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Our presenters

Jeanette Watson

Jeanette has participated in Scottish dancing from the age of nine, starting her dancing with a junior group in Wellington, and dancing in the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Australia and Belgium, as well as throughout New Zealand. She has participated in demonstration teams in London, St Andrews, and Wellington.

Jeanette qualified as a teacher of Scottish Country dancing in 1998, through the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society. She has been tutor for Island Bay Scottish Country Dance Club for the last 18 years, and guest tutored at other Wellington clubs, as well as teaching at national Summer Schools and regional classes. She has taught all levels of dance performance, from beginners through advanced to teacher training.

Her classes are known for their fun and relaxed informality. 

Jenni Porter

Jenni is a bright and engaging qualified Psychotherapist with a strong background in Training, Wellbeing, Communications and Engagement.

She is passionate about reducing the stigma so often associated with mental health and addiction. With a passion for human connection, Jenni is motivated by helping people to empower themselves’ and others to live fulfilled lives. She has created this one day workshop to share her skills and knowledge on positive mental health with our community – join her – you’ll be pleased you did!

Jill Askew

 Jill loves creating something different. After working in front of a screen all day she adores supporting people to make something with their hands, knowing that they have created it from the beginning. Jill is passionate about mosaic tiling and beeswax candle making and she enjoys giving these things to friends and family.

 Jill has been a student herself of a number of adult education courses and she has extensive experience in training adults throughout her career. She enjoys helping people to relax and work with their hands enjoying the mindfulness and satisfaction that comes from making something to take away and enjoy.


Johanna Rush

Johanna has recently moved back from living abroad in Costa Rica where she gained her TESOL certificate and spent 15 months teaching English in both private and group classes. She has taught all different kinds of classes from children to the elderly, and some business classes too.

She is currently a student, studying TESOL, Spanish and linguistics as she feels they will help her to be a better teacher. She enjoys learning languages and studying linguistics - she calls herself a ‘language nerd’. Johanna already speaks Spanish at an advanced level and is learning Portuguese.

Johanna likes her classes to be both enjoyable and educational, she’s excited to start the next course!

John Williams

Trained as a photographer in the early 1990s, John's major area of interest is the documentary genre and he has been working on a long-term project on faith, ritual and worship.

He has worked as a freelance photographer and has been teaching photography for a number of years across a variety of educational environments including community education, tertiary and secondary.

Professional Highlights/Exhibitions:

2012 "Exposed 2012" group show, Photospace Gallery, Wellington
2011 "Neither one thing nor the other" with Andy Palmer, Toi Poneke Gallery, Wellington
2011 "Snap Blossom revisited" Hastings Community Arts Centre, Hastings
2011 "Take me to the river" Pataka Museum of Arts & Culture, Porirua
2007 Two months photographic fieldwork in India.2006 “Exposed-2006” Photospace Gallery, Wellington
2006 “Southern Exposure”, New Zealand House, London
2005 “Seven Exposed”, Blender Gallery, Sydney.2005 “Exposed Group Show”, Photospace Gallery, Wellington
2004 Invited Presenter at “Expanding Documentary Conference”, Massey University Wellington
2004 “Domestic Bliss Part One”, Photospace Gallery, Wellington
2004 “Exposed Group Show”, Photospace Gallery, Wellington
2004 “25 Years of Mary Potter Hospice”, Touring Exhibition, Wellington

2013 “15 Years of Photospace Gallery”, Group Show, Photospace Gallery
2016 “Pilgrimage”, Photospace Gallery, Wellington
2016  Images from ‘Pilgrimage” at Auckland and Wellington Diwali Festivals
2017 “Sign of the times”, “four” group show, Photospace Gallery, Wellington

Joyce Tam

Joyce has had a long career associated with fashion design and sewing; from selling her own designs in Cuba Street, to making costumes to working with handweavers and making to measure.

She has been involved in community education since 2013, taught all fashion and sewing subjects for 23 years at a tertiary institute and has a Design degree in Fashion Design.

Currently she is enjoying working with ongoing consultation and design with, and for, individuals and organisations.  Out of the classroom, Joyce travels widely and enjoys time in the kitchen cooking.

Juliana Stroghiu

I have a degree in French and Italian as second languages and I have been teaching both languages for over 30 years.

I was born in Romania where I developed a passion for romance languages and where I am always pleased to return whenever possible especially to preserve my language skills.

After teaching in Europe for several years, I jumped at the opportunity to teach in New Zealand where I have successfully taught French and Italian for twenty years in a number of schools and organisations, both public and private. One of the most rewarding things I have experienced here is the interest of New Zealanders in learning French and/or Italian as well as the cultural aspects of these two countries. This is a great match as I love and know very well France and Italy and teaching these two languages has always been my passion.

I have been teaching students of every age from pre-schoolers to adults and I am happy and proud to learn from them that I am very good at motivating learners to study a foreign language through my language and tourism courses.

Before teaching in the NZ school system I had worked as a tutor at CEC Wellington for ten years, a rewarding and unforgettable experience. 

I am always happy to learn new things and meet new challenges especially if they are beneficial for my teaching and my students.

Every year I travel to France and Italy for language purposes and frequently around the world, as my main goal is to learn new things I can share with my students, develop and perfect my skills as a teacher and become a better human being.

Kevin Merrigan


From a young age, microcontrollers and electronics have always been an interest of Kevin’s. From tinkering on computers at a young age, to pursuing advanced coursework during his university studies, Kevin has always been fascinated with automation and coding for functional application.

Kevin is excited to explore teaching and sharing this passion hobby with others. Kevin is qualified in Biomedical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Process Engineering and Project Management. Throughout his career, automation and electronics has formed a core aspect of his education and professional roles. He has also been responsible for developing process control methodologies for complex processes.

Having completed a range of interesting projects as both a professional and as a hobbyist, Kevin is excited to share the start of your journey to help you create unique and amazing projects!

Kitty Parker

Kitty Parker has a passion for improvised theatre and wants to share the joy to play freely and release the creativity that lies dormant inside us.

Kitty has been playing improv since July 2021, at several improv troupes in Wellington (WIT, Improv Connection, and Locomotive). She has been a contestant in the improvised competition Late Night Knife Fight (3 times!), and has been actively pursuing knowledge and experience by participating in online improv workshops and classes (Queen City Comedy) . Shows Kitty performed in are:“The Funny, because it is true show”(Improv Connection 2022). Micetro / Director’s cut and spooky Halloween jams and Ferris wheel (WIT/2022/2023). and Duets(NZIF 2021) & The B-movie (AIF 2023)

Lachman Prasad

Lachman holds a Graduate Certificate in Education and Bachelor of Science degree with major in Mathematics. He taught mathematics in secondary schools at the senior level for 15 years and for the last 19 years has been a Microsoft application trainer with a number of IT training companies in Wellington.  He has been teaching all the Microsoft application courses in the Adult Education programme at Onslow College, and now Wellington High, for over 10 years.

Currently, he is the manager and senior trainer at softTRAIN Ltd, an IT training company.

His other interests are travelling, photography and chess.

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