Governance and Board of Management

Vermont South Learning Centre is governed by a volunteer Board of Management.
The Board is elected annually each March at our Annual General Meeting.

2021 Board of Management

Marie Pietersz, President

Former public sector career, now a freelance journalist and community leader. A dance instructor and choreographer, she donates her time to provide senior members of the community the opportunity to keep fit and learn life-long skills. Has volunteered at U3A Nunawading for the past 15 years. She teaches at aged care facilities and nursing homes. She is a professional member of Editors Victoria and newsletter editor and contributes articles to community newspapers to promote local talent, businesses and events.

She is a qualified English tutor, specialising in exam preparation for local and overseas students. She was an ambassador for Seniors Week 2019 and 2020.

She has been a Board member since 2018 and looks forward to contributing to the role and functions of the Centre as President.

Nildhara Gadani, Vice-President

Entrepreneur, social activist and mentor with over eight years’ experience in not-for-profit management, entrepreneurship, marketing and project management. She is the founder of Bollywood Beats and the Australia-India Women Entrepreneurs Forum.

Her community engagements include membership of the Whitehorse City Council and Victorian Multicultural Commission committees in work with early childhood learning and CALD communities.

Elaine Ong, Secretary

Elaine Ong has a history of working in the education setting ever since she graduated from University with a Bachelor Degree in Psychology. Working as a guidance officer for children from Grade 4 to year 12 for many years, she became the school’s guidance coordinator after just 2 years. She also helped out in the pre-school department, as a kindergarten associate teacher, during her time as a guidance officer.

After 7 years in the same school, she shifted career to become a full time pre-school teacher, finding her interests lay more with teaching the youngest minds. She became the program coordinator for the pre-school she worked in, and helped lead the team in executing multiple successful pre-school programs.

She has been a part of the Vermont community ever since she was a young child, and has seen the community change and develop for the past 30+ years. Now with 2 young children of her own growing up in the same community, she has a desire to set into motion programs that would be a benefit for the younger members of the community.

Penni Michael, General Member

Penni has a range of experience having worked in human services for 30 years. She first began her work in child protection and has experience in children and family services, social planning and research, community development, employment services and aged care. Penni has worked for state and local governments, the private sector and not for profit in senior and executive positions.

Her qualifications include a Bachelor and Masters in Social Work, Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment and is an Eden Associate. She has a keen interest in neighbourhood communities and local networks and sees the House as being a vibrant hub for a range of activities whilst servicing many interests.

Jarrod Gunn, General Member

A local Vermont South community member active within the Livingstone PS and Whitehorse United SC communities.

Has a work history in health and community development having completed a Master of Public Health and undergraduate qualifications from Deakin University.

Previously a Board Member for Glen Park Community Centre in Bayswater North and has also run his own small business.

Malcolm Brownlee, General Member

Malcolm Brownlee was a uniformed Police Member from 1966 until 1972 when he resigned to set up his own business as a professional photographer, which he ran until 2017. Malcolm also has extensive history of community services. Between 1998 to 2017 he concentrated his voluntary contribution on the Rotary Digital Photography Courses, which have provided specialised knowledge and lots of fun for over 2000 photography students. He is a multiple sapphire Paul Harris Fellow, having managed Rotary projects in Port Moresby, Rabaul, Madang, Lae, Poppondetta, & Mannus Island as well as The Solomon Islands.

He currently judges various photographic competitions, and is frequently asked to address community groups on his fund-raising and photographic efforts. He is a former treasurer of Chadstone Community Health Centre (Now MonashLink Community Health Centre), and a former chairman of Oakleigh Clayton Police Community Consultative Committee. Malcolm’s work has been recognised world-wide for some of its programs, including a street-safe program which involved over 600 volunteers performing a safety audit of the streets of Monash. He served as treasurer of Oakleigh Youth Advisory Committee and was chairman of Friends of Oakleigh Centre, raising funds to run the Oakleigh Centre for the disabled. He was also a member of Rotary ROMAC Committee which raised 1.4 million dollars to assist with medical treatment for disadvantaged individuals in developing countries. Currently Malcolm runs his own small factory in Ferntree Gully manufacturing picture frames, and other motivational and memorabilia items under contract for Victoria Police. He considers this to be just a hobby to keep himself occupied and the thousand square metre factory is his “Man-Cave”!

Dr. Raj Sharma, General Member

Raj has worked in Australian secondary and tertiary education for over four decades. Initially he completed a Bachelor of Science and Graduate Diploma in Education at the University of Tasmania and taught Mathematics and Science in Tasmanian secondary education. He then completed post-graduate studies in tertiary education management and worked in Australian universities in the field of quantitative analyses and higher education management.