Meet the CERES Education Team
Meet our dedicated, passionate and expert team of educators that deliver a range of inspiring programs for early childhood centres, schools, tertiary institutions and individuals.
Jane BurnsOutreach Area Manager, ResourceSmart Schools Northern Metro Coordinator
Jane has a background in education with experience in secondary school teaching, training, and curriculum writing in schools, community groups and the not-for-profit sector. Jane is passionate about designing and delivering education programs that contribute to making a difference in the world and bring value to communities. With a strong desire to make a contribution in her career, Jane has developed and managed a range of educational projects and programs with a social, community and environmental focus. In 2016 Jane was awarded the prestigious Environment Education Victoria award, The Environmental & Sustainability Educator of the Year 2015. She believes that schools and early childhood settings are perfectly placed to engage children, students and teachers in learning about the environment and gain skills and knowledge to be leaders in their communities.
Kate CheckleyResourceSmart Schools Eastern Metro Coordinator
Having grown up amongst the trees of the Dandenong Ranges, Kate has a strong connection with the natural environment. Growing up during the time of one of Australia’s worst droughts on record and having witnessed the devastation of bushfires within her local community she has first-hand experience of human’s impact on the environment. Since a young age she has been dedicated to educating others of the importance of sustainability and motivating those around her to adopt sustainable practices within their daily lives. Kate has a Bachelor degree in Applied Science and experience teaching Science in secondary schools where she was a leader of her school’s sustainability committee and gained experience with the ResourceSmart School’s Program. Her love for both teaching and sustainability led her to join the CERES Outreach Team where she believes she can inspire change through education.
Deanne JonesOutreach Educator
Deanne has had a passion for the environment and an interest in social justice issues from a young age. This has led her to explore and volunteer in the natural world both within and beyond Australia; living in Argentina as an exchange student and exploring the unique environments of South America, East Africa and Asia. She has also completed a Bachelor of Science (Biological Science) and later a Bachelor of Teaching (Primary and Secondary). Deanne has worked in a number of organisations including the Melbourne Aquarium Education and Interpretation team, Gould League and Knox City Council as a Community Sustainability Officer. In total, she has worked and volunteered in the Environment field for over 15 years. Deanne joined the CERES Outreach team in 2012 after introducing her daughter into the world. She believes sustainability education and empowering the next generation is essential in helping to build a sustainable future for all.
Alex HoffmanOutreach Educator
Alex’s passion for the environment was for many years unconscious; a natural byproduct of climbing trees, bushwalking and swimming in the ocean. After completing a Bachelor of Arts, she moved to Canada where she balanced academic endeavors along side community gardening projects, as well as a stint as a whale watching assistant. A passion for conservation and environmental awareness was born. In 2011, Alex participated in ‘Otesha: Cycling for Sustainability’ and completed a pedal-powered tour from Melbourne to Canberra, delivering school workshops and a theatrical performance on sustainability and social justice. Since completing a Diploma in Primary Teaching, she has employed skills in teaching, facilitation and programme development across various educational and community organisations. Alex has been a member of the Ceres Education team for five years and is currently Coordinator of the Do More With L.E.S.S. Student Leadership programme and a ResourceSmart facilitator.
Leah MartiniOutreach Educator
Leah, our newest member of CERES Education has joined the team in 2018 as an Outreach Educator. Growing up in the South Eastern suburbs, just minutes from the beach, her love for the water and natural environment was inspired from a young age. Now with a strong passion for both the outdoors and environmental education, Leah is extremely excited to inspire change throughout Victorian schools and help protect the beautiful planet we call home. Leah completed her bachelor of Environmental Science (Environmental Management and Sustainability) at Deakin University, and has since worked in various fields within the environmental sector including land management, sustainability and environmental education. Leah has over 7 years experience working with children, and has been involved in delivering a wide range of educational programs for a number of environmental organisations including CERES, Gould League and Do it on the Roof. These roles have allowed Leah to bring awareness to important environmental issues and inspire change through fun, engaging and educational programs. Leah is extremely excited to join the team and looks forward to encourage and support the next generation of eco warriors!
Laura NixOutreach Educator
After completing a Bachelor’s degree in ecology and conservation biology, Laura developed an interest in sharing her love for conservation and sustainability. She completed a Masters of Environment at Melbourne University in 2017 where she focused on sustainability education and behaviour change. Her interest in sustainability has led her to volunteer for a number of likeminded organisations including Zoos Victoria, Oz Harvest and Cultivating Community. Most recently, Laura has worked for local government in waste, litter and sustainability education where she has delivered various education programs as well as developing strategic documents to guide best practice sustainability programs for the future. Laura loves talking about waste and also has a particular interest in sustainable food production! She is excited to start the next chapter in her sustainability journey at Ceres and hopes to use her skills and passion to continue empowering others with the tools to embed sustainable practice in their everyday lives.
Catherine MedwinOutreach Educator
Having a background in Education for the past 10 years. Catherine has been part of establishing a brand new PPP school and has been Leading Environmental Education for the past two and a half years. She has been successfully embedding a culture of sustainability across the school during this time through implementing the ResourceSmart Schools program. Catherine is passionate about inspiring others to reduce waste and spreading awareness of environmental issues to both children and adults.
Jess WebbOutreach Educator
Jessica has always loved being outside and is passionate about the natural environment. She spent her childhood swimming in the sea, bike riding by the beach and playing in the garden with her sisters. When she finished school, Jess volunteered in the Special Education system and in rural and remote communities in Fiji, where she had the privilege of working with community groups at the frontier of climate change. This experience inspired her to complete a Bachelor of Education at Monash University and begin her career as a primary school teacher. Jess soon assumed the role of Sustainability Leader, which allowed her to gain experience with the ResourceSmart Schools program. She found the greatest joy in working with children and supporting them to care about the environment and to take action in the local community. Jess is very excited to continue this passion as a CERES Outreach Educator.
Michelle SanahonOutreach Communications Manager
After completion of a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Michelle decided that the IT world wasn’t for her. Instead she stumbled across the wonderful world that is CERES, and since 2003 has worked in various roles and today is Communications Manager for the CERES Outreach Education team. Michelle’s role includes ensuring that our centres, schools, Partners, and the wider community are informed about CERES Education news and available opportunities in the realm of environmental education. Michelle is also passionate about sustainable/ethical fashion, travel and dreams of living off the grid.
Emmanuelle DelomenedeCasual Outreach Educator
After completing her engineering degree in France, Emmanuelle undertook a Master’s degree of Energy Studies at the University of Melbourne specializing in the environmental impacts of buildings. Prior to CERES, Emmanuelle was working as an Energy Consultant in a large engineering company, undertaking holistic design and operational sustainability assessments of major commercial buildings. She joined the Outreach team in September 2015 and is excited to be working with Victorian schools as she strongly believes in a bottom-up approach to drive change, starting at the community level and through early/primary education. Emmanuelle is passionate about sharing her dedication to sustainability and resilient resource systems and hopes to inspire the next generation.
Kelsey SmithOutreach Educator
From a young age, Kelsey has had a passion for conservation, particularly surrounding the unique fauna found in Australia. This stemmed from weekends spent camping and hiking through the bush and formed the basis of her passion to conserve Australia’s unique environments. She completed a Bachelor of Science (Zoology) and worked as an Environmental Officer for Queensland Government, then turned to field biology as a research intern in South Africa. It was from these experiences that she feels the key to sustainability and conservation is an understanding combined with a sense of responsibility and excitement. Following this path, she has since completed a Master of Environment (conservation and education) and volunteered for programs like Zoo to You, CSIRO Education, Science Experience Melbourne and worked as a science demonstrator for University of Melbourne. Kelsey joined CERES as an intern in late 2017, and joined the Outreach team in January 2018 and is excited to share her enthusiasm with the next generation.
Kelsey is currently on leave.
Chloe HornerSchool Programs Manager - Excursions and Incursions
Chloe grew up in the Otways, riding horses, climbing trees and racing her brother on billy carts. She has been working in the environmental education industry for over 9 years. She has passionately managed, designed and delivered a range of environmental education programs, for local government, in partnership with industry leaders and community groups. Her work has supported sustainability initiatives and outcomes within Council, schools, early learning centres, apartments and community groups. Chloe loves to work collaboratively, which is recognised in winning the 2018 Keep Victoria Beautiful, Sustainable Cities Award in Community Government Partnership. She has tertiary qualifications in environmental sustainability, horticulture and education. Chloe loves to work on community projects and is on Committee of Management for Collingwood Children’s Farm. She’s excited to be a part of the CERES network and continue to do what she loves – connecting people to community and the natural environment.
Darren TinkerExcursions Land Programs Coordinator
Darren has a passion for plants and the way people interact with the natural environment. Coming from a horticulture and geography background, he discovered his passion for education and engaging people through environmental education while working as an educator at La Trobe Wildlife Sanctuary and also in his time as an Environmental Programs Assistant at a private college. Darren enjoys volunteering with humanitarian and environmental organisations, participates in community projects and has a keen interest in Permaculture. Outside of CERES he also works as a gardener with the Diggers Club.
Nilima ParteIncursions Coordinator
Nilima completed her graduation in microbiology which followed completing a post graduation in Environmental Science. She also completed a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. Nilima started working at CERES 4 years ago as an educator for incursions delivering environmental & cultural programs. She likes to be happy, and her hobbies include painting, sewing, and meditation. Nilima likes to go for long walks and play badminton. She loves CERES!
Greta MuhleisenEducation Bookings Coordinator
Greta’s passion for the environment began early. While in primary school her grandparents were showing family photos of the farm started near Leongatha in the 1850s. The first photo showed a small cottage surrounded by ancient forest. A photo taken several decades later showed all the trees completely gone. Greta was shocked and is still saddened of her family legacy on the environment and this was one of the key moments in her life where she wanted to make a positive impact instead. Greta studied Biological Sciences with Honours in marine ecology and a Post Graduate Diploma in teaching. She has done voluntary work at several organisations such as the Wildlife Sanctuary at Latrobe University and the Marine Discovery Centre in Queenscliff. A mixture of retail and education work brought her to start at CERES in 2005 as a casual teacher. In 2010 she became Water Programs Coordinator before finally landing her current position as Bookings Coordinator in 2012. She also combines this work with her other position at the Melbourne Museum as an Animal Keeper for the live invertebrates and reptiles and birds on display. She has also held this position since 2005 when she first began at CERES and firmly believes you should always work with animals and children.
Lauren KaszubskiExcursions Waste Programs Coordinator & Outreach Educator
It all started in Year 9 when Lauren heard the first-hand story of a woman living in the tree top of a Californian Redwood for 464 days in protest against the logging of local Redwood forests. It was the story that would inspire Lauren to start the first ever Environmental Awareness Group at her high school and go on to study Environmental Science & Management at the University of Newcastle. During her time of study Lauren started working casually in outdoor education programs and this soon ignited her passion to work with children and the environment at the same time. Now-a- days Lauren is all about worm poo, recycling & waste management, and local food systems. Lauren started volunteering at CERES in 2013 and soon after became one of the CERES Excursions casual teachers. As of late 2013 Lauren has been the Excursions Waste Programs Co-ordinator. With her passion and knowledge combined Lauren works towards providing students with creative hands-on learning experiences that they can carry with them throughout their day-to-day lives.
Subik BasoExcursions Cultural Programs Coordinator
Bio coming soon
Tom LangEnergy Education Coordinator
Tom grew up on a sheep farm, surrounded by animals, trees, and stars, but spent most of his time reading instead of working. He’s always had a passion for making stuff, learning things, and talking to people, but never quite managed to combine the three until he stumbled on the strange field of Science Communication. In hindsight, it was obvious. He spent 2011 travelling around Australia with Questacon’s Science Circus, and then returned to Melbourne to spend five years exploding things, making robots, and pointing at stars with Scienceworks, Primesci, and briefly, on a geological research ship. He joined CERES as Energy Education Coordinator in 2017, where he is kept busy fiddling with solar panels and buckets of coal. Outside of CERES he can be found designing boardgames and doing comedy shows.
Kat YoungEducation Bookings Coordinator
Kat’s love of the environment and being in it began as a youngster in New Zealand, climbing daily through wild fennel and over the back fence to play in the neighbouring fields. After following the wind to Australia in 1999, Kat has spent her time in various creative and people centric roles, from hospitality to costuming to teaching Martial Arts, until arriving at CERES in 2014. Starting as a casual teacher, Kat quickly discovered that CERES was the place for her and her passions for art, education and environmental connection. Kat can be found teaching kids around CERES, arranging school bookings in the Ed Office or elsewhere around site with a trolley of paint creating colourful environmental resources for all to share.
Taylor FosterEducation Communication Coordinator
After completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications in sunny Brisbane, Taylor moved to Melbourne in 2008 to complete a Graduate Diploma in Psychology, during which time they developed a passion for volunteering with local and international environmental and social justice NGOs. Aware of CERES through festivals and public events, Taylor jumped at the chance to take on the role of Education Communications Coordinator to fill the shoes of Michelle while she was on leave and now takes on the same role in Education. Taylor is also passionate about social justice community building and citizen journalism.
Lorna PettiferLearning Innovation Director
Lorna Pettifer has been working in environmental education and presenting to community groups on sustainability for many years. At CERES Lorna passionately directs CERES education and training programs. She also has a strategic focus on environmental management and innovation projects at CERES. She is passionate about deepening our response to the ecological and climate crisis through CERES learning experiences. Her background in sustainability stems from ecology and zoology and has broadened to community engagement, environmental management, behaviour change and farm and food programs. Lorna has worked with community groups, schools and individuals. Her work has supported teachers, students, households and organisations in sustainability management and behavior change. As an environmental advocate she has worked in National Parks, Environmental Consultancies, Universities, NGOs and Wildlife reserves as a conservationist, educator, tour guide, bush regenerator, GIS Consultant, environmental modeler and researcher. Lorna proudly received the Environmental Educator of the Year for Victoria in 2018.
Luisa CardamoneTraining Area Manager
For over 20 years, Luisa had visited the site as a nearby neighbour and for the past five years has been thrilled to call CERES her workplace. Luisa coordinates the adult learning programs encompassing workshops and short courses across all things sustainable for individuals and groups ranging from corporate to the marginalised. Across gardening, cooking and the creative, her aim is to draw expert, passionate presenters to pass on their knowledge and skills so we can continue to lighten our footprint.