Meet the Compass Team

A team of primary school teachers, researchers and talented minds, guiding the Compass journey

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Alicia Gilbert

Founder & Principal

Alicia is a passionate educator,

having seen learning from a variety of perspectives - as a local and international teacher, university tutor, and homeschooling parent.

Alicia has a Bachelor of Education (Primary) and Master of Educational Leadership.  She is excited about welcoming future families to Compass.


Dr Lisa van Leent


Lisa is an educational researcher interested in social equity in education. 


Lisa's expertise includes over 10 years in classrooms including teaching roles, leadership and coaching roles across the primary years, and over 5 years in adult education and higher education contexts.


Shayla Olsen


Shayla is an educator, writer and advocate for the magic of childhood.  

Shayla has 10 years classroom teaching experience and now works in higher education and research. She has a Bachelor of Education (Primary), a Masters of Arts (Editing & Publishing), and is currently completing a PhD in Creative Writing Pedagogy and Publishing Studies.


Dr Shaun Nykvist


Shaun is an educator, researcher and author focused on innovative approaches to teaching and learning that focus on activating student learning. 


Shaun has knowledge of educational systems across the world and has played a key role in developing curriculum internationally.

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Kerrie Hinschen


Kerrie has an entrepreneurial mindset and in the past has started a small business, was a key member in the development of a small independent school and subsequent Business Development Manager. 


With studies in Human Resource Management and Accounting to compliment years of nursing experience, Kerrie believes that the future is shaped by those willing to step outside the box.  


Robert McGuiness


Rob has been a senior executive and practising consultant in the supply chain space within Australia and the near Pacific for over 30 years. His expertise includes implementing effective change programs in more than 200 organisations over 30 years.

Rob has honours diplomas in business management and supply chain management and practise.


Adelaide Towler


Adelaide is a solicitor specialising in education law and employment and workplace relations law. 


On a daily basis, Adelaide assists independent schools to navigate the complex legal environment that schools now operate in.  Adelaide has a special interest in child protection, mandatory reporting and advising schools on discharging their duty of care to the fullest extent.  Adelaide strongly believes that the best interests of the child should be at the heart of every decision made.

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Allan Young


Allan is an advisor, leadership expert, life coach and former architect.  He has a passion for leadership and enhancing peoples’ lives.  Allan was director of his own architectural practice and spent 20 years as a high level sports coach.


Allan has degrees in Design Studies and Architecture, a Diploma in Life Coaching, National and International accreditation in his chosen sport and several practitioner certificates in personal and professional development.

Meet the Founder

Alicia Gilbert

Hi, My name’s Alicia and I’m the Founder, Director and Principal of Compass.

You might be interested in hearing some more about my journey to Compass.

I grew up in Brisbane, graduated from QUT and taught in Brisbane before moving to Shanghai and Bangkok.  I spent almost a decade teaching internationally and had the incredible opportunity to work at the one of the world’s leading international schools in inquiry based learning, NIST International School.  We started our family in Bangkok and over time, we decided to relocate back to Brissie for the outdoor lifestyle.

Upon returning to Brisbane, I thought I would find a school that suited not only myself, but also my children.  However, I couldn’t find a match and so we made the decision to home school our two children.  Over time, I realised that the combination of my experiences as a primary school teacher, international educator and home schooling Mum, resulted in some unique insights and a passion for innovative and contemporary education. 

With the help of a dynamic group of educators, we set out to design Compass.  We’ve spent years drawing upon all we know as parents, primary school teachers, university researchers and creative minds to build Compass.  At the heart of Compass is the child’s learning journey.  We really do believe that the child should be at the centre of the decisions we make and that children deserve to have time to inquire, play, create and collaborate. 

We hope Compass captures that magic of learning that we all want for our children.

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