We dream impossible things and find a practical way to do it!  

“There is no use trying” said Alice, “one can’t believe impossible things”.
“I dare say you haven’t had much practice” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why sometimes I”ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
- Lewis Carroll

Administrative Staff

Administrative Staff

Currambena has a school coordinator, a business manager and a part-time admin personnel. The coordinator and the business manager, together with the Council and teachers, are responsible for the day-to-day running of the school. There is no Principal.

Daniel Martinez, Business Manager

I am delighted and very excited to be joining the Currambena family, such a great school with so many stand-out features!

I am semi-retired, a CPA, and spent most of my career as an Investment banker. I also did a stint working for the World Bank that sent me to some challenging places around the world. I am married to Karen and have 5 children, all grown up, thankfully. I used to live in Turramurra, but sold the house with too many bedrooms and have downsized to a great apartment in nearby Lindfield.

 For recreation, I coach and also still play competitive basketball as well as play the drums in a rock band, music being my go-to relaxation tool.

Olivia McCarron, School Coordinator

My association with Currambena started in 1995 as a fresh 17-year-old, straight out of high school. That year, I started as a preschool assistant and knew that I had found something incredible. I recognised the importance of education that focused on the individual and truly respected and supported each of these humans.

Since then, I have worked as primary assistant, preschool teacher, coordinator of the after-school care program and primary teacher. My connection with Currambena changed again when my daughter started her journey in the preschool in 2020, and is now continuing her journey in the primary school. I feel so very lucky to again take on another role in the Currambena community and connect with all the staff, families and the community as a whole. I hope that my experience as teacher, parent and previous school council member will allow me to have a holistic perspective with my new role and contribute to this amazing place the best way I can.

I hold a BED (ECE) and have also had experience as a coordinator of an early learning centre in the past. On other days, I work as a group program coordinator at The Shepherd Centre. In my spare time, I enjoy going to the gym, snowboarding holidays and dragon boating. I can also be found traveling the world with my family whenever I can.



Preschool staff

Katrina Ackermann, Preschool Director

Late one Friday night I was looking at how early childhood positions were being advertised on the web when I stumbled across a position for the Preschool Director at Currambena.  I wasn’t looking for a new job though I was very intrigued by the ad.  I went on the schools website and got goose bumps from what I saw and read. I drove to the school that weekend to take a look, drove home, updated my CV and applied for my “dream job” which I was so very fortunate to have obtained.

Before commencing at Currambena I worked for 18 years as an Early Childhood Teaching Director in children’s services with the Hills Shire council. I have also been a trainer in certificate III and Diploma of Early childhood studies. I live in the inner west with my partner and two young sons.

I hold the belief that play is an essential tool for learning. Through respecting children’s desire to learn through play, by interacting and engaging in play with them, listening to what they want to learn about and providing opportunities to extend upon their interests I believe children will develop a love of learning that will be life long.  I believe curricula for children should be based on the principles of respect, responsibility and  community. They should provide opportunities for exploration and discovery in a supportive and enriching environment based on the interests of the children through a self-guided curriculum.

I believe children are interdependent and as such it is vitally important to work in partnership with children, their families and the wider community to foster and promote the development of the whole child. As an Educator I aim to provide scaffolding and support to children to further extend their interests and learning in all developmental areas.

“Education is not a race to be won. It is a journey where every step, every day counts and the end point never arrives. Education is not measured by numbers on a page or a graph.” (Kathy Walker 2008)

Michael Richardson, Preschool Assistant

After completing High School, Michael started working in the CASP (Currambena After School-care Program) and it was as though he had never left, after being a student at Currambena from preschool to year six. Michael worked in the CASP for a year, and when the preschool assistant job in the Preschool became available, he successfully applied for the position in February 2011. Michael is now a valued and permanent member of the Preschool Team.

Lisa Fenech, Preschool Assistant

I was immediately drawn to the position of Preschool Assistant at Currambena, after learning of the democratic school philosophy that seeks in “developing the whole child” and fostering the practise of child-centred learning.

Since commencing my journey at the beginning of 2021, I have found my time at Currambena immensely rewarding and completely joyful! To be able to witness first hand all of the amazingly beautiful children who are finding their voice, and immersing themselves in their personal learning journey warms my heart.

 With a past career in fashion and interior design, and a mother to two girls who are now in their secondary years at school, I had a deep realisation that it was my time to give back. There was a big part of me that missed the early years of child development and the absolute inner joy that all children bring, so I decided to further my studies and dedicate this next chapter of my life to making a positive difference in a child’s life, sharing my gifts with others and nurturing them to thrive.

Teaching staff

Chris Rochester, Arts and Crafts Teacher

“I first came to Currambena in 2002 as a relief art teacher and was so inspired by the place I came back to fill the post in the last term of 2003. The high level of enthusiasm, commitment and creativity from children, parents and staff combine to make Currambena feel more like a community than an institution.”

Chris completed a Bachelor of Fine Art (painting), a Diploma of Fine Art (painting) at the National Art School in 2000. Since then he has been a practising artist with numerous exhibitions. Prior to this he served two years of a Bachelor of Education (Primary) at the Australian Catholic University and is now eager to never complete his degree.

Vincent Bowan, Kindergarten and Year 1 Class Teacher

I am lucky to be working alongside Emma as co-teacher of the youngest group at Currambena. I find this group's creative and open approach to play wonderful. Outside of teaching I have a deep passion for art, particularly, drawing and painting. I have been painting murals for 11 years.

I started at Currambena in 2018 during Paint Week. I was there to paint murals whilst I was finishing my Bachelor of Primary Education. I instantly knew this was the place I wanted to teach at. The next year I was able to do my internship with Wendy and Chris. I have been teaching at Currambena ever since.

I believe the classroom should be a safe supportive environment that nurtures students’ individuality and creativity. I aim to foster the individuality of children whilst building their personal responsibility and sense of belonging. This will be through building positive relationships that create a personalised approach. I believe strongly in the importance of intercultural understanding and connection with others through positive relationships. I aim to improve my philosophy through openness to change and reflection and evaluation of my practice.

Jessica Kimber, Years One and Two Class Teacher

 My personal journey with Currambena began when I was a child as I attended Currambena for preschool and all of my primary schooling. I always loved my time at Currambena and felt the freedom, choices and sense of responsibility it gave me were fundamental to who I became. When I had children myself, it was not a difficult decision to return to Currambena to seek the same child centred and respectful education that I received. Now I have the very great privilege of being a teacher here. 

I believe that the role of teaching should be a holistic one that considers the individual circumstances of a child. It is important to know the strengths and challenges of children so that they can be tailored for. In this way, I believe that teaching is not simply the job of pedagogy but rather the job of listening, sharing and building relationships. I also believe that education should consider, not only the needs of the individual child, but also the advancement of social notions like inclusivity, tolerance and justice. Like other skills, children can learn how to become active and productive members of their school community and in turn can transfer these skills to their broader communities.

Sarah MacGillicuddy, Years One and Two Class Teacher

In 2007, whilst studying for my teaching degree at Macquarie University I began working at Currambena in CASP. Here I encountered an ethos that was vastly different to that with which I was familiar; an ethos that was based on collaboration involving teachers, children and parents. After graduating, I stayed on at Currambena as a teacher’s assistant. Then after 2 years, I was offered a full-time teaching position. This unique learning environment is challenging at times, but deeply rewarding.

My philosophy: I believe the role of an educator is to provide children with a safe and nurturing environment in which they are able to develop independence and learn all facets of themselves. For a child to have a sense of belonging within a school community, it is important that their educators communicate a behavioural model fostering trust, respect and appreciation for each other’s differences. I strive to encourage each child to realise the best in themselves and provide challenging opportunities through which they may achieve academic, social, physical and emotional growth.

My aim is to share knowledge and engage with a child’s curiosity in the world. I endeavor to do this with enthusiasm, humour and understanding for the individual experiences of each child. A teacher ideally gives more than just basic knowledge of a particular subject. There needs to be a sense of excitement and creativity, and a commitment to developing relationships, so that they may become active agents of their own learning. I believe it imperative that each child is given the encouragement, freedom and courage to discuss and make choices, thereby becoming a creative, independent thinker and contributor.

Wendy Pettit, Years Five and Six Class Teacher

“I have had the privilege of a very long and varied association with Currambena, as student teacher, teacher, parent, Coordinator and Council member, among other roles over many years. As the school community evolves I delight both in the changes that accommodate different needs and in the essential philosophy, which remains constant. Children at Currambena know they are loved and that makes it a very happy place.”

Wendy holds a BA (Hons Ed), Dip Ed and Diploma in Children’s Literature from University days. More recently she has studied Conflict Resolution and NLP, which she finds very useful adjuncts to her teacher training. She has recently completed a Graduate Diploma of Counselling.

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