Samford Valley Steiner School

School Board

The School Board 

President – Michael Ryan

Michael is an independent environmental consultant who applies behavioural sciences to shape technical specialists into high performing teams with a shared goal.  He is a father of two children at the school and is passionate about spiritual development.
Michael has good communication skills, both written and verbal, and has used these skills in negotiations and conflict resolution across all levels of government and non-government organizations.  Michael is keen to assist in the long-term strategic development of the school. 

Treasurer – Christiane Plaetzer

I bring to the Board over 20 years experience in project management, corporate finance and strategy advisory roles, both in private sector and government organisations. My current focus is to monitor the financial health of SVSS and develop risk mitigation strategies as well as ensuring that staff, parent and community interests are considered during our significant growth phase.

 I attended a Steiner school in Germany for a number of years and to me Steiner education is not just about absorbing content, but for the students to understand the underlying principles of mathematics, science, society and the written and creative arts, and teaching them to apply these learnings in a wider context, thinking creatively for themselves based on a learning experience enriched by values and compassion.

Non-Executive Member – Ben HITCHINGS

Ben is a CA qualified accountant, and has a breadth of experience in accounting matters for small to medium business across a number of industry sectors. 

With over 17 years’ experience, he advises clients on all areas of accounting and taxation compliance, and has a key focus on advising businesses on establishing effective financial controls, and business improvement. It is these skills that he sees can contribute at the Board, level, especially at this time of growth including new infrastructure.  His experience means he can ask relevant questions from a financial perspective and bring a deeper understanding to this area for all Board Members.

Ben has two, soon to be three, children at Samford Valley Steiner School, and his focus on the Board is to provide support and guidance where possible so that it can continue to grow and flourish. He has been a part of the Board since April 2021 and is looking forward to continuing his time in this role. 

Non-Executive Member – CHERRIE WILSON

Cherrie and her family relocated from Sydney in 2018 so that her 2 children could attend SVSS and become part of the community. 

Cherrie has more than 20 years of experience in the not-for-profit environmental charity sector leading governance, finance, IT, people and culture, legal, risk and compliance management.

She believes that the most critical asset for not-for-profit organisations is their people and throughout her career has sought to engage the people she is working with to drive development initiatives positively impacting financial sustainability, governance, cultural and organisational development.

Cherrie interest in being part of the SVSS Board is to contribute her skills and experience to support the school in its development ensuring that the values underpinning the Steiner education are upheld.