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A message from the new CEO

My first day at Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ) was coincidentally the first day of the holidays for many schools. This quieter period allowed me to meet with ISQ's dedicated staff, who made me feel very welcome and prioritise introductory discussions with our state and federal Education Ministers.

My predecessor David Robertson generously shared his time, extensive sector knowledge and insights with me for my first week before he left to begin his well-deserved retirement. This grounding has already proved invaluable, particularly regarding the implications state-based lockdowns have on different parts of the sector.  A COVID-19 lockdown on my third day was an interesting way to get to know staff – via Teams and Zoom. However, that’s the way of the world at the moment isn’t it and all staff ensured it was business as usual supporting our schools while working from home.

I’m excited about the tremendous opportunities ahead to help grow ISQ’s already highly regarded reputation. It’s a privilege to represent the interests of member schools, and work with a first-class Board of Directors, and committed staff with a member-first culture.

My immediate goal is quite simple – to build on the work of the organisation’s previous outstanding leaders, through robust advocacy and specialist support, to create the optimal conditions and environment for member schools to continue to grow and excel.

I am a beneficiary of parental choice in schooling as a graduate of an independent school and I continue to be a passionate supporter.  The great thing about membership organisations is their purpose. There is real clarity around your reason for being and why you come to work every day. That’s certainly something that I have seen at ISQ, there’s a real passion from the staff here to work in the sector and support schools to deliver.

I will be working with the ISQ Board, Executive team and staff on a new Strategic Plan, which will commence from 2022. The Plan will identify ISQ’s future priorities and strategic support for member schools during what I know is set to be a period of significant change with mixed opportunities and challenges for the sector.

Now that the new school term is underway, I am looking forward to initially visiting a number of schools that encapsulate the diversity of the sector. COVID-19 restrictions permitting, I plan to visit and engage with as many schools as I can throughout the remainder of the year.

Over the coming months, members will also see me at a range of ISQ events such as the ISQ Big Ideas Summit in Brisbane on 26 July and the Governance Forum on 18 September.

I look forward to ‘bumping elbows’ with you in the future and wish each and every one of you and your school communities the very best for what I know will be a busy third term.

Christopher Mountford
Chief Executive Officer

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