Carmel Leadership Team

Our leadership team comprises seven senior leaders with collective responsibility for strategic planning, business management, staff leadership, our teaching philosophy and implementation of Board-endorsed initiatives.

Dr Julie Harris


Dr Harris is an educator who joined AVѧԺ in 2022 after nine years as Director of Teaching and Learning at Guildford Grammar School. Her varied career has involved working in science teaching and leadership roles in a variety of educational contexts in Australia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand, including as the inaugural Director of Pedagogy at Christ Church Grammar School.

Her priority as the Principal of AVѧԺ is to provide a fabulous, safe learning environment in which students and staff are empowered to make a difference through living the School values.

Working with teachers to ensure that classroom pedagogy aligns with best practice and current thinking, whilst fostering a love of learning in students and staff are of the utmost importance to her and she is committed to effective communication and involving staff and students in leadership.

A great believer in life-long learning, Dr Harris is a Chartered Manager with IML, a certified Organisational Coach with IECL and this year qualified as a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Her venomous snake handling and relocation certificate is also up to date.

Simon Lawrence

Director of JewishLife

Simon Lawrence grew up in the United Kingdom and spent time studying in Israel following school. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) from Jew's College and then worked as Technical Director of Bnei Akiva before making Aliya in 1997. Simon studied Special Education at David Yellin College and taught students with a variety of special needs at 'Keren Or' and 'Chavat Hanoar Hatziyoni'.

Simon moved to Perth in 2007 as the Youth Director / Assistant to the Rabbi at the Perth Hebrew Congregation and AVѧԺ teacher. Simon held the role of Director of Jewish Studies from 2012-2023. Simon is currently the Director of Jewish Life at AVѧԺ and is responsible for leading the creation, maintenance, delivery and promotion of a vibrant experiential Jewish Life program for all AVѧԺ students from Kindergarten to Year 12.

Dean Shadgett

Head of Secondary

Dean is a highly qualified and experienced teaching professional, with significant leadership experience and an in-depth understanding of AVѧԺ. He has worked at a number of leading Perth schools, including Carmel, and is an experienced Head of School with a dedicated and supportive approach to the staff and students he leads. Dean grew up in Perth and completed undergraduate degrees in Arts and Education at ECU, before completing a Master of Education Management, Leadership and Administration at UWA. He is skilled in classroom instruction, classroom management, strategic planning, educational technology, and curriculum development.

Dean’s responsibility at AVѧԺ encompasses the leadership of the High School, its staff and students, as well as actively participating in shaping the future direction of the School as a whole. He is steadfastly committed to education and enjoys the culture and sense of community at AVѧԺ.

Debbie Bolton

Head of Primary

Debbie Bolton is a passionate and committed educator who has been a part of the teaching profession for the past 30 years. She grew up and was educated in Geraldton, where she developed a love of the beach that continues to this day, and knew that teaching was her calling from Year 1.

Debbie gained a Diploma of Teaching and returned to her home town to begin honing her craft. After a few years she travelled the world, ultimately landing in London and spending 7 years working in some very challenging schools.

Carmel has been Debbie’s educational home for the past 18 years. She has been a classroom teacher, the Deputy Head of Primary and most recently she has been appointed the Head of Primary.

During her time at Carmel Debbie completed her Bachelor of Education, presented at a number of conferences, has had articles and research published and represented the independent schools in a curriculum advisory position. She advocates broadly for quality pedagogy and practice in the early years and is extremely proud that Carmel is viewed as an exemplar, not only for the early years, but as an institution that provides the highest-quality education from Kindy to Year 12.

Debbi Benn

Head of Jewish Studies and Hebrew (Primary School)

Debbi Benn grew up in Johannesburg South Africa and was always passionate about education, leading in the youth movement Habonim Dror for many years. After completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Primary Education at the University of Witwatersrand and anAssociate Diploma in Speech and Drama through the Trinity College of London, she made Aliyah to Israel where she honed her Hebrew skills. After marrying in Netanya, Debbi moved to Perth and joined AVѧԺ in 1986 as a Hebrew and Jewish Studies teacher. Debbi was promoted to Head of Hebrew and Jewish Studies (Primary School) in 2006 and is currently the longest serving staff member at the school, having taught many of the current parent body.

Debbi has introduced many new programs into the School in Torah, Yahadut and Ivrit and is always looking for ways to improve on classroom practice and curriculum. She is responsible for both the formal and informal programs in the Primary School and ensures that students are introduced to the concept of community from an early age, participating in a range of activities on a daily basis that include values such as kindness, charity, ethical behaviour and responsibility for one another.

Louise Barnett

Chief Financial Officer

Louise Barnett is a qualified Chartered Accountant with over 15 years’ experience in Accounting and Business, commencing with Ernst & Young as a graduate before moving into commerce. Over her career she has worked in the Wine industry and Automotive industry before commencing in 2012 at Guildford Grammar School as their Finance Manager. Over her time at Guildford Grammar School she was involved in a variety of areas across the School, giving a broad knowledge base to bring to Carmel.

Lorraine Regan

Director of Communications & Enrolments

Lorraine Regan is a driven and enthusiastic marketing professional with a passion for working in the education sector. With over 15 years’ experience in advertising, marketing and enrolments both in Australia and overseas, she has developed a broad cross-section of skills and knowledge. During her career, she worked in the banking, advertising and food industries, as well as in an International School in Singapore and an independent school in Perth. She is committed to excellence and enjoys working closely with families to ensure the enrolment at AVѧԺ proceeds smoothly for everyone.

Book a Tour

The best way to get to know us is to visit. Book a tour of our school today.

123 Cresswell Road
Dianella, Western Australia 6059

Telephone (Primary School Campus)
+61 8 9276 1900

Telephone (High School Campus)
+61 8 9276 1644


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Carmel welcomes applications and enquiries from all prospective families. Contact us today to discuss our unique learning environment.