Please note javascript is required for full website functionality.

Executive Team

Sue Ellis, Executive Principal

Sue Ellis brings both educational experience and business proficiency to her role as Executive Principal at Geelong Lutheran College. Along with working in business for 15 years, Sue has been a teacher within the Lutheran Education system for two decades, serving in numerous leadership positions in several Primary and Secondary schools across the course of that time.

Her pedagogical management extends to overseeing the Primary Years Program (PYP) in International Baccalaureate World Schools in South Australia over an eight-year time frame. Sue was initially employed as Campus Principal at St John’s Newtown from the beginning of 2018; however, her leadership capabilities were ultimately recognised as being integral to the development of the whole school where she now works across both campuses.

Paul Riddle,
Business Manager

Geelong born-and-bred; Paul Riddle is a former St John’s Newtown student who began in his role as Business Manager of Geelong Lutheran College in May 2020. A Certified Practising Accountant, Paul worked as Financial Controller of a national company based in Geelong for 11 years.

Prior to joining Geelong Lutheran College, he worked as a Business Manager in the education sector at another multi-campus, independent Christian school for three years. Paul’s experience in organisational sustainability, along with his business acumen, has quickly made him a valuable addition to the executive team at Geelong Lutheran College.

Stephen Illingworth,
Head of Primary (St John's Newtown) 

Stephen Illingworth began his work life in the Sport and Recreation Industry where he was responsible for leading, training and supporting volunteer groups, sporting clubs, schools and disability agencies. After six years he transitioned into education where he enjoyed eight years of classroom teaching, embracing numerous leadership roles and positions of responsibility in his time at St John’s Newtown. Stephen’s leadership skills, combined with his warmth, energy and capacity to relate to children, saw him appointed to the position of Head of Primary at St John’s Newtown for the beginning of 2020. His extensive community sport experience as player and coach, is reflected in his capacity to continue to build the family and community atmosphere that is the trademark of our St John’s Newtown campus.

Nicola Rule,
Head of Primary (Armstrong Creek)

Nicola Rule has had 20 years of experience in education, teaching across Prep-Year 6 in international, private and government school settings. She has also held leadership positions across Melbourne and the Geelong region with a focus on Learning and Teaching, such as Head of Learning for Languages, Primary Mathematics Specialist and Primary Years Programme (PYP) Coordinator. In 2022, Nicola completed her Masters of Education at Melbourne University, specialising in assessment and pedagogy. She is a passionate PYP educator who strongly believes that the PYP reflects world’s best practice. Nicola joined the team at Geelong Lutheran College in 2023 as Head of Primary at the Armstrong Creek Campus.   

Josh Symes,
Head of Secondary (Armstrong Creek)

Dr. Josh Symes brings over 20 years of experience as a teacher, educational leader, consultant, university lecturer, and business start-up strategist to the Geelong Lutheran College community. He has served in private and government school settings and spent 16 years in various teaching and school leadership positions at international schools across Asia and Europe.

Josh completed his Doctor of Educational Leadership (P-12) through Bethel University, USA, and his Master of Education in School Leadership through the University of Melbourne. Much of his recent work and research has focused on creating sustainable wellbeing in school communities, as a foundation for excellence in academic outcomes. Josh will be joining Geelong Lutheran College as the Head of Secondary in January 2024.