1300 03 03 79 info@hivekids.com.au

      Our Staff

      Our staff are highly trained and experienced to provide you and your child with an outstanding learning experience. For us, the best element of our job is that we get to play a special part in your child’s development and watch them learn, grow and create.

      Vanessa Lynch

      Hive Founder & Director

      Vanessa answers your calls and emails and is available to talk with at reception between 9am and 2pm most week days.

      Vanessa has a B.Ed (hons) – Bachelor of Education with a major in Music and has spent several years teaching classroom music in high schools and primary schools in London. Vanessa is an accomplished pianist and flute player and has achieved an ATCL level in performance.

      While studying an honours degree in Music Education, with a focus on neural research on children’s intellect and cognitive function, she discovered that music is especially powerful in shaping a child’s interests and abilities in the preschool years. Opening Hive, a creative learning studio for local families, was a natural step in her desire to give children the opportunity to develop the cognitive and musical skills that early childhood music training offers.

      When she’s not buzzing at Hive, Vanessa spends her spare time being creative with cooking, baking, sewing and playing music with her kids Zara, Jayden and Brianna – they even have their own little family band!

      Jessica Gavin

      Customer Care

      Jess is the friendly voice of Hive and answers your calls. She is available to chat with on reception Monday, Thursday and Friday. A mother to two beautiful boys, she has been a long-term client before joining the Hive team and her sons still love coming to Hive each week. 

      Attending the Hunter School of Performing Arts, Jess completed 6th grade level AMEB (Australian Music Examinations Board) in Trumpet and played in concert, marching and stage bands. From there she has achieved a Bachelor of Sience (Biotechnology) (Hons) and a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration from the University of Newcastle. After working as a Research Scientist and Laboratory Manager at Westmead Hospital, she relocated back to Newcastle and is now enjoying a child-friendly position, being surrounded by Creative People.  

      Alex Hussein

      Director of Performing Arts
      Drama Teacher

      Alex graduated from University in 2011. She was awarded first class honours with the university medal and faculty medal for her double degree in Primary Teaching and Arts, majoring in drama and music. Alex has also taken courses in acting and directing at NIDA and the Urdang academy in London.

      Daughter of acclaimed Australian director, the late Victor Emeljanow, Alex has a vast range of experiences working in the entertainment and media industry as well as shadowing her father’s teachings her whole life. Her stage credits include playing Geain in Henceforward, Le Beau in As You Like It (both for the University of Newcastle) and Beauty and the Beast. Having spent many years working in London’s West End, Alex was theatre supervisor for The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre, featured in the national touring production of The Mr Men and Little Miss Show and has performed in various Commedia Dell Arte troupes throughout London and Europe. In 2019, Alex debuted as a professional director for the Very Popular Theatre Company directing the award winning production of Endgame which received 8 CONDA Nominations, including Best Production and Best Director.

      In media, Alex has produced for radio both in Australia and London, most notably working in radio production for Triple M and Hit106.9 here in Newcastle for 8 years. Alex is a passionate teaching artist and is currently Director of Drama for Star Struck as well as resident director for the Very Popular Theatre Company.

      Matt Harper

      Drama Teacher

      Matt’s first experience of drama was with the O’Grady Drama Academy (2005-2010). In recent years (2017-2020) he has trained extensively through Pasvolsky Actors Studio, developing acting fundamentals and skills in film and scene work, text and improvisation, and characterisation.
      He has performed multiple roles with the Studio and regularly participates in community theatre, including Newcastle Fringe, Junior Theatre Celebration and Riverlights Multicultural Festival. Matt has also volunteered overseas with Cambodian Living Arts to support their mission.

      Matt is a trained secondary school teacher, specialising in English and Drama education. He has taught in secondary schools as well as at the university level.

      Currently Matt also works at the Teachers and Teaching Research Centre at the University of Newcastle. Through the Centre he has worked on exciting projects about young people’s aspirations for the future and is currently undertaking a PhD.

      Teya Duncan

      Head of Musical Theatre

      Teya is an actor and director, recently returned to Newcastle after a 3 year stint in the USA.

      A graduate of the Professional Conservatory at Stella Adler Art of Acting Studio in Los Angeles, Teya as been involved in number of stage and film productions across Australia and the USA.

      After graduating from Stella Adler, she moved to New York and starred in two Off-Broadway musicals, as The Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland and the Ghost of Christmas Present in A Christmas Carol. She was a featured vocalist at Mondays in the Pub (Joe’s Pub at the Public Theatre, NYC), ensemble in More Guns! (Second City, Hollywood) and starred as Eva Braun in her one woman show Eva at Hollywood Fringe Festival.

      Other favourite credits include Nessarose in Wicked (Free Rain Theatre Co.), Ellen in Miss Saigon, (ANU Musical Theatre Co). and Polina in A Winters Tale (Stella Adler, Los Angeles).

      Teya is also a human rights and social impact specialist and loves to play soccer, guitar and hike. 

      Natasha Gibbs

      Musical Theatre Teacher
      Bee-School Teacher
      Piano Teacher

      Natasha grew up “on the stage” surrounded by music, dance, art and theatre as her Mum – Melissa Saunders – ran choirs, musical theatre shows and drama groups and both her Mum and Dad taught piano and voice lessons.

      Natasha is a qualified dance teacher, has performed in many musicals as an actress and singer, and she is a qualified Simply Music Piano teacher. A ‘natural’ teacher, Tash is a firm favourite amongst the Bee-School teachers with our littlest students and she has a beautiful way of engaging young children in meaningful learning through happy structured play experiences.

      Shannon Bellamy

      Art Teacher

      Shannon Bellamy is a Natural History Illustrator and Artist working from Onwards Studio in Newcastle, Australia. Through her practice, Shannon explores her connection to nature, and the beauty and diversity of the natural world. Shannon specialises in highly detailed scientific illustrations, capturing the finer details and textures of her subjects.
      Shannon is passionate about the environment and the potential for art to influence positive change. She is skilled in scientific illustration and botanical art, and is passionate about developing a career in textile design and children’s book illustration. Creating traditional and digital illustrations, Shannon most commonly works in pen and ink, graphite, watercolour and Photoshop. She enjoys photography in her spare time and experimenting with other mediums including gouache, acrylic, charcoal, sculpture and animation. Her favourite subjects include marine life, fungi and native Australian flora.

      Melissa Box

      Director of Bee-School
      Spanish, Music & Drama Teacher

      Melissa has a background in early childhood teaching, singing, acting and performing – bringing a complete educational and creative experience to her students.  Before joining Hive, Melissa taught in local preschools and performed in Musical Theatre shows.  With her expertise in Musical Theatre and acting she brings a vibrancy to all her classes that is infectious and engaging for kids and adults!

      While living in South America, Melissa developed a love for the Spanish language and brings this same enthusiasm for language to her Spanish classes which are full of songs, games, stories and fun.

      Melissa is a proud mum to Mollie who shares her passion for musical theatre and performing.

      Lee Seaman

      Bee-School Art Teacher

      Hello! My name is Lee and you could say I wear many pants. Wife, mum, Artist, Graphic Designer / Art Director and published Children’s interior stylist.

      I find inspiration for my art/design from all facets of life but mostly from the sheer beauty of kids and my fondness for all things that are colourful, fresh and fun. I am beyond passionate in helping the next generation of little humans find their creative spark by providing them the tools to create projects that push their capabilities so they are continually growing and developing.

      Professionally, I have worked as an art director for over 9 years, and hold qualifications in graphic design and fashion design.

      Raechelle Weston

      Bee-School Art Teacher

      Raechelle is a local artist but studied fine arts at University in North Queensland. She also has certificates in Graphic Design and Photography from Newcastle TAFE. Her work is broad, ranging from fine detailed scientific drawings linked to her former career as a Geologist to vibrant and bold acrylic paintings for children’s bedrooms. You may recognise her colourful art from markets and venues around town.

      Summer Visocchi

      Bee-School Assistant

      Summer is an assistant of bee-school and has been apart of this beautiful team since 2019. “I was gifted with the chance to make my dream come true with an amazing opportunity to do what I have always loved to do, which is working with kids”. 

      She has always loved building and forming relationships with children and thrives to help and assist them in growing and developing. She has always had a passion for both dance and art, and to be able to combine her hobbies and dream, she believes, is the best combination ever!

      Jessica McDonald

      Piano Teacher

      Jess is very passionate about all things music – especially piano – and enthusiastically teaches her students the broad range of musical styles within the ‘Simply Music’ program. With having over 9 years of undergoing private piano tuition, achieving high distinctions in her ANZCA exams and just completing her HSC music course, Jess has endured much experience within her musical Journey.

      She has also been entertaining the community at Lindsay Gardens Aged Care Facility with Macquarie Hills Music’s annual Christmas concert for many years – and wishes to continue sharing and teaching the joy of music to her wonderful students through the ‘Simply Music’ program.

      Shue Yin Tan

      Piano Teacher

      Hello! I’m Yin. I’ve completed my ATCL (Associate of Trinity College London) in piano performance and have been playing the piano for 16 years. I’ve played in a gospel band for about 10 years and have also founded a children’s band in KL.

      My teaching experiences include private and group classes consisting of all ages and at all stages. I’m very passionate about all aspects of music, especially teaching. I enjoy teaching my students a variety of musical styles through the ‘Simply Music’ program. I look forward to make learning piano enjoyable and fulfilling through the ‘Simply Music’ program.

      Sebastian Dyer Culhane

      Piano Teacher

      Sebastian is a local musician and composer. He has 20 years experience on the piano, and has been teaching music for over 5 years. Sebastian has previously attended The Melbourne Conservatorium and is currently studying locally at The University of Newcastle.

      Alongside collaborating with local theatre company Prospero Players as musical director, Sebastian has also worked as a piano accompanist in Newcastle and Melbourne. He has also collaborated with musicians on various projects, including debuting original ensemble music. He is passionate about helping his students find their own musical voice, whilst using the Simply Music program to underpin their pianistic development and musical understanding.

      Ovania McClelland

      Art Teacher
      Music Teacher

      Ovania is a passionate Musician and Artist. She holds a Bachelor of Music Performance (Honours) from the Sydney Conservatorium and has travelled the world performing in orchestras, playing the Oboe.  

      She has a real passion for music therapy and loves guiding children on finding their connection to music.



      Melissa Saunders

      Director of Music
      Kindermusik & Creative Play Teacher

      Melissa has a background and qualifications in early childhood teaching and music education – giving you and your child a complete educational and creative experience. Before joining the Hive, Melissa worked as an Early Childhood Teacher and Director and also as a Voice Teacher and Choir Director. Melissa’s skills extend to the stage as well, where she has many years of experience in writing, directing and producing musicals and dramatic theatre productions.

      She’s also a singer and songwriter – you might just see her wowing audiences at live performances in local venues around Newcastle.

      Melissa is a proud mum to Natasha and Daniel, who share her passion for beautiful music and performance.

      Maree Kearins

      Creative Play Teacher

      Maree has a background in piano, having played since she was 5 years old. She was on the music stage from an early age, performing in eisteddfods, before completing her 6th grade level AMEB (Australian Music Examinations Board) in piano. During her time studying the Suzuki Piano Method, Maree had the privilege of performing at the Opera House as a young piano student. Maree is passionate about creating an enriching musical experience and fostering a supportive community for those who attend her classes.

      Kirsty Venables

      Creative Play Teacher

      Kirsty completed her primary teaching degree in 2009 and has been teaching for 12 years. Nurturing young little minds is her life goal. Working with children has been a dream of mine since I was one myself. There was never any other career path for me. It truly is my ‘dream job’ to have recently joined The Hive team; as it allows me to combine my passion for engaging with children as well as my love for The Arts.
      Performing has always been a big part of my life; singing and dancing all through primary as well as high school, and also majoring in Drama for my HSC and at uni. I have had the privilege of performing at many friends’ and families’ weddings as well as few informal social and charity events.
      I have a 4 year old little boy, Finn, who is the love of my life. He has loved music, dancing and imaginative play from the very beginning and hopefully he is following in Mummy’s footsteps.

      The Blog

      Creative @ Home – DIY Sculpey Vase

      Creative @ Home – DIY Sculpey Vase

      Bring a simple jar to life with this cute DIY. You can either use it as a vase or pop a tea light candle in it. You will need: • Different colours of oven-bake clay. We used a variety of 7 different colours • Skewer • Preserving Jar (so it can be set in oven) STEP 1:...

      Creative @ Home – DIY Play Town

      Creative @ Home – DIY Play Town

      This project kept our kids amused for hours! First designing the town buildings and offering them an invitation to play with their very own creation. First, just gather any bits of craft objects you can get your hands on. We used paint, oil pastels, glue, material...

      Creative @ Home – LEGO Challenge

      Creative @ Home – LEGO Challenge

      LEGO has long been a fantastic resource to practice some creativity. Our Art Teacher 'Lee' shares an inspiring way to transform LEGO into a fun piece of room decor. Lee runs her own creative business 'You Give Me Grace' when she isn't teaching at the Hive. Check her...

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      Contact Us
      Call Us: 1300 03 03 79
      8 Frederick Street, Charlestown 2290
      © 2019 Hive Creative Studios

      Hive Member Enrolments:

      If for any reason you wish to cancel your enrolment within your first month of classes, we will refund your remaining tuition fees and cancel your enrolment.

      Please note:

      1st month period applies for 30 days starting on the date of your first class

      Satisfaction guarantee applies to:

      • Members who are NEW to Hive
      • NEW enrolments in Bee-School (for new and existing Hive clients)

      Alternatively: you can CHANGE your enrolment to any other Hive class / program if you are unsatisfied, with no notice period.