An Independent Girls' School

About Kambala

Located in Sydney’s Rose Bay, Kambala is a vibrant, independent day and boarding school for girls up to 18 years.

We offer a choice of learning pathways. Girls can achieve the IB Diploma or the NSW HSC. Kambala inspires academic excellence, with the School consistently ranking among the top non-selective girls’ schools in Sydney.

At Kambala, each girl is recognised as an individual and valued for her unique qualities and talents — the whole girl.

History

Inspired learning. Empowering young women of integrity.

Since our pioneering days in the late 1800s, the Kambala community has shared a common goal: to educate ‘the whole girl’.

Kambala began as a humble class of 12 girls, taught in a terrace house in Woollahra by Miss Louisa Gurney, the daughter of an English clergyman. Louisa was later joined by Mademoiselle Augustine Soubeiran who became Co-Principal. The School moved in 1891 to a larger property in Bellevue Hill called ‘Kambala’.

In 1913, with an enrolment of nearly 50, the School moved again to its current site, on New South Head Road in Rose Bay. The School operated within the Tivoli townhouse, the home of Captain William Dumaresq. Tivoli has undergone several extensions and restorations; today, it remains the home to Kambala’s Boarders in Years 7 to 9, who enjoy some of the best harbour views Sydney has to offer.

In 1926, Kambala became a Church of England Foundation School with an independent council.

Massie House, for Kambala girls in Prep to Year 2, was founded at Vaucluse Hall on Coolong Road in 1949 and opened in 1950. In 1974, the site was sold and Massie students relocated to join the main campus on New South Head Road.

Kambala has strengthened its reputation for academic excellence and the education of the whole girl through continually evolving teaching and learning practices, improving facilities and expanding the opportunities provided to students.

Past Principals

Our Principal

Ms Jane Danvers

On 17 January 2022 we welcomed our new Principal, Ms Jane Danvers. Ms Danvers has served the Australian educational community for over 20 years. Prior to Kambala, she was Principal of Wilderness School for 15 years, one of the most successful girls’ schools in South Australia. She also served as the Presiding Member of the South Australian Certificate of Education Board (SACE) since.

Along with her leadership in education, Ms Danvers is Chair of the Jam Factory, a not-for-profit organisation that promotes outstanding design and craftsmanship through widely acclaimed studios and galleries. These roles illustrate Ms Danvers’ deep understanding of the intricacies and importance of wise leadership and good governance. She has sat on numerous industry-related committees, most recently the Premier’s Council for Women in SA; Committee for Economic Development SA/NT State Advisory Board (CEDA); and the Andy Thomas Space Foundation Education Advisory Committee.

Committed to continuous learning, Ms Danvers has completed a Masters of Education at the University of South Australia, Oxford University’s High Performance Leadership Programme and Harvard University’s Leading Learning that Matters Project.

Throughout her professional life, Ms Danvers has contributed to the wider educational debate in Australia and championed pedagogical advancement in schools. Co-author of the 2020 book Five Ways of Being: What Learning Leaders Think, Do and Say Every Day, Ms Danvers has mentored new principals in the Leading Learning Program at the Association Heads of Independent Schools of Australia. Ms Danvers will be able to apply this experience to enrich our leading Kambala Institute of Teaching Excellence (KITE) Program.

Ms Danvers is dedicated to the significant achievements in the advancement of women and girls’ education and the advocacy for gender equality and diversity. Her experience in promoting girls’ leadership positions her well to enhance our students’ passport to SHINE program.

Ms Danvers educational leadership has been recognised nationally. She is the recipient of Principals Australia Institute John Laing Award and the AISSA Noel Volk Excellence Award. In 2021 she was awarded the Australian College of Educational Leaders (ACEL) Alby Jones Gold Medal for her influence and outstanding contribution to the study and practice of educational leadership.

EXECUTIVE TEAM

STRATEGIC PLAN

It is an exciting time in Kambala’s 131-year history and Kambala’s Strategic Plan 2019-2023 will lead us over the next five years and build on the ambitions and direction of our heritage.

At Kambala we nurture and challenge every girl to realise her full potential. We do this by focusing on four strategic pillars:

Our Strategy is underpinned by our core values and an evolved vision and mission, which best represents Kambala’s heritage and future.

Michael Nicholls, BA, BCom, LLB, GDipLegPract, ACA ,CPA

Chief Operating Officer

Michael is the Chief Operating Officer of the School. He reports to the Principal and the School Council.

Danielle Kassoua, BBus(HRM&IR)

Human Resources Manager

Danielle is responsible to the Principal for the management of the overall Human Resources function at the School. She works closely with staff and other business units to promote Kambala as an employer of choice in order to attract and retain high quality staff.

Katherine Mar, BA, GradDipEd, DipEdStud

Head of Senior School

Katherine is responsible to the Principal and oversees the wellbeing, attendance and academic care of all students from Year 7 to Year 12 and the efficient functioning of relevant staff.

Tamara Lang, BPsych(Hons), MPsych(Clin)(Hons), DPhil

Head of Special Projects

Tamara is responsible for providing proactive leadership in the design, implementation and overall coordination of effective practices and programs that will aid the School in delivering its Strategic Plan. In addition, Tamara is responsible for managing the School Counselling staff and processes.

Stuart Coppin, MEd, BBehavSc, GradDipSocSc, GradDipEd

Head of Junior School

Stuart is responsible for the wellbeing, attendance and academic care of all students from Early Learning (Hampshire House) to Year 6 and the efficient functioning of relevant staff.

Evan Hughes, MCom (InfoSys), BSc, DipEd

Director of ICT

Evan is responsible to the Principal and oversees the ICT Department, ICT equipment and software used by students and staff, data collection and storage, and the associated systems and processes used across the School.

Ainslie van Onselen , LLB, GradDipAppFin, M AppFin, GAICD

President, appointed 2018, current parent

Ainslie is an experienced executive with a background in financial services, as a litigation lawyer and Non-Executive Director with various listed, government and not-for-profit organisations. She is the current CEO of Chartered Accountants, Australia and New Zealand and a Board Commissioner of Legal Aid NSW. More recently she spent six years at Westpac Group running a number of divisions, including Managing Director and CEO of RAMS. She has practiced as a litigation lawyer, including as a partner in a specialist corporate and commercial practice in WA. Ainslie has two daughters at Kambala and lives locally having grown up in regional Australia

Natalie Faulkner, FCA, CFE, MFin, BCom

Appointed 2019, Treasurer, Old Girl

Natalie has 20 years’ experience working in professional services as a forensic accountant in London, Sydney and Perth, assisting clients in misconduct prevention, detection and response and regulatory investigations and remediation. She is currently a partner at KPMG and is KPMG’s Global Head of Banking Fraud risk. Natalie was on the Board of Mosman Park Primary School in Perth and is a Kambala Old Girl.

Alix Rimington, BA(MedCom)

Appointed 2019, Old Girl, KOGU nominee

Alix has 20 years’ experience working with some of Australia’s leading corporations locally and internationally. Her professional experience spans retail, FMCG, telecommunications, technology, media, international policy, corporate venture capital (CVC) and the global startup ecosystem. She is currently General Manager – Strategic Partnerships at Woolworths. Prior to this, Alix spent six years at Coca-Cola Amatil, most recently as Co-Founder and Head of Amatil X, Coca-Cola Amatil’s corporate venturing platform (CVC). Alix spent 10 years at Telstra in senior corporate affairs roles and was Communications Director at B20 Australia (the business group advising the G20 on policy) during Australia’s G20 host year.

Catherine Happ, BBus, BMus, MIR

Vice President, appointed 2017, current parent

Catherine has worked as a ministerial adviser to senior government officials and has been a respected Investment Adviser at JB Were for the past 21 years where she is currently an Executive Director. Catherine is also a Board member for The Butterfly Foundation, which provides support for those with eating disorders.

Matt Carolan, BAppSci(Bld)

Appointed 2018, current parent

Matt has 34 years’ experience in the property development and construction industry in Australia. For the past six years he has been the Projects Director and National Head of Development and Executive Director of Urbanest Australia, a purpose-built student accommodation developer and operator. Previously, he held Directorship roles in privately owned Construction and Property Development companies for 24 years, since 1989. Matt has a strong interest in supporting Women in Sport, Design and the Property Industry.

Dr Mary Coupland PhD, MEd, DipEd, BSc

Appointed 2021

Dr Coupland is a highly skilled secondary and tertiary educator in Mathematics. She is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Technology, Sydney after having been Director of the Mathematics and Science Study Centre there for 13 years. As a consultant Dr Coupland contributes to syllabus development for the NSW Education Standards Authority and has been an advisor to the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority regarding the Australian Curriculum. 

Dr Giselle Gerber, MBBS(Medal,Hons1), BSc(Med), FRACP, FRCPA

Appointed 2018, Archbishop nominee, Old Girl, current parent

Giselle was educated at Kambala and the University of NSW, graduating in Medicine with the University Medal. She currently works as a Consultant Haematologist at Prince of Wales Hospital and the Royal Hospital for Women, Randwick, and is responsible for clinical care, laboratory oversight, junior doctor supervision and training. She also chairs a working party for NSW Health Pathology. Giselle established the HOW Collaborative (Haematology in Obstetric and Women’s Health) – a national multidisciplinary collaboration that focuses on research, education and advocacy for women with Haematological disorders, especially in pregnancy. Giselle and her husband have three daughters and a son, and are active members at St Luke’s Anglican Church, Clovelly.

Emily Smith, BCom

Appointed 2011, Old Girl, KOGU nominee

Educated at Kambala and the University of New South Wales. Following a degree course in Commerce, she undertook programs at Georgetown University and Trinity College at Oxford University. Emily has worked as an executive in Global Markets at Salomon Smith Barney, Deutsche Bank and is currently a Director of Investment Banking and Capital Markets at Credit Suisse. Emily was recently awarded a scholarship to attend an Executive Program at the Darden School of Business, University of Virginia and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Caroline Best BA LLB

Appointed 2021, Archbishop nominee

Caroline has practiced as a lawyer, worked for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and held the role of Chief Advocacy Officer at the International Justice Mission Australia. More recently she has worked at the Australian Human Rights Commission, the Office of the eSafety Commissioner and is currently an Executive Officer at Austrade.