Our Staff

Matt Smith
Matt Smith Principal
Matt joins Redfern Jarjum College as the new Principal in 2018, having previously been the Head of the Regis Campus at Saint Ignatius’ College, Riverview. Matt has also worked as a teacher and school leader on the NSW Mid North Coast and in the Western Suburbs of Sydney where he grew up. His vision for Jarjum is to create an engaging learning environment built on partnerships with families and the communities.

Matt is committed to helping each individual student and looks forward to seeing them gain the confidence to achieve success in their educational journey. He believes in the importance of spiritual, emotional and academic development.

Matt holds a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership and brings experience working with students from all over Australia. Matt has also worked extensively in the areas of curriculum design and teacher development.

Anne McDermott
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 Barker
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.

Natasha Evans
Natasha EvansTeacher
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.
Marianne Rogan
Marianne RoganTeacher
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.

Tina Brayan
Tina BrayanTeacher
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.
Sophie Ervasti
Sophie ErvastiTeacher
Cherri Scifleet
Cherri ScifleetTeacher Assistant
Cherri has been a member of the Jarjum community since 2013, first as a volunteer and then as a member of staff. Cherri grew up in Mudgee and currently works with students across all three classes. She has extensive experience working with children in special assistance settings.
Michelle McGrath
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 Carroll
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.
Les Cain
Les Cain Teacher Assistant & Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer
Les joined Redfern Jarjum College in November 2019 and had previously been a volunteer on behalf of the Westpac Foundation. Les spent around two years in Westpac’s Guarantees Team in Corporate Operations before making the jump to Jarjum. He is a Gamilaroi man from the small rural town of Coonabarabran. He loves his role at Jarjum and looks forward to rassaling for the foreseeable future.
Andrea Adidi
Andrea Adidi Teacher Assistant & Cultural Mentor
Les joined Redfern Jarjum College in November 2019 and had previously been a volunteer on behalf of the Westpac Foundation. Les spent around two years in Westpac’s Guarantees Team in Corporate Operations before making the jump to Jarjum. He is a Gamilaroi man from the small rural town of Coonabarabran. He loves his role at Jarjum and looks forward to rassaling for the foreseeable future.
Gayl Hardaker
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.

Warwick Yilgari Bell
Warwick Yilgari BellTeacher Assistant, Bus Driver and Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer
Sister Mary McDonnell
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.

Our Volunteers and Relief Staff

Barb de Rome
I have volunteered in the kitchen of Jarjum for three years now. Why do I do it? Back in 2015, I attended Jarjum’s induction day because I was interested in working with the children in the classroom to improve their reading. However, at the induction session I heard several things which particularly resonated with me. One was that feeding the children healthy food was as important as their learning. Another was that the children’s physical well being was demonstrably improved by the nutritious and varied diet they were offered at Jarjum. All volunteers are asked to start by working in the kitchen so the children can get to know them, even if they hope to do classroom work. I enjoyed cooking for the children so much that I have remained in the kitchen. There is nothing more satisfying than enabling the children to discover a variety of food and to develop their palates. The children are also exposed to a wide range of fruits and vegetables and while some will be wary of food that they are unfamiliar with, when they observe their friends eating them, they lose their reluctance to try them. Children who would only eat devon and tomato sauce sandwiches at the beginning of term one, will be enjoying butter chicken and beef koftas as the year progresses. Of course, we in the kitchen also have a role to play in coaxing them to try something new. They enjoy a cooked breakfast when they arrive at school and Gayl ensures that they participate in its preparation, whether it is by squeezing orange juice or helping her to cook. Fresh fruit is a core part of morning and afternoon tea, while they may get cheese and biscuits or pancakes on occasion. 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 doing them good.
Rhonda Small
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.