AHISA National Chair

Welcome message by Rev Chris Ivey

On behalf of my colleagues in schools across the nation and our staff in the National Office in Canberra, I warmly welcome you to the website of the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA).

Our Association represents the Heads of 442 independent schools in Australia. These communities comprise some 430,000 students and 55,000 staff and have the support of hundreds of thousands of Australian parents who choose to send their children to our members’ schools. It is a tremendous vote of support for the high quality of educational leadership demonstrated by our members.

'Our schools are focused on providing safe and happy environments for our young people in which they can grow, explore and learn'

AHISA is a membership organisation that was formed in 1985 from the amalgamation of the Association of Heads of Independent Girls’ Schools of Australia and the Headmasters’ Conference of Independent Schools of Australia. Since that time, as independent schools across Australia have grown, both in numbers and enrolments, so has AHISA. We now have members who lead schools of many faiths and those that are non-denominational; schools that are large and those that are small; schools in Alice Springs and Kirribilli; schools that have recently opened in a response to community desire and need; and schools that are over 100 years old.

What is common about and across all these schools is that they are focused on providing safe and happy environments for our young people in which they can grow, explore and learn.

Our Association is committed to speaking on behalf of autonomous school Principals to governments, parliamentarians and senators, and to government and non-government agencies and organisations. We also represent our members nationally and internationally in various education forums. School education and therefore the quality of its leadership is a matter of national importance, and there is much that we can contribute and advise.

We are also focused on developing the school leaders of the future, as well as supporting all current members in the leadership of Australian independent schools.

Finally, as a members’ association, we are committed to supporting our colleagues through the warmth and generous manner of our collegiality and our respectful relations with each other.


National Chair

  • Rev Chris Ivey, St Andrew's Anglican College QLD


  • Mr Craig Bassingthwaighte, Somerset College QLD
  • Mr Steve Byrne, Cardijn College SA
  • Ms Ros Curtis, St Margaret's Anglican Girls School QLD
  • Ms Anne Ford, John Wollaston Anglican Community School WA
  • Mr Adam Heath, Ballarat Grammar VIC
  • Dr Paul Hicks, Camberwell Grammar School VIC
  • Mrs Megan Krimmer, Abbotsleigh NSW
  • Dr Gareth Leechman, Arndell Anglican College NSW
  • Mrs Natasha Mackinnon, Leighland Christian School, TAS
  • Dr Rob McEwan, The Hutchins School TAS
  • Dr Alec O'Connell, Scotch College WA
  • Dr Helen Riekie, Cabra Dominican College, SA

About Chris

Chris Ivey is Principal of St Andrew's Anglican College, located at Peregian Springs. St Andrew’s is a Prep to Year 12, co-educational, day school with 1300 students. Chris commenced as Principal in 2007. Prior to this he has worked in Independent Schools in Grafton, Gold Coast and Cairns.

Chris has been a member of the AHISA Queensland Executive Branch since 2013. He was state Secretary/Treasurer from 2013 -2015 and has been State Chair from 2015, stepping down at the Biennial in October 2019. Chris has been on the National Board of AHISA since 2015 and was appointed as Treasurer in 2016. As Treasurer he has presented at Financial Literacy and New Member conferences for AHISA.

He has been married to an amazing lady, Elizabeth, for 25 years and they have four children, Megan and James have graduated from St Andrew’s and are at University in Brisbane. Grace and Nic are both at St Andrew’s and hopefully still enjoy being at school with their Dad! Chris has a passion for schools that commit themselves to excellence in all they undertake, who are real in their Christian ministry and those who continually look to ensure that, in all they are doing, they are providing unique and engaging opportunities for students. He trained as an English and Drama teacher before undertaking Theological study, being ordained and becoming a College Chaplain.

He finds it hard to be an avid reader, loves to garden, go water skiing on his boat, has found a love for running and is trying to be a better cook!