Members of the Council

Denise Cox, Chair

I have been on THEAC as a council member for about 5 years and have been Chair of THEAC for almost 3 years now.

I have four amazing children, two of whom are home educated full-time, one who attended mainstream right through to Year 12 and is about to embark on University and one remaining in mainstream primary school. I have been home educating for about 8 years.  I also have experience in home educating a child part-time and this child is now entering full time home education in 2024.

I have an interest in helping children with diverse learning needs and I am passionate about advocating for the needs of children who do not fit the traditional mould of schooling. I have a strong desire to help parents where home education was not a choice they made but where home education chose them. I am driven by my enthusiasm to ensure a smooth transition to home education for both the child and parent alike.

My home education journey has taught me to constantly think outside the traditional square of learning and I enjoy the challenge of constantly adapting the way work is delivered to keep my children engaged and motivated. It has taught me to think on my feet and be creative with how our programme is delivered. I love the flexibility home education provides and value the benefits of being able to create an educational program that fits the learning style of my children.

I enjoy learning, being outdoors and spending time with my family.

Andrea Ferguson, Deputy Chair

I have been a THEAC member since March 2021 and Deputy Chair since September 2023.

I live in the North of the state with my husband and together we have ten fabulous children. We have been home educating for the past 20 years and love it. So far, we have home educated the eldest four to the completion of Year 12 and our fifth child to Year 10. Our eldest son is married and runs a very successful small business. The second eldest is an accountant. He has completed an accounting degree and is currently studying his CA (charted accountant). Our third son works in aquaculture, fourth is studying a nursing degree at UTAS and the fifth is in his second-year building apprenticeship.

We are a musical family and our eldest three boys, The Ferguson Brothers, recently recorded their first CD.

I am currently still home educating the youngest five children, ranging in age from 15 -9. There are so many different educational pathways available these days. We have repeatedly found our kids can fast track into jobs/ degrees rather than take the traditional school route.

I love the opportunities home education provide and am very keen to help facilitate home education as a continuing valid (and wonderful!) option in Tasmania.

Fiona Lohrbaecher

I’m very excited to be joining THEAC.  I have been home educating my three children for 20 years, using a self-directed, unschooling approach.  In that time, I’ve learnt a lot from talking to, and observing, other home educators.

I’m passionate about supporting parents who want to home educate, and about home education being seen as a valid and equal educational option alongside public and private schooling.

I have been involved with the Hobart Home Education Community since 2007 and have been coordinating the email list and newsletter since 2019.  I also set up the website Home School In Hobart.

I am an author, poet, artist, playwright, songwriter and actor with a strong interest in natural health and vegan food.

Bill Linton

For the past six years, I have had the pleasure of being a THEAC council member. Through my involvement with the Council, I have admired the creative approach that families take when devising a program that caters for their child’s individual needs.

I have been a part of the Department for Education Children and Young People (DECYP) for 40 years, teaching, principal, and providing professional learning for aspiring and newly appointed Principals. As a primary school teacher, Principal, and Assistant General Manager for schools in southern Tasmania, I have always focused on including young people with additional needs in regular schools. This has been very rewarding.

I enjoy working with my THEAC colleagues to assist home-educating families in building enriching programs that are aligned with the Home Education Standards.

Currently, I am an active retiree who volunteers, is available for my family, keeps the dog exercised, and bike rides.

Christine Buist

It is an honour to be appointed to THEAC.  I have home schooled for eight years and consider the experience to be a significant highlight of my life.  Our home schooling journey began with a Year 7 boy; Year 5 boy; Year 1 girl and a toddler.  My husband and I chose home schooling as the best option for our family after circumstances beyond our control brought our values and priorities into focus and gave us a chance to recalibrate.

The three older children have now moved into mainstream schooling. The oldest has completed his second year of university, the second Year 12, and the third returned this past year as a Year 8 student.

I am passionate about providing a rich programme for my youngest girl and instilling in all children a life-long love of learning.  Many, many years ago, I studied Fine Arts at UTAS. When time allows, I need to be creative and like to read, sew, stitch, draw, knit, immerse myself in nature, observe birds (and lately echidnas), bush walk, cook for my family and others, and give art lessons.  I advocate for all kinds of families and children, especially those who have found home education the best fit out of difficult and challenging circumstances.

Martin Hamilton

My wife and I have been home educating here in Northern Tasmania for the past 10 years. Our 4 children have all been home educated in this time.

Our family owns and runs an ice cream café in Launceston, where education takes on some very interesting twists and turns, where science, maths, literature and art all combine into some tasty learning experiences!

My main interests are reading voraciously, music of all kinds, history and cooking. I have worked in many varied fields in my life, including a DJ, martial arts instructor, call centre operator, accounts manager to a freight company, technical support for air conditioners, petrol station attendant, and have worked in the food industry, everything from being a sous chef, pâtissier, all the way through to McDonalds drive-thru.

I am a strong evangelist for home education, am particularly passionate in advocating for those with diverse learning needs, and I am excited to be able to return to THEAC for a second time.

Jon Targett

Hi, my name is Jon Targett and I am honoured to have been appointed to the board of THEAC.

I have four children, three homeschooled and the eldest has entered mainstream school for Year 11 and 12.  We have been on the homeschooling journey for four years.

I have been in education for over 20 Years and have been a teacher, head of high school and assistant principal.  During that time, I have taught students that homeschooled and attended part-time and I initially engaged with the homeschool community during this time.

I am currently on sabbatical from teaching and am looking to assist with homeschooling our children in the current year.  I appreciate the freedom, flexibility, potential and possibilities presented by homeschooling and look forward to engaging further in 2024.