Our Team

Debbie Zerbst

Centre Director 

Deborah Zerbst first qualified as a Montessori directress in 1983. Deborah worked in South Africa in Early Childhood Education until her family immigrated to Australia in late 1996. While living in South Africa, Deborah worked in both Montessori and traditional settings. Her perspective, however, was significantly broadened as a result of the political climate in South Africa at that time. Underprivileged children living there experienced a history of neglect due to the political ideologies of the apartheid government. Deborah developed strong views on social justice and worked tirelessly to close the gap in early education, believing that all children have the right to quality education and care. In Australia, Deborah obtained her Bachelor of Early Childhood Education and Care. Her work experience in Sydney has included working at Montessori East in Stage 1. That position was held for 5 years before she was offered a teaching position at The Early Learning School at Reddam House. Deborah was responsible for setting up the creative arts program using a multi-theorist approach. She incorporated key perspectives and insights from Montessori, Reggio Emilia, the Steiner Waldorf school movement and learning through nature. Deborah later went on to become the Principal of the Early Learning School Reddam House in Lindfield.

Deborah joined the Clovelly Child Care Centre’s team in 2016 as an Early Childhood Teacher (ECT) and is now the Director of the centre.

Deborah’s passion for working in the Early Childhood sector has never wavered and she is determined to consistently strive for greater outcomes for children, families, the environment and teaching teams .

Puggles Educators

Jessica Simpson - Room Leader

Jess grew up on south coast before moving to Sydney six years ago. Growing up the eldest of four siblings, Jess developed a natural connection and love for providing care to younger children. She completed a traineeship while working down the coast and has been in the industry for ten years. Jess is always open to further her knowledge and skill set within the industry. She aims to provide quality, supportive and nurturing environments for all children to thrive in.

Alejandra Gracia-Loch

Alejandra has Certificate III in Early Childhood Education. She moved from Chile to Australia 14 years ago. She is a mother of two beautiful children and speaks Spanish. On her spare time, she loves camping with her family, go to the beach and doing crochet. She believes children are unique with their own strengths and interests. She believes by creating a joyful, stimulating and safe environment, children can shine.

Paulina Rodrigues

Paulina is from Chile and arrived to Australia for the first time in 2015. She studied cookery back in her country, but after working as a full-time nanny, she discovered that working with children was her real passion. She holds a Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care and she is eager to keep learning and create meaningful relationships in the Puggles room. Paulina loves exercising, playing the guitar and singing. She also enjoys painting and cooking. She is very interested in child’s emotional support and development, mental health and social equity; therefore, when the time comes, she would like to continue her studies towards inclusion and/or psychology education.

Cèlia Pibernat Trias

Cèlia is an enthusiastic and multilingual Early Childhood Teacher. Her strengths arise in her ability to be present, adaptable and dynamic with a variety of children. She is passionate about building connections and understandings about Indigenous perspectives, as well as sustainability and social justice. Her philosophy is inspired by Forest Schools, Reggio Emilia and the Aboriginal 8 ways of learning amongst others, as her learning also continues.

Fern Phromloi

Fern is grew up in Thailand before moved to Australia in 2003. Growing up the eldest of sibling of two and five of younger cousins. She grew up in family of teaching as her parents are teacher so she absorbs and develop her nature to taking care of young children. She completed Diploma of children service in 2011 in Australia and always open to further knowledge and skills for industry as her aim to support and provide the environment for young children to develop their skill.

Plateenas Educators

Suzanne Palmer - Room Leader

Suzanne grew up in the area & has a strong connection of this land as a child. She has a Certificate 3 of Early Childhood Education and working towards finishes her diploma. She has been at the centre for 13 years. She believes children are capable, wonderful, intelligent human beings and can achieve all they set out to do. She is passionate in supporting & guiding them to reach their full potential. She takes her passion in music, arts, kindness, love and caring into her daily practice as an educator.

Luke Azzopardi - Room Leader

Luke has a musical background. He attended Newtown Performing Arts High School majoring in Classical Voice and Saxophone. He then went on to The Conservatorium to further his musical knowledge. He also plays piano and guitar. Luke holds the degree of Bachelor of Teaching in Early Childhood.

Evelyn Guan

Evelyn began working as a casual when her son was enrolled at Clovelly. She has been working in Clovelly Child Care Centre for 12 years in different room. She has a wonderful positive attitude and cheerful manner that has led her to be engaged as a permanent educator. She has a Diploma in Children’s Services. Evelyn wants to ensure that we provide a warm, nurturing environment for all children and takes her responsibility as an educator very seriously.

Plateenas Educators

Jacqueline Rigby

Jackie grew up locally in Randwick and lived at Clovelly beach on the weekends. She completed her high school work experience at CCC and visited frequently throughout the years, before joining us in 2018 to pursue her career in Early Childhood via a traineeship. She has recently completed her Diploma and is now re entering the workforce after having her daughter who is learning in the Puggles. Jackie believes that early childhood education is the foundation of a little ones life.

Athe Arifin

Athe began working as a casual at the centre, then stepped up to fill a maternity leave position. She proved herself as a flexible and creative team member, with an impressive work ethic. She is also an award winning photographer. Athe has a Diploma in Children’s Services and a Diploma in Advertising. She has led the Kitchen Garden Program since 2013 and it received the SPROUT Award in 2014.

Ada Au Yeung

Ada is from Hong Kong. She completed her degree of Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education and Advanced Diploma of Children’s Services and Diploma in Sydney. She loves children and is passionate about children’s learning. She believes the way they relate to other people is very important and can directly and indirectly assist their social and language development. Ada believes that each child has the right to be loved and cared for in a happy and safe secure environment.

Melissa Hill

Joeys Educators

Rebecca Strehler- Room Leader

Having grown up in rural NSW, Rebecca moved to Sydney around 25 years ago and calls Bondi home. Rebecca lived in Switzerland for 6 years and during this time, Rebecca worked for a German Montessori school, as Assistant Teacher (year 1,2 & 3), whilst also working as a Head Pedagogy Teacher for children in the 0-5years room. This was both a daunting but exciting experience for a country girl who spoke limited Swiss German & German! None the less, it strengthened her respect & appreciation for our multicultural and diverse community we now live in. Rebecca has a Diploma in Early Childhood and is currently studying her Bachelor Degree in Early Childhood at Macquarie Uni. Rebecca has a strong passion for Social Justice, anti-bias and inclusion. Rebecca is a mum to 4 children and will continue to use a guiding approach when working alongside children, as co-collaborators and co-researchers.

Sally-Anne Kenny

Sally-Anne ran a successful Family Day Care business for 14 yrs before joining the team at Clovelly Child Care Centre in April 2021. She is a busy mum to 2 teenagers and is passionate about the environment, sustainability and enjoys walking, cooking and early morning swims at Coogee beach. Sally-Anne completed her Certificate lll in 2012 and recently her Diploma in Early Childhood in November 2020. Sally-Anne sustainable practices and knowledge of the different educational philosophies supports her holistic approach to early childhood education. Combined with a business acumen gained from running a small business in the early childhood space, Sally looks forward to deepening her knowledge and engagement with the families at Clovelly Child Care Centre.

Jo Power

Jo is a kind and caring child care educator with a Certificate 3 in Early Childhood education. She loves engaging with the children at her Clovelly Child Care family. Her empathy and compassion make her a shining light

Lenka Miklos

Being happiest in nature, Lenka is deeply passionate about helping each child to find their connection to the places they live and learn in. She is deeply committed to helping children to grow the skills of noticing, presence and connection, which enable them to develop a deep sense of being a part of the environment around them. Work in Early Childhood Education is a recent addition to Lenka’s work in the arts and background in sociology. She currently holds a Cert III (TAFE NSW) and is planning further study soon. In her spare time she loves swimming at Wylies’ Baths, walking, writing, knitting and sewing.

Joeys Educators

Mariana Decev

Mariana came from Brazil almost 6 years ago. She lives with her husband and her toddler Sasha. Mariana has a degree in Psychology and completed a Certificate III in Early Childhood after coming to Australia. She has experience working in schools and helping children with additional needs feel included and thrive in their environment. All her experience made her passionate about building positive and respectful relationships with children. She also loves creating resources and activities to help in children's learning.

Victoria Kolevick

Victoria has a Cert III in Early childhood Education. She has a deep appreciation for nature and the value it holds for children learning and development. As a new mum, she understands the importance of nurturing children’s emotional and social well-being alongside their intellectual development. She is dedicated to create a warm and supportive space where children feel safe to explore their feeling through arts & yoga.

Amara Zintgraff
Angeline Neville

Originally from NZ, Angeline has worked as an ECE for over 20 years while also enjoying a career in the creative arts as a singer, actress, writer & visual artist. She has a passion for sharing her knowledge in both areas with other Educators & has presented papers at numerous national Early Childhood conferences and publications. With a BA in Musical Theatre from WAAPA & a Cert III, Angeline is now working towards a Diploma in ECE. She lives by the beach in Maroubra with her husband & daughter and loves researching & restoring anything antique.

Kitchen Garden & Chefs

Sally Anderson

Sally is our Kitchen Garden coordinator and Sustainability Educator – a position she has in recent years undertaken. Prior to this Sally , a highly experienced Mothercraft Nurse of 40 years with a Certificate 111 in Early Childhood Education and Care was a long term Educator for the children under 3. She is a strong and passionate advocate for the natural world and strives to impart knowledge, build understanding and ignite passion in all the children to care for, respect and sustain their environment. Sally attributes her teaching style, love of the environment and nature to her father who inspired, encouraged and supported her that anything is possible and achievable. She believes in keeping it “real” for ’children with a hands-on approach to their learning about the world they live in.

Jason Stephens

Jason, one of our chefs, has been in the hospitality industry for many years. He now works 2 days a week with us and brings to the job, not just his broad experience in the kitchen, but also natural handyman skills!

Gabriela de Carvalho

Gabriela is from Brazil and she moved to Sydney in 2017. She has graduated as a chef and have worked in restaurants for couples of year where she got a lot of experience.
Gabriela is very excited to be part of the team and glad to make tasteful food to the children.


We have great staff to support the administrative functioning. They look after fees, enrolments, CCS, financial housekeeping and all the other office tasks.

Catherine Yuan

Catherine works part time in Accounts and Payroll and is a qualified member of CPA Australia. Her first job in Australia was in the Early Childcare Education Accounts team, and has been passionate about working in the education sector, particularly in finance and accounts. In her spare time, she enjoys taking her son to participate in Community Sports such as Nippers and Cycling.

Leticia Sousa

Leticia is from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and in 2016 she decided to move to Australia with her husband for different experiences and they felt in love with this country. She holds a Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care and has four years of experience in the industry as an educator working from the nursery to the preschool room. Back home, Leticia has a degree in Theology and Business, but being surrounded by children has always been her passion. Leticia joined the CCCC team as administrator.