Orana Steiner School would like to hear from all its ex students. We are interested to hear from you no matter how long you have been at our School or how many years it has been since you left.  

Please email us at [email protected] and share your news with us. 



Geoff Pearce

(Posted September 2019)

I graduated Year 12 at Orana in 2014, after being there since Kindergarten, and immediately took on an apprenticeship in Cabinet Making.

Since completing my apprenticeship I am now working full time as a qualified Cabinet Maker at a small company based in Queanbeyan, creating high-end residential joinery and furniture for houses all over Canberra, as well as for some areas a little further from home, such as Guerilla Bay and Thredbo.

A huge amount of my love for working with timber comes from my time spent as a student at Orana, where Design Technology was my favourite subject. All throughout my time at school I was taught to think creatively, and having a lateral thought process helps me overcome many obstacles in my job. Learning a wide variety of subjects also helps me communicate with and relate to people who moments before were complete strangers; be them other tradesmen, clients or potential friends.


Geoff Pearce photo TAFE project       Geoff Pearce photo wardrobe


Laurence Koenig

(Posted September 2019)

I went to Orana from year 4 to year 12. After Graduating in 2012 I worked and travelled in Europe for six months. 

At the end of 2013, I returned home to work on our family farm. Whilst working on the farm, I completed a Diploma in Organic Agriculture, a Statement of Attainment in Holistic Resource Management and a Statement of Attainment in welding and metal fabrication. In 2015, I joined my local Rural Fire Service. Over the years I attended several incidents and enjoyed volunteering for the community. 

In 2016 I decided it was time to get some different practical experience, so I travelled around N.S.W and W.A and worked on eight different properties as a farm hand. After traveling in Australia I returned home to the family farm. When our own farm did not keep me busy enough I would do contract work for other rural businesses. 

My girlfriend is currently studying in the Netherlands. As I was not enjoying the long-distance part of our relationship, I decided to take the opportunity to experience something new and temporarily moved to the Netherlands, where I now have a job on an organic farm.

You can probably tell that I am a very practical person. This is what I loved about Orana, being able to balance ‘traditional’ learning with so many hands on classes. Both Design Technology and the year 12 Project helped me keep focused in that final year.

Laurence Koenig 2019 photo 1       Laurence Koenig 2019 photo 2



Anna Roufogalis

(Posted September 2019)

I attended Orana from year 1 to year 12, graduating in 2014.

After graduating Orana, I spent a year travelling to a variety of places including Greece where I spent time with my family. I am incredibly lucky that my cousins in Greece are not only family, but some of my favourite people in this world (I visit them as often as I can).

Following my year off I started a double degree at the ANU in Medical Science and Design Arts, which I will complete at the end of this year. I hope to spend next year travelling again and then move on to study Medicine the following year. To assist me in this endeavour, I am currently employed as a Wardsperson in the surgical theatres at Calvary John James Hospital, where I am immersed in the medical world and get the privilege of viewing many procedures. 

I have Orana to credit for my interest in two such different degrees. Although they appear to be a strange combination, I have always felt I am incomplete without exercising both my academic and creative interests. Orana was amazing for teaching me to value these two sides of myself equally and giving me the confidence to pursue them both. I find each of my degrees influences the other, as I often create artworks inspired by science and look at science from a less ‘black and white’ standpoint than my peers. 

When I think back on my time at Orana, I have many fond memories, however my favourite times were always spent on camp. We went on a large variety of camps at Orana where we got to spend time outdoors participating in activities such as hiking, canoeing, rafting, swimming, climbing and many team building exercises. Many of my best friends I made at Orana and I will be forever grateful for the bond I have with these people.


Anna R photo cropped           Anna R prints


Anna R Heart             Anna R Cushion of insides


 Hannah Pearce

(Posted September 2019)

I'm a Graduate Surveyor who finished school in 2012, having gone through Orana from Kindergarten to year 12. I took a year off to work and travel around Europe, including spending two months on a biodynamic farm in Germany, before heading to university. 

I’ve now completed my four-year Engineering degree in Surveying at UNSW, and have been working full time as a surveyor for the past two years. I’m working towards becoming a Registered Surveyor, a qualification of around the same level as a Masters degree, which will allow me to legally sign off on changes and redefinitions of land boundaries. 

One of my favourite things about Orana was the way everyone was exposed to a broad variety of subjects, rather than being pigeonholed early on into either STEM or the Arts. My career is pretty heavily maths and technologically based, but having had that background at school in art as well, helps me in terms of creating finished, well-presented plans to give to clients. I think it's really important to get that early exposure to all different topics - music, art, maths, science, languages, outdoors - because you'll always be meeting new people who aren't working in your field, whether they be clients or future friends. Having some idea of subjects outside your field helps you to relate to other people and to find common ground.


Hannah Pearce 2019 1 low res   Hannah Pearce 2019 3 low res 2


Hannah Pearce 2019 2 low res



Isaac Gallahar

(Posted August 2019)

I attended Orana from sessional kindergarten through to mid year 11, where I decided to part ways and pursue my sporting endeavours (unsuccessfully, not as good at football as I thought I was, apparently!). 

When I think of Orana I think of the brightest times of my life. Every time I drive past the primary school I get a bit excited and end up slowing down to relish the memories. 

I could name so, so many things I loved about Orana. I had opportunities such as playing ice hockey, helping with community work, hiking through Tasmania and Kosciusko, going to JAPAN!!!! So many endless memories that I will never forget. 

My closest friends are from Orana, and I am forever grateful for it. 

Since leaving Orana and graduating college, I have travelled overseas for 3 months, worked full time and recently enlisted in the Australian Army as a trainee at RMC-Duntroon, where hopefully soon I will graduate as a commissioned officer in the Army. I always find myself relying on skills taught at Orana, and some day hope to be able to send my children there.

Isaac Gallahar



Sharaine Talip

(Posted August 2019)

I was a student at Orana for 11 years, from Kindergarten to Year 10. After completing Year 12, I moved to Melbourne where I worked in various creative businesses and also completed my undergraduate degree in Education (Early Childhood and Primary) at the Australian Catholic University. I am also a mother to four wonderful children and step-mum to three more wonderful children.

After ten years in Melbourne, I returned to Canberra to be closer to family and to begin studying the Certificate in Rudolf Steiner Education (Primary) via distance education at the Sydney Rudolf Steiner College. I am now a primary teacher at Orana, and have been lucky enough to be a class teacher for two different cohorts of children as they completed their seven-year cycle.

My children also attend Orana, and have experienced the beauty of a Steiner education their whole lives.

Some of my fondest memories at Orana were of doing art, handwork, music and Main Lesson. My love of creative subjects has influenced my own creative life, and I still paint, draw, sew and play music today. 

One of my other favourite aspects of life at Orana were the beautiful chalkboard drawings that my class teacher would produce each day. As a class teacher, this is now one of my favourite parts of my job and I love being able to bring such beauty, creativity and imagination into my teaching practice. 

From my time at Orana, I gained a sense of independence and perseverance, a reverence for the creative spirit and compassion for others. This has helped me not only in moving to unfamiliar places and taking the plunge into new career paths, but also in my role as a parent and teacher.

 sharaine Talip.docx hummingbird      Sharaine Talip black board Astronomy.docx.JPG


 Sharaine Talip black board Ship.docx     Sharaine Talip photo with Michael.docx



Casey Meyen

(Posted August 2019)

I attended Orana from Sessional Kindergarten to Year 10 (graduating in 1998). After graduating I received a Bachelor of Visual Arts/Arts from ANU and worked as a seamstress and design assistant in New York. I now live in the hills outside Melbourne with my daughter and am tantalisingly close to completing a Masters of Primary Teaching. I hope to eventually become a Steiner teacher. 

My memories of school are full of warmth, colour, adventure and imagination. I credit this education for my creativity, adaptability, resourcefulness and passion for continued growth and learning. I can’t imagine life without the wonderful lifelong friends I made at Orana.

Casey Meyen photo 2019


Kahli Cooper

(Posted August 2019)

I went to Orana from Kindergarten through to year 12 - apart from one year I attended another school but wanted to go back to Orana.

My time at Orana was truly magical. I love thinking back on all the memories I have there and the friendships I made. The friends I made there are my best friends for life. I'm lucky to have met them through school and to have shared our schooling experience together. 

I could name a million things I loved about going to school at Orana; for example in the younger years learning through play, being encouraged to use our imagination, the colourful classrooms and the always interesting main lessons. But something that has stuck with me is the relationships we built with the teachers. Not only were they your teachers but your inspiration, your idols and your friends. The teachers were always helpful and truly wanted their students to succeed which I believe is why so many of us did. 

I was in the graduating class of 2013. After I finished school I did some travelling, working and studying. 

I studied Enrolled Nursing at Canberra Institute of Technology and graduated in 2017. I moved down the coast to live with my partner and worked in a rural hospital as well as working in home nursing. In July 2018 my partner and I were blessed with a baby boy so I am currently off work raising him. 

I still knit and sew often, skills which I'm very grateful for learning at school. I also still have all my beautiful coloured pencils and crayons from primary school. 
Steiner schools support creativity in all aspects of learning. Although some students are more creative than others, everyone benefits from participating in the variety of lessons and activities that are offered at Orana. 

I consider myself lucky to have gone to such a wonderful school and am grateful for all I was taught throughout my years there. I am grateful that my parents knew what a wonderful partner to my developing years that Steiner education offered. I hope my son is able to attend a Steiner School in the future to have the same nurturing schooling environment that I had.

Kahli Cooper 1 nurse             Kahli Cooper Class photo Formal


Kahli Cooper Class photo Mrs Mac Sydney    Kahli Cooper Class photo Opera House



Laurence Kain

(Posted August 2019)

I was never particularly academic but LOVED outdoor ed at Orana - I still enjoy back country skiing, rock climbing and surfing. I look back on my time at Orana as some of the most enjoyable years filled with practical learning.

Over the last few years, I have linked up with our old outdoor ed instructor from school, John Morrel, who now runs a back country guiding company in Japan - it has been awesome to reconnect with him because I really looked up to him growing up.

Now I have two kids, both girls - and a really awesome wife. We live in Hackett and have a fairly epic vegetable garden. (Thanks to my time at Orana)

I started year 10 work experience in a bar and never stopped pouring drinks!

I started running music festivals in 2007 - co founding Kicks Entertainment (Foreshore Festival) and in 2011 opened up my first venue, Honkytonks followed by Hippo Co in 2013. Running bars is fun while you are young but does not really suit family vibes so in 2015 sold both venues to start a brewery.

Capital Brewing Co is at Dairy Road in Fyshwick - we have a tap room where you can come and have a beer and sell packaged and keg beer to pubs and bottle shops around Australia. We have grown the brewery over the last couple of years to produce well over a million litres of beer with 45 staff.

I have been self-employed now for just on 12 years and never had a 'real job' - I am self-taught and have learnt some hard lessons mixed in with some success along the way. 

It's been real and Orana played a large part in preparing me for it.


Laurence Kain 1          Laurence Kain 2



Benjamin Harlow

(Posted August 2019)

I moved to Greenpoint, Brooklyn in New York City about 12 years ago, and have enjoyed every day of it.

I'm Director of Product Design at TMRW, a Med-Tech startup creating revolutionary hardware and software solutions for Cryogenic Storage in IVF Clinics.

Orana helped set me on a path of continual creative growth and recently I graduated from the International Centre of Photography in their Continuing Education program, and have taken part in group exhibitions in Brooklyn. Photography has become a serious hobby and creative exploration. My best memories of Orana are all of the friends I made there, whom I encourage to come visit me in NYC.

Benjamin Harlow 2019



Adrienne Walls-Nichols

(Posted August 2019)

I started at Orana in Kindergarten and went all the way through to Class 10, we had no College then. After school I went on to study graphic design and have been working in the industry since 2004.

I am also mum to two boys and spend a lot of my time chopping wood, feeding chickens and drinking coffee.

When I think of my time at Orana, I have such vivid memories of being in the forest, we all felt so connected to it, our games were complex and involved and some of our cubbies should have been on Grand Designs. To have explored and known a forest like that is so rare for kids who live in the city – we could have mapped where each tree was and tell you their defining features. There was such a sense of freedom because of our surrounds, this is something I really needed as a child and has hugely contributed to how I parent.


   Adrienne Walls Nichols 1a                Adrienne Walls Nichols 2                                                                                                              


Jake Coppinger

(Posted August 2019)

I'm Jake Coppinger, and I was an Orana student from kindergarten through to year 9 (2003-2012). I have since moved to Sydney to study Computer Science at UNSW on a UNSW Co-Op scholarship and will be working at Atlassian after graduation.

Since Orana I have presented at TEDxSydney in front of 2,250 people in the Sydney Opera House, been sponsored by Intel to represent Australia at the International Science & Engineering Fair in LA, received the top score of 45,000 students across Australia, NZ, Singapore and other Asian countries in a 2013 science competition, and grown my filmmaking YouTube channel past a profitable 4 million views.

I still enjoy playing the violin in a university orchestra, and I enjoy photography, filmmaking, and all sorts of design in my spare time.

In a world of standardised testing and uncertain future job prospects, Orana focuses on cultivating a love of learning in students. Having experienced Montessori, Steiner, public education and now a Group-Of-Eight university I believe that Steiner education forms an excellent foundation for lifelong learning and nurtures an innate curiosity of the world. Though it's not perfect and not for all individuals (I don't believe any school is) I wouldn't hesitate to send my children to Orana or a Steiner school one day.

My closest friends are from Orana and are kind, well spoken, exceedingly resilient to adversity and quietly confident in themselves. 

The thing I miss the most from Orana: the morning singing.


Jake Coppinger Feb 2019                 Jake Coppinger TEDxSydney 2014


Grace McIntyre

(Posted August 2019)

I attended Orana from Presessional Kindergarten through to Year 12 (2001-2015) and I have very fond memories of my time there. Upon reflection, what stands out the most to me is the level of love and care that exists at the heart of the Orana community. I always felt deeply cared for and supported as an individual, whether that be through the connections I formed with my teachers and peers, the guidance I received to achieve academically, or the many enriching experiences I was given through music, sport, and school camps and excursions.

Upon finishing Year 12, I wondered how prepared I would be for the outside world. As it turned out, Orana had given me much more than the practical and academic skills required to secure a job or an offer at university. I now had the confidence within myself to go out into the world and pursue whatever I wanted. I remember feeling a strong sense of purpose and love for the world around me; a feeling I carry with me everywhere I go.

Since my time at Orana, I have worked, played sport, travelled around the world, and studied (a lot!). I am currently in my third year of a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) at the ANU. After finding a love for forensics while studying in the Netherlands last year, I hope to eventually work somewhere like the AFP.

Grace McI 1 upright


           Grace McI 2