12 Women on WeTeachMe Who Inspire and Inform

Today we highlight some of the smart women who shape the way we learn

Creativity 5 min read Mar 01, 2022
12 Women on WeTeachMe Who Inspire and Inform

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we rounded up some of the women-led businesses on WeTeachMe that inspire us with their work, their creativity, and their stories. We applaud these educators for their contribution to their respective fields, and all women who are out sharing their passions with the world.

From painters and potters to crafters and chefs – all successful entrepreneurs in their own right – our teachers contribute to building a diverse, creative, and inspirational generation of women that promote quality learning and shape the world. Get to know more about some of them and be motivated to spread positivity in your own life, like they do every single day.

Meet 12 Inspiring Women on WeTeachMe

Malini Parker (Glen Forrest, WA)

A story like Malini’s is what impresses our belief that it’s never too late to pursue your passion. She started out in her career as a scientist, but she later realised it wasn’t what she was meant to do.

Whilst to others it might seem too late to make such a radical move, to Malini, it was simply the natural next step in her personal growth and it has been an epic adventure for her since. Today, Malini teaches painting workshops to help people find their way home to art and get back in touch with their creativity. Check out the latest classes from Malini Parker.

Jane Sawyer of Slow Clay Centre (Collingwood, VIC)

Jane is no stranger to the local clay art community. As the founder of Slow Clay and ceramic artist of more than 30 years, she is a fixture in Melbourne’s pottery scene. Launched in 2012, the studio holds classes, workshops, events, and most recently, online courses, in order to bring more aspiring potters into the fold.

Jane has travelled the world to participate in exhibitions and take up residencies in Asia and Europe. So thanks to her unique aesthetic and teaching style, Slow Clay is now a favourite destination for everyone, from celebrity clay artists like Somchai Charoen to local craftspeople, ceramic designers and students who are new to the art. Check out the latest classes from Slow Clay Centre.

Danielle Francis of Thread Den (Fitzroy, VIC)

Danielle’s love for sewing started when she was a child, when she learned different tricks and techniques of the needle from her very own grandmother. Come to think of it, some of her short courses do have a special vintage quality to them – perhaps, still inspired by her dear nanna?

Danielle started her company in 2007 and soon after, left her flourishing corporate marketing job to manage it full-time. She has brought all her business experience to grow Thread Den, now one of the best-loved brands on WeTeachMe! Check out the latest classes from Thread Den.

Natalie Delaney-John of Rest in Pieces (Northcote, VIC)

They say curiosity killed the cat, but this certainly wasn’t the case for Natalie. Taxidermy was a sunset industry in Australia (or maybe it wasn’t even alive to begin with!) but her interest in the “dead art” has changed all that.

Relentless passion, as with many of our featured teachers here, is again the theme of this story, as Natalie pursued international studies to learn about her craft. She later opened her business and taught the very first taxidermy workshop in the country. Check out the latest classes from Rest in Pieces.

Sandra del Greco of La Cucina di Sandra (Richmond, VIC)

When you’re five or ten years deep into a field you don’t love, it’s easy to think that a change of career at that point would be an impossible feat. But Sandra’s story tells us that, no matter where you are in life, it’s never too late to change direction.

Sandra worked as an accountant until her 30s, when she discovered her love for cooking and decided to re-invent herself. Now she creates hearty, authentic Italian culinary experiences in her beautiful Richmond home, and has built a reputation for holding some of the best cooking classes in Melbourne. Check out the latest classes from La Cucina di Sandra.

Celia White of Vulcana Women’s Circus (Brisbane, QLD)

Vulcana’s Women’s Circus provides a safe space to explore one’s physical potential. Named after a renowned circus performer in the early 20th century, Team Vulcana are pioneering feminists out to prove what our bodies are capable of and more. Whether you’re a woman, trans, or non-binary, you’re welcome at this circus!

At the helm of Vulcana is their artistic director Celia White, herself a long-time performer, who has led other creative groups including Stalker Theatre Company and Circus Oz. Heading a team of fellow feminists, Celia make sure that their programs incorporate the circus traditions of inclusiveness, strength, excitement, and daring to transform and empower individuals and communities. Check out the latest classes from Vulcana Women’s Circus.

Elena De Felice of Italian Connections (Sydney, NSW)

Being a polyglot herself – five languages and counting! – and a lifelong student of literature and communication, Elena opening her own Italian school should come as no surprise. Starting Italian Connections in Sydney back in 1999, the Milan-born educator uses a creative approach in teaching her native tongue to interested learners.

In addition to the usual teaching sessions, Elena also takes students on study trips to Italy, thus, providing them a fuller learning experience outside the four corners of the classroom. This year, for example, learners can look forward to practising la bella lingua all the way in Verona, a city known for its rich history, art, and cuisine. Check out the latest classes and tours from Italian Connections.

Sarah Schembri of Sarah Schembri Ceramics (Fitzroy, VIC)

Not unlike some of our featured teachers in this blog post, Sarah had a fantastic corporate career and then found herself retiring from the rat race to pursue her newfound passion: pottery! She went to Ballarat University to study Ceramics and today, runs her own studio full-time.

Think it takes 10,000 hours on the wheel to master the art of pottery? Her students are proof that you only need a few hours to get started and at the end of it, come away with a beautiful work of clay art inspired by Sarah’s trademark organic style. Check out the latest classes from Sarah Schembri Ceramics.

Danielle Falk of Little Ginger Studio (Randwick, NSW)

Are you running out of craft projects to keep your little one busy after school and on weekends? You’re not alone! This is precisely what inspired Danielle, who is also a mum, to start Little Ginger Studio and give more young kids access to after-school and arts programs.

An experienced K-6 teacher, Danielle holds a fine arts degree and is more than qualified to run an art studio for children of all ages – and indeed, what a beautiful space it is! It’s the perfect playground for kids to learn not just about art making, but also problem solving, sense making, and other skills students can bring back with them to school. Check out the latest classes from Little Ginger Studio.

Shannon Cornish of Shannon Cornish Artisan Jewellers (Woodside, SA)

Shannon was quite young when she got her start in jewellery making. Taking no detours from her childhood dream, she went and learned the ropes while working in a jewellery factory and then became an apprentice to Matthew Hale in Mount Barker. The rest, as they say, is history.

Today, besides running a busy jewellery shop, Shannon also sculpts, a passion that is easily seen in her wearable artwork. Just last year, some of her handcrafted pieces were showcased at the SALA Festival, to the delight of her clients and industry peers. Check out the latest classes from Shannon Cornish Artisan Jewellers.

Martina Kostov of Paint with Me Melbourne (Northcote, VIC)

Martina’s creator backstory goes back to her youth, when she ran her own skateboard deck business as a teenager, and later on, as a graphic design student. Leaving a burgeoning career in hospitality and events, she eventually found her way back to her art in 2020, when she started Paint with Me Melbourne – smack in the middle of the pandemic, no less!

No wonder Martina relates so well with kids – and with kids at heart! – in their painting classes, as she and her team teach them to create art using all sorts of media. Today, they run workshops in their Northcte and Essendon studios and also cater to private parties for birthdays, hens nights, team building, and other special occasions. Check out the latest classes from Paint with Me Melbourne.

Kim Elliot of SquarePeg Studios (Marrickville, NSW)

In 2017, Kim and fellow jewellery artist Emily Copp took over SquarePeg Studios, a beautiful warehouse space and local cultural hub. Today, a number of resident artists and other Sydney-based jewellery makers and students fondly call the studio home.

Kim has always been the creative type, having studied theatre at Wollongong University. Indulging her penchant for colour and design after uni, she eventually discovered her true vocation: jewellery making and design. Kim’s contemporary style shows a strong Scandinavian influence, which she also teaches her students at SquarePeg Studios. Check out the latest classes from SquarePeg Studios.

To all the wonderful women out there, keep being wonderful and Happy Women’s Day! 👯‍♀️