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Meet the Executive Team

Chris Toms

Head of Junior School

Chris Toms has taught at Lauriston for ten years and has held the Lauriston positions of Year 4-6 Classroom Teacher and Director of Learning. Chris has played a crucial role in leading and managing the Junior School teachers in the development of curriculum, assessment practices and reporting from Kindergarten to Year 6. He has developed initiatives aligned with current educational research and practice and collaborated with the School’s Executive on the implementation and evaluation of the Strategic Plan.

Prior to Lauriston, Chris worked for Kilvington Grammar School and held positions including Team Leader for Years 3-6. He holds Masters of Education from Monash University where he focused on Leadership, Management and Information Technology.  He also holds a Bachelor of Education from Deakin University and a Bachelor of Commerce from The University of Melbourne.

Chris is a parent to two young children and also enjoys playing tennis and golf in his spare time.



Nene Macwhirter

Deputy Principal/Head of Senior School

Nene Macwhirter commenced at Lauriston Head of Senior School in 2008, becoming Deputy Principal in 2011. Prior to Lauriston, Nene held the position of Deputy Principal at Lowther Hall Anglican Grammar School and previously worked in various government secondary schools in the northern and eastern suburbs of Melbourne.

A highly qualified educator, Nene holds a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in English, History and Philosophy, a Diploma of Education, a Master of Science and a Graduate Diploma in Curriculum Design and Implementation. As a part of her studies, she undertook a teacher fellowship in India through the Murdoch Asia Education Foundation. Nene has also worked as a Science Communicator for the Swinburne Travelling Science Show.

Nene holds a keen interest in girls’ education, and is a passionate teacher of English and Literature. She particularly enjoys the energy, creativity and positive outlook on life of teenagers. In her spare time, Nene enjoys going to the opera and AFL games, especially when Essendon is playing.



Cathy Tan

Business Manager

Cathy is a qualified Chartered Accountant with a background in business services and tax; she initially worked in small and second tier accounting firms. Cathy moved from the accounting field to work as Group Financial Controller of a leading patent and trademark attorney firm, and then decided to take a career break to complete her Master of Business Administration.

In her spare time (in between work and looking after her two young kids), Cathy likes to cook, potter around in the garden, catch up with friends, read and watch movies.



Nick Thornton

Director of the Lauriston Institute

The Lauriston Institute is responsible for the ongoing professional learning of teaching staff and teacher assistants. Nick believes that the quality of teaching has a direct effect on educational outcomes for students so he takes the ongoing professional learning of teachers very seriously.

Previously, Nick was the CEO of a leadership training organisation, a Regional Director and Principal in the government education service and General Manager of disability services for SCOPE.

Nick began his teaching career in Portland and has taught Accounting, Legal Studies and Economics in several secondary schools as well as lecturing in Accounting at Deakin University.