When a student attends Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School, he or she receives the benefit of an education from teachers distinguished by dedication and expertise. The high quality of our teachers is reflected in the school being admitted to the prestigious University of Melbourne Network of Schools.

Our teachers are as inquisitive as our students, constantly updating their knowledge and skills to refine their wisdom for today’s classroom. A network of expert department heads and support staff, from the library to IT, ensures the academic year is planned and executed to provide the best possible learning experience for every student.

The promotion of professional development is a core value of the school. We encourage the professional learning of our teachers to enhance our culture of thinking and our commitment to supporting student wellbeing.

Since 2014, our teachers have been working on inquiry-action projects with Ron Ritchhart, Senior Research Associate of Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, to develop greater understandings and educational strategies associated with Harvard’s well known culture of thinking.

School Leadership

The management structure of Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School is headed by the Principal and the Vice Principal who oversee the various Heads of Section, senior management and staff. The Heads of Section supervise the day to day running of each section, as well as dedicated teams who are responsible for individual areas of study, co-curricular activities and student wellbeing.

This structure ensures that students benefit from personal care at every level, with the support of a small school environment as well as the resources of a large and diverse school community.


The Board of Management provides sound expertise for effective governance. Not only do the Chair and Directors of the Board bring a range of invaluable skills and experience, they all have a longstanding affiliation with the school as either former students, or current or former parents, or grandparents.

The Board is charged with the responsibility of overseeing the financial management of the school, providing its physical facilities and supporting the work of the Principal and staff in the provision of exemplary education, student wellbeing and community values.





BRUCE HENDERSON (past student)


Bruce graduated from PEGS in 1966 and was appointed to the Board in 1989.  He has held the role of Chairman since 2011.

Bruce is a Master of Architecture from RMIT and commenced Bruce Henderson Architects in 1976.  He remains Chairman of Bruce Henderson Architects global practice, a highly diversified design company active in both public and private sectors for national and international client organisations.  The company has satellite offices in London and Hanoi.

Bruce was inaugural Chairman of Australia Ballet School Foundation in 1991.


CHRIS CLAUSEN (past parent)


Chris works as a General Manager for a mid-sized international architectural firm after five years as an Executive Director in the Victorian State Government.  He was the CEO of a large Industry Superannuation Fund, Health Super, for over six years and Chair of a corporate superannuation fund board up until July 2019.  Chris spent many years in the early part of his career working in banking and finance.  He is currently the Chair of the PEGS Audit and Risk Committee.

Chris is Vice Chairman of the Board of Management.  He and his wife, Lesley, have two adult children who are both past students of PEGS.  After his family, his personal interests include farming, tennis, and following the Essendon Football Club.


GREGORY APLIN (past student and past parent)


Greg is a semi-retired civil engineer and town planner with interests in urban development and the environment.  Greg spent 30 years in the public sector and is now a Director of Applied Urban Solutions providing planning, development and Government liaison advice to both public and private sector clients.

Greg has been a member of several boards in the Government, development, environment and education sectors.

Greg now spends part of his time assisting people with disabilities improve their literacy, social skills and employability. This is a welcome addition to his planning work and a rewarding challenge.

Greg is a past student of the school and his two daughters attended PEGS from ELC to Year 12.




Paul Blacker is a retired Minister of the Uniting Church.  He holds Bachelor of Theology and Master of Ministry degrees.  Paul has had responsibilities as Director of Mission and Resourcing at the Synod level, he has been a Presbytery Minister and Chairperson of the Presbytery of Port Phillip West and has led four congregations. 

Prior to his life in ministry, Paul owned and operated a printing and secretarial business.  Currently he is a serving as Chairperson of Dadirri Melton Counselling Services.  He has been a member of the PEGS Board of Management for nearly twenty years. His daughter attended Penleigh and Essendon Grammar as did his brother.




A registered architect in Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania, South Australia, and Queensland, Domenic is a founding partner of Cera Stribley and Managing Principal of the practice, providing leadership across design, business development and corporate governance.

Since graduating with a Masters of Architecture from University of Melbourne in 2008, Domenic has established a reputation for his keen expertise in architectural design and property development across a diverse range of sectors, including multi-residential, hotel, hospitality, retail, and private residential. 

Domenic was a student at PEGS for the entirety of his schooling from 1989 through to 2002, and is passionate about his continued involvement in the school at the Board level. An active contributor to both the business and alumni communities, Domenic is also a member of several committees and organisations, such as SONA which supports emerging Architects, often attending events, and acting as a guest critic for The University of Melbourne’s capstone units. 

Domenic is heavily involved in the Penleigh and Essendon Grammar Business Network to support former students in the business community and is the current Vice-President of the Former Students Association.  


ELIZABETH DAPIRAN (past student and current parent)


Elizabeth attended Penleigh and Essendon Grammar from ELC to Year 12 and is a parent of a son and daughter in the Junior Schools.  She is a specialist physician and works in the public and private health sectors.

Elizabeth was appointed to the Board in 2008.  She represents the third generation of her family to attend the school and values this long association.  Elizabeth brings to the Board a keen sense of the school’s history and is alert to the consideration of both tradition and innovation in the Board’s actions to guide the education of the next generation of PEGS students.


ROBERT GOTTLIEBSEN (past student, past parent and current grandparent)


School Captain and Dux of Essendon Grammar School in 1957 and 1958, Robert was appointed to the Essendon Grammar School Board in 1973 and is a former Chairman of the PEGS Board of Management.

Robert writes daily business and investment commentary for The Australian newspaper’s digital and print editions.  He was the original Chanticleer Columnist with the Australian Financial Review; Founding Editor of BRW magazine and his commentary has extended into ABC TV and 3AW radio.  Co-founder of the businessspectator.com,au – a  digital publishing  operation which was purchased by News Corp in 2012, Robert is a member of The Australian Media Hall of Fame and an Australian Journalist of the Year.

A member of PEGS Ex-student Hockey Team of the half century, Robert and his wife, Barbara, are also active in the Essendon Presbyterian Church of which he is Treasurer.


 LISA LAWRY (NEE HEILBRONN) - (past student, current parent)

Lisa Lawry

Lisa has more than 20 years’ senior leadership experience across human resources, culture transformation, diversity and inclusion, employee wellbeing, talent and leadership development, risk and compliance and building high performance teams.  Lisa holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources (HR), a Graduate Diploma in HR and Industrial Relations and Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Lisa is currently a member of the AFL’s senior management team, in the role of General Manager of Umpiring.  Prior to joining the AFL, Lisa was part of the executive leadership team at the Essendon Football Club in the role of General Manager People, Technology and Legal and she previously worked at BP Australia and FOXTEL. 

Lisa is from the PEGs Class of 1990, with her two daughters who are current and past PEGs students, the third generation in her family to study at the school.  Lisa is very passionate about learning, student and teacher wellbeing and being a strong custodian of the PEGs legacy to ensure that the school continues to be a positive institute for thriving.


PAUL PHELAN (past parent)

Paul has over 30 years in leadership positions in the Digital Health arena and he is currently the Managing Director of Cognitive Health Solutions, a business that provides software solutions to global Health market. Paul was the founder and Managing Director of Health IQ Pty Ltd, a company providing software to hospitals throughout Australia and New Zealand for more than twenty years and is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Telstra Corporation Ltd.  Paul is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Paul has two children, both of whom attended PEGS from Prep through to Year 12, his daughter graduating in 2013 and his son in 2016.  He has been on the school’s Board of Management since 2005 and is a member of the Board’s Audit and Risk Committee.


 ANDREW SMITH (current parent)

Andrew is the CEO of Education Services Australia, an education technology company owned by Australia's Education Ministers and has over 20 years of leadership experience in education and training.  Prior to this he was Vice President at Swinburne University and has held leadership roles with Independent Schools Victoria and in vocational education and training.  Andrew's first career was as a secondary school teacher. 

In addition to being a member of the PEGS Board of Management, Andrew is the Board Chair of not-for-profit youth employment agency Y Careers and is past Chairman of the Board of YMCA Australia. 

Andrew brings expertise in business, education and governance to the PEGS Board and is committed to ensuring that PEGS continues its strong tradition of supporting students to realise their potential by providing the knowledge, skills and dispositions they need to thrive and contributing to every aspect of their wellbeing. 

 Andrew and his wife, Leeanne, have a daughter in Year 12 and two older children who graduated from PEGS in 2015 and 2017.


YIYING (SALLY) TSANG (past student and current parent)


Sally is a specialist doctor working in the fields of anaesthesia and perioperative medicine in the northern and western suburbs of Melbourne, with interests in resuscitation, education, and improving care processes for patients undergoing major surgery. 

Sally was Dux of PEGS in 2002 and Leader of the School Orchestra, and during her time at PEGS twice represented Australia at the International Mathematical Olympiad. Nowadays she continues these interests through involvement with the Australian Doctors’ Orchestra and Corpus Medicorum, and also serves in leadership and committee roles within the Australian Mathematics Trust. 

As the mother of two daughters, one of whom is school aged and attends PEGS, Sally is committed to seeing PEGS continue as a leader in providing outstanding and equitable educational opportunities for boys and girls that encourage them to live full lives and make a positive contribution to the community. 


DAVID WHITING (past parent)


David is a lawyer with a general commercial practice, and is currently the principal lawyer at his own firm.  Beyond the law and the school, David’s main community involvement has been via Rotary where he was (for five years) the Director of Governance for Rotary District 9800, which supports some 60 Clubs in Victoria.  He retains roles at both District and Club level.  He supports a number of charities as pro bona legal advisor, principally the National Heart Foundation.  He is a regular contributor to Virginia Trioli’s program on ABC Radio Melbourne.

David is a member of the Audit and Risk Committee.  David’s daughter attended PEGS throughout her school years.


TOM WILSON (past student)t


Tom has fifteen years’ experience within banking and financial services. He is currently a Corporate Finance Director within Corporate and Institutional Banking at National Australia Bank (NAB).  Prior to joining NAB, Tom commenced his career as a Chartered Accountant at KPMG.

Tom attended PEGS and is a former player of the PEGS Football Club. He is married and has one daughter and one son.




JOHN KINTON (past parent and current grandparent)

Husband of a former Penleigh student, father and grandfather of students of the school, John has been active in the PEGS community for many years.  He was the inaugural Chair of the Friends of PEGS and is currently Chairman of the PEGS Foundation.

John’s professional background is in communications as a Principal Technical Officer with the then Telecom Australia.  For some years he was Chairman of the Victorian Parachute Council and a Board Member of the Australian Parachute Association.  He is currently on the National Board of the Corps of Commissionaires.  In addition, he served for 37 years as a member of the Army Reserve, reaching the rank of Warrant Officer class one.


MARGARET KINTON (past student, past parent and current grandparent)

Margaret commenced at Penleigh at Grade Five level in 1954 when it was a school of about 300 students. After completing her studies, she worked in Pathology Laboratories as a Medical Technologist. After the birth of her family she became involved in the Nursing Mothers Association as a Group Leader and she was also a leader in a local Girl Guide group.

Margaret’s three children attended PEGS throughout their school years and her granddaughter has now begun her education at PEGS. Margaret was also on the inaugural Friends of PEGS committee and has recently retired from the PEGS Board after 27 years’ service but remains actively involved as a member of the Development Foundation.


WENDY MCMASTER (past student, past parent and current grandparent)

Wendy is a retired Physiotherapist with 40 years’ experience in the public and private domains of health care including various hospitals, general physiotherapy and private practice. Wendy spent 16 years working at the Broadmeadows Community Health Centre in the early childhood and family health programme which included implementation of and participation in health education programmes in kindergartens, remedial gym and special schools and school readiness assessments.

Wendy’s parents attended Penleigh and Northern Grammar Schools, she spent her school life at Penleigh together with her two sisters, married an Essendon Grammar alumnus and their three children attended PEGS.  Wendy has two grandsons who are past students, and one grandson and two granddaughters who are current students.  Wendy is very familiar, not only with the history of PEGS, but as an active and involved grandparent, with the daily experience of school life.

After 37 years of service, Wendy retired from the PEGS Board of Management in November 2020, and joined the PEGS Development Foundation as a Director in April 2021. 

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