Community Involvement

Newlands Primary School welcomes the involvement and active participation of all parents/friends in the life of the child during their primary school years.

You can (and are welcome to) become involved by:

  • Being nominated/elected to School Council
  • Joining a School Council Sub committee
  • Becoming active in the Parents’ and Friends Association/Fundraising Committee
  • Helping in the classroom or in a particular program or project

Current School Council Members

Ross Dudgeon School Principal
Adam Palmer School Council President
Luke Cripps School Representative
Graeme Woodward School Representative
Jess Dang Community Representative
Tim Smith Parent Representative
Claire Moore Parent Representative
Lisa Knott Parent Representative
Craig Peebles Parent Representative
Juanita Pope Parent Representative
Jessica Petrie

Parent Representative

What is a School Council and what does it do?
All government schools in Victoria have a school council. They are legally formed bodies that are given powers to set the key directions of a school within centrally provided guidelines. In doing this, a School Council is able to directly influence the quality of education that the school provides for its students. The school council meets twice a term.


Who is on a school council?
A school council’s constituting Order specifies the total size of the council and the number of members in each category.

Most members of a school council stand for election at the school where they are parents or staff members. Other members can be co-opted by the council within the limits of the order.

Because parents have such an important part to play in schools, there is an elected parent member category. More than two-thirds of the elected members must be parents.

Similarly, there is an elected member category for employees of the Department of Education and Training. Members of this category may make up no more than one-third of the total membership. The principal of the school is automatically one of these members.

Functions of a school council
The functions of a school council are outlined in the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 and include:

  • establishing the broad direction and vision of the school within the school’s community
  • participating in the development and monitoring of the school strategic plan
  • approving the annual budget and monitoring expenditure
  • developing, reviewing and updating school policies
  • raising funds for school-related purposes
  • maintaining the school’s grounds and facilities
  • entering into contracts (such as for cleaning or construction work)
  • reporting annually to the school community and to the Department of Education and Training
  • creating interest in the school to the wider community
  • informing itself of and taking into account the views of the community
  • regulating and facilitating the after hours use of school premises and grounds
  • operating a children’s service at the school or other premises controlled by the Minister.

If members of our school community would like to contact a member of school council, please email our President, Adam Palmer, at,

More information on school councils can be found at:

The term of office for all members is two years. Half the members must retire each year, creating vacancies for the annual school council elections.

Sub Committees

Current Education, Wellbeing and Policy Sub-Committee Members

Graeme Woodward Chairperson
Luisa Plata Herron School Representative
Sophia Moshis School Representative
Kate Patsky Parent Representative
Eleanore Fritze Parent Representative
Roxanne Strauss Parent Representative
Petrea Cahir Parent Representative
Melanie Joosten Parent Representative
Craig Peebles Parent Representative
Kelly Thomas Parent Representative
Edgar Caballero Aspe Parent Representative
Lauren Ireland Parent Representative

What is the Education Sub-Comittee and what does it do?

Our Education, Wellbeing and Policy sub-committee is a smaller group within a larger organisation or governing body tasked specifically with addressing matters related to education, curriculum development, wellbeing and policy consultation. It’s purpose is to focus on and make recommendations to the school regarding these matters. 

Who is on the Education Sub-Committee

All parents and carers are welcome to join the Education Sub-Committee.

Contact: Graeme at  Att: Graeme 


Finance SUb Committee

Current Finance Sub Committee Members

Ross Dudgeon Chairperson
Luke Cripps School Representative
Mandy  Sturt School Representative
Claire Moore Parent Representative
Adam Palmer Parent Representative

What is the Finance Sub Committee and what does it do?

The responsibilities of the Newlands Primary School Finance Committee include:

Consolidation of revenue and expenditure,

Dedicated transfer of fundraising,

Assisting the Principal and School Council with the development of the school’s annual budget;

  • Ensuring that the annual budget supports the school strategic plan;
  • Regularly monitoring and reporting to Council on progress against the budget; Ensuring that the school finances are in accordance with DEECD guidelines and that relevant internal control procedures are maintained;
  • Making recommendations to Council on fundraising activities and liaise with the Community Committee and other school groups concerned with these activities;
  • Assisting in the completion of school tenders e.g. works contracts, school council building contracts;
  • Review of parent payment policy;
  • Assisting the Principal in ensuring that the school operates to a balanced budget and that all liabilities and financial commitments are brought to account in the relevant year.


Who is on the Finance Sub Committee?

Please Note: Only members from School Council can be a part of the Finance Sub Committee

    Outside of School Hours Care sub committee

    Current OSHC Committee Members

    Jill Holmes Chairperson
    Bede Gannon School Representative
    Luke Cripps School Representative
    Lisa Knott Parent Representative

    What is the OSHC Sub-Comittee and what does it do?

    The OSHC sub committee’s purpose is to ensure that Newlands Primary School has a high quality program for children who attend the Out of Hours Care.

    The responsibilities of the Newlands Primary School OSHC Committee include:

    • Creating clear communication between OSHC and school council
    • Documenting key work by program staff
    • Supporting the service by researching best practices
    • Networking with local and state organisations 
    • Ensuring the OSHC service meets standards set by state and national regulators


    Who is on the OSHC Sub-Committee

    All parents and carers are welcome to join the OSHC Sub-Committee.

    Please contact Jill at


    Buildings and grounds Sub committee

     Current Buildings and Grounds Sub Committee Members

    Luke Cripps Chairperson
    Tim Smith Parent Representative
    Scott Saverin Parent Representative
    Andrew Fuhrmann Parent Representative
    Melissa Schellekens Parent Representative
    Kristy Bonn Parent Representative
    Agus Gorini Parent Representative

    What is the Buildings and Grounds Sub Committee and what does it do?

    The Newlands Primary School Building and Grounds Committee consult on matters relating to maintenance together with immediate and future plans to improve the school’s grounds and buildings.

    The scope of Newlands Primary School’s Buildings and Grounds Committee includes the commissioning, coordination and oversight of the following:

    • General playground maintenance;
    • Working bees;
    • Building projects;
    • Schedule of maintenance;
    • Playground audit;
    • Supporting the Principal with major and minor development and improvement projects

    The Sub-committee works in consultation with the Principal and Assistant Principal who outsource certain buildings and grounds jobs on an as-needs basis to different contractors. The work of the Sub-committee is undertaken in addition to these outsourced jobs. A key component of the Sub-Committee’s work is its occasional community working bees. These scheduled events are held on either a Saturday or Sunday and a BBQ lunch may be provided for the families attending. Together with maintaining the school building and grounds, these events provide opportunities for informal social gatherings for all those involved.


    Who is on the Buildings and Grounds Sub Committee

    All parents and carers are welcome to join the Buildings and Grounds Sub-Committee. 

    Contact: Luke at  Att: Luke 


    Spanish sub committee

    Current Spanish Sub Committee Members

    Luisa Plata Herron Chairperson
    Sarah Taylor Parent Representative
    Venera May Parent Representative
    Christina Collia Parent Representative
    Marta Cifuentes Ochoa Parent Representative
    Alberto Schulz Ferrada Parent Representative
    Nicole Martin Perez Parent Representative

    What is the Spanish Sub Committee and what does it do?

    The Spanish  Sub-Committee is a committee that aims to be pro-active in matters relating to Spanish bilingual education and culture, particularly those that involve parents and carers at Newlands Primary School. The Spanish Sub Committee aims to do the following:

    • Work with teachers and school on the implementation of the Bilingual Action plan.
    • Organizing events whereby Spanish speaking countries are promoted within the school and the broader community.
    • Promoting our Bilingual program with the local community, Spanish playgroups, Spanish childcare centres and promote this visually in the schooling community.
    • Organize Spanish conversation workshops with Newlands parents and carers.
    • Liaise   with teachers to support the bilingual program and parents participation in school activities such as the Reading program, PMP and Builders program.


    Who is on the Spanish Committee?

    All parents and carers are welcome to join the Spanish Sub-Committee.

    Contact: Luisa at  Att: Luisa 

     PFA Office Bearers

    Claire Moore President
    Adam Palmer Secretary and Treasurer
    Andrea Andric Communications Officer

    What is the PFA?

    The PFA, or Parents and Friends Association, is a voluntary organisation, dedicated to fostering cooperation and support among parents, teachers, and the school community. Its primary goals often include fundraising for school projects, organising social events, and providing a forum for communication between parents and the school administration.

    How can you help?

    1. Join! Email us or drop past the office and fill in the form
    2. Participating in PFA activities, include attending meetings and volunteering for activities
    We also have a facebook group which you can join here

    Questions? If you have any questions please let us know.

    Parent Helpers

    Parents are warmly welcomed to help in school at times that are mutually agreed. Whilst we appreciate help of a regular nature in the classroom working with the children, there are a variety of tasks that can be done either outside of the classroom or at home that are of equal benefit to the staff and students.

    Parents helping in school assisting students are always under the supervision of the class teacher who will explain the task, what is required of the student/s and the helper’s role within that setting. Please advise  your supervising teacher if you are unable to attend a planned session. Parent helpers are asked to consider carefully the beneficial results of helping in a different classroom. We ask that confidentiality be maintained in respect of the student’s attainments, attitudes and behaviour whilst operating in school as a helper.

    • Beware of making judgements
    • All children can learn
    • Children learn at different rates and have different learning needs
    • Retain confidentiality – the privacy of both parents and students must be respected at all times. Do not mention the names of students with whom you are asssisting in front of your own children or other parents. Children can easily be hurt by apparently harmless remarks from their peers or other students.
    • Any matter that is of concern should be discussed with the classroom teacher immediately in order for any misunderstandings or difficulties to be addressed as a matter of urgency.