Our Leadership Team
Mr Chris Gabbett
Chris began his teaching career at Tamborine Mountain College in 1997 after completing his Bachelor of Arts in History with Honours and Postgraduate Diploma in Education from the University of Queensland. Chris also holds a Master of Arts in Catholic School Leadership from St Mary’s University, Twickenham. In 2004, he completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Studies from the University of Oxford with a thesis focused on the use of pedagogy to engage disaffected learners. He also holds the UK National Professional Qualification for Headship. Chris was awarded the Winston Churchill Fellowship in Education in 2011 through which he studied the education systems in Norway and Queensland. He was also the recipient of the award of Head Teacher of the year (Coventry and West Midlands) in 2012. Chris has previously held Principal and Deputy positions in Catholic Schools in the United Kingdom, Head of Religious Education and Head of History and Senior Advisor for the National Strategies program in the UK.—
Ms Charmaine Cridland
Charmaine has been teaching for over 30 years in a variety of school settings, both in Queensland and New Zealand; where she was a Curriculum Leader and Assistant Principal for the last 6 years. She returned from New Zealand and commenced at St Mary’s College, Toowoomba as Deputy Principal in 2016. Charmaine acted as Principal of St Mary’s College for a term in 2017 and came to Mary MacKillop Catholic College in July 2018 to support the College in setting up the senior school.
Charmaine was appointed as Acting Principal, Mary MacKillop Catholic College in term 4, 2018 following the resignation of Mr Murphy. Charmaine was instrumental in the restructure of the leadership team and the recruitment of staff for 2019. She holds a Bachelor of Education, specialising in Home Economics and Hospitality and is currently completing her Masters in Educational Leadership at ACU.—
Charmaine holds a number of teaching awards. Notably, being one of the first Queensland State Award Winners for Neita Excellence in Teaching 1994 and was made an Inaugral member to the Alumni of Neita teachers after being nominated for a second year, in 1995.
Mr Sean Albion
Assistant Principal: Wellbeing Senior
Sean undertook his preservice training at the University of Southern Queensland and completed a Bachelor of Middle and Senior Schooling with a HPE major. Sean is a highly motivated educator who has previously held the roles of Head of Department HPE, House Leader and Pastoral Leader at St Mary’s College Toowoomba.
In these roles, Sean has developed high expectations, responsibility and accountability for student learning and wellbeing. He has a proven track record in the design and delivery of whole school pastoral care programs to build a culture of belonging. Sean is passionate and focused on providing students with opportunities to grow and build relationships based on respect. Sean was delighted to accept this position and is looking forward to working collaboratively with the staff, parents and students within the community to enhance the educational opportunities at Mary MacKillop Catholic College.—
Mrs Natalie Adler
Assistant Principal: Teaching and Learning Junior
Natalie has a Diploma in Teaching, a Bachelor of Education (PE) and has been teaching for 27 years. Over the course of her career she has worked in both the Armidale and Toowoomba Diocese.
She is passionate about education, specifically curriculum and has a wealth of knowledge and experience in this area. She leads by example, building capacity to both strengthen the professional competence of people to work at their highest potential to ultimately achieve high academic success for all students. Natalie began teaching at Mary MacKillop in 2008. She has witnessed tremendous growth and change over this time. Since beginning at Mary MacKillop Catholic College, Natalie has held the role of classroom teacher, PLT facilitator, Acting Assistant Principal and Middle Leader—
Ms Bridget Rillie
Assistant Principal: Wellbeing Junior
Bridget has held various positions throughout her educational career working in the Toowoomba, Townsville and Cairns Dioceses. She has held the positions of APRE, Acting Principal, Learning Support Teacher, Director of Teaching and Learning and Head of Campus. Bridget has a passion for building strong relationships with the school community, with a focus on student wellbeing. Bridget’s expertise in education lies in providing global vision and direction, policy and procedure writing, behaviour management and student welfare, developing positive school cultures, curriculum development and the capacity to set academic standards for students and staff. She excels at providing strategic direction and building collective efficacy amongst staff to achieve the standards set.—
Mrs Paula O'Rourke
Assistant Principal: Religious Education
Paula started her teaching career St Finbarr’s, Quilpie as Year 1 & 2 teacher. Since then Paula has taught all primary year levels at St Joseph’s School Tara, for 17 years and St Maria Goretti School, Inglewood, for 8 ½ years. Paula comes to us from Inglewood where she has been Principal for 8 ½ years and before that Principal at Tara for 4 ½ years.
Paula has a Bachelor of Teaching and Masters of Educational Leadership. She has also supported staff in their professional development – RCIA program, spiritual development and REAP program. She has lead Lenten prayer reflections for Parish and staff members as well as worked with students for sacramental programs and retreats.—
Paula also has more than 25 years working in Josephite schools across the Diocese of Toowoomba. One of her strengths is her knowledge and connection with St Mary MacKillop and the importance she has played in the lives of young Australians. She looks forward to recontextualising the Josephite way to the College’s motto – We celebrate God in all things.
Paula is passionate about developing the whole child – academically, spiritually, emotionally and physically. She is a strong believer in young people having a voice.
Mrs Kirsty Gillett
Kirsty has been a member of the Highfields community for 13 years, with 2 years on the Board and 3 children currently enrolled at the College.
After attaining a Bachelor of Commerce and completing her CPA accreditation, Kirsty worked in Tax Compliance for over 20 years, with consultancy experience in Hospitality and Tourism Management.—
As the Business Manager of Mary MacKillop Catholic College, Kirsty is responsible for overseeing the financial and operational aspects of our community. This is more than a numbers game for Kirsty, incorporating her passion and commitment for a sustainable future and expertise in business management to provide practical resourcing and acts of stewardship to the College and wider community.