Board of Directors Byron Community College

Board of Directors

Byron Community College Board Members

President – Alison Pearl

Native New Yorker Alison Pearl was born in Manhattan and graduated from the Bronx High School of Science. She received a B.A. in Dance from Bennington College and a M.A. in Choreography from the Ohio State University. After a performing and teaching career she founded one of the first personal training and corporate exercise companies in Manhattan. Clients included the New York State District Attorney’s Office, The Museum of Modern Art, Philip Morris Corporation and Viking/Penguin Press.

Since moving to Australia in 1988 she’s authored a book for Simon & Schuster, built an organic avocado and bamboo farm, and promoted international and Australian bands, touring, creating festivals and retreats. She was featured in the book ‘The Promoters’, by Stuart Coupe, and in a cover story in the Australian Weekend Magazine on Australia’s promoters. She’s the founder and director of Summersong Music Camp for the last 20 years.

Treasurer – Victoria Jeffery

Victoria is the Chief Financial Officer for the Founders of Organic India and Uplift Media Pty Ltd. Organic India teaches Indian farmers how to grow tea and herbs certifiable organic for the world market. Uplift Media is a digital platform that promotes wellness around the world, by sponsoring such events as World Water Day, World Yoga Day and World Peace Day etc. Victoria has held this position for the past 15 years. Prior to this position, Victoria ran her own successful bookkeeping business. Victoria has also owned numerous restaurants over the decades, the most successful being Byron Fresh.

David Heilpern

Magistrate David Heilpern LLB, LLM attended public High School in rural New South Wales, and attended law schools at University of New South Wales, Macquarie University and Australian National University. He started practice with the Australian Government Solicitor and then went into private practice on the North Coast of New South Wales specialising in criminal law. He undertook many high profile test cases representing drug law reform and environmental groups. Whilst continuing to practice, David was part of a small team that successfully lobbied for a Law School at Southern Cross University. He became a senior lecturer in criminal law and eventually Head of School.

David has published four books, several chapters in edited works and over twenty journal articles. In early 1999 David was appointed as a Magistrate and undertook country service in the West of New South Wales then Batemans Bay and then Byron Bay and Lismore. In between, David was the senior civil Magistrate for NSW for five years. David regularly writes papers on current issues in criminal justice, and has over 40 Local Court reported decisions. He is the longest serving member of the Chief Magistrates education committee, and is senior faculty member of the Orientation Program, a position he has held for 13 years. He also trains magistrates interstate and overseas on a regular basis.

In 2018 David presented the annual Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation lecture in Sydney titled “Lifting the Judicial Veil – Vicarious Trauma, PTSD and the Judiciary: a personal story”, which garnered significant publicity and has led to cultural shift in the recognition of mental health issues in the Judiciary.

Suzie Mylecharane

Suzie Mylecharane started out as a primary school teacher, morphed into fashion manager/overseas buyer for an Australia wide chain of stores based in Sydney and then moved on to be a costume designer for the theatre production of “Hair” Australia wide. Self-employed from age 24, she sea-changed to the Northern Rivers, continuing in the fashion world with a cottage industry employing 12 people. In tandem, Suzie set up a Music Events business which produced shows on Nth Coast NSW for artists on tour, as well as touring international groups Australia wide. Ku Promotions was funded by NSW Ministry for the Arts for 16 years until sold. Currently in semi-retirement happily still dabbling in fashion and loving working in Community projects including BRCC.


Liz Rankin

Liz Rankin is a family law mediator. She previously worked as a lawyer for nearly a decade focusing on family law. She has helped individuals from all walks of life – from a BRW rich lister to stay-at-home mums struggling with a sudden loss of income. Liz has worked in a myriad of complex situations – from family arrangements involving multiple partners to client’s impacted by an ex-partner’s addictions. The common link is her commitment to reducing the negative impacts of separation – the financial costs, the emotional toll and conflicts around children. To make the journey of separation easier for families, Liz will launch her new podcast “The Art of Separation” in 2019.

In addition to serving on the board of the Byron Regional Community College, and the Sourdough Sub-Committee, Liz is a member of the steering committee of the Family Law Pathways Network (Northern Rivers Branch), an initiative of the Attorney General’s Department.

Murray Richardson

Murray has extensive experience in the food and agricultural sectors having worked for some of the world’s largest food companies. He has established a broad understanding of the food market and the emerging trends that will shape the future of the food industry both locally and globally. From a sales and distribution background, Murray has several businesses based in the region and has developed a strong capability in defining business strategy, establishing clear focus and working with key people to build momentum to effect change.

Murray is actively involved in the community promoting the generation of local Jobs. As a founding member of The Sourdough Group, he along with the other founding members has actively worked to promote businesses and jobs in the region through mentoring. The region is fortunate to have a population of experienced individuals keen to mentor businesses and Sourdough has been connecting mentors and mentees for over ten years now. Murray is an active member of the College Board and a promoter of continuous learning.


Margaret Robertson

Margaret Robertson was born in the Northern Rivers region and has spent many decades working in the property industry both as a principal of a successful real estate and property management agency and as a consultant. During this time she gained a reputation as an expert in her field that has been perpetuated by the many people she has trained and mentored. Margaret has learned the importance of building connections and community and has a genuine interest in helping others establish their business based on the principles of transparency, friendship and meeting the needs of others.


Richard Vinycomb

Richard Vinycomb has degrees in Geology and Dramatic Arts, a diploma in Teaching and a Masters in Social Ecology. He has worked professionally and variously as an exploration geophysicist, secondary teacher, actor, theatre director, community arts officer and Program Manager for the Australia Council. For the past 28 years he has been the CEO of adult learning organisations in Victoria and NSW, both receiving national awards. Aside from being Director of Byron Community College, he is also on the boards of Byron Initiatives for Global Solutions (BIGS) and Adult Learning Australia (ALA). Richard is passionate about sustainability and has developed and managed many projects that address various critical issues – economic, social and environmental.