Our School

Principal’s Message

I am incredibly honoured and extreamly proud to be the Principal of Karoo Primary School.  I feel privileged to work with a supportive school community and dedicated professionals who consistently encourage students to develop a love of learning and a desire to succeed.

At Karoo Primary we are committed to enhancing student outcomes and maximising opportunities for students to achieve success and develop their voice and agency. We encourage our students to take ownership of their learning, build their knowledge and enhance the social, emotional and personal skills they need to navigate our ever-changing world.

High standards and expectations are fostered by students, staff and parents which support the pride we have in our school. Together with a commitment to embrace the school’s values – Kindess, Personal Excellence and Tenacity which make Karoo Primary an exceptional community.

Our school places strong emphasis on the development of each student’s learning capacity, by providing challenging experiences and personalised learning. Student learning is focused with high importance placed on collaborative environments and point of need learning. Staff professional learning ensures we are always improving the quality of our teaching. With a clear purpose and a culture of continuous improvement, our school provides a comprehensive education for all our students.

We provide a high-quality education across all areas of the curriculum and the specialist programs of Media and Technologies, Science, PE and Health, Music / Performing Arts, Visual Arts and Mandarin. Digital technologies are also utilised in all classrooms and integrated throughout the curriculum to strengthen the stimulating programs we provide.

The development of leadership skills of both students and staff is key focus at Karoo Primary. Through our many leadership opportunities for students across the school, they learn the skills, values, and attitudes which are essential to be effective leaders throughout life.

We take pride in our student well-being programs which enable students to feel safe and secure in an orderly learning environment, and facilitate high learning outcomes for all.

One of the standout elements in the culture of Karoo Primary is the supportive community and parent involvement – from reading volunteers in the classrooms, to the Karoo Parents Association, or members of the school council, this involvement helps the students and creates a genuine warm community feel. When students, teachers and parents work together as part of a dynamic learning community, amazing learning experiences are achieved.

Karoo Primary School provides a dynamic learning environment and our website is a great start for finding out more about our school.  You are also most welcome to book an appointment to meet with a member of our leadership team as well as  proud student leaders to tour the school and see our learning community in action

Danielle Heatley

2023 School Captains
2023 School Captains


Karoo Primary School is located in Rowville, one of Melbourne’s outer eastern suburbs. The school opened in 1992 to accommodate the children of young families who moved to the area, with Mr Len McCarrick as the founding Principal. The school was established with 10 permanent classrooms, a gym, and music and art specialist rooms. The school opened with 100 students, with enrolments peaking at 721 in 2007.

Since our establishment, Karoo has seen great improvement based on the enrolment numbers and the needs of our students. The purchase of a number of relocatable buildings and constructions of a 6 classroom Learning Centre provided necessary learning and welfare spaces. The Building the Education Revolution enabled the construction of a Learning Centre comprising an open learning area surrounded by 4 classrooms. Through funding, grants and community contributions our grounds have been enhanced by additional play areas including extentions to our hardcourt areas, large areas of articifical turf, playgrounds covered with shade sails, athletics track, covered pathways and creative garden areas.

Our school Houses take their names from surrounding streets : Baringa, Murrindal, Kellbourne and Wyandra.

Karoo continues to evolve according to the needs of our students and today boasts 24 permanent classrooms including flexible learning environments, Library, Visual Art room, Performing Art room, Science room, Gymnasium and Multi-purpose centre, three covered playgrounds, hardcourt area and a large artificial turf area with athletics track, all set amongst beautifully landscaped grounds.

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Karoo has a highly professional team of staff members, who are enthusiastic, dedicated educators committed to learning, and bringing out the very best in our students.


Leadership Team

Principal: Mrs Danielle Heatley
Assistant Principal (Teaching and Learning): Ms Ashley Kuusela
Assistant Principal (Wellbeing and Inclusion): Mrs Courtney Hoffmann
Learning Specialists: Mrs Robyn Harris, Mrs Simone Vitas

Teaching Staff

Year 6 team: Ms Claire Moyle (Leader), Ms Shelley Williams, Mrs Robyn Harris (LS) / Miss Cass Blonik
Year 5 team: Ms Michelle Davies (Leader), Ms Gemma Wild, Mr Josh Edwards
Year 4 team: Miss Tanya Mollica (Leader), Ms Karla Marklovic, Mrs Michele Murray / Mrs Simone Vitas (LS)
Year 3 team: Ms Clare McCandlish (Leader), Ms Tia Beagley, Ms Sarah Dobson
Year 2 team: Mrs Karen Corrales (Leader), Ms Sasha Goss, Mrs Kat Bacalja
Year 1 team: Mrs Fiona Marker (Leader), Mrs Alisa Hardware, Ms Eden Benezzi
Foundation team: Mrs Amy Ellis (Leader), Ms Rebecca Barton, Ms Tiana Dias
Specialists: Mr Matt Leeson (PE), Mr Adam Horne (Media & Tech), Ms Katie Smith (Science), Ms Jess Cole, Mrs Jemimah Main, Mr John Oldham (The Arts), Mr Han Hung (Mandarin)

Tutors: Mrs Fiona Marker, Mrs Simone Vitas, Mrs Robyn Harris

Support Staff

Education Support Staff: Ms Maria Dale, Mrs Michelle Fleming, Mrs Robyn Guzzardi, Mrs Jayne Hagan, Mr Tim Lai, Mrs Kerry Legg, Mrs Cei Marasco, Mrs Lisa McDonald, Mrs Marina White, Ms Lindsey Whitehouse, Mrs Joyce Young, Mr Ben McFarlin, Tanya Caulfield, Crystal Bartley, Georgia Lintern

Student Wellbeing Officer: Miss Celeste Dolphin

Office Administration

Business Manager: Mrs Sue Baxter
Administration: Mrs Sally Goyne, Mrs Anna Nicolas, Mrs Karen Sexton, Mrs Kerry Legg

Outside School Hours Care

Mrs Melissa Newlands (Co-ordinator), Mrs Michelle Coulsen (Assistant Co-Ordinator), Mr Tim Lai, Ms Sophie Ma, Mrs Jodie Mitchell

School Council

School Council is a legally formed body that is given powers to set the key directions of the School. It is the major governing body of the school and decides future directions for the school and oversees the school’s operation. The role of School Council is to:-

  • Set the broad direction and vision for the school
  • Lead school community conversations about key issues and challenges in education
  • Prepare and endorse the school’s Strategic Plan
  • Ensure that an Annual Report is made available to the school community
  • Develop, review and update policies
  • Exercise a general oversight of the buildings and grounds ensuring that they are kept in good order and condition
  • Regulate and facilitate the after-hours use of school premises and grounds
  • Ensure that the school is responsive to the needs of the local community



Sub-committees assist the work of School Council by exploring key strategic issues in more detail than is possible at a School Council meeting. They provide opportunities to involve and utilise the expertise and experiences of members of the school community (and wider community) who are not members of school council.

There are six sub-committees of the Karoo PS School Council:

  • Education Committee
  • Finance Committee
  • Buildings & Grounds Committee
  • Outside School Hours Care Committee
  • Marketing & Grants Committee
  • Fundraising Committee


How is our school council elected?

Each year, School Council elections take place in Term 1 and the process must be completed by 31st March. The Principal is responsible for conducting the election, although may appoint a person to act on her behalf for one or more of the purposes of the election. A letter detailing the number of vacancies and terms is uploaded to Compass during February, inviting parents to nominate for this special school requirement. School councillors are elected for either a two-year or one-year term.

There are two separate representatives within a school community:

  • Parent representative
  • Department of Education and Training (DET) employee representative


Karoo PS school council members

DET Representatives: Danielle Heatley, Ashley Kuusela, Robyn Harris, Simone Vitas, Ben McFarlin

Parent Representatives:

Tanya Au
Serryn Bryant
Tracey Collins
Tammy Culpitt
Sarah Elliott
Tony Khouri
Betty Kouskousis
David Latham
Luke Michael
John Savinos