Our Team.

Teffany Theideman
Teffany TheidemanFounder & Programming Director
Teffany is a founding member of Aeon Academy and co-founder of Aeon Arts. An award-winning artist, she holds a Bachelor of Visual Arts from the ANU School of Art & Design and has studied support of people with Autism under the Thomas Wright Institute & has participated in the Bundian Way Arts Exchange; a creative project focussed on building positive reciprocal relationship between the Canberra community and local regional Indigenous communities.
Teffany has been running visual arts workshops for children & Teens since 1996. As Program & Artistic Director, she designs Aeon Academy’s Creative Catalyst, a unique & renowned program run at Yarralumla Primary School since 2003.
As an award-winning artist, Teffany is an active exhibitor, both in her annual home studio exhibition and interstate. She’s passionate about community art and hand’s on participation in the arts.
Mathew Long
Mathew LongFounder & Executive Director
Mathew is a founding member of Aeon Academy and co-founder of Aeon Arts. He graduated from the Australian National University in Canberra, majoring in Anthropology, Archaeology and History.
Mathew is the Creative Director and Program Director of Aeon Academy’s Vala program and the author of many of its immersive adventure modules. His philosophy and passion is ‘education through creativity’. He is equally passionate about cultural enrichment, including through the ancient methods of storytelling.
Mathew has travelled extensively in India, Tibet, Mexico and Japan. He continues to study and read extensively in history, literature and esoteric fields. Mathew has trained and coached in sports and the martial arts and is a qualified Yoga Instructor.
Monica Castelo
Monica CasteloCentre Director
Monica is the Centre Director at Aeon Academy. She holds a Bachelor of Visual Arts in Ceramics from the ANU School of Art & Design and a Graduate Diploma of Education. She has taught art & media studies across colleges in Canberra in addition to maintaining her own arts practice.
As Center Director, Monica ensures the team continually delivers exceptional programs to students and still steps onto the floor to deliver the occasional Creative Catalyst workshop.
Monica has consulted on a number of large arts events in and around Canberra and speaks fluent Spanish.
Saadia Business Manager
Saadia is Aeon Academy’s Business Manager and is the friendly face/voice of the Aeon Front Office. As a business degree graduate and holding a Certificate III in Childcare Education and Care Saadia ensures Aeon Academy runs efficiently on the administration side.
Before joining Aeon Academy, Saadia ran her own outdoor adventure equipment retail business. She represented Pakistan in the Commonwealth Youth Entrepreneurship Conference (Noida, 2007) and was an active member of the Youth Committee of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce.
Saadia grew up reading Enid Blyton’s Famous Five & Secret Seven. She loves adventures, including camping, rock climbing and travelling.
Rai Assistant Manager & Lead Educator - Creative Play/Vala
Rai is a member of the management team at Aeon Academy and, together with Monica, works as the ‘Sheriff’ after school during term. He has been working in OSHC both at Aeon and with other outside school hours and holiday care providers since 2015 and holds a Certificate lll in Early Childhood Education and Care.

Rai brings his love of music and unique ability to nurture the creative spark in all students, adding drum circles and improvisational jams to Aeon Academy activities. He has studied and performed music and dramatic arts throughout his life and attended the Vala program many years ago.

Lauren Lead Educator - Creative Catalyst, Visual Art
Lauren holds a Visual Arts Degree from the ANU School of Art & Design & has been inspired to create since childhood with a special affinity for Painting, Drawing and all things 2D.
Lauren joined the Aeon Team back in 2018 as an assistant and now leads her own regular afterschool & holiday Creative Catalyst workshops.
VeronicaLead Educator - Sparks Early Years
Since joining us early in 2022, Veronica has become an key member of our Sparks team, leading the delivery of unique and engaging programming for our youngest students.
Veronica shares her passion for Early Childhood Education, actively mentoring her fellow Educators. She is due to complete her Bachelor of Early Childhood and Primary Education at the University of Canberra at the end of this year and holds a Diploma of Early Childhood Education.
Veronica has embraced Aeon’s creative and nurturing philosophy and brings her warmth, compassion and energy to the delivery of our Early Years Foundation Program.
Enki Vala Manager & Lead Educator
Enki has been an Educator in Aeon Academy’s Vala program for 7 years. He attended programs at Aeon Academy since the age of 5 and has become an adept storyteller. He has deferred his studies of Arts at the ANU to work and travel, visiting places like India, Mexico, Europe and Uluru.
As a former Australian judo representative, Enki has a strong background in the martial arts and an interest in the historical authenticity of the boffer weapon play. He also enjoys all the physical aspects of the live action games available in Vala and getting students enthused and involved.
Dora Lead Educator - Sparks Early Years
Dora hails from Brazil and speaks Portuguese, Spanish and Italian! She currently holds a Certificate III and is studying towards a Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care.
Dora supports our Kindy, Preschooler and Montessori children in the Before School and After School sessions across both Sparks and Creative Play, with her warm and attentive approach.

LucyLead Educator - Sparks Early Years & Vala
Lucy holds a Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care and has worked in children’s education and care for over a decade. She brings her warmth and thoughtful attentiveness to her work with our youngest children.
Lucy has always been passionate about the creative arts and live action role play and loves playing out a good story in Vala.
Ochre Lead Educator - Creative Catalyst, Visual Art
Ochre holds a Bachelor of Arts at ANU with a focus on Anthropology and Environmental Studies.
Ochre attended Vala and Creative Catalyst programs from the age of 5 and started working at Aeon Academy at age 16. She shares with students her love of creative activities. Her ceramic skills are legendary and her clay classes super popular.
Ochre runs a collaborative art studio practise and enjoys working with macramé & making jewellery. With a certificate in Permaculture Design, Ochre has travelled to many places working on organic farms and helping with community projects.
CarlaLead Educator - Cornucopia
Carla loves to connect children to the Aeon kitchen & garden and sharing her enthusiasm for sustainable and nutritious. She has a passion for cooking and creativity.Having participated in Aeon’s holiday programs and Creative Catalyst as a child, she is keen to continue the Aeon legacy of nurturing the creative spark with a new generation of children. Carla is currently studying a Bachelor of Politics and International Relations/ Bachelor of Laws.
Elliot Assistant Educator - Creative Play
Elliot works as a Learning Support Assistant at Yarralumla Primary School and brings his knowledge and experience to Aeon academy. As a core member of the team he helps to ensure continuity between the School and our service.
Elliot’s enthusiasm for active play and his ability to engage playfully with students adds a large dose of fun to Aeon’s daily programs.
Kiran Assistant Educator - Vala Adventures
Kiran is a member of a new crop of Aeon Educators who have grown up with an unbridled enthusiasm for Aeon Academy’s programs. He brings his years of experience as a participant in Vala’s holiday programs as a student, volunteer, mentor and as a graduate of the Vala Veteran’s program. His passion for story, culture, and adventure has made him a wonderful addition to the Aeon Team.
Mary Assistant Educator - Creative Play
Mary hails from Croatia and after a nursing career and homeschooling her five children joins Team Aeon with a wealth of experience. She brings her love of food gardening and an enthusiasm for maximising student learning to our Creative Play programming.
Mary’s quiet, friendly and openly curious approach has been a great addition to the Creative Play program.
Bethany Assistant Educator - Creative Play
Bethany holds a Bachelor of Visual Arts from the ANU School of Art and Design which accompanies her 2 years of experience working with children across school and ministry settings. She has a passion for all things creative and brings her kind-hearted and joyful approach to our Creative Play program as an Assistant Educator. She can be found supporting our centre’s emerging artists at the drawing table, approving the construction of cardboard cubby houses, and can transform almost anything into a spaceship.
Phoebe Assistant Educator - Creative Play
Sophia Assistant Educator - Creative Play
Ed Assistant Educator - Creative Play
Jess Assistant Educator - Creative Play