Eve Hawkes

Chair

Eve is experienced in a wide range of service delivery models including early intervention itinerant support, long day care, community-based preschools and campus-based care. She has been the Director at Engadine Preschool Kindergarten since 1994 and is a founding member of the Sutherland Shire Preschool Alliance.

Eve holds an Advanced Diploma in Community Sector Management and a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. She is a strong advocate for early childhood education and meets regularly with the local member of Engadine/ Heathcote as well as with state ministers, to advocate for the issues faced by our sector. 

Fiona Black

Board Member

Beginning her career in private and community-based long day care services, Fiona has journeyed through a variety of roles within council ECEC environments. Her path has included Cert III and diploma positions, teacher roles, and ultimately, her ascension to the position of a director. 

As the director of Koala Child Care Centre at Sutherland Hospital, Fiona showcases her expertise across multiple areas. She is directly involved with children aged birth to 6 years, leads as an educational leader, and adeptly handles the comprehensive responsibilities of a director. 

Fiona is passionately committed to building a sustainable and fulfilling career centred on the holistic development of children from birth to six years. In her dual role as a director and an early childhood professional, she focuses on fostering children's self-awareness, promoting their growth, and establishing meaningful bonds with families to create a lasting impact.  

Louise Murfet

Board Member

 

Louise’s career as an early childhood educator and director spans more than four decades. Her first role was as the assistant director and room leader in a long day care centre. In 1992, Louise became Director of Jacaranda Preschool in Caringbah NSW, a role she held until her retirement in 2023. Louise is a founding member of the Sutherland Shire Preschool Alliance and sits on the board of Children’s Services Community Management. She has also served as the President of the Community Administered Preschool Association and as Convenor of the Sutherland Directors Group. 

Louise holds a Diploma of Teaching, Bachelor of Education, Advanced Diploma in Community Sector Management, and a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. In 2022, Louise received the NSW Government Community Service Award in recognition of her passion in advocating for children, families and the early childhood education and care sector.

Ariane Simon

Board Member

Ariane is the Director of St Stephen’s Preschool, Normanhurst, where she has held roles as a teaching and non-teaching Director. Ariane first became a director at the age of 20. She has worked both as a director and as a teacher at Charles Sturt University as well as at numerous TAFE campuses in NSW.

She is a strong advocate for the ECEC sector, leveraging her position on the Independent Education Union, Early Childhood Council to ensure early childhood teachers are supported by advocating for better conditions and pay parity. 

Professor Cathrine Neilsen-Hewett

Board Member

Professor Cathrine Neilsen-Hewett is an Apiary Fellow, member of the Early Childhood Development Council, and Academic Director of the Early Years, University of Wollongong. She has demonstrated leadership and scholarship in translational research with a strong track record in developing and delivering professional learning initiatives across the early childhood education sector both in Australia and overseas.  

Cathrine has co-led numerous large-scale research projects across three Australian states, in over 600 ECE services, reaching more than 4,000 children. In 2023 she led a team of UOW academics and sector partners in the successful tender, design and delivery of an accelerated teacher education bachelor program. This innovative program aims to address current workforce shortages and enhance quality practice. Her current research projects focus on quality early childhood environments, pedagogy and practice, workforce development, integrated early childhood service platforms, approaches to assessment, and children’s development and wellbeing. 

Rob Shwetz

Board Member

With over 25 years of experience in marketing communications, sustainability management, and creative leadership, Rob has a proven track record of delivering results that align with the values and vision of purpose-driven organisations. 

Rob is also a trained B Consultant, certified by B Lab Australia and New Zealand, and a former partner and strategist at The Growth Activists, a consultancy that activates courageous organisations for a sustainable future. He is currently the chief commercial and innovation officer at Disrupt Radio, a new media startup attracting an audience of entrepreneurs, startup founders and small business owners. 

His personal mission is to provide a voice to those that are not empowered to speak for themselves. His current board role at Results Australia, which he has undertaken since 2017, reflects this mission. Results Australia is a non-partisan international aid and development organisation funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

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