Our Clunes team of 40+ staff has extensive experience in meeting the learning and developmental needs of adolescent students in a residential setting.

Meet the Clunes leadership team

Tara Clark

Tara was appointed Head of Clunes in 2023. Tara has an extensive professional history in education, wellbeing and leadership having held roles as a teacher, Head of House, Head of English and as Curriculum Coordinator. She holds a Bachelor of Teaching (Primary and Secondary) from Deakin University, as well as a Diploma of Management and a Cert IV in Training & Assessment from the Gordon Institute of TAFE and a Diploma of Positive Psychology from the Langley Institute.

Tara is a passionate educator who values the way education can empower an individual, organisation or community to be the best they can be.

James Kelly

Having worked for 10 years in Residential and Year 9 programs, James strongly believes in the importance of providing students with experiential learning opportunities during their schooling. As a 2007 graduate from St Kilda Road, he has since held positions as Head of Outdoor Education in schools both in Australia and internationally, has previously taught at Clunes as a House Leader and loves supporting students as they navigate this chapter of their schooling at Clunes. He holds a Masters of Educational Leadership, Bachelor of Educational Studies, Graduate Diploma Of Secondary Education and Graduate Certificates in Outdoor & Environmental Studies. James lives on campus with his family, loves the community at Clunes and enjoys exploring the surrounding environments to the Wesley @ Clunes campus.

Fiona Mackenzie - headshot

Fiona Mackenzie is a passionate and experienced educator who sees wellbeing as the foundation of education. She has spent significant time as the Student Wellbeing Co-ordinator at Yiramalay/Wesley Studio School in WA and is now the Head of Wellbeing at Clunes. Fiona is also a qualified Educational Coach supporting teachers in contemporary and best practice.

Anthony Stephens

Anthony is an accomplished educational professional and people leader with extensive experience in the development and empowerment of others within education and residential environments.

Hailing from a potato farm near Clunes, Anthony has a strong knowledge of country life and the fabric of rural communities and understands the challenges students face when living and learning away from home. Anthony has been involved with the Clunes Program since 2018 and is an advocate for the way The Clunes Experience helps students to better understand themselves, those around them, the environment they live in, and the impact of the ‘community’ around them. With a passion for Aboriginal education, Anthony has lived and worked in a variety of remote contexts across the Northern Territory, Western Australia and Victoria, holding leadership roles including Acting Principal, Assistant Principal, Director of Boarding, Indigenous Workforce Learning Coordinator and Dean of Studies and Careers.

Anthony holds a Bachelor of Arts from The University of Melbourne, a Diploma of Education, and is a graduate of the National Excellence in School Leadership Institute, where he researched and applied the principles of mentoring and coaching inherent with teaching and learning and the culture of positive leadership and influence. More recently, Anthony has researched the impacts of positive behaviour and gratitude practices in residential environments and has a special interest in the psychology of growth mindsets.

I love the meaningful, rich experiential learning we facilitate for the students that come to Clunes. Included in this is the real and authentic impact our students and the Clunes program has within the local community.

Daniel Lukies - Head of Clunes

I enjoy living in a rural area and having the opportunity to develop the social and emotional learning of students. I also love the experiential nature of the program and particularly enjoy working with this age group.

Kelly McKay - Head of Welfare – Transition

I enjoy most the variety in my work. Every day is different bringing it own challenges and successes. Working with students in a whole host of different ways really embraces the concepts of experiential education.

Jonathan Collenette - Head of Programs and Staffing
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