Meet the Compass Team

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

CIS Primary Icon.png

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.

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.  

Rob McGuiness

School Business Manager

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

Legal Advisor

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.

Meet the Founder

Alicia Gilbert

My journey to Compass began when I returned from teaching internationally and was searching for a school for my children.  I became frustrated in my search for a school and decided to create Compass as a place for children. 


I spent years brainstorming ideas for Compass that drew upon all of my professional and personal knowledge.  I closely observed child development in action, paying attention to how children learn and play in different settings. 


I home schooled my own children and discovered how development occurs when instigated by one teacher over a continuous period of time.  I made many discoveries that built upon my professional knowledge as a primary school teacher in three countries. 

As I developed Compass, I sought out colleagues who were outstanding in their field, drawing on university researchers and primary school teachers who added to the vision, philosophy and programs.  Over time, the team has grown to include talented minds who bring diverse experiences and expertise.

Compass has now been in development for several years, building the design to create something truly special.  All we need now is a home for Compass, a site to open our doors. 


I hope you find Compass as a place for your child to navigate their learning journey.

CIS Primary Icon.png