St Columba’s College is under the governance of the Mary Aikenhead Ministries’ education arm, Mary Aikenhead Education.

As a Mary Aikenhead Ministries (MAM) school, St Columba’s College aims to serve the community by providing a high-quality Catholic education within the wider context of Catholic Education in Australia.

Mary Aikenhead Education is the steward to the College, providing leadership in mission, advancing Catholic education, supporting and promoting the charitable efforts of the College, and strengthening the commitment to educating girls in the Catholic tradition.

St Columba’s is committed to the mission of Mary Aikenhead Ministries, enacting the values of love, hope, compassion and justice through the governance structure of the College.


St Columba’s College Ltd is an incorporated entity and as such is governed by a Board of Directors who ensure a strategic approach to the College’s future. The Board is comprised of community-minded individuals, passionate about the education of girls. They use their extensive and diverse skills and experience to make St Columba’s College Faithful, Contemporary and Innovative.

The College Principal is accountable to the Board of Directors, and the Board reports to Mary Aikenhead Education Australia in relation to:

  • Mission, Vision and Values
  • Catholic Identity
  • Strategic Planning
  • Leadership Development and Formation
  • Performance Development and Management
  • Key Leadership Appointments at the College
  • Financial Management and Capital Expenditure
  • Property Transactions

Deirdre O’Donnell (Chair)

Deirdre O’Donnell has a long connection with the College, being an ex-student and then a former Board member and Board Chair while Julie Ryan was Principal. She has also been Board Chair of St Vincent’s College Potts Point, and is now Chair of the current Board. Following her early career as a high school teacher, she took a number of pathways through telecommunications, dispute resolution and public administration. She now has a Commissioner role in a state-based regulator, and is Chair of the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network. She lives in country Victoria.

Trish Crossin (Deputy Chair)

Trish Crossin (Borlase) joined the College Board in 2016 and is a former student of St Columba’s College.  She holds a Bachelor of Education and has taught in a range of schools in Victoria and the Northern Territory, prior to being the first woman to represent the Northern Territory in the Federal Parliament when elected to the Senate in 1998.

Trish is a current non-executive Director of the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation, Primary Partners Pty Ltd, as well as Director on the Asthma Foundation NT, WEstjustice Community Legal Centre.  She is a member of the Advisory Committee for Indigenous Eye Health at Melbourne University and a Special Advisor on Gender and Politics to Gender Equity Victoria.  She is a former President of Netball NT and inaugural Chair and founder of the NT Working Women’s Centre.

Angela Agricola

Angela was appointed to the Board on 27 February 2020.

She has qualifications and experience in education, law, financial services and senior leadership.  She has an Arts degree, a post graduate qualification in Secondary Education, a Law degree with honours and was the recipient of the Supreme Court of Victoria Law Prize and the Hodges Hall Commercial Law Prize.

Angela’s professional career started as a secondary teacher and shifted to practising as a lawyer in Melbourne. She was a senior associate in private practice and head of dispute resolution and senior counsel at AXA Asia Pacific Holdings Ltd. In more recent years she moved into corporate executive management roles in financial services and telecommunications sectors.

Angela has been on committees including the ANZIIF FSDG executive committee, the Law Institute of Victoria ADR & Courts Practice committees and International Dispute Resolution and UNESCAP (United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific).

Today she is a member of the Law Institute of Victoria, principal executive manager in a law firm and business consultant.

Angela is married and has two adult children who attended St Columba’s College and are now successful professional women in the workforce.

Tania Briganti

Tania joined the Board in February 2020 and has more than 30 years of business experience.  Tania has extensive experience in leadership, strategy, risk, governance and change management, predominately within the financial services sector, where she has spent more than 20 years working in various leadership roles for the Church’s insurance company (Catholic Church Insurance).

Tania is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD) and a Fellow of the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF).  She also holds a Bachelor of Science degree, with majors in Statistics and Applied Mathematics.

Tania is married to Ivan and is the proud mother of two children, Olivia and Matthew.

Barbara Doyle

Barb was appointed to the Board in February 2020.  A St Columba’s alumni, who has worked in the public and the finance sectors in roles including corporate performance management, project management and corporate social responsibility.

Barb has a keen interest in the issues associated with disability access and equity.  She is also currently a Director of a not for profit Board in the disability sector.

Paul Ould

Paul has over 32 years of experience in Catholic education in Australia. He is an experienced curriculum leader, primary and secondary school Principal and has held school and system leadership positions in both New South Wales and Queensland.  Paul has a passion for leadership of quality contemporary learning and teaching and responsible governance, and is deeply committed to systemic school improvement and improving educational outcomes for all students.

Paul was appointed to the Board of St Columba’s College, Essendon in February 2020. He is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Board Director of Catholic Religious Institute and Ministerial Public Juridic Person Victorian Schools and a member of the Catholic Capital Grants Committee.

Anne Young

Anne commenced as a Director of the St Columba’s College Board in 2019. She is an experienced educator having worked in Catholic secondary colleges for 23 years, most recently at Catholic Ladies’ College, Eltham.  Her leadership roles have included Senior Administrator and Deputy Principal with particular responsibility for faith and mission and for student wellbeing. Currently, Anne is Mission Coordinator for Presentation Sisters Victoria.

Darrell Cain

Darrell joined the St Columba’s College Board in January 2022. He has worked across Government with roles in the Departments of Treasury and Finance and Education. Darrell has also worked as a Senior Budget Manager in Treasury, General Manager of Resources for the Victorian Vocational Education sector, Chief Operating Officer, and Deputy CEO at a major Victorian TAFE.  Darrell has also worked with Monash University in senior roles. Darrell joins the board with a wealth of skills and knowledge.  Darrell is married to Helen and together they have three children.

Darrell now chairs the College Finance Committee.

Sharon Boyd

Sharon joined the St Columba’s Board in January 2022.  Sharon has been involved in secondary education as a Counsellor and Teacher for some decades.  She is currently Assistant Principal – Wellbeing in a Secondary College in Far North Queensland, a Catholic College with a significant enrolment of  Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander students.  Sharon also has a background in Liturgy and is a sessional Tutor at ACU. Whilst studying liturgy in Ireland, Sharon had the good fortune to live in Dublin with the Sisters of Charity.