Our People

Our Committee

The Country Education Partnership is managed by an elected Committee of Management.

 The CEP Committee of Management is elected annually by the members of the Partnership. It is chaired by an invited individual who possesses extensive expertise and knowledge of rural and remote education. To guide its work, the Committee of Management has a ‘Compact’ which details the mission, values, key focus areas, roles and operations of the committee.

Committee of Management Compact

 The committee further consists of several key stakeholders who sustain an active interest in rural education. The below table details our current committee members: 



Peter Greenwell


Jodi Walters

Swan Hill


Fran Waterman


Committee Members

Arn Gorman


Jason Whiteley


Kimberley Tempest


Leigh Mellberg


Joanne Amott


Patricia Perry


Catherine Grace


Co-opted Member

Sally Baker

South Gippsland Shire

CEO Representatives

Kaye O’Connor

CEO Office – Sandhurst Diocese

Samantha Meerbach

CEO Office – Ballarat Diocese




Our Staff

Mark McLay

Mark McLay

Mark commenced in the role of CEO of Country Education Partnership in January 2022.

Mark has over thirty years experience in Education, twenty three years of those as Principal. He has experience working in rural South Australia, Northern Territory and Victoria. Mark has a Dip Ed in Educational Psychology and is passionate about supporting the mental health of both students and staff in rural and regional areas.

Mark is dedicated to continuing to progress CEP’s success in the Rural Inspire Program, Cluster initiatives and Energy Breakthrough. He will also focus on supporting CEP’s membership base, continuing to be the voice of rural education in Victoria.

Trish Hodge

Trish Hodge

Business Manager


Trish began working with CEP in 2005.

She has extensive knowledge of finance and administration support, highlighted by a period of twelve years, from 1982 to 1994, working in the Australian Airforce, in the areas of finance and purchasing.

She made her first step into the education sector in 2002, working as an Executive Assistant with her local North East Tracks LLEN.

Kira Dullard

Kira Dullard

Social Media Manager 


Kira joins the CEP team in 2022 as the Social Media Manager.

With several years of experience working in the digital design industry within Melbourne, Kira brings a wealth of knowledge to CEP.

Having grown up in a small community, travelled and now living in a rural town, Kira has a passion for engaging with and providing value to rural communities.

Kira is looking forward to promoting awareness about the opportunities CEP offers for rural residents across a range of digital channels.