About the Committee of Management

President’s Report 

This is my last annual report as the president of the Committee of Management for the Ada Mary A’Beckett Children’s Centre.

I have been a parent at Ada Mary for the better part of a decade, with my older children Harry (now 11) and Eden (now 8) blazing a trail through these rooms, the result of which has been lifelong friendships with other parents (some of whom have continued having babies and are still here) and a sense of community that we had hoped for when having children and settling in Port Melbourne. It is rare to go to a community event or even walk down the street without seeing another Ada family. My baby, Zac (now 5) will make the jump to Port Melbourne Primary School next year, ending my tenure as president and member of the committee. 

As I think back on our time as a family at Ada what strikes me most is that while there have been modifications, improvements and changes during our time, as well as cataclysmic international events, Ada has remained, Ada. A place of safety, care and growth dedicated to allowing parents to remain in the workforce while being sure in the knowledge that our children are being cared for, challenged, educated and prepared for what lies ahead. 

I’d like to acknowledge the role of the Management Team and the work they have done this year. It’s a pretty thankless job involving dealing with expectations and concerns regarding our most precious commodities, our children. Over my time as a parent at Ada Mary and more significantly during my tenure as president, I have been privileged to gain more of an insight into the hard work and dedication that the management team exhibits in their roles every day, always aiming and striving to make the centre better, more inclusive, accommodating and safe for all. So to Berna, Kirsty, Lynette, Karissa, Rosanna and our newly married Jess, I’d like to say thank you for another busy and successful year. 

Of course, the centre couldn’t be what it is without the stars of the show, our educators. I might be biased, but I truly do feel that we have the best group of dedicated, caring and fabulous educators going around. I love that I can still stop educators in the hallways who looked after my children years ago. This longevity of staff is a testament to the centre and the commitment of all. In the last few years since covid we’ve been lucky enough to welcome many fantastic new educators who are all making such an impact on the lives of our youngest humans. The dedication to their craft that all our educators display is providing such a fantastic base and starting point for our kids, fostering and nurturing inclusivity, acceptance, appropriate conflict resolution, awareness and growth. For everything you have done for my family and for the countless other families who have moved through Ada over the years, I truly thank you all.

I’d like to thank the Committee of Management. All these parents who have volunteered countless hours of their lives to maintain the centre and strive to make it better. This year the Committee has been made up on Andrew Hancock (Treasurer) – dad to Grace in preschool, Sarah Harty (secretary) – mum to Madeleine in pre school, Stephanie Taupin – mum to Robin in kinder 3, Elise Hervault – mum to Ezio in juniors, Prue Yeung – mum to Beau in pre-kinder, Andrew Wynne – dad to Harry in kinder 3 (our fabulous social and fundraising committee), Rachel Smith (our staff liaison officer) – mum to Tom in kinder 3, Caroline Snaidr – mum to Alfie in preschool, Janetta Smith – mum to Fletcher in kinder 3, Regina Staeb- mum to Leo in Pre Kinder, Lana Jefree – mum to Baily in preschool and Eva in juniors and Martin Sonogan and Jasmine Kevric – parents to Sophie in juniors.

Over the last few years the Committee has been faced with many difficult decisions, always striving to ensure the longevity of the Centre while ensuring the focus remains squarely on the ultimate benefit of the children and our community. I’m really proud of my team who have questioned, challenged, researched and worked together for the best outcome.

In particular, I’m proud of how we all came together during the pandemic, retained and supported our staff when the centre’s income all but dried up and continued to be a place where our frontline and essential workers could leave their children safe in the knowledge that they could continue their indispensable work. Where other centres closed, reduced capacity and laid off staff, Ada prevailed and that is a testament to Berna’s foresight and countless Committee’s before us who put the Centre in a financial position to weather that storm. 

This year we say goodbye to Andrew, Sarah, Jasmina, Martin and Caroline and we thank them for their service to our centre. It’s been much appreciated and we wish Sarah good luck especially as she starts her foray into “big school” with Madeline starting prep next year. 

Finally I’d like to wish all our families a happy and safe holiday period and a prosperous 2024. It has been a pleasure and a privilege serving on the committee for the last 6 years (3 as president) and I thank you for all the support I’ve received during this time. 

Asha Fielding

President 2023




Hi everyone! I’m Steph Taupin, and I’m thrilled to be stepping in as the new president of our amazing Management Committee. As some of you know, I’m the proud parent of two energetic boys, Hugo Provost, 8 years old who is in Port Melbourne Primary School and went through all Ada Mary rooms when he was younger, and Robin Provost, who is in Kinder 3.

Since joining the committee three years ago, I’ve been very happy to be part of a group of passionate parents about fostering a supportive and enriching environment for our children. I’m excited to continue to work alongside our existing and new committee members, our talented educators and our amazing Director and Management team to carry on building on this incredible foundation.

On behalf of the committee, I want to express our gratitude to Asha, Andrew, Caroline, and Sarah. Their dedicated contributions over the past few years have been invaluable to the center. You’ve each played a key role in steering the center towards its current success. We’re all very grateful for your impact.

The Ada Mary Committee is thrilled to share our exciting plan for the coming year, filled with initiatives aimed at building a vibrant and nurturing environment for our children.

Our vision: At Ada Mary A’Beckett, we nurture each child’s unique spirit within a diverse, play-based community, building lifelong learners who love nature and respect all beings.

To continue to build on this vision, here are a few steps we took recently:

  • Community Support: Thanks to the incredible generosity of families and the tireless efforts of the social committee, management team & educators, we’ve successfully raised funds for essential projects.
  • Financial Strength: We’ve appointed a new financial auditor to ensure responsible and transparent resource management.

Here’s what you can look forward to next:

  • Enhancing Learning Spaces: We’ll be upgrading equipment and resources to foster creative exploration and intellectual growth.
  • Talent Magnet: We’re committed to attracting and retaining skilled and passionate educators who nurture each child’s unique talents.
  • Exceeding Expectations: We aim to maintain our exemplary National quality standards, providing a gold-standard learning environment for your children.

I’m confident that through collective effort, we can make this a remarkable year for our childcare community. 

Wishing you all a joyous holiday season and of course all the very best for the New Year.

Steph Taupin 

President 2024




The Role of the Committee of Management

The Ada Mary A’Beckett Children’s Centre is a co- operative managed by parents who use the service.   All parents with children enrolled in the Centre must become members of the Ada Mary A’Beckett Association, and as such are eligible to become committee members.

The committee work in conjunction with the director to ensure that the Centre at all times meets all set standards and regulations as per the Education and Care Services National Regulations The director informs the committee of the daily running of the Centre and brings any issues to their attention and reports to the committee at the monthly committee meeting.  The director can also arrange an interim meeting with various office bearers, such as the secretary and the treasurer as required. 

The committee is the employer of all staff and is listed as the responsible persons with the department of human services.  All staff are under the daily direction of the Centre director, and the committee appoints a staff liaison officer to support staff to deal with matters with the director. 

The committee are required to abide by the “Incorporation’s Act” and are also under the guises of the City of Port Phillip, as the Centre receives council sponsorship, in terms of use of the facility, maintenance of the grounds and facilities and a monetary contribution twice a year.

All committee positions are voluntary and are in place for an operational year, being from one AGM to the next.  Vacancies on the committee can be filled throughout the year though all positions are vacated at the AGM and members if standing again, can be re-elected to an office bearing position for no more than five consecutive years.


What does a management committee do?


  • Acts on behalf of the members and clients of the organisation and is accountable to them
  • Has legal responsibilities under the associations Incorporations reform Act 2012 www.consumer.vic.gov.au
  • Sets the goals and priorities of the centre – after consulting with parents and staff and considering community needs and expectations.
  • Plans and evaluates the services provided and projects undertaken.
  • Decides how funds are to be obtained and allocated, and monitors financial performance through budgeting.
  • Employs staff and ensures that adequate provisions are allocated.
  • Delegates responsibilities to enable the work of the organisation to be achieved.
  • Determines its own structures, systems and processes, including ways of resolving disputes within the organisation.
  • Ensures that premises, equipment and supplies are appropriate.
  • Maintains adequate records and undertakes all necessary administrative tasks.


Committee members 2024

Committee Member



Steph Taupin

Robin Provost


Jasmine Garoni

Chloe Garoni 


Prue Yeung

Beau Burrell   

Kinder 3

Janetta Smith

Fletcher Smith


Rachel Smith

Tom MacGregor


Chrissie Straw

Archie Straw

Ted Straw          

Kinder 3


Ellen Heyting

Remy Heyting  

Raina Heyting   


 Kinder 3

Lana Jefree

Eva Patterson

Kinder 3

Christina Loriente

Anastasia Loriente 


Lindsay Kan

Alexis Kan 

Kinder 3

Regina Staeb

Leonard Staeb  

Kinder 3

Andrew Wynne

Harry Wynne       


Jane Weiler

William Trewhella

Ruby Trewhella


Kinder 3

Elise Hervault

Ezio Herviou  

Kinder 3

Catherine Miller

Brandon Bailey


Bernadette Dower (Our Director)




learn, play, grow

Ada Mary A'Beckett Children's Centre

2 Batman Road

Port Melbourne 3207

learn, play, grow

Ada Mary A'Beckett Children's Centre

2 Batman Road

Port Melbourne 3207