Our People

Our people - Anjana Andrews
Anjana Andrews, Centre Manager

Anjana tell us a bit about yourself.

Namaskaaram, Hello, Kia Ora, my name is Anjana. I come from the beautiful South Indian state of Kerala and I live in Auckland with my husband and our daughter. I was a secondary school teacher in my home country specialising in accounting and business studies and after moving to NZ I got inspired by the ECE education system here. I have worked with Evolve for the past few years and feel proud to advance my career with them.

When did you start your career in early childhood?

My journey in ECE started in 2008 and I worked across different age groups from babies to preschool.

What parts of the job do you most enjoy?

I enjoy every moment I work with the children and I am proud to be part of their learning and development. I love documenting each child’s learning journey in their portfolios and feel proud to display their interests and engagement in learning experiences through programme planning and curriculum design. Being the Centre Manager, I enjoy working with my team by supporting and guiding them and doing my best for the whole centre.

What is your ECE philosophy?

My vision and philosophy as an ECE teacher is to see the children happy and thriving in a nurturing, enriching and stimulating environment. I am deeply influenced by the sociocultural theory of development and believe that children’s learning is largely a social process and influenced by social interactions, surroundings and cultural factors.

our people - Sandra Gomes
Sandra Gomes, Head Teacher – Tuakana Room

Hi! I am Sandra Gomes. I am the Head Teacher in the Tuakana room and I’ve been working in ECE since 2004. I love working with our tamariki and assisting them in developing their inborn potential so that they have a strong foundation and smooth transition to school. I value working with whanau so that we can help to meet their aspirations for their child. You can always approach me for feedback on your child's day.

Molly Lanka, Teacher – Tuakana Room

Kia ora, I'm Molly formerly from South Africa. I have been living in New Zealand for the past 13 years with my son and daughter. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in ECE in 2013.  My passion is working with under five year olds. My inspiration comes from knowing that I am making a positive difference in children’s lives, and supporting  children to grow and develop into capable and confident learners. I look forward to meeting and establishing  new relationships with all parents and whanau.

our people - Sabashni Raju
Subashni Raju, Teacher - Tuakana Room

Namaste. Bula, I am Subashni and I am from the beautiful island of Fiji. I live with my husband and our daughter. I have done my Level 5 Diploma in ECE and have over eight years of experience working with young tamariki. I am very passionate about the learning and development of young children and love to work with both under 2s and over 2s.

our people - Auleen Kaur
Auleen Kaur, Teacher – Tuakana Room

Hi, I am Auleen and I am qualified teacher with a bachelor’s degree in ECE, specialising in Reggio Teaching. I have been working in early childhood for four years now. I am a very passionate teacher who is dedicated to providing a stimulating and challenging environment which encourages courageous play. I believe strongly in creating an environment which nurtures a child’s natural curiosity and sense of wonder for the world through beautiful, creative and ritual based activities. I love working with families and believe in the strength of whanau support and connection. In my spare time I enjoy reading, sketching, camping, travelling and long walks at the beach.

Melanie Smith, Teacher – Tuakana Room

Kia ora,

Ko Melanie toku ingoa. I am a registered teacher in the Tuakana Room. My son, Jamie attends Active Explorers as well. I qualified with a Bachelor of Teaching (ECE) in 2013. I enjoy watching children grow and develop. I believe in the importance of physical play, communication, social skills and emotional wellbeing. I have a strong interest in music, especially singing and I like to share this interest with children. I feel privileged to work and play alongside tamariki and I look forward to getting to know parents and whanau.

our people - Aine Thomas
Áine Thomas, Head Teacher Teina Room

Kia ora Whanau, 
Ko Áine Thomas ahau, I am a qualified, provisionally registered Kaiako and Head Teacher in the Teina Room. I am Irish but have happily called Aotearoa home for the past 26 years. I am very passionate about the job that I do, and I often think that I have the best job in the world, where I can enjoy life through the eyes of a child. I believe that every child is unique and special. My role as a teacher is to provide an environment where every child feels safe and loved. I support learning by providing activities and materials that children find engaging. I am looking forward to meeting you and your child. I believe that when teachers and parents work together, they can create an environment that best meets the needs of the children.

our people - Lee Williams
Lee Williams, Teacher – Teina Room

My name is Lee. I have been working at this centre for almost eight years. No children of my own yet but I love hanging out with my nephew. I love speedway, travelling, live music, going to art exhibitions, and watching my footy team.

Sue, Teacher - Teina Room

Hi, I'm Sue. I have been working in ECE for the past few years across different age groups. I am very passionate about children's learning and development and I love seeing them grow and learn every day. I love making a difference and contributing to children’s learning and experiences. I enjoy the outdoors, spending time with my family and friends, and travelling. I also love reading, listening to music, playing guitar and going to the gym.

our people - Rae Motutoa Tavalu
Rae Tavalu, Centre Cook

Faka lofa atu. Hi, I am Rae the centre cook. I am a mother of five children and a grandmother as well. I love cooking healthy and nutritious food for our tamariki.

our people - Maria Mullany
Maria Mullany, Administrator

After working at Unitec for 15 years I decided to move on as I always wanted to work with children, so I went into teaching for almost a year. Not long after I had a wonderful offer to be an administrator for Evolve, I get to continue to practice what I have learned in the past few years and be surrounded by children and help out if necessary.

I have got two grown children and three grandchildren that I love a great deal and as much we spend a lot of time together, I have used any spare time for nine years to volunteer with an organisation helping parents deal with children going through difficult times.

I have always had a passion for early childhood, and I love seeing children develop to their full potential. Watching them grow and thrive makes it worthwhile to be part of their lives.

I’m enriched by helping others and it's a joy to work with such a wonderful team and amazing children.