PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHERS

Gillian

GILLIAN KOTIAN | YEAR 3 TEACHER

About Me:
Gillian Kotian, an accomplished educator from India holds a Diploma in Teaching for Primary Year levels (2002), a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of Madras, India (2008), and a Master of Teaching (Primary) from Tabor, South Australia (2021).

With a diverse career spanning India, England, Saudi Arabia, and Australia, Gillian has acquired extensive experience in various educational settings. Her work with multicultural and multilingual communities has significantly broadened her educational perspectives.

Gillian is dedicated to recognizing the unique potential of each child, understanding that every student learns and grows at their own pace. She aims to facilitate rich learning experiences that prepare children to become informed global citizens.

She finds great fulfillment in contributing to the educational development of her students and embraces lifelong learning. Gillian values the insights she gains from both her students and colleagues at IQRA.

“I find it deeply rewarding to contribute and be a part of the educational development of students. I believe learning never stops and I always look forward to learning from the children and my peers from the IQRA family,” she states.

Arunima

ARUNIMA PILLAI | YEAR 3 TEACHER
About Me:
My name is Arunima Pillai, and I am from India. I hold a master’s degree in Physics and a bachelor’s degree in Education. I began my teaching career in 2006 and have experience in teaching both Junior Primary and Primary levels.
I started teaching in Australia in 2011 and have worked in both public and private schools here. I joined IQRA in 2020 as a Year 1 Home Group Teacher and am currently teaching a Year 3 class.
Teaching is more than just a job for me; it's my passion. I am dedicated to making a positive impact on the lives of my students every day.

Marilyn

MARILYN JOSEPH | YEAR 3 TEACHER
About Me:
Marilyn was an educator in Singapore for 20 years before migrating to Adelaide in 2022. Coming from multi-cultural Singapore, she enjoys interacting with children from diverse backgrounds and finds great satisfaction in helping children attain their potential.
Marilyn graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree before pursuing a Post-Graduate Diploma in Education specialising in Primary Education in Singapore. While she has had a hand in teaching various levels in primary school, most of her career was spent inspiring and moulding upper primary students. She is happy to now be a part of the lovely community at IQRA College and is looking forward to more exciting years in teaching.
“I believe that every child is precious and has a great capacity to learn. I love watching the gleam in their eyes when they experience that ‘Eureka’ moment.”

Saira

SAIRA SABIR | YEAR 4 TEACHER

About Me:

“My name is Saira Sabir and with an illustrious career spanning 18 years across three diverse countries—Australia, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan—I have become a beacon of excellence in the field of education. Armed with a master’s in teaching, alongside a Certificate III in Education Support from Australia and a Certificate of Teaching English as a Foreign Language from Canada, my journey has been marked by a relentless pursuit of knowledge and a dedication to empowering students. My academic arsenal further includes a Certificate in Educational Assessment Practices, Principles, and Policies from Indiana University, USA, as well as a Master of Business Administration and an M.Phil. in General Management, rendering me a multifaceted educator capable of navigating complex educational landscapes with ease.

Throughout my professional odyssey, I have thrived in multicultural environments, leveraging my diverse background to enrich the educational experiences of students and the institutions I've served. My passion for fostering holistic growth and academic excellence has been the cornerstone of my approach, driving me to implement innovative teaching methodologies and cutting-edge assessment practices. Whether in the classrooms of Australia, the educational institutions of Saudi Arabia, or the academic arenas of Pakistan, I have left an indelible mark, inspired minds and shaping futures. My journey stands as a testament to the transformative power of education and the unwavering commitment to the betterment of students and institutions alike. As I continue to tread the path of educational excellence, I remain steadfast in my resolve to push the boundaries of traditional learning, instil a love for knowledge, and empower the next generation of global citizens to realize their fullest potential.”

Safia

SAFIA BANJAN | YEAR 4 TEACHER
About Me:
"I graduated with the Bachelor of Education in 2005. I have been working as a primary school teacher for the last nineteen years. My primary experience ranges from Reception through to Year 6. Since joining Iqra College I have enjoyed working with the students, parents and staff in a dynamic forward thinking, positive environment.
As a teacher I strive to connect with my students, identify their strengths and help them reach their goals. Education is power. Regardless of the many challenges we may face in life, education can be the key to a better future. My goal is to give every student I teach the opportunity to reach their full potential and in doing so, live their best lives."

Ali

ALI RAZVI | YEAR 4 TEACHER
About Me:

"My journey from a middle-class upbringing where education wasn’t a primary focus to becoming a passionate and multi-faceted educator has been truly inspiring. Born in India and raised in Dubai, I completed my schooling in emirates before embarking on a professional path that led me to teach across various subjects and grade levels.

My intense fascination with numbers, finance, and the dynamics of economies was the driving force behind my pursuit of multiple academic qualifications. I earned a Bachelor's in Commerce, a Master's in Professional Accounting, a Master of Business Administration, and a Master of Teaching. Additionally, completing the Chartered Financial Analyst Level 1 certification further enriched my expertise in finance, commerce, and accounting, which I seamlessly integrate into my teaching.

I currently teach middle school mathematics, business and economics, as well as primary school HASS (Humanities and Social Sciences), science, ICT, and PE. In my two years of teaching experience in the Middle East, I developed a keen understanding of diverse educational environments and student needs.

As an ardent advocate of infusing creativity and empathy into education, I believe in making learning an engaging and meaningful experience. I champion game-based learning and am dedicated to building a thinking classroom, where students are encouraged to think critically and creatively. My teaching philosophy revolves around the idea that education should be dynamic, interactive, and tailored to foster a love for learning in every student.

Beyond my professional achievements, my love for teaching is evident in my commitment to my students' growth and development. I strive to create an inclusive and supportive learning environment, where every student feels valued and inspired to reach their full potential. Through my innovative teaching methods and genuine care for my students, I aim to make a significant impact in the field of education."

Rumana
RUMANA MAZHAR | YEAR 5 TEACHER

About Me:
“I’m for truth, no matter who tells it.
I’m for justice, no matter who it is for
or against. I’m human being first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and
whatever benefits humanity as a whole” – ‘The Autobiography of Malcom X’ , 1965
Every individual has a source or a bank of sources to derive inspiration and motivation from. The quote above during my emerging adulthood always enticed me to be of benefit and service to humanity. It is also part of my Deen. The verse of the Holy Quran, which so comprehensively covers this concept of service to humanity, reads -
O people of Islam, “You are the best people ever raised for the good of mankind because you have been raised to serve others; you enjoin what is good and forbid evil and believe in Allah.”
To me, education is an invaluable treasure which when passed on with nurture, integrity and diligence, transforms and changes lives for the best. My career in education as a primary teacher began 15 years ago and spans experiences from my various travels to Bangladesh, Canada, U.A.E and Australia. The relationships I have built and continue to build with students, parents, colleagues, leaders and extended community members are vital to me because they strengthen my cause to bring about a change for the greater good for my students who are tomorrow’s future leaders in an innovative world.
In my lessons, curriculum is not the only element I incorporate creatively. I provide opportunities for growth through resilience, perseverance, and risk-taking challenges in their daily work so they can gain skills to find solutions to problems using a growth mindset. I draw upon Islamic values and knowledge to integrate them into our lessons aligning them with the ethos of Iqra culture. My background education in Genetics and Conservation has allowed me to work with environmental organisations such as Greenpeace in Toronto, Canada prior to my career in teaching. This allowed me to explore the changing dynamics of the world in Science and Technology and aided me in gaining further extensive critical and analytical skills which I always strive to integrate in my lessons.
Iqra College provides me with the motivation, extensive support and opportunities to grow along with my students because I believe it is a reciprocal dynamic in which both the learner and educator benefits from. Alhamdulillah. I am immensely and deeply grateful to be a part of Iqra College which is a prestigious academy rooted deeply in Islamic values, excellence, and advancement. I look forward to continuing being a vital member of Iqra College and support my school community towards progression.
May Allah Always Guide us all in the right path. Ameen."

Maya

MAYA SAYEGH | YEAR 5 TEACHER & PRIMARY SCHOOL COORDINATOR
About Me:
"I was born in a community known for its strong emphasis on education and healthcare. From a young age, I exhibited a deep interest in the medical sciences, spurred by a desire to help others and make a tangible difference in people's lives. I pursued my passion by completing university degrees related to medical science and nursing. Alongside my primary studies, I also developed an interest in languages, particularly, Arabic, French and English which resulted in pursuing an interpreting degree to become an accredited interpreter. My goal in life was to serve my community which led me to pursue a degree in education right after the interpreting degree. My educational journey reflects a multidisciplinary approach, blending healthcare with communication and education."

Fazla

FAZLA WAHEED | YEAR 6 TEACHER | NCCD COORDINATOR
About Me:
My name is Fazla Waheed, and I currently teach a Year 6 class. I also serve as the Special Needs Coordinator for the school, covering grades R-12. I began my teaching career in 2005 and have accumulated extensive experience across various educational levels, from primary to tertiary. In 2016, I migrated to Australia, where I continued to pursue my passion for education by working in various educational institutions before joining Iqra College in 2021.
My qualifications include a Master of Teaching (R-7, Special Needs) and a Master of Education (Educational Research, Assessment, and Evaluation), both from Australia. I also hold a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology, English Language, and Literature) from India, and a Diploma of Teaching (Middle School, Mathematics and English) from the Maldives.
I am deeply committed to the principle of inclusion, firmly believing that "no child should be left behind." My mission is to foster an educational environment where every child is given the opportunity to thrive socially, emotionally, and academically.
Iqra College, with its diverse student population and cultural backgrounds, aligns perfectly with my passion for creating inclusive educational spaces. I strive to build classrooms based on inclusive principles, ensuring that every child receives the support and opportunities they need to succeed through reasonable adjustments and a differentiated curriculum.

LAILA WAHEED | ARABIC, SCIENCE & HASS TEACHER
About Me:
Laila from Maldives joined IQRA College in 2023. She holds a Bachelor of Education in Upper Primary and Lower Secondary from Flinders University and a Master of Education from Macquarie University in New South Wales.
Her teaching career began in lower secondary education as a chemistry teacher. Throughout her career, Laila has embraced various roles, including working as a teacher trainer for Lower Secondary Schools and contributing to curriculum development.
In addition to her formal education, Laila completed three years of Islamic Studies in Madinah Saudi Arabia, followed by a two-year online program in Islamic studies at Zad Academy in Makka. These experiences have enriched her understanding of Islamic knowledge and education, allowing her to bring a well-rounded perspective to her teaching.
Currently, Lala is particularly grateful to work at IQRA College, where an Islamic cultural setting is practiced. Her commitment to continuous learning and her diverse educational background inspires her to provide the best possible education for her students, helping them develop into well-rounded individuals.

ZAYTOON EBRAHIM | PRIMARY SCHOOL SSO
About Me:

Zaytoon Ebrahim brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in private special needs tutoring; home based education; and community-based Islamic education for adults and children across South Africa; New Zealand; and Australia.

She has received her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology in 2005 at the University of Cape Town. Continuing her passion for teaching and learning, she has also been trained in conflict resolution; Applied Behavioural Analysis; and Neurodiversity training.

Zaytoon believes that every child has brilliance and creative genius, and every mind learns differently. She loves teaching children strategies for success by using their individual strengths to overcome their limitations to reach their true potential. And more than anything she looks forward to standing by each of her students waiting in anticipation to share in their joy of their Eureka moments.

She says, in the famous wise words of Winnie the Pooh, “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think”, something she reminds her students of regularly.