By Melody Jaimon
Who is Kirstie Wishart?
With both K.W Consulting and Starfish Education centre, caring and passionate about children’s education and learning is a phrase best used to describe Kirstie Wishart. I have recently been blessed to spend time in Kirstie’s company and was captivated by her story, not very often you come across a genuine and truly selfless person such as Kirstie. With Kirstie’s friendly and down to earth demeanor I found it very difficult to leave her company and can understand why both children and adults feel comfortable in her presence.
Kirstie, one of six children, was born in Kiama, belonging to a well-known family in Gerringong. Married and travelling for work Kirstie’s first child was born in outback Queensland, second child was born in New Zealand and third son in the Blue Mountains. Other destinations include Tasmania, Victoria and Thailand, where her youngest son was born, before settling back in Gerringong. Remarried and a Mum with four grown sons, family is Kirstie’s priority. Tuesday night is family dinner night at Kirstie’s place, which often is often followed by everyone playing board games. Together with her husband they have six children (and one granddaughter, so far).
With a love and affection for children, Kirstie’s door is also open for emergency foster care.
With a Master’s Degree in Education and working many years as a University Lecturer, Kirstie then became a Casework Manager for out of home care for 3 years. This is where Kirstie saw gaps in education for children with a trauma background and/or in foster care. Children with a trauma background can have behavioural problems, learning disabilities, disengagement from formal schooling and gaps in learning due to family troubles.
Kirstie knew she could make a difference in these children lives, which led to the creation of KW Educational Consultancy, this has now been established for 5 years. Monday to Friday Kirstie consults to Family and Community Services (and other NGOs).
These days, as well as the consultancy, Kirstie runs a busy private tutoring centre, that specialises in helping children and adolescents with learning difficulties.
Parents report that their children absolutely enjoy their therapy sessions and Kirstie has the skills and ability to help children to engage and enjoy their learning experience. Children thrive and blossom as a result of the one-tonne tuition.
Busy and needing a base for KW Educational Consultancy, Starfish Education Centre was born. Opening in July 2014 Starfish Education Centre also fills another much needed service, housing the best education store around. Filled with handpicked, top quality educational products, resources and supplies, Starfish Education Centre, combined now with an online store is fast becoming the number one place grandparents, parents and teachers are purchasing fantastic products and gifts.
Not surprisingly with Kirstie’s background and drive for wanting to make a difference one child at a time, Starfish also has a high inventory of the best quality products and resources for children with special needs. Service providers and parents working with children with sensory, learning, fine motor and behavioural needs know Kirstie is passionate about offering the best advice and resources based on her experience through theory, practice and knowledge. Kirstie believes in continuing to expand her experience and expertise, and is committed to undertaking frequent training, linking in with other professionals and belonging to like-minded organisations such as SPELD NSW and Learning Difficulties Australia. In 2015 alone, Kirstie attended an AUSLAN course, A Symposium on Dyslexia at Macquarie University and a course on Autism with Sue Larkey.
You can visit Starfish Education Centre at 24 Collins St, Kiama
or online at www.starfisheducation.com.au