Who We Are

At Mater Dei we work together with families and carers to provide innovative and contemporary education and therapy services to babies, children and young adults with an Intellectual Disability or developmental delay.

Mater Dei School is the oldest and original educational offering of Mater Dei, which began as an orphanage by the Sisters of the Good Samaritan Order in 1910.

More recently, Mater Dei’s offerings have expanded to include: Mater Dei Early Childhood EducationNextPath Continuous Learning and NextPath Assessment & Therapy.

You can explore the Mater Dei community by clicking on each logo below.

Mater Dei is a registered charity and tax deductible gift recipient. Donations over $2 are tax deductible.

Your generosity ensures we can continue to provide groundbreaking, Research and Evidence-based education and support to our school students, as well as high-quality, innovative services and resources across all programs.

Message From Our CEO

I began my time as CEO of Mater Dei / Principal of Mater Dei School in January 2020.

I chose to be part of this wonderful organisation for many reasons. The reputation of Mater Dei as a place of excellence in delivering educational and support services to children and young adults with intellectual disability was second to none.

People in this region and beyond know of Mater Dei and what an impressive organisation it is. It is much loved and respected, and the chance to lead such a community was too good an opportunity to ignore. So, here I am,  and I feel very privileged to be entrusted with this leadership role. 

Mater Dei was founded by the Sisters of the Good Samaritan, initially as an orphanage, in 1910. We have inherited their Benedictine spirituality and commitment to serving others with compassion and inclusion. It is a beautiful tradition which lives out every day in the way we do things around here.

As you explore Mater Dei through this website, or in person through engagement in one of our many programs, I am confident that you will quickly get a taste of the Benedictine spirit of Welcome and Hospitality that Mater Dei is renowned for.

We endeavour to make a difference in the world by helping to release the potential in every person in a safe and supportive community. 

Welcome to Mater Dei.

Mark Raue

Our Impact


Young Adults enrolled in NextPath Continuous Learning, and counting. Up from just 6 Young Adults when it launched in 2018.


in educational innovation and Universal Design for Learning.


years experience providing services to children and young people with intellectual disability.

Organisational Leadership Team

Photo of Mark Raue

Mark Raue


Photo of Melissa Eather

Melissa Eather

CFO/Business Manager

Photo of Jennifer Foldes

Jennifer Foldes

Deputy Principal of Mater Dei School

Photo of Pamela Templeton

Pamela Templeton

Director of Mater Dei Early Childhood Education

Photo of Sarah Ryan

Sarah Ryan

Acting Director of Development

Photo of Vanessa Black

Vanessa Black

NextPath Assessment & Therapy Manager

Photo of Alycia O'Neill

Alycia O'Neill

Manager of NextPath Continuous Learning

Photo of Karen Williams

Karen Williams

Human Resources Manager

Mater Dei Board

Photo of Michael Lavorato

Michael Lavorato

Chair of Board

Michael has been a member of the Board since 2014, Deputy Chair since 2015 and in 2020 was announced as the new Chair of Board. Michael is the General Manager of the Campbelltown Catholic Club. Member of the Development Committee. Member of the Governance, Risk and Compliance Committee.

Photo of Richard Drinnan

Richard Drinnan

Deputy Chair of Board and Company Secretary

Richard joined the board in May 2018. Richard is a partner at KPMG Wollongong and brings experience of finance, organisational risk and governance to the Mater Dei Board. Richard has also held positions on other school boards and finance committees. Member of the Finance & Audit Committee. Member of the Governance, Risk and Compliance Committee.

Photo of Sherie Avalos

Sherie Avalos


Sherie has been a member of the Board since 2016. Sherie has 23 years experience in the Disability Sector as Executive Management. Chair of the Early Childhood Education Committee. Chair of the NexPath Committee.

Photo of Daniel Kuchta

Daniel Kuchta


Daniel has been a member of the Board since 2013. Daniel is a partner of the firm Kelly Partners, Chartered Accountants and Director of Macarthur Disability Services. Chair of the Audit & Finance Committee. Member of the Executive of the Foundation Management Committee.

Photo of Mark Turner

Mark Turner


Mark joined the board in May 2020. Mark has extensive experience in Business Management and is currently a Licensed Real Estate Agent at Richardson & Wrench Mount Annan. Mark has a strong professional focus on developing individuals, teams and progressive business policy and process. Having lived locally for 40 years, Mater Dei and the NextPath program have been the ideal community for his son Joshua's development. Member of the NextPath Sub Committee.

Photo of Krystle Wolthers

Krystle Wolthers


Krystle joined the board in May 2020. Krystle is a Partner at Marsdens Law Group, having joined the firm shortly after admission as a Lawyer in 2012. Marsdens Law Group have always been a proud supporter of Mater Dei and Krystle has worked closely with the past Chair, John Adam for many years. Krystle has a keen interest in social justice and enjoys working with a number of pro-bono programs. Chair of the Governance, Risk and Compliance sub Committee.

Photo of Alan Ibbett

Alan Ibbett


Alan joined the Board in June 2021 and is an Electrical Engineer. He comes to the Board with a wealth of experience – specialising in IT. Alan is the Chief Information Officer for Eurobodalla Shire Council and had previously worked for many years as Chief Information Officer for the Diocese of Wollongong and has assisted Mater Dei with IT over many years in this capacity. Member of the Building and Property sub committee.