Meet The Team

Dr Kaye Colmer

Chief Executive Officer

PhD; MEd Leadership (EC); Grad Dip (Child Dev); Dip Teaching; Dip Business

As chief executive of Gowrie SA for more than 20 years, Dr Kaye Colmer has an unwavering enthusiasm for learning in partnership with educators. Until June 2019, Kaye will be undertaking a new role in leadership development within the organisation. An active participant in Gowrie SA’s practitioner research relating to integration of preschool and child care, attachment theory, curriculum, leadership and reconciliation, Kaye’s PhD and ongoing work examines the context and characteristics of early childhood leadership. A particular focus of Kaye’s research was on the relationship between professional learning and the development of distributed leadership, and the implications for achieving quality in early childhood services.

Lynne Rutherford

Deputy Chief Executive Officer

MEd Leadership; BECE; Cert IV TAE; COS-P facilitator

Since joining the Gowrie SA team in 2006, Lynne Rutherford has served in various roles, including children’s program leader, assistant chief executive, professional learning leader, steering the Inclusion Agency for South Australia under the Inclusion Support Program and, recently, Acting chief executive. Some of Lynne’s favourite projects involve working with leaders, educators and other professionals to build their leadership through detailed thinking and sharing stories, and striving to achieve social justice and equity for all children. Lynne has commenced the next aspect of her learning journey as a PhD candidate.

Leanne Coveney

Acting Inclusion Agency Program Leader

MA Disability (Policy and Practice); BEd JP/P; Cert IV HR; Cert IV TAE

A qualified teacher, Leanne Coveney has recently completed a Masters of Disability and now works extensively with a particular focus on children and people with a disability. Previous roles have included managing the training and recruitment of people with a disability, school-to-work transition programs, and increasing opportunities for choice and control for individuals with a disability. Working as a leader in the Inclusion Agency, with the underpinning guidelines to increase capability and capacity of educators to include children in a mainstream setting, aligns with her belief that both children and adults should be afforded opportunities to access the support they require to make their own life choices. Leanne is committed to fostering inclusive practices to improve outcomes for children and adults within the whole community.

Mary Scales

Professional Learning Program Leader

BECE; Diploma Teaching; Adv Dip Community Sector Management; Cert IV TAE; COS-P and RAN facilitator

In more than 20 years of service at Gowrie SA, Mary Scales has worked in a variety of leadership roles, developing her interest in curriculum, professional learning, leadership and advocacy, reconciliation, and applying attachment theory to support children, families and educators. Currently, Mary is facilitating Gowrie SA’s professional learning program and works to support services in their pedagogy, practice and leadership.

Lyndsay Healy

Director - Children’s Program Thebarton

BECE; Grad Cert EC Leadership; Cert IV TAE; COS-P facilitator

In Lyndsay Healy’s 10-plus years of service at Gowrie SA, she has worked as a kindergarten teacher and project officer and now leads the Thebarton children’s program. Lyndsay has the role of ensuring the program is of a high standard and conducts teacher and educator mentoring, along with curriculum support, pedagogical leadership, evaluations and improvements. Making sure that children’s voices are heard is Lyndsay’s passion, along with advocating for quality education and care and supporting professional development.

Krystal Kimble

Director - Children's Program Underdale

BECE; Adv Dip Community Sector Management; RAN facilitator

Krystal Kimble has worked for more than a decade at Gowrie SA. She has worked as an educator across all age groups, including kindergarten teaching and mentoring roles. Currently, Krystal is the director of the Underdale children’s program and facilitator of Responding to Abuse and Neglect training. Krystal ensures the quality of the program by managing evaluations, improvements, curriculum support and pedagogical leadership, as well as teacher and educator mentoring. Her main interests are advocating for children’s rights and providing quality education and care for children from birth to school age.


We have over 90 staff across the organisation. They are the backbone of our work and we recruit to support our programs to be of a high standard with a focus on continuous improvement. This is includes having staff with a variety of qualifications, backgrounds and experience.

Almost 100% of our children's program staff have a diploma or degree in early childhood education. Several staff are studying for higher level qualifications. Every three to four years we negotiate an Enterprise Agreement with educators to ensure our organisation remains competitive and can attract high quality staff to our team.

In our Inclusion Agency, 100% of our Inclusion Professionals have a diploma, degree or post graduate qualifications to support the creation of a multidisciplinary team as they work with the early learning and child care sector across South Australia to improve inclusion outcomes for children in long day care, out of school hours care and family day care.

In our Professional Learning Program and Registered Training Organisation, we have a mix of facilitators with diploma, degree or postgraduate qualifications which they use in the delivery of robust professional learning and development sessions to enhance sector outcomes when working with young children.