Our People — Freemans Bay

Stephanie Hale

Centre Manager
I have been apart of the Oma Rāpeti whanau since June 2017. I have a Teaching Diploma in Early Childhood from Auckland College of education and a Bachelor of Education from Auckland University. I live with my husband, Simon and have called Auckland home since 1993. When I'm not at Oma Rāpeti, you might find me in Rotorua visiting my family, shopping, reading, spending time with my godsons or watching sporting events with my husband - the key to our happy marriage. I have had the privilege of working alongside children and their families since 1996. I believe that all children should be treated as individuals, with respect being at the very core of my philosophy when working alongside children. Allowing the child to grow at their own pace, and with their own interests is of the greatest importance.

Brenda Whyte

Kitchen Manager

Brenda has been at Oma Rāpeti since 2013 and you will find her either cooking our delicious meals in the kitchen or spending time in the Meadow with the children and team. She has a background in working with children in many different areas and enjoys watching children be the beautiful beings they are. Her passion is her family and she enjoys celebrating the spirit of whānau when at Oma Rāpeti.

Shirley McQueen

Lead Teacher Meadow

Kia Ora, I have been at Oma Rāpeti since the end of 2011 and have been a senior teacher in the meadow since 2015. I have enjoyed the challenge of working towards our vision for Oma Rāpeti. RIE and Pikler were fairly new concepts to me when I started here and it has been an ongoing and rewarding learning journey. I am originally from sunny Dunedin and have been here in Auckland for the last five years. I have been a teacher for ten years and having taught both here in New Zealand and in the UK. I have learnt so much over the last few years and my personal philosophy has changed considerably during this time. I have come to realise that you don't need a complicated philosophy and that for me, when you break it all down, my philosophy is to treat others with kindness and respect. Everything else falls into place on its own.

Anna Hurst

Lead Teacher Burrow

Anna joined the Oma Rapeti team in March 2020. She has always had an interest in and curiosity for learning, so teaching seemed like the perfect fit. She graduated from The University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Education (ECE) in 2015 and it was during her studies that Anna was introduced to the RIE philosophy. She has continued to teach with this respectful approach to care and education, and it forms the basis of her own teaching philosophy. The infant toddler age group is Anna's passion and she loves learning all about the complex brain development that is happening at this age and seeing that in practice everyday. After spending four years teaching and exploring the mountains and snow in Queenstown, Anna has finally returned home to Auckland and is excited to work along such a passionate team in the Burrow. 


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