About the tutors
Leah Blayney - Head Coach of the Young Matildas and Future Matildas
Leah Blayney grew up in Wentworth Falls where she played for the Wentworth Falls Warriors soccer club as a kid. At the age of 11, Leah was selected for her first representative side. By 16, Leah was playing for Australia where she went on to compete in two Youth World Cups. Leah then attended university in the United States where she gained an Education degrees. She also played in the both the US and Swedish professional leagues for the Boston Breakers and Eskilstuna United.
Injury at a young age forced Leah to retire from football. She was, however, inspired to coach and she is the current head coach of the U/20 National team, the Young Matildas, as well as Head Coach of the Future Matildas program. Leah has also been involved with the Matildas as a rotating assistant, where she has traveled to both the 2017, and 2018 Algarve Cup Tournaments in Portugal.
She also attended both the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil and the 2019 Women's World Cup held in France as an opponent analyst for the Matildas.
Leah still resides in the Blue Mountains where she runs training sessions for young players in the community.
Suzy Spindoll - Circus Performer
Suzy is a multi disciplinary artist who dedicates her talents to teaching youth and adults a variety of circus skills and facilitating the importance of play in every person's life. By working with organisations such as local councils, community organisations and schools, Suzy is able to share youth and social circus with numerous communities. Suzy has a background in social theatre and community arts and teaches in the Central West of NSW, Blue Mountains and Greater Sydney areas as well as internationally online. She is a qualified personal trainer, special needs provider and hula hoop yoga teacher. She is currently qualifying as an Adults and Kids Yoga teacher and is developing DIY circus programs.
Misha Laurent - Head Chef, 8 Things
With a passion for food and travel, and a family background in hospitality, french-born chef Misha Laurent has worked in the food industry for over 20 years.
Whilst growing up in Paris he was exposed to North African/ Mediterranean culture and cuisine, which later became his passion and is reflected in his style of cooking today. His formal hospitality training began at the Sheraton Hotel in Munich, where he graduated in Hotel Management. With a desire to cook & travel, he was able to work in Europe, South East Asia, and North America, during which time he developed a taste for quality street food.
After working as head chef for two prominent Blue Mountains restaurants Misha decided to make the area home and has since focused on offering a variety of quality foods that had not previously been available locally.
“We should not have to travel to Sydney or abroad to get these dishes” says Misha. Along with his love of food Misha has a true love of urban music, particularly funk and hip hop. He felt Katoomba had an urban vibe about it and was the perfect location for a street food venue where he could serve the food he loves while playing the tunes that move him.
Brock Waugh - Painter, Pinot and Picasso
Brock is the co-owner of Pinot and Picasso Blue Mountains, an immersive, fun paint and sip studio in Katoomba. Of the four painting instructors, Brock is the fourth most competent. Despite a background in drawing, he did not pick up a brush until 30 minutes before the first class, proving that anyone can paint with simple instructions, supportive friends and a decent wine.
Pinot runs classes Friday to Sunday. The classes are suitable for everyone and whilst technique is applied, the focus is on having fun with friends, listening to great music and surprising yourself with a new artwork for the pool-room.