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Sue den Besten
Founder and Principal

I have been involved in Music Education for the past 30 years, having taught in a variety of school settings: secondary, primary, early childhood, large and also relatively small schools, independent, public and private school systems, as a Consultant in the Arts for Qld Ed., overseas exchange postings and most recently in an International school in China, where I was in charge of a thriving music department and Head of the Senior School. I am passionate about teaching and I believe that is evidenced through my teaching of music. I have always provided opportunities for all students to access the joys of music, dance and drama, regardless of their individual musical ability! I am excited that Athena College, a lifelong dream is being realised and is on the Gold Coast, providing quality education in the arts. Please feel free to call in and see our school in progress: we are all very proud of this new direction in arts education and look forward to sharing it with you. Email:

Tatsuki Shiratsuchi
Teacher of Cello
Tatsuki has been playing the cello for over 11 years, and has recently completed his Licentiate Diploma in Music. He is a current university student studying Law at the University of Queensland. He hopes to continue playing the cello throughout his life and share his musical skills and knowledge with young students.
Joanne Politakis
Teacher of Voice & Piano
Jo has joined the staff of Athena College as a singing and piano teacher. She has studied both singing and piano at Athena College and is recently graduated from the Queensland Science Academy. Jo is currently studying nursing at Griffith Uni. She loves singing and enjoys most genres of music. Jo is thrilled to be teaching at Athena and is excited to be part of the great Athena family from this new perspective: teaching!!
Zac Ulliana
Teacher of Violin
Hi, my name is Zac Ulliana. I was awarded my AMusA for Violin in 2014 and am currently studying for my Bachelor of Music at the Queensland Conservatorium. I was awarded Most Promising Performer in the Strings Sections at the Gold Coast Eisteddfod as well as First Place in the Open Age String Championship and the String Solo section. I enjoy sharing my knowledge and love of music through the violin with my students at Athena College.
Zoe Madrers
Teacher of Drama and Theatre

Hi, my name is Zoe Madrers and I joined Athena College as a foundation student in 2005, studying theatre, singing and piano. My passion for the arts started when I was four years old through dance, choirs, eisteddfods and performances. I have been fortunate to have been able to study at Athena College under some amazing teachers, so it's very exciting for me to now be on the other side as a teacher myself. I have been successful in many eisteddfods over the years and have achieved excellent results in mime, poetry, improvisation, monologues and group drama. I have played a number of roles in both the Music Theatre class and Teen Theatre. I'm looking forward to sharing my love of drama with my students at Athena College. 



Hannah Delaney
Teacher of Voice and Dance

Hannah joined our voice department at the end of 2015. She is also taking our dance classes and we are looking forward to a new "tiny tots" class that Hannah will start this term.


Dale Walker
Teacher of Guitar

Hi, my name is Dale and I am one of the guitar teachers at Athena College. I have been playing music since the age of 9 (21 years of experience on the guitar as well as 15 years on the bass guitar). I am intensely passionate about music and art and I think that shows in my teaching of the guitar. It gives me great pleasure and pride to see my students learn and flourish at their instrument. I have been teaching professionally for close to a decade and playing professionally for about the same in numerous bands such as Mourning Tide (a hard rock band, we have released two full length albums, the last one which was mixed and mastered in the USA as well as countless tours around Australia) and Mescalito Blues (a power blues duo that plays all over the coast and occasionally internationally). These experiences playing professionally in the industry inform my teaching practice and give me a unique tool to use when teaching students with an eye for performance in the future as well teaching them to be creative on their instrument but most of all, to have fun doing it!

Liam Cruz
Teacher of Brass & Guitar

Liam plays both french horn and trumpet and is a member of the Gold Coast Youth Symphony as well as being the Stage Manager. He has recently completed his senior school studies. Liam also plays and teaches guitar and happily shares his musical skills and knowledge with young guitar students. Liam is currently in high demand in the theatre world, as a Musical Director.

Bunny Gabriel
Teacher of Piano and Mini Music

We welcome Bunny Gabriel to Athena College. Bunny teaches piano, singing, ukulele and Mini Music. Everyone loves their lesson with Miss Bunny and there are always smiles all round.

Kiah Leslie
Teacher of Voice

Kiah Leslie is a dedicated music and singing teacher with a sincere passion for helping others to achieve their performance goals. Kiah combines an in depth knowledge of the anatomical and physiological functionality of the voice with an appreciation for a variety of styles and genres in her all-encompassing approach to teaching. From a very young age, Kiah actively participated in a wide variety of performing arts, gaining extensive performance experience in various solo, ensemble and theatrical settings, which ignited her love for music. Now at 21 years of age, Kiah holds a Bachelor of Music in Jazz/Contemporary Voice from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and a Graduate Diploma of Education from Griffith University. She is currently studying a Masters in Vocal Pedagogy through the Queensland Conservatorium whilst teaching here at Athena College.

Gemma Howard
Piano Teacher

Hi, my name is Gemma Howard and I am thrilled to be one of the dedicated piano teachers at Athena College. It was my keen desire to learn piano when I was six years old – because of my love of music.  After what seemed like an eternity I began piano lessons when I was seven and as I knew I would, fell in love with the piano. Over the past several years I have completed the required AMEB practical and theory exams, receiving Honors and a Credit for the exams. I am currently studying for my Grade Eight exam, and plan to continue my music studies further after completing this level. I am excited to be joining the Athena College teaching team and look forward to encouraging my students with their own musical journey through Athena.  

Elissa Mak
Teacher of Piano

Elissa began her musical journey at the age of 8 and has achieved a diploma (AmusA) in piano, as well as the required grade 5 theory of music. Her musical understanding is evidenced with numerous awards and outstanding results of music at school and piano grades.  She has also participated in multiple eisteddfods and concerts in the community. Through her love of music, Elissa is thrilled to pass on her musical knowledge and skill to the students at Athena College.

Enya Chong
Teacher of Piano

My name is Enya and I have been highly involved in the music industry since I was 9 years old. I’ve learnt the Piano and Flute ever since I was in primary school and continued my passion of music into my high school years, being a member of numerous musical ensembles including: Big band, Chamber Orchestra, Girls Choir, Vocal group, Flute ensemble, Recorder Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble and Show Choir.

I enjoy singing in an acapella group and composing music in my spare time. My strong passion for music is the reason why I enjoy teaching at Athena College, where I am able to share my love of music with my students. I have one favourite phrase in life and that’s ‘Practise makes Perfect’. 

In music, the only way to master your instrument is if you practise a little each day, which is something I encourage all of my students to do in order to improve their musical talents.