Meet Our Team

As the founding Principal of Mary Queen of Heaven Primary School I am very excited about the opportunities we have to work in partnership with our families and community to create something special.

Inspired by the words and work of Saint Mary of the Cross Mackillop, I aim to  “Never see a need without doing something about it.”

My journey to Mary Queen of Heaven comes with extensive experience as a Principal and school leader in the Archdiocese of Melbourne.

Relationships are at the heart of all that I do.   Knowing the story of a child, their family and their community helps to shape the way that we can work and learn together. Building strong, trusting and respectful relationships comes before anything else.  Mary Queen of Heaven will be a welcoming learning community where dreams are lived and the impossible is made possible.

A focus of my leadership in my previous schools has been to develop a culture that places the student and their individual learning needs at the heart of the educational process, and I am very much looking forward to building this into the culture of Mary Queen of Heaven.  Mary Queen of Heaven will provide opportunities to enable every child to reach their full potential.  I will also be focussed on building strong partnerships with the community.  I strongly believe that the active engagement of the community can have a profound impact on the culture of the school and the education of our children.

Mary Queen of Heaven will be the sister school of St Carlo Borremeo, Greenvale and School of The Good Shepherd, Gladstone Park.  Right from the beginning I will be developing a close relationship between these two school communities as we operate as three schools in one Parish.

In addition to working with the school’s builders and architects to create an inspiring, contemporary physical space, this year I will also be searching for engaging, passionate educators who are committed to fostering nurturing relationships with children, working in partnership with families and collaborating with colleagues to ensure that every child is understood, nurtured and supported.  

Away from school I am a proud mother and wife. I am an avid reader, particularly of autobiographies and biographies and I have a life-long interest in wellness and fitness. Spending time with family in the great outdoors is what brings me joy away from my work. When the weather is right you may see me walking or running in the neighbourhood.  Be sure to say hello!

I feel privileged to have this opportunity and thank you for entrusting your precious children into our care. I know together we can do great things.  

Mrs Renae Gentile
Founding Principal

It is with immense gratitude that I join the community of Mary, Queen of Heaven, as Deputy Principal. Working as an Educator and Leader is a privilege; to witness the delight of children’s discovery and wonder of their curiosity is a tremendous gift!
I migrated from Portugal to Australia as a child. My family's migration story is part of who I am and my core values; gratitude, connection and perseverance. Mary (or Fatima) was always a prominent image in my family; a reminder of the importance of faith, courage and humility.
I find joy when present with my family and friends, or being in nature with my children and Husband. I am a self-confessed foodie, and have mastered the art of baking sourdough bread from scratch (lockdown win). I love delving into a good book, especially one that stretches my thinking about life.
My experience in Education has seen me work at various schools in the West, and connect with the stories of the people within the communities I have served. Currently, I am the Literacy and Family Engagement Leader at St John’s Footscray, where I work passionately to lead, challenge, nurture and inspire educators.
I feel so privileged to be working within a school community celebrating its 100th year, but feel just as lucky to be joining a community in its first! To be a foundational member of Mary, Queen of Heaven and build authentic relationships with our community is something that excites and energises me, and I look forward to collaboratively designing and living out a shared vision for our future.
My journey in Education will see me leading at a school in its 100th year, to one in its 1st! I am excited by the opportunity to be a foundational member of Mary, Queen of Heaven and build authentic relationships with our community. I look forward to collaboratively designing and living out a shared vision for our future.

I am grateful for the opportunity to get to know each of you and your story. Together, we can foster a vibrant, innovative and engaging learning community which empowers children to grow, take ownership of their learning, and become active, empathetic members of our Catholic school community!

My name is Teresa Mattei and I have been recently appointed as the Office Manager/Bursar at Mary Queen of Heaven Primary School.  I come with years of experience in working in Catholic schools and I have a strong connection with the Catholic Church.

Prior to being appointed to this position, I had the privilege of working with Renae Gentile for 5 years, during which time we developed an excellent working relationship, built on trust, integrity, respect and authenticity. The prospect of collaboratively working with Renae once again, and with Mary being our beacon of light as we lead the Mary Queen of Heaven Primary School community into the future, is very exciting and appealing! In sharing the same vision and values:  kindness; loyalty; honesty; respect and inclusiveness and being inspired by Mary and her grace, our school community can be assured that you will be embraced into a warm friendly environment, where you will  always be made to feel valued, supported, safe, respected and connected as a MQH community.  With great anticipation, I am very excited to meet you all very soon!

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Hi, my name is Lucy D’Amico and I will be the School Administration Officer at Mary Queen of Heaven beginning term 2.

I come from over 20 years in the Early Childhood sector and am really looking forward to this new journey.

I am a mother of 2 beautiful children and my spare time is spent with them and my husband.

I am a nurturing and compassionate person and am very much looking forward to meeting you all.

My name is Steven Avis and I am extremely excited to be joining the Mary Queen of Heaven Primary School team. I have a passion for teaching and love seeing students reach their ‘A-ha’ moment in the classroom.

In my role as STEM teacher, I aim to provide students with unique and challenging projects and activities that will allow them to use their own problem-solving and analytical skills to complete different tasks and activities. I believe that teaching is an inclusive practice between student and teacher and allowing students to be themselves and have a voice in the classroom is paramount.

In my spare time I enjoy cooking, playing guitar and playing chess. I have been playing chess for most of my life and have been a chess coach in several capacities, teaching students as young as 4 to play the game. I have played in several tournaments and hope to continue to do so in the future.

I am an avid AFL fan (GO PIES!) and try to get to as many games as I can.

I am looking forward to being a part of the Mary Queen of Heaven Primary School community and meeting you all soon!

Hi my name is Bianca Simone and I am so grateful and excited to be part of the Mary Queen of Heaven’s community as the Lote, Arts, Music and Movement (LAMM) teacher.

I am a dedicated educator with 18 years experience having worked with primary and secondary students at an independent school as the music and choral director. My passion for music commenced at an early age having sat my first singing exam at the age of five. This opened many opportunities including a career in performance and teaching.

As a mother of three young children and as an educator, I understand the importance of creating a fun, engaging, safe and supportive environment that enriches the learning development for all students. I believe that each student learns differently and as teachers it is our role to cater for all learning styles to bring out the best qualities in each one of them. I take pride in building relationships with students, parents, colleagues, families and the wider school community and I look forward to sharing this journey with Mary Queen of Heaven’s school. As a practising Catholic, through music I will nurture students’ faith in developing an understanding of Jesus’ and Mary’s love to ‘let the light shine’ through all students.

Can’t wait to commence our musical journey together.

Hi all,

My name is Attamjit Kaur. I was born in India and moved to Australia 15 years ago. I am a mother of two beautiful boys. I am so excited to be a part of Mary Queen of Heaven school community as a Learning Support Officer.

I started working with children a year ago and I enjoy working with them. I am passionate about supporting students in their learning journey by creating a safe, positive and open environment. I believe in developing a trusting relationship with students and their families in order to achieve a positive learning experience. My approach has always been to understand the students so that learning activities can be modified to keep them engaged. Watching the students grow, learn and celebrate their achievements is very rewarding to me.

Outside of school I love spending time with my beautiful family. We love going for walks in free time and watch movies together. I also enjoy cooking, dancing and love to go out for dinners with family and friends.

I am looking forward to meeting you all very soon and being part of the amazing Mary Queen of Heaven school community!

Hi MQH community,

My name is Joshua. I am currently studying a Bachelor of Education (Primary) at ACU.

Iam inspired to make a difference to the lives of young children, and assist them in becoming the best versions of themselves.

I have experience of working as an LSO and at Before & Sfter school care, which has only increased my love and enthusiasm for teaching.

I have a strong passion for playing music, and hope that I will be able to bring my music skills to support classroom learning.

I am very excited to begin my journey at Mary Queen of Heaven!

My name is Pauline Boyle. I am delighted to be joining the teaching team at Mary Queen of Heaven.

I am currently teaching Prep at The School of the Good Shepherd, as part of a dedicated and talented teaching team that values the uniqueness of every student. I believe that each student’s learning journey is their own and this journey encompasses the whole individual, celebrating their strengths and talents, supporting them to find pathways to achieve their goals. Building positive connections with students and working with families as partners in their child’s learning is key to building respectful and trusting relationships.

Away from teaching I am a proud Mum of two beautiful teenagers who, with my wonderfully supportive husband, keep us busy with sporting and outdoor activities, going away with friends and enjoying time at home with our very spoilt dogs.

I very much look forward to meeting your family and beginning a new journey together at Mary Queen of Heaven.

My name is Leanne Cribbin and I am very excited to be welcomed into the Mary Queen of Heaven Community

I have been a dedicated primary school teacher with seven years experience, teaching both in Australia and abroad. I am an avid traveller and whilst working at a large, multi-faith primary school in West London, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to learn and experience numerous cultures and travel to over twenty countries and many more cities! I love bringing the world into the classroom, igniting my student's curiosity and, just like travelling, making lasting memories with rich and meaningful learning experiences.

Back in Australia, I’ve continued my travels -jumping in a camper van and exploring this wondrous country we live in; whilst also having spent the last four years teaching at a catholic school in Airport West. There, I have built many strong, wonderful and lasting relationships with my students, families, colleagues and the wider community.

In my spare time you’ll find me spending time with my family and friends, exercising, attending musicals, music concerts and sporting events, whilst also getting out and about for a weekend getaway!

I am so thrilled to be joining and being actively involved in Mary Queen of Heaven’s journey Bring on next year!!

My name is Alysha and I’m so pleased to introduce myself as a classroom teacher at Mary Queen of Heaven. I am an experienced teacher that values building relationships with students and families.

I believe that students learn best when activities are individualised to meet the needs of all students and their learning styles. Most of all, I believe that learning experiences should be varied, collaborative and fun! I aim to inspire children to reach their full potential by feeling safe and empowered as they build knowledge about the curriculum, themselves as learners and their connections with God and blessed Mother Mary.

Outside of school, I love to spend my time with my 2 children, husband and family making memories and exploring outside.

I am excited and grateful to be joining the foundation education team at Mary, Queen of Heaven in 2023. After many years in education,  I still feel very fortunate to be able to work with children, families and educators every day.  My mission has always been to help others develop positive self belief and confidence. My experience spans a variety of different contexts in Australia and internationally, including AIS, Singapore, The Netherlands, Abu Dhabi and Istanbul, Turkey. Living in different countries and traveling has enabled me a deeper intercultural understanding. I truly love the experience of exploring cultures, traditions and beliefs. These experiences have enhanced my international mindedness and understanding of the complexities of life in different countries. A passion of mine is redesigning school spaces to reflect holistic, creative and peaceful atmospheres that are conducive to optimal, collaborative learning environments. I aim to create learning environments where you can be your authentic selves, are valued, heard, understood and loved. I believe happiness and wellbeing are essential in leading successful lives. On weekends I enjoy spending time with my daughter, who is also a teacher, exploring different parts of Melbourne. Being in nature is one of my super loves. I am looking forward to getting to know the students and families, sharing my knowledge and skills with the teaching staff and building relationships within the parish community.

My name is Jess Maitland-Smith and I am excited to be joining the team at Mary Queen of Heaven in 2023. I am a proud Aboriginal woman with a passion for education. I have been in education for approximately 15 years, the last 8 years as a classroom teacher. I love inspiring students to become lifelong learners and am driven to assist children to increase their knowledge and unlock their potential within a positive, safe learning environment.

I am a keen traveller and have been fortunate to visit many amazing places, my favourite city being Paris. I love netball, so in my spare time, you will find me coaching and mentoring young people in my role as one of the head coaches at Strathmore Netball Club. I have a beautiful, but very energetic Red Heeler called Reggie, so going on walks with him is something I also enjoy.

I am looking forward to 2023 and meeting you all!

My name is Chantal and I feel truly blessed to be joining the Mary Queen of Heaven community as a Learning Support Officer in 2023.

I am extremely passionate and dedicated in my role and committed to the wellbeing, protection and safety of all children whilst providing an inclusive, nurturing, and positive learning environment.

I look forward to building and developing trusting relationships with students, families, colleagues and the community. I highly value connection and am motivated to get to know each child and learn their story. I take immense pride in promoting the growth and development of all students and cannot wait to see their light shine.

In my spare time I enjoy outdoor adventures with my two beautiful daughters and husband. I love music, dancing, food and being creative in many different ways.

I look forward to meeting you all very soon and beginning our wonderful journey together at Mary Queen of Heaven.

Let the light shine.

My name is Amy Hodges and I am excited to be joining the MQH community as a Learning Support Officer.

I have worked with children in various roles and have been a Learning Support Officer for the past four years, which fuelled my love for helping children learn.

As a Learning Support Officer, my passion is to provide a safe learning environment in which all children can be successful in their education. I aim to create positive learning experiences, which build upon children's confidence in themselves and their learning. I understand that all students learn differently, therefore I always aim to connect with each child to understand how I can best support their learning journey.

Outside of school I am completing a Bachelor of Education (Primary) through Swinburne Online and enjoy reading, exercising and going on adventures with my puppy.

I am looking forward to meeting you all and starting my journey at Mary Queen of Heaven!

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