Our Team

Changing children’s lives one step at a time

Kerri Wilson

Director
MSpEd, BEd, BTeach(SpEd), E.T.

Kerri has met rigorous professional requirements in the academic area of special education to qualify as an educational therapist and is a member of the International Association of Educational Therapists. She has 28 years of experience working with children of all ages and is passionate about early intervention.
Kerri works with children with autistic spectrum disorders as well as a wide variety of learning differences. She has worked extensively internationally and in Australia.
Kerri delivers teacher and parent training in linguistic phonics and how to accommodate children with learning challenges in the classroom. She is the founder of Read Write Ready, offering parent training and custom-made resources for young children and children with additional needs.
She is also the mother of two beautiful teenage daughters.

Wendy Webb

Literacy Specialist Teacher
B Com, Grad Dip Ed

Wendy has worked in Brisbane as a classroom teacher and in Kununurra, Western Australia as a Literacy and Numeracy Support Teacher. Over the years she has found her passion for working with those who were struggling to learn. Wendy’s lessons are highly structured, yet child centred. She makes learning fun and her results are outstanding. Wendy stated working with Learning Ladders as a Literacy Support Teacher in 2019 as her desire is to help children to improve and become the best they can be.

Katrina Holliday

Literacy specialist teacher
BEd

Katrina has worked in education for 19 years after receiving a Bachelor of Education from Australian Catholic University, Brisbane in 2000. She has worked as a classroom teacher in various settings and has experience working with children of all ages and abilities. Katrina is a mum to 3 young boys, one of whom experiences literacy difficulties. After working with her own son and understanding the challenges children face in the classroom, she knew she wanted to help other struggling students and their families. Katrina is passionate about improving literacy outcomes and helping children overcome obstacles in order to improve their self-esteem and reach their full potential. She strongly believes children learn best when they feel happy, safe and valued.

Danielle Kissane

Literacy Specialist Teacher
BEd (Primary).

Danielle has worked in education for 8 years. She holds a Bachelor of Education from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) where she graduated with honours in 2009. Danielle has worked as a classroom teacher, with an interest in the early years of primary school. She is enthusiastic to work with children, supporting their individual needs and helping them to achieve confidence in literacy. Danielle is married with two young girls, so understands the importance of each child reaching their full potential. Her lessons are highly engaging and game-based to ensure that children have fun while learning.

Naomi Wehl

Literacy specialist teacher
BEd

Naomi is a passionate advocate of pre-literacy skills. She has worked as an Early Childhood teacher for 19 years, with a background in rural and remote Western Queensland schools. Throughout her career she has worked extensively in P-3 settings, with roles including Teacher, Acting Principal, Curriculum Advisor and Learning Support Teacher.
Her most recent position has been as Director and teacher of her local Kindergarten, in which she enjoyed promoting the value of high quality, all-inclusive learning environments for children prior to starting school.
Naomi has three children, all with very different learning needs. This led her to a passion and wealth of knowledge in teaching and learning for children with diverse learning needs, particularly Boys in Education and ASD. This year, Naomi has joined the Learning Ladders team as a literacy specialist, and looks forward to instilling a love of literacy and language in children.

Monique Mazzella

BEd

Monique has worked in education for twenty years, as a classroom teacher and a member of the senior executive team in Sydney before moving to Queensland. She holds a Bachelor of Education from the Australian Catholic University and has taught all ages of primary school students in whole class settings, as well as supporting students with learning difficulties in smaller groups. Monique’s lessons are structured to guide the learner to work independently, providing skills that can be transferred into the classroom.

Dawn Van Den Berg

Post Graduate Certificate in Education

Dawn has taught in various Education Environments over the last 15 years, from working with senior students in a college and training vocational teachers in the UK to working as a student advisor at Queensland University delivering transition workshops and now supporting young people in a school where all learners are on the Autistic Spectrum. Dawn moved to Queensland from the UK via Melbourne six years ago and while working in a Redlands High School she noticed the difficulties autistic students were having with reading and writing and developed her skills to better support them within her aide role. Dawn loves working with all ages, but particularly has a desire to support adults and the very young with learning needs to develop their literacy skills. Living with family members on the Autistic Spectrum has given her a great deal of compassion, patience and practice at helping both the young and adult students progress in their literacy skills journey.

Lara McDonald

BEd, BHuServ

Lara has been a classroom teacher since graduating in 2009 with a double degree in Education (primary) and Human Services (majoring in child and family studies). Lara’s passion for teaching according to developmental needs has directed her into special education. She firmly believes that positivity propels performance, and she gets great joy from seeing her students grow and reach their goals. As a mother of two children, Lara understands the need to provide child-friendly lessons: fun, engaging and providing the opportunity for growth.  

Nelia Hennessy

Literacy specialist teacher, OT
B.OccThy, BEd (PostGrad,Prim)

Nelia has a wide range of experience in several fields, having received a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy from University of Queensland in 1983, and a Bachelor of Education (PostGrad, Primary) from Australian Catholic University in 2003. During that time, she raised a family of 4, including a son, Sean, with Down Syndrome and other health issues. Nelia has volunteered and worked in the refugee sector, where her belief that access to education and the importance of literacy was further strengthened. She has worked in classrooms since 2003, combining OT skills with teaching to implement a sensorimotor program at two different schools. Nelia has been with Learning Ladders since 2015, developing literacy and language skills to a high level. Her son Sean has benefitted from the methods used, and is now able to read and spell – further proof that the Learning Ladders approach benefits all.

Liz Hunter

Literacy specialist teacher
BPrimEd, Diploma in Special Needs Education: Learning Difficulties

Liz has been involved in the education sphere since she graduated from Pretoria University, South Africa in 1999 where she received a Bachelor of Primary Education. She also holds a diploma in Special Needs Education: Learning Difficulties. Liz worked as a classroom teacher for 6 years with primary school children and was part of the Learning Support Team. She then left the teaching profession to be an at home mum for a few years to her two children. During this time Liz trained as an Assessor and worked on workplace assessment. She also owned an Educational Resource Company which focused on resources and games to help children learn in a fun and engaged way.
Liz returned to teaching and in conjunction with running her resource company, taught Early Years for the past 6 years. It is specifically during this time that Liz became even more aware of the need for intervention as early as possible. Helping children learn and to develop holistically to their full potential is her passion. She believes that he sooner we can help young children to overcome any difficulties the better.

Caroline Zunic

Literacy and early years specialist teacher.

Caroline has worked with young children and families for over 30 years. She holds an Associate Diploma in Child Care and a Bachelor of Teaching from QUT. She worked for a number of years as a teacher and Director of a childcare centre and as a contract Early Years teacher. Caroline has also co-ordinated many Playgroup Queensland affiliated Playgroups since 1989.
Caroline has a passion to see all children succeed and reach their full potential, and to work together with families to enhance their children’s learning. Caroline is a wife and mother to two lovely young men.

Rebecca Hinchen

Tutor, therapist assistant

Bec’s passion and natural talent is engaging with children to find that special little something that unlocks their ability to learn. Bec started working with young children over 25 years ago when she completed her first certification with a Diploma in Child Care and while home with her children, completed certification to become a Teacher Aide. Bec’s focus is on early interventions for children and she has a natural ability to connect with children who are disengaged. She has worked with children on the Autistic spectrum and reading difficulties for over 6 years and more recently, children with Down Syndrome.
Bec connects with children on an individual level and her lessons are highly engaging, motivating and individually planned. She has a genuine love for her work and students. Bec is passionate about early childhood and early interventions. Her goal is to build relationships with children who struggle and build connections so each child can reach their full potential.
Bec cherishes her family time and is a proud mum of three beautiful children and is extremely excited to be expecting her first grandchild in 2020.

Gaylyn Smith

Therapy support assistant

Gaylyn feels it is a privilege to be working with children, to help them grow and reach their full potential.
For the past 10 years Gaylyn worked at Aspect South East Sydney school (school for children with Autism) as a Teacher’s Aide, before relocating to Brisbane to live.
Gaylyn has a background in art and is a qualified Graphic Designer / Fine Artist. She is passionate about mixing art into children’s learning experiences.

Kelly Gillin

Allied Health Assistant

Kelly is a qualified Allied Health Assistant in who has a passion for speech, literacy, physio and occupational therapy. Kelly believes early education to be vital. She has both professional and personal experience working with children of varying abilities and is very familiar with the importance of early intervention and support to build the basis of children’s learning. Kelly is passionate about helping every child reach their full potential and continues to expand her horizons and learn new skills; she is currently learning Auslan sign language.

Donna Fitzgerald

Tutor

Donna’s major passion is working with and being around children. She expects and provides the best for every child with whom she works.
Donna’s career spans twenty years in both school and one-on-one settings. She has supported children with a variety of specific learning needs such as learning disabilities, social & emotional needs, speech and language delays and autistic spectrum disorders. She finds it incredibly rewarding to watch small goals being achieved and observing the confidence grow in children.

Abbey Ratz

Abbey is a fourth-year student studying a Bachelor of Speech Pathology (Honours) at The University of Queensland. She has a strong interest in working with children who have learning difficulties, and is passionate about building literacy, language and phonological awareness skills. Working for Learning Ladders has inspired Abbey to want to work with children after she finishes her final year at The University of Queensland, and she holds her experience working in this population in high regard.

Caitlin Hill

Caitlin is currently studying a Bachelor of Speech Pathology (Hons) at The University of Queensland. Caitlin has a passion for working with children on the Autism Spectrum and is particularly interested in phonological awareness and literacy.

Meg MacKenzie

Meg is in her final year of studying a Bachelor of Speech Pathology (Hons) at the University of Queensland. Meg has a passion for working with children of all ages and abilities with a focus on speech, language and literacy. She has a particular interest in the management and treatment of children’s intellectual and behavioural disorders.

Alice Wilson

Administration, maths tutor

Alice is currently studying a maths and science double at the University of Queensland.

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