Tania Innes

Director/ Speech Pathologist

Tania has more than 20 years of experience working in early intervention and education settings. She achieved a Bachelor of Speech Pathology with Honours in 1997, a Graduate Certificate in Education in 2007 and completed a Diploma of Breastfeeding Management in 2021.

Tania has worked in a variety of settings in Tasmania and the UK and has varied experiences in working with children of all ages and with a range of speech, language, communication and feeding needs.

Tania has worked in private practice since 2008 and has progressively developed a number of areas of special interest. Clinically, she loves to work with young clients and their families with speech, stuttering, feeding and orofacial myology difficulties, while consultatively, she has developed a special interest in preventative education, and in working with educators to impact a child's language learning in the classroom.

Tania is a Certified Practising Member of Speech Pathology Australia.

Away from work, Tania enjoys outdoor time with her husband and 3 children, camping, scuba diving, hiking, as well as cooking and netball umpiring.

Clare Weare

Director/ Inclusive Education Consultant

Clare has over 20 years of experience working with students with special learning needs, and their families and educators, in Australia and the UK. For 7 years, she worked as Director of Studies in a school for students with Specific Learning Disorders, and she currently works part time as a Learning Support Coordinator in a mainstream school.

She obtained a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood) in 2001, a Post Graduate Certificate in Leadership and Management in Education in 2008, and a Master of Education (Special Education) in 2020. In 2019 Clare completed the Associate Multisensory Structured Language course, and is an Associate Member of the Australian Dyslexia Association. She currently serves on the Board of Square Pegs Tasmania.

Clare has a particular interest in working with students with Specific Learning Disorders such as dyslexia and dysgraphia, and those with attention, memory or executive functioning difficulties. She believes a united approach between schools, families and service providers is essential in maximising student learning and in supporting students to become their own advocates.

Outside of the workplace, Clare enjoys glamping, reading and cooking but mostly just drives her children to sport and barracks for her beloved Richmond Football Club.

Loren Leauanae

Administration Assistant

Loren works as our Administration Assistant. She started her professional career in hospitality, managing cafes and restaurants establishments in Tasmania and New South Wales.

After moving home to Tasmania, she worked part time in many different roles whilst raising her three children then worked full-time in a hair salon for almost ten years. Learning new skills and building relationships with clients were among the things she enjoyed most.

Her work experience has been varied and, at times, worlds apart, but the determining factor in her job choices has always been her love of people. That is what led her to her role at Start Smart Tasmania.

Loren loves gardening, cooking, and spending time with family, especially her grandson and dog.

Steph Jones

Speech Pathologist

Steph is a Speech Pathologist with an interest in helping young children become more effective and confident communicators. She has experience working with children and adolescents with a range of speech, language, written language, and social communication difficulties. She is particularly passionate about early speech and language development.

Steph graduated in 2020 with a combined Bachelor of Applied Science and Masters of Speech Pathology. She has worked with people across the lifespan with particular interest in early intervention. Steph is a Certified Practising member of Speech Pathology Australia.

Outside of work Steph enjoys being outdoors, spending time with her dogs or riding horses.

Ingrid Morrison

Maths Instructor

Ingrid is a Maths Instructor who graduated from UTAS with a Bachelor of Education (Primary), majoring in Psychology. She then spent 10 years in a variety of teaching roles. After having her own family, Ingrid developed an interest in working with small groups of children experiencing specific challenges in written language and numeracy. In 2021 Ingrid was excited to take on the role as a Maths Instructor at Start Smart Tasmania. She values building relationships with children of all ages and their parents, and working on ways for children to build confidence in themselves and their ability to learn and master numeracy skills.

Away from work Ingrid enjoys keeping busy with a variety of activities or projects mostly centred around friends, home, family, exercise, sport, travel, gardening and the outdoors.

Emily Graham

Speech Pathologist

Emily is a Speech Pathologist who has returned to her home town in North Eastern Tasmania after leaving to complete her studies and work interstate. Emily completed a Bachelor of Science (Speech Pathology) in 2015. She is a Certified Practising member of Speech Pathology Australia.

Emily has experience working with both children and adults with speech, language, fluency, communication and feeding needs. She has worked across a range of settings including: community early intervention, schools, and privately in the disability sector. Emily enjoys making a difference in the lives of children and their families, by supporting them to reach their communication goals. Emily is also passionate about increasing the provision of therapy services to rural and remote towns.

Outside of work, Emily likes spending time with her family, animals, any outdoor activity and socialising with friends in coffee shops.

Sandy Dunbabin

Written Language Instructor

Sandy is an experienced educator with a strong background working in partnership with families and communities. Sandy was an inaugural facilitator with the Tasmanian Education Department’s Launching into Learning initiative and has worked closely with a number of Child and Family Centres across our state. She comes to us from six years in a national educational scholarship role - supporting students’ learning journeys from preparatory to year 12.

Sandy obtained her Bachelor of Education from UTAS, majored in Literature, and worked as a Kindergarten teacher whilst raising her two, now adult, daughters.

Sandy believes optimal learning comes from providing positive and engaging experiences for students in safe and supported environments. She has a passion for fostering a love of books in young children and would like to pen her own ‘read aloud’ publication one day. Outside work, Sandy enjoys home time with the family in the country and all things on, beside, or in the ocean!

Keryn Burton

Written Language Instructor

Keryn brings over twenty years of education experience to her role at Start Smart Tasmania. She received her Bachelor of Arts (Literature) in 1991 before completing a Graduate Diploma in Secondary English. Keryn has taught English, Literature and English as a Second Language in high schools in Western Australia, and English as a Second Language in Japan.

When Keryn moved permanently to beautiful Tasmania, she performed many voluntary and varied working roles to fit in with the lives of her 2 busy, young children. Keryn loves helping people enjoy language and reading and working as part of a team is what she does best. When she’s not working, you’ll find Keryn in her car driving her children around or courtside at netball or basketball. She also loves travel, food, gardening and watching AFL/NBL/SSN games.

Jennifer Simpson

Written Language Instructor

Jennifer has over 25 years of teaching experience, working in schools in Western Australia. She has taught a variety of grade levels, in a variety of country towns, whilst also raising her two, now adult, sons. Over the last five years Jennifer's interests have developed in English, especially in spelling and reading. She loves to see the joy in children when they learn to read.

In 2023 Jennifer and her husband (and dog, Bella) decided to move to Tasmania to be closer to her husband's family. She now enjoys a quieter lifestyle, living on a farm with the cows, sheep and chickens. Away from work, Jennifer enjoys gardening, reading, cooking and exploring new places in her caravan.

Belinda MacDonald

Support Funding Advisor/ Allied Health Assistant

Belinda has joined the team as an Allied Health Assistant bringing with her 6 years of lived experience supporting her children who are neurodivergent. During the journey of diagnosis, accessing supports, navigating support funding schemes and advocating for her children, Belinda has gained a unique skill set which she hopes to share with other parents who are on a similar journey. She has a genuine passion for supporting parents and helping them to build their capacity to support their children.

Belinda identifies as a ‘crazy cat lady’ and has 3 adored felines at home as well as chooks and a puppy. In her downtime Belinda enjoys baking, cross-stitch embroidery and super-competitive Mario Kart tournaments with her family.

Charlotte Brunning

Junior Admin Assistant

Charlotte is employed as a Junior Admin Assistant. She prepares resources for our staff and clients. Charlotte is currently completing high school, and enjoys ballet dancing and hanging out with her friends.