... the KLU Team
Founder, Director and CEO
Catherine has 36 years of experience in 2e Education, spanning four countries and a combination of private, international and state school environments.
She is a Founder of Tombolo Academy, Australia's first school for twice-exceptional children, and Director of Kids Like Us, a Not-for-Profit organisation that has supported 1000 twice-exceptional children and their families since 2012.
As a social entrepreneur, business consultant and CEO in the health and Not for Profit fields, Catherine has a well-established reputation for creating for-purpose entities in Australia and globally. Catherine has also worked in Governance roles as a Non-executive Director for the NHS, Oxford, UK and is a founder of KERAB International, Bahamas.
Catherine has qualifications in Narrative Therapy, Teaching students with dyslexia and learning differences, and is an accredited Action Learning Coach. She is also a Fellow of the School of Social Entrepreneurs, with a background in business and project management.
Catherine is twice-exceptional herself and a parent of three 2e children. She knows first-hand that being 2e ‘ain’t pretty or easy’ and has now found her passion for helping others like her.
In her spare time, Catherine enjoys the theatre and can be found supporting the wardrobe and costume team at the Australian Opera and other productions at the Arts Centre, Melbourne, or supporting the community through the SES.
Co-Founder & Director of Education
Anne has dedicated her life to teaching and supporting gifted and twice-exceptional young people. Her passion and deep understanding of twice-exceptionality motivated her to open Australia's first school dedicated to educating twice-exceptional students.
Over the last 30 years, she has completed 17 qualifications in education and counselling, including two Master's degrees in Education (Gifted and Special Education), and is enrolled in a Doctorate of Cognitive Neurodiversity (Ed.D).
Throughout her career, Anne has taught in schools, run social-emotional programs, and delivered programs for gifted students in Victoria through her companies Different Ways and Mindful.
In 2012 Anne consolidated her experience through co-founding Kids Like Us, which provides a dedicated learning and counselling service to twice-exceptional young people.
Anne has been invited to present papers at conferences and deliver professional development across Australia on the education and support of twice-exceptional children, including the delivery of a three-year training program to the Department of Education (NT).
On returning from presenting at the inaugural Twice-Exceptional Symposium hosted by Bridges Academy, USA, Anne started the four-year journey to opening Tombolo Academy, Australia’s first school for 2e children.
Anne enjoys the opportunity to combine study and international travel including Mumbai, USA, UK. Anne enjoys spending time with her grandchildren both in Australia and overseas.
Anne now works part-time as Director of Well-being and Education at Kids Like Us alongside her Doctorate studies. Anne is also the very proud Granny of 6 grandchildren.
Dr Naomi Castelan
Naomi is enthusiastic about working with neurodiverse children and their families to make real changes in their day to day lives. Naomi uses a range of approaches from the rich offerings of psychology paired with a strong focus on empathy. Naomi is interested in supporting young people and their families living with PDA and is a recommended professional by PDA Australia and New Zealand.
Naomi’s role at KLU is as a Clinical psychologist, and she works with all age groups of KLU clients. Her favourite thing about working at KLU is the passion of the staff.
Naomi has many personal passions, including social justice and environmentalism.
Qualifications are BA, BSc(Hons), DPsych in Clinical Psychology.
Laura is a registered mental health nurse and has previously worked at an Adolescent inpatient unit in Melbourne.
At KLU Laura works as a youth worker and counsellor with a particular focus on neuro-diverse adolescent girls' programs and individual counselling working with young people on early intervention therapy. Laura’s recent experience includes working as a youth access team clinician at Headspace in Sydney.
In her spare time, Laura volunteers with St. John Ambulance and Lord Somers Camp and Powerhouse. She also enjoys doing circus classes and cheerleading style dancing.
Jim studied Psychology at the University of Melbourne graduating in 2017. He then began working within the Department of Health and Human Services for 2 years as a Child Protection Practitioner where he developed a passion for supporting vulnerable children and families. Pursuing this passion further, he then spent 9 months working at a special school as a Family Support Worker before joining the team here at Kids Like Us.
Jim leads many of our social-emotional programs including EPIC, BOOM and Konnect programs as well as one on one sessions as a mentor and counsellor. As a member of the well-being team, Jim collaborates with other staff to define, deliver and report on the outcomes that are achieved by young people through their attendance at a range of KLU programs.
Jim has a great passion for music and performing and has spent most of my life learning and performing with different instruments including piano, drums, singing and guitar. His future ambition is to combine all of my passions to go back to study a Master in Music Therapy, where I hope to continue my work with vulnerable children and their families through music.
Cait has completed a Bachelor of Counselling at ACU and is a member of the Australian Counselling Association.
Cait is a counselling intern at KLU and has the delight of working closely with students one-on-one during counselling sessions, and Konnect sessions, and social emotional groups as well as being a part of the Epic program.
Cait’s personal passions include all kinds of crafts such as sewing, quilting, and painting. Cait loves doing these crafts and activities during her rare moments of “downtime”. Cait’s dog Cooper is a big part of her life and has sparked an interest in positive dog training methods and animal behaviour.
Cait’s favourite thing about KLU is the positive, accepting, and understanding nature of all the staff and students. She also loves to give Rory a cuddle when she comes in!
Rory is an 8-year-old, qualified and trained therapy dog. He is black with bits of brown and as a typical Labrador, he LOVES food.
He started his career working with a little boy in Queensland before he was brought on a plane to meet the KLU people. He loves his job at KLU and gets very bored when Anne leaves him at home.
Due to his intensive training, Rory can sense if people are feeling sad. When they are, he will try and comfort them. He will hug them, do his tricks to make them smile or even lie down on their feet if he thinks they need him. At KLU, he works with all young people and staff.
Rory’s favourite thing about working at KLU is that he gets to meet lots and lots of people. He can show some people that all dogs are not frightening.
His biggest passions include food and tummy rubs, and he would work at KLU every day if his owner would bring him!
Rory was funded through a grant from Parkdale Bendigo Bank and receives free health care from the Kingston Veterinary Hospital.
VIT teacher with special interest in wellbeing, respectful relationships
Aimy has worked in a wide range of educational environments over the last eight years. Aimy is currently on a sabatical as she is working on a program with the DET. However, her role at Kids Like Us, was the lead teacher for the EPIC program supporting primary aged students who attend the day program.
Aimy loves working with young people who have experienced difficulties in mainstream school education. She is driven by a focus on trauma-informed practice, working in environments requiring flexible delivery. Aimy also teaches at Deakin University, teaching pre-service teachers focusing on Inclusive Education, and is a passionate art teacher who loves to learn about anything and is wildly curious.
Aimy’s qualifications include Masters of Education (commenced); Graduate Diploma, Adolescent Health and Wellbeing; Masters of Teaching (Secondary/Applied Learning); Bachelor of Interactive Media (Graphic Design/Animation).
Aimy’s personal passions include cheese, dogs, netball, the Gym, reality tv, art, and travelling.
Aimy’s favourite thing about working at KLU is getting to know each young person and the unique interests they have. She loves the fun and creative things we get to do in our sessions!
VIT teacher, specialising in senior secondary literacy and English
Lesley began teaching from the ground up. A few months of kindergarten stimulated her to enter Primary Teachers’ College, after which she taught Grade 1, and the following year Grade 4/5 composite. She was also the Principal on Wednesdays.
Following this, she left teaching to explore the world and held many different jobs.
When she returned to teaching while completing a degree at Monash, she realised her love for teaching older students.
She loves to find the ‘key’ that unlocks a student’s full potential and works to build understanding and trust with her students through their often-difficult teenage years.
Lesley’s travels overseas have enriched her knowledge and enabled her to use many experiences as anecdotes to help students’ understanding. She has taken classes in the wilds of northern Canada, Kashgar in western China, as well as Myanmar, Vietnam, and Cambodia – and not forgetting a village school in the depths of the Amazon.
Many ex-students will recognise her name as teaching VCE Outdoor and Environmental Studies, Geography, English and Agriculture and Horticulture Studies at Sandringham College – VCE Campus.
VIT teacher, specialising in studio art and design
Jan’s qualifications are Bachelor of Education Secondary Art & Craft; Post Grad Diploma of Media Studies; Major in Printmaking & Drawing Melbourne State College; Certificate IV TAE 40110; Certificate IV TAA 40104; Certificate IV BSZ 40198; Workplace Assessment and Training AIE.
Jan began her teaching career working with students from diverse migrant backgrounds in the western suburbs of Melbourne. She became involved in the local community, where she ran a Community Care Group. Later, she was employed in a Community Development Organisation, working as part of a team to develop, and run Racism Awareness Workshops.
Her experience includes teaching general Art and Media Studies Y7-Y10, VCE Studio Art, Art, and Textiles. Jan works with students to express concepts and ideas in both visual and written form. Jan has developed an ability to assist students to see and trust in the potential of their creative expression. She has also been able to assist students to adapt to the requirements of the education structure.
Jan’s personal passions include being a student of meditation practice and has an interest in exploring meditation practices for children. Jan also enjoys all forms of visual art, dance and music. At KLU Jan runs an art program for students as individuals, and with small groups, encouraging the use of visuals arts as a form of communication and self-expression. Jan also tutors VCE visual arts. At KLU, Jan works with students aged 7-15 as well as VCE students.
Jan’s favourite thing about working at KLU is the friendly atmosphere which fosters a relaxed and supportive learning environment in which to work.
Dave Stinchcombe Miller
VIT teacher, specialising in mathematics and numeracy
Dave is currently on leave from KLU.
Dave trained initially as an Industrial Mathematician at Southampton University. He worked there on a research project for a number of years. After leaving Southampton, he worked as a musician, which is how he met his Australian wife.
After retraining as a teacher, he has worked as a tutor, in schools, and initial teacher education, both in England and in Victoria.
Dave enjoys working at KLU with students and families, who, by the act of engaging with KLU, have shown that they believe they can grow and develop.
Dave has an interest in curriculum development and alternative ways of developing mathematical concepts. He hopes to be able to share this with students who enjoy thinking in different ways.
Family life fills most of Dave's personal time. Taking part in the general mayhem of six-year-old life is my great passion.
Nearly ten years ago, Dave learnt to draw to prove to his students that he could learn a new skill. His drawings were laughably bad; however, he has continued to learn about art, which is surprisingly scientific and mathematical.
Dave is interested in the role the visual arts can play in motivating both rational and moral thought and helping the development of aesthetic sensibilities. In 2019, he ran a public art project on the pavements of St. Kilda, sponsored by the city of Port Phillip.
Wilma is currently in the fourth year at Monash University, studying a Bachelor of Education (Honours) in Primary and Secondary Education with VIT PTT.
Wilma was born in Sweden and moved to Australia when she was 14 years old. Wilma is bilingual, Swedish is her first language, and English is her second. Wilma is passionate about learning, especially in a way that makes sense for the individual. This passion has led her to study teaching, and she brings this passion to her students and the classroom. Wilma loves helping students realise their true potential and watching them thrive.
Wilma has many personal passions, including reading! She is an avid reader and has been ever since she was little. The only thing better than getting lost in a good book is another book.
At Kids Like Us, Wilma is a tutor and organiser of various social groups. She tutors a range of subjects depending on the needs of the students; however, her passion lies with teaching English and the humanities.
Wilma currently works with students aged between 7-18 years.
Wilma’s top three favourite things about working at KLU would be the students, her co-workers and the fact that she is constantly learning by working at KLU.
Higher Level Teaching Assistant
Sarah has a wealth of experience in the UK and Australia as a Higher Level Teaching Assistant with a wide range of children of diverse age, abilities and needs in mainstream school. Experienced in working with students 1:1, in small groups and in full class settings; she has plenty of experience supporting and challenging children to fulfil their potential.
Throughout her career, she has been a constant pursuer of professional development to gain new knowledge and strategies to support children with additional needs, differentiating work to suit the individual child. As a parent of two adult children with additional needs, Sarah sees the uniqueness of each child and is proactive in encouraging each child to become involved in their own development.
Whilst working with Kids Like Us, she particularly enjoys working with the children to enthuse them, enabling them to develop and extend their skills.
Kit is an alumnus and one of the founder’s Kids Like Us. He is both a tutor and a Board member. Kit is currently studying an accelerated Masters of Engineering at Monash University.
Kit is a 2000’s baby and twice-exceptional. Kit is passionate about sustainability and creating a better world and is a research and design member of the Monash University Human Power Team.
Kit’s personal passions include cycling, fencing and being outdoors.
Kits role at KLU is as a maths and science tutor at KLU and supporting social-emotional groups and Konnect. In his role as a 1:1 tutoring, Kit mostly works with high school students.
Kits favourite thing about working at KLU is seeing people grow and change, particularly as he can often relate to where they came from.
Lalli is an original co-founder of Kids Like Us, along with her two older brothers. In this role she has operated in different capacities as a Board Member, working in the homework club, holiday programs and tutoring young students.
Lalli is studying a double degree of science and global studies at Monash University where she hopes to continue her passion for working in the complex social and environmental system.
Lalli is committed to continuing her work with Kids Like Us to help the organisation grow and strive to deliver the vision. As a 2e student herself with ADHD, she enjoys getting to know all the students and helping them achieve their goals.
Lalli is interested in any adventures, throughout high school she participated in many extracurricular activities and events. She enjoys being active and playing sports specifically soccer, skiing and hiking (especially if she gets to bring her dog Nellie). She also plays music, learning a wide range of instruments over the years including guitar, bass, tenor saxophone, harp and voice. Another of Lalli’s hobbies is theatre design, she regularly designed costumes for Sandringham Colleges productions and now works as a tech for CLOC theatre.
Isobel is currently studying a Master of Teaching (Primary) at La Trobe University after completing a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics and Ancient World Studies at the University of Melbourne. After finishing her undergraduate degree, she came to the realisation that her love for languages, history and learning would translate well in the field of education – and thus started her journey in helping others in the classroom. She specialises in tutoring literacy and English Language to both primary and secondary students.
Isobel enjoys working as part of the Kids Like Us team as it provides an opportunity to engage with students and to help empower and show what they are capable of and can achieve. Moreover, the support network of the other teachers and peers is something that Isobel hopes will further improve her teaching skills for the future.
One passion from Isobel’s assortment of hobbies is film photography. Whether it's a manual or point-and-shoot camera, black and white or colour film, aperture or shutter speed - she enjoys all aspects. She also enjoys reading, Britpop music, fitness and plant-based cooking.
Jess is highly creative and is currently studying a Fine Arts Degree at RMIT with a plan of a Masters of Arts therapy in 2022. Jess enjoys art, English and pop culture.
At KLU Jess is a support worker providing 1:1 support both at KLU and in the community. Jess is also a tutor in the areas of creative writing and art. As a dyslexic person herself who knows the challenges of the education system first hand Jess connects particularly well with our sensitive and creative young people who experience anxiety and benefit from a mentor.
Jess is also a fencing Coach at the Monash University fencing club and often offers her expertise to the KLU Kamp programs. Jess also enjoys
Eloise is studying biomedicine and materials engineering at Monash University. She is passionate about STEM subjects and how they can change the world and particularly encouraging female students to become involved in STEM subjects.
At KLU Eloise is a tutor, working with students in Maths and Science subjects, as well as leading the Konnect and holiday programs.
Eloise's personal passions include cooking gluten-free food, especially baking, reading and travelling.
Her favourite thing about working at KLU is working with awesome people (both colleagues and students) and being able to help others.
Dylan studied geography and politics at The University of Melbourne and is currently working towards a career as a Park Ranger. He is not one of these people who has had their life worked out since they were born but is exploring his life’s options through just following what he loves doing – helping people, having fun, appreciating the little things in everyday life.
Dylan’s personal passions include camping, fishing, music, basketball, AFL, video games.
Dylan’s role at KLU is as an English and English Language tutor, and assisting in a range of social-emotional groups as well as the Konnect program. In particular, Dylan has a real connection with the primary and early secondary boys. At KLU Dylan works 1:1 with high school students – including VCE.
Dylan’s favourite thing about working at KLU is seeing student’s eyes light up when they grasp a concept as well as when they leave the session feeling more confident, motivated and less stressed than when they came in.
Sara is currently studying Bachelor of Fine Arts Production at the Victorian College of Arts (The University of Melbourne). Sara has coached teams at Hampton Junior Soccer Club and has seen how kids seem to connect with her. She enjoys helping out and being active with students and watching them achieve their outcomes.
At Kids Like Us, Sara is working with students in the Konnect afterschool and holiday programs. Sara brings her sense of fun and understanding to all of the students she works with and connects with students at their level.
... the KLU Board
The KLU Board comprises professional individuals who come together to provide governance and strategic direction to the organisation. All of the Board members have a connection with the vision and purpose of Kids Like Us. This provides valuable insight and understanding of the challenges that face the delivery of the organisation's social purpose and the governance and financial management of a not for profit.