Kerrie Maguire

Kerrie has been working in children’s services for over 20 years and is one of Australia’s leading early and middle education professional development specialists. Driven by a passionate belief in the significance that educators have in the lives of children, Kerrie is committed to driving quality service delivery within the ECEC sector. She has an in-depth understanding of the National Quality Framework, learning frameworks and supplementary regulations. She is renowned as an inspiring and effective communicator, with a unique ability to connect and engage with professionals at all levels of career development. 


Dr Debra Williams

Dr Debra Williams brings invaluable expertise to CELA gained over her 40+ year career in the sector where her roles included Director of community based and private sector services. She is a Doctor of Philosophy, and holds a Graduate Certificate in Research Methods and, a Bachelor of Arts with Diploma of Education Diploma of Management, among other credentials.

Dr Williams has worked as a validator and trainer with the National Accreditation Council and as an advisor to the Department of Education and Training & Employment. For CELA she plans, guides and manages training topics, shares research, best practice methods, and mentors and supports colleagues to build knowledge which enhances learning outcomes, productivity and continuous improvement.

Karthika Viknarasah

Karthika had a successful career as an accountant before following her passion to the early childhood sector. She has worked as an Educator, Early Childhood Teacher and Director in long day care and OOSH services. She holds a Master of Teaching degree and a Master of Educational Leadership degree and is a NESA Early Childhood Teacher Accreditation Supervisor. She has served on the board of a number of committees, peak bodies, community organisations and government advisory panels.
In her work with CELA, Karthika uses her specialist qualifications and experience to undertake compliance audits for services as well as facilitating training to support sector professionals pursuing continuous improvement. She is passionate about the performing arts as a conduit for holistic development with a particular emphasis on early literacy and speech development. 

Jenny Hind

As an experienced Director and Educational Leader in community-based preschools, Jenny has provided training for educators, management committees and early childhood educators in community services from Port Moresby to Sydney’s Sutherland Shire.  

In her role as a facilitator for CELA she primarily teaches management opics, helping leaders to achieve proficiency across a wide range of areas. Jenny is a career-long member of CELA, and understands first-hand the value of having a dedicated ‘go to’ team of early childhood experts to provide interesting and up to date information to support educators at all stages of their career.

Louise Murphet

Louise brings a wealth of sector experience from working in early childhood education as an administrator, educator, teacher and director and more recently as a facilitator and trainer of adults. She believes that a lifetime of learning starts at birth and that this can be enhanced by quality early childhood educators.

Louise has led her team through two assessment and ratings to Exceeding the NQS and supports and mentors other educators, committees, owners and services to achieve their best.

Penny Birdsall

Penny is an early childhood professional with over 25 years experience in a variety of 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.

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

She is very versatile, with a broad range of knowledge in many areas including the NQF and EYLF.

Karen Roberts

Karen has been an early childhood professional for 42 years. She holds a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood) and Master of Early Childhood (Special Education). Karen has worked as a teacher, director, special educator, TAFE teacher, trainer, as well as being a guest university lecturer and tutor. She is currently employed as a Manager of Children’s Services for local government, and is also a self- employed writer, trainer and consultant.

Her areas of interest and expertise include children’s rights, child protection, positive behaviour guidance, and inclusion, as well as communication, relationships and team building.

Maria Rositano

Maria has over 20 years experience in early childhood educatinon including long day care, family day care, before and after school care and preschools. She has worked in diverse roles including room leader, director, area manager and quality assurance officer and has worked for the Department of Education as an assessment and compliance officer.

She has extensive experience with implementing and guiding the program and mentoring a team of educators to actively contribute to a service’s QIP and self assessment cycle. Other areas of interest and strength are operational audits, policy writing and educator training.

Helen Thornton

Helen is a highly motivated individual with a broad background and training as a teacher, director, coordinator, lecturer, consultant, mentor, trainer and presenter. Helen has more than 30 years’ experience working in education, in Australia and the UK.

Helen 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.

Catherine Lee

Catherine has a background in a diverse range of children’s services and teaching at NSW TAFE. She is currently a teaching director at a community based preschool and brings many years of expertise from the early childhood profession.

With interests in art, sustainability, inclusion of Aboriginal culture, reconciliation, relationships and learning environments, Catherine delivers high quality training with passion.

Christine Tsang

Christine has 30 years experience as an Early Childhood Teacher including roles in Training and Assessment. She has a particular interest in education for children with a specific diagnosis, and a passion for exploring pedagogy in the contexts of family day care, long day care, OOSH and preschool.  As an occasional facilitator and trainer for CELA’s learning and development team, she enjoys listening to and collaborating with sector professionals to share her skills and knowledge, and to help them provide their best support to families and children. 

Keren Huggett

Keren Huggett is a highly skilled and knowledgeable educator with more than 27 years experience in the ECEC sector. She is passionate about the value of the Early Years Learning Framework, as well as nature, painting, singing and dancing. Through her organisation, the Awakening Education Consultancy, Keren combines all of these passions to provide Awakening Energy Healing and Bush Play Connections in the ACT. 

Building on her expertise in ECEC roles including leadership, wellness and nature play, Keren now specialises in leading holistic wellbeing for children, families and educators with a focus on critical reflection, teamwork, team dynamics and leadership.  In her work with CELA she provides professional learning facilitation in her specialist areas of interest. As an instructional designer she has experience in creating teaching programmes with particular expertise around child language development and attachment theory. 

Rod Soper

Rod Soper is a highly regarded ECEC author, leader, wellbeing researcher and visionary co-founder of Thinkers.inq preschool and early years school.

 He is founder of ‘The Playing with Gratitude Project’; an international wellbeing action research project now with over 4,000 participants including children, families and educators. His vision is also expressed through consulting work within the education sector, partnering with workplaces to inspire and support building wellbeing in communities through organisational change. In his work as a training facilitator with CELA, Rod aims to help educators thrive in their professional practices. He holds a Diploma of Leadership and Management, Graduate Diploma Counselling, Master of Teaching (Hons and Special Education) and Bachelor of Arts. 

Suellen Bingham

Suellen is the Manager of Children’s Services Community Management (CSCM) and a Centre Director overseeing operations at three Preschool centres in the Hunter region. She is also the Nominated Supervisor for Thornton long day care and preschool.  CSCM takes on the management of education and care services partnering with communities to provide specialist management expertise for their education and care service. She holds a Diploma In Teaching (Early Childhood Education) with distinction from The University of Newcastle and faciliates some of CELA's training sessions. 

Tracey Sharp

Tracey has been involved in the early childhood sector for the last twenty years in a variety of roles including teacher, director, area manager and consultant. Tracey has a Bachelor’s Degree in Teaching (Early Childhood Education), a Bachelor of Interior Architecture with Honours, an Associate Diploma in Social Science (Child Studies) and a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.

She is incredibly passionate about children’s rights, the experiences they have and their emotional well-being. She believes that the physical environment that is presented to children can impact on the experiences they have and their learning outcomes.

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