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Australian Childcare Alliance
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ACA Qld Committee

The ACA Qld Management Committee is responsible for providing leadership and managing the operations of the association. The Management Committee is made up of Approved Providers and operators of early learning services throughout Queensland, who have a breadth of experience that spans early childhood, education and training, and management. Together, their comprehensive knowledge and passion for providing quality early learning and care enable them to provide excellent advice and support to ACA Qld members.

Majella Fitzsimmons, President

Majella has worked in the early childhood education and care sector for nearly 25 years and has seen many changes over this time.  What hasn’t changed is her passion and drive for the sector. Starting as an assistant, she worked her way through her Diploma and many years later, her dream became a reality and she is now a proud Approved Provider.  

Majella has been on ACA Qld’s committee since 2012.  She is inspired by other committee members and their dedication in their volunteer roles on the committee.  She has seen the fight and determination that the committee has put in to ensure members receive the most they can with ACA Qld.   As an employee, she always treated any early learning service she worked at with respect and can understand concerns raised with red tape, changes to legislation and the impact this has.  Now as a part owner of a service, she thinks it is important to put her hand up and work in the President's role on the ACA Qld Committee to ensure the concerns of members are heard and that the optimal outcomes happen for children, families and the early childhood education and care sector.   

Jae Fraser, Vice President

Jae has been in the early learning and education sector for 20 years. Jae is a university qualified early childhood educator. Additional academic credentials include a Bachelor of Education, Advanced Diploma of Early Childhood Education and several business management qualifications spanning the many aspects of the child care and education sector. To complement these achievements, Jae has worked in many roles in the sector, from a teacher through to service management and senior management positions in Australia and Singapore.


Jae has also been an active committee member of ACA Qld for 10 years - he has worked as a committee member, treasurer, vice president and most recently president and he also sits on the National Executive for ACA National.


Jae specialises in monitoring and performance development of the financial and quality assurance of early learning services. Jae is passionate about teaching and guiding directors and managers to manage a healthy business while ensuring that the highest quality of care and education is being provided. Jae founded Little Scholars School of Early Learning.

Louise Thomas, Treasurer

Louise has more than 25 years of experience in early childhood. She is a passionate early childhood advocate and thrives on supporting and guiding co-workers in the sector.

Louise has held various positions from centre assistant, group leader, director to that of an Operations Manager for three large national corporate providers; Hutchison's Childcare Services, Peppercorn Management Group and Sunkids. She has also held positions as a registered training organisation supervisor for one of Australia's largest childcare companies as well as worked in the community sector.

Louise has also worked very closely with service owners to support and manage their businesses, from building a service to running all facets of the operational requirements.

Linda has been the Approved Provider of Kate's Place Early Education & Child Care Centres in Toowoomba, Helidon and Pittsworth.


Linda is a qualified and registered early childhood teacher. She has an extensive professional and business background within the public and private education sector. Over the years, she has devoted much of her time to assisting others with research, advocacy, para-legal and administrative skills.


Linda has been in the early childhood education and care industry for over 20 years and has a great deal of experience in interpreting and implementing relevant law, regulations, accreditation/quality improvement and interacting with other sector professionals.

Debra North, Executive Secretary

Debra has been involved in the early learning sector for over 20 years and has been a member of ACA Qld since its inception in 2003. Debra is the Approved Provider of three services.


Debra holds a very ‘hands on’ role in her services. She works in the rooms with the educators supporting with practice, with the management teams supporting the business development of the services, and guiding the educational capacity of the services with the latest research and practices. Debra mentors and guides curriculum programs and planning. Debra covers all aspects of early childhood education and care in supporting and training her staff and has developed and facilitated training workshops, covering topics such as behaviour guidance, programming and practice, and play-based learning.


Debra holds a Diploma of Teaching and Bachelor of Education, having taught in Queensland schools for 13 years and mentoring and supporting early childhood education and care students with work experience in the VET sector.

Committee Members

Brent Stokes


Brent has been a member of ACA Qld since joining the sector in 2006. He was the Approved Provider for a small group of family owned and operated early childhood education and care services before becoming a father in 2016. Brent has been part of the ACA Qld Management Committee since 2008 and has always enjoyed the opportunities and challenges.


Brent spent four years as the ACA Qld CEO from 2016 to 2020, during which time he worked alongside the Management Committee to achieve the best possible outcomes for all stakeholders.  

Brent's passion for early childhood education and care is providing a safe, happy, sustainable and healthy educational environment for families and educators alike while pushing the boundaries for improvement. He wants to make a difference by being a part of improving education in early childhood through play. Brent also is passionate about continuing to improve the perception of early education and care and the professionals who work within the sector.


Kerrie Lada

Kerrie has been an active member of ACA Qld since its inception in 2003 and was involved in the merger between QPCCA and CIAQ. Kerrie was awarded with ACA Qld Life membership in 2021.


Kerrie commenced as an assistant in an early childhood education and care service more than 20 years ago and progressed through working and studying to Advanced Diploma and to owning her own service in 1999.


Kerrie is passionate about providing excellence in early learning and care and she also works with her community to ensure that families and other community members remain knowledgeable about the change from care to early learning and the wonderful work that early childhood educators perform each and every day.

Katy Mason


Katy has lived and breathed Early Childhood Education for 18 years. She graduated from Queensland University of Technology with a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood) and a Masters of Learning Innovation. Following the completion of these degrees, Katy taught at Queensland University of Technology in Early Childhood Technology, and at the University of Southern Queensland both undergraduate and post graduate programs on Leadership and Management, and International perspectives of Early Childhood Education.


Katy and her family have owned and operated an early learning service in Toowoomba since 2010, with another recently opened in Wyreema. In addition to this, Katy offers a consultancy business, EYES - Early Years Education Specialist, which offers personalised and tailored services to Early Education and Care operators from design and construct consultation, to staff mentoring, and Quality and Curriculum auditing. In 2019 Katy presented at a number of conferences internationally and hopes to secure her PhD candidature this year.

Peta Pitcher

Peta purchased her first early years’ education centre in 2006 and is currently the CEO and Company Secretary for API Qld, incorporating API Childcare Centres. With the exception of a short stint working with a national children’s charity, Peta has remained connected to the early years education sector and a member of ACA Qld since 2006, working alongside the association advocating for the sector, its educators and teachers, children and families.


Peta holds a Masters of Business Administration, Masters of Project Management, is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia. She is passionate about the early years and believes unconditionally, that high quality early years education has the ability to transcend all barriers and lead otherwise vulnerable children to bright and prosperous futures.


Peta’s downtime is spent with her husband and teenage daughters, at the beach, travelling, caravanning or riding her much loved Harley Davidson.

Dene Crocker

A 20-year veteran of child care development and operations, Dene is committed to offering children and their families high quality child care services fully compliant with national quality standards.


With a focus to safe and stimulating physical environments, and staff who are trained and supported to best meet the educational and care needs of children, Dene operates, in partnership, a number of childcare services across Queensland. His ethos is that quality childcare is essential to the economic and social participation of parents and the research outcomes for children are clear.


A father of three children, Dene knows how important it is for parents to feel confident that their children are safe, valued, and nurtured and that as parents they are true partners in the care arrangements.

Kylie Petersen


During Kylie's time in the early education and childcare field, she has experienced working with children of all ages, creating many memories during her early learning professional journey.


Kylie's journey in early childhood education and care commenced 20 years ago, starting as an Assistant Educator, and transitioning through to various Leadership and Management roles. She currently holds an Advanced Diploma of Children’s Services, an Advanced Diploma in Business and Leadership, and a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood).


Kylie's vision for the early years is to provide a foundation for children and families that promotes a sense of security and trust, a place for play-based learning and an inclusive environment that offers an opportunity for all. She strongly believes in providing opportunities for children to be free to explore, investigate and be active citizens within the world and holds the view of children as collaborative partners in their learning. Kylie is passionate about challenging the current model and pushing for change in the education system by promoting play-based learning and the value of this practice to children’s holistic development.


Pam Maclean

Pam Maclean has more than 30 years of sector experience across all aspects of early learning service design, development and delivery. She is enthusiastic about enhancing children’s education experiences and building strong links with community. Her practical experience ensures she understands business needs and what is required to deliver high quality care and education. Pam has been ACA Qld’s mentor since the Educator Mentoring Program was established and particularly enjoys working with services across Queensland to support, train and mentor Educators and Directors to improve outcomes in all aspects of centre operations.


Pam speaks at conferences and delivers training in all areas of practice, including programming, positive team work, QIP development, A & R preparation and many other relevant topics.


Pam holds a Master of Education (Education Leadership) degree, amongst other qualifications, and has an extensive theoretical and working knowledge of the National Quality Framework and Assessment & Ratings system. Pam founded and operates the extremely successful Big Day Out Care & Education centres, based on the Sunshine Coast, as well as her Child’s Play Consultancy service. She and a colleague also produce high quality and practical childcare resources under the EYLF Made Easy banner.


Pam is keen to contribute to the work of ACA Qld, supporting members and early childhood education and care in general, through her involvement.