OFFICIAL STUFF ABOUT ME

EMPLOYMENT REQUIREMENTS

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Bachelor of Early Childhood Education (Birth - 5 years) 2018
  • Sandplay Certificate (Children) 2017
  • Cert IV in Training & Assessment 2008
  • Diploma of Transpersonal Art Therapy 2006
  • Associate Diploma of Social Science in Childcare 1994
  • + a wide variety of workshops and professional development in art, art therapy and early childhood education

WORK STUFF 

I am a self taught artist addicted to online art tutorials, as I get to watch them and do art when it suits me.   I worked in the early childhood profession for 27 years in various roles including mother and baby units, long day care management, 2IC, educational leader and as a senior educator.  I don't profess to be an expert, but I do know my stuff.  I also worked with the Art Therapy Studio at the Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre where I completed my art therapy training and later worked as a volunteer with patients, their families and members of staff. Client profiles included those with ABI (Acquired Brain Injury), neurological issues and brain disorders, both organic and acquired. 

Working in early childhood education gave me extensive experience educating, supporting and guiding children, families in the following areas:

  • behaviour support 
  • disability
  • trauma, loss or grief

In addition, working in early childhood management and as an educational leader offered practical experience in supporting and guiding educators in the following areas:

  • art 
  • inclusion
  • the EYLF, NQS and planning cycle
  • communication and managing a team

I've utilized art and art therapy techniques in early childhood with children and educators for over 10 years. During this time I have assisted children and educators in exploring and reflecting on a wide variety of art mediums, styles and projects that include:

  • photography
  • sand play setups
  • clay work
  • collage
  • Gelli-plate printing
  • painting/drawing
  • abstract 
  • observational 
  • mixed media
  • natural and recycled materials
  • transient/Ephemeral art 
  • mandala art
  • collaborative projects

All art mediums excite me and I enjoy exploring differing styles of art.  I'm a member of many social media art, early childhood education and disability groups on Facebook and enjoy interacting and learning from others on both a formal and informal basis.  I'm also the artist behind the Phoenix Cups developed by psychologist and early childhood consultant Sandi Phoenix and the artist and writer behind the Artful Educators inspiration and discussion cards by Inspired EC. 

I currently work part time in Geelong at One World for Children as their Arts coordinator and resident arts therapist on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.    The rest of my time I work as an early childhood arts consultant and private art therapist.  In what free time I have I make art.  You can buy my art on a variety of platforms. 

RANDOM FACTS ABOUT ME

I live where I grew up, in the Banyule & Nillumbik shires that make up the "outer" north east suburbs of Melbourne. As a child we referred to it as 'the sticks".  It's a beautiful area full of parks, bushland and plenty of infrastructure. I feel blessed to live here.  I'm planning to live near a beach when I retire, preferably somewhere warm! 

Melissa means "bee" in Greek. The name comes from the Greek word μέλισσα (mélissa), "bee," which in turn comes from μέλι (meli), "honey." In Hittite, melit signifies "honey." Melissa also refers to the plant Melissa officinalis (Lamiaceae family), known as lemon balm. This was the name of a nymph that cared for young Zeus in Greek mythology. Melissa plundered bee hives in order to feed honey to Zeus, who developed a permanent sweet tooth. Melissa's role in protecting Zeus was discovered and she was turned into a lowly form of insect (hey, all insects have their place!). But Zeus later took pity on her and turned her into a Honey Bee, which is involved with making honey. It is also the name of the fairy who helps Rogero escape from the witch Alcina in Ludovico Ariosto's poem 'Orlando Furioso' (1516). As an English given name, Melissa has been used since the 18th century.

I have 2 dogs, Basil and Charlie. APS made it hard for me to have children, so these boys are my furbabies.  I adore them. Basil is nearly 17 and Charlie is nearly 13.  Update: Basil crossed the Rainbow Bridge on Sunday 16th September at 11.00am. I cried for 2 weeks.

I don't have a favourite colour. I can never choose.  Instead I choose a colour I resonate with at the time.  

Yes, I have had an aura photo taken.  It looks kind of like a rainbow.

My favourite ice cream was, and still is, a Hazelnut roll. Unfortunately Peter's stopped making them years ago and I'm yet to find a suitable replacement. But I won't say no to a vanilla drumstick or a Golden Gaytime. 

I have a weakness for potato chips and macaroons. I'll eat any flavour. Doesn't matter. 

I've only broken a bone once, my ankle, in 2015.  I broke it in 3 places, needed 6 surgeries and 18 months off work. Life changing moment, although it took me a while to figure that one out. I seriously thought they would plaster it and I could go home and resume life as normal. I was wrong. So very, very wrong about that! I hope to never experience a broken bone journey again, although if I do, at least I'll know what I'm possibly in for. 

My favourite type of clothing is anything that is comfortable and doesn't require an iron.  My style varies on how I feel, I can go from boho hippy to catwalk queen and back to bogan (I love sheepskin boots). I don't have time for ironing. Unless, really, really necessary.  Then I hang the item in the shower and let the steam do the work (because I don't own an iron).  Due to my broken ankle, I have a closet full of gorgeous stilettoes I rarely wear anymore. 

From ages 27-29 I travelled the USA, central and south America and Europe on my own.  Travelling alone was amazing, eye-opening and exhilarating. I highly recommend it. My favourite country was Mexico, the food was delicious, the people friendly and always willing to help and the country itself stunningly beautiful. 

I like swearing. A lot. My mother says I have a potty mouth. Friends comment on how often I drop the F bomb.  I swear by swearing. It's very satisfying.  Obviously there's a time and a place.  

ARTIST STATEMENT

I use art to explore that which words cannot often convey; the shadows buried deep within and the light that shines in us all.

Overcoming the fear of being judged, criticized and not being seen as good enough is something many people feel when it comes to creating and sharing artwork.  Through challenging these fears and connecting with others, a whole new world of creativity, inspiration and friendships can be opened up for all.  I love creating and sharing art that is spiritual, intuitive, emotional, whimsical, fun and enjoyable.  I am passionate about guiding and supporting early childhood educators to reflect on, explore, develop and extend their creative arts pedagogy in fun and enjoyable ways that will improve their art practices with children.

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 All art work within this site is owned by The Creativity Canvas and may not be copied, reproduced or altered in any way.