Jason Kimberley – Managing Director
Cool Australia founder Jason Kimberley has a background as a retailer, builder and restaurateur. Jason is also a photographer and adventurer with a passion for life and nature. Jason recognised the need to provide our next generations with relevant and engaging information about how our world works and what we risk with ‘business as usual’. Our education system was identified as the most important and effective way for connecting with kids and identified educators as the best ‘voice’ for Cool Australia. In August 2008, Cool Australia launched. Jason is increasing the scale of Cool Australia’s operations to reach more schools, teachers and students.
Thea Stinear – General Manager
Thea began her teaching career as a teacher of Science and Mathematics, as well as the leadership role of Sustainability Coordinator. Her proudest moment in teaching was when her Green Team won The City of Monash Worlds Environment Day Award. In 2010 Thea was awarded the Earthwatch scholarship, a life-changing experience that allowed her to witness first-hand the effects of climate change. Thea’s passion for education led her to join the Cool Australia team. She loves helping teachers become creators of exceptional learning, inspiring their students to make positive changes in their lives. Thea was a fellow at the Centre for Sustainability Leadership and is completing a Masters of Instructional Leadership at the Graduate School of Education at Melbourne University. For her dedication and work in education, Thea was a finalist in the NIETA Inspirational Teaching Awards 2011 and a finalist for the Victorian Department of Education’s Inspiration Teacher of the Year Award 2012.
Anna Nettlefold – Head of Partnerships
Anna has experience in a variety of industries from the not for profit and advocacy sectors to media, customer service, health and wellness. With a dedicated ethos of strong partnerships through mutual respect and professionalism, Anna has been able to establish relationships that have longevity. Being a team player with a creative mind ensures brainstorming and problem solving are some of her core business strengths. With a passion for sustainable environmental, social and community living, a little patch of the rolling green hills of Gippsland is where she can be found on weekends tending to garden, animals, farm and soul.
Chris Vella – Head of Education
Whether it is adding social media to his classroom or doing project-based learning in outdoor settings, Chris has always loved getting creative with education, and working with others to do the same in their practices. Chris completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts, before gaining a degree in Secondary Education. After teaching in a classroom for a while, he discovered NSW’s Environmental Education Centres (EEC). His work in various EECs led Chris to extend his education training into the field of Geography. Chris then worked at Western Sydney University, connecting students to careers in science and health. After years of fanboying all things Cool Australia, Chris joined the Cool Australia crew as a Curriculum Project Manager. His favourite part of his role at Cool Australia is being able to create learning resources that allow students to engage in authentic learning experiences.
Krista Nisi – Head Writer
Krista turned her love of nature into a degree in Biodiversity, Conservation and Park Management from the University of South Australia, followed by a Masters in Environment (Environmental Education) from the University of Melbourne. Krista now works on the development of the Cool Australia curriculum resources, and is busy creating the lessons and content for teachers across the country. She brings with her over 15 years of experience working on sustainability education in the not-for-profit, university and local government sectors.
Janine Meadley – Education Specialist
Janine is a Performing Arts teacher and has worked in both Primary and Secondary schools. She spent a number of years working as an education consultant and policy advisor in the area of School Leadership, most notably, with the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL). Janine wrote a dissertation, for her Master of Education, on how to use popular culture to engage students in rich conversations around sexuality education.
Janine is passionate about helping young people grow up to be in touch with their feelings, wholehearted, resilient and prepared to take on anything in their yet-to-be imagined futures. She believes in a world where we all take care of each other and our planet.
James Tregonning – Project Manager
Imported from the South Island of New Zealand, James is a digital education specialist with experience working across both the New Zealand and Australian education sectors. He initially trained in English Literature, specialising in digital fiction; now, with research interests spanning biblical poetry to the algorithms governing elevators, he is a firm believer in cross-curricular learning.
He probably plays too many video games.
Sam Charlotte – Project Lead/Writer
Sam was inspired to become an English teacher after spending a year on student exchange in Thailand in high school. She gained degrees in Arts and Secondary Education and started her career teaching English and Humanities for Years 7-12. While in the role of Year 10 Coordinator, Sam attended a student employment program run by the Foundation for Young Australians. She mentioned to one of the facilitators that she secretly wanted their job – a confession that led to her working at the Foundation as a facilitator, project manager and resource developer. She is a firm believer in the transformative power of education, and works hard on the collaborative development of innovative and practical resources for teachers to engage and inspire students.