Our People

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Kelly-Marie Brabyn, Centre Manager

What inspired you to become an early childhood teacher?

Children are amazing young people with so much to offer our world, how lucky am I to be able to spend time with them?!

How long have you been working in this sector?

Since the dinosaurs roamed the earth – about 25 years!!

What do you love most about what you do?

The amazing abilities of our youngest citizens of Aotearoa, their zest and spontaneity. But also, the nurturing and relationship side of my role with the children, their families and my work colleagues.

What is your favourite time of the year at the centre, and why?

Winter! Rain gear, gumboots and splashing in puddles.

What is your personal ECE philosophy?

I believe in encouraging the children’s abilities and interests, having fun, being caring and warm, and showing kindness towards each other.  Relationships are at the core of our industry.

What do you like to do in your free time?

We have just spent the last two years renovating our house so now we are working on the gardens. I love reading and spending time with my family.

Bachelor of Teaching in Early Years, Post-graduate Certificate in Infants and Toddlers.

 

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Billie Comiskey, Team Leader Koru Lounge

Kia Ora Whanau! My name is Billie . and I am the team leader in the Koru Lounge. I have been working with Active Explorers for over a year now and was an ECE teacher for six years before starting here. I have a huge passion for ECE and believe relationships lie at the centre of quality education. Inspiring tamariki to love learning is a huge part of why I chose to become a teacher. I value te ao Māori and promote the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa throughout my teaching practice and everyday life. Teaching brings me joy and seeing the progress of tamariki as they grow and learn is what gets me up in the morning. I’m a very whānau orientated person and spend a lot of time with my friends and whānau. I love being active and exploring this beautiful country of ours in my free time. I look forward to getting to know you and your whānau and working alongside you to provide the best learning outcomes for your tamariki.

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Shianda Pukeroa, Team Leader Te Puawai Tots

Tena koutou katoa, Ko Whaea Shianda tōku ingoa, e noho ana au ki Te Papaioea, engari nō Te Tairawhiti ahau.

I have been teaching in early childhood since 2011, alongside my tamariki as I wanted to learn more about who they were as successful learners in early childhood education. I wanted to add to my tools as a mother, by exploring the ways in which I can contribute to their learning and development confidently. My tamariki and my community have been my soul purpose from the start – I wanted to lead by example and show my tamariki what educational success looks like, and to inspire other parents who were looking at education as a career option as well. I have a passion for cultural diversity and believe that all tamariki have the right to celebrate their diverse ways of being, doing and knowing with my support and guidance. I chose to work in early childhood so I can make a positive contribution to society through nurturing the knowledge, skills and attitudes of our next generation of learners and leaders.

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Zivana Donnelly, Team Leader in Nga Kakano o Tane

Kia ora, my name is Zivana. I began working in early childhood education as a reliever in October 2015 and began my Bachelor of Teaching (ECE) degree in 2016. I am now a qualified teacher and the Team Leader in the infants’ room known as Ngā Kakano o Tāne (the seeds of Tāne). I decided to work in early childhood specifically as I learnt how important the first years are - learning starts from the day you are born! I am an advocate for children's rights, and I want to create an environment where children are able to explore their sense of belonging, sense of self and sense of uniqueness.