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College Advisory Council

The St Edmund’s College Canberra Advisory Council works collaboratively with the Principal, Leadership Team and EREA Executive to ensure faithfulness to the Charter for Catholic Schools in the Edmund Rice Tradition and quality stewardship aimed at offering the best possible learning at the College.

The College Advisory Council provides advice to the Principal and has particular responsibilities for:

  • Faithfulness to the EREA Charter and Touchstones
  • Collaborating with the Principal on submissions to EREA for Strategic Planning, Budget and annual audited statements and capital works and master planning
  • Endorsement of major policies that are consistent with EREA
  • Support for the Principal in relation to compliance with EREA Risk Policy

The College Advisory Council also provides advice and support to the Principal on any matters referred to by the Principal, and any significant matter that falls within its delegated responsibilities. It is also represented on selection panels for some senior appointments, and participates in School Renewal and leader appraisal processes.

Appointed by EREA on the recommendation of the Principal and Advisory Council Chair, Members are chosen to meet the expertise needs of the College Advisory Council, not as representatives of any body. The Principal is an ex officio member of the Advisory Council.

Nichole is a freelance writer, communications consultant and author, with a particular interest in creatively encouraging boys to engage with the written word. Nichole has worked as a journalist, in public relations and marketing, and also spent a number of years as a small business owner. She is the mother of two St Edmund’s old boys, lives in Queanbeyan – a place for which she has a strong affection – and is a keen sportswoman.

EX OFFICIO MEMBER: Mr Joe Zavone (Principal)
Joe commenced as Principal at St Edmund’s College in 2018. Prior to this he was Deputy Principal of Christian Brothers’ High School Lewisham NSW from 2014, an EREA school educating boys from Years 5 to 12. Joe has also been Deputy Principal and Assistant Principal in a number of Catholic schools in Sydney, including St Scholastica’s College in Glebe and St Patrick’s College in Campbelltown. Joe has a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from the University of Notre Dame, a Master of Educational Leadership and a Master of Religious Education from the Australian Catholic University and a Bachelor of Arts and Diploma of Education from the University of Sydney.


Br Brian Berg CFC
Br Brian Berg is Christian Brother who was the former Deputy Provincial of the Christian Brothers’ NSW/ACT Province. He has taught in Australia and South Africa and was Principal of St. Leo’s College Wahroonga and St. Dominic’s College Penrith. At present he is Parish Pastoral Associate of St. Bede’s Parish Braidwood, NSW.

Professor Stephen Buckman AM
Stephen was appointed to the College Advisory Council in 2016. He retired from the ANU in 2015 after 33 years in the Research School of Physics and Engineering, and he finished his ANU career as Director of the Research School from 2012-2015. His research specialisation is in Atomic Physics, and he is currently also a member of the Board of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology organisation (ANSTO). He has recently been appointed as Executive Director of the Physical Sciences, Engineering, Mathematics and Information Sciences Programs at the Australian Research Council. His son has recently graduated from St Edmund’s College.

Mrs Christa Gordon
Christa joined the College Advisory Council in 2016. Her two sons are St Edmund’s old boys (Jake – class of 2012, and Ben – class of 2015). Christa is a Chartered Accountant and Certified Internal Auditor and has been working with KPMG for 27 years. She is the National Partner in Charge of KPMG’s Policy, Program and Evaluation service line and delivers consulting services to a range of Australian Government agencies including the Departments of Education, Employment, Health and Prime Minister and Cabinet. Christa is a Director on the Board of KPMG Executive Search and Selection and was formerly on the NSW Catholic Education Commission’s Resource and Funding Policy Committee.

Mrs Lara Kirk
Lara lives with her husband Tim and their five teenage & young adult children in Murrumbateman where Tim is CEO and Chief Winemaker of Clonakilla Wines. Lara has training in Theology, Education and Management and has worked variously as a youth minister, secondary teacher, public servant and political staffer. Lara currently works for the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn as Marriage, Family and Relationships Co-ordinator bringing relationship education programs into primary schools and high schools.

Mr John Owens
John joined the College Advisory Council in 2019. John Owens is an Old Boy of Christian Brothers schools in Tamworth.  A former Army officer, he served in the Australian Intelligence Corps for around 15 years.  Leaving the Army, he joined the Australian Public Service where he had senior roles in Defence, Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Finance.  He now works for the University of Canberra where he is Associate Vice President Campus Estate, responsible for the facilities and grounds of the University, as well as its Campus Development Program.  John has a son at St Edmund’s College and a daughter at St Clare’s.

Ms Lucy Stramandinoli
Lucy is a local Canberra lawyer specialising in the area of family law.  Her passion for the law all started with her first job with the ACT Legal Aid Office when she was just 17 years old.  She spent two years working for a former ACT Chief Minister.  Lucy dedicated the next 16 years of her life working for a larger Canberra family law firm until January 2017 when she opened her own practice, Neilan Stramandinoli Family Law, with one of her very trusted and dear colleagues and friend who shares the same passion as her.  Lucy is a Member of the ACT Law Society.  She does volunteer work with the ACT Law Society’s Legal Advice Bureau and the ACT Womens Legal Centre and she has been a board member of the Lions Club of Queanbeyan.  Lucy volunteers and supports local fund raising events such as Multiple Sclerosis and Breast Cancer. In her spare time, she likes to cook for the family.  Her two adult daughters are her pride and joy.

Mr Gerard Tiffen
Gerard is the Managing Director of Tiffen & Co, a business which he established over 20 years ago and has received industry recognition as Australia’s most awarded and successful boutique mortgage brokerage and financial planning business. Gerard’s experience in sourcing and correctly structuring a wide range of finance portfolios has seen him sit on multiple committees to provide financial expertise. Gerard and his wife Jenny are parents to four children, one of whom attends St Edmund’s College. Gerard is also an Old Boy of St Edmund’s College