The Council of Sancta Sophia College is the statutory governing body of the College, elected to office, and charged with the formulation and implementation of policy, with ultimate responsibility for the College
The College is a statutory body corporate under the Sancta Sophia College Incorporation Act 1929 and is governed by its own ‘board of directors’ independently of the University of Sydney.
The board of directors is a Council of 15 members and the Principal. Membership of the council is by election for a term of service of 7 years.
The link between the College and the Catholic Church is maintained by the role of Visitor (held by the Archbishop of Sydney), a role instituted in universities when the Church established the Universities. Three priests are members of the Council.
All Councillors volunteer their service and bring their own professional expertise (academic, educational, pastoral, medical, legal, financial and managerial) to the wonderful work that the College achieves. Many Councillors are alumni of the College and view the term of their service as an opportunity to return something to the College.
Students are represented on a Council committee and bring first-hand accounts of College events to the attention of Councillors. Their presence at Council committee meetings gives them an insight into the issues of governance and administration which concern the Council.
The Principal is accountable to the Council, which is ultimately responsible for the governance of the College.
Many notable Australians have served as Councillors, including Sir Mark Sheldon, Dame Constance D’Arcy, Chancellor Sir Charles George McDonald, Mr Justice William Sheldon and Dr Dora Bye.
Chair of Council
Councillor since 1993
Principal, Pitcher Partners
Cathleen is an alumna of the College. Being a Principal of a mid-tier accounting and business advisory firm enables her to bring expertise and relevant skills to the Council in these particular areas.
“I was a resident at Sancta for six years, both as an undergraduate and as a postgraduate student. I was honoured to become a member of Council as I wanted to ensure other women would be able to have the opportunities that I had been given.”
Deputy Chair of Council
Councillor since 2015
Director of Administration, SCEGGS Darlinghurst
Sarah is an alumna of the College and during her time at Sancta, she was the Honorary Secretary for the House Committee. Sarah is an educational administrator and former lawyer.
“Sancta was an integral part of my university education and continues to enrich my life with ongoing relationships first formed in college. A residential college for undergraduate women has an important place in 21st century university life and I am privileged and honoured to work on the College Council to ensure Sancta and its benefits for students are the best they can be.”
Councillor since 2021
Co-founder, Innovative Utility (IU)
Beth is an alumna of the College, was Honorary Secretary in her Senior year, and then went on to fill the role of Vice President of the National Association of Australian University Colleges (NAAUC).
She is a commercial advisory consultant to government, specialising in Defence maritime. Beth holds Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Laws degrees and is currently studying a Masters of Business Administration at UNSW.
“Attending Sancta was fundamental to my University experience. Sancta opened up a new world to me – opportunities to learn, new experiences to try and friendships that last a lifetime. Sancta’s point of difference is in its mission and values that guide its decision making. I’m very grateful to be able to give back to the College, and continue to support the educational experience of women, and their allies, into the future.”
FR PAUL GHANEM OFM
Councillor since 2014
Parish Priest, St Francis Paddington and St Joseph Edgecliff
Reservist Padre, ADF
Fr Paul was ordained in Sydney in May 2000, having worked as a social worker prior to joining the Franciscan Friars in 1993. In 2017 he was appointed Parish Priest of St Francis of Assisi Paddington and St Joseph Edgecliff. Paul also serves as a Reservist Padre in the Australian Defence Force.
Principal, Sancta Sophia College
Fiona has a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of New South Wales. Prior to Sancta, she was the General Manager of CatholicCare Sydney’s Children and Families Division.
Councillor since 2015
Morgan is the nephew of an alumna of the College and has worked in the areas of business restructuring, insolvency and turnaround for over 25 years. He has particular experience in the property and construction sectors.
“My aunt’s experience at Sancta defined her career trajectory. I believe Sancta has a wonderful heritage and offers a great deal to students, and I want to assist Sancta to continue to do so in future.”
Councillor since 2019
Technology Consultant for Council
Digital Architect, PricewaterhouseCoopers
Simon works with business leaders to understand how digital technologies can enhance people’s experience and improve operations. He holds a Master of Science (Management Information Systems) and a Graduate Diploma in Psychology.
“I believe that education, in all its domains, holds the greatest opportunity to solve the very great challenges of our time and, for those of us lucky enough to have received a good education, a great way to realise this opportunity is to contribute to furthering the education of others.”
Councillor since 2019
Senior Project Officer, NSW Ministry of Health
Clare is an alumna of the College and has held a range of roles in health service management, executive search and health program management. Clare’s Sister, Mother and Aunt also are alumnae of Sancta.
“As a recent Senior Student with long family ties to the College, I want to ensure that Sancta remains relevant to the students of today and is ready to address the specific needs of each new generation of young adults as they complete their tertiary studies.”
PROFESSOR JOHN SHIELDS
Councillor since 2016
Academic Director International and Professor of Human Resource Management and Organisational Studies, The University of Sydney Business School
John is a senior academic at the University of Sydney with expertise and strong interest in international higher education, university educational strategy and the student experience.
“I appreciate and admire Sancta’s educational values and philosophy and wish to contribute to building and maintaining mutually beneficial relations between the college and our university.”
Councillor since 2019
General Manager, Sisters of Saint Joseph; Director, Sydney Archdiocesan Early Childhood Services Limited
Luke has broad experience in organisational management, with a proven track record of converting ideas into outcomes. He has a strategic understanding of key drivers and relationships, collaborating with stakeholders, and the imperative to remove obstacles to ensure effective and sustainable business operations. Luke was previously the CEO of the Sydney law firm Bartier Perry, and has held senior positions with prominent Catholic social care agencies. He holds qualifications in Law, Behavioural Science, and Early Childhood Education.
“I have a strong regard for the mission of the College, its history, and the very practical role it plays in the support, care and formation of the young people it serves.”
FR THOMAS STEVENS
Councillor since 2019
Parish Administrator, St Patrick’s Mortlake
Fr Thomas is a priest of the Sydney Archdiocese and former commercial lawyer. He brings to Council skills in pastoral ministry and outreach for students.
“In my existing roles as a parish, Police Force and Horse Racing Industry chaplain, I view one’s ability to embrace diversity and retain our Catholic identity in a changing world, as a central reason why I consider it a privilege to sit on the Sancta Council with its rich legacy.”
Councillor since 2005
Former academic at The University of Sydney (Faculty of Medicine)
Catherine retired from the University of Sydney in 2013. Since then she has completed a B.Theology (CIS), walked the Camino de Santiago in Spain and ridden the Great VIC Bike Ride. She sings in a number of excellent choirs including Collegium Musicum, UNSW and St Mary’s Singers, St Mary’s Cathedral. She is involved in various ministries at her local parish (Lindfield-Killara) including the Music Ministry, Scripture Study and the Parish Book Club.
“I believe that Sancta Sophia College is unique in its Mission, extraordinary in the experience it offers its residents and admirable in demonstrating the relevance of Catholic Identity in our world. I am privileged to serve on the Sancta Council.”