Our Middle Leaders

Mr Chris Bracken

Dean of Senior Studies

Chris began his teaching career on the Isle of Man in 2009, having completed a Bachelor of Religious Education and English at Mater Dei Institute of Education, Dublin and an MPhil in Literatures of the Americas at Trinity College Dublin.

In 2011, he moved to Australia and has worked at Marist College Emerald and Brigidine College Indooroopilly before moving to MMCC in 2018. Since then, he has acted as Middle Leader Curriculum, Director of English and Literacy P-12 and now Dean of Senior studies.

Chris is passionate about curriculum development and developing 21st Century learners. He believes no subject should be taught in isolation, but that it is part of a curriculum that enables students to enhance their capacity to participate in a contemporary society.

Mr Ryan Cavanough

Director of Formation and College Culture

Ryan began his teaching career at Downlands College in 2010, having completed a Bachelor of Commerce and a Graduate Certificate in Secondary Education. He has since worked in a variety of College leadership roles at Downlands College, St Mary's College and Mary MacKillop Catholic College. Ryan is an avid debating coach and is the College Coordinator for this.

The Catholic faith is very important to Ryan and his family. They are committed parishioners of Holy Name Church where Ryan currently holds the position of Parish Pastoral Council Chairperson.

Mr Brad Griffiths

Middle Leader: Sport & Student Engagement

Brad began his teaching career at Canberra Girls' Grammar School after completing studies in Applied Science and Education (Physical Education). Since then Brad has held Director of Sport positions at Wenona School (Sydney) and the Glennie School (Toowoomba). He has also managed Tallong Campus, the Outdoor Education facility owned by Santa Sabina College (Sydney).

Brad is a strong believer in the benefits of being physically active and the role exercise and sport play in the holistic development of young people.

Brad's vision for sport at the College is that all students have the opportunity to participate in activities that are of interest to them and that they may challenge themselves to achieve their own personal best.

Mrs Jessica Burke

Middle Leader: The Arts & Student Engagement

Jessica has been teaching for 21 years in directorial and classroom positions across QLD in Catholic and Anglican Colleges in the Arts and Humanities departments. Her passion is to allow students to experience a wholistic education with practical involvements in the Arts - such as marching bands, drumlines, stage and rock bands, musicals, visual art exhibits and dance productions such as Rock Eisteddfods and Wakkakirri. Jessica believes that by giving individuals a chance to encounter the arts, that it may lead into a lifelong love and appreciation.

Jessica also enjoys athletics and hockey and has represented QLD in both. Her dream is to one day learn how to play the bagpipes!

Mr Timothy Connolly

Middle Leader: English

Tim has worked in Catholic Education for over twenty-eight years.

This time has seen him work in schools from Far North Queensland to Southern New South Wales.

Classroom teaching, middle leadership and various levels of sport coaching have seen him participate in education and extra-curricular aspects of education at the school, district, regional, state and national levels.

Tim is passionate about the importance of literacy achieved via student-centred means and is keen to enhance the extent of literature and self-expression, that is accessible for all students at our College.

Mr Malcolm Langerak

Middle Leader: Mathematics

After studying Music and Mathematics at University, Malcolm has worked in several State and Catholic Schools within the Brisbane, Lockyer Valley, Toowoomba, and Darling Downs regions. Beginning his teaching career as an instrumental teacher, Malcolm has taught mathematics for the past 8 years.

Malcolm is passionate about empowering every student to find success in their mathematical studies and achieve their potential. He focuses on creating a learning environment in which each child feels safe to contribute to class work.

Malcolm is excited to lead the exceptional staff within the Mathematics department at the College and to work with students and parents to achieve best possible outcomes.

Mr Jared Nielsen

Middle Leader: Science & Technology

Jared has a passion for all areas of Science and Technology, matched only by his love of helping others to share this passion. He is a highly engaging leader and educator who loves to 'learn by doing'. Jared is an experienced middle leader and has held previous leadership roles across both individual school departments (Science) and across entire schools (Enhanced Learning & Senior Schooling).

Jared's ambition to take on this role comes from a desire to be a key component in the College’s future and to ensure that as Mary MacKillop Catholic College grows, it can be numbered among the best educational facilities in the region.

Though Jared is one of the least-credentialed middle leaders at the College, he more than makes up for it with his deep knowledge of Star Wars related trivia.

Mrs Liz Frame

Middle Leader: Humanities

This is Liz's thirty fourth year of teaching. She started her career in Sydney, and has taught in Mt Isa, Lismore and Toowoomba. Liz and her husband settled in Toowoomba in 2000, and have previously taught at St Ursula's College and St Mary's College before joining Mary Mackillop Catholic College this year. She happily admits to being a history nerd and collects artefacts from WW1 and WW2. She has travelled to many places which we teach about in the curriculum, and loves that she can bring that experience and knowledge to share with her classes. Liz has 2 very spoilt dachshunds and a naughty cat. In her younger years she played soccer and cricket at representative levels. She still enjoys coaching and being involved with sporting teams at school. Liz is very excited to be a part of Mary Mackillop Catholic College and growing the Humanities Department.

Miss Kate Carroll

Primary Middle Leader & Year 6 teacher

Kate has been teaching for more than 20 years in Catholic Education. She has taught Preschool, Year 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. Most of her teaching has been in the areas of Year 5 through 9 and she thoroughly enjoys teaching young adolescents. She has a passion for creating a safe and welcoming environment that challenges adolescents to strive to achieve their potential. She is also really passionate about the wellbeing of students and she has worked in a number of different roles focused in this area. She enjoys coaching netball and loves most sports.

Ms Lisa-Marie Preston

Primary Middle Leader & Year 6 teacher

Hailing from rural Queensland, Lisa-Marie has worked in various school contexts during her 15+ years in education. She has taught grades 3, 4, 6, and 7 during this time as well as being lead teacher in Christian Meditation and Digital Technologies for some of them. Lisa-Marie enjoys working alongside her colleagues, students, and their families to create safe and supportive environments that foster growth and success for the individual. 

She strives to always foster a love of learning, just like the one that inspired her to be a teacher from a young age. Reading, shopping, spending time with her dogs, watching all kinds of sport, and travelling are some of Lisa-Marie's favourite things to do in her free time.

Mrs Monique Cotter

Pastoral Leader Tenison

Monique began teaching at Mary MacKillop Catholic College in 2019. She undertook post-graduate teacher training at the Australian Catholic University. Additionally, Monique completed a Bachelor of Science (Environment and Sustainability) and a Bachelor of Arts (International Relations) at the University of Southern Queensland.

She has a passion for implementing teaching and learning through a trauma informed lens. Utilising positive psychology paradigms and an ethos grounded in building genuine rapport and trust. Monique works with students and their families to achieve personal and academic growth.

Monique brings a wealth of knowledge and skills to her Science classes from her careers in pharmacy and the environmental sector. She values contextualising real-life knowledge and skills within learning experiences in the classroom to equip her students to be 21st century learners in school and beyond.

Mr Sam Varley

Pastoral Leader Cunningham

With 15 years in education, Sam is a dedicated educator who prioritizes authentic relationships with students. His holistic approach to teaching and learning focuses on shaping young adults with well-defined morals and self-worth. Sam emphasizes building strong connections through common interests and community ties, valuing the school community's impact on students and families.

Mrs Emma Farrow

Pastoral Leader Penola

Emma, our dedicated Pastoral Leader of Penola House at Mary Mackillop Catholic College, brings a wealth of experience from her years in diverse teaching environments. With a firm belief that student success thrives on the strong partnership between families and schools. 

Emma fosters a nurturing atmosphere where our school is a safe haven for every student. Gifted with the opportunity to contribute to students' growth on a daily basis, Emma is committed to cultivating an environment that ensures the holistic development of each student under her care.

Mr Ashley Jones

Pastoral Leader McCormack

Ashley is entering his fourth year of service at Mary MacKillop Catholic College. A dedicated member of the College community for over a decade, both as a parent and now a professional, Ashley possesses a profound understanding of the Mary MacKillop ethos. With a passion for identifying and nurturing each student's strengths, he thrives on collaborative efforts with staff, students, and parents. 

Ashley's commitment to student success and his enduring connection with the Mary MacKillop community exemplify his steadfast dedication to fostering holistic development.