The role of the Board is to provide sound governance for the College. Each member of the Board of Directors is appointed by the members of Scotch Oakburn College Inc. and is bound by a constitution and charter, both of which are regularly updated and amended to suit evolving conditions.

The most important function of the Board is the appointment of the Principal, who is responsible for the staff and students, programs and activities of the College. The Principal is guided by the Scotch Oakburn Strategic Plan, policies and initiatives developed in conjunction with the Board of Directors. The policies administered by the board can be found on our College policies page. Other important functions of the Board include oversight of finances and risk management, and the development of facilities, buildings and grounds.

Back row: Calton Frame, Karen van der Aa, Andy Müller, David Finnigan, Rebecca Cuthill. Front row: Selena Palmer, Emma Vincour, Ben Marsland, Jessica Woodroffe, Jim Wilson (former member) . Inset: Rohan Pryor.

The Scotch Oakburn Board is skills based. Collectively, the members of the Board apply a balanced perspective and a wealth of experience to Board discussions and decisions. The Board ensures that the interests of all College stakeholders are considered in the decision-making process.

The Principal, in consultation with the Board, appoints the Business Manager who also has the role of Secretary to the Board. The Business Manager’s responsibilities are extensive, forming an important link between Board Committees, the Principal, the Chair of the Board and wider College groups.

Any large organisation embracing so many committees and subgroups needs clear guidelines for good and orderly communication. The point of contact between the College and Board is through the Principal and the Chair of the Board. Their working relationship is necessarily close, trusting, regular and, where necessary, confidential.

Chairperson: David Finnigan
Deputy Chairperson: Rebecca Cuthill

Other Board members (in alphabetical order):

Jonty Barnett
Ross Patterson
Rohan Pryor
Paul Veerhuis
Emma Vincour
Jessica Woodroffe

The Deputy Principal – Penquite, Ben Marsland, and Deputy Principal – Elphin, Ben Green, attend all Board meetings.

Secretary to the Board: Business Manager, Karen van der Aa
T: 6336 3360

Meet our Board of Directors

Back row: Ben Green, Ben Marsland, Jonty Barnett, Karen van der Aa, Rebecca Cuthill. Front row: Jessica Woodroffe, Ross Patterson, David Finnigan, Emma Vincour. Inset: Paul Veerhuis, Rohan Pryor.

Board member profiles

Jonty is a father of three girls who all started at the College in Early Learning. Jonty’s wife Fiona is a College Collegian (’89).

With a family background in small business and hospitality, Jonty has always had a love for people and food. Jonty has over 30 years experience in sales, marketing and distribution. He is currently the Managing Director of Eden Foods and Director of a number of other food businesses.

His last 14 years have been with Eden Foods, a Tasmanian-based sales, marketing and distribution company. Established in 1992, Eden works with about 60 National Brands. Dealing with so many diverse business brands across multiple channels has given Jonty an insight into well-established multi-national companies and startups.

Outside family activities and work commitments, Jonty enjoys bike riding, skiing and being active. Jonty has always been keen to help others, with strong ties over the last 13 years to St. Giles.

Skills and experience:

Jonty has a solid background in people management, logistic coordination and problem-solving. Working with a variety of companies and people, he brings a solid understanding of how to manage diverse situations.


Diploma in Applied Science (Aquaculture)

Graduate Diploma in Food, Wine and Tourism Marketing.

Rebecca is a College Collegian (’89) and current parent of the College. She is currently the Associate Director of Philanthropy and Director of Advancement at the University of Tasmania. She is also a committee member of the Fundraising Institute of Australia (Tasmania branch) and trustee of a private philanthropic fund.

Rebecca has over 20 years of experience in the communication, fundraising and social justice arenas having worked nationally and internationally for SBS TV; the BBC and the United Nations. More recently she has worked for the state government and the University of Tasmania. Rebecca was also an Australia Day Ambassador for six years and is a passionate advocate for education, humanitarian causes and wider issues of justice.

Skills and experience:

Rebecca brings skills in effective communication, strategic management and fundraising, and experience in leading and mentoring, public speaking, negotiation and financial literacy.


Bachelor of Arts (Politics and Sociology)

Graduate Diploma Communications

David moved with his wife (Julie) to Launceston from western Victoria in 1992 to commence employment in the consulting engineering industry.  They love Tasmania, its lifestyle, its culture, and its nature and have raised two children, Jacob, and Jessica, here. After their children attended primary school, David and Julie decided they wanted to provide their children with the best education they could afford and enrolled both Jacob and Jess at the Middle School at Scotch Oakburn College.

David and his wife believe in being actively engaged in the education of their children.  Simply put this meant for them, being a parent that takes an active interest in the pursuits of their children whilst at the College. For David, it also meant finding a way to be active in the broader College community by offering his problem-solving and risk management skills, and contemporary corporate governance experience, to the College.

Skills and experience:

David is a respected Executive Manager and Professional Engineer with 29 years of experience in the industry including over 15 years of experience in executive management, operations management and the delivery of large capital projects in Australia and has experience in strategy, business development, client relationship management, risk management and leadership of high performing teams.


Bachelor of Engineering (with Honours)

Bachelor of Economics

Chartered Professional Engineer – Civil, leadership and management

Ben commenced his teaching career at Scotch Oakburn in 2001 as Director of Boys Sport.  His passion for teaching, mentoring, coaching and leadership development is obvious in his commitment to the curriculum design and pedagogy initiative throughout the College.  After completing a post graduate study, Masters in Education, Ben commenced further leadership and teaching opportunities with the Junior School, as Deputy Head of Junior School.

The opportunity to develop Teaching for Understanding and Inquiry-Based Learning were motivational approaches for the Junior School community to embrace during this leadership role.  In 2020 Ben, commenced his role as Head of Middle School, with a focus on further developing student agency, including the re-imagining of a mentor program and system for Years 6-8 students and staff.  In mid-2023, he returned to the Elphin Campus, as Deputy Principal, leading a new leadership structure.

Throughout Ben’s teaching and learning career, he has continued to be heavily connected to student-led initiatives, including student-led conferences, ePortfolio designs and servant leadership programs, such as EY8 and SOC2City.  Ben continues to enjoy coaching and mentoring students of all ages across the College, currently coaching the Senior Boys First XVIII AFL Team, ELJFC Junior Teams and Basketball teams in the Primary Years porgrams.

Ben is a proud husband to Natasha and father of three children, all attending Scotch Oakburn College.  The family enjoys the outdoors, surfing, beach activities, AFL, Mountain-Bike Riding, Tennis, Cricket, Basketball, drama and the performing arts.

Skills and experience:

Ben brings a diverse range of skills in education to his role as an observing member of the Board. These include school leadership, experiential and residential learning, student wellbeing and curriculum oversight.


Bachelor of Human Movement

Masters in Education

Ben moved from Victoria with his partner, Catherine, to take up the role of Deputy Principal at the College. He has a background in Performing Arts and student wellbeing and has developed and led innovative school programs in social and emotional, experiential, and residential learning.

Ben holds a Master’s degree in Leadership (Principal Preparation) and Graduate Certificate in Educational Research, from Monash University. His research focused on experiential and indigenous learning programs and the challenges around culturally inclusive leadership in residential schools.

Ben’s approach to student learning and wellbeing has been influenced by the inquiry-based and conceptual pedagogies of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years and Diploma Programs. Ben is committed to providing holistic learning experiences for young people. He believes in the transformational capacity of coeducational learning, and understands the contemporary classroom is found not only within school buildings but in the natural and built environments all around us.

Skills and experience:

Ben brings a diverse range of skills in education to his role as an observing member of the Board. These include school leadership, arts education, experiential and residential learning, student wellbeing and curriculum oversight.


Master of Leadership in Principal Preparation

Graduate Certificate in Educational Research

Bachelor of Music Education, Secondary

Certificate IV TAE

Rohan holds dual roles for the Uniting Church as the senior staff member in Tasmania (Synod Liaison Minister) with pastoral leadership for the Presbytery of Tasmania (Presbytery Chairperson).

Since 1992 Rohan has worked for the Uniting Church in a range of roles including youth work, statistical research, IT management, event coordination, regional leadership, educational coordination, and senior management. He has experience in all four of the layers (‘inter-related councils’) of the Uniting Church, from local to national.

Rohan enjoys family travels, cinema and music, and getting outdoors for gardening, cycling, bush walking, paddling, and back-country skiing.

Skills and experience:

A strong understanding of the Uniting Church: current structures and requirements; theological foundations and commitments; community services and institutions; relationships with other faiths, traditions and worldviews; and leadership development.

A solid understanding of pedagogy and educational practice.


Bachelor of Science

Bachelor of Computing (Honours)

Bachelor of Theology

Graduate Diploma in Adult and Vocational Education and Training

Graduate Certificate in Leadership

Kare has over 25 years of experience in finance and accounting.

With two children currently attending Scotch Oakburn College and very involved in sporting activities,  much of her spare time is spent supporting them in their pursuits.  Karen has also spent time on the Harvest Market board and NRM North.

In her spare time, Karen and her family love to travel,  with much of that in recent times around our beautiful state.

Skills and experience:

Karen brings skills in finance and accounting, internal and external audit.


Bachelor of Commerce

Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants

Fellow of Institute of Chartered Accountants

Paul has three children at Scotch Oakburn College and his wife Rachel is a College Collegian (’89).

Paul has over 20 years of experience in the banking and finance sectors. Following roles in the private sector, Paul joined the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) in 2005. Paul currently works in APRA’s Banking division, supervising a portfolio of banks. Paul is also a Director of the Launceston based not for profit, Self Help Workplace.

Outside of work and family time, Paul enjoys participating in triathlons, orienteering events and Park Run.

Skills and experience:

People management, banking, finance, governance, remuneration.


Master of Financial Mathematics

Bachelor of Commerce (Economics)

Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors

Emma is a mother of two children who currently attend Scotch Oakburn. She is also a Collegian (nee Fellows ’96). After graduating from the University of Tasmania, Emma has practised law in Queensland, Tasmania, England and Wales.  She has 18 years of legal experience working in the areas of commercial law, property law and estate planning.

Spare time is spent with her family, running with her dog, bushwalking and travelling. She is the Run Director for a local Park Run and an advocate of its benefit to the community.  Emma’s passion is travel and all that it teaches you about another part of the world, its people and their culture.

Skills and experience:

Emma’s legal background provides skills in analytical thinking, research and problem solving; together with experience in risk management and providing guidance in conflict resolution.  Her travel experience brings cultural awareness and understanding that may be required during decision making.


Bachelor of Science (Biomedical Science)

Bachelor of Laws

Jess is a social and educational researcher at the University of Tasmania’s Peter Underwood Centre for Educational Attainment. The Centre is a partnership between the University, State Government and Office of the Governor. Her work at the Centre is as a senior lecturer and coordinator of ‘Partner Programs’, responsible for formal learning partnerships with 26 schools and over 1,000 senior secondary learners in Tasmania.

Jess is passionate about engaging with young Tasmanians, schools and communities in the areas of informing aspirations, wellbeing, and supporting transitions to further education and training through innovative and engaged place-based programs of learning.

Outside of work, Jess has two active boys aged 12 and 9. She enjoys hiking, beachcombing and reading and spends as much time as she can at Freycinet, on Tasmania’s East Coast.

Skills and experience:

Jess brings skills in research, publications, grants and reporting. She has extensive knowledge of the Tasmanian educational sector, including current education policy and reform. She has working knowledge of senior secondary pathways and qualifications in Tasmania through her policy work with the Department of Education and the Office of Tasmanian Accreditation Standards and Certification (TASC). She also has and experience in working with all levels of government and NGOs.



Graduate Certificate (Teaching and Learning)

Bachelor of Arts (Honours)