Staff

St. Paul’s Anglican Kindergarten is a not for profit organization with over 70 years’ experience in providing early childhood education to 3 to 5 year old children. The teaching staff are highly qualified Early Childhood Professionals who strive to enrich children’s lives through vibrant and diverse tailored learning programs, which prepares children for life, not just for school.

TOULA POULAKIS : Director and Early childhood Teacher

TOULA POULAKIS

Director and Early childhood Teacher

director@stpaulskinder.org.au

Toula is the Director at St Paul’s Anglican Kindergarten and has successfully completed her Diploma of Teaching. This is coupled with 25 years of experience and vast knowledge working with preschool children and early childhood development.

She has developed and maintained solid working relationships with other professionals and agencies (both internal and external stakeholders). Moreover, she collaborates with the families of the children, placing great value on open communication and feedback. She has a passion and dedication to the development of children with additional needs and seeks to offer support and assistance to the families. Her non-English speaking background is an asset as she has facilitated programs for children with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to further strengthen development.

Toula was involved in the establishment of Kindergarten curriculums recognised by government authorities, to allow the Centres to incorporate funded preschool education within the long day sector.

She thrives in her role as the Director and Educational Leader, which involves the guidance of other Educators in planning and consistently supporting them to ensure effective teaching practices, furthering their knowledge and ensuring the adoption of NQS and ELYF within their program. Toula’s exceptional communication skills have been influential in coaching fellow Educators and Students providing effective leadership and experience.

She is a registered teacher with the Victorian Institute of Teaching.

Toula Currently teaches the 4/5 year old Red Group at St Paul’s Anglican Kindergarten.

LAUREN HURST : EDUCATOR / ADMINISTRATOR

LAUREN HURST

EDUCATOR / ADMINISTRATOR

lauren.hurst@stpaulskinder.org.au

Lauren joined the St Paul’s team in 2012 as a relief assistant teacher. Whilst working at St. Paul’s Lauren chose to further her career by completing the Certificate III in Children’s services, and qualifying in First aid and Anaphylaxis training.

Lauren is the Educator in the 4/5 Red Group at St Paul’s Anglican Kindergarten.

Lauren has a Diploma in Business Management and is also part of the Leadership team at St Paul’s in her role as Administrator.

TAMARA HARDIE : Early Childhood Teacher

TAMARA HARDIE

Early Childhood Teacher

tamara.hardie@stpaulskinder.org.au

Tamara has joined the St Paul’s kinder team in January 2017 as the teacher for the 4/5 year old Blue Group. She has a Diploma of Teaching (Early Childhood) and is a registered Early Childhood teacher with the Victorian Institute of Teaching.
Tamara has a passion for early years education and has been a dedicated kindergarten teacher for over 14 years. Her breadth of experience encompasses teaching in kindergartens, early intervention services and school readiness programs. Her warm and caring approach fosters open communication and positive relationships with children and families. She values the importance of working in partnership with parents to create strong connections between home and kindergarten.
She loves capturing children’s imaginations and stimulating their learning and development through providing experiences and environments that are creative, engaging and fun. Tamara supports the children to reach their full potential by encouraging active learning, exploring, investigating, and discovering. She not only prepares the children for school but empowers them with the confidence and skills to build success for life.

HAZEL LU : EDUCATOR

HAZEL LU

EDUCATOR

hazel.lu@stpaulskinder.org.au

Hazel joined St Paul’s Anglican Kindergarten in April 2016. Before joining St Paul’s, Hazel worked for Boroondara Council’s occasional care for 9 years.

She is also currently working part time at Bowen Street Community Centre.

Hazel has a Certificate III in Children’s Services.

Hazel has experience working with very young children (from 6 weeks), to 3 and 4 year olds and children with additional needs.

Originally from Shanghai China, Hazel speaks English, Mandarin and Shanghainese. She loves working with children, enjoying sharing her culture and being actively involved with them.

Hazel is the Educator in the 4/5 year old Blue Group at St Paul’s Anglican Kindergarten.

NATALIE COULSON : Early Childhood Educator

NATALIE COULSON

Early Childhood Educator

natalie.coulson@stpaulskinder.org.au

Natalie has been an Early Childhood Educator for over 10 years. She has completed her Diploma of Children’s Services (Early Childhood Education and Care).

Natalie’s journey began as a Kindergarten Assistant in the UK (Drayton, London), which lead her to study and successfully help run an English as a Second Language program for students.

Natalie has worked at St. Paul’s Kindergarten for 9 years. She has participated in numerous professional development programs, including most recently a sign language course and implementation of indoor/outdoor programs. Natalie completed the Bastow Leading People course in 2014. Her passion for sensory experiences has enabled her to further develop this area of the curriculum at St. Paul’s.

Natalie co-authored the books: ‘Inspiring Play Space’ and ‘Inspiring Ideas’. Natalie is enrolled in her Bachelor of Education at Deakin University.

Natalie currently teaches the 3 year old Rainbow Group at St Paul’s Anglican Kindergarten.

KATE ELSBURY : EDUCATOR

KATE ELSBURY

EDUCATOR

kate.elsbury@stpaulskinder.org.au

Kate joined the St Paul’s team in 2010.

Kate previously worked at St. Paul’s Anglican Kindergarten as a relief assistant teacher for over 12 months before joining as a part time assistant. Kate has completed her Certificate III in Children’s Services.

Kate has experience working with children with additional needs and has completed a course: Autism MOOC at Swinburne in 2015.

Kate has particular interest in creating inspiring outdoor play experiences.

Kate is the Educator in the 3 year old Rainbow Group at St Paul’s Anglican Kindergarten.

CARLY KRUGER : EARLY CHILDHOOD TEACHER

CARLY KRUGER

EARLY CHILDHOOD TEACHER

carly.kruger@stpaulskinder.org.au

Carly is joining the St. Paul’s team in 2016 as the early childhood teacher for the Sunshine group. Her teaching methods are inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach and she is passionate about supporting young children’s growth and development.

Carly believes that children are capable, competent and creative young learners and enjoys encouraging them to follow their interests and take an active role in their learning. She has a strong focus on promoting children’s wellbeing, to support them to thrive within the kindergarten environment and beyond.

Carly has a Graduate Diploma of Education (Early Childhood).

ALISON D’AMICO : EDUCATOR

ALISON D’AMICO

EDUCATOR

alison.damico@stpaulskinder.org.au

Alison joined the St Paul's team in 2015. She is a mum with three sons whom she has dedicated the last 13 years to raising. Before motherhood, she was actively involved in various roles working with preschool aged children in the U.K. and Switzerland. She was an established playgroup supervisor who implemented and supported mothers with their younger children.

She worked as a Nanny for families and she still continues to maintain those wonderful relationships that she established during that period. Alison played an active Educator role in assisting in Children’s Day care.

She is a qualified first aider and is currently studying her Children’s Services Certificate 111.

Alison is the Educator in the 3 year old Sunshine Group.

RANIA DRAKOPOULOS : EDUCATOR

RANIA DRAKOPOULOS

EDUCATOR

rania.drakopoulos@stpaulskinder.org.au

Rania has a Diploma in Children's Services and has over 7 years of experience as an Educator for sessional kindergartens, long day care and kindergartens. She has experience working with children with additional needs

Rania joined St Pauls in May 2016. She is the lunch time reliever and Educator for both the Red and Blue Groups.