We are a team of educators and innovators

Great people make us who we are today. Our experienced leadership team has a proven track record of delivering quality childcare every day. We strive to constantly refine every aspect of our business culture, which ensures we live our vision and honour our mission of providing holistic care to help families and schools. 

Why not click on our team photos to read more about them... Psst if you hover over their photos you will see them as children!

Craig Napier
Craig Napier
Craig Napier

Group CEO

Another team member hailing from the beautiful Sunshine State Down Under (Brisbane, in fact) Craig boasts more than 30 years' experience in executive leadership roles. His expertise lies in strategy, operational management, governance and in generating sustainable business growth.

In his spare time Craig enjoys putting his mind and body to the test by mountaineering some of the world’s seven summits hiking through the mountains and drinking great wine. As a child, Craig wanted to be an astronaut, and while he cannot claim to have experienced zero gravity just yet, his 'shoot for the stars' philosophy and boundless positivity have made a world of difference to the lives of children all over the world during his time at Junior Adventures Group.

Melinda Crole
Melinda Crole
Melinda Crole

CEO Australia

Living down under in Melbourne and with 25 years’ executive experience in national and global community-focused service provision, Melinda has spent most of her career focused on children, young people and local communities. She is well known by the federal government and industry partners through her participation in both government and industry advisory groups in the Early Childhood Education and Care, Redress and Child Safety.

A proud mum to three empowered young women who are pursuing careers in the fields of law, journalism and teaching Melinda is not one to sit still. In her spare time Melinda enjoys rowing, jogging on the beach, teaching ballet and being involved in all types of sports.

With a fierce and passionate belief in the ability of all children and young people, Melinda is excited to be a part of the JAG team and building brighter futures together for all Aussie kids.

Scott De'Cent
Scott De'Cent

Group Chief Financial Officer

Scott has worked for many years in mining services and in retail. His biggest passions in life include Netflix (we're not judging), hockey, Stan (still not judging), rugby, Amazon Prime Video (seriously, to each their own), running and Optus Sport (okay at this stage we're just impressed).

As a kid Scott recalls harbouring a desire to become a truckie, which changed suddenly around age 10 to a policeman. He's not sure whatever happened with that one, but believes he may not have passed the weight and height requirements...

Never one to oversell himself, Scott believes his most identifiable feature is impatience.

Ken Blaszkowski
Ken Blaszkowski
Ken Blaszkowski

Chief Information Officer

The small town of Crewe in Cheshire in the northwest of England may be the famous home of Rolls-Royce and Bentley, but more importantly it's where our Chief Information Officer was born and raised.

Ken has held various leadership roles throughout his 30-year career. For 16 years he has worked within the world of IT, across operations, transformational change and strategic management.

Ken is a devoted family man and loves spending time with his loved ones in his spare time. He dreamed as a kid that he'd grow up and play football – which he does, in a way, in his local Over 40s 11-a-side league.

A firm believer that life (and work) should be fun, Ken brings his positive vibes and generosity to the table every day, helping everyone feel comfortable and inspired to produce their best work.

Sam Wallace
Sam Wallace
Sam Wallace

General Manager, Business Development and Marketing

Hailing from Sydney Australia, Sam has spent the last twenty years within the healthcare and childcare industries. She is particularly skilled at leading multifunctional teams, often through times of change, to deliver results. Sam is happiest when she’s spending time outdoors with her family and friends. She loves (trying) to keep fit, and also loves undoing the good work eating great food and drinking good wine.

Sam freely admits she was far too concerned having a good time when she was younger to recall any grand career ambitions but feels her career has unfolded perfectly anyway.  She brings to her role an infectious sense of optimism and energy, and believes having a good laugh is the key to happiness in life.

Adam Makepeace
Adam Makepeace
Adam Makepeace

General Manager, NSW

Adam grew up in the small beachside town of Copacabana located on the Central Coast of New South Wales. It was from here that he found a love for exploring the world. In the first of many adventures, Adam headed from the beach to the American snowfields, amazed to find that the fun of skiing could help him earn a living while living overseas!

Adam returned back home onto Aussie soil to complete his teaching degree in Physical Education and spent several years in the not-for-profit sector developing programs for young people at risk. Being a dependable, trustworthy and logical problem solver has led him to his place with JAG as the NSW General Manager.

And when he’s not chasing after his two boys (one of which attends our services!), he’s knocking down walls in his family home… ‘renovating’ and playing golf with his mates.

Josie Bolton
Josie Bolton
Josie Bolton

General Manager, Victoria

A Victorian by birth but Queenslander by heart, Josie was born in Prahran, Victoria and moved to the Sunshine State as a child. Josie has over 20 years’ experience in team development and people management in the highly regulated industries of Retail, Pharmacy and Childcare.

As a child Josie’s aspirations were hard to pin down, aspiring to becoming a kindergarten teacher, an air hostess and then, for something completely different… an accountant. When she joined the JAG team in July of 2020, she found the perfect marriage of all her passions - child development, people leadership and finance all in one role.

When Josie isn’t being a taxi for her 14-year-old daughter, she enjoys indulging in cocktails and food with her loved ones and attending the gym when she can. She is an incredibly passionate and optimistic person whose maternal instinct has only been magnified through becoming a mother. She brings this into her role by ensuring children get the best opportunities they can in life to learn, be children and have fun.

Renee Bowman
Renee Bowman
Renee Bowman

CEO

Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, Renee has worked in 10 countries in a diverse array of public and private sector industries including foreign trade, retail, childcare, health and nutrition, and hair and beauty. A natural born leader who is inspired by creating supportive, empowering work cultures, Renee has dedicated her entire career to helping businesses and individuals thrive.

Renee loves travelling the globe (when she can), walking her two Golden Retrievers in the Yorkshire countryside and challenging herself with any number of physical pursuits. She also has a thirst for learning and has gained four university degrees and more than 40 certificates.

From an early age Renee was a dreamer but she didn't know what she wanted to be. As such she's lived her life being a visionary, searching for new experiences, believing that anything is possible, and seizing every opportunity, living by the mantra, 'Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail'.

Craig Jones
Craig Jones
Craig Jones

Chief Operating Officer

Craig has over 20 years’ experience working with children and young people within education as well as the sports, health and fitness industries. Originally from Coventry, he has worked throughout the UK and Europe, implementing Children and Families strategies across product development, operating models, H&S and compliance.

Craig's core focus is on increasing physical activity levels among children and young people. Craig is known for his caring, nurturing approach to leadership, which enables him to bring out the very best in his team members. An energetic, results-driven individual, Craig aims at all times to provide high-quality, engaging childcare programs and solutions.

Craig wanted to be a kids TV presenter in his younger days, and while he hasn't made a name for himself on the small screen, he has dedicated his life to bringing joy to children (including his own now). And like Peter Pan, Craig believes that he's never really grown up.

Steph Hibbert
Steph Hibbert
Steph Hibbert

Group Chief Marketing Officer

Born and bred in the Emerald Isle of Northern Ireland, Steph has spread her wings far and wide, living and working in many countries around the world. In her 13+ year career she has held various marketing roles within the fitness, wellness, childcare and education sectors. She is passionate about harnessing the power of marketing techniques to positively impact human behaviour and loves seeing the results that come from the combined efforts of her close-knit, hardworking team.

As a child Steph attended circus school and loved nothing more than walking on stilts in a large circus bell tent. It was this habit of hers, on display from a young age, for reaching for new heights which has held Steph in good stead throughout her career, particularly in making a difference to children's lives. Travelling remains a great passion of Steph's ( when there isn't a global pandemic!), as does spending as much time outdoors as possible... when the UK weather allows!

Adam Crocker
Adam Crocker
Adam Crocker

Finance Director

With a background in IT, telecommunications and engineering, Portsmouth-born Adam has a passion for working in small to medium sized businesses. He also loves anything sporty (acknowledging he may not be your typical finance professional), and can often be found in the pool, on the golf course, on the tennis court – you get the drift.

Adam is also the first to admit that he's better with kids than he is with adults (though we reckon he's pretty great with everyone).

Vanessa Leyshon
Vanessa Leyshon
Vanessa Leyshon

Business Development & Partnership Director

Vanessa has over 25 years’ experience of the commercial charitable and educational sectors. A proven leader, passionate about coaching people and helping them to achieve their full potential. Vanessa has a mindset of possibility and lives by the mantra ‘Make it happen’. Her extensive knowledge of schools stems from her experiences spanning hands on teaching of early years education right through to senior leadership and consultancy. Mother to the most intelligent and beautiful daughter Sasha, she volunteers for several charities, and is a big believer in collaboration. Vanessa holds the unique distinction of becoming the closest to Olympic glory among her JAG UK colleagues having trained many years ago (and she means many!) as an elite gymnast. Whilst tumbling is now a challenge, reaching for the stars always remains her focus.

Sharleen McKinnon
Sharleen McKinnon
Sharleen McKinnon

CEO

Aucklander Sharleen has over 15 years' experience in project lead roles including digital transformation, software development and change management. She is a born problem solver and collaborator and is a strong advocate for technology for change efficiency.

A wannabe ballet dancer in her youth, now Sharleen reserves her pirouetting for the ski slopes or while catching some waves (or attempting to at least). She also proudly supports her children's many sporting endeavours.

Leigh Peters
Leigh Peters

Financial Controller

Our financial guru Leigh has over twenty years’ experience in financial operational, strategic and governance roles within the OSHC sector in both not-for-profit and commercial entities. Before becoming a mum, Leigh admits she was a bit of a risk taker, known to have dabbled in competitive skydiving and Muay Thai fighting in both New Zealand and Thailand. Nowadays, though, her risk taking is limited to the conservative assessment of new services and commercial ventures, which personally she finds no less thrilling.

Pip Davidson
Pip Davidson
Pip Davidson

National Operations Manager

Pip has over twenty years of educational operations experience in OSHC and early childhood education in New Zealand and Australia. She is passionate about building collaborative relationships with external agencies and working together to achieve excellence.

Growing up in the small rural town of Feilding on New Zealand's north island, Pip dreamed of one day being a nurse or a truck driver, dual desires which reflected her diverse interests from a young age. Today, she devotes her spare time mainly to snow skiing and fishing, although recently she discovered her love of golf, a pursuit she is committed to perfecting.

Above all, Pip is known for her friendliness, nonstop love for learning and her dedication to making a positive difference to the lives of children.

Adelina Roman
Adelina Roman
Adelina Roman

HR Manager

Originally from Romania, Adelina has called New Zealand home for the past 17 years. She has over a decade's experience in the OSHC sector and five years within human resources. She's come a long way from her younger days in Constanta, where she harboured aspirations to become a florist. What's remained everlasting however is her love of the great outdoors, especially fishing and hiking. Her biggest and most rewarding adventures are those she has with her six-year-old son.

Adelina finds joy and fulfilment in empowering and supporting others, ensuring in particular that they look after their mental health and wellbeing.

Aimee Peterken
Aimee Peterken
Aimee Peterken

Marketing & Communications Manager

Aimee has spent the past 17 years working in marketing management roles across retail, FMCG, hospitality, electronics and healthcare, implementing positive, lasting change for brands and organisations. It seemed her career was written in the stars; even as a child Aimee recalls wanting to be a general manager. Horses are an enduring passion of Aimee's, whether she's breeding, training or riding them. Part of an adrenaline-seeking family, she can often be found cheering on her children by the go kart track or from the shoreline, as they flex their surfing skills. When she can, she also loves to travel, which she says pushes her boundaries and supports her personal growth. Aimee is motivated by making a difference and adding value to people's lives. She continually strives to evolve and better herself through change and improved efficiencies both professionally and personally.

Working with kids is the best job in the world

Working with kids is the best job in the world

Children have always been and will always be our ‘Why’ and the reason we come to work every day. Our ‘Whole of Child’ philosophy places children firmly at the heart of everything we do. We are committed to making a difference to children’s lives. Our team are all leaders in their fields, using their experience, passion and belief in our business to build our resources and enable us to reach more schools and families around the globe. We believe every member of our team is the best at what they do - bringing their unique talents to help our JAG community reach their full potential.

Want to join our family?

Want to join our family?

If you want to help make a difference to children’s lives, have an innate ability to care for others and enjoy a challenge, we would love to hear from you. Whether you’re fresh out of school, a working mum or simply ready to take the next step in your childcare career, we might have the perfect opportunity for you. Click below to learn more about current vacancies and what it’s like working at JAG.