Our team

Leanne Gibbs

Senior Manager Engagement and Translation

Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood),  Post Graduate Diploma- Teaching Gifted Children,  Master of Politics and Public Policy,  PhD Candidate Charles Sturt University

Leanne’s  early childhood professional roles have included early childhood teacher, director, local and state government adviser, researcher, lecturer, manager of professional development and also CEO within early childhood programs, educational institutions and peak organisations. Leanne is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and serves on boards. She is an author, podcaster and researcher investigating the emergence and development of leadership in ECE.

Engagement Centre team member, Leanne Gibbs

Kim Stouse-Lee

Community Engagement Coordinator

Bachelor of Education Early Childhood (Honours); Graduate Certificate in Autism (UOW); Certificate IV Training and Assessment, PhD Candidate University of Wollongong

Kim has over 20 years’ experience working in the early childhood education (ECE) sector as an early childhood teacher and centre director. She is expert in working with staff teams to develop quality programs and learning environments, whilst managing the logistical challenges of operating an ECE service. Kim has also worked as a Professional Development Facilitator with Community Child Care Co-Operative NSW. Kim holds a teaching role with the University of Wollongong Early Years team as a Language and literacy tutor. Her PhD research focus is the role of the educational leader in early childhood settings. 

Engagement team member Kim Stouse-Lee

Jo Grimmond

Community Engagement Coordinator

Bachelor of Education Early Childhood (Honours); PhD Candidate UOW – Rethinking Block Play: The development of the Numeracy and Mathematics Block-Based Assessment (NUMBBA)

Jo has over 25 years’ experience working in the early childhood education sector as an early childhood teacher and centre director.  She has worked with educators and leaders to develop quality practice and learning environments. Jo holds a teaching role with the University of Wollongong Early Years team in the areas of numeracy and STEM. Her current PhD research focus is the development of a numeracy assessment tool for educators to use with children in ECEC settings. Jo has been involved in many Early Start research projects including the Fostering Effective Early Leaning (FEEL) study and the PRSIST validation study.  Jo has a particular interest in the use of technology as a pedagogical tool in inquiry-based learning environments.

Elizabeth Aylward

Community Engagement Coordinator and Early Start Denver Model Trainer

Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood), Master of Early Childhood Education, Graduate Diploma Early Childhood Intervention, Bachelor Health Science, PhD candidate at UOW in Autism Intervention

Elizabeth comes to the Early Start with a wealth of experience across all sectors of education. She has dedicated the past three decades to educating and supporting children, families and professionals in developing socially inclusive early childhood settings. Elizabeth has been an Australian based Certified Trainer in the Early Start Denver Model for children with ASD, for the past decade, and will bring this training under the Early Start. She is in the final stages of her PhD in this model of intervention.

Engagement team member Elizabeth Aylward