Who We Are

Mater Dei, as an organisation, works with babies, children, young people and adults with an intellectual disability, in conjunction with their families and carers, to provide innovative and contemporary education and therapy services.

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
CEO/Principal

Our Impact

50+

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

Leaders

in educational innovation and Universal Design for Learning.

60+

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

Organisational Leadership Team

Photo of Mark Raue

Mark Raue

CEO/Principal

Photo of Kylee Laugesen

Kylee Laugesen

Acting Assistant Principal of Mater Dei School

Photo of Pamela Templeton

Pamela Templeton

Director of Mater Dei Early Childhood Education

Photo of Karen Young

Karen Young

Acting Director of Continuous Learning

Photo of Anne Lauder

Anne Lauder

Business Manager

Photo of Catherine Jeffcoate

Catherine Jeffcoate

Director of Development

Photo of Karen Williams

Karen Williams

HR Manager

Photo of Eryn Lonergan

Eryn Lonergan

Assistant Principal of Mater Dei School (Maternity Leave)

Mater Dei Board

Photo of Michael Lavorato

Michael Lavorato

Chair of Board

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

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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. He is a member of the Finance and Audit Committee.

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Sherie Avalos

Director

Sherie has been a member of the Board since 2016. Sherie has 20 years experience in the Disability Sector as Executive Management. She is the Chair of the Early Intervention Advisory Committee.

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Mark Kofahl

Director

Mark as been a member of the Board since 2013. He is a Director of Macathur Disability Services. Mark is a member of the Development Committee, the Governance and Compliance Sub Committee and the Foundation Management Committee.

Photo of Daniel Kuchta

Daniel Kuchta

Director

Daniel has been a member of the Board since 2013. He is a partner of the firm Kelly Partners, Chartered Accountants and Director of Macarthur Disability Services. Since May 2015, Daniel has been the Chair of the Audit & Finance Committee and he is also an Executive Member of the Mater Dei Foundation Committee.

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David Taylor

Director

David has been a member of the Board since 2012. He is the General Manage of Dart West Developments and is the Executive Member of the Mater Dei Foundation Management Committee.

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Samantha Giles

Director

Sam commenced in June 2018 as the State Manager for Policy Programs (Disability Supports) at Catholic Schools NSW. Previously to June 2018, for nine years Sam was the Assistant Principal at Mater Dei School, including Acting CEO/Principal for various terms.

Photo of Mark Turner

Mark Turner

Director

Mark Turner is currently the Group General Manger, Lexus of Parramatta & Terry Shields Toyota. 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.

Photo of Krystle Wolthers

Krystle Wolthers

Director

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. She has a keen interest in social justice and enjoys working with a number of pro-bono programs.