Mel & Colin Ogle
We are the owners of Nature’s Wonder and am proud to say that dreams really do come true.
I have been working in the Early Childhood industry for over 15 years. I am a qualified and registered teacher with a Diploma of teaching ECE. Colin was a dairy farmer and when the opportunity arose to begin this journey we jumped at the chance and and have not look back.
Being able to create this wonderful environment for the families of Eltham and surrounding districts is a real pleasure and joy.
We have been married for 13 years and have two wonderful boys, Ethan and Tobias, both at primary school.
Hi, I am Amber and I am the Administration Manager here at Nature’s Wonder. I am married with two children and my husband and contract milk locally.
Aroushka Du Plessis
Hello, I am Aroushka, I am from South Africa and live in Hawera with my Husband and 3 children.
Under Twos Team
O2 Head Teacher
I started here at Nature’s Wonder as reliever before getting a permanent position in the Under Twos in September 2017.
Under Twos is a passion of mine, I really enjoy this age group watching them achieve new milestones. I have worked with the Under Twos for the past 7 years.
I started my journey in 2006 and I continue to enjoy working in this industry.
I was lucky enough to begin my own family in December 2016.
I look forward to meeting mew families and continue my work here at Nature’s Wonder
Kia Ora, I am Jamie. I am a qualified ECE teacher and live in Stratford with my partner and 2 boys.
Kia ora, I grew up in New Plymouth but made the move South to be with my partner, who is a farmer. I have a daughter, Evelyn and a son Jaxon, whom will both attend Natures Wonder. I have been Teaching young children for the past six years. A holistic, play-based approach to education is important to me. Building strong relationships with children and their whānau supports me to develop individual learning goals that follow the child’s strengths and interests, instilling a love of learning in the child.
My name is Carol Podjursky, I was born and raised in Taranaki. I spent 5 months working and travelling in England in 2017 as an Au pair for a family and that is when I decided that I want to be an Early Childhood Teacher. I moved to Palmerston North for 2 and a half years ago to start my teaching journey. Recently my partner and I have relocated back home in Taranaki. I am currently in my final year of study towards my Bachelor of Teaching in Early Childhood Education. My spare time is spent racing stockcars all around New Zealand with my family throughout the summer months.
The most satisfying part of being an early childhood teacher for me is building trusting relationships with children and their whanau. I love being able to have an impact on children’s learning journey and helping them to extend their learning. My goal as an Early Childhood Teacher is to make sure children have a sense of belonging and feel safe, and giving children a fun learning environment.
Over Twos Team
O2 Head Teacher
My husband and I recently relocated back to New Zealand from Perth, now residing in Eltham. We are proud parents to two beautiful girls, Mishka and Mikhaila. I am very passionate about my family, friend and mankind in general.
I am the teacher in the Over Twos room and Nature’s Wonder and hold a Bachelor in Teaching Early Childhood Education. As a Kaiako, I believe it is important that I inspire, encourage, support, learn and grow alongside the tamariki, their whanau and Kaiako, building respectful, responsive, reciprocal relationships. As a Kaiako I advocate and am committed to the education and holistic wellbeing of all tamariki and believe that all tamariki have a right in this world, while feeling safe, secure and supported.
2IC O2 Teacher
Twenty years ago, if you had asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, it would have been exactly this. A qualified early childhood teacher, working with a passion for educating and empowering children. Oh, how the eight year old in me grins each morning when I arrive at work.
As you can tell, I have always had a passion for working with children and that passion has only grown as I completed my study. I am a fully qualified teacher whose personal philosophy centres around “respecting children as capable and competent human beings who are encouraged and empowered to be secure and confidant in themselves, achieving this through the use of meaningful relationships”.
I was born in Auckland and spent the first ten years of my life in Waiuku. After that, my parents moved us to Stratford for a more peaceful lifestyle and I have lived here ever since (well almost). In 2014 I up and left my home town and headed to London on an O.E. While there, I travelled to some amazing places (the Arctic Circle, Greece, Croatia and Turkey being some of my favs), and nannied for two of the greatest children ever! At the beginning of 2017 I finally returned. I guess you could say, I caught the travelling bug!
I am the second eldest of five children (my youngest sister being only eight) and enjoy spending time with my siblings. I value this time even more so after being away for so long. I love watching the rugby and tennis. I also enjoy reading, music and movies as well as walks up the mountain. Post London, theatre has also become a new passion of mine.
Tēnā koutou katoa
Nō Piopio ahau
Ko O’Shea te iwi
Ko Ruapehu te maunga
Ko Mokau te awa
Ko Frederick to hapū
Kei Taranaki ahau e noho ana
Ko Malcolm tōku matua
Ko Mary tōku whaea
E toru aku tamariki
Ko Tania ahau
Nō reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa
Kia ora my name is Tania. I am the eldest of three and many, many cousins, growing up in a small King Country town where I completed my schooling. I moved to Auckland living there for 12 years where I had my three daughters and began my early childhood journey. I am qualified and registered and it all began at Playcentre, but I wanted to work more within the community so began work for a teen parent unit, which was an amazing experience. As my girls got older the quieter pace of the Waikato really appealed so we moved to Hamilton for 10 years, where my girls completed their schooling and sporting endeavours, and I continued my work in Early Childhood. My girls have all finished high school, all grown and at University.
I have had the privilege of working in early childhood for many years, and I believe it is important to recognise the role of the family in children’s lives by working together in partnership with parents and family. Every child brings with them deep curiosity and potential, and it is this curiosity that drives children’s interests to enable an understanding of the world around them and their place in it. All children should be acknowledged as individuals, respecting their culture, gender, diversity and abilities to encourage values and a sense of well-being
I am a keen advocate for experiences around the environment, sustainability, and caring for the environment which I believe are important and encourage children to develop a sense of responsibility and begin a relationship with the natural environment. I love gardening, watching all sports but rugby and netball a must, cooking, baking and spending time with family and being outdoors.
I am really excited for my next journey at Nature’s Wonder and look forward to getting to know you and your child, empowering your child to learn d and watching them grow and explore the world around us.
My name is Marita-Pat Smith, but everyone calls me Patty, and I have the privilege to be joining the team here at Natures Wonder. I have been teaching for 10 years in New Plymouth and am excited to fulfill my new role as a permanent teacher at Natures Wonder.
My family and I have relocated here about 6 months ago with the excitement of purchasing our first home here in Eltham. My partner and I have a 21 year old daughter and a one year old granddaughter who also have moved to Eltham with us.
I have a Bachelor’s in Teaching and Learning and thoroughly love supporting children to become confident and competent learners. My teaching philosophy focuses on respectful practices and building strong relationships with tamariki and their whanau. I love to have a laugh and share experiences with children, their families and Kaiako. You will often see me laughing and smiling alongside tamariki, engaging in messy play and supporting tamariki with their interests and social competencies.
My name is Tracy Morehu and I have recently joined the Over 2 room here at Nature’s Wonder, after spending almost a year working with the tamariki, whānau and kaiako in the Under 2 room. For me, it is a privilege to be entrusted with the care and nurturing of children and my teaching practice is guided by respect and aroha. It is important to me that children feel safe and secure and know their wellbeing is my highest priority. Therefore, I value building strong and trustful relationships with children and their families so that learning can unfold naturally and in meaningful ways.
I grew up in Hawera and New Plymouth, and after a short stint experiencing city life in Wellington, returned to Taranaki to raise my family – my greatest joy in life. I have four children – Shaan and Jade have recently flown the nest, and Emma and Jamie attend Opunake High School. Being in nature brings me inner peace and I enjoy toiling in the garden, walking up the mountain and spending time at the beach.
I was born in Stratford, but grew up in the Horowhenua, but always have had contact with Taranaki and couldn’t help but move back. I live in Eltham with my husband Kieran, who works at ANZCO.
In our spare time we are renovating our home or up tramping on the Mountain.
I have been relieving here at Nature’s Wonder since it opened and love working with children of all ages.