Cool Australia’s resources are designed and developed by experienced teachers, curriculum writers and experts in the education sector. Each writer brings their unique pedagogical approach and is an expert in their particular subject areas. All of our lessons are free to access and meet the requirements of the Australian Curriculum, the EYLF and NQF.
Are you a curriculum writer who is interested in working with Cool Australia? Contact [email protected]
Look who currently writes resources for Cool Australia…
Susan Tate – Bachelor of Education (Primary)
Susan Tate has 18 years of experience teaching in primary schools across all year levels. During this time she took on the responsibility of co-ordinating the Sustainability program at a number of schools, putting to use knowledge and skills obtained from Environmental Science, studied throughout her years at secondary school. Currently on maternity leave, Susan is enjoying time with her 3 year old and is passionate about creating a sustainable future. She is also embarking on a new role as a learning experiences volunteer at Healesville Sanctuary. Susan has joined the Cool Australia team, writing case studies for Enviroweek.
Janet Etty-Leal – Bachelor of Education (Arts and Crafts)
Janet Etty-Leal is a mindfulness educator and teacher who loves to share heart/mind/hands-on opportunities with students and teachers to enliven the classroom. Creative Mindfulness practices engage children in a variety of fun and simple ways. With sustained commitment, the ability to cultivate calm, conscious, compassionate choices for students, teachers and the wider school community is possible. Practices range from 60 seconds to 5-10 minutes and can effortlessly be dovetailed into the curriculum.
Janet’s Consultancy, ‘Meditation Capsules’, was established in 2000 to help people develop healthy, happy minds. She has facilitated mindfulness training in diverse sectors: education, health, the corporate sector, sport and community wellbeing. Her primary focus and passion is to implement Mindfulness programs within schools. She has designed programs for students (3-18 years of age) and teachers; working with over 70 schools and educational organisations. Janet has spoken at numerous Conferences. In 2010 she published ‘Meditation Capsules: A Mindfulness Program for Children’. Masters/ PhD students in the Universities of W.A. and S.A. and RMIT in Victoria; New Zealand and the U.S. have trialed and evaluated Janet’s school based programs.
Helen Barrett – Bachelor of English Literature/Psychology, Post Graduate Certiﬁcate in Education – Primary
Helen has been teaching for 16 years and in that time held a number of positions in schools: Assistant Principal, Leading Teacher, ICT and Science Coordinator.
In her last school in the UK, Helen raised significant funding for the transformation of a local derelict allotment into an outdoor learning area for students. A brand new space was created for the school, complete with a pond, decking, two polytunnels, planting beds and a covered classroom area. Helen raised further funding to employ a local horticulturalist, who worked part time with staff and students on the site as it developed. The outdoor learning space was then opened up for use by the wider community, other local schools and colleges were able to access the space and it’s facilities.
Helen now works for REALschool, a program run by Ballarat High School. It aims to re-engage some of the most vulnerable and at risk students aged 10-18, who have dropped out from mainstream education.
Anja Tanhane, RMT, Bachelor of Music Therapy (Melbourne), Graduate Certificate in Family Therapy (La Trobe), MBSR teacher training (Openground), Professional Training in Buddhism and Psychotherapy (AABCAP)
Anja Tanhane is a qualified Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher and registered music therapist. A meditation and Tai Chi practitioner for over twenty-five years, she regularly teaches the MBSR course, facilitates weekend retreats, and offers training in mindfulness to community health and service organisations, hospitals, DHS and the Federal Court of Australia. Anja lectures on mindfulness at the University of Melbourne, and has presented at national and international conferences, professional development seminars, and public forums. Her popular weekly mindfulness reflections can be found on her website, www.mindfulnessmeditation.net.au.
Krista Nisi – Masters Environmental Education
Krista joined Cool Australia in mid-2008 to create and develop teacher resources, and has since been busy writing and illustrating to create the activities and content on the Cool Australia site. She brings with her 10 years experience working on sustainability education in the not-for-profit, university and local government sectors. Krista has a degree in biodiversity, conservation and park management from the University of South Australia. Several subjects helped her to realise that her skills lie not in the doing of but teaching of science. She went on to gain a Masters in Environment (Environmental Education) from the University of Melbourne.
Thea Nicholas – Bachelor of Science, Dip. Ed, Accomplished Teacher
Thea commenced her teaching career at Brentwood Secondary College in 2008 as a classroom teacher of Science. Her passion for the environment led her to implement a whole school sustainability program. Thea created middle school sustainability curriculum and introduced and taught VCE Environmental Science. For her dedication and work as Brentwood Secondary’s Sustainability Coordinator, Thea was a finalist in the NIETA Inspirational Teaching Awards and DEECD Inspirational Teacher of the Year. In 2010 Thea was awarded the Earthwatch scholarship. This scholarship allowed her to experience firsthand the effects of climate change on the biodiversity of The Wet Tropics of Queensland, which was a life changing experience. Thea’s proudest teaching moment was when the Green Team won The City of Monash Worlds Environment Day Award. Thea dreams of being the next Costa Georgiadis and would definitely rock a beard!
Angela Andrews – Bachelor of Commerce (Melb), Master of Teaching (Syd)
Angela is an experienced teacher and sustainability practitioner. She is a former Associate Lecturer in Economics at the University of Sydney, where she also provided additional one-on-one tuition to students through the Indigenous Tutorial Assistance Scheme (ITAS). She taught economics, business, commerce and mathematics for almost a decade at Newington College – an independent college for boys in Sydney’s inner west, and was an HSC Examiner in Economics for the NSW Board of Studies for four years. Her interest in environmental issues and in student engagement and leadership programs inspired her to help establish the college’s Sustainability Council. She was subsequently employed by Manly Council as the Climate Change & Sustainability Education Officer. During this time, she also completed the fellowship program at the Centre for Sustainability Leadership in Sydney. Angela now works for Cool Australia developing curriculum resources and facilitating professional development workshops for teachers across NSW and Queensland. In her spare time, she rides a road bike, a MTB as well as a much-loved rusty cruiser for getting around the neighbourhood. A unicycle is next on her shopping list.
Catherine Mckenzie – Bachelor Mathematics, Dip Ed, Accomplished Teacher
After 10 years in industry, and seeing a decline in secondary and university math education, Catherine embarked on a dipEd to transfer her undergraduate Science degree (Mathematical Modelling) and skills gained from years in industry into becoming a secondary maths and science teacher.
In the classroom Catherine strives to inspire young people with her passion for mathematics. She strongly believes that sustainability education should be integrated into the Australian Mathematics curriculum and strives to support teachers by producing easy to use, adaptable and rigorous learning resources. In creating resources for Cool Australia, Catherine expands mathematical concepts into environmental contexts and brings these learnings into everyday maths classroom.
Bronwyn Cron – Early Childhood Specialist
Bronwyn has been involved in Education for Sustainability; local government; program development; community engagement; and strategic planning for 17 years. She has most recently managed the Seedlings Early Years Education for Sustainability Partnership Project across five Victorian local government areas; developing an EfS Framework; tools and resources specifically for the early years sector. Bronwyn is committed to lifelong learning and developing quality programs that capture the hearts, minds and imaginations of people of all ages, empowering them to take positive action to create a better future.
Bob Winters – Bachelor Science, Dip. Ed.
Bob works with Cool Australia revising curriculum materials and assisting in some aspects of the education strategies. Bob is a curriculum writer, author, photographer, sustainability educator, marine educator, naturalist and private contractor, with 35 years experience in environmental education. He has extensive knowledge of not-for-profit environmental education organisations, current education policies and practices. Bob is highly regarded for his innovative education strategies.
Jeremy Kalbstein – Bachelor of Arts, Graduate Diploma in Sports Business, Dip Ed.
Jeremy is an accomplished educator with vast experience in strategic, tactical and operational planning and implementation as well as facilitating customised presentations, workshops and seminars in digital learning and ICT integration.
His latest work has seen him create cutting edge sustainability curriculum, which incorporates digital technologies, social media and visible thinking cultural. Jeremy utilizes his knowledge and understanding of Harvard’s Visible Thinking framework to help with promoting meaningful change, cultural shifts and transformations for young people.
Jeremy is completing his Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.).
Catherine Rivera – Bachelor in Early Childhood Education
Catherine moved from Colombia to Australia in 2006, where she has worked with children from one to five years of age. Sustainability has become one of her passions and she is including it in her educational program using different ways to teach children about nature, energy efficiency, stewardship, waste minimisation, water conservation, health and wellbeing. Catherine takes into account children’s current ages, interests and abilities in her planning. She shares her experiences and lessons with other teachers in the Early Years Education on the Cool Australia Website. Catherine will start her Masters in Applied Positive Psychology in 2015 at the University of Melbourne.
Sarah Mokrzycki – Bachelor of Arts (Writing & Editing), Graduate Diploma (Writing)
Sarah is a freelance writer and editor. She has been published by Clouds of Magellan Press, The Weekend Australian, Bukker Tillibul, AM-UNITY Magazine, and a myriad of websites and blogs. In 2014 Sarah and her husband became part-time foster carers, and it has proved to be a thoroughly life changing and enriching experience – although sometimes exhausting! Sarah is thrilled to be working with Cool Australia, as she is always actively working towards a more sustainable lifestyle (her dream is to one day be completely sustainable!) and writes regular articles on ethical consumerism for AM-UNITY magazine. Best of all, Cool Australia’s lesson plans are always giving her ideas for activities to do with her foster kids.
Pru Borgert – Bachelor of Music (Melbourne University), Bachelor of Education (Deakin University)
Pru Borgert is an eclectic music educator with broad experiences including Kodaly, Orff, Steiner, early childhood music, music technology, textbook writing, radio industry skills and professional development delivery. Having taught 3 to 18 year olds as both an instrumental and classroom music teacher (in Sydney, Melbourne and regional NSW), she now has three sons of her own to experiment upon and currently teaches at Glenaeon Rudolph Steiner School in Middle Cove. Beyond music, other interests and experiences include digital resource development (Australian Chamber Orchestra and The Royal Botanic Gardens), outdoor education, craft and biodynamic gardening.
Kate Corcoran – Bachelor of Arts (Geography/Economics), Diploma of Education
Kate Corcoran has over 20 years of experience teaching the Social Sciences in secondary schools across all year levels both internationally and in Australia. As a passionate Geographer, Kate has vast experience in designing curriculum that evokes students’ interest in the world around them and compels them to act in addressing contemporary environmental and social issues. Kate currently works as coordinator of the Social Sciences at Santa Sabina College in Sydney where she leads a team of dynamic, creative and dedicated teachers. While at Santa Sabina, she also established the College Sustainability Committee where she has implemented a range of environmental initiatives including an extensive recycling program, community gardens and a composting program. Kate has also contributed to a number of Social Science textbooks and external examinations, she has presented at Geography teachers conferences and is a Board of Studies HSC Marker.
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 lead to her working at the Foundation as a facilitator, project manager and resource developer.
Sam started with Cool Australia as a part-time curriculum writer and now works with Cool Australia as Curriculum Design and Development Manager. 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.
Pat Armstrong – Bachelor Science (Honours), Dip. Ed.
Pat Armstrong has worked in environmental education and education for sustainability for more than 30 years, actively involved in the development and implementation of internationally recognised sustainability education programs that provide long-term change and triple bottom line outcomes. These programs have included Waste Wise Schools, Sustainable Schools and Sustainable Communities for local governments. In 2004, Pat was contracted by UNESCO to evaluate a community empowerment project for sustainability in India and in 2005 was invited by UNESCO to participate in a workshop in Thailand to develop a strategy for education for sustainable development for the Asia-Pacific region for the next decade. Pat currently works as a private consultant in education for sustainability, specialising in program development, training, evaluation, facilitation and strategic planning.
Peter Cole – Masters Education Bachelor Commerce, B. Education, Fellow of the Australian Council for Education Leaders (FACEL)
Peter Cole has over 25 years experience working in education as a secondary teacher, curriculum consultant, policy analyst, program manager and senior executive within the Department of Education (Victoria). Prior to leaving the education department, Peter was the senior advisor to the director of education and the manager of training and development. In 1996 Peter formed his own consultancy business and has continued to work in the education sector within Australia and overseas. His consultancy work has primarily been concerned with statewide and national policy and program development, professional learning, school and teacher effectiveness, education research and leadership training. Peter is an accredited leadership coach and reviewer of school performance.