Our Team

Adam Blakely


I started my 5-year appointment with Upper Sturt Primary School at the start of 2021, following a range of teaching and leadership positions in both primary and high school since I started teaching in 2000. I was attracted to the small community feel of the school and the opportunity to be part of a school that develops students both intellectually and socially. I have a passion for sport, wellbeing and creating environments that allow people to flourish. This is underpinned by a human need for healthy connection and belonging, optimised when family and school work in partnership. Married with 2 young children, my weekends revolve around football coaching, cricket in the summer and my own children’s sport, which gives me the most delight. 


Matt Cattanach

Year 5/6 Teacher (Maggies Nest) and Kaurna Teacher

I started as a teacher at Upper Sturt at the beginning of 2019, initially drawn to the school because of the education philosophy of linking learning with the outdoor environment. I love the way learning across subject areas is woven together through the term with opportunities for children to explore their local environment and the issues that are important in their lives. I get a kick out of seeing children challenge themselves, develop and grow in both confidence and ability.

Born in Mildura, I grew up in the western suburbs of Melbourne and moved to Adelaide in 2004 after living in Vanuatu, Sydney and Wollongong. I’m raising two boys with my wife, a Hills’ native.

In my free time, I’m a singer songwriter in the alternative folk duo Magic Tortoise and run the Living Wild Project Facebook page and website. 


Theresa Bassett

Year 5/6 Teacher (Maggies Nest) and Garden

I’ve been a teacher at Upper Sturt since 2016, connecting the Australian curriculum to an understanding of the Earth’s systems through topic- and project-based learning over the school year. I give students hands-on experiential learning for Kamana and Garden and enjoy working alongside the children to help them discover themselves as learners, develop their independence and resilience and enjoy learning alongside. My curiosity of the natural world can spark delights and engage my class. 

I was born in NSW and now live in McLaren Vale, and I love the picturesque scenery of the Hills and the Fleurieu. 

Outside school hours, I enjoy dabbling in visual arts, gardening and running with my 2 Kelpie pups. 



Abigail Drew

Year R/1 Teacher (Owls and Kookaburras nest)

I started teaching at Upper Sturt in the middle of 2022, after graduating from Flinders University in 2021. As a classically trained ballet dancer, I was drawn to teaching after witnessing the pride students in my dance classes felt when they were successful with their learning. I decided that there was no better job than watching a whole class of students grow as learners and people. Born and raised in Adelaide, I spent time in Scotland when completing my first degree. I also represented the university in classical ballet competitions in Hong Kong and London. I’m now passionate about being outdoors, and in my spare time, you’ll find me windsurfing, cycling through the hills or hiking. 


Sam Miles

Yr 3/4 teacher and PE

I have been a teacher at Upper Sturt Primary School since 2013. During that time, I have seen the school community grow into the wonderful learning environment it is today. I am currently the Year 3/4 class teacher and also teach PE to all classes and lead our school sport.
I grew up in the Adelaide Hills and currently reside in Crafers. Away from school I enjoy spending time with my family.


Daniel Gonzales

Teacher Year 1/2 (Scrub Wrens Nest)

I’ve been teaching at Upper Sturt since 2016, building positive relationships with the amazing families and people of our community. Away from school, I enjoy fitness and sport, putting my exercise science qualification to good use playing cricket and footy in the Hills, and studiously following most other sports. As a native of Heathfield, I also call the Hills home. 


Lyndall Goulding

Finance Officer

I’ve been part of the school community since 2007 when my third child enrolled as one of only 45 students here. We were attracted to the school due to its small enrolment size and the amazing, calming, natural hills bushland environment. I started attending Playgroup with my fourth child, who also went to Upper Sturt, and then ran the Playgroup for several years before starting two days a week as the Finance Officer in 2011. In 2021, I started working fulltime as the Finance/Administration Officer. 

I enjoy the variety of my role, and love the small school, where I can get to know everyone in our community.


Samantha Perrott 

Year 3/4 Teacher (Blue Wren Nest) and Performing Arts. 

My passion is Performing Arts and, growing up, I danced most nights of the week, took part in Wakakirri and Rock Eisteddfod, and performed in school drama performances and music nights. This all led to my ‘I-want-to-be-a-teacher moment’ – when the curtain dropped at the end of the first performance I directed. My students were so happy and proud of themselves, and I was overwhelmed with pride too. I wanted to always feel this feeling, so enrolled in a teaching degree. I joined the teaching staff at Upper Sturt in 2018. I’m a born-and-bred country girl, growing up in the Barossa and moving to the Adelaide Hills several years ago with my husband, who’s a chef at an Adelaide Hills winery. In my spare time, I love exploring the hills with my family and dogs, finding places to eat, going on walks and enjoying the outdoors.