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Queensland independent schools are not-for-profit education institutions that are as diverse as the students they educate and the communities they serve.
Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ) is a not-for-profit peak body, dedicated to championing independent schools across the state.
We are committed to:
ISQ is governed by a Board of Directors and day-to-day operations are managed by CEO, Christopher Mountford, an executive team and more than 40 staff based in its Brisbane (Southbank) office.
ISQ's Board of Directors is chaired by Dr Phillip Moulds OAM. The Board has various associated committees.
Chief Executive Officer
Christopher Mountford was appointed the CEO for Independent Schools Queensland in June 2021. Previously, he held the position of Queensland Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia. He has specific expertise in the areas of policy, government advocacy and commercial activities.
Christopher has more than two decades of experience in member-based advocacy organisations and government relations. Importantly, he also has an exceptional understanding of government regulation and has been influential on numerous state and local government advisory boards.
Christopher holds a Bachelor of Arts (Political Science) and a Bachelor of Economics and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD). He is also a volunteer Parent Ambassador for Act for Kids; an Australian charity focused on treating and preventing child abuse.
Chief Operating Officer
Stuart McDowall commenced with ISQ in 2022. He has more than 20 years of professional experience in financial, systems and project management, having worked as a management consultant and in corporate support roles. Stuart has delivered a wide range of growth and change initiatives for public sector, not-for-profit and corporate entities.
Stuart recognises the importance of education in our society and is proud to contribute to ISQ’s leadership and support to the independent school sector.
Stuart has qualifications in business and information technology and is a Chartered Accountant.
EDUCATION & SCHOOL SERVICES DIRECTOR
Mark Newham was appointed Director (Education Performance & Development) in November 2010 after initially joining ISQ in 2003 as Program Officer, Literacy. Mark negotiates and manages the implementation of a range of programs and funding agreements with federal and state governments in areas including teacher quality, disengaged students and leadership. He represents independent schools on state and national committees and working groups.
Previously, Mark held various teaching and administrative positions in government and non-government schools. He has post-graduate qualifications in education and organisational development.
EMPLOYEE RELATIONS DEPUTY DIRECTOR
Peter Ruffini joined Independent Schools Queensland in 2017 as Assistant Director (Employee Relations), with responsibility for overseeing the Employee Relations team.
Peter is an experienced Workplace Relations practitioner, having worked in both private and public sector industrial relations for over 15 years and holds a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) and a Postgraduate Diploma in Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management. Peter has particular experience in the area of enterprise bargaining in highly unionised sectors and has worked for both State and Federal Departments of Industrial Relations/Employment Relations, other peak employer industrial associations, and in Executive Employee Relations (ER) leadership roles in large corporations.
Peter is also an experienced advocate in the Fair Work Commission in matters including unfair dismissal claims, and formal industrial disputation, both on behalf of clients and as the employer representative.
EDUCATION SERVICES DEPUTY DIRECTOR
Anjulee Singh was appointed to the role of Assistant Director (Education Services) in 2023. Since joining ISQ in 2020, she has worked in the areas of governance, school strategic planning, and compliance, and within education services leading the development of a range of professional learning for educators and school leaders including executive reviews. Since 2021, Anjulee has overseen the Teacher Quality team including HALT certification in the independent sector, workforce planning, and the development of specific professional learning across career stages with the long-term view of retaining excellent teachers in the profession.
Anjulee has worked in education for over a decade in secondary teaching, curriculum leadership and senior leadership both in Australia and the United Kingdom. Anjulee has a Bachelor of Arts (Human Rights and Ethics) a Graduate Diploma in Education (Senior Years) (Social Education) a Master in Education and post-graduate qualifications in social care and counselling. Anjulee currently sits on the Professional Standards Committee of the Queensland College of Teachers and is on the Education Advisory Committee of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.
SCHOOL SERVICES DEPUTY DIRECTOR JOHANNES SOLYMOSI
Johannes Solymosi holds the position of Assistant Director (School Services) at Independent Schools Queensland in which he oversees the delivery of the ISQ Governance Program. With experience as an educator in Germany and Australia, he has been the principal of two Queensland independent schools.
He facilitates board and principal performance reviews and consults on strategy, risk and corporate restructures. He advises board chairs and directors on effective governance practices and supports schools in the management of high-stakes regulatory issues. In a previous role, he conducted school improvement reviews around the state.
Johannes holds several not-for-profit board positions, has degrees in Education and Business Administration (MBA), and is a graduate of the AICD Company Directors Course and Oxford University’s Executive Leadership Programme.
Queensland Independent Schools Block Grant Authority (QIS BGA) is wholly owned by ISQ and is a not-for-profit company that receives and distributes capital funds to independent schools in Queensland, on behalf of the Australian and Queensland Governments.
Queensland Independent Schools Parents Network (QISPN) is the representative body for the parents and carers of children attending independent schools. It is governed by a board of directors and is supported by ISQ.
ISQ is a member of Independent Schools Australia, the national peak body for independent schooling in Australia.