Tutoring Mid North Coast - The Education Centre

Grafton Education Centre


Primary tuition

Whether your child is exceptionally gifted and needs challenging educational activities or struggles to keep up in a classroom situation, we can provide suitable tutoring based on their individual learning needs. Small group tuition and one-on-one instruction is available at our Grafton Education Centre. Your child will complete an assessment to evaluate their academic skills so we can structure a program to meet their individual needs.

Tutoring Mid North Coast - The Education Centre

Creative Connections




Year 6 Preparation for High School

Prepare your child for the challenges of Year 7 and let us help you make the transition easier. The ideal time to start the process is the beginning of Year 6, Our preparation course is designed to equip children with basic maths, essay writing and assignment preparation skills.

Assessment Planning

During the school year, some high school classes have internal assessments that contribute to the final marks and may affect your child’s eligibility to sit HSC. With time-management skills, research and presentation knowledge, your child can be sure their efforts get the marks they deserve.

Buddy Lessons

Is your child finding one-on-one tutoring a little too intense? Peer teaching strategies have been found to be very successful. We offer a buddy system that provides your child with the opportunity to learn from kids their own age.

HSC Holiday Workshops

It’s never too early for your teen to start preparing for HSC exams. The most effective way to do this is for your child to participate in our holiday workshops. Hundreds of previous HSC students have benefited from the insight and knowledge from our qualified tutors.

Preliminary HSC preparation

Individual learning needs are addressed in this course designed to develop your child’s skills in analysis text, written expression and critical research to ensure they are exam ready in preparation for Year 12.

Special interest Classes

Drama - Improvisation


Cycling for Fun and bike maintenance

story Writing & Illustrating

Jam Sessions

Art & Craft



The Education Centre



Mon to Thur: 9:00am–6:30pm
Fri to Sun: Closed


Tutor Mid North Coast - The Education Centre

Greg Lee

– HSC Physics, Chemistry, Maths 2 Unit, Maths Extension 1 & 2, Engineering

Greg completed a BSc., majoring in mathematics at UNE (Armidale) 2001. He previously studied Science at Griffith University (Brisbane) 1990-91 and ANU (Canberra) 1992. Also studied Electrical Engineering at Wollongong University 1975-77. Greg has 13 years’ experience in tutoring maths, physics, chemistry and engineering studies at The Education Centre. Maths includes extension 1 and extension 2 in Y12.
His other interests include sailing and railway history

Tutor Mid North Coast - The Education Centre

Col Graham

Maths Year 7 to HSC General—Maths Teacher, Year 7 to Year 12 General Maths

Col has been with The Education Centre for more than 10 years, having now retired from teaching at Coffs Harbour High School (Jetty High). He has 35 years’ experience as a teacher of children in the subject areas of Mathematics and Science. He is, and has always been, heavily involved in the Welfare of Students. His other passions are his family and sport, where he has coached in the National Touch League and is qualified as a National Selector. He currently is involved in local football, being an active referee and President of the local Referee’s Association.
Prior to coming to Coffs Harbour, he taught at James Cook Boys High, Kogarah, Ashford Central School, and Katoomba High School.

Tutor Mid North Coast - The Education Centre

Rose-Marie Sercombe

Senior English Y11-12—English Teacher Year 12 English

Rose-Marie Sercombe is an experienced HSC English teacher who has been teaching for more than 30 years in high schools on the North Coast.
Graduating with a BA, Dip Ed from UNE, she has a love of literature, especially Shakespeare.
Rose-Marie can help students with transferring their ideas into essays and other text types. High-level reading and writing skills are essential for HSC success.

Tutor Mid North Coast - The Education Centre

Alan Merritt

– All aspects of Literacy to HSC, History Modern to Y12, Legal Studies to Y12 –

Over a 30-year period teaching in many subject areas and in public schools, Alan Merritt has been a teacher, Head Teacher and Deputy Principal.  He has been a lecturer, for a number of years, in Education and History at both the University of New South Wales and New England University. As a Senior Education Officer, Alan was commissioned by the Board of Studies to write the History 7-10 syllabus, the Modern History syllabus, as well as providing units of work for NSW teachers in these subjects, along with Ancient History, Legal Studies and Aboriginal Studies.  He was one of the Co-ordinators of the HSC marking process and has also been a Marker and Senior Marker of HSC Modern History. Alan has authored a number of books on Australian society, World War 1 and world history, as well as specific books for HSC students and teachers.
After he graduated with Honours initially, Alan has since completed a Masters Degree as well as further post-graduate work.

Tutor Mid North Coast - The Education Centre

Wendy Woodland

– Primary and Early Secondary—Maths, English and Science

Wendy is a passionate teacher, excelling in this field for more than 31 years. Tutoring is what she finds to be the most rewarding type of teaching, working for direct goals and seeing these goals being achieved. Wendy notes that tutoring is more effective when children are acknowledged, cared for and shown respect. Feeling safe, they can be challenged and inspired to learn.  In her tutoring, she supports their needs for attention and approval, and values the children as individuals. Wendy’s tutoring helps children acquire a strong foundation in the knowledge and skills needed for success at school and for life in general. Originally from Sydney, Wendy was based at one main school for 25 years. She knows well the need for staff support, cooperation and rapport. Now, at The Education Centre, in line with our policies and practices, she generously shares helpful ideas with other staff members.

Tutor Mid North Coast - The Education Centre

Kirby Drew

– Primary and Early Secondary Maths, English and Reading

Rose-Marie Sercombe is an experienced HSC English teacher who has been teaching for more than 30 years in high schools on the North Coast.
Graduating with a BA, Dip Ed from UNE, she has a love of literature, especially Shakespeare.
Rose-Marie can help students with transferring their ideas into essays and other text types. High-level reading and writing skills are essential for HSC success.

Tutor Mid North Coast - The Education Centre

Mandeep Rai Rana

– Primary Maths, English and Reading

Mandeep completed a Bachelor of Education – Primary at Southern Cross University. She currently works as a casual teacher in local schools and tutors in both Primary Mathematics and English. She also works with ESL students.  Mandeep has been working as a tutor at The Education Centre since 2012. “I believe every child deserves an opportunity to be educated, regardless of their academic abilities,” says Mandeep. “The tight and busy schedules of school teachers do not allow students to have sufficient individual time with a teacher to go through the skills that are being taught. Tuition allows students to have the one-on-one time with a teacher so they can grasp learning skills before moving on to new topics. This opportunity to review topics with a teacher helps students to do well and boosts their self-esteem.”

Tutor Mid North Coast - The Education Centre

Anita Cassidy-Bowman

– HSC, Year 11 & 12 English, Extension English, ESL English

Anita is a casual teacher who has been tutoring secondary English and ESL students for more than 4 years at The Education Centre. Focusing largely on Years 11 and 12, she also has experience preparing adult learners to take the IELTS proficiency test (International English Language Testing System). Anita has a Graduate Diploma in English and ESL, a degree in languages, a passion for music and drama, and more than 17 years’ experience in guiding adults in traditional Indian sound therapy. “I have always loved stories,” says Anita, “whether spoken, written, visual or musical. So the current educational engagement with multi-modal texts for exploring and communicating diverse human experiences is particularly rewarding for me!”

Tutor Mid North Coast - The Education Centre

Astri Sjoberg

– Maths K to Year 12 Extension 2 – Maths, Kindergarten to HSC Extension 2 and beyond

Astri is a Mathematics Tutor with a PhD in Applied Mathematics. She has 6 years of tutoring privately and 14 years of teaching experience at University of Johannesburg in South Africa.
Besides Mathematics, she has also taught Modern Dance.
Astri has been tutoring at The Education Centre for 2 years and excels in her ability to call on a variety of methods to teach different types of learners.
She loves a challenge and also has an interest in dyscalculia.

Greg Hitchenson

– Special Education Tutor, Mentor

Leanne Stewart

– Maths Y5-12 General

Tutor Mid North Coast - The Education Centre

David Mitchell

– HSC and Secondary Maths General, 2 Unit, Extension 1 & 2, Biology, Chemistry

Susan Budd

– Primary, Pre-School

Talent Team

Matthew Kimber
– Maths K to Y12 up to Extension 2, Economics Y11-12, Chemistry Y11-12 –

Taylor Parrott

– Primary

Tutor Mid North Coast - The Education Centre

Leanne Chrisopoulos

– Primary, Maths, English, Science Y 7-10, Art

Leanne has a Bachelor of Education in Primary Teaching and a Bachelor of Education in Early Childhood Education.
A casual teacher in Primary schools around the Coffs Harbour area, Leanne is passionate about the welfare and advancement of our younger generation, knowing they are our future leaders. Having worked in administration, accounts and personal assistant roles in the banking and corporate sectors, she worked overseas for four years and visited Africa, UK, Europe, Middle East, Pacific Islands, and USA. She ran her own video rental and bookkeeping businesses before getting her Bachelor of Education degrees. Leanne has a calm, supportive manner and embraces her role in finding how each child learns, building on what they already know, and tailoring lessons to suit them.  “That is the beauty of tutoring. I can really make a difference to individual children when I can work with them one-on-one and design individual lessons for each student,” she says. “I love that moment when they finally understand something they have been struggling with at school.”

Tutor Mid North Coast - The Education Centre

Vivien Rink

– Art to Y12

Vivien hails from Germany, where she did her Masters Degree in Product Design.  Moving to Australia in 2006, she completed her Certificate IV in Small Business as well as Certificate IV TAE in Teaching.  In 2010, Vivien started her own business in toy design and manufacturing i called Toys of Wood. “The love for wood started in my grandfather’s workshop,” she says, “watching him create beautiful furniture. And I loved the smell of wood shavings. He gave me some of his tools, which I still use today.” In 2012, she taught Furniture Design at Coffs Harbour TAFE. Since then, she has staged workshops in art and design for people of all ages.  “Drawing down an idea,” Viven says, “is the easiest way to understand what you are about to produce. Drawing, painting and collaging have always been a big part of my life. And I enjoy passing on my knowledge to others. I believe that everyone has a creative side. You just have to practice and nurture it.”
Now at The Education Centre, tutoring drawing the way she once learned it, Vivien is very excited to be working with both children and adults.

Andrew Sercombe

– Primary

Tutor Mid North Coast - The Education Centre

Sue Siwinski

– Biology Y11-12, Science Y7-10, Chemistry Y11-12, Preparation for High School

Sue has been at The Education Centre for 4 years, having taught science courses for more than 30 years.
Her experience includes teaching in a variety of state, catholic and independent secondary schools. Since moving to Coffs Harbour, Sue has completed 20 years as Head of Science at Bishop Druitt College, specialising in teaching senior Biology.  From 2016, Sue retired from her position at BDC to pursue other interests, including tutoring, travelling, working as an author and reviewer for a major textbook publisher and running science programs for young children. She has also written textbook material for the Biology syllabus, introduced in 2018. Most of Sue’s former students have continued their studies in science-related courses and now hold qualifications in a list that includes physiotherapy, medicine, nursing, marine biology, environmental science, teaching, medical and genetics research. Sue has a first-class honours degree in Science (Zoology/Biochemistry) and a post-graduate Diploma of Education, both from the University of Adelaide. More recently, she completed a Diploma of Management.
Speaking about her role now as a tutor, Sue says, “I have found it very effective and satisfying to work with individual students. Within a short time, it becomes possible to understand the student’s needs and tailor my tuition to support them. After 15 years of teaching the current NSW Biology syllabus and 4 years of HSC marking, plus contributing as an author to Biology textbooks, I have mastered the content and am able to predict the areas where Biology students are most likely to need help. I am also effective in helping younger students discover and improve in the general science area.”

Rachel Barwick

– Primary, Science to Year 10

Tutor Mid North Coast - The Education Centre

Leon Petrohelis

– Maths Up to Y12, Physics Up to Y12, Engineering Up to Y12

Leon Petrohelos is a chartered civil engineer who has been working in the civil engineering industry for the past 10 years.
Currently studying a Masters in Teaching secondary school with specialisations in Mathematics and Physics, Leon also tutors the preliminary and HSC engineering studies course. With a keen interest in keeping fit and healthy, Leon recently completed the Olympic-length Coffs Harbour Triathlon.

Nicola Fox

– Primary, Secondary Maths Y7-Y10

David Dunn

– Mandarin and Spanish, History Y7-10, Society & Culture Y11/12, ESL

Tutor Mid North Coast - The Education Centre

Jeff Tillitzki

– Ancient History to Y12, Modeern History to Y12, Legal Studies to Y12, Religious Studies to Y12, English to Year 10

Jeff Tillitzki tells, “I have had an extremely varied professional life – sportsman, police detective, university lecturer and government investigator. It has been a wonderful, and, at times, ‘wild’ ride!  “My academic interests are equally broad, yet my subject knowledge expertise lies in ancient Greek, Roman, Persian, Church history, and ancient literature and numismatics. “Literature is my passion. History is my life’s calling.  “My teaching experience stems from successive stints at University of Newcastle, Macquarie University, the New South Wales Police Academy and the University of Shiraz (Iran).  “My qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts Honours (Class 1) and a University Medal. I continue to research and contribute to my long-term PhD thesis aim, dealing with the Roman emperor, Trajan Decius (reigning 249-251 AD). Purely without coincidence, there is a striking resemblance between us…!? 🙂”

Wayne Taylor

– Chemistry, Biology Up to HSC, Physics, Maths Y7-10

Jeff James

– German Y 7-12

Tutor Mid North Coast - The Education Centre

Kiyomi Takayama

– Japanese Language & Culture

Kiyomi has a BA from Osaka University of Foreign Studies and a Diploma for ESL from the same university. Before moving to Australia, Kiyomi worked in Financial Derivatives markets in London. Since 2010, she has also been working as a translator/interpreter from. Kiyomi says, “I feel that teaching my native language is giving a piece of me and sharing cultures with each other. Every lesson is tailormade for the individual or group and I strive to make it a memorable experience.” At The Education Centre, children and adults can study with Kiyomi, learning for fun, HSC, JLTP (Japanese – Language Proficiency Test), language exchange programs, holidays, business, and culture.

Gary Glover

– IT Beginner to Cert IV