Glen Education’s management team are responsible for the operational and day to day functioning of its services. In line with the Government’s Early Years Management Policy Framework, the team provides leadership and management to funded community based kindergarten services, and other complementary early years services. The team has expertise in operating high quality education and care, and are committed to working in partnership with stakeholders, staff, parents and children to achieve optimal outcomes.
Samantha (Sam) Kolasa has extensive experience in the community sector and is extremely dedicated to delivering the best outcomes to the communities she serves. Sam began her career as a psychologist working with marginalised, disadvantaged and vulnerable children, before going on to completing her Masters in Business Administration (MBA), majoring in Human Resource Management. Sam is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD). Sam sat on the Board of enliven from 2010-2018, demonstrating her continued commitment to understanding the complex health and social issues experienced by individuals. In 2018, she was appointed to the Board of Connect Health and Community (formerly Bentleigh Bayside Community Health) to further her passion and commitment in this area. Most recently, Sam was appointed to the Board of the Early Learning Association of Australia (ELAA) which will place Glen Education at the forefront of sector and policy discussions, and decision making.
Sam is experienced in delivering services across the entire lifespan. Her previous role as Executive Manager Client Services at FMC Mediation and Counselling saw her responsible for the organisation’s services and operations. Her goal was to ensure the programs delivered demonstrated results, to engage with government and the community whilst remaining customer centric in the building and delivery of the services. Prior to that, Sam was the State Manager at Care Connect where she was responsible for the leadership and management of aged care, disability and mental health services across Victoria. Sam also worked as the Southern Regional Manager at Connections UnitingCare for many years where she led and managed a large number of children, youth and family programs including adoption and permanent care, family violence, drug and alcohol, early years and placement prevention to name a few.
Over her career, Sam has managed large teams of staff across multiple locations. Whilst working for the Department of Human Services as a Senior Policy Advisor, her primary role was the implementation of the kindergarten cluster management initiative.
She brings with her a wealth of experience in stakeholder engagement across all levels of Government within the not for profit sector, and experience in the development and implementation of programs within a partnership context.
As a local Glen Eira resident and parent she is committed to the success of Glen Education as the leading provider of kindergarten services in the area.
Melissa is passionate about growing the notion that children are raised at community level and in an environment where each of us plays a part in the delivery of best outcomes for children and families. Melissa support’s children’s developing sense of independence and recognise them as active citizens in the here and now. She believes that it is a strong sense of belonging that helps to shape who we are and who we are destined to become. Melissa is committed to high quality early childhood education and care and it is for this reason that she is committed to working with the team at Glen Education. Melissa is keen to support kindergarten communities to embrace and highlight best practice.
Melissa is an inspiring presenter who aims to support people to make positive and innovative changes in the workplace. Melissa believes in building collaborative relationships which empower its members to be advocates for children and families. Melissa believes it is important to leave a legacy that future generations can be proud of and continue to grow. Enabling early childhood professionals to critically evaluate and identify new and effective ways to plan and implement an emergent, play based curriculum is also Melissa’s area of expertise. Melissa’s recent experience includes training and assessing, early childhood consulting, managing the children’s program at Gowrie Victoria and is currently the General Manager and Educational Leader with the Glen Eira Kindergarten Association (Glen Education) Inc. Melissa endeavors to find the uniqueness in each person and to assist them to appreciate it in both their own work and the work of others. Melissa acknowledges that the future is uncertain; that we don’t know is what knowledge our children will need in order to succeed. There will be challenges to overcome and joys to embrace. Melissa believes that fostering creative problem solving and a belief in the capacity to succeed leads to an investment in the quality of our today and the enrichment of our tomorrow.
John has over 30 years of finance and management experience in the private and not for profit sectors with exposure across small family run businesses, public companies, private equity and the NFP sector. He brings extensive knowledge, skills and a large network, and he will be a valuable contributor to the leadership team to drive continuous improvement across all aspects of the organisation. He commenced his studies with a Bachelor of Business in Accounting, complemented this with an MBA from RMIT University and continues to hold his CPA membership as a professional in the Accounting space. He has also completed the AICD Directors program to further broaden his skills and commercial acumen.
He will bring extensive financial management, commercial and leadership experiences including board reporting, business acquisition, systems implementation, change & project management, strategy formulation and implementation across various business models including owner operated (franchised) retail environments, and more recently in the not-for-profit education and healthcare sectors.
Furthermore, he has held voluntary positions as Treasurer in the child care industry, and the local football club for many years as part of his commitment to the community, as well as being a regular blood donor at the Australian Red Cross with over 130 donations to date.
Outside of the work environment he enjoys cycling, walking, travelling and spending time with family and friends to ensure that he maintains a good balance to his life, and experience all the joys that our world has to offer.
Mark has a diverse range of management experience spanning over 32 years across early years and hospitality, with a key focus on customer service, business development and leading teams and individuals to reach their goals. During the past 22 years, Mark has worked within the early years sector in various management roles covering operational management of childcare centres, kindergartens, out of school hours care (OSHC), and occasional care. His managerial experience has seen him lead teams across marketing, customer service, facilities, business development, IT, and human resources. Mark has held roles in the not-for-profit and corporate sectors, building client engagement and stakeholder relationships.
Furthermore his managerial experience has been enhanced after working in the hospitality industry for over 15 years, gaining a strong focus on customer service and business development. He is passionate about making a difference in children’s lives and supporting individuals, teams, and families to achieve this goal. Having three children of his own, and in more recent times, experiencing the early years journey through his three grandchildren, he is very passionate about the needs of children and families at this vital stage of their lives.