Tombolo Academy is a specialist school delivering a rich educational program for students with a unique combination of abilities and challenges. These students are often known as twice exceptional.


We imagine a time when all our students recognise their boundless potential, embrace their differences and are accepted for their uniqueness.


Every day we deliver a rich educational program that emphasises the strengths, gifts and talents of our students while building the skills necessary to be successful throughout their lives.


At Tombolo Academy, we are committed to sustaining a positive environment in which all students and adults can flourish in an inclusive setting where all members of the community feel safe and valued.

We bring these values to life through:


  • Respect ourselves 
  • Respect each other 
  • Respect our community and the world around us. 
  • Value and support diversity


  • Remain humble despite our personal achievements, strengths, and differences
  • Take responsibility for our actions
  • Make informed choices and are considerate of others, and our community 
  • Grow with dignity and integrity. 


Are brave when faced with challenges 
Positively adapt to change in a variety of contexts
Show commitment, and apply ourselves until the end
Build confidence to solve problems and connect failure to learning.


  • Find the joy in learning 
  • Have a sense of adventure and are willing to try new things
  • Develop an awareness of our place within the global community 
  • Develop a sense of interest and wonder


  • Work with others to achieve success 
  • Foster strong partnerships between students, teachers, and others in our community
  • Acknowledge that by working together in a positive and constructive manner enables us to achieve collective outcomes.
  • Take collective responsibility for the success and wellbeing of all learning in our community.


  • Treat others with care and compassion 
  • Consider the feelings of others before we act or react
  • Understand and appreciate the cultural diversity of our community 
  • Develop an awareness of how we might impact the feelings of others

School Board

Anne is smiling softly, wearing a bright red blazer and dark-coloured scarf, in front of an off-white background.

Anne Warner 

Anne has over 20 years’ experience as a lawyer. She gained her law degree at the University of New South Wales and practised criminal law in western NSW for several years. She returned to Melbourne and joined WorkSafe Victoria, practising in occupational health and safety law.

She has qualifications in dispute resolution and has studied with the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Prior to her law degree Anne completed a Diploma of Art at RMIT and worked in small businesses in fashion and catering. She is currently undertaking a Master’s degree in Indigenous Knowledges through Charles Darwin University

Anne has a deep commitment to her community, reflected in more than 20 years on the board of a small community organisation called the Anna Wearne Trust and as a former partner in Social Venture Partners Melbourne.

She is also deeply interested in other communities, reflected in her long commitment to a children’s educational project in Tamil Nadu, India. Anne believes that education is the key to enabling each one of us to develop our talents, skills and passions in the best and most useful way possible. 

Anne enjoys good food and wine, loves watching films, AFL and cricket, reading books and newspapers and follows politics closely.

Deanne is smiling widely, wearing dark-blue, white-striped blazer and dark-blue shirt, in front of a blue-green background.

Deanne Cannizzaro 

Deanne is national manager of a team of consultants specialising in support in governance, risk and compliance across a range of sectors including NFP, financial services and education. She has over 15 years’ experience teaching in both Australia and the UK. She is a qualified science teacher and has held several senior leadership roles before transitioning to the tertiary sector and now consulting.

 Deanne’s passion is in the area educational change. She is currently completing her PhD and although some days this feels less like a passion and more like a bad dream, she hopes one day she will be able to make a contribution to the educational community through the outcomes of her research.

As a teacher, Deanne has always been passionate about providing the best opportunities for learning for students. This is something that the Tombolo Academy community embodies, and it was something she could not resist being a part of. Her role on the Tombolo board is an opportunity to bring not only her knowledge of education to the team but continue to provide (indirectly) opportunities for young people to learn.

Mark is smiling widely, he is wearing a deep-blue suite, with a light blue shirt, and a mid-blue and white-striped tie.

Mark Northeast 

Mark is an accountant by background and was previously a partner/executive director at Pitcher Partners from 2002, stepping down in 2015 to free up more time to devote to community and charitable activities.

Now, he divides his time between being an accountant and sitting on a number of boards, both professionally and in a voluntary capacity.

For Mark being a part of the establishment of Australia’s first school for twice-exceptional students has and continues to be an exciting challenge, honour and privilege. 

Outside of Tombolo Mark enjoys being outside, either riding his bike or paddling in the bay on an ocean ski.

Wayne is smiling, wearing a black suite, white shirt and a cream and white-striped tie.

Wayne Saunders 

Wayne is a retired career professional that has included both corporate and consulting paths. Prior to retirement from full-time work at the end of 2011, Wayne was acting Executive General Manager Corporate Services and Chief Information Officer at Australia Post.   

Wayne has built a career as a Chief Information Officer and Strategic Consultant specialising in business and IT alignment, and IT transformation. He has more than 40 years’ experience in the Information Technology industry across a broad range of large global and domestic organisations. Significant program management and governance disciplines feature throughout his career.

Wayne enjoys a number of sports to keep fit and healthy including golf, swimming, kayaking, cycling and walking. He enjoys reading, gardening and a good red in his down time.

Thomas Velican

Thomas brings years of experience working within student empowerment, student voice and student-centred policy development In Victoria and nationally. His passions lie at the cross-section of education, psychology and public health. He desires to contribute to the global shift in education; towards holistic education, personalised learning and assessment, and equipping students with the lifelong ability to succeed and find fulfilment. 

Thomas has participated in policy advice, creation and reform through engagement with the Victorian Student Representative Council, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the Victorian Tech-school Initiative, Municipal youth reference groups and at various secondary schools across the state. 

It is his passion to develop frameworks for, and cultures in which, students and young people feel empowered, equipped and supported to achieve their goals and become the people that they aspire to become.

Outside of Tombolo Academy Thomas has worked with Mind Medicine Australia, a NFP charity seeking to redefine mental healthcare in Australia and has recently graduated from a Bachelor of Arts and Music at Monash University.

He is a founding member of the Nossal High School Alumni and the Knox Rotaract. He also mentors young people in professional and personal development with the City of Casey’s Youth Action Committee and Monash University’s Access Monash program. You’ll also be able to spot him amongst the cellists in the Monash Academy Orchestra.