TEACHING TEAM

Our teachers come from a wide variety of backgrounds and they have many different passions. Two comments that we often hear about our teachers is that they are approachable (who doesn’t want to talk about the Parramatta Eels?) and that they love their students.

We would love you to meet them by reading through the brief biographies, and watch their videos on this page:

Anji Smith

Languages Team Leader

Anji Smith completed a degree in science before moving into full time mission work with her husband and children in Asia. After ten years in mission work, Anji returned to Australia and worked in the science labs of Rouse Hill Anglican College. During that time she was recognised for her teaching ability and encouraged to complete a Grad Dip Ed in Education. After completing her degree she now works full time at ACC School in the Science faculty.

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Barb Howard

Acting Head of Distance Education & Science Team Leader

Barb joined the college in 2012 and has a Degree in Applied Science and post-graduate qualifications in teaching, specialising in Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Science, she is also qualified by Work Cover for OH&S in the workplace. Barb has been teaching for 13 years following a career in research in the fields of industry and medicine. Barb worships at St John’s Anglican Church at Wilberforce.

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Ben Kwok

School Chaplain

Ben is the Chaplain at ACC School. Sydney-born and educated in the United States, Ben has a Bachelor’s degree in Bible and a Master of Divinity degree and has served in several local churches for over fifteen years. Ben works as pastor at Rouse Hill Bible Church – a young church in northwest Sydney. With six young children (and an excellent wife), life is noisy but joyful. Interests include sports, music, reading, Apple products and home improvements.

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Caitlin Wells

Literacy Coordinator

Caitlin is the literacy coordinator at ACC Marsden Park. Prior to her current role, she taught kindergarten at ACC and spent time living in Auckland. Whilst in NZ, Caitlin was able to spend time studying literacy, her area of passion in education. She believes literacy learning is so important for young children and is always looking for ways to make it meaningful and engaging. In her spare time, Caitlin loves playing piano, spending time with her husband and taking long walks. She also loves leading the toddlers program at her church.

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Daniel McGowan

HSIE Team Leader

Daniel completed his tertiary education at Macquarie University in 2013. He enjoys most sports, reading, good food and the beach. Daniel attends St Pauls Castle Hill church and serves in a variety of ministries there. He is passionate about History and would love to see students share this passion. Daniel would love to see students grow in Christ and to encounter God.

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David Russell

Arts Team Leader

Dave has been working as a music teacher, guitar tutor, musical director and performer for 10 years. Before which he was a youth worker with Wesley Mission, Sydney. His major areas of interest are in contemporary performance and the pedagogy of contemporary music (the latter of which is now forming the basis of a PhD). Dave is thoroughly enjoying his time at ACC, and looks forward to expanding the music program in the years to come.

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Deb Kwok

Deb grew up in upstate New York as the youngest of four children. She completed her Bachelor of Education (Hons) in 2007. Deb takes great delight in seeing children build up confidence and develop key academic skills as they enter their formal schooling years. Deb is happily married and on the weekends you would find her spending time with her nephews and nieces, teaching in church, or enjoying a Body Attack class at Virgin Active in Norwest.

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Debbie Truman

Debbie Truman has been with Australian Christian College since its early days. She has Bachelor degrees in Arts and Teaching (Secondary) specialising in Technology, and is currently studying a Masters of Education. Deb has been married for 22 years with 4 children. Deb enjoys teaching Technology, including Food and Textiles. She is excited this year to teach Wood & Plastics Technologies. Deb enjoys participating in music and women’s ministries at her local church.

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Don Hastie

Don Hastie has been teaching at the school since 2007 and has a Masters of Education, Graduate Diploma in Educational Studies and a Diploma in Teaching. Don is married with three children and six grandchildren. At Australian Christian College Don teaches Years 4 Maths, HSIE and Bible. He also teaches Years 7 and 8 Maths. When not at school he enjoys spending time with family, listening to music, playing golf and tennis. Don attends Winston Hills Anglican Church.

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Di Kwok

Di completed her education degree in the United States in 1998. Her first teaching position was in the American public schools sector. During that time she was able to work with students from a wide range of cultures and ability levels. This formative experience gave her a passion for seeing students grow in their love for Maths. She recently completed a Masters in Education while also managing a busy household with eight children. Di enjoys exercising, attending church and using her Thermomix.

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Emma Burke

Emma completed her Bachelor of Education at the University of Notre Dame. She is enthusiastic about the creative and performing arts and seeks opportunities to authentically integrate these in her classroom. Emma is passionate about early childhood education and the important role it plays in providing children with a firm foundation for their education and development. She is highly enthusiastic about using ICT in innovative ways and looks forward to sharing these with her students and the school community. When not at school, Emma enjoys playing sport, sipping coffee, watching theatre performances and participating in church activities.

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Emma Gough

English Team Leader

Emma completed her Bachelor of Arts (Diploma of Education) at Macquarie University, and is passionate about English and History. She takes great joy in teaching young people and her passion is in seeing her students reach their goals. Emma enjoys spending her time outside of school with family and friends, being apart of different ministries at her church, reading a great book or trying her hand at the occasional baking project.

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Emma Russell

Emma is a passionate reader of classic English literature and a vehement thespian. She completed her Bachelor of Secondary Education/Bachelor of Arts at The University of Sydney with a double major in Performance Studies & English. Before teaching at ACC, Emma has been involved in a variety of musical and theatrical productions, both in Sydney and in New York. In her work teaching Drama and English at the college, Emma loves to bring her two passions together in teaching Shakespeare dramatically in an English classroom. Emma feels eternally blessed and humbled to be given the opportunity to continue her Christian ministry through education in the humanities and arts.

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Jess Hickson

Primary Team Leader

Jess completed her Bachelor of Education at the University of Technology Sydney. Jess is passionate about giving every child in her Year 2 class equal opportunities and watching them reach their goals. She attends St Pauls Anglican Church Castle Hill and loves leading a young women’s Bible study. Jess likes to take joy in the little things and spends her weekends with her nose in a book and the occasional painting project.

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Julia Min

Julia completed her Bachelor of Education with a major in Mathematics at The University of Sydney in 2016. She passionate about mathematics and seeing students have their confusion turn into understanding with different concepts. Julia also enjoys staying active through physical activity, cooking and spending time with loved ones. Julia attends a small local church named Epping Church of Christ and loves building relationships with the youth and young adults.

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Kate Buchanan

Kate completed her Bachelor of Arts with a Bachelor of Education (Primary) in 2016. She has a passion for working with children, and is encouraged to grow her students to reach their full potential. She believes that this is all encompassing, and extends beyond the classroom through extra curricula, development of students health and wellbeing, and assisting them in building a biblical foundation in Christ.

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Lesley-Ann Hardy

PDHPE Team Leader

Lesley-Ann Hardy completed her Bachelor of Education (Physical & Health Education) in 2007. As a high school student she represented New South Wales in athletics and still enjoys a variety of sports including touch and soccer. She teaches PDHPE, PASS and Sport in the Middle School and Senior College at Australian Christian College. Other than sport, Lesley enjoys spending time with her husband of 5 years and dog Trixie.

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Lyndall Gluskie

Lyndall completed a Bachelor of Teaching/ Bachelor of Arts (Technology) at Australian Catholic University in 2013. Lyndall is a passionate Technology teacher and teaches many different tech subjects including Design and Technology and Industrial Technology Multimedia. She enjoys being creative and making things from timber and fabric. In her time outside of school she enjoys sewing dresses, drawing, catching up with friends and seeing live musical performances. Lyndall also enjoys playing the violin and the electric guitar and is part of her local symphony orchestra. She is the youngest in her family and has two older brothers.

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Maddy Shirley

Maddy is completing her Bachelor of Arts with a Bachelor of Secondary Education, majoring in English and Drama. She is passionate about helping teenagers believe in their unique skills and abilities, and in guiding them in achieving their very best. Maddy loves working with Years 7-10, and helping shape the culture of the school in how she teaches and interacts with the students. Her interests include: escaping to the beach, exploring new cafes and restaurants, drinking coffee, reading, watching the newest Netflix drama and being active.

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Natasha Collins

Natasha (Tash) grew up in Sydney with two sisters and a brother. She became a Christian shortly after completing her HSC school year at Cecil Hills High School. Tash completed a teaching degree at the University of NSW with an emphasis on English, Literature & Theatre. After finishing her degree she took a gap year to work as a fulltime missionary on university campuses. Tash loves working with students who don’t fit inside the box and she loves to engage students through drama and the arts.

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Ralph Hearsey

Ralph Hearsey has been teaching at the school since 2007 and has a Bachelor of Education (Primary) specialising in PDHPE. Ralph is a graduate of the school and has returned after university. Ralph teaches 5 & 6 Maths, Science and year 5 PDHPE. When not at school Ralph enjoys spending time with family and friends, listening to music, playing sports and being involved in church activities. Ralph attends Fellowship Baptist Church in Blacktown.

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Rani Joseph

Rani Joseph teaches Creative Arts in addition to being the Career Adviser. Rani has studied and taught in three countries and many schools for 26 years. She holds a teaching diploma in Arts Education and a Bachelor of Pedagogics (Arts). Rani has completed postgraduate studies in Creative Arts, Information Technology, Media in Education, Principalship and Careers Counselling. She is currently studying a Masters of Education (Careers & Leadership).

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Rebekah Davis

Beck completed her Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood) in 2003. She has a passion for young children, which led to the call of teaching. Beck is a busy mum of 3 children who also attend the college. She feels extremely blessed to be teaching across the primary school at the Australian Christian College. Beck attends Vineyard Church and loves cooking in the cafe. In her spare time Beck loves to read, watch movies and catching up with friends.

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Ross Howard

Deputy Principal

Mr Ross Howard is the Deputy Principal of Australian Christian College – Marsden Park. Ross is a passionate educator with a broad range of experience in schools. His previous appointments have included Cherrybrook Technology High School, Barker College (where he served for 12 years), Wesley College and Northolm Grammar School. Ross has four children and his eldest son is studying at ADFA in Canberra.

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Selena Tay

Selena completed her Bachelor of Education (Primary) in 2011. She has a passion for young children, which led to teaching. Selena is excited that she can be a part of their learning at school and their growth in Christ. Selena feels extremely blessed to be teaching Year 3 at the Australian Christian College. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring new places with her husband, taking photos of God’s beautiful creations and solving puzzles.

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Shelby Mayo

Shelby completed a Bachelor of Arts (majoring in Modern History and Music) in 2013 and a Master of Teaching in 2015, both at The University of Sydney. She grew up as a pastor’s kid, having parents who were always a godly role model and it is her prayer that she can be the same role model to others. Shelby attended Cornerstone Baptist Church since she was 7 years old, and has loved serving there playing the violin and cello in the orchestra and teaching sunday school since high school. In her spare time Shelby loves to go on bush walks and sing with her family.

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Shelley Tan

Shelley began as an Early Childhood teacher where she fell in love teaching young children. She has travelled to many destinations with a fond interest in culture, history and language. With her heart set on teaching she pursued her dream of being a Primary School teacher. Shelley is a passionate and enthusiastic teacher, who aims to create a classroom environment that encourages all learners to have a go and challenge themselves. Shelley enjoys gardening, baking and spending time with family and friends.

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Suzie White

Suzie has been an art tutor for over 20 years, specialising in fine art, decorative art, graphic design and pottery. In 1992, Suzie set up her own company concentrating on design imaging, freelance art creation, set production and publishing of art videos and books. In 1999, Suzie was awarded Australian Decorative Artist of the Year. Suzie loves spending time with her family and friends, and enjoys doing all types of art and craft. Suzie attends Full Life Global Ministries.

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Tiarne Kleyn

Sports Coordinator

Tiarne completed a Bachelor of Human Movement and Bachelor of Teaching (PDHPE) at University of Technology, Sydney. At Australian Christian College, Tiarne teaches PDHPE and loves to help young people make positive decisions in their life. Outside of school, Tiarne loves her soccer and her church, St Pauls Castle Hill, where she is actively involved in both music and youth ministry.

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Werner Vlok

Werner is an highly qualified primary teacher with over 16 years of varied experience on three continents. He gained his teaching qualifications in South Africa and then moved to the UK where he taught in a variety of schools until he emigrated to Australia. He loves to see children grow in confidence throughout the year and does this by reminding them of who they are in Christ. Werner enjoys teaching sport, especially cricket, rugby and athletics. He is a keen Mountain bike rider and attends C3 Church in Silverwater.

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Will Tay

Will Tay has been with Australian Christian College since 2009 and has a Diploma in Education (Secondary) along with a Bachelor’s degree in Software Engineering. He teaches Mathematics, as well as Industrial Technology Multimedia. Will also helps run an extracurricular robotics class and will be mentoring students in the first “Lego League” competition later in the year. Will enjoys spending time on the weekends with his wife capturing photos as well as exploring the Australian landscape.

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