About us

Our purpose

To help every child fulfil their unique potential, by connecting and empowering the community around them.

We believe

We believe that a child’s growth is determined by their individual nature and the way they’re nurtured. Every child is unique and perfect. But society is becoming increasingly isolated. Neighbourhoods, families, generations and individuals are separated by the pace and practices of modern-day life.

We believe it takes a community to raise a child, and have created Storypark as a platform to help support this belief. By recognising a child’s individual interests and passions, and enabling the community around them to best support their learning we believe we can make a positive difference to our children’s futures, and in the lives of the people that care for them.

Photo of the Storypark team

We walk the talk

Storypark is a values-based social enterprise – a business that balances social outcomes with financial sustainability.
This defines the way we work:

  1. Our pricing is designed to be affordable and fair. Parents can access Storypark for free, and early learning services pay only for the value they receive, per child, each month. This ensures Storypark honours its intention to be accessible for all children, and is financially sustainable in the long term.
  2. We provide free or discounted access for those who can’t afford Storypark and support research and pilot projects that make a difference to families, teachers and children.
  3. Our features are designed with and for teachers and parents to ensure Storypark is the most useful, intuitive and valuable tool possible.
  4. We reinvest in our community to support positive educational outcomes for children – this is even written into our shareholders agreement.
  5. We’re focused on making a difference for children, teachers and parents. Check out our impact.

Our team:

Photo of Peter Dixon

Peter Dixon

CEO - Peter was born in Auckland and went to Brooklyn Kindergarten. Since then he has helped develop a number of ventures in both New Zealand and North America, and worked to support other organisations who believe in making a difference in the world.

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Jamie MacDonald

COO - Jamie was born in Gore and went to Gore Playcentre. Since then he has worked for a variety businesses helping people get the most out of their online interactions.

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Mathew Hartley

CTO - Matt was born in Auckland and went to Mangere Bridge Kindergarten (where his mum, Carol, is currently the head teacher). He graduated from the University of Auckland with an engineering degree, and has since worked in a variety of companies, from enterprise to start-up. Matt has a passion for learning and community, as a co-host to both the Ruby and Javascript meetups, as well as being a coach for Railsgirls.

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Aaron Thornton

Software Developer - Aaron was born in Lower Hutt and went to Jack and Jill Kindergarten. Graduated from VUW with a Computer Science degree. He spent time traveling extensively before starting a cafe with his partner. Since then he has jumped back into web development working on a social enterprise called Loomio. Inspired to work on projects with good social outcomes he decided to join Storypark.

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Sharon Carlson

ECE ICT Specialist - Sharon's early years were supported at home by her Mum in Taranaki. She later became an ECE ICT facilitator for CORE Education, and then Storypark. Sharon has successfully supported the implementation of a diverse range of ICT products and services around the country and is helping make sure Storypark is awesome for teachers and children's development.

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Andrew Fyfe

Design and Branding - Andrew was born in Karangahake Gorge and went to Nassau Kindy in the Bahamas. He went on to study visual communication, and work both for design agencies and as a consultant helping build great brands. Andrew is a proud new father to identical twins who have been involved in Storypark since they were only seen as scans inside their mother's tummy.

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Lisa Lalonde

North American Community Manager - Lisa's early years were supported at home by her family. She now teaches at Algonquin College and is a Registered ECE in Ontario Canada, with a graduate degree in Educational Leadership and Management. She is fuelled by curiosity and inquiry, and is inspired by the children, families, students and educators she works with. She has also been known to run long distances dressed up as Disney characters!

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Chris Stokes

Customer Service Manager - Chris was born in Wanganui and went to Gonville Kindergarten. He has studied Psychology and Management and worked extensively in customer service. Chris also spent two years in Japan teaching English and is the proud father of a highly energetic daughter, whose many escapades usually end up on Storypark.

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Alex Quinlivan

Head of mobile development - Alex was born in Wellington and went to Khandallah Kindergarten. He has been interested in every aspect of computer science since he was a child and has been a mobile developer ever since he left school.

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Timothy MacDonald

Technical support - Timothy was born in Gore and went to Gore Playcentre. Since then he's built a career in website development and finally joined his brother in the Storypark team.

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Sonya McIntyre

Community Manager - Sonya went to Rata street kindergarten and Petone kindergarten, before gaining her bachelor of education at Victoria University. As well as working with Storypark Sonya works as a ECE teacher.

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Hilary Cook

Education Marketing Manager - Hilary went to Manchester Kindergarten in Fielding before studying communications and learning by doing at the school of life.

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Drew Williams

North American Manager - Drew grew up in Waterdown, Ontario, where he was part of a family of five - all of whom believe in the importance of strong values and character. He was raised by parents who dedicated their life to education and went to the YMCA afterschool programme. As a proud uncle, you’ll find Drew’s inner child is always looking for an excuse to come out and play!

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Megan Bayliss

Office Experience Manager - Megan was born in Upper Hutt and spent her early childhood years there, attending Birchville Kindergarten, before moving to Raumati South. She has vivid and positive memories from her time in kindergarten, a favourite being the glitter covered play dough cakes given on birthdays. She continued on to get her Bachelor of education at Victoria University and shared the glitter play dough cake tradition. Happiest when she is busy and helping others.

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Cyril Barthelet

iOS Developer - Cyril was born in Montpellier, France and came to New Zealand at the age of 9. He was inspired by a family friend to become a software developer even before owning his first computer. He then picked up an interest for mobile development after buying an iPod Touch and it has since become his passion.

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Carl Rosati

Illustrator/Graphic Designer - I'm Carl, Storypark's hired pencil as well as doing some design work. I grew up in Norfolk, UK and moved all over the country to study and work, eventually becoming a freelance illustrator and being lucky enough to show work around the world. Eventually I met my wife, a Wellingtonian who became homesick and brought me to live in New Zealand.

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Ben Childs

Media Production Manager - I'm Ben. I was a travelling baby, born in London and then carted around about 18 countries in a suitcase, my parents finally returning to NZ to settle when I was about 18 months old. I went to Busy C's preschool in Lyttelton. My main skill is telling stories through video!

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Angela MacDonald

Marketing - I grew up in Australia and went to Red Robin Kindergarten. As a baby I was what you might call a 'chatter box'?... My mum said I had a vocabulary of 20 words before my first birthday. It's no surprise I went on to major in communications at university with a degree in Marketing. I've been living in New Zealand since 2010 and have worked for some of New Zealand's biggest brands and organisations.

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Kim Paice

Accounts - Born and bred in Wellington but moved up to Rotorua at the age of 12. Migrated back south in 2001. Married with 2 awesome boys aged 20 and 14 whom both play in the Porirua youth brass band. While I am not number crunching, I train and compete in 3 dog sports - Agility, RallyO & Nose work with my 2 dogs. I am also actively involved on the Porirua Youth Brass committee. And when time permits, I enjoy a spot of gardening.

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Dion Mortensen

Dion is a full time professional Director. He currently serves the Boards of 8 organisations, a mixture of; SMEs, start-ups and a not for profit. Over the last 5 years, through his role with Movac, he has led or participated in the investment and development of 13 early stage NZ ventures.

Our advisors

Storypark has been shaped by listening closely to the feedback from a group of brilliant teachers, parents and industry experts. They are:

Photo of Charles Pascal

Charles Pascal

Charles is an internationally renown Canadian educator with expertise in early and higher education, public policy and leadership development. A former deputy minister in Ontario, Charles has published extensively in the fields of psychology and education and has received extensive and diverse awards and recognitions.

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Edward Melhuish

Professor of Human Development at the University of Oxford, involved in studies that have contributed to the formulation of social policy in the UK, a consultant to the Stanford Research Institute, and a scientific advisor to the Nordic Research Council, Academy of Finland, Portuguese Research Council, German Research Council, the Australian Research Council, South Korea, Canada, Saudi Arabia and Chile, as well as the European Commission, OECD and WHO.

Photo of June Mcloughlin

June Mcloughlin

June brings a wealth of experience to Storypark from her work as Director Family and Children's Services at Doveton College, the Director of early learning and community engagement Colman Foundation and work with a number of high level federal and state government committees, and boards including Goodstart Early Learning and the Australian Children’s Education and Care Authority

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Sue Robb

Sue has worked as a SIP, Ofsted inspector and is recognised for her work on early years quality improvement (UK). She was the Senior Director for Early Years in the National strategies, and as Head of Early Years at 4Children led the development of the Department for Education’s new early years strategic programme, Foundations for the Future.

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Maria Aarts

Maria Aarts is an expert in child development and the Founder and Director of Marte Meo International. Her philosophies and practices support a variety of programmes across 46 countries.

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Dr. Laura Jana

Dr. Laura Jana is a pediatrician, educator, health communicator, author, associate research professor at Penn State’s Prevention Research Center and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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Dr. Anne Meade

Anne has focused on early childhood education for most of her career spanning over 40 years, as both a teacher of young children, a researcher, lecturer, author, and policy developer. Many teachers say Anne is the reason they got into teaching.

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Joce Nuttall

Associate Professor, Faculty of Education and Arts, Australian Catholic University, educator and curriculum guru.

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Kim Hiscott

Kim Hiscott is a proud Registered Early Childhood educator and Executive Director of Andrew Fleck Child Care Services in Ottawa. Throughout her career she has been passionate about connecting parents with their children's learning and sees this as one of the most important roles of ECEs.

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Christine Legg

Chief Executive Officer of KU Children’s Services in Australia. She began her teaching career in South Australia, then moved to NSW to join KU over 30 years ago. Chris has been actively engaged in promoting the rights of children and improving the status and standing of early childhood education as a profession. Chris sits on a number of government committees and sector forums and is the Deputy National President of Early Childhood Australia.

Photo of Dr. Bradley Hannigan

Dr. Bradley Hannigan

Dr. Bradley Hannigan attended Plimmerton Kindergarten and then gained four degrees at Victoria University of Wellington. Bradley is the Senior Education Advisor at Nelson Tasman Kindergartens, a Board member and devoted dad.

Our mums

Storypark has an unusual heritage that shapes the way we think. All of the senior leadership team's Mums have long careers in early childhood. They have given us values and perspective, and continue to guide us in our thinking and direction with Storypark. Thanks Mum!

Photo of Janet Dixon

Janet Dixon (Pete's mum)

Janet trained as a Kindergarten teacher, and worked in settings variety of settings during her career including focusing on supporting children with additional learning needs. She worked in professional development at Victoria University and now supports ECE leaders, facilitates the ‘Incredible Years’ programme and loves being a Nanna!

Photo of Lynda MacDonald

Lynda MacDonald (Jamie's mum)

Manager of Aroha Early Learning Centre, delights in observing and being involved in children's learning.

Photo of Carol Hartley

Carol Hartley (Matt's mum)

Carol has been Head Teacher at Mangere Bridge Kindergarten for 20 years and is a bit of an expert in the transition from ECE to school. She speaks internationally and is co-author of a variety of publications including the book 'Crossing the Border.'

Photo of Pam Malcolm

Pam Malcolm (Andrew's mum)

The daughter of a Kindergarten teacher, Pam trained as a primary school teacher and taught in NZ, Europe and the Middle-East. She completed her Bachelor of Education, Masters and Postgraduate studies and is now a facilitator for the Incredible Years Parenting Programme, a proud Nana of twin girls, and an avid Storypark user.

Our values:

1. For purpose

We believe in working to make a difference - not just a dollar. We love how everyone contributes - feeding our curiosity and as we seek to solve the root of important problems. We pursue evidence-based, considerate, and earnest discoveries, thoughtfully crafting experiences and operating with integrity, care and devotion to everything we do. Our ingenuity comes with a sincere respect for children, including their privacy and contribution.

2. The power of Community

We believe in the power of community. It takes a village to raise a child, and to make a meaningful contribution in the world. Diversity means that we all approach the same problem slightly differently. We are stronger together, sharing our different perspectives, collective wisdom and ideas.

Collectively we can offer safety, leadership and motivation, have faith and give support when things are most challenging for each other.

As each of us works to achieve our purpose, we empower others to do the same.

3. Nurturing Potential

We believe we’re all responsible for supporting the unique potential in others, so we focus on understanding and encouraging everyone’s innate interests, nature, and strengths.

We each have a responsibility to be a role model, share openly, be thoughtful, inclusive, generous and respectful.

We believe that the pursuit of purpose is an important part of a meaningful future.