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.

Teffany has been running visual arts workshops for children since 1996. As Program & Artistic Director, she designs Aeon Academy’s Creative Catalyst, a unique and successful program. She has run this original program 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 dramatic 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 Senior Centre Manager at Aeon Academy. She holds a Bachelor of Visual Arts in Ceramics and a Diploma of Education from the ANU School of Art & Design and has spent a great deal of her career teaching in schools and maintaining her own arts practice.

As Senior Centre Manager, Monica—who has worked at Aeon Academy since 2012—ensures the team continually delivers exceptional programs to students. She is also periodically involved in teaching Creative Catalyst workshops, including painting, ceramics and other visual arts.

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

Steph Cox
Steph CoxCentre & Office Manager
Steph is a member of the Centre Management Committee at Aeon Academy. Working across the service in both management and as a senior educator Steph is also studying literature and sociology at the ANU, with a specific interest in colonialism and international development. She joined Aeon Academy in 2016 as Vala’s first female Facilitator.

Steph is driven by the imaginative connection children make during play between their own and other worlds. She has a wide range of creative interests, including writing poetry and illustrating comics, and always has a project or two on the go.

Having lived in and explored countries as far-flung as Samoa, Tanzania, Ecuador, and Nepal, Steph has a wealth of cultural knowledge and new perspectives to share with students of Aeon Academy.

Saadia Sami
Saadia SamiCentre & Office 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.

Luke Jordan
Luke JordanEducator & Vala Program Manager
Luke is a lead Vala Educator at Aeon Academy. He holds a Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours in Anthropology from the ANU.

Luke began attending Aeon Academy in 2003 and hasn’t missed a program since. He started as a volunteer and then began working as an assistant in 2009. Luke continues to pursue his interests in roleplaying and writing and he took home the Best New Designer award from Canberra’s local roleplaying convention in 2014.

Studying history, religion, and mythology are other passions. So too is travelling and during trips to Japan and Ireland, Luke conducted first-hand research for Aeon Academy’s Vala program.

Ochre Bodhi
Ochre BodhiEducator
Ochre is an Educator at Aeon Academy. She is studying a Bachelor of Arts at ANU with a focus on Anthropology and Environmental Studies.

Ochre attended most Vala and Creative Catalyst programs since the age of 5 before starting to work at Aeon Academy at 16. She shares with students her love of creative activities. Her ceramic skills are legendary and her clay classes super popular. Ochre also enjoys working with macramé, making jewellery and helping create decor at music and lifestyle festivals around Australia and overseas.

With a certificate in Permaculture Design, Ochre has travelled to many places working on organic farms and helping with community projects.

Enki Ridgzin
Enki RidgzinEducator
Enki has been a part-time Educator in Aeon Academy’s Vala program for several years. He has attended most of the programs at Aeoncademy 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.

Bridie Mackay
Bridie MackayEducator
Bridie is a part-time Educator at Aeon Academy. She graduated from the ANU School of Art and Design, majoring in print media and drawing, and experimenting with various mediums and materials. She has completed a Certificate Three in Children’s Services and has a great deal of experience working in childcare centres and after school care services.

At Aeon Academy, Bridie applies her skills and knowledge to inspire young people to think creatively and to be passionate about visual arts.

Bridie has also worked on creative large-scale installation projects, textile work, explorative paintings and intricate drawings.

Lucy Coupe
Lucy CoupeEducator
Lucy is an Educator at Aeon Academy in the Sparks program. She is studying a Bachelor of Political Science.

At Aeon Academy, Lucy brings her love of guided play and gets a buzz out of helping students to develop their imagination and social skills.

Rai Andrews
Rai AndrewsEducator
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.

Claire Holland
Claire HollandEducator
Claire is an Educator in Aeon Academy’s Sparks and Creative Play program. She is studying a Bachelor of Philosophy(International Relations).

Highly passionate about education through creativity, Claire brings her personal love of theatre and performance to run classes that inspire and motivate students to develop a love of the arts. Working with children is second nature to Claire.

George Breynard
George BreynardEducator
George is a part-time Educator with Aeon Academy’s Vala and Catalyst 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 has been with Aeon Academy since 2015, when he joined the team as an Assistant Facilitator in the summer vacation program.

Maxwell Macmillan
Maxwell MacmillanAssistant Educator
Maxwell is an Assistant Educator at Aeon Academy, across all our programs. He is a passionate performer with a growing repertoire of acting accomplishments including, most recently, his performance in Shrek the Musical.

Maxwell brings his joyous and playful personality to his work, ensuring students are supported to fully engage with the programs.

Alice Casha
Alice CashaEducator
Alice is an Educator for Aeon Academy’s Creative Play program. She is studying towards a Certificate lll in Early Childhood Education and Care, and is an energised member of our graduate team having grown up with the Catalyst and Vala programs.

With her patient and compassionate approach, Alice inspires students with her passion for games and creative play.

Hannah Linegar
Hannah LinegarEducator
Hannah is an Educator for Aeon Academy’s Creative Play and Sparks programs. She is an energised team member having grown up working with children in child, after school and disability care services.

Hannah inspires students of all ages with her passion for dance, outdoor adventures and animals. When not working Hannah loves to spend time with and cook for her friends and family.

Annalisa Zaccheo
Annalisa ZaccheoCentre Manager
Having moved from Italy to Australia seven 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. After having already attained a Diploma in Early Childhood Education in Australia, Anna 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 hopes to bring her understanding, knowledge and experience to Aeon’s unique service.