Meet the team
All the faces of Phoenix Support for Educators
At Phoenix Support for Educators we are dedicated to providing expert advice from a wide range of specialists so you get consistently high quality training but from multiple perspectives. So all of our workshops are delivered by an expert in their field.
Here's our bios and a bit more info about us...
Sandi is the founding company director and Principal Facilitator at Phoenix Support. Her framework, The Phoenix Cups, have revolutionised how staff not only work with children’s behaviour, but how teams view each other’s behaviour. The approach provides a framework of how to understand and respond positively to differences and conflict. The Phoenix Cups adds a new perspective to understanding each other and learning to work and live in harmony together.
Sandi’s coaching and consultancy style comes from a strengths-based perspective and is informed by a comprehensive understanding of the National Quality Framework and underpinning theory. Sandi takes a positive approach to guiding expected behavioural choices within inclusive learning environments, following vast experience working with children with disabilities and children who display complex behaviours in both early childhood settings, youth care, and school-age care since 1998. Since 2009, Sandi has been involved in supporting educators and teams to implement the National Quality Framework through various roles. These roles range from individualised in-service coaching and mentoring, presenting at conferences, teaching the Diploma of Early Childhood Education, developing written resources, and consulting in the design of software that supports efficient and effective curriculum planning and service operations. She is highly regarded nationwide as a speaker, coach, mentor and Professional Development Facilitator for the education and care sector.
Sandi's qualifications include a Bachelor of Psychological Science and Cert IV in Training and Assessment.
Sandi is an Affiliate of the Australian Psychological Society and currently holds membership of the APS.
Christopher is the Wellbeing specialist for Phoenix Support for Educators (PSFE).
Christopher has a keen interest in health and wellbeing, and his passion for hypnotherapy and mindfulness turned professional after his appearance on Australia’s most popular national morning television show, Sunrise. Since then, Christopher has also featured as the Commonwealth Banks Australian of the Day, been interviewed on Australia’s most popular national radio station Triple M, has been the subject of numerous national and international newspaper articles.
It is Christopher’s goal to increase wellbeing practices in the early education setting and is excited to be developing programs that do just that.
Feel free to email Christopher ([email protected]) directly to see how his experience can aid you further
Tara Hill is the inspiring multi-tasking senior facilitator at Phoenix Support for Educators. Her experience in the profession started in 2003 as an educator and nominated supervisor. Tara's strength based coaching skills are exceptional. Tara oversees The Online Teacher's and Educator's Symposium (TOTES) and delivers workshops around educational program and practice, documentation, and learning environments.
Tara’s qualifications include an
Advanced Diploma of Children's Services, and a Cert IV in Training and
Assessment. Tara is currently studying a Bachelor of Social Sciences, majoring
in Behavioural Studies.
Bronwyn Ball is our incredible customer happiness officer at Phoenix Support. Bron is also an excellent strength based coach, supporting leaders in education and care through mentoring. Her experience in the profession started in 1997 as an educator and a director in 2001. Bron is the happy, helpful and cheery voice on the other end of the phone when you call Phoenix Support for Educators.
Dr Louise Porter
Dr Louise Porter, PhD, MA(Hons), MGiftedEd, DipEd, BA, BIntStuds, Child Psychologist is passionate about safeguarding children’s self-esteem, promoting their social skills, and supporting their resilience in the face of the challenges that life often raises. Louise advocates for teaching children to behave considerately, being mindful of how their behaviour affects others, rather than what consequences it may earn them.
She has taught at university, conducted a private practice for 30 years, and worked in both mainstream and disability agencies and schools. She is an outstanding author of some of the best texts in the world on the topic of guidance. Louise is a popular speaker throughout Australia and internationally.
Louise delivers coaching and mentoring around children's behaviour in early childhood and education & care environments. She delivers the in-service workshop 'Children are people too'.
Elise Waghorn is a PhD student in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne. Her research project is investigating the everyday lifeworlds of children in Australia and how this relates and connects to policy and educational experiences with children in Hong Kong and Singapore.
Elise’s teaching has focused on the ways in which early childhood pedagogical practices influence children’s wellbeing. She has worked within the early childhood sector for 13 plus years and has a passion for making sure children's rights are listened to and respected. For the last four years Elise has worked part time as a casual academic at a university. Her role involves teaching the Bachelor of Early Childhood and Primary, and Masters of Education (Early Childhood and Primary).
Angie has enjoyed a vast array of roles in the education sector for just over a decade. These roles include working as a nominated supervisor, primary teacher, national facilitator, practice coach and NESA supervisor. When reflecting on her early teaching experiences, Angie often references the fact that she was always 'an early childhood educator trapped in the body of a primary teacher' placing the rights of children at the forefront of her practice. Her pedagogy prioritises dispositions and a love of learning and fun as the foundation from which to teach. For Angie, teaching is about ensuring that as often as possible, education at all levels fits the learner rather than the reverse.
Angie holds a Bachelor of Early Childhood and Primary education, as well as Cert IV in Training and Assessment and an Advanced Diploma in Business Management and Leadership. Cup filling on maternity leave has also seen Angie begin to study as a celebrant, allowing her to share her connection cup with others on their special occasions.
Angie is extremely excited to be in a position to support the practice and understanding of Early Learning Centres throughout her region.
Jay has worked for more than seventeen years in the early childhood education and care profession and is committed to working with educators to better the opportunities for children to reach the best outcomes.
Through his dedication to the early childhood education and care profession, Jay has worked with countless educators, engaging educators in professional development. He has an expertise in leadership and mentoring, and has supported teams toward a stronger understanding of both the National Quality Framework and all aspects of the Early Years Learning Framework.
Jay has studied Secondary Education, Primary Education and Early Childhood Education and is currently working towards completing a Bachelor of Psychological Sciences.
Not everyone’s first foray into film earns them a line that becomes a cultural phenomenon. “You’re terrible Muriel” has stamped Gabby Millgate into the Australian national consciousness. In the years between filming and release of Muriel’s Wedding (1994), Gabby graduated from Charles Sturt University (BA Comm). ‘95-’99 Gabby starred in and wrote TV sketch comedy on Full Frontal and was invited to be the only comedian on Celebrity Big Brother.
In 2017 Gabby's blossoming career as an early childhood educators saw her become a Nature Pedagogy Leader at Woden Valley Childcare Centre. She published The Book Book Book: Chickens in Early Childhood Settings in 2019. “My big passionate personal goal is to advocate for Nature Pedagogy in all Early Learning Centres.” Gabby Millgate BA (Comm.) Dip. ECE
Jen and Narell
Narell Neville and Jennifer McCormack are educators, artists, storytellers and experienced nature play facilitators who have pioneered the nature play movement on the Gold Coast with their business Birdwings Nature.
Jennifer and Narell know that the inner work that happens in nature is integrative, powerful and transforming and it is our pleasure to help children tell their stories of wisdom and belonging in connection with their natural world.
The workshop, Beyond the Sandpit, offers professional development in Ecological Storytelling, Bush Kindy, creative arts and handcrafts and nature mentoring.
Angus Gorrie is a student of psychology and playwork. He has been working in the education sector for 11 years and currently working as the Program Manager at Camp Hill Outside School Hours Care.
Angus has a passion for authentic childhood development incorporating a playwork approach into the everyday program ensuring the end product is a genuine experience intrinsically derived from the needs of the children.
Megan Daley is passionate about children’s literature and sharing it with young and old alike. She firmly believes that YA literature is far better than adult literature and that picture books are works of art which should adorn the walls of art galleries and libraries. She blogs about all things literary, library and tech at www.childrensbooksdaily.com.
Megan's qualifications include a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education, Graduate Diploma in Teacher Librarianship and a Masters of Innovative Teaching and Learning.
Megan delivers our 'Lighting the way to literacy' in-service PD and classroom visit workshop.
Ingrid is an amazing educator who is currently completing the RIE Practicum Programme. She is both Approved Provider and Nominated Supervisor of Cressy Road Day Care & Pre School.
Ingrid delivers coaching and mentoring around infant education as well as our 'Respectful Infant Education and Care' in-service workshop.
Dr Andrew King
Andrew is an engineer, teacher and author. He is passionate about the role that Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (the STEM subjects) play in our sustainable future and equally passionate about the importance of STEM education. He regularly presents to teachers and students about engineering and facilitates student-centred workshops for young engineers.
Young Engineers, the latest book by Andrew and Benjamin, introduces children to the broad breadth of engineering. It covers many engineering disciplines and links each to common play-based scenarios.
Andrew’s children think he likes to build shelves in his spare time. However, he really enjoys spending time with them, playing guitar, walking his dogs and trying to play golf. Andrew’s family are avid readers and have really helped him to appreciate the magic of books.
Andrews workshop, STEAM, comes with a complete resource pack of 3 books and a music CD to help educators confidently teach children about Science, Maths, and Engineering.
Sarah is an Occupational Therapist and the founder of Ready Kids. She is passionate about working with parents and educators to implement practical strategies and working with children to develop their skills. She has experience working in schools and in the community, supporting children with varying levels of abilities including those diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, intellectual impairments and Cerebral Palsy. She has a strong interest in health promotion and early intervention.
Sarah’s qualifications include: Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honors) majoring in Public Health and Masters in Occupational Therapy Studies at the University of Queensland.
Janice is an Aboriginal woman with Wakka Wakka and Kaanju heritage. She is dedicated to embedding Aboriginal perspectives and learning opportunities in the Early Childhood Education and Care sector and other community-based organisations.
Janice delivers our cultural competence workshop and in-service coaching and mentoring - 'The land on which we walk live and play'.
I completed my Foundation Degree in Early Years (Advanced Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care) in the UK and have worked in play-based long day care for 16 years.
My roles have included childcare assistant, group leader/lead educator, assistant director, administrator, workplace health and safety officer, director and sustainability advocate. I am now very excited to be pursuing my dream of being a mentor and professional development facilitator in the Early Years sector for educators.
I am also an advocate for empowering, educating and connecting women in my local community through the Redland’s Centre for Women. Additionally, I have completed my Cert iv in Training and Assessment along with countless professional developments in children’s behaviour, leadership and sustainability.
Jonathan is a passionate and inspiring presenter, who had gleaned years of experience working with young children. He is currently principal and workshop presenter - Queensland Teacher Professional Development; Activist and founding member of advocacy group Protecting Childhood, and; private counsellor and movement therapist. He is the author of Teach the Children Well - Our spiritual investment.
Jon delivers our in-service Steiner inspired workshops.
Jen is a music teacher, conductor and clinician who has been recognised nationally for her work with music and children. In addition to working extensively with choirs of all ages and backgrounds as a music director, Jen has been invited to work with numerous organisations as a workshop facilitator and guest choral conductor.
Jen's professional development is exceptional. We recommend her Music Education workshop - How I wonder what you are - that includes classroom visits.
Jen's qualifications include Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Education from the University of Queensland as well as an Australian Kodaly Certificate in Primary Music Education.
Stacey is dedicated to delivering inspiring professional development for educators in the early childhood sector.
Stacey's accomplishments since 1994 include working as teacher, special education support worker, primary school teacher and facilitator of professional development for educators. Stacey is committed to delivering, through training and support, up to date relevant research and theory to support curriculum development, documentation, play, behavioural support and environmental aesthetics to educators.