Independent Schools Queensland Independent Schools Queensland

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Our people

Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ) is a not-for-profit membership organisation governed by a Board of Directors. Our operations are managed by Executive Director, David Robertson, an Executive team and more than 50 staff based in our Brisbane (Spring Hill) office. ISQ's Board of Directors is chaired by Karen Spiller OAM CF, and includes various committees associated with the organisation.

We also represent the interests of the independent sector on a large range of boards, committees and advisory groups. ISQ is a member of the Independent Schools Australia, the national peak body for independent schooling in Australia.

Executive Team


David was appointed Executive Director of Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ) in April 2010, having progressed to this role after joining ISQ in 2002 as Director Strategic & Government Relations. He has decades of experience within the independent schooling sector, including 12 years at the Association of Independent Schools Victoria, where he held various positions culminating in the role of Executive Director Operations.

David has expertise in the areas of funding, planning, governance, operations and administration. Importantly, he also has an exceptional understanding of government regulation relating to independent schools, having worked extensively with both federal and state levels on issues pertaining to this sector.

David serves on a wide range of school education committees and working groups at ministerial, departmental and stakeholder levels. He is a member of the Australian Society of Association Executives and the Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management.

In 2015, David was awarded the Australian Council for Educational Leadership Fellowship award for his outstanding contribution to the improvement of student achievement and organisational effectiveness through his leadership.


 Mark Newham


Mark was appointed Director (Education Performance and Development) in November 2010 after initially joining ISQ 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.


Shari Armistead


Shari leads a team whose areas of responsibility include: political and public advocacy, strategic resourcing/school funding, research and policy, school planning, member relations, parent engagement, workplace health and safety, facilities management, emergency and issues management, public affairs, communications, professional learning and events.

Shari was appointed Director (Strategic Relations) in 2013. She began working with the leadership team on government relations and strategic communications in 2005 as a consultant and continued working with the association for six years until joining ISQ in 2011 as Principal Advisor Strategic Relations. Shari has more than 25 years’ experience across the not-for-profit, corporate and government sectors in senior strategic roles including; Director, General Manager of a corporate consultancy, political/government advisor, media and crisis management advisor, award-winning journalist and media and crisis management trainer.

Shari is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Associate Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and Board Chair of the Queensland Independent Schools Parents Network.



Josephine leads the Education Services team at ISQ which supports Teaching and Learning, Middle Leadership development, Student Services and Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher Certification (HALT). Her work also involves partnerships with international academics to establish evaluation frameworks for professional learning at ISQ and oversight of Queensland Government Educational Adjustment Program. Josephine is also leading ICT reform at ISQ.

Josephine was appointed as Director (Education Services) in 2017. She has a Masters of Education with a focus on Leadership and Management from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).

Josephine commenced her education career in Lutheran schools, where she worked in senior curriculum roles for more than 10 years. Josephine has influenced education nationally through her work as Manager of Policy and Programs (Professional Learning) at the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) and at Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA).

Josephine is currently a board member of the Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) and is the Deputy Board Chair of the Queensland Educational Leadership Institute (QELi). She is also a member of faculty advisory boards for The University of the Southern Cross, and Griffith University.

Latest News & Events

Students Say 'Bullying No Way'

18 March - Queensland independent school students will unite with students around the state and nation on Friday 19 March to send a powerful message that bullying and violence have no place on the playground or in the community.

Find out more

Briefings: Vol 25, Issue 2

In this month's Briefings, ED David Robertson reflects on the resilience of the independent school sector, as we pass the 12-month milestone since schools were closed due to the pandemic. Director (Education Services) Mark Newham and School Services Advisor, Anjulee Singh discuss the importance early childhood development data can make on immediate and long-term student outcomes.

Read more