Catherine Kirby, CEO and Director
Catherine is 2e and a parent of three 2e children. She is also A Fellow of the School of Social Entrepreneurs, has qualifications in Narrative Therapy, Teaching students with dyslexia and learning differences, and is an accredited Action Learning Coach – as well as having a background in business and project management.
Catherine is a social entrepreneur with a professional background in business management for the healthcare sector. She has a strong social conscience, having been involved in a variety of social innovations. Catherine has had 32 careers and held 250 jobs in eight countries. She knows first hand that being 2e ‘ain’t pretty or easy’, and has now found her passion helping others like her.
Anne Jackson, Co-Founder and Director of Education
Anne is a Founding Director of Kids Like Us Australia Limited, a teacher, counsellor, advocate and grandparent. She holds two Master’s degrees in Education (Gifted, and Special Education), as well as a Graduate Diploma in Counselling. Anne is now enrolled in the Doctoral program at The Bridges Graduate School of Cognitive Diversity in Education, Los Angeles.
- Certificate of Narrative Therapy 2014, Au
- Certificate of Competence in Educational Testing 2013, UK
- Enrolled EdD 2012 (discontinued), Au
- M.Ed. (Special Education) 2011, Au
- Diploma of Abnormal Psychology 2009, UK
- Certificate in the Teaching of Children with Dyslexia 2007, UK
- M.Ed. (gifted), 2006, Au
- Teacher Training Certificate in SPELD 2006, Au
- G.Dip. Counselling 2005, Au
- Professional Cert. Adolescent Counselling 2001, Au
- Grad. Cert. Education (Gifted) 2001, Au
- Grad. Dip. Education (Gifted) 1999, Au
- Diploma Youth Ministry 1994, Au
- Grad. Dip. Education (Literacy) 1990, Au
- Certificate of Education 1977, UK
- Australian Counselling Association
- Victorian Institute of Teachers
Lucie began teaching over 20 years ago. She is a secondary mathematics and science teacher who has post-graduate qualifications in computer education, as well as Masters qualifications in both Mathematics Education and Special and Inclusive Education.
She has also worked in the IT industry, firstly as a support officer and later as an IT trainer.
Lucie has experience both as a parent and an educator in the area of learning differences – working with both learning difficulties and gifted and talented. She understands the importance of support for all students both at school and at home. Lucie has taught students from prep to Year 12.
A registered primary school teacher with a passion for helping students with learning differences, Lisa helps students to believe in their own abilities by giving them access to a range of tools to solve reading, spelling, writing, research and maths problems.
Her day-to-day work as a CRT brings her into contact with many different children, a range of school cultures, programs and teaching methods, and helps to keep her informed of a wide range of experiences to which students are exposed.
Her two children have been diagnosed with learning differences, leading Lisa to pursue significant research and training beyond her teaching qualification. Having learned to understand various specialist reports, deciding between possible therapies and interventions, and dealing with the daily challenges faced due to these diagnoses, Lisa has a clear insight into issues faced by families in similar situations.
Lisa is fully qualified in the Write to Read language program (45 hours of training), which uses engaging, multisensory methods to explicitly teach children to understand the sound/code connection that underpins all literacy – reading, spelling and writing. She has also taken courses in dyslexia, twice-exceptional students, Easy Read and mathematics, combined with extensive reading investigation to gain a deeper understanding of how to make school skills more accessible for students.
She has been working with KLU as a teacher, funding hunter and volunteer since 2013.
Prior to becoming a teacher, Lisa used her qualifications in environmental management to care for local bushland and coastal areas, and educate the community about sustainability and the natural world. Science and the natural world are personal interests that she enjoys incorporating into her teaching.
In her personal life, Lisa enjoys creative pursuits and roller-skating, where she thoroughly enjoys both her training and coaching.
Her learning journey never stops, and she uses her creativity to combine knowledge and experience to solve teaching and learning challenges.
Dr. Cheryl Dobbs
Dr. Cheryl Dobbs is an Independent Education Consultant who specialises in the use of digital technologies to support literacy and learning. She has worked in a wide range of mainstream and specialist educational settings in Australia and the UK teaching children and adults with diverse learning needs. Cheryl combines the explicit teaching of literacy with the exploration and use of assistive/enabling technologies. She works directly with students, schools and their families as well as facilitating workshops and training.
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, Kasgar in western China, as well as Burma, 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.
Tanya is a qualified Primary Teacher who has experience teaching from ELC to Year 11. Since completing her Bachelor in Special Education, she has always been passionate about tapping into how individual children think and learn best.
Personal circumstances have led Tanya to research how nutrition can modify some health and behavioural issues. Also a qualified Personal Trainer and Physical Education Specialist, she’s naturally drawn to helping students that present with Developmental Coordination Disorder and how it specifically impacts their learning in different areas.
Immersing herself in the culture of different schools enables her to know the current Literacy and Mathematic standards and see ideal teaching practices which she adopts in engaging sessions suited to the child’s needs. She aims to establish positive relationships so that children in her care feel happy and thrive.
Jan has extensive experience teaching art-based subjects and adapting programs to students in a variety of circumstances and needs.
She began her teaching career working from diverse, recently-arrived migrant backgrounds in the western suburbs of Melbourne.
Taking a break from teaching to have children she became involved in the local community and school. During this time she ran a Community Care Group to support people in short-term need. Later, she was employed in a Community Development Organisation working as part of a team to develop and run Racism Awareness Workshops. These workshops were used by NGOs as preparation for people applying for positions to work overseas.
On returning to teaching she started working in Bayside. Her experience includes teaching general Art and Media Studies Y7-Y10, VCE Studio Art, Art, and Textiles.
Jan worked with students to express concepts and ideas in both visual and written form. She has developed an ability to assist students to see and trust in the potential of their creative expression and has also been able to assist students to see and trust in the potential of their creative expression and has also been able to assist students to adapt to the requirements of the education structure.
On a more personal level, she has been a student of meditation practice for many years and has an interest in exploring meditation practices for children.
Hamish is an Aerospace Engineering and Physics student with an interest in high velocity aerodynamics and the mechanics of orbital spaceflight, as well as particle physics. He teaches Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology, with a focus on building an extensive understanding of concepts and rational problem solving.
Wilma is our Swedish viking who has been living in Australia for 6 years. She speaks fluent Swedish, so if you want to learn Swedish she’s your go-to! Wilma loves helping others, and especially when it comes to realising their full potential. This has led her to discover her passion for teaching. She is a pre-service teacher currently studying a Bachelor of Primary and Secondary Education at Monash University. She is specialising in English and History. In her spare time, Wilma loves reading, swimming and being with her family.
Dylan’s ambition as an English and English Language tutor at KLU is to help pass on his weird and quirky methods for learning, and to provide an individualistic approach to each student depending on their needs. His unconventional approach to learning led him to graduate from Sandringham College in 2016 with an ATAR of 96.00 and raw study scores of 44 in English and 42 in English Language. After Year 12, Dylan’s passion for protecting the environment influenced his choice to study Geography and Politics at The University of Melbourne. Outside of the academic world, Dylan has an incessant love for basketball, and enjoys a range of other activities such as camping, fishing and video games.
Kit is another 2e kid who is currently an Engineering student at Monash University. He has always had a passion for helping others, which has led him to spending a lot of time at KLU (as a student, and now as a tutor). Kit has a special interest in Maths and Physics. In his spare time, Kit enjoys cycling and fencing.
Dr. Naomi Castelan
Dr. Naomi Castelan is a clinical psychologist with a passion for supporting kids to feel happy and confident. She has a special interest and expertise in working with kids who have complex needs. She also understands the importance of supporting families alongside the kids. Naomi counts many 2e people amongst her beloved family and friends. Naomi is also an avid environmentalist who is equally passionate about protecting our precious planet.
Skye’s background is as a psychologist working in the public mental health system helping people with chronic and acute mental illness, often coupled with drug and alcohol use. She found that people were able to achieve their best outcomes when their team worked together, not only with the client themselves, but with their family and support network. Skye chose to let her registration lapse in order to raise her daughters, and is now in the process of becoming re-registered.
Through having her girls, Skye has a passion for helping kids develop the skills they need to navigate the world. She has many family members and friends who are 2e.
Skye holds a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) from the University of Sydney.
Caitlin is currently studying a Bachelor of Counselling at Australian Catholic University. Since completing VCE in 2016, she has studied full-time at university as well as babysitting every other day for select local families. Caitlin finds delight in looking after newborn babies, toddlers and teens and has worked with children of all abilities; from those with physical and cognitive disabilities and disorders to children with severe food allergies. Every minute that she is not studying or looking after children, Caitlin loves nothing more than exploring new parks and beaches with her faithful Cavoodle Cooper.
Caitlin is passionate about learning about animal behaviour as well as positive and force-free dog training methods. In her down time, Caitlin is creative and enjoys painting, cross-stitching, jigsaw puzzles, colouring and baking.
After completing a Bachelor of Counselling, Caitlin plans to continue studying and undertaking a Masters of Occupational Therapy.
Rory was born on 16/01/14 in Queensland where he underwent extensive training to enable him to be a support dog to a child with Autism. This relationship ended and Rory looked for a new job. Kids Like Us was extremely fortunate that Smart Pups flew him down to us in May 2018 for a trial.
We passed, and since then Rory has appeared at work regularly, experienced much care and attention, sought out any food he possibly can, nudged people to encourage them to seek feel good opportunities, provided numerous hugs and offers to be tummy-rubbed, cared for tearful adults and students, and been an all-round good mate to anyone who needs that extra something.
Rory was paid for by Parkdale Bendigo Bank, and receives free health care from the Kingston Veterinary Hospital.
Kids Like Us has developed relationships with other professionals who understand twice-exceptional young people, and we’d like to share their details to assist families when making a decision on who else to talk to access support.
Many of these professionals provide services from Kids Like Us rooms in order to reduce anxiety for our students and then work closely with the KLU Team.
Counsellor, providing counselling for men, women and families, relationship counselling, post-trauma counselling and parent support.
MCouns, GradCert Narrative Therapy
233 Barkly St, St. Kilda &
24 Station St, Moorabbin
M: +61 488 284 023
Raise the Bar Psychology
Educational psychologists providing Educational Assessments designed to assist children, adolescents and adults in realising their academic, social and emotional potential.
Paediatric speech Therapist for children aged 0 to 18, specialising in language development, articulation development, social language development, developmental concerns and Autism Spectrum Disorders
Bayside Children’s Clinic
BSp-Path, MSPAA, CPSP
P: 1300 75 40 79
Occupational Therapist, specialising in Developmental Coordination Disorder or dyspraxia, developmental delay, Learning Difficulties, Attention Deficit Disorders, Sensory Processing Disorders and motor skill delays.
Hopscotch Occupational Therapy
Psychologist, working with individuals, couples and families
Post.Grad.Dip.Psych, Msc.Hlth.Sc., AHPRA registration & AAFT Clinical Member
M: +61 418 336 890
Ann Williams, Dyslexia and LD Parent Support Group Bayside
A support group for parents of young people living with dyslexia and learning difficulties. This group appears generally monthly at Kids Like Us as our Coffee, Cake & Chat mornings.
ADHD coaching, providing clarity and education on what ADHD is and how it shows up, as well as effective strategies tailored towards clients and their families.
Director and Lead Coach
B.E., B.Comm., Grad. Dip (SD), Member ICF
Our Board keeps a benevolent and watchful eye over everything we do at Kids Like Us, helping us to make the big decisions. This tireless team backs up everything that KLU does, and provides a great deal of support and insight into what makes us who we are.
Making up our Board are:
- Anne Jackson
- Melissa Wilkey
- Anthony Rendall
- Helen Mastos
- Jake Kirby
Working behind the scenes at Kids Like Us is a team of highly dedicated individuals who help to keep our day to day activities running. From HR to bookkeeping, our office team are contracted to ensure that Kids Like Us runs smoothly, and we’re greatly indebted to them.
Our Office Team are:
- Alison Gough – a hidden treasure and a key part of our office team
- Kim Annesley – looks after staff as our HR guru, advises on policies, rules and regulations.
Bookkeeping services provided by On Balance Solutions.
Kids Like Us wouldn’t be in the place it is without the generous help, time and attention we’ve received from volunteers over the years. These efforts made by these volunteers to help the twice-exceptional young people of our area have been heart-warming, and we’re very grateful to them all.