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Our Teaching Team

Our Kindy's teaching team is comprised of experienced and qualified individuals who bring a wealth of expertise to our program.

The team is led by Alison Cashman. Alison holds a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood) and has been the centre director since December 2018. Since graduating from university, Alison has worked in a variety of Early Childhood settings, both in Australia and overseas. Alison strives to provide a stimulating, caring, and challenging educational environment for the children in her care. She believes in fostering important life skills such as problem-solving, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and effective communication, rather than rushing children into academic milestones.

Alison is supported by Trudy Burge, an experienced teaching assistant who brings an incredible science-based skill set to our play-based curriculum. After completing a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Parasitology, Trudy worked as a research assistant within UQ’s Department of Microbiology and Parasitology. Trudy has always loved sharing her love of science and the natural world with children. After her own children attended our Kindy, Trudy joined the teaching team. Trudy’s unique skill set allows science to be naturally integrated into our play-based curriculum. She believes that exposing children to a wide range of science and natural world experiences encourages a sense of ownership and wonder about the world, and it is this sense of ownership and wonder that will foster care and a sense of responsibility for working together to care for our environment.

In 2021, we welcomed Meloni Bourke to the teaching team. Initially, Mel was brought onboard to ensure continuity of care for the children throughout the pandemic. Following the pandemic's conclusion, the Kindy management team opted to retain Mel as a member of the teaching staff. She completed her Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care in 2023 and is due to complete her Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care in June 2024. Mel brings a creative flair to kindy, and she is often found at the arts and crafts areas assisting the children with various creative-based activities. Meloni believes that engaging in creative activities offers children boundless opportunities to enhance their skills and broaden their understanding. Through these activities, children can explore and discover, fostering both their imagination and their learning.

Together, our team provides a sense of consistency and continuity for the children and their families. In our End of Kindy survey, a 2023 parent responded to the question, “What has been the best thing about Chelmer Graceville Kindy for your child this year ?” The family responded, “The staff have been amazing, and helped developed our son’s love of learning, playing and being in a large group setting. The kids show great respect and thoughtfulness to each other, and this is a testament to the incredible teaching team. We are so thankful for our time at Chelmer Graceville Kindy,”

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Meloni Bourke, Alison Cashman, Trudy Burge

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