Collectively, the Senior Leadership Team brings an abundance of knowledge and experience in educational management as well as many years of experience in a variety of schools.
Perhaps most importantly they bring with them an unwavering passion for the educating young women, and they are wholly committed to building a school that equips PLC students with skills to confidently face the challenges of our fast changing world.
Ms Cate Begbie Principal
Cate Begbie (MEd (SpEd), BEd (Hons), MAICD) was appointed the tenth Principal of PLC early in 2019 and began her tenure in July the same year. With more than two decades of education experience, Cate returned to Perth from Brisbane where she most recently held the role of Deputy Principal at St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School, one of Queensland’s leading schools.
Prior to that, Cate was Head of Junior School at South Perth’s Wesley College for six years and Deputy Head of Junior School at PLC Perth, where her school leadership career was launched.
Cate is a passionate educator, with particular interests in Service Learning and student wellbeing, including the development of strong programmes to support the development of empathy and self-compassion in young people. She believes that an effective education should provide opportunities for young people to explore their interests, challenge their thinking, find their passions and start to follow their dreams.
Mrs Chris Robinson Deputy Principal
Chris Robinson has been at PLC for 28 years. She joined PLC as a teacher in the Technology and Enterprise area as a Textiles Specialist, and has seen many of her students go through PLC to be prominent Australian Fashion Designers.
Chris has held many exciting roles which include House Advisor, Year 12 Co-ordinator and has held her current role as Head of Staff for the past 9 years. She is an accredited coach with Growth Coaching International and has recently completed a Post Grad. in Educational Leadership.
Mr Neil Walker Deputy Principal – Teaching and Learning
Neil Walker (MA, PGCE) joined PLC towards the end of 2020. He has over 20 years’ experience as an English and Drama teacher and before joining the College, was Head of English at Christ Church Grammar School. Prior to that, he held roles as Head of English and Drama at King Edward VII and Queen Mary School and Head of Year 7 at The King’s School, Gloucester in the UK.
Neil is particularly interested in formative and summative assessment. He is also focused on personalising education for the individual student through differentiation. Neil feels that wellbeing is crucial to a student’s academic success and is convinced of the benefits of a rich and varied educational experience in producing well-rounded, critical thinkers who can play an important role in society once they graduate from PLC.
Miss Rebecca Watts Head of Senior School
Rebecca re-joins the PLC community in the role of Head of Senior School. She brings with her over 15 years’ experience drawn from a range of roles within girls’ schools. Rebecca has previously worked as a Senior School Co-ordinator at PLC and also held the positions of Head of Department, Head of Year 12, and Wellbeing Programme Co-ordinator at St Mary’s Anglican Girls’ School.
Rebecca is a passionate advocate of girls’ education and believes single sex schools provide greater opportunities for young women to lead, challenge gender stereotypes, develop new skills, and also offer a platform for girls to take calculated risks in a safe environment.
Mr Richard Wright Head of Junior School
Richard re-joins the PLC community after 13 years away, where he held the positions of Head of Primary at John Wollaston Community School for three years, then ten years as the Head of the Preparatory School at Christ Church Grammar School.
At PLC, Richard worked as a Year 5 teacher, Year 6 teacher and then as Deputy Head of the Junior School (2005).
Richard describes his approach to Junior Schooling as one of academic rigour and the joy of childhood.
Richard holds a BA (Social Science), Grad Dip Ed (Primary) and MEd.
Rev Manie Strydom Chaplain
Manie joined PLC at the start of 2019 after being Senior Minister at a church in the north of Perth for the last seven years. He is passionate about working with children, youth and families.
Manie has over 25 years’ experience in chaplaincy roles as well as youth and family ministry. He has been coaching, officiating and managing sports teams for many years and loves to engage people in informal settings. He strives to make spirituality applicable to real life situations.
Manie is looking forward to engaging with the PLC community of students, parents, staff and Old Collegians.
Ms Chonny James Director of Wellbeing
Chantelle (Chonny) James (BPE, DipEd, ProfCertEd (PostEd) has worked at PLC since 2000. Prior to her appointment as the Director of Wellbeing, she held the role of Baird House Advisor and more recently was the Head of Health and Physical Education. She recently completed a Professional Certificate in Positive Education with the University of Melbourne.
Mr Sam Kronja Director of Finance & Corporate Services
Sam commenced at Presbyterian Ladies’ College in 2007 to head the Finance Team, which expanded into Operations and Corporate Services in 2012. Sam’s portfolio includes Finance, Property Maintenance, Development Projects, Insurance, Contracts, Risk Management and Compliance. Sam commenced work with Ernst & Young in 1991 and was admitted as a Chartered Accountant with the institute of Chartered Accountants in 1994. He has worked in a number of sectors including mining exploration, entertainment, information technology, managed investments, retail, advertising and education. His other qualifications include being an Associate of the Governance Institute of Australia and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management.
Previously Sam has been a former Board Member of the Association of Independent Schools WA (ASIWA), Association of School Business Administrators (State & National), Chrysalis Montessori, St Paul’s Catholic Primary School and a Member of the Catholic Education Office Finance Committee . Prior to joining PLC, Sam was the Business Manager at Corpus Christi College.
In a previous life Sam experienced life as a WAFL and AFL field umpire and has recently taken to cricket umpiring with the WACA. This has assisted to fashioning an ‘interesting perspective’ which has proved very useful for an accountant working in education.
Ms Anna Hu Director of Information & Learning
Anna has been working in Education with a focus on embedding technology in teaching and learning for over 20 years. Since August 2010, she has been on the Executive Leadership Teams at both Presbyterian Ladies’ College and Scotch College in Perth, both Cisco Exemplar and Apple Distinguished Schools, as the Director of Information and Learning Technologies (ILT). This involves leading change across two independent and culturally distinct organisations. Her portfolio includes the overseeing of ILT Curriculum and Technical at both schools, and the Library, Information and Research Services at Scotch College.
Anna has been building on her previous ILT strategy, which incorporated modern technologies with the primary aim to enable, engage and empower learners at both schools. She is driven by teaching and learning that is engaging, effective, and most importantly – fun.
Anna is an Apple Distinguished Educator and Adobe Education Leader and has run numerous workshops and presentations, physically and virtually, for audiences locally, nationally and internationally.
Mrs Keryn McKinnon Director of Strategic Communications
Keryn has more than 24 years’ experience as a senior corporate communications and media manager, public affairs adviser, newspaper editor and senior journalist.
In her previous role as Manager, Government Media in the office of former Premier Colin Barnett she oversaw the strategic communications planning for the Premier and Liberal and National Cabinet Ministers. Her expertise covers stakeholder engagement, crisis communication, media relations, event management, corporate communications and marketing and promotion across both traditional and digital media.
Keryn has been a Senior Account Manager at public relations firm PPR where she delivered strategic communications advice to a range of public, private and not-for-profit organisations. She is a former News Editor at The West Australian, was Education Writer at The West for nearly four years and was the first female, and youngest person, appointed Editor at the Kalgoorlie Miner.
With two daughters of her own, Keryn is passionate about girls’ education.
Ms Vivien Whitehead Director of People and Culture
Vivien is a Talent Management professional with over 20 years’ experience in corporate environments, including professional services (accounting and law), healthcare, banking and tertiary education. Her roles have included both strategic and operational responsibilities, as well as team leadership and senior management roles, with Australian and international experience. She holds a Bachelor of Psychology and a Master of Organisational Psychology from the University of Western Australia.
Vivien has significant experience across generalist HR, as well as expertise in talent management and succession, resourcing, organisational change, coaching and development, culture and engagement, and diversity and inclusion.
Vivien believes great talent strategy can have a profound impact in an organisation, by helping to channel the capability and commitment of people to achieve amazing things. She is passionate about helping individuals, teams and organisations reach their full potential.