THE TEAM

THE TEAM

Lou Buckingham
DIRECTOR

My vision for the Children's Imagination Academy is a heart-centered learning space for Children, offering new pathways for growth and self-discovery.

We see wellbeing education as the number one priority, alongside the importance of a creative mindset in this everchanging world.  Our place feels like a magical sanctuary where there is time for reflection, self-expression and to have meaningful connection with others. 

We support children as unique and wonderful individuals and show them ways to stay connected to their vital essence throughout their formative years and beyond, and give them a creative experience that will empower them for their future. When kids cultivate a positive relationship with themselves, confidence grows, learning becomes fun and anything is possible!

My qualifications are in Western Psychology, Eastern Therapeutic Bodywork (Shiatsu Practitioner) Children's Programme Management, Youth Mentorship, teaching Children's Meditation/Yoga. I teach Drama Ed at the Lyttelton Arts Factory and am the founder of Imagination Yoga and Imagination Dance (NZ). I love being a well mama, music, song writing, dance, nature and light footprint living.

I'm passionate about creating change in children's education through bringing wellbeing awareness to the forefront. I love is seeing kids become daily meditators (they are amazing!), truly expressing themselves and being graced by their beaming faces and amazing creations at the end of the day! Bringing exceptional leaders, guides and guest artists on board to collaborate with the tamariki is also a real joy.

Georgina Rhynd
ADMIN / PROGRAMME GUIDE
In 1996 I  completed my degree in Occupational Therapy at the university of Pretoria in South Africa and worked as a Pediatric Occupational Therapist from 1997-2010. 
 
I completed my Rainbow yoga training in November 2018 taught yoga classes to beautiful 4-6 year olds whilst doing support work for kids with ASD, and recently started working as an OT again at the Seabrook Mckenzie Centre for kids with specific learning difficulties.
 
Children are my passion! Especially seeing them happy and loved and supported to become the best versions of themselves. I enjoy yoga, meditation, music, nature, stories reading/writing, imagination, spiritual evolution, swimming in the ocean and exploring our planet.
 
I am excited about this wonderful supportive space for our special young people to be free to explore, create, be, transform, develop and evolve and would love to continue co-creating with kids through yoga and meditation.
Clarice Furniss
PROGRAMME GUIDE

Hi, I'm Clarice and I'm a Programme Guide at the CiA!

I'm a qualified primary school teacher, with a Bachelor's degree in Education Studies.

I'm so excited to be part of the CiA's vision for child-centered education and learning.

My interests include arts and crafts, dance, storytelling, poetry and exploring our beautiful planet.

Working with children is my passion and I'm thrilled to share this magical space with them.

Tina Timings
BUSINESS GURU

I have over 15 years’ experience working in marketing and business management in London, Australia and New Zealand. I especially enjoy working for start-up organisations, setting up the right systems so that they run smoothly, professionally and supporting the team environment so that they can focus on the children and creativity.

I believe that all children should love learning throughout their most formative years by following their own interest in a supported environment. This in turn helps them to learn what makes them happy, develop their self-confidence/self-belief and understand how to manage their own wellbeing.  

I love watching children learn in a way that inspires and excites them and how this helps to build their confidence and understanding of what makes them happy.

I am currently studying Naturopathy (Nutrition and Herbal Medicine) once I am qualified, I would love to run CIA workshops empowering children to make healthy living choices and to feel great about them to help support a positive connection to their body. 

 

Valeria Sprea
MARKETING + SOCIAL

Hi, I’m Valeria and I’m CiA’s Marketing assistant. I will be the point of contact for marketing, social media and events. I completed my Degrees in Economics and Business Administration and my Masters’ degree in Tourism Management in Italy and Finland.

I have recently gone back to ‘school’ and completed a certificate in Small Business and Project Management. I travelled a lot and I moved to New Zealand in 2011 after one year in Australia and I started writing for my blog sharing my experiences in this amazing place with other Italians and I got passionate about social media. I fell in love with this peaceful country and the ‘less stress is better’ lifestyle.

I think CiA summarizes perfectly this feeling and it represents a sanctuary for kids where they can freely express themselves. I have a kid of my own and I believe that allowing Children the right to personal expression is a very important element to their becoming the people they wish to be. When children are allowed total freedom of creativity, they learn to be confident in their choices. I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to be part of this amazing team and I’m happy to share with all of you, via posts and pictures on social media, Cia’s vision of a ‘child-centred way of educating and learning’.