School Board

As a body, the St John’s Lutheran School Board provides oversight and governance of our school.

St John’s Board members are appointed by the Jindera Lutheran Congregations. The Board members have a variety of skills and experience in a range of industries and professional disciplines, enabling them to effectively govern the school and provide counsel to the Principal.

The Board meets monthly to monitor the progress of the school, ensuring it is aligned with St John’s Purpose, Vision and Values. This includes evaluating the progress of the strategic plan, reviewing and updating policies and managing risk and caring for the general welfare of the school and its people.

The School Executive consisting of the Principal, Business Manager and Deputy Principal, are responsible for the day-to-day management of the school and its resources and, in particular, for the delivery of the highest possible standards of learning opportunities for the students.


The Current Board members include:

Louise McGrath – Chair

BSc(Occupational Therapy), MBA (Griffith Uni)

Louise has worked for APM, a multinational workplace rehabilitation company for 17 years, providing experience in consulting, operations management, work health and safety and diversity management. This was complemented by completing an MBA, further developing a broad spectrum of governance and management skills. Louise was appointed to the Board in 2011 and Chairman in 2017. Louise is married to Shawn and they have 2 children at St John’s and 1 still to come.


Pete Ritchie – Vice Chair


Pete worked as a Mine Warfare sailor in the Navy for four years, before moving into full time ministry with FOCUS Military Ministry. Pete leads ministry on the ground to the soldiers based in Wodonga, as well as leading the FOCUS team which is based in various Defence Establishments across Australia. Pete was appointed to the Board in 2015 and Deputy Chair in 2017. Pete is married to Melinda and they have one child currently at St John’s and one recently graduated.


Dr Fiona Christie – Secretary


Fiona is a General Practitioner with an interest in women’s and children’s health, especially in caring for women during pregnancy and birth. With two colleagues, she also owns and oversees the busy medical practice in which she works and has honed her governance and management skills in this context over ten years. She is married to David and they have two children, one current student and one just graduated from St John’s. Fiona joined the board in 2017.


Cohen Van Der Linde


Cohen is the Financial Controller of Jacob Toyota and has over 8 years experience in financial control and governance. Cohen was appointed to the Board in 2015 and is currently a member of the St John’s Finance Committee. He is married to Patty and has two children, with the youngest attending St John‘s. He is a member of the Bethlehem Lutheran Congregation in Jindera and attends the St John’s Chapel.


Denise Osborne

Denise is a Councillor and former Mayor/Deputy Mayor of Greater Hume and the former HUME Shire Councils and has been a Local Government elected member for more than 30 years. Denise currently serves on the Boards of ATEL (Apprentices, Trainees, Employment Limited), Local Government NSW, Statecover Mutual and a number of local Committees. DENISE has been on the Board of St John’s for 4 years and is a past Chairman. Prior to her retirement from paid employment Denise was employed by FACS-Housing, working with persons experiencing homelessness.



Gwen Jarick

Gwen was appointed to the St John’s Board in 2017. She is a member of the Trinity, Bethel Lutheran Congregation. Gwen has many years experience as a teacher in Lutheran Schools having served at St John’s as well as at Nhill Lutheran School and most recently at Victory Lutheran College. She will retire from Victory as of the end of Term One, 2018. She is keen to continue her interest in Lutheran schooling as a member of the School board. Gwen is married to Paul, a farmer and is the mother of four. She is now the proud grandparent of six. All her children have attended St John’s and two of her grandchildren are current students of our school.


Pastor Christian Fandrich

Pastor Christian is married to Sarah Joy, who has previously taught in Lutheran schools. Together they have seven children ranging from 14 years to one year old. Before training for the pastoral ministry, Pastor Christian was a full time General Practitioner. Now in his ninth year of pastoral ministry, he shepherds the Burrumbuttock Lutheran Parish, comprising the two worshipping communities of the Jindera Lutheran Church (Bethlehem and St John’s Chapel), Holy Cross Lutheran Church (Burrumbuttock), Trinity Lutheran Church (Bethel) and St Peter’s Lutheran Church (Gerogery West). He enjoys the country life, preaching, teaching and being taught God’s Word, and hearing God’s people sing together.


St John’s Lutheran School Board Strategic Planning

In term 4, 2017 St John’s Lutheran School Board and the school Executive team started the process of strategic planning. Our goal was to prepare a concise plan which will guide the School Board and Executive to provide focus for the school over the next 3 years on areas which will most benefit the students and school community. The Strategic Plan sits over the more comprehensive School Improvement Framework which provides a strategy for the School Executive and staff for improvement of every area of the school.

The Strategic Plan was developed through a process of reflection on the school’s current strengths and challenges, consultation with the Staff, Parents and Jindera Lutheran Congregations and further reflection. Thank you to everyone who participated in this process, your feedback was instrumental in understanding the needs and potential of the school.

We have now finalised the strategic plan and wish to share with you the framework which outlines the plan.

The framework is led by our Motto: “To maturity in Christ” which sits over all.

The purpose is at the heart of what we do, the goals sit around it and the values (Respect, Faith, Effort and Excellence, and Innovation) are how we do it.