The Primary School Team


Teachers at The Nature School Primary are innovative, knowledgeable and passionate educators. With a range of interests spanning permaculture, native flora and fauna, sustainability and the arts, every staff member brings a unique edge to their teaching practice. Primary teachers at TNS are as comfortable in the bush as they are in the classroom - which is important because teaching and learning happens indoors and out every day!  


Meet The Staff

Catherine Oehlman - Head Teacher


Catherine is a teacher, writer, poet, and self-confessed bird nerd. During the last twenty years she has taught all grades across the Primary School in NSW and QLD, as well as in the UK. She is also experienced in Gifted and Talented education, Primary Curriculum, and Professional Learning. Catherine regularly contributes to a range of publications online and off, presents at conferences, reviews picture books, and writes poetry for children. Currently studying for her Masters in Children’s Literature, she advocates for the use of quality Australian literature and has an enormous collection of nature related books. When she isn’t writing about teaching, or teaching about writing, Catherine is probably bushwalking with her two children or chasing endangered Swift parrots with her camera.

Matt Dooley - Teacher


Matt joins us at The Nature School this year, on the back of a three-year adventure at the Green School, Bali. A keen environmental educator with an interest in holistic, meaningful, child-centred education, Matt is excited about joining a like-minded community and honoured to be a part of the growing TNS team. Over the past two decades, Matt has held roles as a Primary Mathematics Specialist, Primary Enrichment Coordinator, and Primary Head of Science & Technology in prominent Australian independent schools; worked in the field of adult education whilst teaching English in London; and applied his learning as a Teacher Training and Support Officer for the Ministry of Education, Ghana, through VSO International and Australian Volunteers. He has also been kindly honoured for his contributions to environmental education and sustainability. Matt is seldom happier than when learning something new or putting that knowledge to good use.

Roy Fleissgarten - Teacher


Roy graduated from a Bachelor of Teaching/ Arts in 2011 at the University of Newcastle and also completed further studies in Community service work. Being one of the founding teachers of The Nature School, he considers it a privilege to be part of something really amazing. Roy loves working in small community schools enjoys being able to work collaboratively with the wider community. He has a passion for all things creative, and loves using what is given to us in nature. A keen gardener, he takes pride in watching things flourish and trying new planting techniques. For Roy, The Nature School Primary is a place  of learning, growth and fostering change.

Jessica Foulkes - Teacher


Jess currently teaches kindergarten at The Nature School Primary. She began her career as a teacher in 2012 after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Education. Jess was drawn to The Nature School’s ethos of sustainability and environmental education. She holds a strong passion for being in nature, conservation and sustainable living practices. She currently resides in a bus, living off-grid and is continually taking steps to tread lighter and reduce her impact on the environment. Jess is a budding permaculturalist and spends her free time tending to her vegetable garden and using her produce in her outdoor kitchen.  

Linda Bishop - Teacher Aide

Linda has over 15 years experience in supporting students of all abilities from preschool through to high school, with the past 4 years specialising in supporting students with Autism. Her work is her passion and she knows that by providing the right support every child can thrive on their journey of learning! She is delighted to have the opportunity to work in an innovative school such as TNS where instilling respect for our environment and for each other is an integral part of the school's philosophy. But most importantly she truly loves the fact that TNS allows this young generation, that will lead us into a greater future, to embrace all facets of self awareness and personal growth