What does the Harrisdale PS School Board do?

As an Independent Public School, Harrisdale Primary’s School Board has a strategic role of setting the long-term direction for the school and maintains oversight (not management) of the School Business Plan.

The School Board,

contributes to the School Delivery and Performance Agreement and the Business Plan;
endorses and reviews the annual budget;
reviews the performance of the school;
assists with Principal selection when a vacancy arises;
approves arrangements for sponsorship or advertising;
liaises with other committees within the school; and
holds one open meeting each year to report to the school community.

The School Board does not,

run the day to day operations of the school;
discuss individual issues relating to teachers, staff or parents;
represent specific interest groups, or permit special interest to dominate meetings;
intervene in the educational instruction of students; nor
performance manage the principal or any other staff member.

Admin BulidingIt is not about running the school – that is the job of the Principal – but rather, providing additional expertise to help the school achieve the best outcomes for students. The role of the School Council (board) is outlined in the Education Act 1999.

The Harrisdale Primary School Board consists of 11 members that each bring experience as parents, educators and/or community members. Parents are welcomed to contact Ben Foster, Board Chair, via our School Board Contact form.

Chairperson – Ben Foster
School Principal – Karen Duncan
Executive Officer – Megan Klompmaker
Elected Parent Representatives –Mike Warren , Aaron Bowling and Steven Rossi
Community Representative – Colin Pettit
P&C Representative – Kirstie Cornwill
Staff Representatives – Lynda Pateman, Sinead Dempsey & Helen Hall

Ben FosterBen Foster

A bit about me, I live locally and my daughter Hannah and son Fletcher attend Harrisdale. My family is committed to the area and we are all excited about how the school is developing and the role it will play in how our young community develops. I welcome the opportunity to help the school develop into the shining light at the heart of our community that the students, parents and staff want it to be.
Professionally I am a Chartered Accountant working for an Aged Care organisation so I have some experience with government departments and the uncertainties that can unfortunately exist around government funding. I also completed my MBA with Curtin in 2011 and believe these skills could allow me to be an effective contributor on the school board.
Personally I believe strongly in the power of education and the importance of strong, well run and well- funded public schools to deliver the best educational experience and equip children to take advantage of the opportunities that life will present to them.
Opening a new school is an enormous challenge, but also a tremendous opportunity and I welcome the opportunity to help the school develop the strategic direction necessary to achieve the vision that Karen and the rest of her team have set out already.

Karen DuncanKaren Duncan
School Principal

As a child, I can’t remember ever wanting to be anything else other than a teacher and here I am many years later, living my childhood dream on a much larger scale than I ever would have believed possible. It is such an honour for me to win the position of Foundation Principal, Harrisdale Primary School and I look forward to leading this school to become a highly successful and high care school.

Graduating from the West Australian College of Advanced Education- Churchlands campus in 1981, I began teaching in 1982 and have worked in a variety of educational settings over my thirty six year career. I have taught in rural schools in the Pilbara and the Wheatbelt, and in metropolitan schools. I have taught a range of year levels from Kindergarten to Year 7.
Over the years, I have also worked in Central Office, Regional/District Office and WestOne K-12 Curriculum Services in the area of curriculum leadership.

I began working in an administrative capacity as a deputy principal initially in 2000, and won my first principal position in 2010 as principal of Medina Primary School. I have held principal positions at Medina, Koorana, Ardross and Harrisdale Primary Schools.

I have been very humbled in my tenures as principal to be :
• State Finalist in the WA Education Awards Primary Principal of the Year, 2013,
• Awarded a Certificate of Excellence by the Australian Council for Educational Leaders in 2014,
• Nominated for Outstanding Leader in Aboriginal Education (WA) in 2103,
• Winner of a WA Primary Principals’ Association ‘Leading from the Front’ Award in 2016 (with $10 000 grant for leadership development), and
• Nominated for inclusion (and participated ) in the Experienced Principals’ Program in 2017, a joint venture between WA Catholic Education and Department of Education.

My leadership of Harrisdale Primary, is a great honour. We have a highly supportive community and one that greatly values education. Whilst we hold the title of currently being the most rapidly growing primary school in WA, we can more importantly, hold our head up high and proudly announce, that we are a school that puts students and learning at the centre of all that we do and that we continually strive to develop the unique potential in each and every child.
My leadership has focussed on three pillars of:
• Student Success
• Excellence, and
• Innovation.

Respectful relationships, care and compassion are at the core of my leadership style. If you see me out and about, be sure to say hello.

My goal is for Harrisdale Primary School to be recognised as an excellent school, characterised by high student performance and high care.

I look forward to continuing to work with our school community to achieve this goal.

Karen Duncan
Foundation Principal, Harrisdale Primary

Megan KMegan Klompmaker
Executive Officer

Having worked in the Education Department for the past 9 years, I feel very fortunate to have been chosen to work at a school that strives for excellence and achievement from both staff and students. I have strong established administration and financial skills, having spent many years working in the private sector for companies such as Westfield. Having two High School aged children, I was actively involved in their Primary School both through the P&C and School Board. I look forward to working with the School Board as we continue to grow as a community.

Mike Warren
Elected Parent Representative

As a father of five children, two of whom are currently at Harrisdale Primary school I have a
keen interest in ensuring that the school is appropriately governed and strategically placed
to provide a robust education for my children. I am also a long term Piara Waters /
Harrisdale resident and I would like to see our suburb well catered for in terms of
educational options.

I am actively involved in a number of community initiatives including
the Piara Waters Junior Football team (where my wife is Vice President) and Surf Lifesaving.
I am interested in the opportunity to use my business skills and knowledge to support the
strategic development of Harrisdale Primary school. I have owned my own business for the
last 22 years and currently run a global Management and Training Consultancy (Zento
Global Solutions Pty Ltd) specialising in Strategic Leadership, Management Consulting, High
Performing Teams, Business Development and Human Factors. The company is diverse in
both client base and staff as we operate throughout Asia Pacific, Europe (from UK) and
Australia. In addition we have a charitable organisation called Zento Foundation which is a
self funded charity working to support underprivileged children across South East Asia.
Corporate social responsibility is a big focus of our company and this appointment would fit
well with our goals to be active in the local community.

I am very interested in the direction
and development of the school and community and would like the opportunity to influence

Aaron BowlingAaron Bowling
Elected Parent Representative

I am interested in being on the board because I have 2 children who currently attend the school and I have another child who will be attending the school in a few years. I want to help the school ensure continued success into the future for my kids and everyone else’s children as well. I have several years of experience on other management boards, and I am currently the Vice President of a club that is worth approximately $10 million. I am a driven person with a project management background who can help the school continue to improve, and together we can make the school the best place for our children.

Steven RossiSteven Rossi 

Elected Parent Representative

My name is Steven Rossi. My wife, Kate and I live in Harrisdale with our two children, Vanessa and Eric. Vanessa and Eric attend Harrisdale Primary School while my wife Kate is a member of the P&C.
I am a chartered accountant and currently work for a Japanese oil and gas multinational. I have held accounting roles in a mining software company and a big four public practice firm. I also have a background as a qualified motor vehicle mechanic. In my roles, I have had experience with financial and regulatory reporting, conducting audits, preparing and monitoring budgets, chairing and coordinating meetings, conducting presentations, and staff mentoring.
I share a number of the values held by Harrisdale Primary School, especially creativity, communication and compassion. I have enjoyed the experience of watching my own kids grow and develop and have an appreciation of the positive influence that teachers have in the lives of our kids. I would welcome the opportunity to be able to contribute in a meaningful way with a school that shares my values and educates my kids.
I consider myself to be well organised and an active listener. I have experienced success in leading and managing teams and I value making a contribution as a team member. I bring my experience, character and commitment to the board and strive to best represent the school community as an elected representative.

Colin PettitColin Pettit
Community Representative

I am currently the Commissioner for Children and Young People WA. I have spent almost four decades working to improve the wellbeing of children and young people, particularly in delivering education services and programs to children and young people living in regional and remote areas of the State. I have worked as a teacher and then principal in a number of regional schools, before holding the role of Executive Director Regional and Remote Education at the Western Australian Department of Education for three years.

I am a father of three and a grandfather of three.

Taryn Ihanimo
P&C Representative

I am a fulltime working Mother of two students at Harrisdale Primary School. I have been involved with the P&C since the school opened its doors in 2016.

Working with the P&C has allowed me to be involved with many of the fundraising events which have taken place at the school. I am most proud of being the Co-ordinator of the School Colour Fun Runs that we have held over the last few years.

Having a strong administrative background has assisted my husband and I with the establishment of his own Accounting business.  Along with this, I am actively involved in my children’s sporting activities, being the manager of my son’s football team.

I look forward to working with the school board as the P&C representative.

Simonne Heal
Staff Representative

My name is Simonne Heal. My teaching experience has seen me teach across a number of year groups, from pre-primary to year 6, including 2 years as a Science Specialist teacher. I have an interest in ensuring that Harrisdale Primary School continues to provide the highest level of teaching and as such, currently hold the position of English and Numeracy Coach. I am a foundation staff member and joined the board to be involved in the systematic decision making processes that ensure our students have access to the best educational experiences that we can provide. I look forward to being a collaborative member of the board during my tenure.

Nay Nay DempseySinead Dempsey
Staff Representative

Hi, my name is Sinead Dempsey and I am an early childhood teacher at Harrisdale Primary. I have a wealth of knowledge in the development of young minds and work hard to improve their social and educational outcomes. I have an interest in special needs and believe that all children matter. I am a foundation staff member and joined the School Board to assist the school in delivering what we have set out to achieve – delivering a quality education for the children and community members of Harrisdale. I look forward to being a proactive and collaborative board member during my tenure.

Helen HallHelen Hall
Staff Representative

My name is Helen Hall. I am a Level 3 teacher working at Harrisdale Primary School. I currently work 2 days a week in Year 2, and 3 days a week as the English Curriculum Leader and Coach. I nominated to be on the school board because I am proud be a part of our innovative and forward- thinking teaching team and I am keen to be further involved in the systematic decision making process at the school. It is a privilege to work at Harrisdale Primary School and I look forward to further supporting our visibility in the school community.

Contact the HPS School Board

The Harrisdale PS Board welcomes your input into our school. If you wish to contact the Board Chair and School Principal please use the below form. You can also See our School Board Information package.

Contact the HPS School Board