With a committed experienced team, NewHope Baptist Preschool staff offer children a safe, warm and enriching space to explore and learn.


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Melissa Adam

Melissa is the Director of NewHope Baptist Preschool and the Teacher of the 4-year-old Possum Group. Prior to commencing teaching at the Preschool in 2015, Melissa served as President.  Melissa has lectured and assessed in Early Childhood and ran many parenting workshops.


Melissa has had 28 years experience in Early Childhood education.  She is currently a coach to preservice teachers and a casual academic at Deakin University. She has enjoyed working in Early Learning centres, Preschools and local council while lecturing and assessing in the early childhood sector for the past 13 years.  Melissa did her Masters degree in Arts and Social Education and has a passion for encouraging prosocial and co-operative behaviour. She has also completed a Graduate Diploma of Divinity (MST).


One of Melissa's greatest desires is to encourage children in their social interactions and in their decison making. She is passionate about observing children and scaffolding their learning. Melissa is an active listener to the ideas and suggestions of the children enabling an individual learning program.

Catherine Schythe Pereira

Catherine is the teacher of the 4-year-old Kangaroo Group.  She began teaching in 2011 and prior to this she worked in various early childhood settings.  She is passionate about children's holistic development and motor skills development.

Catherine also has a Graduate Diploma of Arts (Writing).  She has two children, loves reading, going to church, animals and spending time in nature.

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Miranda Lee

Miranda is the Teacher of the 3-year-old Platypus & Koala groups. 


She began her teaching at NewHope in January 2015. Miranda speaks four languages and is a gifted violin and piano player. She hold a Bachelor degree in Music and a Master degree in Early Childhood Teaching. She has previously worked in other preschools and Early Learning Centres.

Miranda has a lovely rapport with the children in her care and has a gift in working one on one with the children.

Miranda is also the Administration and the Enrolment Officer of the Preschool.

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Laura Dodani

Laura is the educator in the 4 year old Possum group and joined the team in 2019.  Laura holds a Diploma in Early Childhood Education & Care and Bachelor degree in Science.  She enjoys learning and continually updating her skills through various methods & opportunities.  Laura, her husband and two school age children worship and regularly serve in church. 


With several years experience in the early childhood sector, Laura loves working with kinder aged children and nurture them to bring the best out in each child.  She enjoys doing craft with them and watching them develop throughout the year.  In her spare time she enjoys reading, walking, gardening and spending time with family and friends.

Gillian Liew

Gillian is the educator in the 4 year old Kangaroo group and joined the team since 2020. She has spent many years with the Department of Education but finds working with Kinder children most rewarding!  She has worked in early learning centres and preschools in private, community-based and independent school settings before joining the team in 2020.


Gillian holds a Diploma of Education and Care in addition to a Bachelor degree of Applied Science. She speaks 3 languages, loves to sing and have fun exploring the world with the children. During her spare time, you will find her at one of the many walks around greater Melbourne, the NGV, Arts centre or buried deep  in her books.

Rachel Allsop

Rachel is the educator in the 3 year old Platypus group and the Preschool First Aid Supervisor.  She started working at NewHope Baptist Preschool in August 2015.  In addition to her role as Educator of the Platypus group, she works as a Registered Nurse.  Rachel holds further qualifications in International Health and Theology.


At Preschool Rachel loves getting to know the children and their families, and enjoys the colour and liveliness of the Preschool world.  Rachel has a big family who keep her busy, and enjoys occasionally having the time to knit and paint.

Rachel He

Rachel is the educator of the 3 year old Koala group. She has worked in early learning centres in a not-for-profit organization and private centres as a leading educator and a co-educator for more than 14 years.


Rachel has a Diploma in Early Childhood Education & Care, and she is pursuing her Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education. She is passionate about children's learning and play environments that are thought to enrich and empower children, nurturing both their minds and hearts.


During her free time, she likes to sing and play the piano. Aside from music, she also likes reading and enjoys reading to children. She holds a Bachelor degree in Music Education from China.

Sanette Wood

Sanette is the Finance Controller of the Preschool. 

Her involvement started in 2013 when her first born attended the preschool.  Since then she has served at the preschool in a variety of roles.