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Council of Governors

The Council of Governors has a strategic and financial responsibility for the long term interests and overall wellbeing of the Alice Smith School.

Its three main roles are to determine policy and long term strategy, to exercise fiduciary duties in terms of financial responsibility and to appoint and evaluate the Head of School.

The Council of Governors consists of 15 to 18 members, comprising the Trustee Governors, the Chair of the Parent Teacher Association and Parent Governors.

The seven trustee governors are nominated by the leaders of two local Churches, four expatriate societies and the Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce. The Trustee Members are a valuable means of ensuring long term strategic planning and continuity amongst Council members, in what is common in international schools, a very transient parent body.

These short biographies of each governor start with the Chair and Vice-Chair and then list each governor from the date of joining the Council of Governors. Best practice in international schools is for the vast majority of governors to serve between four and eight years, with a few serving for longer in order to retain institutional knowledge, alumni and community links.

Marama Schnitker (New Zealand)

Marama was elected as the new Chair of the Council in June 2017, following the retirement of Charles Lim. Marama was Vice-Chair since 25 February 2015 and has been a parent governor since 2012. She is the Chair of the Governance Subcommittee. She was admitted to the Supreme Court of New South Wales Roll of Solicitors and worked as a corporate finance lawyer in Australia and South Africa. She has a law degree and an economics degree from the University of New South Wales, Australia.

Campbell Tupling (Canadian)

Campbell was elected to the Council in 2015 with a desire to contribute to maintaining the school’s excellence and elected as Vice-Chair in June 2017. A graduate of the University of Western Ontario, he worked in expat positions in Finance for over 30 years and has started a JV in motorsports with Caterham Cars. His two boys are currently at the Secondary Campus, having been at Alice Smith since 2008.

Joyce Simson (Malaysian)

Joyce is a trustee governor representing St. Mary’s Cathedral, Kuala Lumpur. She is a Certified Executive Coach with experience in professional training and development coupled with experience as an instructional designer and curriculum developer. She graduated with a business degree from the University Malaya as well as hold an MBA from Charles Stuart University, Australia. She has professional qualifications from the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, UK and Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK.

Grant Ferguson (British)

Grant was elected as a parent governor in 2013, having previously served on the Council’s ad hoc Subcommittee on Governance as a parent representative. He is currently the Chair of the Finance Subcommittee. He has  lived and worked in Asia for over 20 years holding senior executive and financial management positions. He is currently an independent advisor to and non-executive director of a number of organisations across Asia. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland and a corporate governance specialist.

Maura Quigley (Irish)

Maura is a trustee governor representing St Patrick's Society of Selangor. She and her family have been in Kuala Lumpur for ten years and for all of that time they have been part of the Alice Smith community.  They have seen two of their  children successfully through their education and off to university while the third one is still at Alice Smith in the Secondary Campus. Professionally she is a member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists specialising in Sports Medicine and a member of the Health Professionals Council of the UK.

Datuk Chris S. Thiagarajah (Malaysian)

A parent member of the School, upon completing his secondary (Dean Close School, Cheltenham, England) and tertiary (University of Warwick, England) education, Chris served BOH Tea for 15 years before becoming an Entrepreneur.

SKYBUS was founded by Chris on 23rd March 2006 with the opening of the then Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) as the nation’s first low fare city to airport bus operator. An award winning company, SKYBUS runs a 24 hour service between KLSentral and the new klia2 and between Bandar Utama and klia2.

As a Trustee Governor of the Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MICCI), Chris continues to serve as Vice-President and Director of MICCI. On 1st February 2017, Chris was bestowed the Darjah Kebesaran PANGLIMA MAHKOTA WILAYAH (P.M.W.) award by KDYMM Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong XV, Sultan Muhammad V, which carries the title DATUK.

Andrew Laughton (British)

Andrew has been nominated by the St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church (SAPC) to serve as a Trustee Governor representing the Church. He is a Deacon of SAPC and a member of the Board of Managers for SAPC in KL.

Graduated with a BA (Hons) in Business Studies from the Ealing College of Higher Education, West London, UK (now the Thames Valley University) he has a rich experience in business both in Malaysia and in the UK. Currently, a retail consultant working on retail and business strategies for various market leading retailers in Malaysia and South East Asia. 

Bernadine Caruana (Australian)

Bernadine is the Trustee Governor representing MANZA. Currently she is working  in the Australian High Commission, Kuala Lumpur as the Counsellor (Education and Science). She graduated with a Bachelor of Economics (Honours) from La Trobe University in 1998 and in 2009 she obtained the Graduate Certificate in Management from the Australian National University. 

Alexandra Williams (British)

Alex has taken an active part in PTA activities since moving to KL from the UK a few years ago and has been Chair of the PTA since July 2015. Her eldest child is currently at the Secondary Campus and the other two children are at the Primary Campus. She is a graduate of the University of Cambridge and has previously worked in Professional Services Marketing in the UK.

Ricki Fritz (Australian)

Ricki is a parent governor since July 2014. He is a parent of three children in the Alice Smith School, his eldest having been at Alice Smith for 10 years, starting from Pre-School. He has been involved with the Masterplan Subcommittee since its' inception in 2013 and is the Chair of the subcommittee now. He holds an Architectural Degree from Curtin University and his professional background is related to architecture and construction for small to medium sized projects. He is a member of PAM and contribute to the Professional Practice Committee.

Eoin Daly (Irish)

Eoin was elected as a parent governor in 2012. He is currently the Chair of the Head of School Evaluation Subcommittee. He is the Managing Partner of McKinsey and Company's Malaysia office and he also leads the government practice in Southeast Asia. In 2002 he spent a year on secondment to the UK Government's Prime Minister's Delivery Unit. He advises clients from the private and public sectors on strategy and transformational change. He studied at University College Dublin and ESCP in Paris and graduated with Bachelor of Commerce and Master of Business Studies degrees.

Chen Li-Kai (Malaysian)

Li-Kai was elected as a parent governor at the 66th AGM. He is currently Chair of the Education Subcommittee. His background is in finance and banking. He graduated with an MSc from the University of Reading and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He is currently a partner at a management consulting firm McKinsey and Company. One of his current roles at McKinsey is as the Head of the Education Sector Practice for Asia. The education practice conducts research into education systems worldwide, and they work with public sector institutions, foundations and private organisations to achieve significant and rapid improvements in education system outcomes and student learning through diagnostics, strategy and implementation. He hopes that he could share helpful perspectives, and to contribute in some way to the Council of Governors and to the Alice Smith School to the best of his ability. 

Taryn Yap (Malaysian)

A marketing graduate from the Monash University of Melbourne who spent the early years of her career working with three of the Big Four advertising agencies namely Saatchi, Ogilvy and McCann-Erickson. She has two children in the school and has been active in the PTA since joining the school two years ago. Currently she is the Chair of the PTA.

David Thomas (British)

David was appointed as a parent governor in October 2018. He has three children at Alice Smith (one in the Primary Campus and two in the Secondary Campus). He moved to Malaysia from London following his appointment as the Deputy British High Commissioner to Malaysia. He joined the Foreign and Commonwealth (FCO) in 1996 and has previously served in Lagos, Pretoria, Washington DC, and Madrid as well as several roles in London. Prior to joining the FCO, David served as a Police Officer in Bedfordshire Police Service (1990-1993) and the Royal Cayman Islands Police (1993 - 1996). He enjoys going to the gym, concerts and the cinema. He also enjoys travelling and reading about history, particularly autobiographies/biographies.

Paul Ellis (British)

Paul has been nominated by the Royal Society of St. George as its representative to serve as a governor in the school. He is currently the Managing Director of Schaefer Kalk (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd and also holds the position of General Manager in Schaefer Kalk Hangzhou Calcium Carbonate Ltd. He graduated from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne University, United Kingdom in 1975 with B.Sc. (Hons) Chemical Engineering. He has played leading roles in various companies including Revertex (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd., Lambson Speciality Chemicals Co. Ltd. (UK), ICI and Magadi Soda Co. (Kenya).

He was actively involved in Malaysia’s Government response to the REACH legislation, working party on Transportation of Hazardous goods, Malaysia Northern Region Responsible Care Program Committee, programs with SMI’s and many more.  

Dato' Roslan Jaffar (Malaysian)

Dato' Roslan is presently the Deputy Group Managing Director II and Executive Director of Ahmad Zaki Resources Berhad (AZRB), a company listed on Bursa Malaysia. 

He is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants of United Kingdom with 20 years experience in corporate and professional services roles. He is also currently serving as a Trustee for the Sultan Iskandar Foundation, having been appointed to the role on 20th April 2018.  Prior to joining AZRB, he was an Associate Director with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), with over 12 years experience with PwC at both its KL and Washington DC offices.  

Alif Ayman (Malaysian)

Currently a Managing Director of AZAIR Sdn Bhd, focusing on operational excellence to ensure the quality and reliability of solutions are upheld. AZAIR is a social enterprise focused on changing the lives of communities that do not have access to the basic necessities of life: Water + Energy + Sanitation.

Having graduated from the University of Multimedia majoring in Film and Animation, Alif has also gained and developed knowledge and entrepreneurial skills from Harvard Business School to help lead the organisation. He has worked as a graphic designer and producer with Astro. Currently, he is also a Director of Pristine Shield Sdn Bhd, a nano bio technology company offering next-gen safe, high efficacy and hygiene protection product and services.

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