

completed their term of office. Mrs Fleur

Coldwell (Summons ’90) served for over

nine years and Ms Freya Marsden (’89),

served for four years. Both are Old

Ruytonians with strong connections to

the School, who have invested their time

and professional skills to benefit Ruyton.

No one embodies the culture and values

of Ruyton better than past students.

We are fortunate to have had Fleur and

Freya bringing their unique perspective

to the Board. We are sincerely grateful

to both of them and look forward to

having them always be part of our

School community.

During the year, education specialist

Ms Margery Evans stepped down from

the Board to take up a new professional

role in Paris. We thank Margery for her

contribution to the School community.


Mr Bruce Meehan, Chair of Finance and

Audit Committee, Mr Tim Hogg, Chair

of Property and Building Committee,

and Mr John Gillam all continue in their

Board roles into 2017 and we express

our appreciation to all our ongoing

Board members.

Ms Fiona Griffiths

Mr Bruce Bayley

Ms Melanie Higgins

Mr Cameron Price

A New Era for the Ruyton Board

Teachers Across Borders – the Ruyton Luncheon

Mrs Susie Lachal, former Ruyton teacher, past parent, and member of the Ruyton

community, was the guest speaker at the Ruyton Luncheon this year. Susie spoke

about her work with Teachers Across Borders Australia (TAB), an organisation she

has been involved with since its formation ten years ago. It was through the

influence of Mr John Bate, a very special individual who made a significant

contribution to the growth of Ruyton, that Susie sought a project where she could

use her skills and talents, and indulge her passion for teaching to gift to others.

Working with Australian teachers to teach educators in Cambodia has become both

her passion and her gift. Susie talks about gifting rather than charity or

philanthropy, as she believes it reduces the expectation that you will receive

anything in return. What you do receive from gifting to others is personal growth,

the worth of which is often immeasurable. For more information please visit

The Parents of Ruyton (POR) are pleased to announce a donation of $1500 was

made to this charity, Teachers Across Borders, from funds raised at the luncheon.

Our sincere thanks go to Susie for sharing her experiences and wisdom with us.

Particular thanks, as well, go to Mrs Paula Issa, Mrs Rebecca Schultz and Mrs Sarah

Van Gerrevink, the 2016 Ruyton Luncheon Committee, for their hard work and

organisation. We should also like to acknowledge the skills of Mr Ian Robson, Master

of Ceremony; the Flute Ensemble, Florrie McKay, Roshica Ponnampalam, Anna

Rabinowicz and Mrs Jacinta Power, who performed on the day; and Vocalists Annie

Gleisner and Alice Pryor, with accompanist Mr Shaun Jones. We are also grateful for

the generosity of the Ruyton community and local businesses who supported the

Ruyton Luncheon 2016.