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 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.
Ms Chonny James Deputy Principal
Chantelle (Chonny) James (BPE, DipEd, ProfCertEd (PostEd) has worked at PLC since 2000. Prior to her appointment as the Deputy Principal, she held the roles of Director of Wellbeing, Head of Health and Physical Education, and Baird House Advisor. She recently completed a Professional Certificate in Positive Education with the University of Melbourne.
Mr Neil Walker Director of 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.
Ms 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.
Mrs Geraldine Drabble Head of Junior School
Geraldine has extensive experience in Primary education, from Pre-Kindergarten to Year 6, with 18 years in leadership roles. Significantly, she brings skills developed during her time as Acting Head and Deputy Head of School at St Mary’s Anglican Girls’ School, and Principal of Lake King Primary School.
Within both Department of Education and Independent Sector schools, Geraldine’s leadership roles have included Principal, Deputy Principal, Curriculum Leader, Senior Teacher and University Colleague with ECU whilst always maintaining a teaching role. She believes that remaining connected to the classroom shapes and informs her decision-making processes.
Geraldine completed a Graduate Diploma of Teaching at Edith Cowan University and a Graduate Diploma in Educational Leadership at the University of Western Australia. She holds a professional membership with the Alliance of Girls’ Schools Australiasia.
Ms Susie Edwards Director of Boarding
Susie (BSc, DipEd, MSc) has joined the PLC community in 2021. She has over 15 years’ experience as a Maths and Science Teacher and held the role of Deputy Head of Senior School (Pastoral Care) at St Mark’s Anglican Community School prior to joining PLC. Previously, Ms Edwards was Head of Year at Trinity College, Science Teacher at John Willcock College in Geraldton, and Boarding House Recreation Officer at MLC, Claremont.
As the Director of Boarding at PLC, she is passionate about pastoral care for boarding students and has an excellent understanding of regional families. She is driven to ensure that students feel safe and have a voice in decision-making and believes that consistent, open communication with all members of the community will help bring strong positive relationships based on trust.
Ms Julia Dobson Director of Marketing, Communications and Community Engagement
Julia Dobson is an entrepreneur and brand and marketing strategist who has worked internationally for some of the world’s most loved luxury brands.
Julia’s career in fashion includes working in Switzerland with Bally and London with various surf and skate brands. She completed an MBA in International Luxury Brand Management in Paris and joined the Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy Group leading brands CELINE and then Acqua di Parma in the UK and Ireland. Julia launched her own leather goods brand Village England, selling in boutiques and department stores across Europe, America, Canada, and Australia. She sold the business to facilitate a move back home to Perth.
She brings a detailed understanding of brand design, development, communications, campaign strategies and leveraging coverage by using technology and creativity to ensure an extension of reach.
Kristy Denereaz Director of People and Culture
Kristy brings over two decades of HR leadership experience to her role at PLC. Her passion for education and creative evolution in the face of new challenges has grown through her work at the Department of Education, Monash University, and Guildford Grammar School where she led significant change projects.
With a background in compliance and safety, she is dedicated to fostering inclusive workplace cultures and driving organisational success. Kristy holds a degree in Psychology and an MBA from RMIT.
Raluca Alecsa Chief Financial Officer
Raluca Alecsa MBA, GAICD, is a finance executive with over 15 years of experience in delivering finance transformations, achieving cost efficiencies, and enabling greater digital capability in finance activities. She has broad experience in the financial leadership of complex entities, private business,es and publicly listed companies.
Raluca brings extensive experience in property management, contract management, and a track record of delivering business growth to PLC. Since joining the college she has built strong relationships with both internal and external key stakeholders allowing the development of strategic partnerships and collaboration.