Academic Excellence ensures that all of our staff members are extremely professional and qualified tutors, offering the highest possible level of exclusive and undivided attention in education. Our excellent tutors are all-too familiar with the enduring pressures of high school, albeit emotionally, physical or academically. We therefore aim to establish a unique program best suited to your child, allowing them to grow and develop in reaching their full potential. The tutors are either qualified teachers, or have received tremendous results post-HSC – achieving high Band 6’s in the subjects that they teach.

All tutors bring to our team a passionate zest and enthusiasm for education, providing an enjoyable and nurturing environment for your child.


Alida Markovics

Head Tutor

As the founder of Academic Excellence, Alida is a former K-12 Principal, Senior HSC Examiner and has been an educator for almost thirty-three years. She has a Bachelor of Education and Honours in History, with her main focus areas in Special Education, English and History.

Alida is passionate in aiding children with special needs or learning difficulties, and as a mother of two, she is extremely empathetic to those students who are often overlooked in the current education system. Alida is an extremely supportive educator, who intends to create a balance for your child’s emotional, psychological and intellectual needs as they enter high school and progress into adulthood, providing them with the foundational building blocks to begin their lives following their graduation.

Her total dedication and experience is mirrored in her holistic approach to learning. Alida strives to encourage all students to not only fulfil their academic potential, but to recognise it within themselves, equipping each child with the confidence to set goals, aim high and strive to achieve their personal aspirations.

Alida has a welcoming and approachable demeanour, fostering a close relationship with each student. She provides an innovative and safe learning environment, allowing all high school students to both independently and collectively grow as individuals.

Subjects of Expertise:

  • English (Standard, Advanced, Extension 1 and Extension 2)
  • History (Modern, Ancient and History Extension)
  • Business Studies
  • Legal Studies
  • Studies of Religion (1 and 2 Unit)
  • Society and Culture

Luke Byrne


Luke graduated from Scots College in 2017. Throughout the HSC, Luke studied history, business studies, visual art and advanced English. Luke is now studying a Bachelor of Business, majoring in Business Law at the University of Technology. Luke is deeply committed to helping his students achieve their very best.

Luke teaches:

  • Business studies
  • Modern history
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Jamie Conlon


Jamie graduated from Reddam House in 2018 and is currently studying a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Computer Science.

Jamie tutors:
-Maths advanced and Extension 1


Zoe Doutreband


Zoe graduated from SCEGGS Darlinghurst in 2014 and has just completed her Bachelor of Arts Degree, Majoring in English and History. She is going on to do a post-graduate study in education and is eager to develop her teaching skills and help her students. Zoe teaches all levels of English and History.


Kate Duke


Kate graduated in 2014 and planned to study Science/Law at the University of Sydney. She soon realised science wasn’t for her, and transferred into Arts/Law. She is a dedicated reader of The Atlantic. Kate tutors:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Chemistry
  • History and Extension History

William Duke


William graduated from The Scots College in 2018. During year 12, William studied English Advanced, English Extension, Mathematics, Mathematics Extension, Ancient History, History Extension and Chemistry. William is now studying English Literature and Film Studies at Sydney University; he plans to move onto a graduate directing course at NIDA. He has been recently accepted into the Dayell Scholars program at Sydney University – a program that aims to foster academic leadership and intellectual curiosity. His charming personality and love of teaching make him a great tutor and friend to all students.


Lucy Fenwicke


Lucy graduated from The Armidale School in 2018 and is currently studying a dual degree of Business and Law at The University of Technology Sydney. Lucy has a passion for teaching and enjoys the ability to be able to help students of all ages reach their academic potential. Lucy believes that through intimate tutoring and attention students are empowered to develop their academic abilities beyond their own expectations.



  • English
  • Business Studies
  • Junior Maths

Jessie Fraser


Jessie graduated from St Catherine’s in 2016 and is now completing a Bachelor of Science at the University of Sydney, double majoring in Biology and Physics. She is passionate about Science and Maths and the critical thinking and problem solving skills they develop.

Jessie tutors Mathematics.

Lucy Fraser


Lucy Fraser


Lucy graduated from St Catherine’s School in 2016 and is currently undertaking a double degree of Biomedical Engineering and Medical Science at the University of Sydney. Her passion for maths and science generates an engaging learning environment, motivating her students to achieve their best results and reach their full potential.

Lucy teaches; Junior mathematics, General Maths, 2 Unit Maths and Biology

Allegra Gardiner


Allegra Gardiner


Allegra graduated from Kincoppal Rose Bay in 2018 and is currently taking a gap year.  She is planning to commence study of a Bachelor of Design in Fashion and Textiles combined with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies next year, at UTS.  She loves learning and hopes to inspire a similar love in her students.

Allegra tutors:

  • English (7-10), English Advanced and Extension 1
  • Mathematics (7-10), Mathematics 2U and Extension 1
  • Modern History
  • Studies of Religion

Ariel Gomel


Ariel graduated from Reddam House in 2017 and is currently undertaking a Bachelor of Economics at the University of New South Wales. He is a compassionate and friendly team member who is passionate about helping students develop their mathematical skills.

Ariel teaches:

  • Junior mathematics
  • General mathematics for year 11 and 12

On his experience at Academic Excellence:

“Alida and Academic Excellence was the difference between me wanting to get a specific mark in the HSC and getting that mark. English was always my weakness, and it was something no teacher had been able to fully correct. Alida was able to assist me in identifying my weaknesses, correcting them and then improving my marks as a whole. Not only did this help me in my English course, but it had a significant flow on effect in Business Studies, Modern History and Economics.

Alida’s warm tutoring environment and the ability to study with other HSC students at Academic Excellence created a family feel and a support network that couldn’t be further from the typical clinical tutoring companies. To be able to come back and assist as a mathematics tutor is something that makes my work at Academic Excellence not only the ideal job, but also a truly rewarding experience.

Alida worked with me in years 7-8 and again for my HSC in Year 11-12.
I had also had great help from ex-tutor Nathan Finch who clarified and simplified a lot of the more problematic and challenging economics questions.”


Wayne Grafton


Presently on leave from his position as Headteacher Creative and Performing Arts (Armidale Secondary College), Wayne holds a Bachelor and Master of Education and has deferred study in a Doctor of Education having moved to Sydney.

Wayne brings 32 years of secondary teaching experience from across NSW and the UK together with supporting Primary Schools and students in his field. Wayne has a very positive, empathetic and engaging demeanour. He has developed a wide range of techniques and stimulus to help foster a balance of rigour and enjoyment of the learning process.

Subjects of expertise:

-All levels of literacy

-Visual Arts and Visual Design

-Photography and Media

-Drama and Theatrecraft


Angus Horton


Angus graduated from The Scots College in 2019 and is planning to study Commerce and Advanced Computing at the University of Sydney. Throughout the HSC, Angus studied Modern History, 3 Unit Mathematics, Advanced English, Physics and Economics.  Over the course of 2019, Angus developed a strong passion for learning and engaging with others that he developed as a student at Academic Excellence and through his lighthearted yet determined approach to academics, he hopes to share this passion with students to give them a more positive outlook on school and learning as a whole. Being a strong believer in the triumph of hard work, he hopes to give confidence to all students undertaking the HSC and to set them up for a work ethic that extends beyond their high school endeavours.


Dean Kalas


Dean graduated from Sydney Grammar School in 2018, and received an All-Round achiever award. He is currently studying a double degree of Law and Commerce at the University of New South Wales. He is passionate about fitness and music in addition to academic studies. Dean tutors:

– Mathematics – 4 unit, 3 unit and 2 unit
– Physics
– Geography
– Economics

James Kalas


Rachel graduated from Moriah in 2015, achieving a Top All Rounder Award. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) at the University of Sydney. Rachel tutors Maths (junior and senior), English (junior and senior) and History (junior and senior).


Harriet King


Harriet graduated from Kincoppal – Rose Bay in 2018 and is currently studying a Bachelor of Economics with a major in International Business at the University of Sydney. She has a passion for learning that she wishes to pass on to her students.

Harriet tutors Primary School and High School English, Studies of Religion and Primary School Maths.


Jade Laidlaw


Jade graduated from Kincoppal Rose Bay in 2016, receiving an All-Round achiever award. She is currently studying a double degree of Commerce and Computer Science at the University of New South Wales.  Her hobbies include playing and umpiring netball, and computer programming. Jade Tutors:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Modern History
  • Studies of Religion
  • Legal Studies

Ellie Lake


Ellie has been a qualified History Teacher in the UK for the past 3 years and is currently taking a year away from the classroom in England to teach young people in Australia. She has a bachelors degree in History as well as a Postgraduate degree in high school teaching.

Ellie has worked with young people in education from all over the world including India, Spain, Italy, France, China and many more places across the globe! She has a huge passion for sharing and debating historical knowledge with young people, as well as teaching high level skills needed for them to go on to be successful at university as well as future employment. Most importantly, Ellie believes that instilling a passion and enthusiasm for learning is the key to success. 

Ellie has taught a wide range of subjects including History, English and Geography.


Katie McGregor


Katie graduated from Kambala and is currently studying a Bachelor of Economics / Bachelor of Advanced Studies (International Relations) at the University of Sydney. She was also invited to join the Dalyell Scholars stream, an enrichment program in leadership, research and entrepreneurship at the University of Sydney. On completion of the HSC, Katie achieved an ATAR of 99.4 while successfully maintaining a balanced lifestyle. She describes Year 12 as the best year of her school career and believes that through employing effective study strategies it can be a great year for anyone.

Katie teaches:

  • English Standard, Advanced, Extension 1
  • Economics
  • Modern History
  • Legal Studies
  • Junior mathematics

Ariane Notaras


Ariane graduated from Kambala School in 2018, and is currently studying a dual degree of Commerce and Information Systems at the University of New South Wales. Ariane encompasses a passion for fostering confidence and enthusiasm in her students, so they can reach their ultimate potential. She truly embraces a genuine interest in both learning and teaching, and believes in directing her students towards a well-rounded and effective approach to their studies.


Ariane tutors:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Modern History
  • History Extension
Xavier Roche

Xavier Roche

I graduated from The Scots College in 2017 following 4 years of tutoring at Academic Excellence. The support provided by Academic Excellence and the relationships I formed with tutors and other student throughout my time with Academic excellence were crucial to my enjoyment of High School, as well as my academic success in my final years. Because of those experiences, I am honoured to have the opportunity to tutor here and aim to provide the same enthusiasm and intelligence that was afforded to me, focusing mainly on English and History. I currently study at the University of Sydney, undertaking a Bachelor of Arts and Advanced Studies, and continue to enjoy my interests in sports and popular culture.


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Gabriela Sacks

My name is Gabriela and I recently graduated from Moriah College in 2018. I am currently studying a Bachelor of Commerce/Media at UNSW. I thoroughly enjoy social sciences such as legal and business studies as well as math. I currently tutor:
– Business studies
– Legal studies
– Maths
– Commerce



Jennifer Sacks


My name is Jen and I tutor English, History and Drama. I am currently studying Psychology with a major in English at the University of Sydney. I am passionate about studying texts and reading books, which has leant to my love of these subjects and ability to help others with them.

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Tanya Schneider


Tanya Schneider is a Visual Arts, Photography and Film educator with more than 20 years experience in teaching in the top 20 prestigious schools in Sydney.

She has experience in teaching students of all age groups: K-12, University and Colleges as well as adults.

Tanya has delivered superior results from students at HSC level in Visual Arts and Extension English. Her students consistently achieve Band 5 and 6 results. Many of her HSC Visual Arts students have either been nominated or accepted into the prestigious ArtExpress Exhibition held at major art institutions such as the AGNSW. Currently, Tanya is the Visual Arts Convenor for the Association of Independent Schools, where she organises major Visual Arts conferences for teachers across NSW. Additionally, she has also taught students at Illinois University, Chicago since 2014 and continues to do so.

Tanya has also had extensive experience in the area of Art Therapy where Fine Arts education and Wellbeing has become an integrated concept.

Her credentials are as follows: Bachelor of Fine Arts COFA UNSW, Master of Fine Arts COFA UNSW and Diploma of Education, Sydney University.


Madeline Sirtes


Madeline graduated from Moriah College in 2011. She has since completed a Bachelor of Psychological Science at the University of New South Wales and is currently completing her qualifications to become a registered psychologist. Madeline is passionate about helping children and adolescents with learning disabilities, and works with students across all age groups, from primary school to university.

  • Behavioural Therapy
  • Neuro Feedback
  • Legal Studies
  • Junior English
  • Studies of Religion

Zoe Sigalla


Zoe graduated from Kincoppal Rose Bay in 2014 and is currently studying Arts/Law at the University of Sydney. She is an extremely vibrant and enthusiastic tutor, with a die-hard passion for English Literature and Criminal Law. Of her time as a student at Academic Excellence, Zoe says: “When I was a year 12 student, I was tutored at Academic Excellence. I am honestly so grateful and appreciative of my learning experience here, as both Alida and the staff have truly helped me emerge confidently into post-HSC life: emotionally and intellectually. Academic Excellence has developed my open-mindedness and positive self-assurance in my academic capabilities. It is this personal experience that has allowed me to connect and relate with my own students, striving to ensure they achieve this same outcome.

Zoe tutors:

  • English (Standard, Advanced, English Extension 1 and 2 Units)
  • History (Modern, Ancient, and Extension History)
  • Legal Studies
  • Studies of Religion (1 unit)

Gabriella Srage


Gabriella graduated Moriah College in 2016 and is currently studying a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) with a Bachelor of Laws at Macquarie University. Gabriella believes that tutoring and furthering education should be developed through hands-on practice.

Subjects Gabriella tutors in:
– Primary School and High School English

Gemma Wilson


Gemma graduated from SCEGGS Darlinghurst in 2013. She has a Bachelor of Medical Science (majoring in Immunobiology) with First Class Honours from Sydney University. She is about to begin her PhD researching breast cancer at the Westmead Institute of Medical Research, part of Sydney University Medical School.  

Gemma tutors Chemistry, Biology and Junior Mathematics. 


Casey Writer


Casey is a keen social sciences tutor currently completing a Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Education dual degree at the University of New South Wales. He graduated from Cranbrook School in 2013 with a passion for economics and business. Casey is eager to develop his creative teaching skills to improve his abilities as a teacher in training. In his own time, he enjoys surfing and coaching basketball.

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Damian Young


Damian graduated from Barker College in 2018, studying in the HSC Mathematics Extension 1, Mathematics Extension 2, English Advanced, English Extension 1, Modern History, History Extension and Economics. Achieving an ATAR in excess of 99, Damian is currently studying a Bachelor of Commerce / Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Dalyell Scholars) at the University of Sydney. An avid debater both within high school and now at the tertiary level, Damian values critical thinking within all aspects of academia, particularly with regards to an ability to think originally and perceptively. It is in this spirit that he seeks to instil his students a passion for learning and a knack for questioning and critical thought.