We’re pleased to announce that a new VIT Council was formed in June 2016, 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 May 2019. This is the 5th Council since VIT’s inception and for the first time features two representatives from the early childhood sector. There are also representatives from tertiary, government, catholic, state, and independent sectors and a representative from Parents Victoria, Gail McHardy, who is one of the three members who were on the previous Council. 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.

Audrey Brown - Deputy Chairperson

Audrey Brown has been Director of Catholic Education for the Diocese of Ballarat since 2012. She is a Director of the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria Ltd, a Director of Catholic Capital Grants (Victoria) Ltd, a Fellow of the Australian Council of Educational Leadership and a member of the Victorian Chapter of Australian Catholic University. Audrey has been a teacher, teacher coach, principal and principal coach, all in regional areas. She has post-graduate qualifications in educational leadership, religious education, theology, education law and educational system leadership.


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.


Peter Clifton

Currently the Principal of Magpie Primary School, Peter has over 36 years’ experience as a teacher in Government schools, with half of that time as a principal in small rural schools and a significant period of leadership as an Education Consultant in the Grampians – Wimmera region. Peter is a nominee of the AEU, the Primary Convenor of the Principal Class Association and a member of the DET SRP Consultative Committee. Peter is an active member of the Moorabool Collegiate Network of small schools and is the original architect of the Wathaurong Sports District, providing extensive leadership for that project over 16 years.


Professor Deborah Corrigan

Professor Deborah Corrigan is the Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Education and Co-Director of the Centre for Science, Mathematics and Technology Education at Monash University. She has been an active international researcher in the field of teacher education and science education and has published textbooks for Chemistry and Science teachers. Professor Corrigan’s roles have included reviewing Undergraduate teaching programs and teacher professional standards in England and Scotland, providing educational expertise for Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency, reviewing schools for the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, and as Chief Advisor for Senior Secondary Science for the Australian Curriculum and Assessment Authority.  


Fiona Dearn

Fiona Dearn has been the Deputy Principal at St Anthony's Alphington since 2011, including several stints as Acting Principal. Fiona is a leader on the School Improvement team and also a member of the Parish Education Board. With considerable classroom experience in both Catholic and state systems, Fiona is an educational leader in Literacy, Mathematics, Student Well-Being, Religious Education, Learning and Teaching and Student Engagement. She is responsible for the induction of new staff, mentoring of graduate teachers and coordination of student placements from A.C.U. Fiona holds a TEFL certificate and has taught English in Japan and Italy.


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.


Earl James

Earl James is a Head of House at Lauriston Girls’ School, Armadale. He is also a teacher of International Baccalaureate Economics, VCE Legal Studies and IB Theory of Knowledge. He has worked in a variety of schools internationally and in Australia and has personal experience of how teachers are registered in other jurisdictions. Earl has experience of governance at tertiary level and has worked in that sector for a number of years in a student welfare role. Earl has recently completed a Master of School Leadership at Monash University and is a member of the Independent Education Union Vic/Tas.


Karalynn McDonnell

Karalynn has over 25 years of experience as an early childhood professional. Her experience includes teaching 3 and 4 year-old kindergarten in stand-alone and integrated settings, establishing an occasional care program and working as a Preschool Field Officer. She holds qualifications in Early Childhood and Special education as well as certificate qualifications in Child and Adolescent Developmental Psychiatry. Karalynn’s professional contributions include chairing the Victorian Preschool Field Officer Association and serving as a Board member of Early Learning Association Australia (ELAA) for 6 years.


Gail McHardy

Gail McHardy has long been one of Victoria's leading advocates for parents of students in Victorian government schools. Gail's introduction to the education sector was as an active volunteer at her own daughters' school Parent Clubs. She is currently the Executive Officer of the state-wide peak public school parent body, Parents Victoria, and has had many opportunities to share her extensive knowledge, professional commitment, experience and energy with many school communities, future teacher graduates, governments and other stakeholders across all education sectors. Gail has been reappointed to Council for her second term of office. 


Diana Santaera

Diana has been teaching in Victoria for the last seven years. She is a generalist Primary Teacher currently teaching in the South-Eastern Region.  She has held various leadership roles within the school system throughout this time and has been an elected member of School Council. Diana is also a State Councillor of the Australian Education Union (AEU) representing members of the Primary Sector. 


Gene Reardon

Gene has worked across a variety of roles in public administration - in health, education and industrial relations sectors, and played a leadership role in delivering significant reform initiatives. During a period of rapid reform to the national workplace health and safety agenda, Gene held the position of State Commissioner, Comcare, South Australia and the Northern Territory and more recently led the establishment of the inaugural Deaf Education Institute in Victoria. Gene is currently the Executive Director, Professional Practice and Leadership Division, within the Department of Education and Training.


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 Beaconhills College, 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.