Our Governing Board

Karen Murcia


Dr Karen Murcia is a senior member of the Curtin University teacher education team with a focus on producing high-impact educational research and engagement with interactive and innovative teaching. Her teaching interests and research work span the intersection between learning theory, learning design, and professional development. She is a specialist in STEM education. Specifically, her research has provided a unique and valuable depth of understanding about teachers’ conceptions of the nature of science and the interaction of science with society. Her research in pedagogical interactivity and technology enhanced learning environments investigated the impact of ICT integration on digitally aware students motivation and interest in learning. In particular, the quality of her research in the field of numeracy across the curriculum and the influence of learning and teaching on an individual’s subject specific self –efficacy was recognised by the Western Australian Institute for Educational Research (WAIER) through her 2006 Early Career Researcher Award.

Dr Murcia has conducted stakeholder consultations, needs analysis, program design and evaluation research. She is experienced in the development and facilitation of a range of adult education and professional development programs. These have included evaluation methods, ethics, values based leadership and action planning. She has worked in partnerships with government, industry and community groups both nationally and internationally.

In addition, Dr Murcia is an active volunteer in the WA community through her roles as a Board Member for Child Australia and Scitech. She is also on the advisory committee for the Low Carbon Schools Program.


Elaine Pavlos

Vice Chairperson

Prof. Elaine is a Registered Nurse and Midwife. She has a wealth of experience working in senior executive and academic positions within the Western Australian Healthcare sector. She has recently retired as Dean of the School of Nursing & Midwifery at Notre Dame University Fremantle. Elaine is a qualified coach who works predominantly with nurse managers and people who find themselves in new roles. Elaine has a Master Degree in Nursing, an MBA from the University of Western Australia, Graduate Diploma in Ontological Coaching and qualifications in counselling. Elaine is a sitting member at the State Administrative Tribunal, a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Member of the College of Nursing Australia. Elaine also sits on the Board of Southern Cross Care. She joined the Board of Child Australia in 2011.


David Ansell

Board Member

David is the Co-Director, Policy at Colab (a partnership between Telethon Kids Institute and the Minderoo Foundation). Previously David has been Deputy Director General of the Department of Culture and the Arts, a senior officer in the department of the Premier and Cabinet and the Department of Education, a School Principal and a teacher.

His roles included the Executive Director of the Office for Early Childhood Development and the Director of Participation, where he was responsible for establishing programs for highly at-risk young people when the school leaving age was raised in Western Australia. From 2001 to 2005, David was the General Manager of The Smith Family in Western Australia and prior to this has worked and studied in the United Kingdom. With his partner Amanda he has four children. David joined the Board in 2014.


Partha Nag

Board Member

Partha, MAICD, CPA, is the Executive Director and co-founder of Strategic Business Alliance (SBA), a firm offering innovative consulting and outsourcing solutions to a wide range of clients. Partha has a deep interest in the not-for-profit sector and currently is on the board and audit committees of Infoxchange, Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement and Interchange Loddon Mallee.

Partha has extensive experience in Accounting, Finance, Information Technology, Corporate Strategy, Governance and Risk Management.  He has forged lasting relationships with stakeholders in his senior executive roles, and, in the process, enhanced organisational value.

Partha joined the Board in 2011.


Jason Hughes

Board Member

Jason is a partner of international accounting firm KPMG and an Authorised Representative of KPMG Corporate Finance.

Jason has over 22 years advisory experience providing specialist corporate finance advice, focusing on valuation assignments, completing both private valuations and public expert reports to corporations operating in a wide range of industries.

Jason previously had over 8 years’ experience in providing corporate recovery and assurance and advisory services in both Perth and Melbourne. Jason has two children, one still at school.


Julia Millar

Board Member

Julia Millar practices in the area of competition and commercial litigation for Clayton Utz. Acting for a number of large Australian and overseas clients in complex disputes she has over 10 years of experience. Julia’s practice also includes acting in a range of competition and regulatory and compliance matters. Prior to joining Clayton Utz in 2009, Julia was the Associate to the Hon Justice Buss in the Supreme Court of Western Australia.

Julia is experienced in all facets of litigation and has a specific focus on co-ordinating applications across a number of international jurisdictions. Julia has two children both still attending local childcare.


Helen Creed

Board Member

Helen brings a wealth of experience to the Board from both the early childhood education and care sector and various Board and Committee positions. She has held senior roles in government, in the non government sector and in the union movement, including as the National President of the Union responsible for staff in ECEC and Executive Director of the Department responsible for licensing and funding ECEC services.

In addition to Child Australia, Helen’s current roles include Chair of Regional Early Education and Development Inc and a member of the Ratings Review Panel for the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority.

Helen’s awards include the WA Women’s Fellowship, awarded in 1989 for her to study the provision of employer provided child care in the United States, the Centenary Medal awarded in 2001 in recognition of her contribution to child care and in 2018 being inducted into the WA Women’s Hall of Fame.


Steph Shorter

Board Member

Steph has recently joined the Department of Communities in the Strategy and Transformation Division where she is managing a $200m fund that will provide more housing options for Aboriginal families supporting them to achieve social and economic independence.

Prior to this Steph spent four years setting up and running the WA arm of the Social Ventures Australia consulting team. In this role Steph worked closely with social purpose organisations, governments and business to support them with social impact strategy, outcomes management and evaluation, program design and implementation. 

This was across early childhood development, youth justice, out of home care, mental health, Indigenous disadvantage and affordable housing. Before SVA Steph was a senior strategy & operations manager with Deloitte Consulting, a strategy manager for one of the largest UK NFPs and worked in a range of commercial roles in the oil and gas industry.


Craig Stewart

Board Member

Craig is the State Director at the Red Cross, and previously held roles as Director at the Department of Communities responsible for Early Years and Parenting, and CEO of a national children’s charity EdConnect Australia. Craig is a dynamic professional with strong leadership skill in both the statutory and not for profit sectors with extensive experience of successfully delivering on local, regional and national initiatives.

Craig is an experienced and qualified Social Worker with experience in child protection, children and families and mental health having trained and practiced in Britain.  In addition to his social work qualifications Craig holds two Masters Degrees one in Management with the other in Crime Deviance and Social Policy.  He is a qualified Prince2 Project Manager and graduate of Leadership WA.


Jeya Bavan

Board Member

Jeya is a Strategy & Transformation Leader, having worked for large and complex organisations across locations in Australia, Asia and Europe, and is currently an Associate at Curtin University. Jeya brings experience in leading strategy creation, change implementation and project delivery from the engineering and tertiary education sectors. With a Ph.D. specialising in systems thinking and renewable energy, Jeya brings considerable management and technical experience in leading multidisciplinary teams, creating collaborative workplaces and improving business performance.


Child Australia Annual Reports


Child Australia 2018 – 2019 Annual Report

Our journey over the last 12 months has seen the organisation grow from strength to strength. We have developed a deep understanding of how we must constantly transform in order to meet the realities and needs of our key stakeholders – the children, their families, and the many dedicated practitioners supporting them. Being an agile organisation with empowered people and innovative practices means that we have been able to see and do things differently.

2018 – 2019 Annual Report

Child Australia 2017 – 2018 Annual Report

Child Australia’s success over the last year has been largely attributed to not only reshaping our internal world, but also in developing, nurturing and working in a genuinely collaborative manner with several strategic partners. Our partnerships enable us to think well beyond our own impact, as collectively we aim to improve developmental outcomes for children.

2017 – 2018 Annual Report

Child Australia 2016 – 2017 Annual Report

An organisation geared for success and growth needs a foundation of values, expertise and purpose that encompasses both its history and the people who make it what it is: the employees, supporters, funders and most importantly – the stakeholders…the children.

2016 – 2017 Annual Report

Child Australia 2015 – 2016 Annual Report

The 2015-16 financial year was characterised by the continued growth of Children’s Integrated Management Services (CIMS), a subsidiary of Child Australia that sees operation of our childcare services. We successfully tendered for Larapinta Early Learning Centre located in Alice Springs on the Larapinta Primary School site which further expands our footprint in the NT. We also launched ‘Wraparound’, a new social enterprise business venture that supports the early to middle childhood learning and development sector.

Child Australia continues to support the formation of Collective Impact initiatives in Western Australia and Northern Territory. Collective Impact is an innovative service delivery approach that is a framework for organisations working collaboratively with the intention of solving complex social problems. Child Australia was instrumental in introducing Collective Impact in 2012 and 2013 respectively and is now involved in several initiatives.

2015 – 2016 Annual Report