Emmanuel College appoints Stephen Peake as Principal

Emmanuel College Council Chairman Stephen Howell announced today that business executive Stephen Peake has been appointed as Principal of Emmanuel College within The University of Queensland, commencing later this month.

“I would like to personally congratulate Stephen, who was the stand-out candidate in a stringent national search,” Mr Howell said. “The Council’s focus was to appoint a principal with strong commercial experience and background, the drive required to ensure the sustainability of the College, and a Christian ethos who would work with our whole College community to further develop Emmanuel’s culture. Most importantly, demonstrated ability to deliver Emmanuel College’s strategic plan for the benefit of our most important people — our students — was imperative. Stephen has all these qualities and is committed to being an inclusive and dedicated leader.”

As the eleventh Principal in Emmanuel College’s 109-year history, Stephen aims to combine the College’s student-focused heritage with the challenges and opportunities which will emerge in 2020 and beyond. He said, “I’m delighted to be joining Emmanuel College as Principal and continuing the extraordinary heritage of the College. I’m eager to work with the staff, the Council and the student community to ensure their university experience is first class. Emmanuel was founded to assist young people in their academic pursuits and in their personal development to become the best ‘whole’ people possible — resilient, creative, compassionate, engaged and focused — and the College’s diverse range of activities and support mechanisms for our students are here to do exactly that. I wish all our students a successful university journey and look forward to serving them in my new role.”

Stephen Peake, BA

Born and raised in Brisbane, Stephen Peake studied Government, History and Law at The University of Queensland and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1982. He is currently completing a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration through Griffith University.

Stephen has extensive experience in the commercial and retail banking sectors, having worked in managerial roles with the National Australia Bank for 16 years. Applying his skills to the not-for-profit sector, Stephen managed the investment service and trustee property portfolio of the Uniting Church in Australia Queensland Synod. This role encompassed compliance, legal, property, contract and finance in hospitals, aged care, colleges and community initiatives. Stephen is a member of Oxley-Darra Uniting Church and his service to the church extended to directorship of the national superannuation fund for Uniting Church employees and realising its successful merger with NGS Super. Stephen’s not-for-profit service includes membership of the Emmanuel College Council since August 2018.

Along with his wife Elspeth, Stephen has a lifelong passion for music. He combines this with his commercial experience as treasurer of the internationally acclaimed Voices of Birralee, a Brisbane community-based choral music organisation of almost 400 children and young people. In 2018 he had the honour of participating in an Australian Government-commissioned tour of France with the choir to commemorate the centenary of World War I. Stephen is also an enthusiastic bass guitar player in a rock covers band and in a jazz group.

Stephen and Elspeth have raised three sons, who are now adults, and for several years have welcomed many young people into their home through UQ’s international student Homestay program.

Stephen Peake was appointed as Principal of Emmanuel College in January 2020.