Our Team

At Ness Reserve we have an experienced, passionate team of Teachers and Educators who believe that children learn best through play and who work to create an amazing educational kinder program.

Learn more about our incredible team at Ness below.

4 year old Group Teacher
Monique Hayes

I am excited to have joined the Ness Reserve team and community in 2019. I began teaching four years ago and have taught Kindergarten programs in Nillumbik and Boroondara. Before having my own children, I worked as a lawyer and in public policy, but I knew that I really wanted to be a teacher and I was lucky enough to make this career change with the support of my wonderful family. I have great respect for the incredible learning that takes place in early childhood and I consider it a privilege to be part of this journey with children and their families. I love the energy and creativity that children bring to their learning and I aim to foster and reflect this in my teaching. I am interested in finding out about anything and everything and I hope to inspire children to love learning as much as I do.

Julie Smith
4 year old Group Teacher

Children at Kindergarten are full of wonder and curiosity! I have been qualified as a kinder teacher for 27 years, of which I have been teaching at Ness since 2011. During this time teaching kinder, I have really enjoyed being a part of the children’s world and being able to watch them grow and develop their own personalities. I love being able to spend time with the children at whatever experience they are at, talking and getting to know the children when they are relaxed and happy. I enjoy nurturing a love of the outdoors and nature in the children, bringing sustainable practices to their everyday experiences, to challenge their thinking and hopefully embed those skills and practices into their ways of being.

Ness Reserve has a warm and welcoming feel to it which makes it a nice place to work. Having such beautiful surroundings also helps! It is also a special place full of community spirit! The staff and parents genuinely work together for the benefit of the children, and are often there over many years which means you can really get to know people and children over a longer period of time. This includes when they are the younger siblings waiting for ‘their turn’ to attend kinder, or older siblings who have since gone on to school.

I enjoyed being involved in my children’s pre-school and primary school life over the years, and I have continued to support them into secondary school and beyond! I enjoy spending time in nature, in my own backyard, or in the high country, enjoying the river and bush surrounds. I appreciate time with friends, and I try to make time for cooking (and eating) and photography.

Angie Winduss
3 year old Group Teacher

I am so thrilled to have recently started working as the 3 year old teacher at Ness Reserve Pre-School! The Kinder is in the most beautiful location, teeming with nature and wildlife and I feel very fortunate to come to work in such an idyllic corner of the world!

I have worked as an Early Childhood Educator for many years though most recently I have been at home raising my own 4 children.  With my youngest daughter about to start school next year, the time was right for me to return to my much-loved profession!

It is such a privilege to work with young children as they make small steps out into the wider world! Kindergarten is a very special time for children and their families. It is so wonderful to be able to facilitate and support children’s thirst for learning, creativity, socialisation and fun.

The community of families and staff at Ness Reserve are so warm, welcoming and down to earth……it is a lovely community to be a part of and I look forward to many happy years working at Ness!

Jen Agar
3 and 4 year old Group Educator

I started out as an additional assistant working in the field of kinder inclusion support at a few different kinders in the area. Ness Reserve was the first kinder I worked at. The whole team were so welcoming and lovely, it was a really beautiful environment to be a part of and confirmed I had chosen the right career path for me. I obviously said “absolutely” when the opportunity arrived for me to take on a permanent role at Ness!


I now get to work with both the 3 year olds and the 4’s, and I’m truly happy to be back with the team and the fabulous Diamond Creek community. It’s such a fun environment to call ‘work’ and I feel so privileged to be a part of these children’s lives. To be able to see them grow and develop their individual personalities over the year is such a joy.


Outside of Kinder I enjoy nothing more than spending time with my family. I have three children of my own who I love sharing adventures and seeing the world with.

Stacey Dabrowski
4 year old Group Educator

I have worked at Ness from when I was on relieving staff and studying in 2015. I have been an at Ness since the beginning of 2017. I love meeting with, talking to, and getting to know all the children, families, siblings, and extended families. I get great enjoyment out of seeing the children progress in their development, and seeing the joy on the families’ faces when they see their children’s achievements!

If you love your job, it’s not work, and that definitely relates to me in my job. Every day is unique and comes with its different accomplishments and challenges, but there will no doubt always be children rushing in to tell you all about what they have been doing! I like that these chats will also come about with past and present families when I’m out and about in our community.

I have two beautiful children, Jamie and Jasmin, and I love spending time with them. I also enjoy walking our dog, Pippa.

Charlotte Pratt
4 year old Group Educator

I have worked for 13 years in the early childhood field, the last 7 as a co-educator at Ness Reserve. I love the terrific conversations I have with the children and getting to know all our families. I particularly like our friendly and welcoming atmosphere at Ness Reserve. In my free time I like reading, yoga and bushwalking.

Andrea Tyler
4 year old Group Educator

Thank you to all the staff and families that have welcomed me into the ‘Ness Community’.

I have previously worked in long day care before having my own family of the 3 boys. I then worked at Diamond Creek East Kinder for 8 years as a co-educator (prior to its closing late in 2019).

I am so grateful to be able to continue working with pre-school children. I love that each day is full of wonder, adventure and learning that happens through play.

When at home I have 3 teenage sons who keep me busy on the weekends playing footy, basketball and cricket. In my spare time I enjoy reading, scrapbooking and spending time with friends on camping trips.