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Grok (verb): to understand intuitively or by empathy.

Our Story

We're a team of educators and software engineers who want to give everyone the power to code. We are passionate about teaching the next generation the skills they need to become the creators of tomorrow.

Together we have decades of experience teaching computing to university students, high school students, teachers and professionals. We're masters of the latest technology, and we use that mastery to help students learn.

Our Goal

We believe that a solid computer science understanding is vital whether you want to fight climate change, make the next blockbuster movie or unlock the secrets of the universe.

We've taught thousands of students across Australia to program in classrooms, lecture halls and online, and are now bringing top-notch STEM education into classrooms and homes around the world.

Meet the Grokkers

James Curran

James Curran

Chief Executive Officer

James is an Associate Professor in Computer Science at the University of Sydney, and co-founder of Grok Learning. James has been teaching computer science to students and teachers for over a decade, and has been director of the National Computer Science School since 2000. He was one of three primary authors of the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies and is a regular keynote speaker on unpacking and teaching coding in the curriculum.

Tara Murphy

Tara Murphy

Chief Operating Officer

Tara is an Associate Professor in Astrophysics at the University of Sydney, and co-founder of Grok Learning. Tara has been teaching programming for over a decade, to everyone from high school students to professional astrophysicists and has won national and international recognition for her teaching and science outreach. Her favourite programming moment was getting her BBC micro to sing Happy Birthday back in 1984.

Nicky Ringland

Nicky Ringland

Chief Evangelist

Nicky completed her PhD in Computer Science at the University of Sydney, and is a co-founder of Grok Learning. Nicky is passionate about teaching the next generation the skills they need to become the creators of tomorrow. Nicky helps inspire students of all ages through running the National Computer Science School and the Girls' Programming Network.

Tim Dawborn

Tim Dawborn

Chief Technology Officer

Tim completed his PhD in Computer Science at the University of Sydney, and is a co-founder of Grok Learning. Tim has taught programming for many years to high school students through his position as a lecturer at the National Computer Science School, and to university students at the University of Sydney.

Rick Gawdat

Rick Gawdat

Head of Customer

After spending a bit of time in the 80s in the Australian Film & Television industry, Rick went on to securing a Bachelor of Education and Masters of Business and has been working with customers in the Technology and Education sectors for over 30 years. After spending many of those years in Executive roles at some of the world's largest Tech companies, Rick is enjoying his transition to a new and exciting chapter in his career with Grok Learning heading up everything to do with our Customers. Rick is passionate about making sure that all students from primary to tertiary, embrace a love for and commitment to Computer Science and Digital Technology through Grok Learning.

Jessica Norris

Jessica Norris

Head of Development

Jessica joined the Grok Learning team after many years of working for herself as a software developer and general Maker of Interesting Things. She is excited about helping young people to learn how to code, and making this fun and accessible to all.

Jane Abrams

Jane Abrams

Content & Learning Manager

Jane graduated from the University of Sydney with a Master of Teaching and a passion for creating compelling and meaningful learning experiences. After many years making maths education games at Shiny Things, she joined the Grok Learning team. She is completely new to programming but loves the opportunity to learn new skills. She hopes to make programming education more accessible so that more people can have just such an opportunity!

Christie McMonigal

Christie McMonigal

Marketing & Outreach Manager

Christie graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Advanced Science and a Bachelor of Arts. She has worked in education and outreach for a number of years with organisations including Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre, Astronomers Without Borders, and Sydney Observatory.

Yasmin Clarke

Yasmin Clarke

Teacher Success

Yasmin graduated from the University of Sydney with a physics degree, and learned some programming along the way (especially necessary when working in particle physics). She has worked with schools previously on building the PLASST for the NSW Department of Education, and after many years working as a business analyst (and learning more programming!) is returning to her love of education. Yasmin supports our wonderful schools and teachers to get the most out of Grok.

Kylie Williams

Kylie Williams

Organiser in Chief

Kylie completed a bachelor of mathematics in the dark ages of the 1990s. She's worked in a variety of roles in the not-for-profit and university sectors, most recently at the ARC Centre of Excellence for All-Sky Astrophysics. With her mathematical mind she loves to bring order to chaos and help optimise the team's effectiveness.

Ben Taylor

Ben Taylor

Platform Manager

Ben has a Bachelor of Computer Science and a Masters in Learning Science from the University of Sydney. He has tutored programming for many years and has previously worked on educational maths games. His passion is building friendly and effective learning technology using his experience in education, design, and software.

Bryn Jeffries

Bryn Jeffries

Tertiary Product Manager

Bryn first got into teaching while studying for his Laser Physics PhD at the University of Oxford, working as a college tutor of Physics. He later studied a Masters of Computer Science at the University of Sydney, and lectured Database Systems there for several years, during which he completed a Graduate Certificate in Educational Studies for Higher Education. Bryn is an Honorary Associate of the University of Sydney, pursuing a research interest in computer science education and data science.

Renee Noble

Renee Noble

Software Engineer

Renee was studying chemical engineering and chemistry at the University of Sydney when she discovered computer science, taking her on a surprise career into software development. Renee found out she loved teaching coding to kids whilst tutoring at, and running the Girls’ Programming Network. So the opportunity to combine her love of coding and teaching at Grok was a perfect match.

Shelley Cooper-White

Shelley Cooper-White

Software Engineer

Shelley studied computer science at the University of Sydney after discovering a love for programming in high school. She attended and now tutors at the National Computer Science School and the Girls' Programming Network. She has previously worked as a software engineer in the carshare industry, and is especially keen on promoting and supporting women in tech.

James Haggerty

James Haggerty

Software Engineer

James has been happily programming since discovering the Usborne computing books in his primary school library. Most recently working at Atlassian, he is thrilled to again be involved in education, having tutored computing at university and had a brief former life as a secondary English teacher.

Tom Nieuwland

Tom Nieuwland

Software Engineer

Tom graduated from the University of Wollongong with a Computer Science degree. Always interested in computers, he discovered his passion for problem solving and programming late in highschool. During his studies at Wollongong, he ran courses on beginners programming with his local community college, and later after graduating, he worked in the CGI and VFX industry for some time. Tom realised he had a passion for sharing his knowledge with others, and when he discovered Grok, he knew it would be a perfect fit.

Dominic Poznic

Dominic Poznic

Content Developer

Dominic completed a PhD in Physics at the University of Sydney. While studying, they became enamoured of teaching while doing tutoring and demonstrating work. This passion was cemented during their time working as a science educator at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, teaching students of all ages about science and technology.

Friends of Grok

Thank you to the following people who have helped to build Grok.

Stephen Merity

Stephen Merity

Will Cannings

Will Cannings

Liv Lu

Liv Lu

Bruce Fuda

Bruce Fuda

Katie Bell

Katie Bell

Florence Fermanis

Florence Fermanis

Andrew Ellerton

Andrew Ellerton

Zoë Edington

Zoë Edington

Vivian Li

Vivian Li

Colin McCahill

Colin McCahill

Alex McCulloch

Alex McCulloch

Jack Reichelt

Jack Reichelt

Jim Mussared

Jim Mussared

Megan Donahue

Megan Donahue

Alessandra Lee

Alessandra Lee

Nestor Morales

Nestor Morales

Saritha Manickam

Saritha Manickam

Isobel Norris

Isobel Norris

Any questions? We'd love to hear from you.

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