About Aleda

We make a positive difference. Founded on passion, we are in the business of people.

Our Name


[a-lee-da] noun

Aleda is a misspelling of an Old Scots word alede, Old English: alædan (aledan), meaning to guide, educate, teach, draw out information. Derived from the Old English word lædan which is the origin of the word leader.

Our story

I’ll never forget the Head of Middle School’s words that afternoon in July. “These kids are on their way out,” she said. “If we don’t do something drastic, they’ll have to leave the school.”

Her words hung heavy. As a teacher, you want the best for your students and will do anything to ensure it.

My dear colleague, Damian Hill and I met in the staff room, determined not to fail.  

One thing was clear: sitting in a classroom all day wasn’t working. Our students needed to feel inspired again. But we couldn’t do it alone. If we wanted to help these kids, we had to break down silo mentality and get every teacher on board.

Enter ‘The Somerton Man’: one of Australia’s most intriguing unsolved murder cases. The case had baffled investigators for decades, but what if our students gave it a crack? What if they took their learning to the real world?

Over the next term, students used their Maths, Science and English skills to unravel the puzzle. They decoded clues, interviewed investigators and created their own theories on what took place that fateful day in 1948.

What happened next was life changing. Not only did their grades skyrocket, but so did their attitude to learning. They were inspired and hungry to succeed. Behaviour incident numbers declined, and attendance rates lifted dramatically.

That was the real turning point. I realised we’d succeeded not because of what we did, but how we did it.

Instead of working alone, we’d formed a community. We’d created momentum and excitement and a renewed love of learning. We’d shared ideas, combined knowledge and harnessed the power of true collaboration.

Between us, we’d changed the direction of 20 kids’ lives - for good.

This is what Aleda was founded on.

Since then, the methods used in ‘The Somerton Man’ have empowered over 5000 educators to work more collaboratively to improve learning for kids. They inspired my lifetime mate, Luke Darcy, to co-found the team and introduce our work to the AFL. It literally changed the game for countless footy teams. It is also having a profound impact in the corporate world today.

When we put aside our titles and see the leader in every person, when we focus on how we can support each other instead of what we can do to win, and when we foster a culture of collaboration, we can inspire each other to achieve extraordinary things.      


The Aleda philosophy is one we live by.
Our core beliefs are an integral part of the work we do.

Be a great coach

In order to do the work that we do, we need to understand the high performance environment. We take a disciplined approach to all coaching conversations, and focus on process. We’re solutions based, not reactive. We work hard to be aware of biases, and resist mentoring.

Be a leader with a purpose

Great leaders show gratefulness to those they lead. We’re innovative and we follow through with our ideas – head in the sky, feet on the ground. Integrity is core to who we are, and we’re always looking for ways to improve. Our role is to simplify and focus on what matters. We’re authentic in our mission to support people however we can.

Be an expert educator

To be an effective educator, we need to create the right conditions for learning. We take part in our own professional learning, and we stay informed of new and emerging research in education. We know how to make an impact and run workshops tailored to our audience. We value collaboration, clarity and involvement.

Be well

Before we can lead others we must first lead ourselves. Being well and developing our levels of resilience are integral to being the best version of ourselves, at work and in our personal lives. We understand that life will always present challenges, but we know when we actively develop positive lifestyle habits to care for our wellbeing, we are better equipped to cope in difficult and challenging times, feel good and live life to the fullest.


Matt is a coach and learning environment researcher. He has worked shoulder to shoulder with some of Australia’s most iconic modern-day leaders. Originally from the classroom, Matt was the first teacher in Australia appointed to AITSL's Teacher Expert Committee. He brings an advanced knowledge of research-based practices and coaching to business leaders, sports coaches, and educators. A loving father of two, Matt is relentlessly authentic in his approach to supporting the learning of others.

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Matt Wadewitz

Co-Founder + Managing Director

Luke is a respected media and sporting personality, who co-hosts Channel 7’s House of Wellness. He has a centred vision to create empowering leaders who engage in reflective practice and provide their teams with collaborative learning environments. Luke is also a dedicated father of four and a life long meditator who is passionate about passing on his experience for the benefit of others.

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Luke Darcy

Co-Founder + Innovation & Partnerships

Brett is a leadership and wellbeing facilitator who has an extensive background in Human Science and brings advanced knowledge and experience in developing people holistically. Brett is also a dedicated father of five, who loves the art of meditation and has a healthy determination to educate and inspire young people to care for their wellbeing and mental health. He has a vision to enable every school-aged child access to the practice of meditation.

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Brett Burton

Aleda Leadership Facilitator

Damian is a passionate educator and coach who believes the key to lifelong learning is a positive mindset and paying attention to the goals and ideas that inspire us. Joyfully disarming in bringing out the best in the people he works with, Damian encourages collaboration, curiosity and self reflection as tools to empower and build capacity.

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Damian Hill

Aleda Leadership Coach

Stacey is a Leadership Facilitator who brings care, experience and knowledge to help build authentic relationships and empowers leaders to bring the best out in the people around them. Stacey has a highly decorated career in both playing and coaching on the world stage in lacrosse as well as creating and sustaining a successful lifestyle business, Show+Tell, that connects women through conversation. Stacey is also a mother of three very active young boys.

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Stacey Morlang

Aleda Facilitator

Marlee is a leadership facilitator who brings care, experience, and knowledge to help build authentic relationships and empower leaders to bring the best out in the people around them. Marlee has a decorated lacrosse career playing on the world stage, representing Australia at two World Cups and captaining Loyola University in the Division I US collegiate system. Marlee is mum to Lenny and a qualified Reformer and Mat Pilates instructor, bringing her passion for community and teamwork to the fitness world.

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Marlee Wood

Aleda Facilitator

Jo has a background in customer relations and small business operations. She has been with Aleda since 2015 and provides unwaveringly insightful support to our team. Jo is the primary administrative contact for Aleda’s business partners.

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Jo Matthews

Executive Assistant

Sharon is a dedicated educator with a diverse teaching background in many school settings. She is committed to creating a supportive and inclusive environment and has broad expertise across educational sectors which has included coaching and developing teaching colleagues. Sharon loves to paint in her spare time and enjoys sharing her creativity with others.

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Sharon Hill

Aleda Cycle Facilitator

Steph is passionate about real connections and creating a collaborative environment where individuals can learn, listen and grow as leaders, and as people. Steph grew up playing lacrosse for Newport Ladies Lacrosse club and has represented Australia at 4 Lacrosse World Cups and was most recently Vice Captain of the 2022 team. In 2013, her lacrosse career took her over the pond to Louisville, Kentucky where she received a 4-year Division 1 Lacrosse scholarship and was 3x captain of the Women’s Lacrosse Team. Since graduating with a Bachelors Degree in Communications/Marketing and a Masters in Sport Administration, Steph has worked in collegiate athletics, sports writing, advertising and digital marketing. Steph currently resides in the US with her husband and their 1-year-old golden retriever.

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Steph Funkhouser

Aleda Facilitator


Are you ready to take the next step?