The CERES School of Nature and Climate is the evolution of CERES’ education programs into a focused response to the climate and ecological crisis we are facing.
Meet our team of dedicated, passionate and expert educators, trainers and support staff that deliver a range of inspiring sustainability education programs for children aged 2-5 years old, primary and secondary school students, adults aged 16 years and older, as well as whole-school programs including the ResourceSmart Schools program.
Learning Director and Managers
Lorna proudly received the Environmental Educator of the Year for Victoria in 2018 and the Australian Environmental Educator of the Year in 2019.
Chloe loves to work collaboratively, which is recognised in winning the 2018 Keep Victoria Beautiful, Sustainable Cities Award in Community Government Partnership. She has tertiary qualifications in environmental sustainability, horticulture and education, and is excited to be a part of the CERES network, continuing to do what she loves – connecting people to the community and the natural environment.
Luisa manages the adult learning programs encompassing sessional, deeper learning and accredited courses across all things sustainable for individuals and groups ranging from corporate to the marginalised. Across gardening, cooking and the creative, she has grown the program offerings over the years. Her aim is to draw expert, passionate presenters to pass on their knowledge and skills so we can continue to lighten our footprint.
Educators and Staff
Abi started working at CERES in 2019 which gave her an opportunity to work at an organisation that matches her values and regard for nature. She is currently a Horticulture and Permaculture VET trainer, and a staff member at CERES’ permaculture and bush food nursery.
She considers her experience and training as a volunteer propagator at CERES as an important factor in pursuing her current career path after transitioning from another vocation. As a horticulturist, she is able to apply her values in a more practical and tangible way. She enjoys encouraging people from different backgrounds, especially women and young people, to work with plants and help improve the connection between people and our natural environment. Observing and figuring out how to best grow healthy plants also satisfies her thirst to learn and interest in trying tested or new ideas.
After completing a Bachelor of Performing Arts at Monash University, and designing for a number of theatre productions across Melbourne, Adrian was yearning to have his connection to nature as part of his career. Along with his childhood friend, Adrian started his own mobile education business – Wildlife Gone Walkabout; an interactive travelling zoo, educating students and adults about Australian wildlife conservation. For six years Adrian traveled across Victoria fostering a deep connection to Australia’s fauna as a wildlife presenter and educator.
Due to COVID, Adrian was forced to close his business and continue his love of sustainable and environmental education elsewhere. Finding the inner city paradise of CERES, Adrian now coordinates the Caring for Climate and Change program as part of the School of Nature and Climate, sharing his values and love of the environment with the students who visit. As a passionate climate activist, Adrian knows that educating young people is one of the best solutions to solve the climate crisis, and create a sustainable and equitable future.
After spending his mid-twenties working in web analytics and web development, Alex moved to London at the start of 2020. COVID lockdowns ensued, but this time offered the opportunity for Alex to reflect on his passions and purpose in life. This led to a rediscovery of his love for nature and desire to protect this amazing planet.
Alex returned to study, completing a Graduate Certificate in Sustainability at The University of Sydney and a Permaculture Design Certificate here at CERES. Alex is now utilising his skills at CERES School of Nature and Climate to build and improve systems that support education for sustainability.
Anne is currently completing a Master of Social Work. Her experience includes work with the elderly and people with dementia, children and teens in out of home care and people living with disability. She is currently working with women and children who have experienced family violence and or homelessness. Anne has recently had the opportunity to design and create a sensory garden in a crisis accommodation service where she runs a sensory garden program.
Belinda has completed a Bachelor of Fine Art at RMIT, an Advanced Diploma in Horticulture at Melbourne University, and a Permaculture Design Course. Along with managing the grounds at CERES, Belinda runs regular workshops on sustainable garden practices; landscape design and maintenance; native food and fibre gardens; wildlife gardens; indigenous flora; and composting systems. Belinda has been employed as the Head Horticulturist and Volunteer Coordinator at CERES Environment Park since 2013.
Returning to Melbourne, Bret made the decision to work exclusively for for-purpose organisations. In recent years his work has focused on the education sector, having developed and delivered content at Teach For Australia, the Northern Melbourne VET Cluster, various Local Learning and Employment Networks (LLENs) and the Uniting Church’s education centre in Parkville.
Bret believes strongly in learning for life, and is currently studying screenwriting at RMIT. Outside work you’ll find him gardening, making or watching films, or taking photos. At CERES he hopes to capture and share the passion, excitement and learning of the CERES School of Nature and Climate, helping to showcase stories of empowered people learning to love the Earth.
Christine has tertiary qualifications in sustainability, community services and fine arts, and has a passion for social justice, food security and biodiversity. She loves nothing more than being able to spend her downtime searching for new bushwalking trails and just sitting and taking in the sights and sounds of the natural world.
In 2016, after establishing a successful sustainability program at her school, Clare wanted to continue to support students to love nature and outdoor learning while understanding that they were making a difference in the world. This led Clare to join the CERES School of Nature and Climate where she developed and delivers the Schools for Wildlife program. Working at CERES has shown Clare the importance of developing a strong sense of community and has allowed her to continue empowering students to take action for the environment, both at school and in their daily lives.
Daniela has a Masters of Arts in Online and Distance Education from The Open University (UK) and a Diploma of Sustainability from Swinburne University of Technology. She believes in the power of education and hopes to continue the great work done at CERES and to build more great online education opportunities that will benefit the earth.
Prior to CERES, Emmanuelle was working as an Energy Consultant in a large engineering company, undertaking holistic design and operational sustainability assessments of major commercial buildings. She joined the Teacher Programs team in September 2015 and is excited to be working with Victorian schools as she strongly believes in a bottom-up approach to drive change, starting at the community level and through early/primary education. Emmanuelle is passionate about sharing her dedication to sustainability and resilient resource systems and hopes to inspire the next generation.
Jason strives to make everyone he meets excited about the environment by inspiring creative action. Working with CERES as an educator has allowed him to develop diverse ideas with schools and communities all across Melbourne. With so many people working for sustainability, he thrives on seeing this network grow.
Jessie has a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Teaching (STEM). She has previously worked as a classroom teacher at Footscray Primary School, Candlebark School and as a science educator with Museum Victoria. Jessie’s passion projects involve ecological restoration, broadening her knowledge of sustainable practices across industries and supporting global food security movements.
Karen has a strong focus on supporting a diversity of clients, including youth at risk, those with disabilities, career changers and the long-term unemployed, to identify their goals and strengths and support the exploration of and transition to green career pathways. Karen holds tertiary qualifications in management, training and philosophy, politics and economics.
After following the wind to Australia in 1999, Kat has spent her time in various creative and people-centric roles, from hospitality to costuming to teaching martial arts, until arriving at CERES in 2014. Starting as a casual teacher, Kat quickly discovered that CERES was the place for her and her passions for art, education and nature connection.
Kate taught for many years at the University of Melbourne and Victoria University as a lecturer in education and the arts, as well as working as a teaching artist at Polyglot Theatre. She is presently completing her PhD which focuses on creative strategies to support young people to have hope and agency about the future of the environment.
Kate worked initially at CERES as the artistic director of the Return of the Sacred Kingfisher Festival and is delighted to return to her current role as coordinator of the Towards Zero Waste Education Program.
Lisa is active in her community sharing the permaculture ethics of earth care, people care and fair share. In her spare time, you can find Lisa leading the kitchen garden of the local primary school, an evolving space which has been designed using permaculture principles. You might also find her tending to her productive garden, chickens and guinea pigs.
Pia has run sustainable education sessions with people of all ages, and has worked across primary and secondary schools to help set up productive gardens and composting systems. She loves seeing the joy sparked when people connect with nature – it could be something as simple as discovering a beautiful butterfly atop a flower. Pia is inspired by the many people finding creative solutions to the environmental challenges we face, and is delighted to be part of the CERES community. In her role at CERES, Pia supports schools on their sustainability journey as part of the ResourceSmart Schools Program.
Since 2014 Sieta has been actively engaged in the emerging Spiritual Ecology movement, which seeks to explore what is the role of spirituality in social, economic, political and ecological change. She has found joy in bringing together small groups of humans from all ages and backgrounds to explore heart-centred practice, and learning to live from a place of love and compassion for all beings. Sieta also loves supporting younger generations to creatively explore new ways of thinking and being together, in a time of significant challenge.
She is passionate about experiential learning and challenging people to think about themselves and the world differently. She believes that relationships and stories are what really touch and move people, and that is what she aims to nurture as the retreats and experiences coordinator.
His background is a Bachelor of Agriculture where he learned about the application of Green Revolution methods to farming practices in Indonesia and was later involved in a composting project funded by the Canadian Government. This involvement led Subik to a very different path from what he learned at university. He then worked for a research company Operation Wallacea (Opwall) based in the UK before moving to Australia. Living in Australia enhanced Subik’s passion for the environment by working in a native nursery and helping revegetate a depleted property into a beautiful native garden.
Working at CERES gives Subik a great chance to learn in the broader context of the environment and social justice whilst continuing his passion… gardening.
Beck is an enthusiastic and experienced permaculture educator and has been involved in permaculture training at all levels for more than 15 years. She has practical permaculture experience in private and community spaces in inner city, urban and rural areas.
As an illustrator, Brenna has worked with the Australian Red Cross, the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program, Plan International, Milkwood Permaculture, the Bob Brown Foundation, CSIRO and Costa Georgiadis, among others.
As an educator, Brenna has taught alongside the biggest names in permaculture, including Rosemary Morrow, David Holmgren, Dan Palmer, and Hannah Moloney.
She co-runs Grow Do It Permaculture Education, a project focused on bringing climate solutions to kids (and their grown ups) through art, music and creativity.
Brenna is currently building her own straw bale house out of reclaimed materials in Western Australia on Noongar boodja. She acknowledges the traditional owners of this land, and that sovereignty was never ceded.
Carol’s style is friendly and highly interactive, incorporating group discussion and hands-on activities as much as possible. Working with children, youth and adults from all walks of life, Carol tailors each session to suit the needs and interests of each group.
With chickens, worms and a productive food garden in the front yard of her suburban block, Donna is reimagining what it means to live a good life in the city and shares this with others in her local community and through her Instagram page ‘A Good Life in the City and Town’.
In the early 2000s’ Ian wrote The Holistic Life – a book that is an intro to permaculture. In 2015-19 he was involved in the Green Education movement in Hong Kong, and at the Green School Bali, teaching a PDC there and teaching in Shanghai. Ian and his partner Marita designed and built a straw bale, energy-efficient home in central Victoria where they live a permaculture-inspired lifestyle, eating from their garden every day and creating a sanctuary for the bees, birds and lizards.
Joel lives with his family on the fringe of Castlemaine – Central Victoria, in their owner built and designed passive solar straw bale home, where he continually works on his permaculture business, property and ideas. When not in the shed Joel can often be found in the garden, growing food, building hot compost piles, tending to the chooks or scything around the orchard trees. Joel is an avid bike rider and repairer, likes playing and making guitars, building furniture, blacksmithing and leather.
For more than 10 years Justin has taught workshops at CERES in sustainable gardening and permaculture. Justin was a regular broadcaster on 3RRR’s ‘Dirty Deeds” and “Breakfasters”, is a presenter on Channel 31’s “The Garden Tap” and author of The Urban Farmer.
Kristen’s cheese is in great demand, supplying the likes of Annie Smither’s restaurant Du Fermier, Ester, Fred’s and Aria and has been a regular stallholder for some years at Carriageworks. Her recipes have been featured in various food magazines and publications including Gourmet Traveller & Cornersmith’s cookbooks.
In 2018, Kristen was nominated for a Delicious Produce award, a testament to her philosophy of slow, carefully hand-crafted cheese, using only high quality ingredients. Her buttermilk ricotta has a cult-like following around Sydney and her cheese is revered Australia-wide.
Establishing herself in the echelons of the food world and as one of Australia’s leading cheese educators, she is a regular teacher at Daylesford Longhouse, Cornersmith and Moonacres cooking school.
Kristen is an accomplished speaker. One of her most prized achievements in 2018, when she was asked to present at the feminist talks and ideas festival ‘All About Women’, becoming the first person to make cheese at the Sydney Opera House.