Our Team

Working with us

Joining Coombs Early Learning will give you options for your career in early education. We are a growing organisation with many opportunities available.

To apply you must:

  • be an exemplary role-model in early childhood practices,
  • have a love of learning in your own professional life,
  • have an outstanding commitment to contemporary early childhood pedagogy, and;
  • excellent understanding and commitment to implementing practice around the EYLF.

Enquire about working with us by sending your resume to manager@coombselc.com.au

Fiona O'Donnell

Approved Provider

I consider myself so fortunate to have found a career in early childhood that has continued to give me so much joy for the past 30 years.  I am an advocate for children, and their ‘rights’ are at the Core of all decisions in our business.  Advocacy for children has taken me to Uganda working with Child Soldiers – who never had the opportunity to be children.  I am also an active researcher of children and have presented research internationally.  My research focus is on improving well-being of children through teaching gratitude, empathy and kindness.


Amie Arthur

Centre Manager

I am proud to be able to work with children and to support all the loving people who provide guidance and care to our Children. It is my personal philosophy to support others to be the best they can be and to provide our children with opportunities to thrive throughout their life. I am committed to advocating for the right and wellbeing of all children with their vision that children have a voice in the decisions that affect their future. 

I am a mum of 2 boys who have been attending Coombs ELC since opening in 2018 and have build many wonderful relationships with Educators and Families over the time. I bring 20 years of experience in the Education and Care sector and have many years leading quality teams to enhance the care and education of children across NSW and ACT. 

As a Centre Manager I hope to continue fostering the wonderful opportunities our children are currently experiencing and exploring, and I am passionate about working with you all to provide high quality care to our community. 

 


Barbara Chambers

Centre Chef

I have been living in Canberra for the past 2 years. I enjoy the Canberra lifestyle and exploring the city and its surrounds, there is so much to do…walks around the Lakes, the Arboretum and green spaces, markets to explore, galleries (my favourite is the Portrait Gallery), theatre, drives in the country, shopping, trying new restaurants & cafes.

I grew up on a farm in New Zealand. I have lived in Sydney where I worked as Dietitian-Nutritionist.  In 2000 my family moved to Berry for a ‘sea-change’ and I followed my dream to own a café which I successfully operated for 8 years. After selling my business I began working in Child Care as a chef which has lead me on my journey to Coombs Early Learning. 

I enjoy cooking and all things food; eating out, drinking coffee, entertaining, reading recipe books, trying new products, recipes and ideas, growing my own fruit & vegetables. When I’m not thinking about food I spend time with friends, my two daughters, grandson and their fur babies Mendel and Scruffy. I try to keep fit, enjoy yoga, reading, watching movies, knitting, doing crosswords, suduko and puzzles.

I am very grateful to be working at Coombs Early Learning with a wonderful team of staff and all the beautiful friendly smiling children and their families who often pop by the kitchen to say hello. I hope to pass on my love of good food, cooking and importance of healthy eating and lifestyle to our kids. This is practical nutrition.

 


Kristine Joy Villas

Tiny Toddler Lead Educator - Diploma Qualified

Hello Families, I’m Kristine Villas, from the Philippines. My family and I came in Australia 3 years ago and straight away I felt so in love working in childcare because of my son. I wanted to learn more about how my child developed his skills holistically. So, I started studying the Certificate III in early childhood education and care in 2015 and I continued on to Diploma in Early childhood in 2016.

I first worked as a casual educator with Randstad and saw different perspectives in services that helped me to grow as a educator. As a childcare educator you can feel the love and nurture coming from everyone which  helps me to feel a sense of belonging in Australia. As an educators I do not feel i am at work  as it is a place that makes me feel happy, loved and belong.

I am very excited to meet you and your children to spread my passions that I have in working in this sector.


Valentina Troni

Nursery Group Leader - Diploma

Hello everyone! My name is Valentina Troni I am from Italy, however I was born in China and have lived in 7 different countries. I can speak Italian, French and Spanish and look forward to teaching your children. 

I have been living in Canberra for the last 3 years and have completed my Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care last December. I am a mother of 2 and chose to work in this sector as I believe that children should be treated with respect and cared for in the best possible way to make their childhood a positive experience. I look forward ti building a close bond with all families and children at the service. 

 


Erin Carroll

Tiny Toddlers Assistant Educator  - Diploma Qualified

My name is Erin and I am an assistant educator in the Tiny Tots room. I was born in Hobart but grew up on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria before moving to Canberra in December 2016.

I completed my Diploma of Children’s Services in 2013 and have been working in childcare since I moved to Canberra.

I’m very passionate about spending one on one time with the children in my care and building trusting relationships. I want children to feel safe and supported and to know that I care about them as well as their interests and wellbeing.

In my spare time I enjoy bike riding around Lake Burley Griffin, doing Escape Rooms with my partner Tim and doing jigsaw puzzles. I also enjoy contributing to my community as a member of the Brindabella Rotaract Club. I don’t really follow football or cricket but I am a huge fan of the MotoGP and I’m always up for a chat about the latest race.


Chelsy Villalon

Tiny Toddler Educational Leader - Diploma Qualified

Hi my name is Chelsy and I am a Lead Educator in the Tiny Toddlers 1 room. I have a Diploma in early Childhood Education and Care, I have have been working in the sector since 2010. Previous to my role at Coombs I have worked in a Primary School before at the after school care as the Program Manager. Working with children is not just caring from them, as an Educator I enjoy being part of the children's development, assist them through challenges and be in the moment with them to capture and celebrate their achievements. Working within the sector has taught me many things, personally and professionally and has given me growth and opportunities that I am grateful for. I hope to meet you at Coombs Early Learning soon!

 


Pritya Pyakurel

2IC & Well-Being Officer- Diploma Qualified

I moved to Sweden from Nepal on the year 2003 lived in Sweden for 3 years and moved to Canberra in the year 2006 and since then I have worked in Child Care services.

During this 12 years I have worked in babies, toddlers and preschool room. I am a Diploma qualified and enjoy working as a lead educator.

I moved to Coombs two years ago with my two boys (Prian and Josh) and my husband. Prian goes to High school and Josh goes to Charles Western School. Before and after school Josh spends some time in the centre with us.

I know four different languages. English, Nepali, Hindi and some Swedish. I enjoy dancing, I do Bollywood dancing classes every week.


Claudia De Quarto

Nursery 1 Lead Educator - Diploma Qualified

My name is Claudia, I am 26, and I love being an Early Childhood Educator.

My mother is Cuban, my father is Italian, and I grew up between the two countries, but mainly in Italy. Since my teenage years I loved babysitting for my family’s friends, so when I moved to Australia  5 years ago it seemed natural to me to become a nanny. I worked for over 20 families in Brisbane either as an Au Pair or live out nanny, and I completely fell in love with the job and the country. So I decided to study about the children’s brain development and the best techniques to support their development and stay in Australia. I completed my Cert III and Diploma in Early Childhood Education whilst working in 2 childcare centres in the Gold Coast.

I moved to Canberra in February to work in this amazing centre that I am extremely proud of being part of, and I love building strong relationships with the children in our care.

I believe that being an Early Years Educator is one of the most important jobs in the world. We have the chance to shape the next generation, and to help the children to grow becoming the best version of themselves, creating a kind, empathic, respectful, creative, altruistic, positive, confident and smart society that will do great thing for our planet. We have the opportunity to plant the seeds of the most important concepts that they will develop throughout their lives, getting influenced by their family, their personality, their experiences and beliefs, and that will give them the ability to fulfill their dreams, have successful relationships and live a happy life. 

Every child is different, has a unique personality and must be listened and understood and nurtured in a different manner. It is our job to keep our ears and eyes wide open to observe and support the child’s strengths and needs, giving them the tools to overcome the obstacles that they may encounter in their lives by themselves, through problem solving skills and confidence in their own abilities.

We need to provide environments and experiences that support all the children’s developing needs, including lots of cuddles, smiles, tickles and love, relaxing and restful moments, activities that require physical activity, opportunities to learn about the environment, healthy eating and healthy hygiene practices, things they are really good at to boost their self-esteem, but also things that they need to improve, providing opportunities to take appropriate risks, challenge their abilities and try new things.

Families and cultures represent an essential aspect when approaching any child. Their parents, relatives, pets, friends, habits and practices influence the child’s decisions, personality and way of thinking. For this reason it is essential to create respectful, non-judgmental and ongoing communication between the educators and the families, to share thoughts and events, and to be on the same page about the children’s learning and life experiences in an open manner, to ensure the best outcomes for every child.

Being the product of two different cultures myself, and having travelled a lot around the world, I fully understand the importance of considering and respecting other people’s different cultures and beliefs. I have always struggled to find my cultural identity, and I have never felt like I belonged, neither in Italy nor in Cuba. In a society that is completely different from mine, with different priorities and values, here in Australia I have always felt free to share my thoughts, opinions and stories without being judged or discriminated, making me feel welcome and at times even admired for sharing different views or insights about every day matters, and making me feel like I was finally part of something bigger than myself. I have understood that I am not either “this” or “that”, through time I have selected some aspects that I admire in every society that I have being in contact with, and assimilated them in my day to day practices, developing my own values and beliefs.

So it is of vital importance to encourage the children to keep an open mind, exposing them to different cultures and experiences since their childhood, and to support them in their journey of self-identity discovery.


Kasia Wang

Toddlers Lead Educator

 Diploma Qualified

Hi my name is Kasia Wang, I obtained my diploma of Early Childhood Education & Care back in 2017 and I have worked in the child care sector for about 3 years now.

I love working with children especially between age 2-3 because they are so motivated to learn new things every single day and as they start articulating their feelings into words, they often showed me their own definitions and interpretations about “how things work in our world” (and most of time they are right !) This hugely inspires me as a carer who loves to grow herself and discovers the infinite potentials within a human being in a lifelong time.

I am also come from an island country (though far smaller compared to Australia) called Taiwan, I guess that’s why I have embraced Australia as my second home country naturally especially as an individual who works far far away from home and family. I am truly grateful and blessed to have these children who I have been worked with as part of my family in Australia as they always share their purest love towards me selflessly.

I enjoy jogging, cycling, reading, painting, cooking, learning new things or simply just indulging myself into the nature after work :)

 

 


Tuesday Holden

Nursery 1 Assistant Educator- Certificate III Qualified

Hi, my name is Tuesday and I am an assistant educator in the Tiny Toddlers room. I decided to study my Certificate III in early childhood education and care in 2017 as I have always loved children and wanted to start a career where I can have fun and make a difference. The most important thing to me is my family and my dog Pirate. In my spare time I love reading, sleeping and going to the dog park


Yuko Taniguchi

Toddler Lead Educator - Diploma Qualified

Hi, my name is Yuko. I am working in Toddlers room as a Lead Educator. I’m originally from Japan. I have been in Australia for nearly six years and I absolutely love this country! I have just moved from Sydney five months ago. It’s very cold here in Canberra but I found it very interesting city with lots of friendly people :)

I love art, dance, cooking, music, crafts and lots of other things. I’d like to share lots of fun activities with children through this job. I’ve been working as an educator for almost four years. I am grateful for all the children  because they keep me fit and strong mentally and physically. 

I have very simple childhood in a little country town in Japan. There weren’t big shopping centres around but lots of farms and mountains :) I spent a lot of time in bush catching bugs, collecting pebbles and drawing wild flowers. There was beach in my hometown too. I never got bored just playing in the nature! Children often remind me of those little memories.

I believe that the relationship with children plays the most important role when it comes to Early Childhood Education. I’m glad to see children laughing and having fun here in Coombs Early Learning. I can’t stop feeling grateful for working here with playful children and beautiful families!

 


Claire Hunt

Nursery 2 Assistant Educator- Certificate III Qualified

My name is Claire Hunt and I am a single mum of three children. I have Lucas who is six, Sophia is five and she has just started kindergarten and Olivia who is three who is in the Junior Preschool room at Coombs.

In my free time I like to dance. I have been dancing since I was five years old and I still attend a ballet and jazz class each week.

I also enjoy reading and watching a good movie. I am a huge Harry Potter fan and have started reading the books to my son.

 I have just completed my certificate 3 in early childhood. I have always loved interacting with children ever since I was young. Last year I finally took the leap towards a career I have always wanted to do.