Our Educators

Our Educators

Gina Courtney – Director and 4 Year Old Kindergarten Teacher


I was thrilled to begin my association with Elonera Preschool in 2009. Throughout this time it has been a privilege to be a member of this wonderful community and I look forward to sharing may more. I believe that the kinder years are like no other. During their time at kinder the children are able to explore, investigate, discover and challenge themselves in an environment that is safe, secure, inviting and nurturing. Children require the opportunity to explore a wide range of meaningful, learning experiences, both indoors and outdoors. Areas for the children to play in large groups, small groups or areas of solitude are important for children’s development.

Active involvement in learning builds children understanding of concepts, creative thinking and inquiry processes necessary for lifelong learning. They are able to challenge and extend their own thinking through meaningful interaction and negotiation. Children’s active involvement changes what they know, can do and value, and transforms their learning. To have the opportunity to play builds on children’s strengths and interests and develops a positive disposition towards learning.

To be given the opportunity to observe children grow and develop into unique individuals is a wonderful experience.

Graduate Diploma of Education (Early Childhood) 2006

Bachelor of Teaching (Primary) 2003

Bachelor of Arts (Criminology, History) 2001

Ellie Joyce – 4 Year Old Kindergarten Teacher


I was lucky to begin my practical teaching journey with the children in Koala group and Elonera Preschool in 2017. Prior to completing my teaching degree I completed my Bachelor of Applied Sciences (psychology) and following this I had a year completing volunteer work at several kindergartens. From there I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in Early Childhood and went onto complete my Master of Teaching (Early Childhood). Having completed two degrees I realise the passion that I have for teaching and working with children. I love the curiosity, creativity and confidence that children have and hope to foster these and many other qualities through my teaching. Growing up in a small coastal town I love the community environment that we have at Elonera Kindergarten and it is a privilege to be a part of it, working together to support children’s learning and development.

Kaitlyn Wallace – 3 Year Old Kindergarten Teacher


I became a part of the Elonera Preschool Community in 2017 as the three-year old teacher. I am especially passionate about early years learning, as I love harnessing children’s natural curiosity and enthusiasm for learning.

I believe it is my responsibility as an educator to equip students with skills and strategies to explore the world around them, encouraging them to become life-long learners. In early childhood, this involves developing the “whole” child. From social and emotional development, to fine and gross motor skills, to exploring areas of interest or experience in the children’s lives it what makes the early years so crucially important and unique.

I have previously worked as a kindergarten teacher in a childcare setting, as well as teaching piano and swimming for many years. I love sharing my passion for music and movement with the children.

Developing relationships with children and playing such a role in their lives is such a rewarding experience that keeps my passion for this role alive.

Bachelor of Early Childhood Education (2014)

Joanna Holland – 3yo & 4yo Co-Educator


I first started working at Elonera in 2005 and held a number of different roles until I left in 2011. After a couple of years away working in childcare with babies and toddlers I am excited to be returning to the kindergarten.

I have a Bachelor of Education and Diploma of Teaching (from Waikato University, NZ) and Certificate III in Children’s Services.

It is a privilege to play a part in this stage of your child’s development and very rewarding to watch them learn and grow throughout the year.

Bachelor of Education and Diploma of Teaching (from Waikato University, NZ)

Certificate III in Children’s Services.

Lynne Tyssen – 3yo & 4yo Co-Educator


After several years relieving at Elonera preschool, both in the teacher and assistant roles, as well as a short term stint as additional assistant with the three year olds, I am delighted to now join Elonera Preschool as three year old assistant in 2012.

I have a Graduate Diploma of Education (Primary) and have worked in the field of education and childcare for the last 15 years. This has included working with children from 6 months to 12 years in several local preschools, schools, childcare centres and family day care. I also spent several years volunteering in an integration/camping program for children.

I have a passion for working in the Early Childhood area, and enjoy supporting the children as they begin to develop their independence and social skills.

Graduate Diploma of Education (Primary)

Bachelor of Business (Office Administration)