Dr Caroline Brokvam, Principal
Caroline joins ISWA with over 20 years of experience in diverse and community-minded international schools. Most recently, she was the Director of the American School of Antananarivo, an International Baccalaureate World School in Madagascar, and has previously held administrative and teaching posts at International School Stavanger, International School Manila and Copenhagen International School.
As a leader, Caroline is driven by a sincere belief in the importance of internationally-minded education. We are living in the midst of unprecedented global change, and education is now recognised as a pathway not just to university entrance and career opportunities but to being a better person, being healthy and living ethically. We need to develop ways to manage complexity and to understand how technology can enhance our ability to think creatively, work together, sustain the environment and live full, productive and enjoyable lives.
Paul O’Brien, Head of Primary School
Originally from Perth, Paul began his teaching career working in independent schools across WA before moving to international schools in London and Beijing. Paul has worked in several IB World Schools in both local and international school contexts.
Paul has a deep knowledge of the beliefs and values and philosophies that underpin the IB programmes, as well as the framework of the Primary Years Programme (PYP) and believes this is core to teaching and learning. He believes deeply in the attributes of the IB Learner Profile and its role in developing internationally-minded, open-minded, and culturally-minded citizens who actively work to improve the lives of the people around them. Paul understands that best practice in teaching and learning occurs when students work through a process of inquiry that is conceptual, transdisciplinary and collaborative, reflecting the skills, knowledge and understandings students will need in the future. At the centre of this is student agency in which students have voice and choice in their learning.
Paul has a Bachelor of Education: Primary (Hons) with a Masters in Leadership and Change. He is also an IBO Workshop Leader, working with teachers in international schools to continually develop their pedagogy and teaching practice.
Katherine Krom, Head of Secondary School
Joined as Head of Secondary in July 2022.
It is my goal to continue the wonderful things that are taking place at ISWA, and I hope to provide an atmosphere of trust, consistency and collaboration.
I believe it is one of the most exciting times to be involved in education, particularly international schools. Clearly, we are facing many challenges as global citizens, yet we have some of the best opportunities to engage young learners, the community, and each other to shape a more positive future.
One of the most important aspects of my work at ISWA is promoting strong relationships with students, teachers and families. You’ll find me in the hallways, on the playground, in classrooms and at special activities. I will have an open-door policy and rely on your feedback and ideas to ensure that the Secondary School at ISWA is a vibrant place to learn and where our students well being is a priority.
We all know that young adults want to be heard, have fun and be challenged. As they navigate their identity, beliefs, futures and relationships, It is our responsibility as teachers to listen, support and guide them. We also need to stretch and develop them to their maximum potential and equip them with the crucial socio-emotional, academic, and behavioural skills to thrive.
Mini Balachandran, DP Coordinator
With 24 years of experience in four countries spanning two continents, Mini joined ISWA in 2019 as the IB coordinator and is passionate about all aspects of science. Holding degrees in science and education, Mini is expanding her academic portfolio by pursuing a Master of Education.
Starting as a biology teacher in the late 1990s, Mini has taught in culturally and linguistically diverse schools in different countries. Mini was a science faculty coordinator at ACG Senior College in New Zealand and held the position of Dean of Years 11 and 12 until her move to Perth in 2014. Her leadership style combines care and compassion with a result-oriented drive that motivates her students to achieve their best. Her students have achieved excellent results, with many gaining the ‘first in the world’ accolade in Cambridge International Examinations. She was instrumental in implementing the IB curriculum at ACG Senior College and has solidified that interest at ISWA, delivering excellent results. She was also the coordinator for Amnesty International and led the “Save the Orangutan” campaign with her students in New Zealand.
At ISWA, Mini aims to bring out the best in her students and encourages a curiosity for the natural world around them. Former alumni attest to her gentle encouragement that has allowed them to become well-rounded academics and true world citizens.
Rachel Garrick, MYP Coordinator
Rachel is an accomplished educator with a strong academic foundation. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree and a Graduate Diploma of Education from the prestigious University of Western Australia (UWA). Currently, she is pursuing her Masters of Education at UWA to further enrich her knowledge and expertise in the field.
Rachel embarked on her professional journey as a graduate teacher at ISWA in 2016, where she honed her skills and contributed to the growth and development of young minds. With her unwavering commitment to education, Rachel is an invaluable asset to our team. Her drive to inspire and empower our MYP students aligns perfectly with our mission, making her an integral part of our educational community.
Fleur Churton, Deputy Head of Primary | PYP Coordinator
Born in New Zealand, Fleur brings a wealth of experience to her role as an educator. With a Bachelor’s degree in Primary Education and a Masters in Pedagogical Leadership, she has spent two decades shaping young minds across diverse global settings, including Asia, Europe, and the Caribbean. In 2011, she made Australia her home, further enriching her educational journey.
Fleur is a dedicated International Baccalaureate (IB) teacher committed to fostering a more sustainable and peaceful world through education. Her journey at the International School of Western Australia (ISWA) began in 2013 when she joined as an upper Primary teacher, and in 2019, she assumed the role of Deputy Head of Primary and the Primary Years Programme (PYP) Coordinator from Years 3-6. Fleur’s belief in transdisciplinary learning is the cornerstone of her teaching approach, reflecting her deep-seated commitment to cultivating critical and creative thinking and breaking down traditional subject boundaries. Her Master’s degree, which focused on one-to-one computing initiatives in the classroom, underscores her passion for digital and design technology, which she actively incorporates into her pedagogy. Fleur’s enthusiasm extends beyond the classroom, as she enjoys engaging in pedagogical discourse and conducting parent workshops to share the IB Primary Years Programme’s principles and impact.
Faye Mellican, PYP | Early Years Coordinator
Faye Mellican, our Early Years PYP coordinator, has been a part of the ISWA community for almost a decade. Originally from Perth, Faye’s educational journey took her from studying Biological Sciences at Curtin University to earning her Bachelor of Education (Honours) from Melbourne University. After working as a Primary teacher and ICT specialist in Melbourne IB schools, Faye returned to Perth, where she is completing her Master’s in Education, delving into creativity and learner agency within IB schools.
In her role as coordinator, Faye collaborates closely with K-2 teachers, emphasizing the importance of inquiry-based learning through play. Her philosophy revolves around supporting the social and emotional development of young learners, ensuring a personalized and learner-centered educational experience that fosters growth and confidence. Faye believes that creating a nurturing learning environment and building respectful relationships provides our youngest learners with a strong foundation for the start of their educational journey here at ISWA.