Redfern Jarjum’s Principal Katherine Zerounian commenced in 2023. Katherine holds a Bachelor of Community Welfare (International Social Development), a Bachelor of Teaching (HSIE) and a Masters in Educational Leadership.
Katherine’s previous roles in leadership and education include leading the Religious Education faculty and Faith in Service program at Saint Ignatius’ College Riverview. She has built many partnerships with Aboriginal communities through the Faith in Service immersion program and has a deep personal commitment to Aboriginal communities and the work of reconciliation.
Prior to her work in education, Katherine was a founding member and Program Director of the Matesabroad Foundation, an organisation created to support the education of children living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Anne McDermottSchool Administrator and Family Support
Anne has a background in adult education and education administration and a strong commitment to service and the support for health and well being for all children.
Chris BarkerDeputy Principal
Chris has been involved in primary and adult education for nearly 20 years. He has spent all of his time in Primary schools in Western Sydney, and a stint in the UK, working in disadvantaged communities. Chris is inspired by the words of Nelson Mandela who famously said “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
Having spent 8 years working with New Australian families from immigrant and refugee backgrounds Chris developed a keen interest in Indigenous history and culture and a strong desire to work with First Australian families. He strongly believes in collaborative practices and approaches in education and building community connections in support of students and their families.
Chris feels privileged to join the Redfern Jarjum College community and looks forward to learning with and learning from our kids, families and community.
Tina joined Jarjum as the Middle Years teacher in January 2019. She has extensive experience as a teacher and has worked for many years in boys’ education. She is committed to helping students achieve their best in all things and hopes to inspire the students of Jarjum to reach their full potential. She has a love of reading and looks forward to sharing this love with the students and reading many wonderful books together.
Tina worked for many years at Saint Ignatius’ College, Riverview, where she was a Homeroom teacher and taught a variety of subjects in years 5, 6 and 7. As well as being a Homeroom teacher she has coached many sport teams over the years including Rugby and Basketball. She enjoys all sports but has a particular love for netball.
Tina is looking forward to teaching at Jarjum and getting to know the students and their families.
Marianne joined Jarjum as the Senior Class Teacher in January 2020. She has taught a range of year groups from Kindergarten to Year 7 and spent most of her years teaching boys in Jesuit Schools in Sydney.
All Jesuit Schools aim at helping others. Marianne has spent the last twenty years encouraging her students to take up this challenge. Now it is her turn to live out this mission and use her teaching expertise to teach the students at Jarjum and challenge them to find ways that they can help others.
Marianne hopes to develop a love of learning and bring out the best in her students. She also hopes to develop the students’ ability to work with others, build resilience and confidence in themselves.
Marianne is excited to be joining the Jarjum Team and getting to know the staff, students and their families.
My name is Ebony Carberry, a proud Wiradjuri woman. I am a first-year kindergarten teacher but long-time advocate for First Nations education. I am excited to be a part of the Jarjum family and so happy and proud to watch the student grow and learn.
Kerry Dean Teacher
My name Kerry Dean. I recently started working at RJC after having worked in various roles in Special Education since I began teaching. I’ve worked in the Catholic System, special schools and more recently St Ignatius’ College, all assisting students with additional learning needs. I have always wanted to learn more about Indigenous Education and when I came to RJC for a visit last year I straight-away knew that this was a place I’d like to be part of. The staff and students were so welcoming, and I could see great things happening both inside and outside of the classrooms. A few things about me: I am married with two grown-up kids; I have a cat and a dog for pets and I have two nieces and a nephew who are aboriginal. I love music, nature and reading and I go for the Mighty Manly Sea Eagles but I also love the Rabbitohs. Hopefully they don’t meet in a Grand Final!
Pania BrownTeacher Assistant
My name is Pania Brown. I am a proud Maori woman who has a strong whakapapa (genealogy) connection with the Northern tribes of Aotearoa, New Zealand. I previously worked at the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence for 5 years as an after-school program educator, and an IDX and TATU Program Facilitator. I also worked as a Youth & Community Worker in the Redfern, Waterloo and Maroubra areas. My role as a Teacher Assistant at Jarjum is a very exciting, challenging and incredibly rewarding. I enjoy working with students to assist with different ways of learning and adapt creative thinking styles to help them reach their potential in a fun and positive environment. I especially enjoy Culture Day as I learn with the students about their First Nations culture, and I have opportunities to share my heritage with them.
Dana CubriloTeacher Assistant
My name is Dana Cubrilo. I joined Jarjum College in 2022 as a casual Teachers Assistant. I was drawn to Jarjum after living and working in Alice Springs where I discovered my passion for education and supporting First Nations children. I spent 6 months working in Alice as a support officer at a primary school where I facilitated the ReadWriteInc and MiniLit program. I am committed to supporting students and I enjoy watching them succeed and grow inside and outside the classroom. I look forward to building connections with my students, their families and the local community.
Michelle McGrathTeacher Assistant
Michelle McGrath joined Jarjum in 2018. She has been working as a Teacher’s Assistant since 2012. She has spent 6 years in the Public System, supporting students with varying special needs ranging from Autism Spectrum Disorders and Down Syndrome to learning and behavioural difficulties.
Michelle has a special interest in the education of Indigenous children and believes that all Australian children should be immersed in Indigenous culture so that they can grow up with an awareness of, and respect for, these ancient cultures. Hopefully, we can then begin to right the wrongs of the early settlers.
Michelle is married with 3 children.
Raylene CarrollTeacher Assistant
I first found out about Redfern Jarjum College when we invited the students to a magic show at Tranby Aboriginal College. I enjoy working at Jarjum as a Teachers Aid, providing students with support and to be a positive role model & support to them. This also gives me the opportunity to stay connected to my culture & community as I’m a proud Wiradjuri woman from Redfern.
Andrea Adidi Teacher Assistant & Cultural Mentor
Gayl HardakerVolunteer Coordinator & Pastoral Care
Gayl started as a volunteer in 2012 and was employed in her position in 2015.
Redfern Jarjum College provides breakfast, morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea every school day from a kitchen manned by volunteers. Gayl plans the menu, ensuring the recommended daily intakes are met each day, shops for ingredients and writes the roster for the kitchen. The classrooms too have volunteers working one on one with students either in literacy, numeracy or science. Sometimes these volunteers are just buddies, there to listen, share stories or play games. It is a part of Gayl’s role to allocate volunteers to classrooms and she’s always on the look out for the best match.
Gayl provides emotional support for the children of Jarjum. She is a keeper of secrets, treasures and has a magic room that can usually meet most requests of the children. Gayl also makes them brush their teeth. She loves her job.
Sister Mary McDonnellBus driver/Pastoral Care
Sister Mary is a long-time educator who has taught in schools in Sydney, South Australia and the Kimberley. She has recently returned to Sydney after eight years in education and pastoral care in the remote Aboriginal community of Warmun, Western Australia. Sister Mary assists with teaching, administration and pastoral care for Jarjum, as well as driving the school bus.
Talia SilbersteinSpeech Pathologist
Talia joins Jarjum with over 25 years’ experience as a Speech Pathologist across a range of specialty areas. She has spent the last 15 years in Education working with students to realise their potential using evidence-based practices for literacy and learning. A Master’s in Public Health underpins her belief in early intervention and working with families and schools to foster oral language development at home and in the classroom. At Jarjum, Talia will be working with individual students and small groups, and she will also provide support within the classroom. Talia is looking forward to both.
Etheon Parks Clinical Social Worker
Etheon is a Clinical Social Worker with 24 years’ experience working with First Nations young people and families across NSW and in four countries. Etheon holds a Masters of Indigenous Studies and Master of Clinical Social Work, Counselling from UNSW. Etheon has been attending the College for almost 4 years. His clinical work is guided and driven by the young people. Etheon is brokered to Jarjum College, by Centre 360, a free Youth and Family counselling service at St Francis Social Services, Paddington. Etheon’s key focus at the College, is to work and support the immediate medium term needs and interests of the young people with self-determination central to all therapeutic aspects of his work. Etheon’s key practice influences are core Social Work advocacy and clinical practice methods, narrative therapy, Social Work First Nations informed practice, Social Work informed systemic family therapy, strengths based, interpersonal psychotherapy, and First Nations trauma informed and wellbeing practice standards. Etheon’s work with the young people continues to adapt and change to the needs of the young people at the College year by year.
Fr Nico LariosaChaplain
I was missioned as a chaplain here at
Redfern Jarjum College in 2019. On
my first day, I was nervous but I was
encouraged by Fr Brian McCoy, the former
provincial of the Jesuits, who has walked
and worked with indigenous people in
the desert over a period spanning three
He said that indigenous Australians are
more interested in building authentic
relationships rather than receiving
“services”. They will only warm to you if
they know you are a person of your word.
I have done that: I turn up every Tuesday,
rain or shine.
I have learnt that the kids at Jarjum, like
any other kids, love stories and I enjoy
telling them stories from the bible to which
they can relate. St Augustine suggested
centuries ago “to delight, to instruct, and to
persuade” and that is what I strive to do.
Emily BeikpourBus driver
Hi, my name is Emily and I am a casual bus driver for Jarjum College. I enjoy working at Jarjum as all the staff and students are very friendly and kind. I am currently a student at UNSW completing a Bachelor of Environmental Management, Majoring in Ecology. I love learning about nature and the interconnectedness of all life and ecosystems. I like being out in nature and I love gardening so I’m always collecting plants. I also love being creative, I have my Diploma in Graphic Design and have been a street artist for the past 7 years, where I mainly paint colourful graffiti murals. I look forward to continuing working at Jarjum and getting to know the Jarjum community.
Sam GalleyBus driver
My name is Sam and I love being the Jarjum College bus driver. I started driving the bus for the school in 2021 and have resumed that role in 2022. I value transporting the children to and from school and getting to know each family along the way. Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my family, exercising and listening to music.
Sash MiskovskiSchool Maintenance
Sash was born in Macedonia where he
studied engineering and worked as a
machine setter and shift supervisor. In
1987 he migrated to Australia with his
young family. Since then he has worked
in a variety of jobs including shipping
container repairs and surveyor, warehouse
and production coordinator and has had
his own businesses. For the past fifteen
years he has operated a painting and
handyman service. Sash has been with us
at Jarjum College for 6 years.
Natasha Evans Casual Teacher
Natasha joined us as the Senior teacher at Jarjum College in October, 2018. Natasha was born in Perth, Western Australia and moved to Sydney in January 2018. She has been in education for eight years and was previously teaching at St Ignatius’ College, Riverview. Prior to that she taught in London, Perth and Melbourne. In 2016 Natasha managed DT38 Foundation, a charity which worked to educate students and adults about testicular cancer and general health and wellbeing. She published her first children’s picture book and teaching program linked to Literacy and Health outcomes. The focus of the program was to teach students about resilience and to provide them with strategies to get through life’s challenges. Natasha is thrilled to be part of the team at Jarjum.
Our Volunteers and Relief staff – Volunteer
Barb de RomeVOLUNTEER SNAPSHOT
I started volunteering at Jarjum in 2015. I had planned to work into the classroom, but I ended up enjoying working in the kitchen too much to change. It is very satisfying helping the children to discover different ingredients and developing their palates. Some will be wary of food that they are not familiar with, but when they observe their friends eating it, they lose their reluctance to try it. Children who would only eat chicken nuggets and vegemite sandwiches at the beginning of Term One, will be enjoying chicken curry and beef koftas as the year progresses. They enjoy a cooked breakfast when they arrive at school and Gay ensures that they participate in its preparation, whether it is squeezing oranges for juice or helping her to cook eggs. Fresh fruit is a core part of morning and afternoon tea, while lunch is always a cooked meal. There is nothing more satisfying than a child dropping in at the kitchen to say that the lunch was “yum” but even if they don’t, you know it is them good. Jarjum is a with a huge heart. It is a pleasure to play a small part towards helping these children.
Rhonda SmallVOLUNTEER SNAPSHOT
In 2014 I started helping in the classroom at Jarjum but quickly moved to the kitchen and have been there ever since.
I come in on Tuesdays to cook and the role is perfect for me. I enjoy working with children and also enjoy the challenge of preparing tasty and nutritious meals from whatever is available. It is also a lot of fun!
It is very satisfying to see the children arrive at school and start the day with a healthy breakfast. The kitchen is a focal point of the school and I like chatting to the staff and children when they stop at the door to say hello.
It is extremely rewarding to watch the children develop and grow in confidence and I always look forward to my Tuesdays at Jarjum.
Adeline PandineVOLUNTEER SNAPSHOT
Given the richness of our Indigenous history, I had always thought that Indigenous languages and cultural teachings should take their places in the Australian school curriculum. Similarly, I had hoped that, through learning about each other, Australians from all backgrounds would move faster to a place of mutual respect and understanding.
I then heard about Redfern Jarjum College from communities across Sydney. I was privileged to be accepted as a volunteer here and I have found it to be a unique school which prioritises education, cultural enrichment and pastoral care equally. The work of Jarjum is a true representation of “love and faith in action”.
I have seen the dedication and commitment of extraordinary staff and I have been inspired by the students – who are intelligent, resilient and courageous. With the encouragement of the staff and community, and through their own hard work, these students have flourished. I feel very honoured to be considered as part of the Jarjum family.
Sue Roebuck VOLUNTEER SNAPSHOT
It has been an amazing experience to volunteer in the kitchen at Jarjum. I have been there since the end of 2020, and although cooking is not my strong point,
I am loving assisting the wonderful Gayle and other volunteers on a Wednesday. The kitchen not only produces healthy meals that are made with love every school day,
it also serves as a place for the students to visit if they are feeling overwhelmed or overjoyed about something they have achieved that day.
Each week I see the support the Jarjum community offer to the students and their families. It is a very special school.
Alex CacedaVOLUNTEER SNAPSHOT
I started volunteering at Jarjum kitchen in 2018, at a time when I needed to get back to giving back to community. As I work full-time in a Corporate role, the only time I could offer was breakfast on Wednesdays. While it might appear like 2 of my least favourite things – getting up early and cooking – may have been a challenge, helping at the old/reinvented Jarjum Café has been an absolute joy. To be greeted at Jarjum by the ever-smiling Gayl, to share in the spirit of fellow volunteers, and be made to feel like part of the Jarjum family by every staff member is just a great way to start my Wednesdays. But nothing beats the moment the kids come in like a tsunami of energy and excitement. To be able to give them their very favourite cheesy croissant, scrambled egg muffin, pancakes or plain vegemite on toast, is a bigger treat for me than for them. And to just be there to reach out to that shy child or one who is having a low Wednesday morning can be even more rewarding. Every Wednesday morning it’s a case of getting more than I give. To quote Khalil Gibran: There are those who give with joy, and that joy is their reward.
Karen HesterVOLUNTEER SNAPSHOT
I was lucky enough to start volunteering in the kitchen at Jarjum in 2022, and love seeing the difference the healthy meals produced by Gayl and the fabulous kitchen make to the children’s lives. As a dietitian, personal trainer and a mum, I’m passionate about food, health and fitness, particularly in young people. In 2023 I have started fitness and nutrition sessions with the Jarjum students, which is loads of fun, produces many entertaining questions and has helped me get to know each of them just a little bit more.
Kerri McMahonVOLUNTEER SNAPSHOT
Ann Robson VOLUNTEER SNAPSHOT
I have been volunteering in the kitchen at Jarjum for about 9 years now and love to see the children polishing off the healthy food we make for them.
I am a mother of 3 grown boys who also enjoy my cooking.
I like playing golf, swimming, skiing and going on treks in my spare time .