People

Director of G.A.T.E.WAYS

Meg Pini became a co-director of G.A.T.E.WAYS in mid 2016. She has a Bachelors Degree in Applied Physics. As an accomplished teacher, she has taught secondary school science, mathematics and physics to junior and senior school students. She assists students to be active enquirers, making use of higher order thinking skills to extend and enrich their learning, and encourages them to share their knowledge and appreciation of the universe in which we live. Passionate about education, she is currently undertaking her Masters of Education in Gifted Education. Prior to becoming a Director, Meg had been involved with G.A.T.E.WAYS for many years, as a designer and presenter of exciting and challenging workshops, and as a program co-ordinator. Meg became sole director in July 2019.

Sydney G.A.T.E.WAYS

Kelly Driver joined the G.A.T.E.WAYS team as the Sydney-based coordinator in 2014 after coordinating G.A.T.E.WAYS programs for her gifted and talented students. Prior to that she has had numerous leading teacher roles working with extension learners in public, independent and international schools. Kelly completed a Double Degree at Q.U.T in Brisbane in Primary and Secondary Education and has also completed her honours degree in Educational Psychology. She has extensive teaching experience across Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, and in an international school in Japan. Kelly has two young boys and a love for thinking creatively. She is passionate about partnering with teachers and schools to successfully cater for the needs of gifted and talented learners.

Sappho Dalziell is an experienced teacher with a Master of Fine Arts at COFA (UNSW) and a Master of Education (Gifted Education). She has delivered teacher professional learning through the University of New South Wales, undertakes research assistant work, assesses postgraduate coursework, and has developed school programs for GERRIC. In addition to the wonderful programs she has delivered for G.A.T.E.WAYS OnLine and OnSite, Sappho has been a Gifted and Talented Coordinator at a Sydney public school.

Brisbane G.A.T.E.WAYS

Angela Hewasiribaddana came to the G.A.T.E.WAYS team as a program and social media co-ordinator, combining her loves of education and Web 2.0/3.0! Before this, she worked as a primary school teacher (in both mainstream and Montessori environments), as a tutor and in education support, as a governess in rural New South Wales and as an English teacher in South Korea and Japan. She has also worked as a freelance content developer.  Ang began her involvement with G.A.T.E.WAYS in 2012 and is best known for her recurring role as the DinoMites club leader at Alphington Brainwaves (formerly at Ivanhoe). She is eager to see gifted and talented students continue their trajectories into greatness, wherever their strengths and interests lie! Ang was appointed State Co-ordinator for Queensland in 2021.

Melbourne G.A.T.E.WAYS

Stephanie Axon joined the G.A.T.E.WAYS team as a program co-ordinator - a role she enjoys immensely. Prior to that, Stephanie was a secondary school teacher with a passion for education. As well as being a classroom teacher she held various positions of leadership including Head of the Science and Information Systems and Technology Faculty at a large independent school in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. She began presenting workshops for G.A.T.E.WAYS in 2013 and her dynamic and innovative workshops are always extremely well received and provide many opportunities to encourage and foster the inquiring minds of children. She loves all things science and math and relishes the opportunity to empower children and share her enthusiasm and love of learning. In 2016, Stephanie completed her studies in the area of gifted education.

Allen Dickson is our newest program coordinator her in Melbourne. Allenis an educator with a passion for ensuring learning is innovative, practical and enjoyable. A teacher for nearly 30 years, he has combined classroom teaching with presenting professional development (Pearson, Oxford, CSA) and educational consultancy (RethinkPD). Specialising in Digital Technologies and in extending and challenging gifted learners, Allen has been involved with GATEWAYS for over a decade. He has been a part of the GATEWAYS fabric having developed programs for Journeys, Eurekas, Festivals and the GATEWAYS Challenge – both in Australia and internationally. Heavily involved in advising schools in establishing STEM programs, Allen also coordinated the BHCS Partnership Project which resourced developing schools (in Australia and Asia) and guided them through accreditation and program implementation. Allen’s diverse skills have seen him connecting organisations from LEGO to World Vision with educational initiatives, and we are very excited to (formally) add him to the GATEWAYS team.

Jesse Chambers joined G.A.T.E.WAYS as a program co-ordinator in 2021. He is an enthusiastic science educator who first presented for the Brainwaves Club in 2016. He crafts exciting hands-on learning experiences that challenge high-ability students to solve problems with STEM. He has since presented many workshops for G.A.T.E.WAYS that immerse students in the sciences – from Astronomy to Zoology. After completing his double degree in Science and Education (Honours) at Monash University, he worked at a secondary college on the Mornington Peninsula where he taught STEM subjects and coordinated student transition. Recently, he completed his Master’s degree in Science Communication Outreach at the Australian National University. During his studies, he designed and facilitated workshops and presented science shows for the National Science and Technology Centre. Jesse is excited to be joining G.A.T.E.WAYS at an exciting time where digital learning can be used to enhance our capacity to meet the needs of gifted and talented learners all across Australia.

G.A.T.E.WAYS co-founders:

Win Smith was a founding director of G.A.T.E.WAYS. In 1994, along with Jill Lawrence, she established G.A.T.E.WAYS in Melbourne Australia, an organisation that is now a highly respected provider of programs to meet the special educational needs of gifted and talented students. Win has two gifted sons, now in their forties, one who works in Dubai and the other in the United States. Win retired on June 30, 2016, and is now looking forward to lots of travel as well as working on G.A.T.E.WAYS Publications and International programs.

Jill Lawrence was a co-founder of G.A.T.E.WAYS and  a Director for twenty-five years. Prior to that, Jill had taught English and History in secondary schools for more than ten years. Over that time she developed a keen interest in catering to the special needs of highly able students, enhancing her own knowledge and expertise through studies in gifted education at Melbourne University. Jill, first in partnership with Win Smith, and later with Meg Pini, was responsible for designing and overseeing a wide range of special programs for the highly able, for engaging and mentoring the presenters of these programs, and for liaising with teachers and parents. Aside from her professional expertise, Jill experienced the joys and difficulties of parenting two gifted and talented daughters. Jill’s own passions include a love of literature, theatre, art and travel. Jill stepped down from the directorship  in July 2019, but continues to work part-time with G.A.T.E.WAYS.