Grace Academy Leadership Team

Rachel Howley, Director of Grace Academy

BMus (Perf) QCGU GradBEd (Sec) QUT MMus Studies (Pedagogy) QCGU

Rachel began her musical training at age 8 on clarinet and later studied piano, flute and saxophone. She graduated from the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University with a Bachelor of Music in Performance on clarinet and then went onto complete her Graduate Bachelor of Education (Secondary) at the Queensland University of Technology. Rachel has also completed a Master of Music Studies focusing on Instrumental Pedagogy at the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University where she also pursued her passion for wind band conducting.

In recent years Rachel has undertaken numerous conductor training courses and masterclasses with experienced Australian and international conductors including Dr Peter Morris, Dr Ralph Hultgren and Dr John Lynch. Rachel has extensive experience in conducting ensembles at all levels and has had the privilege of being called upon to fill in as conductor of ensembles such as the Queensland Youth Orchestra Wind Ensemble and the Queensland Wind Orchestra.

Rachel began teaching at Grace Lutheran College in 2002 and has been influential in the growth of the Co-Curricular Performing Arts programmes over that time. This has been especially evident in her role as Head of Co-Curricular Performing Arts since 2007. Rachel established and developed the group instrumental music program at the College, building on the private music tuition programme that had been previously operating. Additionally she forged partnerships with local Lutheran primary schools and has established instrumental music and other Arts programmes within those schools.

Rachel is an active musician who performs regularly with the Queensland Wind Orchestra. In 2014 she competed with QWO and the QWO Wind Quintet at the Australian National Band Championships where they placed 1st in the Open A Grade Concert Band and 1st in the Open A Grade Quintet sections.     

Rachel is passionate about growing creative cultures that are relevant and challenging, and that encourage students to engage meaningfully in the world around them.


Raquel Bastos 


Raquel has worked with various orchestras internationally and performed as a chamber musician and recitalist throughout Portugal, United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, South Africa, United States and Australia. Raquel graduated with an Honours Cum Laude in viola performance from the University of Porto, Portugal. She furthered studies at the University of North Texas under Susan Dubois, where she completed a Doctoral Graduate Artist Certificate. Whilst at UNT, Raquel held the position of violist in the Graduate String Quartet, performing extensively in Texas as well as a concert tour in China. 

In 2008, Raquel moved to Brisbane where she has been an active chamber musician, performing regularly in the QSO Chamber Players Series, Collusion, Southern Cross Soloists, Griffith Conservatorium Concert Seasons, The Badinerie Players, Stradbroke Music Festival, Brisbane Festival and the Bangalow Music Festivals. She has also appeared as a soloist with the Brisbane Philharmonic and Corda Spiritus orchestras. In more recent times, Raquel performed for the renowned violist Kim Kashkashian in New York and was invited to be a recitalist at the 2015 International Viola Congress and the 2014 International Viola Conference alongside the most renowned violists of her generation. Raquel works regularly with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and is currently employed as Grace Academy Leader and Strings Teacher at Grace Lutheran College.


Kerry Thomas

BMus (Perf) QCGU MMusStudies (Perf) QCGU GDTL USQ

Originally from Maryborough, Kerry’s musical interests began at a young age, commencing with piano lessons at age five, before adding French horn, cello, double bass and music theory throughout his school years.  After finishing high school, Kerry moved to Brisbane to study music at the Queensland Conservatorium under Peter Luff, graduating in 2005 with a Bachelor of Music in Performance on French Horn, and a Master of Music Studies in 2007.
As a performer, Kerry has played frequently in many community and professional ensembles, including the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Pops Orchestra, Australian Youth Orchestra, Queensland Youth Orchestra, Brisbane Philharmonic Orchestra, Ignatians Musical Society, St Andrew’s Sinfonia and Orchestra Corda Spiritus.  Kerry also plays tenor horn for Brisbane Brass, and has been Solo Horn of the ensemble since 2005.

Kerry developed a fondness for arranging, particularly for brass, during his time at university.  In recent years he has also begun composing for brass band, winning brass band composition competitions both in Brisbane and nationally, with works performed by A Grade, B Grade and Junior Bands at local and national brass band competitions.

Kerry has been teaching privately and accompanying for concerts and AMEB exams since moving to Brisbane in 2002.  In 2009 he began teaching brass and piano at Nudgee College in Boondall, and completed his Graduate Diploma in Learning and Teaching through USQ in 2010.  Kerry has been teaching brass at Grace Lutheran College since 2012, where he is currently Head of Brass, Percussion and Piano, and co-ordinates the Grace Academy’s Partner Primary School programmes.

Eddie Whiting

BMus (Perf) QCGU MPhil (Perf) UQ GDTL USQ

Eddie commenced studies on the violin aged eight with Keith Sharp, and migrated to the viola aged 15. He has completed a Bachelor of Music Performance from the Queensland Conservatorium. During this time, he was principal viola of the Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra, and toured nationally and internationally with the Queensland Youth Symphony and Australian Youth Orchestras. He has also completed a Master of Philosophy from the University of Queensland, where he studied viola performance with Patricia Pollett, as well as engaging in research in the field of musicians physical health and fatigue.

Eddie has performed locally with the  Camerata of St Johns, Sinfonia of St Andrews, Brisbane Philanthropic Orchestra, Queensland Pops Orchestra, and Queensland Symphony Orchestra. He is also a current member of the Laurinum String Quartet.

Since starting at Grace Lutheran College in 2007, Eddie has been heavily involved in the establishment and growth of the strings programs at the Caboolture and Rothwell campuses of Grace College, and at Living Faith, St Paul’s and Grace Lutheran Primary Schools. As well as teaching violin and viola, Eddie also conducts several string ensembles, including the highly acclaimed Rothwell campus ‘Chamber Strings’.

Eddie has been passionately involved in musicals since starting at Grace, and has held roles of Musical Director (Pirates of Penzance 2009, Beauty and the Beast 2013), Set Designer (West Side Story 2011, Anything Goes 2015), and Producer (The Aristocats 2012, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat 2014).

Mrs Rachel Grieve - Dance/Drama Liaison

BCreativeInd – Dance/Drama (Hons) QUT Bed (Sec) QUT

Rachel graduated from QUT with a Bachelor of Creative Industries (Dance/Drama) with Distinction and a Bachelor of Education (Secondary) with First Class Honours. During her studies she completed work experience and training with Expressions Dance Company, LaBoite Theatre Company and QPAC. After working as a Dance Teacher at North Lakes State College, Rachel moved to Grace Lutheran College in 2010, and from 2012, has coordinated the Dance and Drama programs.
During her time at the College, Rachel has choreographed for Musicals including West Side Story, Beauty and the Beast, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and Anything Goes. She has also choreographed the Finale at each Grace Celebrates event since it began in 2011 at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre, which usually involves around 50 dancers on stage. As Senior Dance Troupe director, Rachel has accompanied the students on tour to places such as Darwin and Singapore. Professional collaborations have been formed with working artists such as Gary Lang (Northern Territory Dance Company Director and former Bangarra Dance Theatre performer) and Jason Coleman (Ministry of Dance Director – Melbourne) affording the students the opportunity to work with some of Australia’s best performers and teachers. Rachel is also a District Review Panelist with QCAA for Senior Dance and is currently a classroom Dance and Drama teacher for yrs 7-12 as well as coordinating all Dance and Drama ensembles and events.

Miss Tavia Seymour– Caboolture Liaison

BA (Drama) QUT GradDipEd (Sec) QUT


Grace Academy Teaching Faculty

Mrs Allison Chambers – Piano Specialist - BMus QCGU Mmus UQF.T.C.L . L.T.C.L.

Ms Jenny Barnes – Visual Art Coordinator - BA (Visual Arts), Grad Dip Ed , Master(Education) CERT IV TAE

Miss Elizabeth BennettBA (Drama & English) USQ - CSTD Teachers Certificate

Mr Ed Bettega - Guitar Specialist

Miss Emma Di Marco – Woodwind Specialist - BMus (Hons – Adv.Perf) QCGU PhD QCGU (current)

Dr Cecile Elton – Piano & Composition Specialist - LMus (classical pianoBMus (jazz piano) DMA (performance & composition) QCGU

Mrs Natasha Erskine – Dance Instructor - BA (Dance & Drama) BEd (Secondary) QUT

Mr Shayne Grieve - Film & TV - BCI (Drama) BEd (Secondary)

Miss Brooke Herbert – Woodwind Specialist - BMus UQ BEd(SEC) UQ (current)

Mrs Lynne Humphreys – Piano Specialist - AMusA AMEB, LTCL Trinty College, BA (Music) QCGU

Hannah Jones – Speech and Communication Specialist - Dip. ASCA (Teaching) , AssocDip. Studio Teaching (Speech and Drama), MBus(PublicRelations and Comm.) QUT, IMEB, Cert in Speech Communication Australia (AMEB)

Mr Peter Kellett – Director of Information Services, Robotics - B.Arts(Pol Sci/Law) UNE, Grad Dip Ed UNE, Grad Cert CompSci Monash

Miss Julianna Kim - Upper Strings Specialist - BMus UQ GDipEd UQ

Mr David Klokman – Guitar Specialist - BMus QCGU, GDTL CQU

Ms Merryn Addison-Moore - Voice Specialist - MMusStudies (Vocal) QCGU, GDipEd QUT

Miss Georgie Ostenfeld – Lower Strings Specialist - AMusA AMEB, BMus (Perf) QCGU (current)

Mrs Kate Robson – Voice Specialist - BCA (Music), USQ GDipMus, USQ GDipEd UC

Miss Meg Schrodter – Dance Instructor - BFineArts (Dance) QUT GDipEd QUT CertIIIChildServices TAFEQld

Mr Owen Tilbury – Percussion Specialist - BMus (Perf) UQ