Governance Information


In late 2009, Mount Barker Waldorf School ratified a new Constitution and appointed a new nine-member Board as part of a broad renewal process underway across the school’s administration.  The appointment marked the end of an era at MBWS, which has been administered by a College of Teachers since it was founded in 1979. The College has been solely responsible for the school’s governance, management and educational administration.  The new Constitution and Board provided a foundation for a new beginning at the school and signalled a significant shift in the way the school is governed and managed. School community members have played a key role in the design of the new Constitution and were closely advised by external consultants with expertise in school governance, Waldorf Education and financial management.

Board is responsible for strategy formulation, policy making and compliance with requirements imposed by Commonwealth and State authorities. It also ensures the school is well run in the interests of all stakeholders.  Each Board Member has been selected from a large number of nominations from across the school community and beyond. The current Board Members are: Richard Symonds, Richie Khoo, Don Frakes, Matthias Dengler, Tony Houey, Cassie Hatton, Sally Amazon, Marjolijn Woods and Doreen Mellor

The makeup of the board represents a strong blend of skills including financial management, the governance of Waldorf and mainstream educational institutions, strategic planning and marketing, communications and stakeholder engagement.

Profiles Board Members

To serve until the 2019 AGM

  • Richard Symonds - Richard is Manager of TAFE SA partnerships for Flinders University and has had enormous experience in directing educational programmes, including terms as Director, Tertiary Education Reform for the State Government (DFEEST).  He has advised Government on major reviews in education and the regulation of higher education.  Richard was involved in the 2008 review of Mount Barker Waldorf School’s governance structures.  His three children attended the School. 
  • Richie Khoo - Richie is an accountant who is both a CPA and a CFP.  He has been board chair for Empowering Communities, an Australia-wide social enterprise assisting Cambodian women, and a member of CPA Australia’s SA Public Practice Committee.  Richie believes strongly in the importance of Steiner education in an age of globalisation and technology-driven change. His two children attend the School. 
  • Sally Amazon - Sally has been involved with the school for over 16 years both as a parent and staff member.  She has worked in early childhood education for 6 years and has a deep personal and professional understanding of Steiner education, supported by study at the Sydney Rudolf Steiner College.  Sally has experience in legislative reform and trained with Families SA as a youth worker, working with children in residential care.  Sally brings to the Board passion and experience as a parent, educator, youth worker, small business owner and social justice advocate, combined with knowledge of Waldorf education. 
  • Matthias Dengler - Matthias has children in the Kindy and Class 1. Matthias currently works with Primary Industries and Regions SA and has previously worked in other government departments and the CSIRO. He holds a Master of Business Administration and an Honours degree in marketing and international business.  Matthias has twelve years experience in business, program, and project management and coordination, financial, and strategic planning including the development and review of policies, procedures and guidelines. He has previous Board experience.  Matthias speaks four languages including Chinese and has won several academic awards. 
  • Cassie Hatton - Cassie has three children enrolled in the primary school and has been active in the school for the past 6 years.  She is currently a school transition worker at Nairne Primary School and has previously worked as a Volunteer Grants and Policy Officer and a Coordinator of youth services in Sydney.  Cassie has experience in grant applications, working with government and community organisations and supervising staff.  Her extensive professional work with young people and organisational experience are an asset to the Board.

To serve until the 2020 AGM

  • Tony Houey - Tony is former Deputy Principal of Pembroke School with qualifications in education and law. His teaching areas are in Legal Studies, Economics, Commerce and Theory of Knowledge. He has over 30 years’ experience in senior and human resource management.  Tony has worked extensively in education law and compliance, the writing and review of policies and procedures, delivering training to schools, staff recruitment and development, risk management and academic leadership, as well as over 20 years’ as a member of Pembroke’s finance committee.  Involvement in community organisations include:  Deputy Member of the Teachers Registration Board of SA, Chair of South Australian Chapter of the Australia & New Zealand Education Law Association (ANZELA), Chair of the Board of Debating SA, Council member of St Mark’s College in North Adelaide, Justice of the Peace and an active Ambassador for the Cancer Council SA. Tony retired at the end of 2015, moved to Mt Barker and joined our Board in 2016. He is also the current chair of our Finance Committee.       

To serve until the 2021 AGM

  • Marjolijn Woods - Marjolijn holds a post graduate qualification in HR Management and is employed as a HR Business Partner at a global organisation based in Adelaide. Having worked primarily in the Aviation and Engineering industries, she has strong experience in providing counsel, coaching and advice to executives and managers in relation to all HR related matters, and has a background in policy writing, compliance and conducting investigations. Marjolijn and her husband and have two children; one enrolled in the school, and the other to commencing in 2019. 

  • Don Frakes - Don has had 30 years experience in starting, running and managing businesses in the United States and Australia. He has managed teams of various sizes and is currently helping to organise the running of a health clinic in Unley where he has practised acupuncture and Chinese medicine for the last 17 years. Don has two children in Waldorf education and believes that Steiner based education produces the strongest and most well rounded adults.