The College Council

Governance of our college is vested in the Board of Directors, also known as the College Council.

The current members of our College Council are:

Maria Nordstrom, Chair

Maria is at the helm of Basketball NSW as the Chief Executive Officer. She has over 25 years’ experience as a Business leader, sales professional, and board member.

For the past 18 years, she has worked as a senior executive with a proven track record in successfully and consistently building high performing organisations and cultures. She achieved this through the use of both standard and innovative leadership methodologies, developing and leading high performing individuals and teams.

Her leadership style fosters a culture of trust and empowerment, resulting in improved staff retention and engagement. While Maria uses proven techniques for leadership and coaching, her work is anchored in the reality of day-to-day business demands and challenges.

Maria has extensive expertise in organisational and sales strategy development and execution consistently, delivering solid financial management, effective sales planning and execution, people and performance management and tactical marketing.

Maria’s signature leadership style drives transformation and change, whilst creating a culture of innovation and creativity.

Maria’s Board experience extends to a variety of Chair positions with Community organisations, as well as Board membership of SEDA College NSW, and FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup LOC.

Kate O'Donnell, Executive Director

Kate is the inaugural Principal at SEDA College NSW, a position she has held since 2015. Prior to taking this role, Kate had 25 years of experience in education, and has held senior policy and implementation roles both in Australia and internationally.

Prior to returning to Sydney to start SEDA College NSW, Kate spent four years working in the United States in a senior leadership role in education with America Achieves, and in that role worked alongside the OECD on reporting international trends in Educational Attainment, as well as advising district and state leaders on the implementation of the Common Core in the USA.

Before her work in America, Kate was the Director of Educational Measurement and School Accountability for the Education Department of New South Wales where she led the development of new technologies, and assessment models as well as supporting teachers, principals, district and state staff across NSW in understanding and using data effectively to help students learn.

Kate has also held the position of Chief Assessor for Writing for Australia, responsible for training hundreds of markers across Australia in effective assessment of student writing from Year 3 to year 10 and developed, in conjunction with the Australian Council of Educational Research, an online learning module for teachers to improve their skills and get accreditation in writing assessment and development.

Kate has been involved in motor sport for most of her adult life and most recently was a class winner, along with driver David Currow, in Targa Tasmania.

Philip Carroll, Director

Philip Carroll brings complementary skills, qualifications and experiences to the College Council. A successful senior executive career in complex government businesses, including in public/private settings, saw Philip in a number of key roles including as an advisor to government, a Chief Finance Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Australia’s largest registered training organisation. Philip later founded Philip Carroll and Associates, a collaborative independent consultancy specialising in corporate advisory, business risk and governance advice.

Philip holds a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) and a Bachelor of Legal Studies. Recognised as a strategic thinker and leader, he is an accomplished non-executive Director and Chair with appointments in international, commercial, and not for profit organisations.

With an in-depth knowledge of the New South Wales education sector and a passion for young people’s education, Philip has also had a lengthy involvement in grassroots sport. He continues to be an active sports official.

Meredith Jones (She/Her), Director

Meredith Jones is Director Communications and Engagement with Sydney WorldPride 2023, prior to this role she was the Director Strategic Engagement at the Greater Sydney Commission.

Meredith’s engagement work has been awarded the 2018 NSW PIA award for Public Engagement and Community Planning, as well as the 2018 IAP2 Core Value Australasia Planning Award.

Meredith has worked extensively across government for two decades including the NSW Department of Education and the NSW Fire Brigades. She has also worked in state ministerial offices.

Meredith is a board director for The Aurora Group, one of Australia’s oldest and most respected LGBTIQ+ philanthropic organisations. Meredith has a Bachelor of Arts from Sydney University majoring in English Literature and a Master of Legal Studies from the University of Technology Sydney.

Nikki Pitkethley, Secretary

Nikki has been involved in grassroots sports for more than 10 years holding various positions supporting her children’s sporting endeavours from managing teams and multiple club committees to holding the position of Secretary for the Universities Women’s Cricket Club in the Sydney Women’s Premier Cricket competition. Nikki has a strong belief and commitment to volunteering, connecting with the community, supporting pathways for talented kids and encouraging all children to participate in their chosen sports.

Nikki is community-minded, and along with volunteering as a breastfeeding counsellor for over a decade, she has sat on various Parents & Citizens Committees at both primary and secondary schools in a range of roles, including president.

Nikki joined SEDA College NSW in April 2020 as the Principal’s Executive Assistant, having previously worked at an environmental/education not for profit, for FMCGs and in student recruitment at UNSW. 

Nikki holds a BA Communication from the University of Canberra.


To sharpen its focus on key issues, the College has established the following committees:

Partners and Marketing – Maria Nordstrom (Chair)

Governance, Audit and Risk – Philip Carroll (Chair)

Learning and Teaching – Kate O’Donnell (Chair)

Download a copy of the SEDA College NSW Prospectus to learn more