Board Chair: Gary Le Cras, B.Sc., Dip. Ed., B.D., M.Ed.
Gary has had a lifelong interest in education; he joined the Board in November 2011, and became Board Chair in June the following year.
His attraction to Hope Christian College was both philosophical and personal. As Senior Pastor at Eaton Baptist Church, he has shown a commitment to helping believers and churches from different Christian traditions work together in areas of agreement. Such an approach compliments his skill in working with people from diverse backgrounds (he lived in another culture for 12 years) and he enjoys finding and building common ground with people.
Gary says having a strong Christian world view provides the foundation for positive character development, and he appreciates Hope’s firm Christian values and commitment to Biblical truth.
His history with the school precedes his appointment to the Board, however; one of his sons was a student at Hope in its early years, and Gary has witnessed the College’s growth and development since then. But decades before, when the school was the location of the Government Primary School, Gary recalls playing marbles under the big oak tree.
The Board Chair needs to be a good listener, a careful thinker, and capable of working with the “big picture”. Gary uses these skills to build a cohesive, positive Board who work well together. His vision is to complete the full development of the new school site, to maintain and strengthen the school’s positive character development of students, and to build strong family and community relationships.
Deputy Chair: Dr Gavin Matten, MBBCh, FRACGP, DipPec, MCFP, Dip Skin cancer surgery, Dip Skin cancer medicine.
Gavin’s journey with Hope Christian College started when his children were enrolled as students; he noticed the school’s Christian principles were quite evident, and over the years has seen many lives blessed by the love of Christ through the College’s ministry.
Gavin brings many practical skills to his Board appointment. Having owned two businesses, and currently managing a staff of 16, his listening, empathy, and communication skills are used every day – and especially at home. He admits to being family-centric and quite conscious of his responsibility to care for his wife and ‘train up’ their three boys.
Gavin said he tends to be methodical, patient (except when the boys manage to wind him up!), tolerant of alternate viewpoints, and interested in details. He likes seeing things in context, is able to clearly formulate and convey ideas, and work efficiently in a team; all skills which prove useful in undertaking his Board duties.
Looking to the future, Gavin wants to see Hope Christian College continue to be a loving community which blesses children, staff and parents through demonstrating the excellence of Christ’s way, just as it also teaches the curriculum to a high academic standard.
Board Treasurer: Gavin McDonald
Gavin believes he brings a hearty dose of down-to-earth pragmatism to the school’s executive. With a background in farming, he has laid his hand to most things, including shearing, fencing, animal husbandry and managing farm finances and accounts.
Now, as a small business owner, he knows staying true to his personal values of honesty and integrity, as well as keeping a healthy sense of humour, are vital for building relationships and managing people well.
Gavin’s keen to contribute to both the school and the wider community. He looks forward to sharing practical insight and advice as the College meets the challenges of establishing a new campus; and he reinvests his love of sports into coaching junior basketball and senior football.
Outside of school and work commitments, Gavin loves travelling with Sue, his wife of 31 years, and spending time with his three adult daughters and his three delightful grandchildren. As time allows, he also occasionally goes fishing or visits the golf course.
Ex-officio: Peter Stone HDE, Principal.
Peter studied at Rhodes University in South Africa, and Edgewood College of Education in Durban South Africa and graduated with a Higher Diploma in Secondary Education.
In his first appointment with the boys-only Pietermaritzburg College, a school of 1200 students, Peter taught Year 8 to Year 12 and also coached cricket, rugby, hockey and athletics.
His next post was at Margate Primary school on the South Coast, a school of 900 students where he taught a Year 6 class and again coached cricket, rugby, hockey and athletics.
A promotion to Headmaster of Lynford School in Ixopo, an independent Christian school catering for students from Kindy to Year 7, followed. In addition to his Headmaster duties, Peter also had a teaching load and coached cricket, rugby, swimming, athletics and fly-fishing.
The family moved to the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia in 2006 where Peter taught at Emmanuel College, a Kindy to Year 12 Christian Independent School of 1300 students. As well as teaching a Year 6 class, he coached cricket, athletics and the High School 2nd rugby team.
Peter believes it was a blessing to be appointed as Principal to Hope Christian College where he has fulfilled the role for the past 10 years.
Board Member: Vinnie Galati, Cert IV Pest control, business management.
Vinnie’s children have been attending the school since 2009, and watching as they grow and develop, he is confident they are getting the best academic and Christian education available.
As Managing Director of Ausmic Pest Control in Bunbury, Vinnie has found he needs to be a ‘people person’; in dealing with all kinds of issues from day to day, he needs to think quickly and negotiate fairly in order to resolve issues promptly and calmly. At times he has been invited to act as a mediator as he has a gift in getting alongside people and negotiating positive outcomes.
Vinnie believes serving on the Board is an absolute honour, and he wants to put his energy into ensuring the College keeps moving forward academically and spiritually. His vision is to see Hope Christian College continue to grow, enhancing its reputation amongst its education peers and surrounding communities.
Board Secretary: Elaine Cawood, Bookkeeper.
Elaine joined the school Board in October 2015, as she wanted to contribute her skills to enabling the school be a Godly influence in the lives of students through providing discipline and quality education.
Elaine says it’s in her nature to be honest and precise, qualities which compliment her supportive role in the efficient functioning of the Board.
Board Member: Geoff Black, Director, Zion Transport Services.
When Geoff agreed to provide logistic support to the school in 1993, he had no inkling it would lead to his involvement in the College’s governance. As company director of Zion Transport Services, however, governance is something Geoff understands. In running transport -- or education -- Geoff said he has learnt that being quick to listen, fair-minded, and treating all people equally has enabled him to fulfil his Board responsibilities with humility and discernment.
His desire is for the Board to make wise decisions which promote the growth and safety of our children, and prepare them for life ahead through quality education, instruction our Lord Jesus, and a hearty dose of fun.
Geoff has demonstrated a heart for meeting people where they are at through 12 years working with the Salvation Army prison team, and the West Australian prison ministry teams at Bunbury Regional Prison.