Our Team

Collectively, our staff have countless years of diverse experience, including as directors, consultants, teachers, tertiary educators – even as nannies, bus drivers and cafe owners! Away from work, we’re just as diverse. In our spare time, you might catch us Irish flute playing, knitting, swing dancing, cooking, delving into sustainability and design, or tinkering with kombi vans.

Michele Carnegie

Chief Executive Officer

Michele has a wide-ranging background in community and not-for-profit organisations with an extensive knowledge of regional NSW. Prior to joining CELA, Michele was employed by Contact Inc. where she was integral in developing and managing a wide range of programs and reforms.


Michele has a comprehensive knowledge of the sector and its needs and has established strong relationships with key early childhood education (ECE) organisations and personnel. She has a significant contribution to make to policy development in the education and care area.

Marcella Davis

People & Culture Manager

Marcella developed her executive HR experience with over 15 years in one of Australia’s largest blue chip Organisations. She has held several divisional HRM positions in operational and support functions including leading the HR function through a sale, divestment and turnaround Program.


Marcella has many years’ experience working in high paced working environments for clients, resulting in her ability to deliver high quality outcomes within tight deadlines. Her engagement style is outcome focused, practical and highly consultative and this enables her to identify core issues, develop change management strategies and deliver solution outcomes that ensure balance between business and people requirements.

Catherine Fraser

Early Childhood Education Sector Specialist

Catherine has been a teacher and director in early childhood services for 25 years, working across the sector in Long Day Care, Preschool and Primary School. Her extensive experience and subsequent strengths as a director have led to a passionate focus on delivering training in areas of team building, change management, communication and leadership.


Catherine has a strong commitment and belief in inclusive education for children and families with additional needs. She has a passion for the wellbeing of early childhood educators and an approach to common sense problem solving and communication. Catherine has a Diploma of Teaching, Early Childhood from UWS.

Jenny Hind

Early Childhood Education Sector Specialist

Jenny has been working as an early childhood teacher and director for 30 years in long day care, private school and preschool. She’s also worked as a trainer for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) and CELA.


Jenny has a Bachelor of Education in Early Childhood, an Advanced Diploma in Community Sector Management and Cert IV in Training and Assessment. Jenny’s most rewarding career achievement has been building relationships with children and families in community based preschools and taking delight in the development of each child.

Penny Birdsall

Early Childhood Education Sector Specialist

Penny is an Early Childhood Professional with over 25 years experience in a variety of Early Childhood settings in both New South Wales and Queensland. She has been an Early Childhood Teacher, Director, Manager, Tutor and Adult Education Assessor and Trainer within the TAFE system. She has worked for community-based, council, private and large non-profit organisations. She is also a qualified yoga teacher.


She is passionate about exploring environments and the benefits of nature play for children and how this relates to their well-being.

Nathalie Dupavillon

Member and operational support specialist

Nathalie has worked in the early education and care sector for 23 years. Commencing as a diploma qualified educator, Nathalie further developed her skills and qualifications obtaining a B of Teaching (Early Childhood) and stepping into a centre director position for a Long Day Care University Campus program. Outside of centre based care Nathalie also worked as an early childhood recruitment specialist for 7 years.


Nathalie’s key focus at CELA is as an advocate and support to our members.

Louise Black

Early Childhood Education Learning & Development  Specialist

With a background in local government as a teacher director, and as a validator and trainer with the National Child Care Accreditation Council, Louise Black brings many years of sector experience.


She has been an integral part of the Learning and Development team at CELA and specialises in quality assurance and training needs analysis across all service types. Louise designs customised training to meet the specific needs of individual educators and teams and leads the CELA Little Scientists program.

Louise French

Early Intervention and Additional Needs Specialist – Regional and Metropolitan

30 years of experience in Early Intervention, specialising in developmental disabilities. Demonstrated high level knowledge in a broad range of programs and intervention techniques, with extensive resources to draw upon in everyday practice. Across Louise’s career in regional NSW, she has been a leader in empowering educators to engage in achieving functional and achievable outcomes for children and families.


She takes a transdisciplinary team approach to build capacity in educators to meet the needs of every child.

Nichole Jenkins

Regional Learning & Development Coordinator & Early Childhood Education Sector Specialist – Mobile Expertise

Nichole has 24 years’ experience in the early education sector, working in LDC, Preschool and Mobile services in remote regional NSW as a Director and Teacher and Educational Leader and Room Leader.  She passionate about safeguarding the delivery of quality education in isolated communities.


Nichole’s role with CELA is to build a learning network for regional and remote Directors and educators.

Vivienne Medway

RTO Academic Manager


Vivienne is a qualified Early Childhood  Teacher with 30 years experience. She has worked in various roles including pre-school teacher, room leader, centre manager and additional needs support teacher. She has transferred her early childhood knowledge to training future educators in many Registered Training Organisations (RTO’s) for TAFE NSW and several Private Organisations.
As well as  her early childhood qualification, Vivienne has a Diploma of Training and Assessment and Cert IV in Training and Assessment. She has been recognised for her work with the Outstanding Teaching and Learning Award from Northern Sydney Institute of TAFE as well as an Australian Endeavour Executive Award from the Australian Government.
Vivienne’s most rewarding career achievement has been creating and building a high quality early childhood education training department from the beginning to over two hundred international students in just four years.

Kerrie Maguire

Early Childhood Education Sector Specialist – Mobile Expertise

Kerrie has been working in children’s services for over 20 years. Kerrie’s focus is on practice, programming, documenting, effective communication and team building.


She is a highly experienced facilitator who has successfully delivered training across a range of methods such as face-to-face and webinar. Combined with a deep understanding of the National Quality Framework, Learning Frameworks and Supplementary regulations, she possesses the ability to provide effective one-on-one advisory support, mentoring and training.

Jennifer Moglia

Early Childhood Education Sector Specialist

Jennifer has been working as an early childhood teacher, director and educational leader for 20 years in community-based preschool and long day care.


Her passion is in the areas of policy, continuous improvement and professional supervision. She remains working in a preschool as an Educational Leader, and this in turn informs and inspires her work at CELA. Her management of digital programming, leadership across mentoring programs and implementation of extensive changes on a service-based level, has helped her to develop practical and diverse skills. These skills support Jennifer’s aspiration to help educators deliver the best care and education for children. Jennifer has a Bachelor of Teaching and a Bachelor of Education.

Helen Thornton

Early Childhood Education Sector Specialist


Helen has more than 30 years’ experience working in education in Australia and the UK.

She has a particular interest in advocacy, mentoring, early childhood, positive leadership, inter-generational opportunities, mental health and well-being, in addition to recognising the importance of strong support and professional networks within communities. She has a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood), Diploma in Education (London University), Advanced Diploma of Community Sector Management CHC 60312, and Cert IV in Training and Assessment TAE 40110.

Kylie Dorrian

RTO Manager


Kylie has worked in the Early Childhood Education sector for 13 years as an Early Childhood Teacher
and Area Manager of long day care services across non-for profit, private and government


She has trained and assessed international students in the Diploma of Early Childhood
Education and Care before landing in tertiary education compliance. Kylie is an advocate for quality adult education and is committed to offering accredited training in line
with the needs of the sector and CELA’s vision for Early Learning in Australia.

Debra Williams

Early Childhood Education and Care Specialist


Debra has a background in local government, community based and private sector organisations as a Teacher, Director and Manager. She brings extensive sector experience having worked as a validator and trainer with the National Accreditation Council and in an advisory role with DETE.

Debra has been delivering training with CELA since 2004 and specialises in quality assurance, continuous improvement and new initiatives in Early Childhood Education and Care.

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