Our Lilly Pilly staff team consists of six educators, a cook, an administration officer and a cleaner.
Director - Frances
Hi, my name is Frances and I have been teaching in pre-schools for the last 29 years but my journey of working with children started even before then. From quite a young age I loved being around young children, often babysitting and volunteering at the children's home down the road from my home.
When I finished school, the children's home employed me and encouraged me to pursue my qualifications and so this became my life's work. After working in two different children's residential care homes in Sydney, I made the move up to this beautiful area in 1983, fell in love and had a baby.
I worked at Durrumbul preschool for two years, then I became the director of Wilson's Creek Preschool for four years and have been here at Lilly Pilly for the last 25 years. This work has brought me so much joy, not only from being with young children every day but from working in such great partnerships with beautiful, nurturing, creative families.
Hi, my name is Nikki and I was naturally drawn to my early childhood career at a young age. When I was 15 years I completed my high school work experience placement at a preschool in Bundaberg. I thoroughly loved my time at this preschool as it showed me the joy of seeing the world through the eyes of children.In 1993 I completed my studies in a Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood) and have worked in various roles in early childhood education and care ever since. Some of these roles include working with Ballina/Byron Family Day Care and Spaghetti Circus in Mullumbimby. Most recently I have worked in Vanuatu for four years as a kindergarten and preschool teacher at Port Vila International School. I have also travelled to China as an early childhood consultant and was then the Assistant Director at Federal Community Children’s Centre when I returned to Australia in 2017 with my husband and three children.
My spare time is filled with my own children, family and friends. I love to cook and go for beach walks with my dog and I am currently studying my Masters in Child Play Therapy.
My children were blessed to attend Lilly Pilly Preschool several years ago and I am absolutely delighted to join the Lilly Pilly aunties this year. Throughout my career I have always been passionate and advocated for the importance of the early years. Children are our future and I find it a privilege to share each child’s learning and growing journey with their family.
My journey as a childcare worker started when I became a mother to three children. I realised the importance of early learning and development, discovering each child was an individual with individual needs.
My love of children and my caring, nurturing happy nature and dedication took me on the early childhood teaching pathway into Lilly Pilly Preschool. I have worked here at Lilly Pilly Preschool for 25 years, first as permanent-partime and now fulltime. I have also had the opportunity to gain experience as a casual in a number of preschools in our local area, working as a support worker for children with additional needs.
I value the importance of children learning through play, song, dance and discovery of their world. When I am not in my Lilly Pilly role, I enjoy spending time with my grandchildren, gardening, cooking and being in nature.
From a young age I knew that I was going to work alongside children.
Their enthusiasm to create and learn is not only inspiring and motivating but is a joy to be around.
I have worked in the childcare industry for many years, and I have had experience teaching in preschools, long day care centres and I have worked as a nanny abroad.
I grew up as a Spaghetti Circus kid, performing and teaching throughout my youth. These rich and colourful experiences have shaped who I am today and form the basis of my philosophy.
In my spare time i love to spend time playing with my own children and being mummy. I love to sing, dance, explore in nature, spend time with my family and friends, and i love to teach.
I am a Degree Trained Early Childhood Educator, and have recently completed a year long course in Steiner Education; The Art of Early Childhood.
For the past 28 years I have had the joy and privilege of being part of children's play in early childhood education. It began in the late eighties after completing a Diploma in Teaching.
I was lucky to become part of a great team in 1989 at Lilly Pilly Preschool, then known as Brunswick Heads Community Preschool. The team and preschool has since grown alongside my passion and professional growth. I recently completed a Diploma in Childrens Services at Byron Bay Community College.
For me, working with children gives a beautiful insight into humanity and life and what's important. I thank children for that, as they have certainly enriched my life.
Along with my love of my family is my love and appreciation and desire to preserve the environment. Its beauty and wonders can take me walking, sailing, kayaking or horseriding. My animals (dogs, horse, chooks) are also very dear to my heart. I do my best to follow a self sufficient path, with a good vegie patch. I also find cooking very fullfilling.
All these beautiful things make me happy!
Hi, my name is Emily. I was always Aunty Em when I had my family day-care business so now it is my great pleaure to join up with the Lilly Pilly Aunties!
Working with young children for me started when my own two were young and we were attending Playgroup at the beautiful Little Steiner school, Kindlehill, in the Blue Mountains. I became the playgroup leader when at one point there was n0-0ne else to keep it going. It was a huge learning curve and led me to starting my own family day-care business inspired by my love of Steiner Early Childhood Education.
For me, joy is a major internal motivator and being with children constantly brings me to that place where joy and wonder spring from, this place of now, in the present. Such a great reminder of what is important! I feel very passionately about the importance of the early years.....our enthusiasm for life, our love of learning, our internal compass are held in the hands of those who nuture us early on. My own children and the children in my care have also been my teachers and fill my cup with love over and over!
In a small but happy way music has been a constant companion in my life. I love to play my recorder here too with the children. I love time in my garden, my yoga and my early morning swims. Nature is an eternal inspiration.
I recently completed 'The Art of Education-Introduction to the Foundations of Steiner Early Childhood Education' course atSamford Valley Steiner School. I have a Cert 3 in Early Childhood Education, have worked at 'The Children's Cottage' in Katoomba and Shearwater preschool.
Hi my name is Mardi. I 'm a mother of one beautiful daughter who came to LillyPilly several years ago. It was a magical experience for her, and I feel so blessed to be able to come back and share in the magic again here at Lilly Pilly.
I have always loved being with children, playing and caring for them, working as a nanny at a young age, and spending time volunteering for preschools in Spain, Morocco and Guatemala.
I have been here as a support worker at Lilly Pilly for the past two years. It is a role that I cherish, and feel blessed to be able to my spend time with here the children, supporting them and watching as they grow, explore, create and play.
I have a Diploma in visual Arts, where I mastered in drawing. I have studied certificates in early childhood and education as well as permaculture. I have plans to further my studies in early childhood and education to deepen my knowledge and experience in this area.
I love to travel and explore and get to know other countries and cultures. At home I love to garden, draw, create, practice yoga and take time out to surf in our beautiful beaches here in the byron shire.