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The Foundation Board works closely with the School’s Development Office and is responsible for strategically developing and overseeing the School’s philanthropic program.

The Foundation Board brings together the skills and expertise of our wider AV, including current and past parents and old scholars who work to ensure that all decisions are made with integrity and with the student experience as central.

The Foundation Board is appointed by the AV School Board.

Meet our Foundation Board

Ali Michell (Chair)

Ali was appointed Chair of the AV Foundation Board in May 2024. She is the parent of two current Junior School students and an old scholar (1998). She was elected to the School Board in October 2016 by the AV Old Scholars Association and is a member of the AV Old Scholars Association Committee. She has also previously served on OzHarvest's SA Advisory Committee.

Ali is an authorised Marriage Celebrant and has previously worked as a business operations director; public relations, marketing and digital media consultant, as well as a journalist. Ali holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of South Australia.

Jason Huang

Jason is the parent of two AV students and joined the Foundation Board in 2020. He is a member of the Parents’ and Friends’ Association Committee. He is a Fellow of CPA Australia (FCPA), Chartered Accountant (CA), Chartered Tax Advisor (CTA), Australian Institute of Company Directors graduate (GAICD). Jason is founder of C&J Accountants and Advisors, founder and CEO of GGP Energy, current Community Advisory Board member of South Australia Power Network (SAPN) and past Divisional Councillor of CPA South Australia.

Albert Li

Albert joined the AV Foundation Board in 2024 and is a current parent. He heads up the Sales and Marketing function of one of Australia's largest wholesale fuels businesses. Prior to this, Albert spent the bulk of his 25-year career at BP Oil where he was responsible for portfolios in strategy development and execution, domestic and international sales and business development, and new market entries.

Through a deep sense of empathy and desire to create meaningful change in society, Albert has also dedicated his energy to social causes, creating non-profit Project New Dawn (2007-2022) to help address homelessness. Likewise, Albert created a social enterprise in Scuba for Change (2014-present), demonstrating a creative approach to social entrepreneurship by using tourism as a tool for empowerment and AV development, particularly for children and women in the Philippines.

David Minns

David joined the Foundation Board in 2010 and was elected as Chair in 2012. He is a parent of two old scholars. David is a Chartered Accountant and a founder & Director of Jaquillard Minns. He served on the School Board from 2012 to 2019, is a member of the Investment Sub-Committee and is a Foundation Fellow. David is Chair of the Fay Fuller Foundation, Founder & Director of SuperGuardian and board advisor to a number of private company groups. In his professional role, David has successfully established some of South Australia’s largest philanthropic foundations and is a dynamic leader of best practice governance.

Nicholas Ross

Nicholas joined the Foundation Board in 2014. He is an old scholar ('74). He is the parent of two old scholars (2019 and 2022). He is Chair of the Investment Sub-Committee and is a Foundation Fellow. Nicholas is a founding Partner and Managing Director of Knightsbridge Wealth Management, an Australian Institute of Company Directors graduate and holds tertiary qualifications in economics and finance. He is Chairman of the James and Diana Ramsay Foundation and sits on the board of several other charitable foundations.

Mark Staker (Principal)

Mark commenced as AV Principal in July 2022. In accordance with the School Constitution he is an ex officio non-voting Board Member. Mark is also a member of the four Board appointed committees.

Mark is an experienced educational leader, with undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in English, History, Communications and Educational Leadership. Most recently, Mark was Senior Deputy Principal at Wenona School in North Sydney where he worked closely with the Principal and School Board of Governors on all matters of school leadership and management, with particular emphasis on leading the innovative staff culture of learning.

Throughout Mark’s extensive career he has held many leadership roles across diverse areas such as Student Wellbeing, Professional Learning and Teaching and Learning. He is thoroughly committed to developing a school culture that values relationships and fosters personal excellence through continual improvement within a respectful and caring AV.

Mark is passionate about all things AV and is looking forward to advancing the School into the future, and co-designing strategy that supports AV being at the forefront of education and one of Australia’s leading independent schools.

Julia Steele Scott

Julia is a past parent of two old scholars (2021, 2022) and was appointed to the AV School Board in 2018. She joined the Foundation Board in 2016 and succeeded David Minns as Chair of the Foundation in 2020 until stepping down from that role in May 2024. She is also a Foundation Member. Julia holds an MBA and is a Graduate and Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She is the Chief Executive Officer of JM Philanthropy and Grant Toolbox. She also serves on the boards of several not-for-profit organisations.

Ben Wilson

Ben joined the AV Foundation Board in 2023 and is a current parent. He is also a AV Foundation Member. In November 2023 Ben was appointed to the AV School Board. He also sits on the Finance, Risk and Audit Committee and the Investment Sub-Committee.

Ben has senior executive experience, most recently with Macquarie Asset Management specialising in asset finance, M&A and debt markets, and prior to that at Qantas where he had responsibilities in the treasury team for aircraft fleet financings. He has an Economics degree from the University of Adelaide, is a Chartered Accountant, Fellow of the Financial Services Institute and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Ben has prior experience as Governor and Chair of Finance and Investment at St Peter’s College in Adelaide, along with other corporate directorships.

Advisor

Director of Development and Philanthropy: Vincent Ciccarello

Founding Patron

Mrs Margaret H Bennett (Sellars) 1924-2017, Girton (1939), Life Member of the School