Meet our Staff

Meet a selection of staff associated with Walford's Early Learning Centre.

Rebecca Clarke


It is critical that Walford empowers girls and young women to understand that gender should never obstruct an outcome they choose. My secondary education, undertaken by scholarship, enabled me to experience first hand the opportunities that an all girls’ school can provide.

There is no greater privilege than leading a school where learning is the priority. Each day at Walford provides an opportunity to engage with students who are willing to give anything a go, and who value the reward that comes from striving to achieve one’s best.

During my almost twenty years in education, I have enjoyed working collaboratively with teachers helping them grow their capacity to support young learners thrive. My work with teachers in international contexts through the International Baccalaureate Organisation and my post graduate studies in leadership and business administration have provided rich opportunities for learning which for all of us in schools, must be ongoing.

Beyond Walford, I love being a mother and step-mother to four children, who ensure that the fun and joy that fills each day continues well after the bell rings.

Rebecca presently serves as a member of the Association of Independent Schools of South Australia (AISSA) board. She is also a member of the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA) Board, the Anglican Schools of Australia (ASA) Board and she is a member of the SACE Board’s Principal’s Partnership Strategy group.

Melissa Threadgold

Head of Junior School

I am a passionate educator with more than 20 years teaching experience both in Australia and England. I see the International Baccalaureate offered at Walford as a fantastic framework that enables educators to lead student learning towards purposeful outcomes, and to focus on the development and celebration of the whole child. I also love the way that Walford is able to focus specifically and unapologetically on the unique developmental needs of girls, in all areas.

I have been lucky enough during my career to teach children from the Early Years through to Year 6. I have also worked in a Specialist capacity developing the talents of students through enrichment programs. Outside of school, in addition to my work as a team leader in the State Emergency Services, I was a volunteer counsellor for Parent Helpline for some time and it was here that I developed, through formal study and experience, the skills for supporting and guiding families through a whole range of life’s challenges. These skills also underpin my ability to be able to support students as they navigate the changing social landscape they experience throughout their schooling, while they build their resilience and self-confidence.

I have two wonderful children who enjoy many pursuits including tennis, football, chess, violin and guitar. When I am not working I love to spend time with my family and continue with the renovation of our old home.

Charmaine Brooks

Director of Early Learning

I am fascinated with, and have a great passion for, early childhood development. I adore working with little people and sharing their daily discoveries and joy of learning.

As Director of Early Learning, my vision is to create a warm, welcoming and happy atmosphere where children and adults alike want to work, learn and play. I believe in developing a nurturing and stimulating teaching environment for children to enjoy. A place where families feel confident that their children will be valued, challenged, and have every opportunity to have fun while they learn and play.

Trish Hart

Music Teacher

I can't ever remember not loving music! I come from a musical family and pestered my parents from the time I was 4 years of age to learn piano.

As well as teaching (at Walford I have enjoyed teaching music at every level from Preparatory through to Year 12), I have also enjoyed performing in the Chorus of the State Opera, and working as a performer, Director and Musical Director for various companies in Adelaide.

I'm inspired by people close to me, my Dad who is a pianist, my Mum who is a life member of the Adelaide Harmony Choir and my husband who is a dedicated and talented musician. I also admire Cilla Black, Dusty Springfield and Connie Francis – three women who carved a field in music at a time when men were dominant.

I love teaching my students how to love music! It's as simple as that. It doesn't matter what level they are at they can all find something they enjoy. As Confucius says 'Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without'. I think I have the best job ever!

Carla Silvestri

ELC Teacher - Chewings: Reception Ready

I love the spontaneity, inquiry, joy and humor that young learners bring to each and every day.

Having studied Visual Art at university, I have always enjoyed being creative, and working in the ELC allows me to do that each day as I incorporate creative opportunities into the learning program. I also aim to inspire young learners to care for their environment through encouraging sustainable practices.

Working previously as Walford’s Out of School Hours Care Coordinator highlighted the importance of knowing and understanding the children in your care, and the value of developing strong relationships with children and their families, and this is something I continue in my current role.

Amanda Murphy

Junior School Librarian

One of my passions is to foster and encourage a love of literature and reading in the girls. I see it as a real skill for life. Digital technology is also an important tool for learning in the library, and our Year 4 and 5 students enjoy learning the fundamentals of coding during library Code Club sessions.

Josephine Zotti

ELC Teacher - Dowie: 4 Year Old Program

My role as an Early Learning Centre teacher is to enrich, nurture and extend our 4 and 5 year old children’s learning and to prepare them for their transition to Reception.

Research explicitly details how critical the early years are for a child’s future development, and the foundation for the rest of their lives. I am keen to provide young children with opportunities to maximise their potential and develop a foundation for their future success in learning.

This is underpinned by the importance of play-based learning, teaching early literacy and numeracy as well as developing social and emotional skills in all my students.

I believe in teaching children empathy, perspective, appreciation, tolerance, cooperation and respect, equipping them to thrive, not only in their schooling, but also in their family and social lives. These also fit into the unit of enquiry my class undertake as part of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program.

I also enjoy incorporating my love of languages (speaking basic Chinese, French and Italian) and learning about other cultures into my teaching.

Laura Richards

ELC Teacher - Adamson: 3 Year Old Program

As the Adamson Room teacher, I share in the learning of the youngest boys and girls at Walford. I am privileged to be the first teacher they have, and to be part of the beginning of their learning journey.

Teaching in the early years is so much more then standing at the front of the class giving instructions and information. Children need to be stimulated, cared for and challenged. Research tells us the importance of children feeling safe and supported in the learning environment in order for learning to take place. I enjoy getting to know the children and families in my care, and helping them to feel they belong in our Walford school community.

From a very young age, I have always had a deep interest and love for young children. This developed into a yearn to teach and nurture. I am fortunate to be working in a role I love! Children bring so much joy, their curiosity and creativity inspires me.

Lisa Ackroyd

ELC Educator - Adamson: 3 Year Old Program

Children are inquisitive explorers, unearthing the world around them. I believe it is my role as an educator to support, nurture and enhance their learning and discoveries.

My passion has always been in Early Childhood and working with young people - their honesty and curiosity makes every day different, special and fun! I love engaging with children in both their own interests and also scaffolding their own ideas into new and exciting experiences.

I believe that parents are their children’s first teachers and that working in collaboration with families is imperative for the successful and happy development of all children. I think that every child is unique with individual qualities that need to be valued.

Studying Psychological Sciences majoring in Early Childhood highlighted that not all children learn in the same ways, so our teaching methods need to adapt and adjust to meet the needs of each child. This is something I do every day, particularly in my learning support position within the Junior School.

I love to witness the growth in children and truly believe there is nothing better than helping children to succeed in their learning journey. Children are our future and I feel honoured to be able to play such an imperative part in so many young people’s lives.

Libby Emery

Director of Admissions

I have spent my working life in teaching, management and marketing roles in the education sector. I have been privileged to work with young people and to be part of their journey towards a successful career.

My role at Walford enables me to be in contact with all sections of the community. I forge relationships with families who are visiting Walford for the first time, with their daughter when she enrols at the school, with current students and their families at Walford events, and with Walford old scholars. Having been a student in the country, I have a close affinity with our boarders.

It is a pleasure to work in such a warm, vibrant community and to see Walford students graduate as confident, accomplished young women.

316 Unley Road Hyde Park, South Australia 5061
Telephone: +61 8 8272 6555  |  Facsimile: +61 8 8272 0313

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