20 June, 2023


As you are aware our valued Principal, Andy Mȕller, advised the Board late last year that he will end his tenure in December 2023. Upon this departure, this will conclude almost 11 exemplary years of service as Principal of Scotch Oakburn College.

We also informed you that the Board would conduct an extensive search to find our next Principal and, that as Chair and Deputy Chair of the Board, we would lead that search with the support of Odgers Berndtson, an internationally recognised Principal Search consultant.

After an extensive process, across much of Term One and Two, our Board is extremely pleased and delighted to announce the appointment of Mr Ross Patterson as the next Principal of Scotch Oakburn College, commencing January 2024. Ross was identified as the preferred candidate from a list of highly qualified professionals who expressed interest in the position. This included candidates from most Australian states and overseas.

Ross has had a career deeply immersed in leading progressive schools.  He is an experienced and respected educational leader with a proven ability to develop and lead compassionate and high-performance schools, whilst keeping student outcomes as central to his focus. Across an exhaustive interview process, Ross impressed the Board with his natural passion for education, pedagogical strategy, and innovation.

Ross is currently the Principal of Balcombe Grammar School on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria and prior to that was the Head of Senior Years at Peninsula Grammar, also on the Mornington Peninsula. Ross has also worked in senior teaching and leadership roles at Geelong Grammar School, Westbourne Grammar School and Scotch College. His academic qualifications include Harvard Graduate School of Education, Graduate Diploma in Education from Monash University and a degree in Biological Science from Deakin University.

Ross is described by his peers as a “pretty amazing educator and a lovely person, highly organised and very good at making things happen”.  He is an innovator, collaborative, professional and compassionate. He is an excellent communicator with a very high standing with staff and the community. Ross also plays representative sport at an international level.

Under Ross’ leadership, last year Balcombe Grammar School achieved their best VCE results, and he also brought stakeholders together to develop and deliver Balcombe Grammar School’s strategic plan. Ross has led strong enrolment growth and, together with his team, in 2022 his school was awarded an Australian Educational Award, Excellence Awardee for Regional School of the Year and Innovation in Curriculum Design.

Ross was inspired by our commitment to ‘Creating the Future’, our vision to drive educational change through our Strategic Vision, SOC2035, and that we identify that schools must evolve to prepare students for a life beyond the school gates. Likewise, the Board was inspired by Ross’ vision and his caring, compassionate and supportive approach to leadership, to engagement with the community, and to the connection he forms with students, staff and families.

On behalf of the community, we very much look forward to welcoming Ross, his wife Joanne, and their children Sebastian, Oliver, Sullivan, Finnian and Alarice, to the Scotch Oakburn community.

David Finnigan
Chairperson, Board of Directors

Rebecca Cuthill
Deputy Chairperson, Board of Directors