The Board

Chair: David Beaver

MBA, BA, BSW, Grad Dip of Counselling, Dip Teaching, GAICD

Director Since: 2018

David has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2018 and is driven by the values expressed in Catholic Social Teaching, especially concerning options for the poor, human dignity and the common good.

David is currently a facilitator of the Catholic Health Australia Senior Executive Leadership Program, a Board Member of MacKillop Family Services Ltd and a member of the Catholic Education Office Wellbeing Committee.

David was the Director of Centacare, Catholic Diocese of Ballarat Ltd between 1993 and 2017, and is a former Chair of Catholic Social Services Australia.

David is married with two children, and enjoys travel, golf and reading.



John Meneely

Dip Teach; BA; Grad Dip Arts (Theol); MA (Theol)

Director Since: 2015

John has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2015 and has a passion for Catholic education as an integral ministry within the Catholic Church.

John is currently the Deputy Director for Catholic Education in the Diocese of Ballarat. He is responsible for overall strategic leadership elements and deputizing responsibilities, with particular foci on enhancing Catholic School identity, religious education within the schools of the diocese and leadership formation.

John is married to Christine and has two sons, Paterson (Year 7, St Patrick’s College) and Carter (Year 4, SFX PS). The family moved from Queensland four years ago when John took up his role with the Catholic Education Office, Ballarat. John brought to the position 33 years of service in Catholic education in Queensland and Victoria – 17 of those in leadership positions at both school and system level in the areas of faith and religious education.

John enjoys time with family, reading, travelling and good wine.

“Our schools have the responsibility to educate students to ensure they engage in ‘fullness of life’,” John Meneely.


Allan McKinnon

B.ED.Grad Dip ED(RE) Grad Dip ED Admin, Post Grad Cert Asian Studies

Director Since: 2017

Prior to retirement, Allan was involved with the Victorian Education Department for 42 years, and worked as a principal for 20 years.

Allan is currently a member of the Rotary Club of Ballarat South (President 2013/2014 and 2014/2015), President of Ballarat Legacy, a Centacare Ballarat Board Member, and member of the Ballarat Commemorative Days Committee. Allan also serves as President of the St Patrick’s College Old Boy Association, and was once a probationary officer.





Acushla Thompson

BAppSci (Speech Pathology), CPSP, GradCert Management

Director Since: May 2017

Acushla has been a Board Director since May 2017, and Vice-Chair since July 2018. She was a former member of the St Francis Xavier Primary School Inc, Ballarat East Board (2010- 2017) and Board Chair (2012-2017).

Acushla is currently the Clinical Manager Speech Pathology at Ballarat Health Services. As a member of the Allied Health Management Team, she has key responsibilities representing the team in the specialities of women’s and children’s health and acute services.

Acushla has held Speech Pathology leadership roles since 1997 at Ballarat Base Hospital, Queen Elizabeth Centre and at Ballarat Health Services. Under the auspices of Ballarat Health, she was also the Children’s Services Manager and Acting Aids and Equipment Manager with the Statewide Equipment Program (2011- 2013).

Acushla is married to Neale, and their five sons attended St Francis Xavier Primary School (1999 – 2016). Acushla commenced her active role in the school becoming a classroom helper, joining the Education Committee (2002-2004) and later joining the Board.

In all aspects of her working and personal life, Acushla aspires to demonstrate compassion, respect, teamwork and accountability. She enjoys catching up with lifelong friends, and has dreams of getting back out on Lake Wendouree to row again.


Chair, Finance Committee: Neil Buckland

Bachelor of Business Accounting Degree Certified Practising Accountant (CPA)

Director Since: 2018

Born in Ballarat, Neil is the Finance Manager at Loreto College Ballarat. His key responsibilities are the financial management of the college, as well as day-to-day accounting functions.

Experienced in the banking sector, Neil has held senior management positions at both ANZ Banking Group and the National Australia Bank. He was responsible for managing the regulatory reporting, and was a key contributor to the banks’ Board reporting and annual financial results.

Neil is the Chair of the St Francis Xavier Finance Committee, and has served on the committee since 2014. He is a past Treasurer the Williamstown CYMS Football Club and local Wildcats Basketball Club. He has three children (two currently at SFX PS), and volunteers regularly at their sporting clubs.

Neil is passionate about ensuring children are provided with a safe and positive learning environment where they are able to flourish and become the best they can be. He is committed to utilising his particular professional experiences and skills to assist St Francis Xavier to maintain its financial stability and to continue to grow strategically as required.

Lisa Steenhuis

Profile coming soon.