School Advisory Council

School Advisory Council Guidelines

School Advisory Council Scope and Purpose

The School Advisory Council (SAC) is the leading advisory group for the Principal, as an active forum for parent and community participation, providing support and advice in strategic planning, school improvement, educational outcomes and stewardship of resources. As outlined in the DOBCEL Governance Charter, SAC members do not have any financial or non-financial decision- making powers. It is recommended that an Advisory Council operate on a model of cooperation and consensus.

Role of the Advisory Council

The School Advisory Council is intended to:
• Provide a voice for members of the school community
• Actively support, in collaboration with the local parish, the Vision and Catholic Identity of the
• Provide input into and support for strategic planning and directions
• Actively support and promote child safety practices including the National Safeguarding principles for Child Safe Organisations
• Provide input and contribute advice in the processes of school improvement and school review
• Support the Principal in meeting his/her responsibilities and accountabilities for educational outcomes, effective stewardship of resources, and annual reporting
• Actively support the Principal in the encouragement of family engagement
• Support the ongoing sustainability of the SAC and its members in its succession and learning


James Sherlock

​Employment: – Accountant / Partner at Findex Warrnambool

We joined the OLHC family in 2021 after moving into Warrnambool from Koroit. We have three children attending OLHC in grade 5, grade 4 and foundation.
I have worked as an Accountant in Warrnambool for the past 16 years and am now a partner of Findex.

Family: My wife Amanda works at a local financial services firm. Our children are Layla, Xavier & Max. We have been associated with early childhood education since our children started kindergarten at Koroit, being involved on the committee and acting as Treasurer. I’ve also volunteered as Treasurer for a local sporting club. I’m happy to be part of the team and share my experience and knowledge.


Jess Conheady

SAC Chair

Employment: Primary Teacher at St John’s Primary, Dennington.

I have been a teacher for over 14 years. In those years, I have experienced many roles including classroom teaching positions and leadership roles. I have worked extensively in the area of Special Education/ Learning Diversity and I have a passion for ensuring children no matter their challenges or abilities access learning in a way that reflects their strengths. My family joined the OLHC community in 2021 when our daughter, Ruby started her schooling. We have extended family that attend OLHC and becoming a part of the school community has been such a positive experience. 
Becoming a member of the SAC is exciting as I look forward to learning and discovering more about the school’s vision for the future. 

Family: My partner Brad is a plumber and manages his own business. We have four girls Ruby, Maggie, Sadie and Poppy


Laurisa Walther

Role: SAC Member

Employment: Accountant at Sinclair Wilson.

Background: I have been a member of the OLHC School Community since 2012.  Our eldest daughter Isla began her schooling at OLHC in 2012 and is now in year 9 at Emmanuel College.  We also have Eadie in grade 5 and Hugh in grade 3 at OLHC.  I have been an accountant at Sinclair Wilson for 22 years and am currently a committee member of the Warrnambool Racing Club.  My husband Brandt and I own a local food packaging and cleaning supplies business - Coastal Wholesalers.  I have just recently been appointed to OLHC’s School Advisory Committee and am enjoying seeing the running of our school from a new perspective.  Most of my spare time is usually spent coaching junior netball at South Rovers Football Netball club and travelling the region with our daughters competing with their horses.

james_byrne_photo_for_sac_.pngJames Byrne

Role: SAC Member

Employment: Teacher at Emmanuel College

Background: Joined Emmanuel College in 2010. Previously taught at Ouyen Secondary College, various schools in the UK, and Terang P-12 College.

Family: My wife Liz is a teacher at Emmanuel College also, our children Finn, Sophie and Pippa, love it at OLHC.

issy.jpgStephen Madden

Role: SAC Member

Employment: Principal @ OLHC

Background: I joined the OLHC staff in 2013 after 12 years working in Oman at an international school. Previous to that I worked in the Catholic primary schools in Ascot Vale, Spotswood and Hoppers Crossing. My teacher training was through ACU Ballarat and my Masters was completed through State University of New York.

Family: My wife Jan is a teacher at St John's Dennington and our daughter, Isobel is a teacher at Balwyn High School.

Tanya Knowles

Role: SAC Member

Employment: AssistU Advisor at genU

Background: Our family joined OLHC 2018 when our eldest Milah started Prep, now in Grade 6, also have Pippa in Grade 3. 

I have been with my employer for 14 years, holding 2 other roles previously working with people who live with disabilities and in employment services.

My husband Tim is a self employed bricklayer

As a SAC member Im looking forward to learning more about behind the scenes of OLHC