Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees

Mark SandelinMark Sandelin '75 returns for his third term on the Board and in 2019 replaced Jeff Blackburn '67 as the Chairman of the Board.

Mark is a senior partner at law firm Minter Ellison Rudd Watts. His area of expertise is with commercial and contract litigation, and has specialist knowledge in finance recoveries, receivership and insolvency law, and relationship property disputes.

Mark chairs the Development Committee, which has successfully raised significant sums of money for the School in recent years, and is a member of the Discipline Committee.

Mark's two sons have followed in his footsteps, with both of them currently attending, or did attend Grammar. His eldest son Jamie '11 was named Head Prefect in 2015 and is studying a Law and Commerce degree at the University of Sydney where he was recently named as the new ambassador.

Mark's youngest, Jack, started his five-year journey at Grammar in 2017.

Rob Hamilton newRob Hamilton '81 joined the Board in 2015 and is involved in the Property and Finance, Education, Internationalisation and Zone sub-committees. He was also nominated as the Deputy Chairman of the Board, working closely with Mark Sandelin.

Rob is the Chief Financial Officer at SKYCITY Entertainment Group, a position he has held since 2014. He is responsible for the financial performance of the company, including risk minimisation and reporting, as well as helping to form the strategic direction of SKYCITY Group. He was previously an investment banker at First NZ Capital.

Rob has four children (Matt, Ben, Josh and Emma) and all three sons are former students of Auckland Grammar School - classes of '11, '12 and '14 respectively.



Kerrin Russell Smith

Kerin Russell-Smith serves on the Russell Group Board as an Executive Director and Shareholder, and has over 25 years domestic and international experience in finance, construction and property related activities.

In her role she works closely with executive teams in areas of Strategy, Finance, Compliance and Human Resources.

Kerin is a chartered accountant, a trustee of the Keystone Trust, and previously was chair of the Kohia Terrace School Board.

Kerin has three children, and her two boys William and George currently attend Auckland Grammar (in Form 4 and Form 5 respectively). Her brother Brett is an Old Boy from the class of 1980.



Ken Lotu IigaKen Lotu-I'iga '83 is a former Head Prefect and captain of the 1st XV, and is currently General Manager of Fletcher Residential, a role he has been in since 2013.

He joined the Board in 2016, following a very strong showing in the Election and is providing specific expertise as a member of the Property and Finance Committee and the Enrolment Committee.

Ken's oldest son Bronson is a recent leaver of Grammar (class of 2012), while younger sons Konrad and Theodore will be in Forms 6 and 7 in 2019.




Grant GrahamGrant Graham '75 joined the Board in 2015, sitting on the Finance Committee. Grant is a partner in accountancy firm KordaMentha, with over 25 years' experience as a Chartered Accountant, and is also a member of the Institute of Directors.

Grant specialises in corporate finance and advisory assignments, notably in the areas of valuation, acquisition, restructuring and dispute resolution. He has also written a number of Independent Advisors' reports as well as the New Zealand Takeovers' Code.

His son Ben started his five-year journey at Grammar in 2018.



Gita JayaramGita Jayaram joined the Board in 2016 and is a member of the Education and Internationalisation Committees.

Gita has a Human Resources background and is Principal of Gita Jayaram Consulting. She has over twenty years' experience in senior HR leadership roles, working and consulting in multi-nationals and state owned enterprises.

Gita's two sons, Tejas and Arun, have started their journey at Grammar and are in Form 5 in 2019.




Mark MalpassMark Malpass was appointed to the Board in 2016 and is a member of the Property, Education and Development Committees, and chairs the Risk & Assurance Committee.

Mark is CEO at Steel & Tube Holdings Ltd. He has previously held senior executive roles at Fulton Hogan, Fletcher Building and had a 19 year career with ExxonMobil Corporation both overseas and in New Zealand including Managing Director of Mobil Oil New Zealand.

Mark has three sons who are current students or recent leavers of Auckland Grammar School: Max '14, Oscar '16 and Felix '19.



Frances Hay MackenzieFrances Hay-Mackenzie has taught Latin and Classics at Auckland Grammar School since 2004. She began her teaching career at Epsom Girls' Grammar School, where she was Teacher in Charge of Latin and Classics for some years until she took a break from teaching to train as a lawyer.

Frances subsequently practiced Litigation and Employment Law for 15 years at Minter Ellison Rudd Watts. However, her love of both the classroom and the ancient world, neither of which had fully subsided, together with an opportunity to teach at Auckland Grammar School brought her back to teaching, a decision she has never regretted.

Frances has had previous Board of Trustees experience, including a period as Chairperson of the Board of St Mary's College, Ponsonby, the school she herself attended.


Braden Dickson BOTBraden Dickson '78 has been selected to sit on the Board of Trustees as one of the Old Boys' Association representatives. Braden attended Grammar from 1978 to 1982 and was a student at Tibbs House.

Currently, Braden is a Partner at EY (Ernst & Young) and currently serves as Chairman of the New Zealand firm. He has worked in professional services for the last 20 years helping organisations across New Zealand and Australia, deliver large scale commercial projects.

Braden's son, Lachlan, is a Senior Prefect in the School's 150th year.

Fiona Ell

Fiona Ell is the University of Auckland representative on the Board.

Fiona was appointed to the University of Auckland in 2006 and is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education and Social Work. She is currently the Head of Initial Teacher Education in the faculty, with responsibility for the early childhood, primary and secondary teacher preparation programmes offered by the university. Fiona's research work focuses on mathematics education and how people become effective teachers.

A former primary school teacher, Fiona is the mother of two sons who are former students of Auckland Grammar School, Angus '10 and Lachlan '13, who was Head Prefect in 2017.




Lester Khoo

Lester Khoo is the Headmaster's Council appointment to the Board of Trustees.

Lester is the Group Director of AUT International, responsible for the international relationships, strategy, operations, business development and international recruitment for the University.

With over 20 years of experience in international education, government and energy, Lester has lived and worked overseas in postings in Australia and more recently in South East Asia for over 10 years.

Lester is a qualified lawyer who has worked for blue chip companies in the UK, The majority Thai Government owned national energy company PTT and for the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise in Bangkok.

Lester speaks English, Mandarin Chinese and Thai. He has undergraduate qualifications in English Literature, Law from Victoria University in Wellington, a Graduate Diploma in Business (Human Resources Management) from AUT, a Masters of Management in Disputes Resolution from Massey University and Certificate in Thai Language Proficiency from Chulalongkorn University. He has recently completed the Oxford Programme on Negotiation from the Said Business School at the University of Oxford.

Lester sits on two boards as Vice Chairman of the ASEAN NZ Business Council and as Director of the APEC Voices of the Future.

Lester's son Anthony will be in Form 7 in 2020.

Headmaster Tim O'ConnorTim O'Connor became the eleventh Headmaster of Auckland Grammar School in Term 4, 2012. Educated at Palmerston North Boys' High School, Mr O'Connor went on to obtain a Diploma of Teaching at Palmerston North Teachers' College and graduated from Massey University with a Bachelor of Education.

Tim was previously Rector of Palmerston North Boys' High School for 10 years, starting his tenure in 2002.

He was awarded a Woolf Fisher Fellowship in 2007 and in the same year was made a Sir Peter Blake Trust Emerging Leader. Further details are available here.

Tim's eldest son Finn was a Senior Prefect in 2015 and was Captain of the 1st XI Hockey team and youngest son Jack has just started his journey at the School.

The administrative functions of the Board are professionally carried out by Patrick Gargiulo, the Board Secretary and Operations Manager of the School.

All the members bring to the Board a wide range of skills and disciplines that gives assurance to the Grammar community that the governance of the School is in very capable hands. But above and beyond this, each of them has a huge passion for Grammar and a desire to ensure that we achieve and maintain our vision of pre-eminence in boys' secondary education.

The School is privileged and honoured to have a group of such talented and committed people making such a huge contribution to our School.