Organisational and governance structure

The Council

We’re pleased to announce that a new VIT Council was formed in June 2019, following appointments made by the Governor in Council on the recommendation of the Minister for Education. The new Council members were appointed for a three year term ending 30 June 2022. The Council has also refreshed its charter, including the formation of five committees. This is the 6th Council since VIT’s inception and for the first time features two representatives from the early childhood sector.

Meet our new Council here:


Lesley Lamb - Chairperson

Lesley Lamb commenced teaching in 1977, and has taught English in high schools across Victoria. Lesley pursued a keen interest in literacy development by co‐authoring Bridges: The Early Years and Bridges: The Middle Years and presenting at numerous literacy conferences and professional development events. In 1998, she was appointed Assistant Principal of Shepparton High School. Her first principal’s appointment was to Gilmore Girls’ College (formerly Footscray Girls) in 2001. This was followed by seven years as Principal of Glen Eira College in Caulfield. Since 2014, she has worked part‐time as a consultant.

Joanna Barbousas

Joanna Barbousas

Professor Barbousas is Dean and Head of School of Education at a renowned university in Melbourne's north. She has been the Head of Department in the School of Education at the same university since 2016. She was previously the State Head of Education and a Director of Professional Learning at Australian Catholic University. Educated at the University of New South Wales, and with over 25 years’ experience as a teacher and educator in NSW and Victoria, Professor Barbousas’ research focuses on new visions in teacher education and the formation of educational knowledge in times of change. She is an invited member on government steering committees, advisory groups and expert panels, and is President of the Victorian Council of Deans of Education. Professor Barbousas, in collaboration with Professor Jo Lampert, were successfully awarded over 7 million dollars for the High Achievers Teachers Program funded by the Commonwealth Government and the State Government of Victoria to deliver an innovative employment-based teacher education program for regional / rural and hard to staff schools in Victoria.

Janine Brown

Janine Brown

Janine has over 30 years’ experience in the early childhood education and care service sector, and is currently the Manager Family & Children’s Services at a local council in Melbourne's eastern suburbs. Janine’s formal qualifications are as an early childhood and primary teacher, and she has worked across a number of service settings over her career. Her experience ranges from that of preschool teacher, hospital play specialist, founding Head of Play Education at Monash Medical Centre, preschool field officer, project officer and policy advisor for the State Government Office for Children and coordinator for children’s services at Banyule City Council prior to moving to her current role. Janine was a past member of the Early Childhood Australia Victorian Executive and she currently actively contributes to a number of key advisory groups including the Municipal Association of Victoria’s Early Years Compact Strategy Group and the Department of Education and Training Early Childhood Development Group.

Michael Butler

A member of the VIT Council since 2007, Michael Butler has been a state school secondary teacher in the northern suburbs of Melbourne for 40 years in various leadership roles, including year 12 and student welfare coordination. Michael has been a member of school councils and committees, the union State Executive, and regional and state committees focused on alternative education, teacher and principal selection and substance abuse issues. He has a particular interest in student welfare and alternative education for students experiencing difficulties in mainstream secondary schooling, and has 30 years’ experience coordinating an alternative setting for students with major behavioural issues.

Gill Carr

Gill Carr

Currently part of the leadership team at a catholic school in Melbourne's south, Gill has taught in primary and P – 12 schools in both Australia and the UK for over 20 years. She attained qualifications in Music Education, Gifted Education and is completing a Masters of Educational Leadership. Gill has served on school councils as a teacher and a parent representative. She is the leader of Teaching and Learning, Mathematics and Digital Technologies in her current school, and is a VIEU member.

Paul Desmond

Paul has been Director of Catholic Education for the Diocese of Sandhurst since 2015. He is a Director of the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria Ltd, a Director of Catholic Capital Grants (Victoria) Ltd and Chair of the Review Body Committee which is a direct link to the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority. Paul comes to VIT with 40 years’ experience as an educator, teacher, Deputy Principal and Principal in various learning environments across Victoria. His abiding commitment is to quality learning and teaching, ensuring what is delivered in the classroom is of the highest standard and always for the benefit of the student.

Amadeo Ferra

Amadeo Ferra is an experienced teacher and Principal with almost 30 years’ experience in the Victorian government education sector. Since 2012, he has been the Principal of a college in Melbourne’s east, having commenced there in 2007 as an Assistant Principal. Before this, he held various teaching and school leadership roles. Amadeo holds a Bachelor of Education and is a member of the AEU’s Principal’s Advisory Committee, the recently formed Minister’s Principal Reference Group and the Fit2Drive Board of Trustees. He was a finalist for the Victorian Education Excellence Award in 2013, 2015 and 2019.

Siobhan Hannan

Siobhan Hannan moved into kindergarten teaching after previously working in ethnic affairs, occupational health and safety and editing. She now has 20 years’ experience in kindergarten. Over recent years, she has combined teaching an Italian-English preschool program with doctoral research in bilingual early years education. Siobhan is a strong believer in community participation, and has been a committee member of a childcare co-operative, kindergarten, gymnastics club and several soccer clubs, and on AEU sector council.

Danielle Harrison

Danielle Harrison

Danielle has been in education since 2003 and began her early career in Geelong. Currently a primary classroom teacher and team leader, Danielle has spent the last 10 years teaching in the Western region of Victoria, where she also spent time in the secondary sector as an English and Humanities teacher. She has an extensive overseas resume, with opportunities such as teaching in London, completing a teacher exchange program in Japan and a lengthy stint of travel throughout Europe. Through her global experiences, she has developed a great insight into the differences in our professions. Danielle is currently an AEU sector councillor.

Susan McDonald

Susan McDonald

Susan McDonald started her career in the Commonwealth Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet in the areas of social policy, skills and human capital development and Commonwealth State relations. She has held various executive roles in the Victorian Government, mainly in policy development and implementation, having previously worked as an executive officer responsible for skills, policy and training reform in the Office for Training and Tertiary Education. Susan is currently Executive Director, Early Learning Division in the Department of Education and Training. She is responsible for leading the early learning system in Victoria, with a strong focus on kindergarten participation, school readiness funding, professional learning and mentoring programs and the inclusion of children with disabilities and developmental delay in kindergarten. Susan is also responsible for the implementation of the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (VEYLDF), continuity of learning and transitions from early childhood education and the guidance of kindergarten sector support services through the kindergarten quality improvement program.

Tony Sheumack

Tony Sheumack began his career in Victorian state schools, teaching mathematics and science in four city and rural high schools over 10 years.  He has served the independent school sector as a teacher, department head, boarding housemaster and Principal for the past 27 years. Tony has been a member of the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia since 1997 and has served a number of terms on the Victorian Executive. Currently Headmaster of a college in Melbourne's outer eastern suburbs, he also holds a number of leadership roles in the independent school sector and is an elected member on the Board of Independent Schools Victoria.

Angela Stringer

Angela has been a member of the teaching profession for over 30 years, teaching at Primary Schools in both North Queensland and Victoria. Her experience includes classroom practice, specialist areas and leadership roles. She is currently teaching Information Communication Technology in regional Victoria. Angela is a long-standing State Councillor of the Australian Education Union (AEU), representing members of the Primary Sector in the Latrobe Valley. She is a Member Elected Trustee Director of Emergency Services State Super (ESSSuper), is the chair of the Benefits and Services committee and is a member of the Audit, Risk Management and Finance Committee.

Raelene Vine

Playgroup set Raelene on her organised parent / education journey. As her children grew, a continuous involvement in their education saw Raelene actively participate in playgroup and preschool committees, the school council and parents association and most recently Parents Victoria, along with various sporting and cultural groups. Residing on a farm near Ouyen, Raelene is a School Councillor with the local College, and the Parents and Friends President. Raelene was awarded the Joan Kirner Parent Participation Award in 2017 and values strong home / school / community relationships. Training as a Primary teacher, Raelene has worked as a casual relief teacher (CRT) from preschool to Year 12 for over twenty years.