What is Heroes Academy?

Heroes Academy was founded in 2018 by Nations Church. Heroes Academy supports primary school aged children with diagnosed additional needs and their families.

Heroes Academy supports these families in the following ways:

  • Heroes Academy events
  • Heroes Academy on Sundays

The Heroes Academy team is a dedicated and trained team of volunteers, who are passionate about all-abilities inclusion and have a heart for these families within our community. We believe that EVERY kid is super and has wonderful gifts and abilities to be developed, cherished, and celebrated!

Since its inception we have seen over 700 Heroes Academy volunteers, serve across our events and hosted over 500 Heroes from our community.

Why Heroes Academy?

Nations Church has been an established presence within the City of Melville for 16 years. The church leadership has always had a passion for community, believing that all people do best when they are connected to others and feel that they belong.

Senior pastors Ken and Chrissy Lee are the founding leaders of Nations Church. They have two teenage sons, Jentezen and Isaiah. Isaiah has a rare genetic syndrome called Mowat Wilson Syndrome. Due to his syndrome, Isaiah has extremely limited verbal expression, severely delayed motor skills and a mild-moderate intellectual disability.

As Isaiah’s parents, Ken and Chrissy have an intimate understanding of the unique challenges that come to families of children with additional needs. They understand that it can be challenging for children with additional needs to access community life and even participate in the simplest of activities that others may take for granted. They understand that this reality impacts both the child and their whole family. As community leaders with a vast array of resources at hand, Ken and Chrissy have a passion to help families in similar situations as their own.

Heroes Academy Team

The Heroes Academy team is a dedicated and trained team of volunteers, who are passionate about all-abilities inclusion and have a heart for these families within our community. We believe that every kid is super and has wonderful gifts to be developed, cherished and celebrated.

Through the network of the church and other community organisations, dozens of professionals including doctors, nurses, speech therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, teachers, disability support workers and others, volunteer their time to Heroes Academy.

Our network of volunteers enable us to provide a 1:1 care ratio for all children who attend Heroes Academy events.

Safety is of utmost importance and as such all our volunteers have a current Working With Children’s Check and have completed Nations Church Kid Safe Training.

Chrissy Lee

Prior to becoming a pastor and a parent, Chrissy completed her Bachelor of Science (Human Communication Science) and worked as a Speech Pathologist who worked in the disability sector.

Having her own child with additional needs as well as professional experience, gives her unique and comprehensive insights into the experiences of our Heroes and their families.  This experience has developed into a passionate pursuit of inclusion.

Ebony Randall
Ministry Leader

Ebony is the Heroes Academy leader.  She also works part-time as a chaplain at Fremantle Language Development Centre, a primary school for students who have a developmental language disorder.

She has a Certificate IV in Christian Ministry and has furthered her studies in community mental health. In addition, she is an experienced disability support worker and has 12 years’ experience working with children on the autism spectrum.  Ebony has been married to Pete for 13 years and together they have three primary school aged children.

Sara Finlayson
Volunteers Coordinator

Sara is the Heroes Academy volunteer coordinator. She also works part time as a chaplain at a local primary school. She has a Diploma of Ministry and is currently completing a Bachelor of Theology at Alphacrusis College.

Sara has worked in the not for profit sector supporting WA families. Sara and Anthony have been married for 21 years and have two children teenage children.

Emily Elliott
Program Coordinator

Emily is the Heroes Academy program coordinator. She also works part-time as a teacher and as a kid’s pastor at Nations Church. She has completed a Bachelor of Primary Education and has had 8 years’ experience working as a primary school teacher in government schools.

She also has experience working in programs for children with disabilities and caring for loved ones with ASD. She is married with two young children and is passionate about seeing children of all abilities reach their full potential.

Nicky Montgomery
OT Consultant

Nicky is the Heroes Academy OT consultant.  She is a senior occupational therapist and behaviour support clinician. She has worked with children with disabilities and their families for the past 15 years.

Nicky currently works for a not-for-profit therapy provider and specialises in working with children with challenging behaviours and sensory processing needs. She believes that all children have the right to be included, feel loved, valued, and respected. She has a passion for supporting families to access their community and to enjoy spending time together. Nicky and her husband David have been married for 10 years and have 3 young children.

Ally Haines
Medical Officer

Ally is the Heroes Academy medical officer. She is a registered nurse with 7 years’ experience specialising in paediatrics.

Ally also has many years’ experience as a carer prior to nursing and had been involved in kid’s ministry at Nations church for 10 years. Ally and her husband Matt are kids pastors at Nations Church.