Childcare Leadership Team Story House Early Learning


Story House Early Learning has a  leadership team consisting of leading early childhood professionals with many years of combined experience in the sector and other industries.

CEO Story House Early Learning

Paul Cochrane | Chief Executive Officer


Paul joined Story House Early Learning as the CEO in 2019 with more than 25 years of executive and financial management experience in public corporations and private businesses in a variety of sectors including education, property development, aged care, and finance.

Grounded in the values of Integrity, Connectedness, Respect, Commitment, Safety, Growth & Innovation, Paul leads a dynamic and passionate team who are committed to delivering the highest quality care and education for children who join the Story House family. He leads with a strong vision for the future and brings a broad range of experience and versatility to achieve the growth plans for Story House. 

Prior to joining Story House, Paul was the Chief Financial Officer at Affinity Education Group Limited operating over 150 childcare services nationally.  He was also CFO for Devine Limited, Ariadne Limited, and Eureka Group Holdings Limited.

Paul holds a Bachelor of Commerce and is a Fellow Chartered Accountant Australia & New Zealand.

CFO Story House Tony Finn

Tony Finn | Chief Financial Officer

Tony joined Story House Early Learning in 2018 as the Chief Financial Officer with over 20 years of experience in senior financial roles across several sectors including education, financial services, mining, and insurance.  Tony is passionate about implementing new systems and procedures that help to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of how the support office can help our educators provide exceptional learning and development opportunities for the Story House children.

Tony came to Story House from Affinity Education Group where he was a Financial Controller   overseeing the settlement and financial integration of over 40 childcare services.

Prior to this, Tony spent five years based in London working for HSBC and its subsidiaries where he was responsible for the rollout of finance systems to intermediary holdings entities across the group.  

Tony holds a Bachelor of Accounting and Finance and is a Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA).

COO Craig Alchin Story House Early Learning

Craig Alchin | Chief Operating Officer

Craig Alchin is an accomplished business leader with extensive experience in a range of sectors including Childcare and retail organisations.  He comes to Story House Early Learning having held the position of Queensland State Manager at Affinity Education Group Limited operating 77 Queensland childcare services of a total portfolio of approximately 150 services.  Prior to this, Craig held a variety of positions over his 17 years with The Harvey Norman Group including Rebel Sport State and National Operations Manager, as well as controlling multiple franchises, and sitting on several Harvey Norman national committees.

Craig joins Story House to focus on delivering quality emotional, educational, and inspirational opportunities for children and families. His strong belief in the critical importance of children’s formative years, combined with a passion to build a diverse and knowledgeable team of educators and senior managers, will be critical to Story House continuing to deliver exceptional learning and development opportunities for our children and families.

National Operations Manager Nicole Spillman

Nicole Spillman | National Operations Manager

Nicole is a celebrated leader in the Early Childhood sector, having worked in the industry for the last 27 years. 

Nicole comes to Story House with extensive experience in Operations Management with ASX listed national child care provider, G8 Education, B4Kids, and ABC Developmental Learning Centres, where she held roles of Area Manager and Corporate Care Manager, liaising specifically with Telco’s, Westpac, ANZ and Holmesglen TAFE supporting their corporate employee benefits program, and with other smaller providers.  Most recently, Nicole held the role of the Operations Excellence Manager at G8 Education, where she developed systems to improve practice, deliver strategic outcomes and review systems and products to integrate into services.

As an Early Childhood Teacher herself, her passion is about empowering children and educators to be the best they can be, seeking excellence in early education and teaching.

Nicole holds a Bachelor of Teaching (ECE), Bachelor of Education (Inservice), Adv Diploma in Leadership and Business Management, and a Certificate 4 in Training and Assessment.

Story House Head of People and Culture Kate Ludwig

Kate Ludwig | Head of People and Culture

Kate is a high-energy and people-focused Human Resource (HR) leader with a focus on employee development, employee engagement and technological transformation. 
Kate has extensive experience in the early childhood sector, having held progressive roles in the functions of HR throughout her career. Most recently, Kate worked in the role of Employee Relations Manager for Affinity Education Group.

As a mother herself, Kate comes to Story House with an understanding of the important role our Educators play in the development of our children. 

Kate’s focus is to ensure the People & Culture team, partner with our centres to ensure every Educators ‘Story House Story’ is as rewarding  for them as their work is for our children.

Kate holds a Bachelor of Psychological Science, Master of Human Resource Management and will complete her Bachelor of Laws in 2021.