We have a staff team of around 35 behind the scenes but here are the staff you might meet, speak to, or hear from – including our outside school hours care (OSHC) and early childhood consultants, advocacy and membership leaders, and our Inclusion Professionals.
Our Executive Director
Julie has deep, invaluable knowledge of our sector. She set up and managed the Professional Support Coordinator Program in Queensland and worked on that leadership team for nearly 10 years, managing workforce planning and development programs. Her other roles include four years as director of Gowrie Queensland’s Training and Consultancy Unit. Before 1990, she worked as an educator and director in child care centres and family day care.
Julie is a skilled leader and manager. She joined us as project manager for the Victorian Inclusion Agency. In just six weeks, Julie led the establishment of nine regional offices, the recruitment of 50 staff state-wide, and the operationalisation of the strategic plan.
Now, as our Executive Director, she draws on her studies in organisational psychology to lead CCC into this next phase of development. Her vision is to build on the strong history of CCC as a leader and advocate for not-for-profit and community-owned education and care services.
Our Services Manager
Daniela is a tenacious leader. Early on in her first director job, Daniela discovered her service was on the brink of closure. Through determination and strong leadership, she steered her community-owned co-op from struggle to success. Daniela’s acumen as a talented educator was recognised when she was awarded the Inspirational Educator Award in 2013 and the National Teaching Award in 2014. She is also a former board member of the Children’s Services Coordinators Association. Daniela is passionate about providing a voice for service directors and educators on the issues that matter to them.
Our team of OSHC and early childhood consultants
Bryony has an array of early childhood teaching experience and qualifications, including a Graduate Certificate of Developmental Trauma and a Graduate Diploma of Therapeutic Play. This background helps her guide educators and leaders to understand and include children who have had adverse early childhood experiences. She is passionate about relational pedagogy and social justice for children and families experiencing disadvantage. Bryony’s work advocates for places where children have a voice and their sense of choice and agency is promoted.
Focussed on connection, equity and inclusion, Lucy is a passionate advocate for a strong and vibrant community-based OSHC sector. She has over 27 years’ experience – coordinating school-managed services, teaching at university, managing local government-operated services, and working and volunteering in environmental sustainability roles. Lucy is currently developing policy and guidance resources for the Department of Education and Training, and assisting schools to establish, manage and operate sustainable OSHC services in rural and regional communities.
Narelle believes early education starts with a professional, dedicated and highly skilled workforce. As a former director of a much-loved Brunswick co-op, she understands the challenges of keeping the doors of a not-for-profit, community-owned service open. Narelle supports services to prioritise quality and put children at the core of their practice. She loves being in nature, and guides educators to appreciate the beauty and scope of what the natural environment has to offer children.
Caitlin uses her background in early education and studies in psychology to understand different personalities, help leaders build strong teams and meet the needs of all educators. As a former Inclusion Professional, she supported hundreds of services across Victoria, which gave her a wealth of experience in guiding children’s behaviour.
Marli says doing the work she does is more than a career – it’s a way of living. She has a treasure trove of wisdom spanning more than 40 years working with children in kindergarten, long day care and OSHC programs. Marli is most proud of her role in the working party which helped develop national training competencies for OSHC, and of being invited to deliver a co-keynote on engaging community at a conference on child care in Singapore. Her community liaison work has made her a sought-after member on reference and focus groups. Marli is also CCC’s Reconciliation Action Plan coordinator.
Our Membership and Events Officer
If you want to sign up for membership, Pina is the friendly voice on the other end of the phone. She’s also our events extraordinaire. Pina has been with CCC for more than 10 years, and you’ll see her at most of our events.
Victorian Inclusion Agency – Inclusion Professionals
Jane McCahon – Victorian Inclusion Agency Program Manager
Jane worked as a facilitator of professional development for long day care, family day care and OSHC services for 15 years. Her studies and interests in a wide variety of areas – including creative arts, gardening, travel and psychology of the body and movement – have scaffolded the way she approaches her work in education and care. Jane is passionate about ensuring children can reach their full potential, and her relationship-based approach is highly valued by colleagues. Jane also happens to be the niece of Community Child Care Association co-founder Winsome McCaughey AO.
Lauren is passionate about ensuring all children feel valued, respected and included in their environments. She worked as an inclusion support facilitator for 10 years, and in long day care for five years as a group leader and assistant director. Lauren’s greatest inspiration is her children – they motivate her to support educators, teachers and leaders to provide the most loving, caring and inclusive environments possible, as that is what her children have at home and that is what she wants for all children.
Kate understands how isolated directors and coordinators can be. She loves drawing on her experience in community development to support service leaders in relationship building and connecting with community. Kate has 30 years’ experience in the sector as a long day care educator, director and hub manager, family day care field worker, and other diverse roles with ambiguous names like ‘Communities for Children Coordinator’. She also spent 20 years working in Aboriginal and culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
Letishia has worked in long day care, kinder and family day care, having been in the sector for 11 years. As a family day care educator, she would take children out into the community, walking along Merri Creek and building relationships with the land. She loves being outside in nature and embeds bush kinder approaches in her practice. As an Inclusion Professional, Letishia works from a strengths-based lens and focuses on empowering educators to recognise the importance of their work.
Liz Da Silva
Liz holds a Bachelor of Arts in Education and a Diploma in Community Services. Her previous roles with welfare agencies, as well as the school and education and care sectors, have given her a bird’s eye view of schooling systems pre-school to primary. Liz works in education and care because she believes that responsive, committed and caring adults truly make a difference to children and their families.
For Helen, family is everything. She was raised with a proud and rich culture in which people, food, music and dance are highly valued. She believes herself fortunate to have English as an additional language. Helen worked as an early childhood educator for over 15 years and has now been in inclusion support for many more. She does her job with a smile, knowing she makes a difference in the lives of children and their families by empowering them to achieve.
Toby-Lea has a passion for the documentation side of programming and planning, and engaging the ‘child’s voice’ in all aspects of the curriculum. She has worked in early childhood for 15 years as a room leader, kindergarten teacher, educational leader and inclusion support assistant in OSHC, long day care, occasional care and funded kindergartens. When Toby-Lea realised that working in a service was limiting her ability to share her passion and knowledge, she took on the role of inclusion professional where she travels across Victoria, supports many educators and learns something new each day.
Brenda worked as a room leader and centre director in long day care for twelve years, and as an OSHC director for three. Having accessed inclusion programs as a director, she understands how daunting the process can be for services. Brenda’s passion for supporting all children to meaningfully participate in education and care stems back to her childhood when she had an aunty with an acquired brain injury that wasn’t given the same opportunities as others. To this day, Brenda firmly believes that if we lower our expectations of children with additional needs, then we’re robbing them of the chance to thrive.
Susan has worked in early childhood for over 20 years in almost every role under the sun, including diploma assistant, room leader, 3IC and 2IC. Susan believes children are our future and that we have a great opportunity to provide them with skills for life – and we have so much to learn from them too. A self-described critical reflector, Susan feels that if we are open to learning, the sky’s the limit.
Narelle is affectionately dubbed by one of the services she works with as ‘Narelle – think BIG’. She has a wide range of experience working in both universal and specialist education and care settings. Narelle has worked as an educator, director and coordinator of an after kindergarten care program, as well as in vacation care. She has also worked in specialist autism spectrum disorder settings and as a special educator in an early childhood intervention service.
Ailsa has worked in the sector for six years across a variety of services, implementing very different philosophies, including Steiner, Reggio Emilia and not-for-profit. Ailsa originally hails from a small town in Scotland where differences were magnified and it was very hard for children with additional needs or culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to ‘fit in’. This inspired her to teach educators and families about the importance of strength-based practices within early years and school-based programs and to really celebrate the differences we have. Ailsa thinks Melbourne is a wonderfully culturally diverse city and feels very proud to be living in such an amazing country where individuality is welcomed and celebrated.
Glenda’s background in nursing and teaching helps her support educators to understand children’s medical and psychological needs. Glenda is the proud mother of a son with Down syndrome, which makes her well placed to mentor, challenge and inspire educators supporting children with additional needs. It also helps her to understand what may appear to be the unrealistic expectations that some families place upon children’s services – as Glenda notes, it takes time to come to grips with the realisation that your child will walk down a very different pathway than what you had dreamt for them.
Sonia has worked in a wide range of roles across the early childhood sector, including service manager and director. She is passionate about family day care – being able to make a difference and advocate for family day care has been one of her greatest achievements. Sonia is proud to be an Inclusion Professional where she can draw on her all her knowledge, skills and passion to make a difference in children’s lives.
For Faye, having parents from a culturally and linguistically diverse background has sparked a lifelong love of learning about other cultures and different ways of ‘being’ in the world. She has brought this passion to her 30+ years in children’s services – including residential care, long day care and vacation care – as well as 20 years in inclusion support. Faye has also been a board member for several other organisations.