People

Directors of G.A.T.E.WAYS


Jill Lawrence
 is one of the founders of G.A.T.E.WAYS, which was established in 1994. Up until then, Jill ha
d 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 now with Meg Pini, has been 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 has 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.

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.

G.A.T.E.WAYS Program Coordinators

Melbourne.

Stephanie Axon joined the G.A.T.E.WAYS team as a program co-ordinator - a role she is enjoying 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 embarked on studies in the area of gifted education.

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!

Sydney

Kelly Driver has only recently joined the G.A.T.E.WAYS team as the Sydney-based coordinator. Until 2013, Kelly was working at Port Melbourne Primary School as a teacher responsible for Extension Learning, including offering G.A.T.E.WAYS programs to the student cohort. Kelly completed a Double Degree at Q.U.T in Brisbane in Primary and Secondary Education, specialising in English as a Second Language (ESL). She has been teaching for 13 years in both secondary and primary schools across Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, and in an International School in Japan. Kelly speaks Japanese and was team leader on the series of the Obento Japanese textbooks published for high school students across Australia. Kelly is a passionate teacher and, being fresh out of the classroom, understands the value and importance of providing challenging learning opportunities for Gifted and Talented children.


G.A.T.E.WAYS founding Director retires:

Win Smith 
is 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.