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Andrea cropped copy

company director

After several years working as a qualified educator and leader in Early Childhood Education and Care in Brisbane, Andrea co-founded First Door in 2012. Her energy and commitment to setting up a training organisation for Early Childhood professional learning was fuelled by her passion to achieve the best outcomes for each child in early childhood. Andrea promotes respectful practice that nurtures emotional security and a natural childhood. She shares views from Dr. Emmi Pikler, many leading Early Childhood play and learning ambassadors, and from current research. Andrea is a strong advocate for the National Quality Framework, and has been influenced by her experience of Early Childhood Education in New Zealand, and by visiting Bush Kindys and Forest Kindergartens in Norway and California.

Andrea’s career in leadership and Early Childhood education began 25 years ago, as the founder and Director of the franchised Company ‘The Learning Years Ltd’ that promoted parents as first teachers. She has extensive experience in training and developing people, teams and businesses, with a focus on shared vision, collaboration and growth. Andrea is an Industry Reference group member for the Workforce Council, and is also qualified with a Diploma of Leadership and Management, Certificate lV in Training and Assessment, and a Bachelor of Training and Development.


Jodie Taylor

student coordinator, EC mentor and assessor

Jodie knew right from the moment she did her high school work experience in an Early Childhood service, that this was the profession for her! Now she has almost 20 years’ experience in roles varying from being a nanny to acting centre manager, and being a qualified trainer and assessor. It was while Jodie completed her own study, she realised how important it is to have that support person you can go to for questions and assistance on your path to becoming the best educator you can be.

There were many aspects that Jodie enjoyed in all her roles, but a particular highlight for her was always mentoring students. Jodie is dedicated to ensuring Early Childhood educators are driven by passion for their role and a love of children to ensure they are able to help guide and nurture them throughout their learning journey. Jodie brings passion, knowledge and care to her students as a mentor, so we’re delighted that she’s looking forward to continuing on with this mentoring role at First Door.

Family is very important to Jodie, even more so since having her own daughter. She loves travelling and being in nature, so you will usually find her with family and friends exploring the great outdoors on the weekends. They have already begun to instil this love of nature in their little one, so that she grows up wanting to explore and protect this beautiful place we are fortunate to call home!


Justine 200

professional learning coordinator

Justine is First Door’s Student and Professional Learning Coordinator, and is qualified with a Bachelor of Business Communication, a Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care, and as a Trainer and Assessor. Justine’s extensive skills can be attributed to her experience in various roles across a diverse array of industries; including 10 years providing, promoting, and facilitating high quality Early Childhood Education and Care.

Justine always felt a strong pull to the Early Childhood industry and after finishing a business degree decided to commence her Early Childhood study. Starting as an Assistant Educator, Justine saw first-hand how warm interactions and encouraging language positively impacted the behaviour and development of the children; and this became the foundation of her future early childhood career. She very quickly recognised the importance for ongoing learning and would seek out ways to gain more experience, understand new practices, and follow emerging trends. Within in a short period Justine became a Lead Educator, and soon after an Assistant Director.

Justine has worked in small and large centres, both brand new and well established. She is a supporter of the National Quality Framework, and was particularly in favour of the introduction of the Early Years Learning Framework and the National Quality Standards. Justine has a strong interest in babies and toddlers, child-focused care, and holistic development.

In more recent years, Justine has supported and mentored early childhood students in their studies providing them with the tools and knowledge to be confident, capable educators. Justine measures her own success on her ability to inspire these educators to strive to provide excellent quality education and care to children, and to do so with genuine pride and passion.


Shirley McAvoy

Business Coordinator, L&M Mentor and Assessor

Shirley is a highly motivated Business Manager and Leadership professional, with over 7 years’ experience in Early Childhood Management. She has successfully completed Diploma qualifications in Business, and in Leadership and Management. This experience and professional learning has developed Shirley’s strong skill set to successfully coordinate business operations and contribute to a culture of quality improvement within First Door.

Shirley is also a qualified Trainer and Assessor, with experience facilitating, assessing and mentoring students in qualifications across the Leadership & Management and Business sectors. As a mentor and assessor in First Door’s Leadership and Management courses, Shirley loves supporting people’s personal and professional growth, and helping to open up career opportunities for people.

In her spare time, she enjoys hanging out with her husband and two children or spending time reading a good non-fiction book. As an advocate for lifelong learning, Shirley believes that education empowers people with opportunities to strive for continuous improvement both within their personal and professional lives.


Chrissy cropped best

eLearning facilitator

Chrissy is a passionate, creative and qualified early childhood educator with over 20 years experience working with children, families, educators and stakeholders. She has worked in the capacity of educator, group leader, educational leader, assistant director, director, educational consultant and early childhood trainer and assessor, spanning her entire career. Chrissy comes with a vastly knowledgeable, hands-on approach to facilitating professional learning, and is qualified with a Certificate lV in Training and Assessment. 

Chrissy brings a wealth of warmth and innovation to her work; believing that early childhood is a uniquely rich time, filled with awe, wonder and incredible growth. She has a strong focus on creative programming, developing enriching environments and inspiring collaborative change in teams. Complimenting her work in Early Childhood education, she also is a professional artist and shares creative approaches to learning. 


Stephen cropped

elearning facilitator

Stephen has over 28 years of roles and experience in Early Childhood Education and Care, with nearly 20 years as a contact educator/teacher. During this time, he has experienced all service types including long day care, in home care, school age care, primary school and kindergarten.

Stephen has supported educators in their professional development since 1999, delivering a range of programs on behalf of providers including Gowrie, Workforce Council (PSC), TAFE, QUT and others. He has also presented at several Early Childhood conferences. Since 2009, he has worked as an independent consultant for individual services and well as for larger organisations.

Stephen works with First Door to guide leadership and professional practice that exceeds the National Quality Standard. He facilitates engaging workshops, focusing on his special interest in developing leadership and social justice in Early Childhood. These workshops equip leaders and educators with mindsets and skills for continuous improvement in Early Childhood Education and Care, and for knowledge sharing in teams to promote professional growth.




Ben Cleaver cropBen is the Director of Fluid Learning, being First Door's preferred First Aid provider of accredited training for the unit HLTAID004 Provide an emergency first aid response in an education and care setting. Training locations are based in North Lakes and Eagle Farm. You will save time, have fun and leave confident in your First Aid training with Fluid Learning.
See Fluid Learning website


Narelle4For the past 25 years, Narelle has been a dedicated and passionate educator, teacher and Director at Bribie Island Community Kindergarten. Over these years, Narelle and her team have crafted a true Community Kindergarten, that is a magical place for children to experience a natural childhood. This Kindergarten has received the highest assessment honour, with being awarded the Excellent rating by the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA). 
We are delighted that Narelle is partnering with First Door to share their journey to excellence with Early Childhood educators and leaders, through filming and professional conversations together.
See Bribie Island Community Kindergarten website


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Cindy has made a huge contribution to First Door as Co-founder and Director during its first four years. Since First Door Training and Development Pty. Ltd. was formed in 2012, Cindy and Andrea's joint vision was to provide quality Nationally Recognised Training and to be 'leaders in developing capability'. Our First Door value 'Exceed' is a tribute to Cindy's ethos as Co-founder and is held accountable in our team's work practice.

CLARE CAROClare Caro web

Clare Caro is the founder of The Pikler Collection, Nature Play® (UK) and Authentic Learning Environment. As an ongoing learner, researcher and writer, her wealth of insightful knowledge is shared through her websites and in workshops. Clare embodies this knowledge and shares practical application through Nature Play groups, and in every day life and pedagogy with her own two daughters.
See: www.clarecaro.co.uk



David Isitt cropDavid is the Founder and Director of Better Connected Queensland, a Brisbane based organisation committed to the fundamental values of social justice, inclusion and building relationships. Better Connected Queensland works in partnership with families and teams to inspire, embolden and empower towards a better future for people living with disability.
See Better Connected Queensland website

ECW - EDUCATION AND CARE WORKFORCE (Lee Gane)aecwpb web logo

ECW is Australia's professional body for Education and Care practitioners; working to connect, inform and elevate this workforce. ECW works collaboratively to support educators to share their collective practice wisdom and to speak up about issues that matter. Together, we are working to recognise, value and elevate the professional image of all Education and Care practitioners. 
See ECW website  



HilaryWebb resizedHilary is the dedicated and passionate Director of Everton Park Child Care and Development Centre, and has successfully led her team to be awarded the Excellent rating by the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA), being the highest rating achievable. 
She openly shares the centre with First Door in a variety of ways, including: industry collaboration, sharing photographs and videos of play and learning environments, welcoming First Door Early Childhood students to spend a day at their centre, and as a venue for First Door Early Childhood professional development events.
See Everton Park Child Care and Development website


Goothala has worked with organisations, schools and community groups around Queensland since 2003. He promotes understanding, educating people and groups about Aboriginal spirituality, cultural practices, teachings and connecting to Mother Earth.

See  Spirit Circles Ancient Wisdom

NATURE PLAY QUEENSLANDnatureplay qld logo

Nature Play Queensland's vision for unstructured outdoor play to become a normal part of every child's life in Queensland, so that they can develop into resilient, healthy and creative members of the community. 
Nature Play Queensland works collaboratively to make nature play a normal part of childhood again.
See Nature Play Queensland website

SANDI PHOENIXthe phoenix cups logo

First Door is a licenced Phoenix Cups affiliate. The Phoenix Cups framework is used in some parts of our workshops and online courses as a model for understanding behaviour relating to basic human life needs.
See: Phoenix Support for Educators website

ZEE CREATIVESZee creatives logo

ZEE Creatives create an impactful story to captivate the audience, through their eye for capturing the message with beauty and emotion. Their team bring a fresh perspective of storytelling through creative videography and by understanding their customer. We love working with ZEE Creatives to share First Door's videos.
See: ZEE Creatives website