At Gumleaf Gully we pride ourselves on employing teachers and educators not only for their qualifications, but for their professional, positive, enthusiastic and caring attitudes with children.

We are focused on offering a friendly, safe, nurturing and secure environment for children, all our staff have a current first aid certificate, current CPR plus current asthma and anaphylaxis training. Each staff member must hold a current suitability card (blue card).

We provide regular in-service training and professional development opportunities for our talented team. We believe that ongoing training and professional development of our team enables us to consistently offer exceptional care and early learning educational programs.

Sandy McKennan

Sandy McKennan

Hi, my name is Sandy and I am the director at Gumleaf Gully. I have been working with children for over 30 years and have found my happy place here. We have a centre full of happy children and staff and I LOVE the outdoor environment – there are lots of natural play spaces.

We like to support the local community where we can. We utilise local trades and service and have a great relationship with the church and charities like Baby Give Back.

In my spare time I like to paint and last year I spent a month in Italy – my favourite place is Florence. Growing up, my idol was Leif Garrett!

A fun fact that not many people know about me: I enjoy dancing and had hula lessons a few years ago.

Sarah Buddee

Sarah Buddee

Hello, my name is Sarah. I hold a Diploma in Children’s Services and have been working in childcare for 16 years. I am the Educational Leader at Gumleaf Gully and have always loved the “cottage, homelike” feeling of the centre. I love getting to know the loving families and see the beautiful bonds between the educators and the children.

Children always make me smile and laugh. I am privileged to be apart of their learning and passionate about ensuring optimal outcomes during their early years journey.

In the surrounding community, I collaborate with other Educational leaders as we evolve with each other’s understanding and ideas, gaining a diversity of insights into the learning and development of children in the early years.

I am a mother, blessed with two children; a 7-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter. We love the beach and camping. I am motivated by recently turning 40 and am giving a range of new hobbies a try, such as different forms of dancing and fitness activities. These keep me fit and role models to my children to always do what makes them happy in life.

Josh Hampson

Josh Hampson

I would like to introduce myself, my name is Josh and I am the Early Childhood Teacher in the Kindergarten room at Gumleaf Gully.

I have a Bachelor of Teaching and have worked with children since 1993. I look after children with due care and I aim to create a positive impact I have on the children their families. I strive to provide a warm, safe and secure environment in which children develop and learn. I also have experience in training with the NDIS, working with children with disabilities.

I have a deep understanding of the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and the QLD Kindergarten Curriculum. I follow these in my curriculum planning and programming.

On a personal level, I consider myself to be honest and passionate about giving children a head start in life and am passionate about the areas of literacy, maths and science. If would like to know more about me or are interested in my experiences with children with disabilities, please do not hesitate to ask. I really enjoy getting to know the wonderful families of the children in my care.

Sarah Phillips

Sarah Phillips

Educator and Workplace Health and Safety Officer here at Gumleaf Gully. I hold my Diploma in Children’s Services and Associate degree in Education Studies and have been working in childcare since 2008.

Children have always been a passion of mine, growing up in a family of 7 children I am comfortable in busy environments. Gumleaf Gully reminds me of my own childhood; many children busy with their interests, plenty of laughter and freedom of indoor/outdoor play.

I have a strong belief in supporting every family that walks through the doors at Gumleaf gully. Whether it be directly helping with their concerns and/or wishes about their children, or simply lending an ear as the parents discuss their own personal struggles and fears. Growing and raising children is a tiring, demanding responsibility and I hope to help to alleviate some of this.

I love dancing and used to be a dance teacher, which is where I first began working with children.

I have four children of my own; a 9-year-old daughter, 3-year-old son, 2-year-old son and baby daughter. In my spare time I love taking them to parks and the beach. An interesting fact about me is that I have a strong interest in science and human physiology and have recently began studying Bachelor of Midwifery, which I aim to complete in 2022.

Alec Webb

Hi, my name is Alec. I am the Ranger and an Educator among the older rooms. I am studying certificate 3 in children’s services and have been working with children for many years.

I love that Gumleaf Gully’s staff, children and families are deeply connected with the environment. Working at Gumleaf Gully, I appreciate having the opportunity to share my passion for the environment with the children, teaching them how to respect and nourish nature.

I feel grateful to be a part of shaping the new generation, guiding them and providing optimal learning environment to foster their curiosity and personality as they engage in rich, meaningful child-led learning experiences.

I am involved in my local community garden and in my spare time I also enjoy gaming, spending time with family and friends, camping and looking after my garden, pet lizard and pet snake.

Megan Taylor

Educator in the Nursery. I have worked in the Early Childhood Education Industry since 2009 and hold a Diploma of Education.

I love working with my teammates and the children and families of Gumleaf Gully Childcare and Early Education Centre. Here at Gumleaf Gully, the environment has such a home like feel. Watching the children grow and blossom and creating bonds with them keeps my passion for childcare alive. I love seeing their personalities shine.

In my spare time I like to relax at the beach, play netball and I love being a mother. As a family, we love to visit Bali every year – It has become a tradition.

Renee Davis

Hi, my name is Renee and I am the Educator in the Kindergarten room at Gumleaf Gully. I have experience in the childcare industry since 2010 and hold a Diploma in Children’s Services.

I am proud to be a member of the Gumleaf Gully team. Every day in this learning environment is different as children play in their own unique ways.

I am passionate about inspiring children to be confident in themselves and embrace their interests as they explore and learn in the Gumleaf Gully indoor and outdoor learning spaces. Childhood is a wonderous time and I love encouraging children to be in the moment, making the most of their childhood.

I have three adult sons who I love spending time with. I enjoy the outdoors, bush walking and snorkelling.

Belle Buwalda

Hi, my name is Belle. I have been working at Gumleaf Gully for 1 year and have worked in childcare for 12 years. I am the Lead Educator in the Toddlers room and hold a Diploma in Children’s Services.

The thing I love about children is their innocence and instinct for learning. In the childcare environment, no two days are the same as the children are unique in their interests and ways they play.

My hobbies are anything related to water, snow and sun. I love swimming, wake boarding and skiing.

Dianne Stronach

Hello, my name is Di and I am an Educator in the Pre-Toddler room here at Gumleaf Gully. I am qualified with a Diploma of Children’s Services and have been working in childcare for 5 years.

I am passionate about working with children as they amaze me. I feel privileged to be part of the early years of their development and am excited to watch them grow; with ever-evolving personalities and rapidly reaching milestones. Being entrusted with the care of these beautiful children is an honour.

Prior to working in Childcare, I worked in aged care, which I also enjoyed. I am energised when I can help people, young and old. I am actively involved in donating to the needy; creating personal hygiene packs for the homeless.

I have 3 adult children and am a very proud nanna to one beautiful granddaughter and another grandchild on the way. I love spending time with my family and taking my granddaughter on outings such as Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. I absolutely love children and babies and hope to be blessed with many more grandchildren in the future.

Sarah Lawrence

My name is Sarah L and I am lead educator in the Pre kindy room.

I have many years’ experience working with children and am passionate about fitness and physical wellbeing. I have been working as a children’s Yoga instructor in various early years learning environments.

I am excited to be with the Pre Kindy age group and can not wait to meet you all.

Courtney Waller

Hello, my name is Courtney and I am the Educator in the Pre-Kindy at Gumleaf Gully. I have been working in Childcare for 7 years and hold a Diploma of Children’s services.

I feel grateful to get to know the children and their families. I am invigorated when I see the excitement in Children’s eyes when I provide them with new and exciting learning experiences matching their interests.

Within the local community I regularly donate preloved clothing to Lifeline and Salvation army, as well as blankets to animal shelters.

In my spare time I enjoy swimming and reading Harry Potter. I have 3 sisters and try to spend time with my family in New Zealand whenever I can.

Emma Carr

Emma Carr

Hi, my name is Emma and I am the Lead Educator in the Pre-Toddler room. I have been working in the Early Childhood Education Industry for 8 years and hold a Diploma and Cert III in Early Childhood. I am also working hard and studying to become an Early Childhood Teacher.

Working at Gumleaf Gully Childcare and Early Education Centre is great and I love being a part of the children’s learning journeys and having the privilege to contribute to this. Gumleaf Gully Childcare and Early Education Centre has a real ‘home’ environment and there is nothing better than having a great team around you when you work with amazing children.

I love to shop locally and give back to my local small business owners. I love to go to the local markets, fundraise and I give to charities to help others in need.

My spare time is spent being a bunny mum to my bunny ‘Marshmallow’. I also love spending time with friends and family, keeping active and going on fun adventures.

Laura Stronach

Hi, my name is Laura and I have been working at Gumleaf Gully for almost 10 years. I have a Diploma in Children’s Services and am Lead Educator in the Nursery.

I pride myself on creating a happy, safe and supportive environment where children feel loved and confident to learn at their own pace. I value the importance of collaborating with fellow educators and the families to ensure optimal learning outcomes.

I love coming to work and being in the presence of happy children, laughter, enthusiasm and cuddles. Working with children I like having an excuse to behave like a child and appreciate the simple things just as children do.

In my spare time I enjoy taking my fur-baby for walks, keeping fit and catching up with family and friends. I absolutely love everything related to Christmas, particularly putting up the Christmas tree. A fun little fact about me is that I have travelled to Japan 3 times and look forward to returning there in the future.

Georgia Riordan

Hi, my name is Georgia and I am an Educator in the Toddlers room. I am studying my Diploma of children’s services and have been working at Gumleaf Gully since 2019.

I love playing with children and am in awe of their imagination as they explore their environment.

In my spare time I love the outdoors and swimming. Not many people know this, but I used to be a swim instructor, which is where my love for children emerged.

Lorraine Ruttley

Hello, my name Lorraine and I am the Ranger and an Educator among the younger rooms. At Gumleaf Gully. I have my Diploma of Children’s Services. I have been part of the team at Gumleaf Gully for 6 years.

I love working with children. It is a joy and privilege to be part of their lives. Every day with them feels like a gift. On my weekends, I spend a lot of my spare time visiting our beautiful centre, looking after the lizards, fish, finches, yabby and the many plants of our indoor and outdoor spaces.

In my minimal spare time, I like to go to the beach and relax. My favourite past times include reading, painting and gardening. My favourite holiday destination is Noosa and the beautiful natural environment. Growing up, my idols were David Essex and Lene Lovichi.

Paige Nelson

Paige Nelson

Hi, my name is Paige and I am an Educator Nursery room at Gumleaf Gully. I have been working in childcare since 2019 and am currently studying my Diploma of Children’s services.

When interacting with children, I love hearing the interesting things they say, as they each hold unique views and opinions on many things, big and small.

At Gumleaf Gully I have found my fellow staff so welcoming and am grateful to have them as we collaborate and learn from one another.

In my spare time I love going to the beach and enjoy participating in all kinds of sport.

Emily Taylor

Hi, my name is Emily and I am an Educator in the Toddler room at Gumleaf Gully. I hold a Certificate 3 in Children’s Services and have experience in the childcare setting since 2011.

In my work here at Gumleaf Gully, I enjoy making bonds with the children in my care, as well as their families. I feel proud to help them grow and see them reaching milestones.

In my personal time I love going camping and love reading and writing. A fun fact about myself is that I love collecting vinyl records. Music holds a special place in my heart, and I enjoy compiling playlists to share with the children here at Gumleaf Gully.

Heidy Hernandez

Hi, my name is Heidy and I am an Educator in the Pre- Toddler room. I have been an Educator here at Gumleaf Gully since 2019. I have been working with children in Australia for two years and hold a Diploma in Children’s Services.

While working with children I love seeing them explore their learning environment and am fascinated with how they view the world from their perspectives. I love helping the children (and their families) as they grow and develop.

I am from Columbia, where I volunteered many years helping the less fortunate. I have enjoyed living and working in Australia, sharing my culture and learning about Australian culture. I love the Gold Coast, beaches and watching movies.

Julie Poole

Hi, my name is Julie and I have been working in childcare for 6 years. I hold a Certificate 3 in children’s services and am studying Diploma in children’s services. I am proud to be a member of the Gumleaf Gully team and am currently a float/relief Educator.

I am grateful to spend time with the children in my care, because their love for life and love for learning makes me smile.

My outside hobbies are doing macramé and making nappy cakes for family and friends. I have two grandchildren; a grand daughter and grandson whom I enjoy spoiling with love.

Linda Taylor

Hi, my name is Linda. I am studying my Diploma in Children’s services and have been working in childcare for 7 years.

I am honoured to be a float/relief Educator here at Gumleaf Gully and enjoy working with children and their families. I find the enthusiasm of children to be magical and love seeing and hearing the spontaneous things they do and say.

I like to do my part in giving back to the community by donating preloved clothing to Lifeline. In my spare time I love going camping and fishing with my family. Canada and Alaska are my favourite holiday destinations.

A fun little fact about me is that I have an identical twin sister, Julie, who is also an Educator at Gumleaf Gully. We have experienced twin-to-twin telepathy on numerous occasions. Feel free to ask us for some of our interesting stories.

Luisi

Luisi Oliveria

My name is Luisi, I am Brazilian and am an educator at Gumleaf Gully. I enjoy travelling and exploring the world’s different cultures. I love to meet new people, hear their stories and learn something new from every person I meet.

I have a degree in advertising and marketing in Brazil and am currently studying a Diploma in Child Care here in Australia. I have a dream of one day study psychology, which interests me extensively.

My hobby is drawing; I draw pictures for framing, but also draw murals on larger things like surfboards, guitars etc. With a pen in my hand, I am at peace. I also love listening and dancing to music. In my free time often go to the beach and enjoy being close to nature, getting to know new places and relaxing.

As an educator at Gumleaf Gully I learn just as much as I teach, I love spending time with the little ones; helping them in their development and learning. I strive to inspire them to be respectful towards others and the environment. What makes me work enthusiastically every day is being part of this childish universe that is so innocent and positive.

Adrielly Krause

Hello, my name is Adrielly and I am an Educator in the Toddlers room at Gumleaf Gully.

I love working with children and am grateful for this working environment. Our director and the other educators are so supportive; I can always count on them for help, ideas and feedback when needed.

In the community I like to donate clothing and food to charity to help the less fortunate.

In my spare time I am passionate about keeping active. I particularly love surfing and being at the beach. When I am in the mood, I also enjoy a good movie or binge watch a good television series. Growing up, my idol was Beyoncé.

Not many people know this, but I am left-handed and have a quirky belief that left-handed people are different from most people and have a distinct mind-set.