Newcastle Grammar School is thrilled to announce the appointment of Mr Matthew (Matt) Macoustra to the position of Head of School, commencing July 2023. Matt brings over 30 years’ education experience to the role, including the last seven years as the Deputy Head of Barker College in Hornsby, Sydney.
The search, led by the Newcastle Grammar School Board and Chair, Ms Catherine Wilkinson, commenced in September following the resignation announcement of current Head of School, Mrs Erica Thomas.
“We are delighted with the current health of the School – the exceptional outcomes for students and bold plans for the future,” said Ms Wilkinson. “We are committed to retaining the momentum we have behind our current strategic plan, which will take us through to 2025.”
Matt stood out as an exceptional educator and leader amongst the candidates, in what was an extensive international search for a successor who would ensure our continued success. In his leadership roles over the past 15 years at Barker College, Matt has strong experience in managing the day-to-day operations of the school, planning and implementing strategic priorities and working in tandem with finance, works and building committees.
“Mr Macoustra has a wealth over experience in the Independent School’s sector and showed an appreciation of the School’s commitment to educational excellence, in an environment that equips our students to be their best,” said Ms Wilkinson. “We’re excited, both for Matt and for our community, to build on the School’s current successes and move into the next phase of our strategic plan to be recognised as the leading regional school and a world-class centre for learning and wellbeing.”
Matt expressed his excitement about joining Newcastle Grammar School:
“It is an absolute privilege to be afforded the opportunity to lead a school that so clearly values the holistic development of the young people within its care. I look forward to working with the dedicated, dynamic, and innovative staff to continue to help the students grow and excel in all facets of their lives. The warmth of the reception I have already received is humbling, and I sincerely thank the Chair and members of the School Board who have gone out of their way to welcome me into the community.
Newcastle is a city that offers so much. There is a vibrancy and a sense of real excitement around the renewal of the inner city and area that surrounds both campuses of NGS. There can be no doubt that the School is in an exceptionally strong position to be an institution that leads the way as the city reinvents itself and continues to thrive. I am genuinely excited about all that lies before me in terms of getting to know the city, the broader region and most significantly, the people.
Newcastle Grammar School is highly regarded both locally and in national and international settings. There are so many strengths to this school community, none more so than the wonderful young people who we have the privilege of working with. I sincerely look forward to meeting everyone and becoming part of this wonderful school.”
Mr Macoustra received his Bachelor of Education from the University of Sydney in 1992 and a Master of Leadership and Management in Education, with Distinction, from The University of Newcastle in 2013. Following three years at Macquarie Boys’ High School in Parramatta, he joined the staff of Barker College as a Science, Geography and Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) teacher in 1997. In 2001 he accepted the role of Director of Sport, and in 2008 he joined the Barker College Senior Executive Team: firstly, as Head of Middle School and finally as the Deputy Head of School (K-12).
Mrs Thomas departs Newcastle Grammar at the end of 2022 after eight years of leadership to return to Sydney and will be commencing as Principal of Kincoppal-Rose Bay School in Term 1, 2023. Dr Alan Parsons, Newcastle Grammar’s current Deputy Head, will step in as Acting Head for the first semester in 2023, working closely with the Executive Team and School Board.