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Providing for quality teaching and best educational outcomes for learners

The VIT's Professional Practice (PP) team provides for quality teaching and the best educational outcomes for learners, and builds strong relationships with all stakeholders in the education space. The team consists of members with recent experience working in the sector, and is responsible for bridging the gap between the profession and its regulator.

The PP team works with initial teacher education (ITE) providers to ensure readiness for new graduates entering the teaching profession, and to support their development in demonstrating proficiency against the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST) as they move from provisional to full registration.

In support of this process, the PP team is a vital link for mentors across the State, working with them to develop strong mentoring skills that will benefit all education sectors.

The team is committed to educating teachers and the community about teaching quality by showcasing best practice in Victorian schools and early childhood services.

Bringing a teacher’s perspective to the regulatory environment

A primary focus for the team is to bring a teacher’s perspective to the regulatory environment. This means contributing to policy development and strategic planning, but most importantly, it involves working with teachers across all sectors to understand the needs of individual teachers and the profession more broadly.

Some of the team's functions include 

  • training mentors in the workplace to help guide provisionally registered teachers (PRTs) through the Inquiry process
  • delivering seminars to PRTs to help understand the Inquiry process 
  • delivering seminars to pre-service teachers about registration requirements 

A major part of bringing a teacher’s perspective to the process of moving to full registration is to highlight how that process is part of a teacher’s development, and represents the end of a period of induction into the profession where an early career teacher has moved their practice from the Graduate teacher level to the Proficient teacher level of the APST.

Meet the team

Linda Blakis – Professional Practice Manager

Linda is the manager of the Professional Practice Team, and has been with VIT since early 2019. She is a trained secondary history and legal studies teacher who has held numerous roles in schools across her career. Her last substantive role with the Department of Education and Training was as an Assistant Principal in a large F-12 school in the northern growth corridor of Melbourne, which is where her passion for working with teachers in their early career stages really took hold.  

Linda enjoys the complexity of regulation across the various education sectors, and has worked to develop opportunities for professionals to engage with VIT and understand its role in not only protecting our children and young people but also the integrity and standards of the teaching profession.  

When not engaging with stakeholders and supporting teachers to meet their regulatory requirements, Linda can usually be found in the kitchen cooking for her family and friends.

Lucy Buncle – Senior Professional Practice Officer

Lucy has taught in primary schools in the inner-city and the western suburbs of Melbourne for over a decade before taking up a position in the Professional Practice team in early 2022. 
Lucy has a Bachelor degree in Arts and a Diploma in teaching and more recently, completed her Master of Education, specialising in gifted and talented learners. Lucy has enjoyed the collaborative nature of teaching, especially the ability to mentor and learn from new and experienced teachers through this model. In more recent years, Lucy has been able to utilise her specialty to support the growth and development of teachers to implement strategies and programs into their own teaching approach and style.  
Lucy really enjoys the complexity of teacher regulation and obligations, and managing these with teacher and community expectations, whilst keeping the safety and wellbeing of young people at the focus of her work. She has also found supporting newly registered teachers a rewarding perk of the job and being a point-of-call to guide them through regulatory processes.  
Lucy loves nothing more than seeking out a delicious coffee and a great book when she’s not working.

Matt Woodley – Senior Professional Practice Officer

Matt taught in primary schools in Melbourne for 14 years before moving to VIT to become part of the Professional Practice team. He has a degree in science as well as a primary teaching qualification. Matt comes from a family full of teachers but, is the first one to work for a regulatory authority. He finds the work rewarding (and challenging) to manage the complex expectations of teachers as well as the legislated obligations of the regulator and the community expectations on the teaching profession. Matt has been instrumental in developing guidance for teachers concerning how remote teaching can be used to meet regulatory requirements, and derives great pleasure from being able to demonstrate how VIT’s processes enhance teaching and teacher quality in Victoria.  

When he’s not drawing links between regulation requirements, workplace needs and teachers, Matt can be found in the kitchen, pottering in the garden, reading a book or bushwalking with his two young children.

Stacey Harper – Senior Professional Practice Officer

Stacey has worked as a secondary teacher in Melbourne for several years before joining the Professional Practice team. She holds a Bachelor degree in Science and a Postgraduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching. 

Stacey recently worked in the tertiary education sector, supporting pre-service teachers with placements as well as teaching in ITE programs. Stacey has a strong interest in supporting and mentoring teachers and assisting them in their professional growth.

Stacey was drawn to the Senior Professional Practice Officer role by her passion for supporting teachers to achieve the best outcomes for their learners. Working in the Professional Practice team allows her to support teachers and mentors to ensure Victorian young people receive an excellent education by high quality teachers.

Outside of work Stacey enjoys spending time in nature, reading about psychology and personal development and drinking too much coffee.

Jane Leighton – Senior Professional Practice Officer

Jane, originally from the nation's capital, has taught in primary education for over 16 years, including a decade working alongside passionate teachers in the inner-city suburbs of Melbourne. Jane has enjoyed the challenge of providing safe, engaging and collaborative learning environments that reflect the complexities of all students' needs and in more recent years providing guidance and support to teaching teams and graduates in a mentoring capacity.  

Working within the Professional Practice team to ensure a high standard of professional capability and commitment to the teaching profession aligns with Jane’s passions. She is particularly enjoying the opportunity to support educators in returning to the profession whilst ensuring the safety and wellbeing of young people is at the focus.  

When not talking about education, Jane enjoys spending time with friends and family. Getting active, watching a gripping TV series and finding delicious places to eat. 

Charlie Davidson – Professional Practice Officer

Charlie has diverse experience as a secondary English teacher, working across Melbourne and the Northern Territory before joining VIT’s Professional Practice team in 2024. Prior to becoming a teacher, Charlie worked in various legal settings, and is now enjoying integrating these skills within a regulatory environment. Charlie holds a Bachelor of Laws and International Studies and a Masters of Teaching.

Charlie is passionate about working with early career teachers, particularly those in regional/remote areas, and supporting them through the provisional to full registration process. He finds drawing links between the diverse needs of teachers and their regulatory requirements both challenging and rewarding.

Outside of work, Charlie enjoys camping, ocean swims and taking his dog for a walk.

Carolyn Joubran – Teacher Practictioner

Carolyn brings over 18 years of experience as a secondary English teacher to her role in the Professional Practice team. She holds a double degree in Arts and Business Management, as well as a Diploma of Education. 

Throughout her teaching career, Carolyn has worked extensively in middle leadership and it was in this capacity that she developed her passion for mentoring, coaching and supporting teachers. As a Teacher Practitioner, Carolyn works closely with schools, non-school settings and early childhood services to support them in understanding and meeting their regulatory requirements. She finds joy in connecting with educators and celebrating examples of quality teaching practice across the sector. 

Outside of work Carolyn enjoys outdoor adventures with her children and dog, unearthing vintage finds at local op-shops and drinking good coffee.

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