Our Office - Agnes Water Beach
Meet our Staff
Goora Gan is committed to cultivating and fostering a lifelong love of learning, a sense of goodness, beauty and truth for all students.
Current research indicates that the teacher is the most important factor in learning. In Steiner Schools the Class Teacher is dedicated to their own continued emotional, spiritual and intellectual development, modelling to children an internal motivation to continually learn and reach their full potential. Where possible, class teachers may progress through the grades with the same children, allowing for a close relationship to develop with the child and the parents.
MELISSA THOMSON - School Facilitator
Melissa is passionate about student well-being and balanced education and has worked with children of all ages and needs in a variety of schools and through her own private practice since 2002. Delivering Personal Development and Yoga programs for over 60 schools in Brisbane and Central Qld, Melissa came to Steiner Education specifically in 2012 through her own two children, and driven by a wish for children of the community to access Steiner Education, she headed up the founding committee of Goora Gan Steiner School whilst home schooling them.
Managing the school foundation and operations since 2015, Melissa is committed to growing and strengthening the school; supporting and resourcing an education that balances academia and well-being to foster confident, resilient and responsible individuals.
"The need for imagination, a sense of truth and a feeling of responsibility – these are the three forces which are the very nerve of education". R Steiner
LAURA BOULLIER - Class Teacher
Laura graduated as a primary school teacher in 2019 and prior to this in 2012, completed a Bachelor of Journalism and Communications. With a deep appreciation for Steiner Education, she is humbled to begin her teaching career at Goora Gan.
As a teacher, Laura strives to inspire and guide young people to become confident, compassionate and globally minded individuals. She is passionate about play-based learning and believes that every child needs the opportunity to connect with and learn through play and exploration. Laura’s extensive travel around the globe has ignited her modern outlook on the value of diversity and social consciousness and is excited to use these assets in the classroom to help develop each child's’ intellectual, emotional and spiritual intelligence. When not in the classroom, Laura loves hiking, camping and expanding her knowledge and skill set on sustainable ways of living.
“If a school is to be founded and sustained, vision is needed, and a warm-hearted courage, and a long will.”
GOORA GAN STEINER SCHOOL INC. COMMITTEE
The Governing Body of Goora Gan Steiner School is Goora Gan Steiner School Inc, currently consisting of 10 active association members. There are three Directors on the Board and additional Steiner Education Australia Executive Mentors.
The Board of Directors are:
Kenton Turner - Chair
Kenton is a retired Detective Superintendent with 33 years of service with the AFP. He also has a broad range of experience in law enforcement, management and policy development and has been involved with Steiner Education through his children's schooling. Kenton is currently a yoga teacher and in his youth played Volleyball for the Australian team.
Richelle Jones - Secretary
Richelle is a retired Detective Sergeant/Federal Agent who served in the Australian Federal Police for 23 years and has a broad range of experience in law enforcement, governance and policy development. Richelle has a degree in human biology and advocates Steiner Education, with two grown children who attended the Orana Steiner School in Canberra from 2004 to 2014.
Eddie Thomson - Treasurer
Eddie is a semi-retired accountant with over 30 years experience and has assisted Goora Gan from its beginning. A talented artist and dedicated stand up paddle boarder, he is committed to the community of Agnes Water and to the success of Goora Gan Steiner School through his service sitting as Director on multiple Boards within the community.
Mandy Sawtell - Director
Mandy is a founding member of Goora Gan and a long standing member of the Agnes Water community. Attending a Steiner School for part of her childhood instilled a love for the education that led to playing a key role in the Lilly Pilly Steiner Playgroup, home schooling her own children, and to assisting the founding of the school. Mandy is a loving mother of three and enjoys music, time with family and in nature.
Steiner Education Australia - SEA Goora Gan is an Associate Member of SEA and accesses Executive Mentorship and professional development in all areas of Governance, Leadership and Management and Teacher Development
Independent Schools Queensland - ISQ - Goora Gan is a member of ISQ who advocate for and support Qld schools in all areas of Governance and Operations.
KRISTEN SMITH - Class Teacher
Kristen is dedicated to meeting the educational needs of children of all ages. Throughout Kristen’s teaching career, she has reached out to many children who now embrace a love for learning. Kristen is passionate about educating the whole person and celebrating the small successes we achieve each day.
Kristen and her family have travelled extensively throughout Australia, exploring and learning about the vast array of natural resources and landmarks that we have in our backyard and is now excited to be a part of the community of Goora Gan.
SALLY DRYDEN - Education Manager
Sally has been working in education for the last 24 years and has extensive experience both in the classroom and in curriculum leadership roles in a variety of settings. Her personal belief around teaching is to listen to and teach children from the heart.
Sally believes that space, guidance and humour are necessary to help them to grow into each stage of their loves fully and with joy.
When it comes to curriculum leadership, Sally believes that children and teachers need to be given space to explore topics through stories and the arts, encouraging problem-solving and risk taking so that they develop the confidence and skills to take their place in the world.
Sally is excited to be joining the Goora Gan community in 2020.
SARAH COOPER - Teacher Aide
Sarah has a study background in Fine Art, Art as Therapy, Yoga and Meditation. Sarah was recently awarded a Masters of Teaching degree from the Southern Cross University which included an independent research project exploring and uncovering the benefits of mindfulness practice being included into school curriculum.
For the last 7 years Sarah has been on a journey of supporting the next generation in their social, emotional and intellectual development within a variety of school and non-school contexts. Sarah has supported the health and wellbeing of at risk youths facing homelessness through the co-facilitation of arts based therapy programs in residential care centres. Sarah has worked alongside children of migrant families through both art and gardening programs at inner city Melbourne community centres and has also worked as a residential boarding house tutor offering students support through talk therapy, art workshops and the creation of a boarding house vegie patch.
Within the early education and primary school setting Sarah has worked in support of students and teachers alike as both an after school care facilitator and more recently as a Steiner school teacher aide. As an after school care facilitator Sarah planned the daily activities and programs with an emphasis upon participants spending time in nature, learning through play and creative expression through arts, crafts and music.