Billanook is a thriving community of over 900 children, catering for students from Early Learning to Year 12. Its long-term sustained growth has been made possible by strong leadership and a clear strategic vision for the College.

“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.”

Warren Bennis – Scholar & Author

The College’s Leadership framework consists of our:

  • College Board
  • College Leadership Team
  • Heads of Year Levels
  • Learning Area Leaders
  • Pastoral Care Team
  • Student Leaders – Primary, Middle and Senior School

The College Board

The College Board holds responsibility for the strategic vision and direction of the College, ensuring that the overarching frameworks guiding the College are effective. Our Board is selected on the basis of both experience and knowledge, with many members either current or past Billanook parents.

The Board is comprised of a team of dedicated professionals, including the current College Principal, who holds responsibility for the overall management of the College. Their commitment is to the long-term strategic vision of the College and its sustained success as a leader in independent education.


Ms Tammi Rose

BCom, MHRM, CPA, GAICD, Graduate Certificate Management, Diploma Project Management

Tammi is a Senior Government Executive and a passionate values-based leader with 25 years experience working across public, private and not-for-profit sectors. She brings an exceptional track record in delivering strong outcomes for organisations and communities.

Tammi is a strategic and results-oriented leader who enjoys forging enduring relationships with organisations, communities and stakeholders, and has a reputation for engagement, innovation and astute financial management.

An Accountant by trade, Tammi is a qualified CPA, holds a degree in Commerce and a Masters in Organisational Development, and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Vice Chair

Mr Richard Dicello

Richard is a past student of Billanook College, Class of 1993. Richard credits the College as being instrumental in assisting him gain his first position in the banking sector (Esanda, part of the ANZ Bank). Richard has gone on to work in senior executive roles at BMW Finance, as CEO at uFinance, Director roles at eBay Classified Group and has recently accepted a General Manager role at CarClarity.

Richard feels that the College has given him a great foundation for his working life and the fond memories of his time at Billanook were the motivating factors for Richard wanting to renew his involvement with the school. He is looking forward to working with Roger and the Board to help with the continued growth of the Billanook community.

Company Secretary/Treasurer

Ms Tammi Rose – Acting

Ms Tammi Rose




Mr Roger Oates

M Ed, BSc, Grad Dip Teach, MACE

Principal of Billanook College 2010- current.  Formerly, Mr Oates was Principal of Bishop Druitt College, an Anglican School on the north coast of NSW. Under his six years of leadership, Bishop Druitt College grew from 900 students to the current enrolment of 1200, making it the largest independent school in NSW outside Sydney. Prior to his appointment as Principal of Bishop Druitt College, Mr Oates was Deputy Headmaster and Senior Master at Girton Grammar School in Bendigo for a number of years. As an educator, Mr Oates has earned a reputation for his commitment to academic excellence, his focus upon developing well-rounded students and for his support and encouragement of all members of his school communities. He has a particular interest in the role that technology plays in education and has had oversight of this area in previous roles in independent schools. It is Mr Oates’ aim to continue to lead the Billanook team to live out the College’s mission in a dynamic and inspiring manner. The provision of a nurturing school learning environment that is dedicated to achieving individual excellence for Staff and students is of paramount importance to him.

Mrs Chennell Allan

BBiotechCellBiol, BAppSc(MedRad), GradCert(Emergency&DisasterMgt), MStJ, MAIES

Chennell is an enthusiastic parent to her two Primary School boys who both attend Billanook. She is actively involved in the Friends of Billanook (FOB) Fundraising Committee, having been a general member on the committee since 2017. More recently she stepped onto the FOB Executive Committee and has also been appointed as the FOB Representative on the College Board.

In her professional life Chennell works for the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) as the Assistant Director of Emergency Preparedness and Response. Chennell also sits on the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Emergency Preparedness and Response Safety Standards Team, as the Australian alternate representative. In addition to these roles, she represents Australia on the World Health Organisations Radiological Emergency Medical Preparedness and Assistance Network Committee.

Passionate about serving her community, Chennell has volunteered for St John Ambulance Victoria for the last 19 years and is part of State Emergency Management Team which supports the emergency deployment of teams to disaster zones across Victoria.

With multiple professional and community commitments, she is incredibly busy and travels constantly – but loves the important work she is doing to protect and serve her country and community.

Ms Melissa Handbury

BCom, CA

Melissa is a Chartered Accountant with extensive experience in both private practice and the commercial sector. She started her career in the business services division of Ernst and Young and has been the Financial Controller of a NASDAQ listed Australian subsidiary and the Chief Financial Officer of a public unlisted company. Melissa is the Founder and Chair of Lyrebird College, an independent co-eduational specialist school for children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. She has three children with two currently attending Billanook College. The student focus of Billanook College is aligned with her strong belief that each child should be given every opportunity to be the best they can.

Ms Claire Lindsay-Johns

Bachelor of Law / Bachelor of Arts (International Studies), Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice

Until recently Claire was a Senior Manager for a large not-for-profit organisation, where she specialised in the area of financial inclusion and economic security for low-income families and individuals, with a special focus on women’s economic wellbeing. Claire has significant experience managing high level corporate and governmental partnerships and has a strong strategic focus on alleviating poverty through a robust systemic change agenda.

Prior to joining the NFP sector Claire worked at Victoria Police, managing the implementation of large scale legislative and operational reforms in family violence, sexual assault and child abuse.

She has a long history volunteering in the community legal sector, both as a paralegal and while completing her practical legal training. Claire is passionate about ensuring equitable access to legal and social services.

Claire has two young children, one of whom attends Junior Primary at Billanook and another who will attend in years to come. She is passionate about ensuring local families can access the exceptional opportunities Billanook offers, and continuing to build an inclusive, independent thinking and well-rounded educational experience that equips students for the changing world around them.

Mr Peter Michell

Peter, who has been retired since 2017, has two married sons together with his wife Margaret. His involvement with Billanook began when one of his grandsons, now Year 7, commenced in Billanook’s Early Learning Program in 2014.

His work life was mainly focused on the area of sales, marketing and management in both the multi-national and private sectors. Peter spent the first 34 years working in the rural industry with animal health pharmaceutical companies Merck Sharp & Dohme, Grampian PLC and Novartis. For his final 14 years he was part owner and General Manager of a private aluminium distribution business in Melbourne.

Since retiring, Peter has kept busy, taking on a number of voluntary positions including as a member of the Eastern Health Foundation Advisory Board. He also acts as a consumer representative, providing a voice for patients within Eastern Health, and is involved in several committees spanning his interests in ’Care of the ageing’, ‘Clinical Governance’, ‘Hospital Accreditation’ and ’Delirium and Cognitive Impairment’. In addition, Peter is currently an associate researcher working on two separate projects, collaborating with staff from Deakin University and Eastern Health.

Peter looks forward to sharing his experience with the Billanook Board as it works toward the vision for 2030.

Ms Andrea Swinburne-Jones

Bachelor of Arts (Double Major – Journalism/Economic & Social History)

Since 1999, Andrea has been working in a communications role for international relief, development and advocacy organisation, World Vision.

Andrea has been privileged to meet people from, and share the stories of, some of the most vulnerable communities across Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Pacific.

Andrea’s work has focused on emergency communications in natural disasters and conflict, but has also looked at issues such as climate change that impact development work. Creating stories about humanitarian emergencies and development work, mentoring junior communications staff, and providing content for international and national journalists have been part of her work.

After graduating with a journalism degree, Andrea headed to Japan, teaching English to children in Yokohama. Years later, she returned as a ‘Cultural Ambassadorial Scholar’ via Rotary International, and formally studied Japanese language and cultural in Osaka.

Billanook College’s principles align with her values, and she believes the college’s association with Round Square is a plus for the school community. Andrea is passionate about students making the most of opportunities, strengthening their resilience, and contributing to community, locally and globally. She is a parent to a Billanook College secondary student.

Andrea is a member of a local karate dojo. Over the years Andrea has participated in beach and hardcourt volleyball, golf, netball, basketball and softball, and been a member of Toastmasters International.

Mr John Thwaites

Dip Gen Man Dip Pub Rel.

John has been actively involved in the Billanook community since 2008, joining the Board at Billanook in 2012. John is extremely proud of the achievements of the Capital Development Plan. The Discovery, Mastery, Dame Phyllis Frost Centre and now the new Senior Learning Precinct are all wonderful examples of the benefits of our Master Plan. This will ensure that students and teachers have access to state of the art facilities, designed to inspire minds and foster creativity as our School approaches its 50th birthday in 2030.

John has had two sons attend Billanook; the youngest successfully completing his VCE in 2019. His professional background is in the media, having worked as a professional broadcaster, senior manager and public speaker for well over 30 years in Victoria and Tasmania.

John is a committed and diligent Board Member, who desires to build on the great work and many achievements already accomplished by the entire School community to date. The Board and College Leadership Team are totally focused on improving life at Billanook in any way possible, for the benefit of our current and future students and their families. There is much to look forward to at Billanook, as we approach the celebration of our 50th anniversary in 2030.

Mr Matt Wood

B.Sc, Grad DIP Ed, M.ed (Leadership)

Matthew, Class of 1993 joined the Billanook College Board in 2012 as a teacher, parent and past student. Having worked in education for over 20 years, he has experienced working in a number of states and in different systems and industries. Matthew spent several years working in the corporate sector for Origin Energy, leading the learning and development functions across the retail business. Although his teaching background is in Science; Matthew has a keen interest in ICT and the role it plays in promoting innovation. His hobbies outside of work include golf and basketball, as well as spending quality time with his family. Matthew is excited to be a member of the Billanook College Board, as well as a part of a wonderful community.

For further information about the College’s Vision- Towards 2030 click the link below

A range of policies and procedures govern our learning environment help to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our School community. 

Billanook College is committed to the Principles of Democracy

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