We have a terrific team of volunteers who support us, spread across local schools

Our team, a network of local educators, makes great things happen in our community. No idea is too big or small to consider, we just roll up our sleeves and get it done.

Everybody is welcome to come along and be part of the team.

Amy Cornelisen

Chief Inspiration Officer

When Amy is not building life size inflatable blue whales with her students, or dissecting brains with her after school science class she can be found lounging on a beach reading historical novels. Amy is an innovative teacher and motivator who strives to promote STEAMS education to the community. Amy is the co-founder of Ministry of Inspiration.

Qualifications
BS Oceanography, Humboldt State University
MS Education, Pepperdine University
Award in Excellence of Teaching Science-National Association of Gifted Children, Award in Excellence of Teaching Mathematics-New Zealand Association of Maths Teachers

Alan York

STEAMS KIt Engineer

Before arriving in NZ Alan thought he had retired from the IT industry, but a chance encounter with ‘The Ministry’ quickly disabused him of that idea.

Prior to his un-retirement, Alan spent his free time on his many different hobbies. Now he doesn’t have any free time at all. Well, alright, maybe that’s not strictly true, but when he’s not dreaming up new electronics experiments and ideas for the STEAMS kit, he spends his free time on a little woodwork, some computer fun, virtually no DIY/Decorating (his wife no longer speaks to him – at first, he thought he’d gone deaf) and playing the guitar (VERY badly).

Qualifications:
BSc Mechanical Engineering - Brunel University, UK

Damian Moorhead

STEAMS Educator

There is a very good reason why Damian sounds like one of ‘The Beatles’, yes, that’s right, he hails from Liverpool and has even been known to pick up a guitar now and then. Damian has spent quarter of a century teaching Science yet has managed to squeeze in time for his numerous hobbies, including fishing, cycling, music, reading, and solving those dreadful cryptic crosswords for fun! Keeping it in the family, his wife Nicola is also a Science teacher and Damian has high hopes for his sons Ruairi (13) and Ronan (11) as well.

Damian is really excited about the prospect of working with the Year 7 and 8 STEAMS’ students and making learning as fun, interactive, and interesting as possible. Damian is an absolute star . . . a Ringo Star you might say.

Qualifications:
BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Science; Post-Graduate Certificate of (Secondary) Education.

Cheryl Jukes

Finance Officer

Cheryl has the lucky job (note the hint of sarcasm) of being the accountant behind this amazing bunch of people. She has moved on from the hustle and bustle of multinational companies to the fun and games of the Ministry of Inspiration (although she is known to throw in a bit of auditing work from time to time).

Wife to Lindsay, and mum to Liam and Tessa, Cheryl manages to sometimes squeeze in her other interests of running (very slowly), followed by coffee, reading, and just chilling out on holiday (dreamer). She can be found at any event out the back hiding from the children, hopefully not her own.

Catherine Barak

STEAMS Ediucator

Catherine is completely dedicated to the education of young people. As well as being a former primary school teacher, she is also a home-schooling mum. Her speciality is maths and science, and her degree in Zoology comes in very handy when dealing with the other wild members of ‘The Ministry’. Catherine loves a challenge and in her eyes there is no better challenge than taking children who find maths hard, or boring, and seeing the light in their eyes when they enjoy success.

Catherine’s talents don’t stop there, and while she humbly admits her ukulele playing is not fantastic, her singing voice makes up for it.

While originally from the UK, twelve years in Nelson has converted Catherine to the Kiwi way of life.

Qualifications:
Bsc Hons Zoology Durham university; PGCE in primary education OU UK

Erin Mintrom

STEAMS Educator

Erin grew up in Invercargill (don’t hold that against her), where she developed a passion for sport, as she quickly learned that being really good could lead to travel and a chance to expand her horizons beyond ‘Invers’. Erin represented New Zealand, at various levels, in water polo.
Erin’s interest in teaching sparked from swimming instructing and organising school holiday programmes; Teachers’ College seemed a natural progression. Erin loves seeing kids make connections with the real world and having fun while learning.

Now living in the sunshine capital of NZ, Erin and her family take full advantage of the natural world and can often be found camping, tramping , kayaking and outdoor adventure.

Qualifications: Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (B Tch Ln); Diploma of Teaching. (Dip Tchg)

Jo Calt

For Jo, education is not just a career, it’s a passion. Over the last 20 years her love of learning has ensured that she has been at the forefront of technology education; starting out as a food technology teacher and now a champion for digital technologies.

Jo enjoys spending time with family and friends and travelling, and she is a whiz in the kitchen. One of her guilty pleasures is frozen Coke, obviously not for the unknown health benefits but because it only costs a dollar.

Jo spends her downtime keeping her toy boy in check and working towards her PhD in
English Pub Culture using UKTV video analysis.

Margaret Woolgrove

Margaret is our proverbial Jack of all trades and occasional herder of cats. Having worked in three different countries in roles that have included public health, business consultancy, construction education and research management, she enjoys the variety of challenges involved in being part of the small team at the Ministry of Inspiration.

FUNDING

Ministry of Inspiration runs off the smell of an oily rag! We rely on grants, donations, and student fees to run our organization. We are dedicated to providing STEAMS experiences to students of our community at an affordable price. All surplus funds go directly into material costs and scholarships. If you are interested in helping a child attend an event…..

CLICK HERE

OUR SUPPORTERS

We are supported by a wide range of people, organisations, and businesses. All these relationships sustain our work. We are so grateful to all them and we hope that you will patronise these businesses, express a word or email of thanks, or give a pat on the back to the individuals involved and, by so doing, add your own support to this growing list!