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Meet Our Team

At Astra Early Learning Port Melbourne, we believe our team of Early Childhood educators are one of our most valuable assets and we could not achieve our goals or honour our philosophies without their knowledge, support and hard work. Our team understand the responsibility that comes with the role of an educator and are committed to ensuring that every child not only enjoys their time with us, but has been exposed to every available developmental and learning opportunity.

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Taylah Cahill

Assistant Manager In Training & Operations Co-Ordinator

Certificate III Early Childhood Education and Care

I have been in The ECE sector for 5 years. I believe that respectful, caring bonds with children and their families are the vital foundation for a wonderful early childhood experience for a child. Parents are the child’s most important teachers. I believe that families are the most important aspect for the student because they are their child's first teacher. I strive to have upmost respect and love for all the children I have the privilege to meet each day.

I am responsible for running and coordinating the day-to-day administrative duties here at Astra Port Melbourne, and I am available to support your transition into our service.

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Marianela Laguda

Centre Support

Diploma Early Childhood Education and Care

I have been a teacher in the early years for 10+ years. I believe that as an early childhood educator I am responsible for providing infants, toddlers and young children with positive learning experiences. I strive to model respect, patience, and care for children and adults I come in contact with. Children have the right to have their needs met and receive the proper education while in my care. Children should have somebody that believes in them and supports them to become the person that they aspire to be. Working with children and assisting them in achieving their goals in life is a huge ambition of mine.
I enjoy interacting with children on their own level, gaining insight into their perception of the world. I consider myself as a hardworking and self-motivated individual who enjoys facing challenges and finding a professional way to deal with them. I enjoy listening to children and members of staff and take their thoughts into consideration. Listening to other members of staff and getting feedback helps me to learn because I will know what areas I can support their professional Growth. I feel that my good communication skills are very essential when working as a team especially when children are involved.

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Elise Bloomcamp

Educational Leader

Diploma Early Childhood Education and Care

I have taken on the role as educational leader here at Port Melbourne, My role is primarily to collaborate with educators and provide curriculum direction and guidance, support educators to effectively implement the cycle of planning to enhance programs and practices. Lead the development and implementation of an effective educational program in the service and to ensure that children’s learning and development are guided by the learning outcomes of the approved learning frameworks.
I am passionate about guiding and developing educators and families’ understandings about play based learning, and the significance of the early years in the education continuum for children, while building a culture of professional inquiry within my teaching team to develop professional knowledge, reflect on practice and generate new ideas.
I have been a Teacher in the Early Years for the past 5 years. I believe that as an Early Years advocate, it’s my responsibility to provide infants, toddlers, and young children with positive, purposeful and engaging learning experiences and that all children have the right to have their needs met and receive the proper education while in my care. I enjoy interacting with children on their own level and gaining insight into their perception of the world.
I consider myself a self-motivated individual who enjoys facing challenges, listening to children and fellow educators taking on their thoughts and ideas into consideration, I love to learn new things, and learning never stops. Improving my own performance provides great satisfaction not only for myself, but it also directly benefits my teaching team and ultimately the children in our care.

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Tayla Wyatt

Under 3’s Head of Community

Diploma Early Childhood Education and Care

Hi everyone, my name is Tayla, I am a diploma qualified educator currently studying my Bachelor of Early Childhood Education. I have 5 years’ experience and during that time I have worked across all ages but have a strong passion for working with babies and toddlers. I believe children are smart capable learners who approach the world with a natural curiosity and that my role as an educator is to foster children’s curiosity by providing them with rich and meaningful experiences. I believe that children learn best when they are given the opportunity to explore their interests and that it is my role to provide children with a safe space to learn about themselves and the world around them by celebrating each child’s unique personality. I believe in working collaboratively with my team, families, and the community to ensure all the children in my care have the best possible education and care possible. I’m excited to be taking on the role as Head of Community here at Port Melbourne.

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Catalina Orellana Moran

4YO Early Childhood Teacher & Over 3’s Head of Community - Reef Room

Graduate Diploma Early Childhood Education and Care

I started my career in El Salvador in 2015 and I then moved to Melbourne in 2018 with my family. I have been working as a kindergarten teacher in the 4-year-old room since moving to Melbourne. I also hold experience as an Education Leader.

I love to create welcoming environments and develop projects with the children that can lead us to have incursions and excursions to continue learning new things each day. Since I was little, I knew I wanted to become a teacher and contribute to the professionals of tomorrow.”

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Divya Gandhi

3YO Early Childhood Teacher – Marine Room

Graduate Diploma Early Childhood Education and Care

I believe that being a teacher of young children is a privilege and a responsibility that calls for patience, comprehension, and a nurturing setting. I view children as valuable individuals who, at all ages, have a right to speak up and be heard, have infinite potential, and the ability to contribute ideas, values related to family, and life lessons to the centre that are acknowledged and appreciated. As a teacher, it is my duty and responsibility to establish a secure, welcoming, and stimulating environment for learning that promotes each child's overall growth.

The Regio Emelia approach, which views the environment as a child's ‘third teacher’, inspires me the most. I am driven about integrating natural learning environments that encourage children's pursuit of knowledge so that I can foster genuine connections with all children and build lasting connections.

I seek to form close relationships with each child under my care, and their families. Every child is a special individual in my eyes, capable of learning a great deal and improving the lives of people around him or her. Furthermore, I strive to create a space where children and their families from different backgrounds and cultures are acknowledged and appreciated, in addition to providing children a rich atmosphere where they are encouraged to discover, begin acquiring knowledge, and have the freedom for expressing themselves.

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Chris

Marine & Reef Assistant Educator

Diploma Early Childhood Education and Care

My name is Chris, I hold a Diploma in Early Childhood Education. I love the idea of contributing and assisting children in discovering new things in life. With my experience in Holistic Counselling, (meditation as a tool), sports and nutrition and as a baker/chef, I aim to enrich children’s life.

To be part of young children’s life journey is a privilege as an educator. I am also excited about health and nutrition. As a former chef and baker, I love sharing my knowledge and passion for food with young children. I am aiming to inspire children to develop a sound relationship with food. I am fascinated by how children see their world with a creative mind.  The 100 languages concept developed by Reggio Emilia really opens many avenues for children to translate their creative thoughts with the tools and resources provided.

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Lilian Candido Macedo

Assistant Educator - Ocean Room

Certificate III Early Childhood Education and Care

My name is Lilian as an educator I strive to create a vibrant and inclusive community. I celebrate diversity, embracing the unique backgrounds, cultures, and experiences that each child brings. I encourage collaboration and foster a sense of belonging, ensuring that every child feels seen, heard, and respected.

I believe that each child is a unique individual with their own set of strengths, interests, and potential waiting to be discovered.

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Deysi Huertas Posada

Assistant Educator – Ocean Room

Certificate III Early Childhood Education and Care

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Amy Ngoc Bich

Assistant Educator - Ocean Room

Working Towards Certificate III Early Childhood Education and Care

I love working with children and playing a fundamental role in their growth and development. I believe that care and education in the early stages of life is the most important as it shapes the child's future.

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Anika Young

Assistant Educator - Ocean Room

Diploma Early Childhood Education and Care

I completed my Diploma of Early Childhood Education & Care in 2022 and I have the pleasure of working as an educator across all age groups. I believe that all children express themselves in their own unique way and I enjoy providing opportunities which allow children to embrace their uniqueness through play, exploration, and creativity. I believe that each child is an individual and has different interests, strengths and abilities. My goal as an educator is to provide children with a learning environment that encourages exploration and will extend their learning. I am passionate about teaching children and building safe, caring and secure relationships with each child as I believe that is a vital part of their learning and development journey.

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Georgia Karantonis

Co Room Leader – Harbour Room

Diploma Early Childhood Education and Care

A theorist I look to is Erikson and his psycho-dynamic theory, which emphasizes each child’s unique history, skills and style of learning and the importance of assisting children in developing their individual identity and self-esteem. Drawing out each child’s strengths, interests and abilities, and place these in the curriculum.
The attention and environment you provide shapes your child’s brain development for life – Erik Erikson.

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Nelli Armstrong-Ekinsmyth

Co Room Leader – Harbour Room

Diploma Early Childhood Education and Care

I believe that providing children with an environment they feel comfortable and supported in with help them develop strong relationships and learn to their best capability.
The environment children are surrounded by is their 3rd teacher and I want to continue to provide welcoming and intriguing set ups for children to explore.
Providing environments that promote opportunities to interact with others, letting children explore the world within their own limits.
You can encourage your child to plan, achieve goals, and take responsibilities by making sure they have plenty of opportunities to interact with others. – Erik Erikson

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Marian Santander

Assistant Educator - Harbour Room

Working Towards Certificate III Early Childhood Education and Care

I believe that early years build the foundation of every child preparing them for their adult years as these years mold their physical, emotional, and mental aspect through play. Play is one of the most treasured practices where a child starts developing and discovering their identity acknowledging the world they live in and the people who surrounds them. As an educator, my job is to provide a positive learning environment that nurture their needs and help them discover their individualities. 

I do also believe in the concept of experiential learning that knowledge occurs in the social environment, and it is learned by having various real-life experiences.  Thus, it is my task to be with the child while learning and experiencing this knowledge and guiding them to understand such dynamics that needs to be learned during this stage. 

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Lora Marinier

Room Leader – Coral Room

Certificate III Early Childhood Education and Care

I believe that each child is an individual, and as an early childhood educator it is my job to help them develop their strengths, interests, skills and abilities. I believe that children learn through play. I have a real desire to work with children, to connect with them and their families. I am enthusiastic about working with children to ensure they are receiving the best of care. Above all else, I believe in creating a secure environment where the children feel safe.

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Dhexyll Gutana

Assistant Educator – Coral & Ocean Room

Working Towards Certificate III Early Childhood Education and Care

I believe that providing children with an environment they feel comfortable and supported in with help them develop strong relationships and learn to their best capability.
The environment children are surrounded by is their 3rd teacher and I want to continue to provide welcoming and intriguing set ups for children to explore.
Providing environments that promote opportunities to interact with others, letting children explore the world within their own limits.
You can encourage your child to plan, achieve goals, and take responsibilities by making sure they have plenty of opportunities to interact with others. – Erik Erikson

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Shwe Yee Oo

Centre Chef

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