The REAIE Committee
The REAIE Committee is an entirely volunteer group that serves the membership through project groups and collective decision making.
Project groups meet regularly and are responsible for proposing the scope of work relevant to their project, the budget, the time frame and the resources.
Each month the whole committee meets to hear about the progress of each of the projects and to respond to any pressing issues. Each committee member sits on one or two project groups.
Much time, many skills and numerous points of view are needed to make the work happen. Many REAIE members and the Network Groups through the Network Conveners offer suggestions and feedback about the future directions of the organisation.
Committee members are elected for a two year term. If you are interested in being involved with the REAIE Committee, please click here.
The REAIE Committee - 2023-2024
Kate Mount is the former Director of St Peter’s Girls’ Early Learning Centre in Adelaide where she was instrumental in the transformative practice using the Reggio Emilia Educational Project as the foundation. For many years Kate actively built networks both internally and externally, convening the REAIE Adelaide Network for an extended period of time before joining the National Committee. Kate has had the experience of attending three International Study Tours as well as many local and national REAIE professional development opportunities. Kate has also been a member of the REAIE Professional Learning Group and for the past 12 months held the position of convenor. Kate is invested in building capacity in others and creating collaborative professional communities, giving back to this incredible organisation that has been pivotal in her career.
Kirsty Liljegren is the former Director of Cornish College Early Learning Centre, in Patterson River, Victoria. During this time Kirsty has had the pleasure of working with educators in the professional learning space both nationally and internationally. Kirsty consults and lectures in a variety of contexts and shares insights from both a practitioner and leadership perspective. On the REAIE Committee Kirsty was Co-convenor of the 2017 Conference Project and is a current member of the Exhibition Project and the Professional Learning Project Group.
Cara Mearns is a kindergarten teacher and the Head of Early Learning at Fintona Girls’ School in Melbourne. She have been actively involved with REAIE for many years, including participation with the Melbourne Network Group. As part of her role on the Committee, Cara is a member of the Documentation Centre, Conference and Challenge Projects. Cara is enthusiastic to take on the role of Treasurer and is proud to be a part of the important work of REAIE.
Leanne Mits is an experienced kindergarten teacher, teaching in rural Victoria and Melbourne, in a variety of settings: Long Day Care, community kindergartens, TAFE and Playgroups. Leanne has been a REAIE Committee member since 2000, is the REAIE Secretary and part of several Project Groups. Leanne has participated in and co-lead a number of REAIE Study Tours to New Zealand and Reggio Emilia, is convener of a regional teacher’s network group, and active with other early childhood organisations. Leanne’s teaching is grounded in learning through relationships, using documentation as a tool and strategy for listening, research and professional learning.
Heather Conroy has worked for many years in Australia and Singapore to support the professional learning of colleagues in building understanding around the values and principles of the educational project of Reggio Emilia. Her current position involves working with colleagues in both the ELC and Prep to Year 2. In Singapore (2003-2014) she established a Network Group as a reference point for Reggio Children in Asia. She became a committee member of REAIE in 2015 and represented REAIE at two Reggio Children International Network Meetings. She is currently co-convenor of the Conference Group. She values opportunities which support on-going professional learning and dialogue and working with such a dedicated and committed group of professionals as is the REAIE committee.
Anna Munari has been a Kindergarten Teacher for more decades that she cares to mention, and has worked in a variety of settings. Anna works as an Academic at Victoria University, She has attended two Study Tours in Reggio Emilia, in 2006 & 2020, and still has a passion for the furthering the rights of the child and the advancement of early childhood education and mentoring of pre-service teachers. Anna is part of the Professional Learning Group. Anna’s involvement in REAIE supports her desire to continue to learn, understand and deepen her knowledge of the Reggio Emilia philosophy and practices.
Ruth Wallbridge is a kindergarten teacher in a community kindergarten in Melbourne. She joined the REAIE committee in 2005. Ruth has been involved in a number of project groups, has represented REAIE at two International Network Meetings, and feels privileged to have journeyed alongside educators as a Reggio Emilia Study Tour Leader. Ruth is honoured to serve REAIE, comprising many passionate and dedicated people who share the vision for a better world for every child.
Ruth Weinstein has over 45 years’ experience working in the early childhood sector. She has worked as a TAFE Lecturer and has been the owner and Director of two early childhood education settings in Sydney for the last 44 years. Ruth has attended 7 study tours to Reggio Emilia and is currently one of the Reggio Emilia Study Tour Leaders. Ruth has been a REAIE committee member since 2015. Ruth is a founding member of the NSW Eastern Suburbs Network group and is currently a Co-Convenor of this group. Ruth is keen to use her current roles to encourage and support educators in their growing interest in the Reggio Emilia philosophy.
Fiona joined the REAIE Committee in 2004 and has proudly served on the Committee in a variety of roles since then. With experience as a teacher, leader, lecturer, researcher and consultant in early childhood and primary education here and overseas, Fiona believes passionately in the work of REAIE to promote a new paradigm of education for children in Australia. Her research into the impacts of Learning Environments as the Third Teacher unveils new possibilities for the synergy between Reggio Emilia Approach and international contexts. Fiona believes professional learning is a key strategy in the growth of REAIE, as we strive to provide meaningful opportunities for educators to connect, exchange ideas and grow practice together. Fiona also currently fulfils the role of Deputy Head (Early Learning - Year 1) at the Friends' School in Hobart.