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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 and parent. She holds two Master’s degrees in Education (Gifted, and Special Education), as well as a Graduate Diploma in Counselling. Anne has found her way to working with twice-exceptional children through her own personal and professional story. As a mother of a “gifted-but-not-happy” son, Anne started on a journey to discover how to support him and on the way discovered that she had not been an ‘average C student who should have worked harder’, but had been an incredibly bright child with a severe learning difficulty.


       • PACFA Supervision training, 2014, Au
       • M.Ed. (gifted), 2006, Au
       • M.Ed. (Special Education) 2011, Au
       • G.Dip. Counselling 2005, Au

       • Certificate of Narrative Therapy 2014, Au

       • Enrolled EdD 2012 (discontinued), US
       • Certificate of Competence in Educational Testing 2013, UK
       • Diploma of Abnormal Psychology 2009, UK
       • Certificate in the Teaching of Children with Dyslexia 2007, UK
       • Teacher Training Certificate in SPELD 2006, 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

Professional Memberships:
       • Australian Counselling Association
       • Victorian Institute of Teachers

Sarah Ashcroft (3)

Sarah Ashcroft

Sarah worked in education for over eighteen years in the UK, including time spent 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 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. The Hub provides a safe and secure learning environment for each child and she contributes to this environment with a range of strategies and fun activities designed to extend children’s learning.

Lucie Smith

Lucie Smith

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.

Lisa Gilchrist

Lisa Gilchrist

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, school cultures, programs and teaching methods, and helps to keep her ‘in the loop’ when it comes to the experiences that students are exposed to.

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), using 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.

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.

John Broadbent

John Broadbent

John is our Tech Tutor. Blessed with an abundance of patience, enthusiasm and a boyish desire for fun, he encourages creativity and exploration and brings a real sense of wonder and awe to learning.
John has been closely associated with the Gifted Support Network for over 10 years and runs the highly popular GSN “Minecraft madness” days each term. He runs the Coding Club at Kids Like Us every second Sunday during Term time.

Alan Wilkes

Alan Wilkes

Alan Wilkes is a chemical engineer by training who spent 15 years working in the petrochemical industry. After completing a Masters of Business Administration, he became a successful entrepreneur and business owner.

Now, Alan has turned his considerable skills to teaching, and is a passionate teacher of mathematics and sciences who loves the challenges that working at Kids Like Us brings. His enthusiasm for the mathematics and scientific fields is infectious, and his students genuinely enjoy the time they spend together – a great achievement for a maths and science teacher!

He loves working with students at all levels, and has significant experience in tailoring a program to match the differing needs of students in all years of secondary mathematics and science.

Alan is currently completing his Masters of Teaching.

Caitilin Jones

Caitilin Jones

Caitilin is a parent of two lovable and cheeky children on either side of the bell curve: one is gifted and the other is on the Autism Spectrum. She has worked as a chef and a lawyer, but finally decided to pursue her dream of teaching and the desire to engage in meaningful work.

Caitilin’s strengths are in communication and organisational skills (as well as in planning and writing those damn essays!). She is passionate about teaching and working with young people to build their self-esteem, to master literacy skills and foster life skills. Her qualifications are a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours) and a Masters of Teaching.

Naomi Castelan (staff page)

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.


Kate Jacobs

Dr Kate Jacobs completed a combined PhD/Masters in Educational and Developmental Psychology at Monash University, and is now lecturing there, teaching the Graduate Diploma of Professional Psychology, the Masters of Professional Psychology, and the Masters of Educational and Developmental Psychology. In each of these, Kate’s primary teaching responsibility is in psychological assessment, though her main interest is in performing psycho-educational assessments to understand why a student is experiencing learning difficulties, with the goal of providing individualised and targeted support.

Kate also conducts research in the area of learning difficulties, and in 2013 was awarded the Mollie Holman Doctoral Medal for the best PhD thesis for the year in the Education Faculty at Monash University.

In addition to her role at Monash University, Kate is the director and principal psychologist at Raise the Bar Psychology which specialises in educational assessments and interventions.

Kate’s approach to psycho-educational assessment is grounded firmly in the Cattell-Horn-Carroll Theory of Cognitive Abilities, which views intellectual ability as multi-dimensional rather than unitary – meaning that individuals display unique profiles of cognitive strengths and weaknesses which cannot be summed up in a single score (i.e., IQ score). It is through understanding and appreciating a student’s unique learning profile that effective and targeted intervention and support can be provided.

Kate is a member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS), the College of Educational and Developmental Psychologists, and is a committee member of the APS Psychologists in Schools Interest Group.

Kate has joined the Kids Like Us team to offer support and assessments to the young people accessing KLU’s services.

Kim Billington

Kim Billington

Counselling; B. Ed; Grad Cert Narrative therapy – Jan 2015

Kim’s career journey has led her through special education, general classroom teaching and parenting three children, and she now works as a counsellor with children and adults in Community Health, privately and as a telephone counsellor with Veteran’s Line and Mensline. She has been aTuning Into Kids facilitator since 2009, and enjoys group work where wisdom is shared by all.

The problems that Kim works with might be family stresses, grief and loss, fear of failure, anger, bullying and traumas from childhood, often seen through lack of motivation, anxiety and sadness. A major part of her work centres around helping people become aware of the broader landscape of their problems, and how they have managed them so far. She practices a variety of techniques such as Mindfulness, CBT and Narrative Therapy – with a particular interest in Storytelling Therapy, which allows the individual to see that for any journey of worth, the hero needs to encounter darkness, conquer fear, find helpers and draw on strengths.

In providing parent counselling, Kim offers an opportunity for parents to reflect on their own childhood current values and hopes, which can then shift an entrenched problem.



Our Board keep 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:

       • Catherine Kirby

       • Anne Jackson

       • Mark Northeast

       • Melissa Wilkie

       • Anthony Rendall

       • Jake Kirby


Office Team

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:

       • Clare Lehane – keeper of books, a numbers expert

       • Kristina Bouyer – another financial friend and a huge help behind-the-scenes

       • 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.

       • Nathalie Moore – KLU’s resident free spirit, a huge believer in the power of art

       • Alex Ashcroft – our friendly neighbourhood wordsmith



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.