Executive Team

Executive Director - David Robertson

David was appointed Executive Director of Independent Schools Queensland in April 2010.

David has worked in the independent schools sector for more than 20 years. He joined Independent Schools Queensland in 2002 as Director Strategic & Government Relations. Previously, he worked for the Association of Independent Schools of Victoria for 12 years, including in the position of Executive Director Operations.

David has a wealth of experience within the independent schooling sector, particularly in the areas of funding, planning, governance, operations and administration. He has an extensive knowledge of government regulatory requirements for independent schools. David has also worked extensively with both Federal and State Governments representing the interests of the independent sector.

David serves on a wide range school education committees and working groups at Ministerial, Departmental and stakeholder levels.

David is a member of the Australian Society of Association Executives and the Institute of Company Directors. He is also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management. 


Deputy Executive Director and Director Operations - Helen Coyer

Helen was appointed Deputy Executive Director and Director Operations in 2010.

Helen represents the broad interests of independent schools across Queensland in political and financial negotiations with Federal and State Governments, Opposition and senior bureaucrats.

Helen has broad experience performing executive roles in the superannuation and tax administration industries. Her various positions include Chief Operating Officer of QSuper, one of Australia's largest superannuation funds, a wide range of executive roles with the Australian Taxation Office and Director of the Queensland Southern Region Child Support Agency.

Helen represents the independent schools on committees and bodies associated with the policy, strategic and operational issues that affect member schools. She also participates in various external working groups. Helen’s role includes the facilitation of the Independent Schools Queensland Board of Management.

Helen spent several years as a university lecturer focusing on financial accounting, superannuation and taxation at one of Queensland's leading universities. She has also owned and operated a small business servicing emergency services across Queensland.


Director (Education Performance and Improvement) - Mark Newham

Mark was appointed Director (Education Performance and Improvement) in November 2010 after initially joining Independent Schools Queensland in 2003 as Program Officer, Literacy.

Mark negotiates and manages the implementation of a range of programs and funding agreements with Federal and State Governments in areas including teacher quality, disengaged students and leadership.

He represents independent schools on State and National committees and working groups.

Previously, Mark held various teaching and administrative positions in government and non-government schools. He has post-graduate qualifications in education and organisational development.


Director Strategic Relations – Shari Armistead

Shari joined Independent Schools Queensland in 2011 as Principal Adviser Strategic Relations and was appointed Director (Strategic Relations) in 2013. She began working with Independent Schools Queensland as a strategic communications and government relations consultant in 2005 and continued working with the association for six years until joining ISQ.

Shari has 25 years of experience in a variety of senior media, issues management, public relations and political advisory roles and was a General Manager of a full service communications company.

Shari’s responsibilities particularly relate to the key performance areas of Leading Advocacy and Engaging Members and include; political and public advocacy, strategic resourcing, research and policy, member relations, communications, public relations and media issues management. A former award winning journalist, Shari is also an accomplished media trainer.

Shari is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, an Associate Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and a Member of the Public Relations Institute of Australia.


Director (Education Services) - Josephine Wise

Josephine was appointed Director (Education Services) in 2017. In this role, she leads teams who support teacher and school leader quality and student performance, support for students with disability and other school services. Her current work also involves partnerships with international academics to establish evaluation frameworks for professional learning at ISQ.

Josephine has a Masters of Education with focus on Leadership and Management from Queensland University of Technology (QUT). She commenced her education career in Lutheran schools, where she worked for more than 10 years. Josephine has worked as national Manager of Policy and Programs (Professional Learning) at the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership and was responsible for a shaping phase in a curriculum project with the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority.

Josephine is currently a Director of the Queensland College of Teachers and is a member of faculty advisory boards for The University of the Southern Cross, and Griffith University.