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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.
Luke Sharp
Teacher of Piano and Theory
Hi! My name is Luke and I am very excited to become one of the team members at Athena College in 2017! I have been playing piano since the age of 4 and now, a little more than 16 years later, I find myself graduating from the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University in March of this year with a Bachelor of Music - Advanced Performance majoring in Classical Piano. I hope to bring my experience playing and learning my instrument, and share it with you whilst teaching at Athena College.
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.  

Matt McGuffie
Teacher of Drums
  Hi there, my name is Matt and I teach drums at the College. As a past student of Athena I have grown into teaching after years of gig and studio experience. I completed my school studies in 2016 and will be studying audio engineering in 2018. I also play piano, which incorporates my passion for teaching and music. I'm really enjoying the opportunity to pass on my knowledge to the students here at Athena College. 
Ruby Pangrazio
Teacher of Flute

Hi! I’m Ruby Pangrazio and I joined Athena College in 2008, studying the flute, music theory, and later the piano. My passion for music began when I was eight years old as I fell in love with the flute. Since then I have completed AMEB Grade 8 on the flute and Grade 4 Theory of Music, whilst also experiencing eisteddfods and being a member of the Gold Coast Youth Orchestra. I not only love performing and teaching, but also appreciate what they have bought to my life: music has assisted me with skills such as critical thinking, communication and even mathematics! I’m currently studying Engineering at Griffith University, and will definitely continue to enjoy my love of music throughout my career. I hope to share my knowledge and passion with others here at Athena College!

Susan Sands
Teacher of Music

Hi my name is Susan Sands. I have studied a Bachelor of Music at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University in Piano Performance. Since graduating in 2013 I have taught in Brisbane at Clayfield College and I am currently teaching on the Gold Coast at Athena College, The Southport School and privately. I regularly accompany students for AMEB exams as well as Choir accompaniment for Eisteddfods. I have a love and passion for music that I love to share with my students, seeing them grow and develop is something I find highly rewarding. I have experience teaching beginner students all the way up to Diploma level across all ages.