About Us

Our Teachers

Our Staff

Our Educational program is run by qualified Early Childhood Teachers with a wealth of experience in Early Childhood Education.


Mel Wise – Director/Teacher

My name is Mel Wise. I am the Teaching Director at Koala Playschool. At Koalas I aim to create a vibrant, child-centred, play-based learning program that the children love to come to each day! I have been an educator for many years, working in playschools, preschools and several cultural institutions. My passion is working with young children and their families and developing strong reciprocal relationships with both my students and the broader community. I love instilling in our youngest learners a sense of wonder in the world around them and to inspire them to be curious and creative in their approach to their learning.





Amanda Craft – Educator

My name is Amanda Craft. I am proud that I have been at Koala Playschool for about ten years now. I previously worked for many years in Child Care Centres as a Room Leader with Babies and Toddlers. I feel passionate in my role as Educator to care, nurture and encourage young children in their development and enjoyment of learning through play. I enjoy opportunities to build strong relationships with the children and families at Koala Playschool.


Our History

Koala Playschool was established by the community for the education of three year olds in 1990. Founded by Marjory Pashley, Koala Playschool addressed a rising need for structured activities for three to four year olds. Initially the program was run at Aranda Preschool.

From 2007, Koala Playschool operated from both the Page Preschool and Aranda Preschool sites until we were successful in obtaining the old Cook Preschool site as our permanent home from February 2010. All sessions run from our newly refurbished premises at 8 Rowan Street, Cook.

Sally Black was the Teaching Director at Koala Playschool for 23 years. Her passion for early childhood education and her vision to create a vibrant, engaging learning community with a strong focus on a nature-based program, has seen Koala Playschool become an intrinsic part of many families’ lives.

Mel Wise took over the Teaching Director position in 2019. She looks forward creating strong reciprocal relationships with families and guiding Koala Playschool into the future.