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Our Team

We are proud of our team. Our teachers, specialists, leadership team, and support staff are some of our best assets, and some of the best in the business.

Accomplished, approachable, experienced, and caring, they are globally-minded innovators dedicated to the ISWA teaching and learning approach, and the latest educational pedagogies.

Chris Burch, Acting Principal

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.

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.

Janice Murray, Acting Head of Secondary

After completing her degree at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Western Australia, Janice travelled to London where she taught for five years. Janice returned to Perth for a short time of teaching here before completing another five years teaching in Singapore at the Stamford American International School. Janice has now taught at the International School of Western Australia for six years, including management roles such as Acting Head of Secondary, Deputy Head of Secondary and our Wellbeing Coordinator.  

Janice originally comes from a strong background in the Arts as our Head of Drama and has produced our school’s very first school productions such as Aladdin, Alice in Wonderland and Hairspray the musical. Janice has a great passion for creativity, alongside the holistic development of students to include all facets of education including sports and social and emotional wellbeing. Janice believes that taking care of students of a Secondary School age is a matter of focusing on the balance between the many factors in a student’s life. These include their academic goals of course but also fostering overall wellbeing and therefore their ability to succeed at school and into their futures. 

Academically, Janice has been teaching within the International Baccalaureate for ten years and has taught in the three programmes from the Primary Years Programme to the Middle Years Programme and finally; the Diploma Programme. She loves our school as her belief in the curriculum framework and a model that moves through the three programmes is very strong. She also believes that an International School and the diversity it provides is the best model to develop open-mindedness and bring forth the largest whelm of perspectives to allow students to learn more than possible from other environments.

Ian Short

Business Manager

Helen Brand

Principal's Executive Assistant & Office Manager

Joy Barnard

Human Resources Manager

Middle Leaders

Megan DePiazz


Fleur Churton

Deputy Head of Primary & Primary Years Programme (3-6) Coordinator

Faye Mellican

Primary Years Programme (Early Years K-2) Coordinator

Janice Murray

Wellbeing Coordinator

Paul Turner

Middle Years Programme Coordinator

Laura Nicholson

Careers/College Counsellor

Naina Natalwala

Advanced Placement Coordinator

Mini Balachandran

Diploma Programme Coordinator

Niall Bennie

Head of Sport, Co-Curricular & Experiential Learning

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Australian Association for International Education Inc. trading as International School of Western Australia CRICOS Provider 02674G