Donus Demir
Donus Demir
Donus Demir

Tiny Feet Preschool

20 years experience in the Childcare industry

I am the owner and Director of Tiny Feet Preschool / Long Day Care based in Lidcombe, which I opened in 1995. Although I have many years of experience in the childcare industry, I am still developing myself to be the best educator that I can be. I am currently studying my Bachelor of Education at University of New England.

I work in a profession that I am truly passionate about, knowing I make a difference. I believe that I build on children’s knowledge and enhance their wellbeing in a nurturing environment. My pursuit is to make a difference to the lives of children, setting them with the foundations to be confident adults.

Phone: 0405 539 651

Karthika Viknarasah
Karthika Viknarasah
Karthika Viknarasah

Karthika has been involved with Early Childhood education and care all her life, having grown up assisting in her family-run long day care centres. She obtained a degree in accounting and CPA qualifications and worked as an accountant for a decade before returning to Early Childhood Education in 2009.

She is now the director of two long day care services and an OOSH service in Western Sydney. She is also a teacher at a second language school and is involved in curriculum development there. Karthika is currently completing a Masters in Early Childhood Leadership at Macquarie University. Her experience as a migrant with a non-English speaking background as well as her experience in schools with predominantly migrant populations has given her a unique insight into the challenges faced by Early Childhood educators in teaching children of non-English speaking backgrounds.

Karthika has served on the board of a number of committees and has served as secretary and treasurer in non-profit, community organisations. She is a well-known and active member of the local community. Karthika has been involved in a number of ECEC functions and conferences and most recently presented at the Early Years Expo & PDT Conference in Rosehill, NSW.

Karthika believes that educators have the right to follow their passion to care for and educate young children without the burden of red tape. She also believes that all children should have access to the best start in life to reach their full potential and become outstanding citizens and that quality early years education is the key to long-term success in the school years and beyond.

Karthika is married and is the mother of two teenaged boys.

Phone: 0438 436 143

Lyn Connolly
Lyn Connolly
Lyn Connolly

Clovel Childcare, Early Learning & OOSH Services

39 years in child care

Lyn is Diploma trained and has for 39 years been dedicated to providing a quality service of early childhood education and care to children and families, and sought after employment opportunities and career paths in her family oriented centres evidenced by the length of service of Lyn's educators.

Lyn believes the future of our nation rests on the children of today, that we as a society must ensure that all of Australia's children no matter their background must be given the opportunity to experience the early childhood education and care they need to give them the building blocks for school life and beyond so that they can become fine productive citizens of the future who will carry our nation forward to further greatness.

Lyn has been President, Vice President and also Executive Member of ACANSW (Australian Childcare Alliance NSW). She also held the position of Secretary and Executive Member of The Australian Federation of Child Care Associations and President, Vice President and Executive Member of the Australian Confederation of Child Care, Founding Vice President and past Committee Member and Secretary of the Australian Childcare Centres Association (a Federal Industrial Organisation representing private child care centres providers) Initiator and Founding Vice President of The Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA).

Lyn was chosen as the Most Outstanding Business Person of the Year 2013 for Parramatta and the Most Outstanding Business Person of the Year 2015 for Holroyd and her centres have won many State and National Child Care Awards.

Lyn has worked in a voluntary capacity for most of her 39 years in the industry lobbying Federal Governments for funding for families that keeps pace with the increased cost of service delivery generated by regulatory and industrial change and for an accreditation or Assessment and Rating System that is measurable. In the state political arena Lyn has continually lobbied successive NSW Governments to deliver sensible regulations sensibly applied.

Lyn has for many years represented ACANSW (formally CCNSW) members in the print media and on television and on radio putting the case publicly to both the Federal Government and the NSW Government for better outcomes for centre owners, children and families and centre educators.

Phone: 0425 225 275

Rita Totino
Rita Totino
Rita Totino

Rita has been involved in the early learning profession since 1988. She completed her Certificate in Child Care Studies in 1990 and went on to complete a Diploma of Children’s Services (Early Childhood Education and Care) in 2013 which enabled her to pursue and complete a Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education) in July 2015.

From 1988 to 1996 Rita worked in a variety services including community based preschool, council and privately owned long day care services. She had several roles from educator, senior team leader, Authorised Supervisor (Temporary) and as a Director.

This experience and knowledge was invaluable when entering the early childhood profession as a provider. It armed Rita with knowledge of centre and staff management, dealing with parent concerns and Government Department requirements and most importantly a vision for what her services would provide. She was determined to provide environments that feel like a home away from home.

Rita is the owner of three early learning centres on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. In 1996 she had the opportunity to purchase an existing centre and so began Peacock Street Long Day Care Pty Limited. In June 2001 the company opened a second centre in Terrey Hills, known as Bindook Cottage. This was a ground up development that was purpose built for 21 children. Then, in April 2008 the company expanded with the purchase of a third centre in Seaforth just a few streets away from Peacock Street Long Day Care. Her vision for this centre was to have a service that cares for children aged 0 to 2 years of age only.

Rita is passionate about providing services that offer a home away from home environment in which children can grow and learn and which is built on affordable fees for families and a safe, enjoyable workplace for educators.

Michael Shirley
Michael Shirley
Michael Shirley

Gingerbread Kindy

I have provided child care and education for 43 years in Queens Park; was Vice President Association of Child Care Centres; Federal Liaison Officer for the Federation of Child Care Associations of Australia; responsible for Finance Minister Peter Walsh agreeing to expand Fee Relief, to all families instead of just the public sector - resulting in the private sector quadrupling in size; graduated Sydney University B.Ec, CPA, JP.

My concerns are:

  • Government reports show little difference between Naplan scores in NSW and Victoria yet there were 50% more children per staff member in VIC and NSW regulations require twice the number of staff holding a degree than required in VIC. If ratios and degrees were an important precursor to improved educational outcomes you would expect to find NSW children were considerably advantaged, however, Victorian children are slightly ahead of NSW children.
  • The devaluing of child care centre businesses due to the NQF change in child to educators ratios and the massive increase in cost to parents.
  • NCAC rated 98% of Australian centres High Quality, NQF has rated a large proportion as Working Towards with a devastating effect on the staff. NQF has both raised costs to parents (who have reduced hours of use or removed their children completely, to be looked after by people with no educational qualifications), and staff have been discouraged from continuing their efforts at achieving excellence without any research, or evidence that proves these changes are warranted.

Phone: 0427 108 040

Eleni Wilson
Eleni Wilson
Eleni Wilson

Director
Bear Childcare Centres
Roselands, Miranda, Beverly Hills (02 97508858)

Eleni is a mother of five children who is passionate about maintaining the integrity of early learning and care.

Eleni's early career was in human resources and business management and has spent the last 15 years in early learning and care.

After five years of early education training, Eleni opened her own centre (Barfa Bear, 2006). This was followed by Mama Bear in 2009 and her third centre Papa Bar, late 2014. She acknowledges the Premier’s desire to improve outcomes for NSW children but is concerned that many of the recent changes, although well intentioned, are damaging the ability of providers to perform to their optimum for both children and parents.

Ms Lienna Mandic
Ms Lienna Mandic
Ms Lienna Mandic

Lienna has more than 20 years’ experience in children’s services, owner of Kids World Kindy Child Care Centres which operates four Services in Western Sydney and one Service on the South Coast of NSW. Services range in size from 28 to 90 places.

Formal education includes a Graduate Diploma in Education Early Childhood and Bachelor of Business, Marketing. Lienna is a former Vice President and Executive Committee member of Child Care NSW who has a thorough knowledge and understanding of the day to day challenges facing child care operators.

She is standing for nomination to ensure that ACA NSW has a strong focus on sensible regulation, modern awards, rating and assessment and Federal Government funding for families. She is very concerned about the proliferation of largely unregulated educators in Sydney who are operating under the auspices of family day care and the impact they are having on the credibility and viability of ACA NSW members

Phone: 0412 617 666

Nicole Upfold
Nicole Upfold
Nicole Upfold

I am Nicole Upfold and in 1993, my husband and I opened Nicky's Kids Town. I hold a Diploma in Teaching and a Diploma in Applied Science (Nursing) Since 1993 we have successfully established 8 childcare services and we currently operate 3 services. Our centres licenses have varied from 18 to 79 children.

I am aware of the frustration felt by operators due to government paperwork and red tape.

If elected I will work on your behalf for the government to review the Assessment and Rating System. The current system has been in place long enough that the industry should be consulted to assess what changes need to be made to ensure the process remains current and effective.

We need a strong executive to ensure we are heard. The proposed " discussion" on reducing the current 1 to 4 ratio for children under 2 years needs to be taken off the agenda. The regulatory authorities need to consult with operators of centres - rather than Policy makers only.

The NSW government needs to address the school starting age. The government needs to change the start date of " must be 5 years before 31 July" to " must be 5 years before the 31st January". We have enough places in our services to provide care and education to the children who would be 5 after the January cut-off date. The long term outcomes of children being 5 years of age before starting school are well documented.

I support that all funding, including CCR and CCB should be funded on hours booked rather than utilisation.

Merran Toth
Merran Toth
Merran Toth

I've always known that I wanted to teach, it runs in my family. Since graduating in 1987, I’ve worked in public primary and secondary schools in a variety of roles until my appointment in 1994 as an Integration Teacher at a mainstream high school. For the next 14 years I‘ve worked with children with physical disabilities, helping them to access mainstream classes an advocating for their right to be educated in the least restrictive environment possible. During this time I met and worked with many amazing children and families who taught me many valuable lessons about acceptance, strength and perseverance, which have served me well over time. This experience equipped me to deal with the difficulties I faced as the parent of a child with special needs. I was fortunate enough to have the most positive experience with my child’s kindergarten, the support and love they gave him inspired me to want to do the same for other families. It drove home the fact that early intervention is of paramount importance and I wanted to be able to do the same for other families.

Since acquiring my centre in 2005 I have worked hard to raise the profile of early childhood educations, for our families to see that we are trained professionals who put our hearts and souls into everything we do. I have joined with other directors from services that are privately owned and community based in the Illawarra to create a support network, which has proven invaluable.

Adrian Pattra
Adrian Pattra
Adrian Pattra

With over 15-years of experience, Adrian is a well-respected professional consultant and educator with a Master of Education (Ed. Psychology) and a Bachelor of Education (Human Resources).

Adrian has held various senior management roles in the Early Childhood sector including Group General Manager and Education Director. He believes that developing and supporting high quality, passionate Educators is the key to quality outcomes for children.

Adrian is a passionate advocate for Early Childhood Education and is currently in partnership with the University of Wollongong to develop an app for pre-schoolers, which improves focus, attention and memory. He is committed to supporting the development of high quality private childcare services and his service to the community has been recognized with an Order of Australia Commendation.

Currently, Adrian is the Educational Director of Farran Street Education and together with his family Adrian owns and operates a long day care centre in Sydney’s lower north shore.

When not working Adrian enjoys getting to the beach with this family and training to run his first marathon.

Rebecca Moran
Rebecca Moran
Rebecca Moran

I have been working in the Early Childcare Sector for 10 years. I completed my Diploma in Children’s Services at night while raising my two children and went on to purchase my own Long Day Care Centre in 2010. After settling into the role I began studying for my degree by correspondence and completed my Bach Ed ( Early Childhood Education ) in 2013.

Two years ago I embarked on the journey of building a centre from scratch with my business partner Merran Toth and we were excited to open the doors of Balgownie Early Learning Centre in February 2016. The centre has just received a rating of Exceeding in the last month.

I am not only passionate about the rights of families and children; I am also passionate about the rights of those who work in our sector. I believe that we need to continue championing to have these people recognised as educators across all areas of the community and as an owner of two centres I invest heavily in the professional growth of all those who work alongside me.

During the 7 years that I have owned Time 4 Kindy I have prided myself in helping young people who have aspired to work in our sector gain employment and training. I have enlisted the help of agencies to find housing and support services to enable young adults the opportunity to have the same chances of achieving their dream of working in Early Childhood Education as I have.

Phillip Malek
Phillip Malek
Phillip Malek

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