In 2022, Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School celebrated its 50th anniversary. In 1972, the same year as the foundation of the School, Simon Jacob was born in Mullewa. Despite the geographic differences, the School has shared a significant part of its history with Simon Jacob, who has served on the School’s Board of Governors for 23 of his 50 years. At the recent AGM, the Board farewelled Mr Jacob and acknowledged his exceptional service to the School, having served the maximum number of terms under the constitution of the Board.
In 1996, Mr Jacob relocated from Perth to Bunbury and, along with his wife Marilyn Buttaccio, joined Young & Young Lawyers, where he practised until 2021, before accepting the position as CEO at Axis Hire. With an interest in education and the Arts, and keen to make a contribution to the wider Bunbury community, Mr Jacob was invited to join the Board of Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School in 2000. Mr Jacob also joined the Board of the Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre in 2002, which he continues to chair, and credits both roles for developing his strong interest in connections between young people, creativity, and the Arts.
During his time on the Board, Simon and Marilyn have had three children and his interest in education, especially in the independent school sector, has continued to grow. Mr Jacob has stated that, “it has been an enormous privilege to work on the Board of the School with Board members from different backgrounds but a common passion, and Heads of School and a leadership team with a commitment to excellence and wellbeing which has given me reason and desire to continue to give time and effort to the School.”
Mr Jacob was appointed to the Chair of the School’s Board on 20 May 2011, a position he held until 25 April 2023. As he steps down from this role, the School acknowledges his personal approach coupled with exceptional technical and leadership capabilities in guiding the Board in achieving its strategic objectives and providing a solid foundation for further development. In recognition of his significant contribution and service to the School, Mr Jacob was awarded Honorary Life Membership of the Board.
The School is delighted to welcome Maria Cavallo as the incoming Chair of the Board. The School has enjoyed a long association with Ms Cavallo, as a past student, current parent, Treasurer of the Old Grammarians’ Association, and a member of the School’s Board of Governors since 2016. Ms Cavallo held the position of Deputy Chair of the Board from 2018 to 2022, Chair of the Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School Foundation Incorporated and Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School Board Finance Sub-Committees from 2017 to 2022.
Following her graduation from Edith Cowan University, Ms Cavallo commenced employment with AMD Chartered Accounts, quickly progressing through the ranks to be appointed as a Partner and Director in 2012.
With deep roots in the South West, Ms Cavallo values every opportunity to contribute to her local community. Coupled with her clear interest in education, Ms Cavallo is also actively involved in the not-for-profit sector, holding the position as Director and Secretary on Type 1 Diabetes Family Centre Board and a Council Member of the Catholic Diocese of Bunbury Diocesan Finance Council.
Mr Matthew O’Brien, Head of School, said “It was with a combination of regret and appreciation that we farewell Simon. We appreciate his leadership and guidance of the Board over the past 23 years; it is a substantial commitment. We are looking forward to a seamless transition to Ms Cavallo’s leadership of the Board and further developing access to the quality education that Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School provides for all.”
Mr O’Brien went on to acknowledge the considerable contribution that volunteers make in their communities. Like many organisations, our School relies on the generosity of parents, past students, and the wider community to coach sport, help in the canteen or classroom, and share their passion and expertise in support of our students.