David Gee, Principals
Originally from Sydney, David studied Veterinary Science before deciding to change pathways and enter the teaching profession. Prior to joining ISWA David has taught in four leading Australian Independent Schools in three different states; the last fifteen of those as Headmaster of Wesley College, South Perth.
David has been a state and national representative of AHISA, a national board member of ABSA, and served on other curriculum advisory and risk and compliance committees. In 2019 he set up his own consultancy business, focusing on coaching and mentoring educational leaders.
David has a passion for the provision of a holistic education that strives to prepare young people to be confident, adaptive and resilient. Relationships and community are central to his notion of effective schools. The International Baccalaureate curriculum appears to be a good fit for his own philosophies relating to inquiry and creativity.
David has a Bachelor of Science (Veterinary) (Hons) and a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration (Hons) and is also a graduate of the AICD Company Directors course as well as a Fairfax Fellow (in Ethical Leadership).
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.
Chris Burch, Head of Secondary School & MYP Coordinator
After completing his degree at Sydney University, Chris travelled to England where he worked for 8 years. Chris joins us following 11 further years teaching in International Schools in Dubai, including three years working at GEMS World Academy – GEMS Education Flag Ship school.
With a wealth of experience and knowledge in school senior management, Chris is passionate about student wellbeing and celebrating student success. Having previously been a consultant for a local authority in England, Chris is committed to establishing and supporting student leadership programs like Peer mentoring and House systems. Chris’ philosophy on teaching and learning is a holistic approach where he believes, if a student feels safe and is happy, they will be more likely to succeed and be more adaptable to change.
Chris believes in life-long learning and enjoys coaching and mentoring middle and senior leaders. Chris is an International Baccalaureate (IB) workshop leader, IB school visitor, and a CIS (Council of International Schools) evaluator. Chris sees the opportunities to complete annual school reviews as an opportunity to gather the best teaching pedagogies and bring these practices back to his institution.