Radeyan Sazzad


Radeyan is a father of two children with his daughter attending Oak Park Kindergarten in 2024 his son enrolled to start 3 year-old kindergarten in 2025. Radeyan’s professional career has been broad spending the early years as a Physiotherapist specialising in Intensive Care. Currently, Radeyan is a strategy executive with experience in strategy development, execution, learning & development, and risk & compliance. Radeyan holds a Master in Physiotherapy Practice and a Master of Business Administration from Melbourne Business School where he graduated on the Dean’s List for academic achievement. Radeyan has lived in Merri-Bek his entire life and is passionate about education and the impact it can have across our lifespan.

Stephanie Apostolopoulos


Stephanie is a high-level marketing, brand and strategy executive with over 18 years’ experience in property, banking and finance, management consulting, engineering, and transport and logistics. 

Stephanie thrives on the challenge to be strategic, creative and innovative – which is backed by a thirst for knowledge and continuous learning. Having led marketing, brand and digital marketing teams, Stephanie is well versed across all focus areas of marketing. 

With strong interpersonal and communication skills in establishing and building relationships with multiple and varied stakeholders, Stephanie is a creative and integrated thinker who has a solid foundation in marketing as well as digital transformation.

Stephanie holds a Master of International Business (Marketing and Management) and a Bachelor of Business (Marketing). 

Above all else, Stephanie is passionate about ensuring all children have equal access to early learning and the opportunity to thrive in any learning environment.

Maree James

Board Member

I have worked in the Early Years sector in a range of roles for over 30 years.  The most significant having been – Teaching Fellow (The University of Melbourne Master of Teaching program) mentoring and assessing students within early childhood settings, Pre-school Field Officer and Inclusion Support Facilitator all at Merri-bek City Council. 

Previous experiences worth noting: Teaching Early Years Studies in both the TAFE and community sectors and Teacher at Yooralla Glenroy Early Childhood Intervention Centre.

Although currently retired I wish to continue to contribute to the early childhood field and by being an active community Board member, I believe gives me this opportunity.  Thank you.

Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood / Adult)

Associate Diploma Social Science.

Cath Williams

Board Member

Cath has held Director and Senior Management roles in Human Resources and worked in the Higher Education sector for over 30 years. Cath spent 21 years at Deakin University in a variety of roles including managing the HR Business Partnering team; Principal Adviser to
the Executive Director, HR; and Director of Talent Acquisition, Remuneration and Evaluations. Cath is currently working as the Manager, Remuneration and Benefits at Latrobe University.
Cath originally worked in Early Childhood Education in the TAFE sector and oversaw the management of three centres, being one of the first accredited National External Reviewers for the original Quality Improvement and Accreditation System. Cath’s ability to build strong and lasting relationships with stakeholders and clients and her integrity and commitment to compliance and governance makes her a sought out senior
adviser and trusted colleague and confidante. She is an excellent communicator where she shows her strong listening skills. Cath holds a Graduate Diploma in Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management; Graduate Certificate in Leadership for Education and Training Managers; Diploma in Community Services (Child Care) and Advanced Certificate in Management, Social and Community Services and an Advanced Certificate in Children’s Services. Cath welcomes the opportunity to contribute again to the early learning sector and is passionate about children being given the opportunity to thrive and grow to their full potential.

Gillian Barclay

Board Member

Began early childhood career in Hobart, managing a family day care scheme and outside school hours program. Moved to City of Stonnington where I was Co ordinator of Children’s Services for seven years – kindergarten, long day care, occasional care and family day care. Then to community-based, not for profit, managing three long day care centres and more recently, sessional kindergarten with Merri-bek Community Child Care Centres, over a 12 year period. Now part-time Director of sessional kindergarten in South Melbourne. I divide my time between Bentleigh and the Bellarine. Also a sometime marriage celebrant!

Barry Hahn

Merri-bek City Council Representative

Barry is the Manager of Early Years and Youth Services at Merri-bek City Council and has been a member of numerous Boards and Committees of Management for a range of community based not for profit organisations. He is currently a Board member of Community Childcare, Victoria’s peak body for community-owned not-for-profit long day care and outside schools hours care in Victoria.

Barry is passionate about investing in early years to ensure that young people have the opportunity to thrive and reach their full potential.

management team

Sarah Vallance

General Manager

Sarah has worked in the Early Childhood sector for the past 30 years commencing her career as a teacher. Since then she has worked in Executive Management roles and leading early years services to develop best practice in pedagogy. Sarah has managed her own early years consultancy business in designing early years spaces and has worked in both State and Local Government. Sarah is passionate about providing services of excellence for children and families.