Welcome to Little Teapot!

Our mission


With a heart full of love, we are a passionate community of staff and volunteers that dream of seeing every person connected and loved for who they are. When you come across Little Teapot, you’ll find a faith based charity that partners with the local church to create THE most welcoming and inviting café for families with children, ever!

The staff and team of community volunteers provide a warm environment, support programs, opportunities to connect and the most caring, friendly service. The team aim to make sure each person finds community, hope and most of all …knows that they are loved.

We hope to be so much more than a family friendly café, we dream of being a home away from home.

Prior to COVID we had the incredible joy of coming alongside many of our regular Teapotters as they journey through the ups and downs of life, we’ve connected families into local programs and activities, we've run 9 x New to the Community sessions for families new to the area as well as given away approximately 1,120 suspended coffees to new mums or those doing it tough via the Maternal & Child Health Nurses and playgroups. We had the pleasure of hosting two online mums groups for new mums that had their first baby during COVID.

Little Teapot was 4 years old in October 2020! For this next season at Little Teapot we are aiming to focus on providing the home away from home for many Monday - Friday as well as seeking to provide many opportunities for community and connections. 

Little Teapot Café & Play is a not for profit registered charity, so all the profits go back to the community. Little Teapot works in partnership with Lifeway Christian Church in Lara. The church community is so excited to be supporting the Little Teapot charity as it cares for and gives back to the families of Lara. There are also many generous local organisations, individuals and businesses that have partnered with Little Teapot to enable it to be what it is today. Find out more about who our Major Sponsors and Supporters are here. Little Teapot has approximately 30 passionate and wonderful staff and volunteers from all walks of life and backgrounds in the community that are led by the board of directors listed below.

Our Values


At Little Teapot our hope is families experience LOVE at Little Teapot, their home away from home. We hope they experience:

         L O V E generously

         Overflowing kindness, acceptance & respect

      a Very welcoming home away from home

         Excellence in all that is served


We believe God loves us this way. As a community we long to be Tipped Over and Poured out to love others in this way too.

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Who we are - Little Teapot Board of Directors

Sarah Chaney – Community Leader & Director

Sarah Chaney has a background in strategic business management and is excited about using those skills to help the Little Teapot team express love in action to the local community.  Sarah wants to see people from all walks of life loved and valued. Prior to Little Teapot, Sarah was at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in various senior executive and Television business management roles for ten years and worked as a Production Manager before that in smaller production companies in Melbourne.


Elizabeth Smith – Chairperson, Company Secretary & Director

Elizabeth is a chartered accountant who is passionate about social enterprise.  She currently works as the Finance Manager & Company Secretary of a Melbourne based social enterprise, Green Collect Limited.  Prior to working in the not for profit sector, Elizabeth worked for a mid tier chartered accounting firm providing business and accounting services to family owned businesses. 


John Harper – Treasurer & Director

John is a Chartered Accountant with over ten years of experience in Accounting, specialising in financial reporting and compliance. John currently works in the finance leadership team at Cotton On Group in Geelong. Prior to this, John worked for nine years in Assurance for Deloitte Melbourne where he gained board level experience with clients from Listed, Not-for-profit and Government entities.


Rhonda Douglas – Director

Rhonda is the Chaplain at Little River Primary School and Northern Bay College and is passionate about advocating for and helping families. Rhonda has had the honour of walking alongside hundreds if not thousands of children and parents when they have been struggling. Rhonda also served as the Children’s Ministry Leader at Lifeway Christian Church for 25 years where she grew in her passion for helping children, young people and families.

Advisors to the board


Derek Bradshaw (consultant)

Derek is the Community Leader and Founder of ‘Now and Not Yet’ an incredible social enterprise in Warrandyte that cares passionately about people, coffee and food. Derek brings a wealth of experience and wisdom to the board and has been working closely with Little Teapot Café & Play recently. He also consults for, supports and encourages many new and emerging social enterprises and social entrepreneurs in and around the Melbourne and Geelong regions.

John Pelchen 

John has experience in the not-for-profit sector having served as chairperson of the drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre, Foundation 61; board member and consultant to Geelong Christian College; chairperson of Covenant College; chairperson of the Barrabool Christian Foundation; CEO and founder of OneCare Geelong and assisted in starting up various other not-for-profits. Over this time, he has also run a commercial consultancy business that works primarily in residential property development. Prior to this, he worked in the investment banking industry in Melbourne for JBWere and the Colonial Group as an investment manager for fifteen years.

Jianni Patiradjwane - Director

Jianni is an experienced Business Development Manager (MAP coffee, Jasper coffee and just recently Little Things with World Vision) with a demonstrated history of working in the food and beverages industry. Skilled in business planning, management, international sales, coaching and account management, Jianni has a passion for all things coffee.