Our Team.

Teffany Theideman
Teffany TheidemanFounder & Executive Director
Teffany is a founding member of Aeon Academy and co-founder of Aeon Arts. An award-winning artist, she holds a Bachelor of Visual Arts from the ANU School of Art & Design and has studied support of people with Autism under the Thomas Wright Institute & has participated in the Bundian Way Arts Exchange; a creative project focussed on building positive reciprocal relationship between the Canberra community and local regional Indigenous communities.

Teffany has been running visual arts workshops for children & Teens since 1996. As Program & Artistic Director, she designs Aeon Academy’s Creative Catalyst, a unique & renowned program run at Yarralumla Primary School since 2003.

As an award-winning artist, Teffany is an active exhibitor, both in her annual home studio exhibition and interstate. She’s passionate about community art and hand’s on participation in the arts.

Mathew Long
Mathew LongFounder & Executive Director
Mathew is a founding member of Aeon Academy and co-founder of Aeon Arts. He graduated from the Australian National University in Canberra, majoring in Anthropology, Archaeology and History.

Mathew is the Creative Director and Program Director of Aeon Academy’s Vala program and the author of many of its immersive adventure modules. His philosophy and passion is ‘education through creativity’. He is equally passionate about cultural enrichment, including through the ancient methods of storytelling.

Mathew has travelled extensively in India, Tibet, Mexico and Japan. He continues to study and read extensively in history, literature and esoteric fields. Mathew has trained and coached in sports and the martial arts and is a qualified Yoga Instructor.

Monica Castelo
Monica CasteloExecutive Director
Monica is the Executive Manager at Aeon Academy. She holds a Bachelor of Visual Arts in Ceramics from the ANU School of Art & Design and a Diploma of Education and has taught art & media studies across colleges in Canberra in addition to maintaining her own arts practice.

As Executive Manager, Monica ensures the team continually delivers exceptional programs to students and still steps onto the floor to deliver the occasional Creative Catalyst workshop.

Monica has consulted on a number of large arts events in and around Canberra and speaks fluent Spanish.

Annalisa Zaccheo
Annalisa ZaccheoCentre Manager
Having moved from Italy to Australia eight years ago, Anna brings an appreciation of the Italian language and culture that complements many of our families’ bilingual learning at YPS.

In Italy Anna worked as a legal consultant and later ran her own Outside School Hours Care service. Anna holds a Diploma in Early Childhood Education in Australia, and is now working towards a Bachelor in Education.

Before taking the helm as Centre Manager at Aeon Academy, Anna enjoyed a position at Papillio Early Learning Centre just around the corner.

Anna is very passionate about education and pedagogy and brings her extensive experience & knowledge to Aeon’s unique service.

Saadia Sami
Saadia SamiBusiness Manager
Saadia is a member of the Centre Management Committee at Aeon Academy. As a business degree graduate and holding a Certificate III in Childcare Education and Care Saadia ensures Aeon Academy runs efficiently on the administration side.

Before joining Aeon Academy, Saadia ran her own outdoor adventure equipment retail business. She represented Pakistan in the Commonwealth Youth Entrepreneurship Conference (Noida, 2007) and was an active member of the Youth Committee of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce.

Saadia grew up reading Enid Blyton’s Famous Five & Secret Seven. She loves adventures, including camping, rock climbing and travelling.

Rai
Rai Lead Educator - Vala, Immersive Adventures & Creative Play
Rai is an Educator at Aeon Academy, in the Creative Play and Sparks programs. He brings to Aeon Academy years of experience having previously worked with other outside school hours and holiday care providers.

Rai brings his love of music and unique ability to nurture the creative spark in all students, and has added drum circles and improvisational jams to Aeon Academy activities. He has studied and performed music for more than a decade and incorporates many aspects of music into his program delivery.

Rai has himself been a student of Aeon Academy, having attended the Vala program in 2010.

Ochre
Ochre Lead Educator - Creative Catalyst, Visual Art
Ochre holds a Bachelor of Arts at ANU with a focus on Anthropology and Environmental Studies.
Ochre attended Vala and Creative Catalyst programs from the age of 5 and started working at Aeon Academy at age 16. She shares with students her love of creative activities. Her ceramic skills are legendary and her clay classes super popular.
Ochre runs a collaborative art studio practise and enjoys working with macramé & making jewellery. With a certificate in Permaculture Design, Ochre has travelled to many places working on organic farms and helping with community projects.
Is
Is Lead Educator - Creative Catalyst, Visual Art
Is holds a Visual Arts Degree from the ANU School of Art & Design & has shared her love of ceramics & all things creative through Aeon’s Creative Catalyst workshops.
Is has a flourishing ceramic arts practise & has exhibited widely. She is fluent in both french and spanish.
Since the age of 6, she has been an Aeon Academy member attending regular workshops & then working first as a volunteer and assistant until leading her own regular afterschool & holiday workshops.
Enki
Enki Lead Educator - Vala, Immersive Adventures & Creative Play
Enki has been an Educator in Aeon Academy’s Vala program for 5 years. He attended programs at Aeon Academy since the age of 5 and has become an adept storyteller. He has deferred his studies of Arts at the ANU to work and travel, visiting places like India, Mexico, Europe and Uluru.

As a former Australian judo representative, Enki has a strong background in the martial arts and an interest in the historical authenticity of the boffer weapon play. He also enjoys all the physical aspects of the live action games available in Vala and getting students enthused and involved.

George
George Lead Educator - Vala, Immersive Adventures & Creative Play
George is an Educator with Aeon Academy’s Vala and Creative Play programs. He is working through a double degree at ANU in International Security Studies and Physics, with sides of sculpture and philosophy.
George has been passionate about the creative arts since he could flick a paint brush and roll a d20, often at the same time. He loves playing out a good story in good company. George is also a regular weekend role-player and has an insatiable curiosity for culture, creativity and community, in all its forms.
George attended Aeon Academy as a student and has worked on the team since 2015, when he joined as an Assistant Educator.
Ingrid
Ingrid Lead Educator - Creative Catalyst, Visual Art
Ingrid holds a Visual Arts Degree from the ANU School of Art & Design & shares her love of art making with Aeon students.
Ingrid has an active arts practise & is currently pursuing further studies.
She has worked in education & care for over 6 years and is a caring & consistent member of the Aeon Academy team.
Younduk
Younduk Lead Educator - Sparks
Younduk holds a Diploma in Early Childhood Education & Care and a Bachelor of Education with 6 years of experience working with young children. He steps into Sparks as our new dedicated Lead Educator. He has a deep interest in supporting children’s emotional and physical development and is keen to get to know all of our Sparks and their Families. Younduk originally hails from South Korea and is currently studying towards a postgraduate of Counselling at the University of Canberra.
Manuela
Manuela Assistant Educator - Sparks
Manuela brings her warm and friendly approach to her work as an Educator in Sparks and the children already love her. Manuela grew up in Italy and is very passionate about children’s education. She is currently studying towards a Certificate III and Diploma in Childhood Education & Care.
Jonathan
JonathanLead Educator - Active Creative Play
Since joining us in November last year, Jonathon has become an key member of our team, leading our Active Creative Play activities and sharing his positive and energetic attitude with his team and students through his passion for outdoor play and games.
Jonathan holds a Diploma in Screen and Media studies and is currently studying a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry at the University of Canberra.
Sandy
Sandy Assistant Educator - Creative Play
Sandy brings her passion for song, culture, cuisine and education to Aeon Academy’s Creative Play. Her positive, warm and consistent approach has made her a favourite amongst the students. Sandy hails from Sri Lanka and speaks Hindi & Italian from her years spent living and working overseas.
Dora
Dora Assistant Educator - Creative Play
Dora hails from Brazil and speaks Portuguese, Spanish and Italian! She is currently studying towards a Certificate III and Diploma in Childhood Education and Care. Dora supports our Kindy, Preschooler and Montessori children in Creative Play with her warm and attentive approach.
Mariel
Mariel Assistant Educator - Creative Play
Mariel brings years of experience in education and disability support to her work at Aeon Academy. Her smiling and steady attitude are a welcome addition to our Creative Play team.
Lachlan Assistant Educator - Creative Play
Lachlan brings a quiet calm to the Creative Play space. We hope he will soon have the chance to share some of his love of music and drawing with the students.