Greg Lee -

HSC Physics, Chemistry, Maths 2 Unit, Maths Extension 1 & 2, Engineering

Col Graham - Maths Teacher, Year 7 to Year 12 General Maths

Col has been with The Education Centre for around 4 years and is currently teaching at Coffs Harbour High School (Jetty High).

He has 35 years experience as a teacher of children in the subject areas of Mathematics and Science. He is , and has always been, heavily involved in the Welfare of Students.

His other passions are his family and sport where he has coached in the national Touch League and is qualified as a National Selector.

He currently is involved in local football, being President of the local Referee’s Association for several years and is an active referee.

Previous to coming to Coffs Harbour, he has taught at James Cook Boys High, Kogarah, Ashford Central School and Katoomba High School.

Rose-Marie Sercombe - English Teacher Year 12 English

Rose-Marie Sercombe is an experienced HSC English teacher who has taught for over 30 years in high schools on the North Coast. Graduating with a BA, Dip Ed from UNE, she has a love of literature, especially Shakespeare!

High level reading and writing skills are essential for success at the HSC and Rose-Marie can help students with transferring their ideas into essays and other text types.

Penny Dennis -

Year 7 to 12 English, Acting, History, Geography, Commerce and Studies of Religion

Coming from a corporate career in marketing and regional planning, Penny has been teaching at The Education Centre since 2008 and she has also taught at Bishop Druitt College & John Paul College, as well as a year-long block at the prestigious A B Patterson College Arundel, Queensland.

She holds an honours degree in Geography from London University and a Graduate Diploma of Teaching from Southern Cross University. Although starting out in publishing, as an advertising copywriter, she has worked as a senior manager for the National Heart Foundation. In her spare time she is active in the Coffs Harbour Community Theatre scene as a writer, director and actor.

Penny says, ‘For me, teaching is not just a job – its a vocation. I enjoy teaching because I think I can make a difference – not just for young people, but also for the wider community. I hope to help my students live lives that are fulfilling, because they are achieving their educational, career, spiritual and personal goals.’

‘Our young people have so many challenges ahead of them in an uncertain world that I see it as a duty to equip them with the skills, understanding and knowledge they will need to survive and, hopefully, thrive.’

She also says, ‘The subjects that I most enjoy teaching – English, Geography and History – give me a great deal of scope to get students thinking about how they impact on the world and how they can make the world a better place – from small actions like planting trees to help conserve habitats, to deeper matters like racial equality and human rights.’


Alan Merritt -

Alan Merritt has been a teacher, Head Teacher and Deputy Principal in a wide variety of public schools over a 30 year period teaching in many subject areas. He has also been a lecturer in Education and History at both the University of New South Wales and New England University for a number of years.

He has also been employed by the Board of Studies as a Senior  Education Officer to write the History 7-10 syllabus, the Modern History syllabus as well as providing units of work for NSW teachers in these subjects as well as Ancient History, Legal Studies and Aboriginal Studies. In addition, he has been a Marker and Senior Marker of HSC Modern History and one of the Co-ordinators of the HSC marking process.

Alan has authored a number of books on Australian society, World War 1 and world history as well as specific books for HSC students and teachers. Alan has graduated with Honours as well as completing a Masters degree and further post-graduate work.

Wendy Woodland -

Primary and Early Secondary – Maths, English and Science

Originating from Sydney, Wendy has loved teaching for over 31 years and finds it an area in which she excels. She believes that tutoring is the most rewarding type of teaching as you are working for direct goals and you can see these goals being achieved.

Having been based at one main school for 25 years, she has seen the need for staff support, cooperation and rapport. Wendy works as a team member, sharing ideas with other staff members and following the Centre’s guidelines and practices.

Wendy feels effective tutoring occurs when children feel respected, interested in, well cared for and safe. When they are challenged and inspired to learn. Children should be valued as individuals and their needs for attention and approval should be supported. Wendy tries to achieve this in her tutoring. She tutors so that children can be helped to acquire a strong foundation in the knowledge and skills needed for school success and success in life.


Vicki Filewood -

Kirby Drew -

Primary and Early Secondary Maths, English and Reading

Mandeep Rai -

Primary Maths, English and Reading

Mandeep completed a Bachelor of Education – Primary at Southern Cross University and currently works as a casual teacher in local schools. She tutors both Primary Mathematics and English and also works with ESL students. Mandeep has been working as a tutor at The Education Centre since 2012

“I believe every child deserves an opportunity to be educated regardless of their academic abilities. The tight and busy schedules of school teachers do not allow students to have sufficient individual time with a teacher to go through the skills that are being taught. Tuition allows students to have the one-on-one time with a teacher so they can grasp learning skills before moving on to new topics. This opportunity to review topics with a teacher helps students to do well and boosts their self esteem.”

  Mandeep Rai

Anita Barker -

HSC, Year 11 & 12 English, Extension English, ESL English

Anita is a casual teacher who has been tutoring secondary English and ESL students for over 4 years at The Education Centre, focusing largely on Years 11 and 12. She also has experience preparing adult learners to take the IELTS proficiency test (International English Language Testing System).

She has a Graduate Diploma in English and ESL, a degree in languages, a passion for music and drama, and over 17 years’ of experience guiding adults in traditional Indian sound therapy.

“I have always loved stories – whether spoken, written, visual or musical – so the current educational engagement with multi-modal texts for exploring and communicating diverse human experiences is particularly rewarding for me!”

Astri Sjoberg -

Maths, Kindergarten to HSC Extension 2 and beyond

Astri is a Mathematics Tutor with a PhD in Applied Mathematics. She has an interest in dyscalculia and loves a challenge.

Astri has been tutoring at The Education Centre for 2 years and has 6 years of tutoring privately and 14 years of teaching experience at University of Johannesburg in South Africa.

Besides Mathematics she has also taught Modern Dance and has the ability to teach using a variety of methods to suit a range of different types of learners.

Valmai Kelaita -

Primary English, Early Maths and Reading

Sam Stanford -

 Keyboard and Guitar

Greg Hitchenson -

Special Education Tutor, Mentor

Leanne Stewart -

David Bourke -

Primary and Secondary English, Special Ed

Elissa Healey -

David Mitchell -

HSC and Secondary Maths General, 2 Unit, Extension 1 & 2, Biology, Chemistry

Kiyomi Takayama -

Kiyomi has a BA from Osaka University of Foreign Studies and a Diploma for ESL from the same University.

She worked in Financial Derivatives markets in London until she moved to live in Australia.  She has also been working as a translator/Interpreter from 2010.

Kiyomi says, ‘I feel that teaching my native language is giving a piece of me and sharing cultures with each other.   Every lesson is tailor made to

the individual or the group and I strive to make it a memorable experience.’

Children and adults can learn for fun; HSC, JLTP (Japanese – Language Proficiency Test), language exchange programs, holidays, business and culture.

Leanne Chrisopoulos -

Leanne has a Bachelor of Education in Primary Teaching and a Bachelor of Education in Early Childhood Education and she is a casual teacher in Primary schools around the Coffs Harbour area.  She is passionate about the welfare and advancement of our younger generation, knowing that they are our future leaders.

Leanne comes from a banking and corporate background, working in administration, accounts and personal assistant roles.  She travelled and worked overseas for four years, visiting Africa, UK, Europe, Middle East, Pacific Islands, and USA.  She owned and operated her own Video rental and Bookkeeping businesses before getting her Bachelor of Education degrees.

Leanne has a calm, supportive manner, respecting every individual and believing that every child has the capacity to learn.  It is her challenge to see each child, find how they learn, and what they already know so that she can tailor lessons to suit each student.  “That is the beauty of tutoring, I can really make a difference to individual children when I can work with them one on one and design individual lessons for each student.  I love that moment when they finally understand something they have been struggling with at school.”

Bev Meredith -

Bev Meredith, BA.DipEd, began her teaching career, over 35 years ago, in Sydney as
a High School Geography and Economics teacher. She then transferred to Newcastle
where she taught in Infants and Primary schools as an Advanced Skills Teacher and
then as an Assistant Principal. Bev also undertook the role of mentoring young
teachers in their final year of University and initial years of classroom teaching.
Bev spent 3 years teaching in Surrey UK, fulfilling contracts within County First and
Middle schools whilst providing Learning Programs for children with identified Specific
Learning Difficulties.
Bev then moved to Brisbane, Qld where she extended her skills to include Special
Needs teaching. Whilst living in Gladstone and Townsville, Bev also operated her own
tutoring business working with children Pre School to Year 7.In Gladstone, Bev worked
extensively with children and young adults with disabilities. Bev undertook programs
in Literacy, Numeracy and essential Life Skills. In Townsville Bev also worked on
Accelerated Programs of Literacy and Numeracy with Upper Primary Students
towards acceptance into Selective Private Schools.
Upon her return to Brisbane Bev continued her work with children with specific learning
difficulties .These included children who had undergone cancer surgery or were
recovering from brain injuries. Bev has also worked with children who are undertaking
home schooling as well as developing programs for children with Autism, Dyslexia and
Behavioural difficulties.
Bev moved to Coffs Harbour in 2016 and is now developing learning programs for
children with Individual Needs at the Education Centre.

Kiyomi Takayama -

Kiyomi has a BA from Osaka University of Foreign Studies and a Diploma for ESL from the same University.

She worked in Financial Derivatives markets in London until she moved to live in Australia.  She has also been working as a translator/Interpreter from 2010.


Kiyomi says, ‘I feel that teaching my native language is giving a piece of

me and sharing cultures with each other.   Every lesson is tailor made to

the individual or the group and  I strive to make it a memorable experience.’

Children and adults can learn for fun; HSC, JLTP (Japanese – Language Proficiency Test), language exchange programmes,  holidays, business and culture.

Sue Siwinski -

HSC Biology, Year 7 to Year 10 Science

Sue has been with The Education Centre for 2 years and teaching science courses for over 30 years. She has experience teaching in a variety of state, catholic and independent secondary schools. Since moving to Coffs Harbour to join the staff of Bishop Druitt College, she has completed 20 years as Head of Science there, specializing in teaching senior Biology. For 2016, Sue has taken leave from her position to pursue other interests, such as tutoring, running science programs for young children, working as an author and reviewer for a major textbook publisher and travel.
Many of her former students have continued on to University for study in science-related courses and are now qualified. The list includes physiotherapy, medicine, nursing, marine biology, environmental science, teaching, medical and genetics research.
She holds a first-class honours degree in Science (Zoology/Biochemistry) and a post-graduate Diploma of Education, both from the University of Adelaide. More recently she completed a Diploma of Management.
“I have found it very effective and satisfying to work with individual students in my role as a tutor. Within a short time, it becomes possible to understand the student’s needs and tailor my tuition to support them. After 15 years of teaching the current NSW Biology syllabus and 4 years of HSC marking, plus contributing as an author to Biology textbooks, I have mastered the content and am able to predict the areas where Biology students are most likely to need help. I am also effective in helping younger students discover and improve in the general science area.

Susan Budd -