Two former principals and a serving principal from the Independent education sector have been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday 2016 Honours List.

Mr Geoffrey Ryan, former principal of Westbourne Grammar School, and Dr Deborah Seifert, former principal of Fintona Girls’ School, were both made Members of the Order of Australia (AM).

Mr Linden Hearn, the Principal of Rossbourne School, was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).

Independent Schools Victoria Chief Executive, Ms Michelle Green, said that the awards recognised the outstanding contribution made by the individuals to Independent schools and education more generally.

‘Whether as school leaders or teachers, they have helped inspire thousands of our students,’ Ms Green said. ‘The awards are a fitting recognition of what they have achieved, and the dedication they have shown as educators.’

Mr Geoffrey Ryan

Photo of Geoffrey Ryan, former principal at Westbourne Grammar School, sitting at desk.

Mr Geoffrey Ryan, former principal at Westbourne Grammar School.

Mr Ryan was awarded an AM for his significant service to secondary education, particularly to the Independent education sector, and to professional organisations.

Mr Ryan was principal of Westbourne Grammar School between 1990 and 2010, and deputy headmaster and head of senior school at St Michael’s Grammar School between 1983 and 1989.

His professional organisation involvement includes the role of National Chair of the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA) between 2005 and 2007.

Dr Deborah Seifert

Photo of Dr Deborah Seifert, former principal of Fintona Girls' Schooll.

Dr Deborah Seifert, former principal of Fintona Girls’ School.

Dr Seifert was awarded the AM for significant service to education, through a range of teaching, consultative and administrative roles, and to the community.

Dr Seifert was principal of Fintona Girls’ School between 1992 and 2000, and was deputy principal at Lowther Hall Anglican Grammar School between 1989 and 1991. She also taught for a decade at Presbyterian Ladies’ College.

She is currently head of International House at the University of Melbourne.

Mr Linden Hearn

Photo of Mr Linden Hearn, principal at Rossbourne School.

Mr Linden Hearn, Principal at Rossbourne School.

Mr Hearn was awarded an OAM for his service to education, particularly for children with learning difficulties.

He has been Principal at Rossbourne School since 1990, and served as a teacher and work experience coordinator between 1975 and 1989.

Mr Hearn was awarded the Outstanding Community Service Award by the City of Boroondara in 2013, and has been inducted into Trinity Grammar School’s Gallery of Achievement for his contribution to Special Education.

Others Honoured

Education researcher and author Dr Kevin Donnelly, who taught at Camberwell Grammar School in the 1980s, was made an AM.

Former managing director of the Australian Philharmonic Orchestra, Mr David Ashton-Smith, who taught music in Independent schools for more than two decades, was awarded an OAM for services to the performing arts and to secondary education.

The Governor-General and Chancellor of the Order of Australia, Sir Peter Cosgrove, said in a statement that since 1975, the awards had helped define, encourage and reinforce Australian goals and values.

‘They identify role models who give without thought of recognition or personal gain,’ he said.

Sir Peter said the Queen’s Birthday Honours List recipients joined the company of more than 40,000 people whose actions had enriched the community.

‘Their qualities – compassion, dedication, generosity, selflessness, tolerance, and energetic ambition – inspire and motivate us.’

Main image: Courtesy of Government House, Melbourne.

Posted by Independent Schools Victoria