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About the teachers


Nicole Dawson

Nicole has four children who she homeschooled for over 14 years. She's embraced many differing philosophies over the years, and found that unschooling worked best for her family and the many students she has worked with.

Her family spent 3 and a half years traveling the United States, Canada, England and Europe, where she spent time with over 17 different home schooling groups. She was exposed to a wealth of education and parenting styles, and willingly learned as much as she could.

Nicole has quite a curious mind and has enjoyed the fields of science and mathematics for as long as she can remember. Her current interests are the psychology of motivation, ecopedagogy, plant science, and indigenous epistemologies. She's studied 24 first-year subjects covering chemistry, physics, mathematics, biology, psychology, computer programming, economics, law, and education. Nicole has completed a bachelor of science with a major in psychology at the University of Melbourne, with a secondary specialisation in plant science. 

Nicole loves to learn, and finds that teaching is learning on a whole other level. She enjoys the unique satisfaction that comes with bringing learning to others, but also gets to learn her subject material with greater depth and from multiple perspectives through teaching.

She's also drawn to creative pursuits, including oil painting, drawing, poetry, and particularly music. She's been playing piano since she was seven years old, She's studied music theory and loves to improvise. As an older teenager, Nicole took up the violin and spent time busking right up the east coast of Australia. Currently, she's passionate about the guitar, piano, and voice. 

Nicole spends countless hours every week walking, kayaking, swimming, and meditating in the natural beauty of the Yarra river. Through this intimate relationship she's become adept at spotting and identifying plants, animals, fungi. She's also worked with great intention to develop an animist perspective and actively appreciates the personhood of natural bodies.


Ellery Dawson

Ellery grew up being unschooled and didn't enter formal education until she was 15 years old. She has now completed a diploma of Design and is in her third year of studying architecture at Monash University. She is specialising in sustainability and the use of plants in architecture. Ellery particularly loves building architectural models.​


Ellery is passionate about art and runs her own printmaking business. She has an extensive herb garden, loves to camp and has a house full of plant babies.​


Ellery has experience living in an intentional community where she cohabited with other 12 children for yeas, and learned to work harmoniously with people of all ages.

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