School Council

School Councils play a key role in Victorian government schools. Participating as a school council member is a rewarding and challenging experience. The school council supports the principal to provide the best possible educational outcomes for students.

School councils have three main responsibilities:

  • Finance – overseeing the development of the school’s annual budget and ensuring proper records are kept of the school’s financial operation.
  • Strategic Planning – participating in the development and monitoring of the school strategic plan.
  • Policy Development and Review – developing, reviewing and updating policies that reflect a school’s values and support the school’s broad direction outlined in its strategic plan.

Other key functions of school councils include:

  • raising funds for school-related purposes
  • maintaining school grounds and facilities
  • entering into contracts
  • reporting annually to the school community and the Department of Education and Training (DET)
  • representing and taking the views of the community into account
  • regulating and facilitating after-hours use of school premises and grounds

School Council Members 2020



Peter Brace | President


My family and I have been part of the wider school community (including Finbar) since at least 2005, with two daughters now in secondary school and my son, Ben, now in Year 3. I've been on School Council for about four years, and outside of that I run a small business and teach philosophy at Swinburne University. I really value the inclusiveness of the school, as well as its focus on continual improvement of educational outcomes.




Elizabeth Davis | Treasurer


I am a finance professional with over 20 years accounting experience across various industries including financial services, construction and aged care. I currently work for a not-for-profit organisation that provides housing and support to elderly homeless people. My role at this organisation is broad and encompasses finance, governance and compliance responsibilities. I was previously President of my children’s kindergarten committee and was a parent member of the School Council Finance committee prior to joining School Council in 2019. I believe that contributing to the school through being a member of school council benefits both the school and myself. Being part of school council has enhanced my understanding of my children’s school journey.




Matthew Gill | Buildings and Grounds


My name is Matthew Gill. I have worked in the IT industry for over 20 years, primarily employed as a project manager, delivering solutions to clients across many industries and sectors, including local council, retail and financial services. I have two boys at Yarra, and I am keen to see that they, and all students, have the best opportunities at the school.

On the School Council, I represent the Buildings and Grounds subcommittee, which exists to assist the school to deliver its strategic goals for development and improvement of school buildings and grounds which, in turn, leads to a safer, healthier, and more engaging learning environment.

As recently announced, we have kicked off initial planning for a major upgrade to our beautiful heritage buildings and the grounds that we share with the local community. Having visited another, recently upgraded local school and seen what can be achieved, I am excited to support this project as it progresses, and to promote and develop the best ideas put forward by our school community.




Emily Hughes | Events and Fundraising


Our family have been active members of the Yarra Primary community for seven years, and I have a younger child yet to join the school.  I run the fun(d)raising committee, which is as much about community involvement as it is about fundraising.

I feel strongly that when a child’s parents and extended family are involved and engaged with the school, that makes a massive difference to the child’s confidence and comfort - both in the school grounds and in the school community.   This then fosters their educational learning and personal growth.




Brandi Bugh | Education, Strategy and Policy


My family and I believe that the support and involvement of the school community is essential to the academic, emotional, and social development of each student. Since my daughter was in Prep (now Grade 4), I have been involved in the Fundraising, YOSH, and Education and Policy subcommittees. I joined the School Council earlier this year so that I could make a greater contribution in planning and decision making for the school.  I look forward to supporting all the YPS students, families, and staff.




Mike Whitlock | Parent Representative



DET Representatives:

Saraid Doherty (Principal) Valetta McDonald Traceymarie Bull (Business Manager) Rachel Tan