Directors of G.A.T.E.WAYS
Jill Lawrence is a co-founder of G.A.T.E.WAYS and has been 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 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.
Head of 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 is currently completing her honours' year in Educational Psychology. She has thirteen years' teaching experience 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. She has two young boys and a love for thinking creatively! Kelly is passionate about partnering with teachers and schools to successfully cater for the needs of gifted and talented learners.
G.A.T.E.WAYS Program Coordinators
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.
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!
Joanna Kane joined G.A.T.E.WAYS as a program coordinator in 2019. Her teaching career spans thirty-five years and has seen her teach in America, England and New Zealand as well as Australia. Joanna began her career as a primary school teacher specialising in English, Mathematics and Physical Education, but she has also taught at the pre-school and secondary levels. Her most recent years have been spent supporting students, parents and staff as the Director of the Centre for Differentiation at an independent school in Melbourne. Joanna has a longstanding involvement with G.A.T.E.WAYS, initially as a school coordinator nominating students for programs and then as a G.A.T.E.WAYS Brainwaves Club co-ordinator. Joanna sees herself as a lifelong learner and her goal is to complete her PhD in Education (Gifted) in the coming years. Joanna has three children and has had experience in parenting a twice-exceptional daughter. She loves reading, keeping fit, relaxing on the beach and spending time with family.
Kirsty Warren joined the G.A.T.E.WAYS team in 2019, coming from a program manager role in the Not-For-Profit sector. Prior to this, Kirsty taught science in a large secondary school in London as an Advanced Skills Teacher. This role in the leadership team of the school involved training and mentoring other teachers and working with them to develop best practice, specifically in the area of student led enquiry. Kirsty initially presented for G.A.T.EWAYS in 2017. She loves the opportunity to encourage students to be inquisitive, to challenge their existing understandings and to foster their thirst for knowledge. G.A.T.E.WAYS co-founder:
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.