About us A values-centered International Baccalaureate Reception to Year 12 Catholic College, proudly supporting each student to develop academically, socially and personally, so that each can confidently take their place in the world.

A leading IB world school, Mercedes College was established in 1954 by the Sisters of Mercy. True to our founders aspiration of providing a healthy and open environment for student learning, today Mercedes College students enjoy world class learning and state of the art information technology resources.

Students from Reception to Year 12 benefit from our culture, values and learning environments that are focussed on them: their learning, wellbeing and providing opportunities to foster life long learning so they become confident, passionate, intelligent, community minded people so they can flourish.

Across our campus, renown for its wide open spaces and beautiful gardens including playing fields for soccer, football, cricket, hockey and softball as well as tennis courts, gymnasiums for basketball, and facilities for volleyball, badminton and table tennis, student learning takes place in an array of settings, from our library and information resource centre to fully equipped science laboratories and contemporary learning spaces.

In 2022, our new Arts and Sports Precinct will start to come to life. This future-focussed and sustainable learning environment will offer a new performing arts centre, a state of the art indoor and outdoor sports complex and communal learning spaces.

Aligned with our five enabling strategic goals that guide our priorities, investment and initiatives, we will continue to deliver an ever-better world class education for our students, underpinned by high expectations, and quality relationships, reflective of our Mercy Keys and traditions.

Our Strategic Plan 2021-2025 deliberately encourages active participation from across our community so that together we build on our strong foundations to help our students flourish and position the College for continued excellence.

College Governance

Responsibility for strategic management at Mercedes College is delegated to our College Council, with the Archbishop of Adelaide the ultimate authority. The operational management of Mercedes College resides with our Principal.

The membership of the College Council comprises:

  • one member appointed by the Archbishop.
  • three members elected by our parent body.
  • five members recommended by the Council and appointed by the Archbishop.
  • Mercedes College Principal (ex officio). 

Appointments are for three years with the right to re-election or re-appointment.

Our 2022 College Council Members are:

Alf Ianniello
Council Chair

In 2021 I was appointed Chair, after several years with the College Council. In this role I draw on a depth of experience gained in the commercial sector, including extensive international exposure across the globe. Currently, as Chief Executive Officer, I lead Codan Limited, a manufacturer and supplier of communications, metal detection, and mining technology, headquartered in Adelaide, South Australia.

Prior to this I was the Chief Executive Officer with Detmold Packaging, a South Australian packing company employing more than 2,500 people worldwide. Together with my previous roles at British Aerospace and Schefenacker Vision Systems, in the defence and automotive industries.

I have qualifications in electronic engineering and management. I deliver industry and executive seminars and have participated in a number of committees and industry bodies. I apply the same ethos of commitment and hard work to my charitable ventures, having twice led a bike-riding team from Adelaide to Melbourne. I am the Chairman of Adelaide City Football Club.

My wife Maria and I have four children, my daughter Olivia and three boys – Benjamin (Class of 2019), Jack (Class of 2021) and Joseph who attend Mercedes College.


Deb Dickson
Deputy Chair

Both of my children attend Mercedes College, and I am a committed member of the community, as well as an experienced executive from the banking, finance and public sector arenas. With extensive experience running large-scale organisational transformations, I have a focus and passion around systemic change management, business performance improvement, and strategy development.

Having held the positioni of Head of Corporate Services at the SA Housing Authority,  working on housing and homelessness reform I now provide consultancy services specialising in individual and organisational change - Decibel Change - helping organisations consciously and deliberately design change into their strategy and structure, and supporting leaders to lead through the change, and individuals to step into new territory.

I hold a Masters Business Administration, Masters Human Resource Management and Bachelor of Management.


Andrew Balkwill
Principal

Appointed in 2020, Andrew is a distinguished educator and leader within Catholic education and Board Member of the SACE Board of South Australia.

During his career, he has been Principal of Thomas More College, Sacred Heart College Middle School, and served as a Principal Consultant within the Catholic Education Office, mentoring education leaders.

Committed to our ethos and Mercy Keys, Andrew is an active advocate for schools partnering with families to set every student up for success.


Andrew Kirkbride

I am a registered Architect AIA and director of a small practice based at Norwood, an Ordained Permanent Deacon to the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide, and current Chaplin to Mercedes College.

In addition, I am a member of the liturgical Architecture and Art Board of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, and member of the Ecumenical and Interfaith Commission and the Diocesan Pastoral Council of the Adelaide Archdiocese.

My three children, Charlotte, Julian and Oliver, are all Mercedes College graduates, and I am a member of the Mercedes Faith and Spirituality Committee and the Capital Development Standing Committee.


Danielle Finnimore

As the Director of Human Resources and member of the Senior Leadership Team at St Peter's College, Adelaide, I am responsible for the delivery of the School Strategic Plan, as well as the development and delivery of strategic and operational human resource activities. This experience, coupled with my passion for education and creating an exceptional community of learning for our children is what I contribute to our College Council.

I describe myself as an ambitious, focused, purpose-driven professional with a proven ability to build successful relationships. I possess a strong sense of justice, an analytical and objective approach to tasks, and a keen ability to provide solutions to achieve business objectives.


Scott Hicks

Having founded Adam Internet with my father, and employed more than 200 staff, providing internet to more than 100,000 customers, the company was  sold in 2012 to iiNet, and I'm now the Managing Director of Astelec, a telco construction business here in South Australia.

My wife Catherine and I have three children at Mercedes College - Isabelle, Josh and Emily - and we are actively involved in the community through volunteering at MP&FA events and coaching sport.

As founder and CEO of YourDC, the state’s most advanced and secure data centre located at Hawthorn and Edinburgh, we manage platforms for Defence, the South Australian Government, Catholic Education and many other entities.

For around ten years, I have been a board member of the State Library, overseeing 150 libraries across South Australia. 


Helen Strachan

As the Legal and Corporate Affairs Director for Pernod Ricard Winemakers, with wineries in Australia, New Zealand, Spain and the United States, and a member of the Management Committee, I bring a weatlh of experience to the College Council professionally and personally as a parent to Mercedes College student Maggie, Seamus and Matthew (Class of 2021).

I am a board member for Australian Grape and Wine Inc, and Chair of the Large Winemakers Committee, and the National Wine Foundation Inc, the Wine Industry’s representative on the DrinkWise Board, and a member of the Australian Wine Industry Joint Strategy and Crisis Response Committees. I am also a member of the Association of Corporate Counsel Australia’s Leading Environmental and Social Sustainability Committee. 

I am most proud of being a mum, my role as a Diversity and Inclusion Ambassador for Pernod Ricard Winemakers, for receiving the ACC Australian Corporate Lawyer Award for Corporate Social Responsibility Excellence in 2019 and for receiving the ‘Champion of Diversity & Equality’ award in the 2020 Australian Women in Wine Awards.


Jock Duncan

With more than 20 years’ experience in senior HR/executive level roles across a variety of industries, I am currently the Director of Corporate Services at Hood Sweeney, an integrated professional services business in Adelaide.

I have wide-ranging responsibilities, from leading our people and culture strategy, to general management responsibilities, and the delivery of consulting services to our clients. Ultimately, my passions are building a high performance culture capable of achieving our strategic goals and delivering outstanding service to our clients.

A key part of sustaining this culture is connecting back and contributing to the communities we operate within. To this end, I have a key role in leading our focus on helping our chosen charities such as Kickstartforkids, which supports under-priviledged children in primary schools through breakfast and mentoring programmes.

This service mindset also led me to become involved with the governance of the College, with a role on the Risk and Audit Committee and now the College Council. Together with Karni, I have two children, Lily and Finn, and a deep committment to help maintain the school's great legacy, as well as positioning Mercedes College as a leading educator in South Australia.