Our staff are an integral part of the DSCCC team. Parents are encouraged to take the time to talk with the staff during drop-off and pick-up times. The centre employs a range of full-time, part-time, floating and relief staff, led by a director and administration officer.

All rooms are staffed in accordance with the Education and Care Services Regulations 2011. All staff are required to satisfy a current Working With Children Check, and to hold first-aid qualifications.

Dawson Street Child Care Co-operative employs Kindergarten teachers, Diploma and Certificate 3 educators. All educators also participate in ongoing professional development. All educators are allocated a position at the centre and you and your child will be introduced during indication to the educators in your child’s room. The centre also employs a part-time cook to provide well-balanced and nutritious meals and snacks for the children.

Relief staff are used to cover annual leave, rostered days off and sick leave. At all times the centre aims to maintain and use a pool of regular relief staff to ensure as much continuity as possible for the children. Agency staff are used on occasions.

Narelle Lawton

Narelle Lawton

Centre Director

I have worked in the education industry since 1995. I hold a Diploma in Children’s Services, Advanced Diploma in Children’s Services - Management and Leadership and a Bachelor of Teaching (birth to five years). I have worked in a number of education settings and I also have 3 beautiful boys of my own who keep my life busy and fun.

I’m passionate about leading an education centre that provides exceptional experiences for children, a place where parents and families can be confident to leave their children while they go to work and study. As a working parent I am very aware of the challenges parents face on a day to day basis juggling work and home commitments and am always here to help with any questions.

Alison Green

Alison Green

Administration Officer

I have a certificate IV in Bookkeeping and I have experience working in Administration. I have been working casually in these roles while being a busy mum of 4. I started working at Dawson Street in May 2016 as the Administration Officer and I have found Dawson Street to be a wonderful and friendly environment.


Sema Ramazanoglu

Centre Cook

I started working here in May of 2003 as a reliever in the rooms with the children. When the cook at the time was away for any reason I would cook for her. Then one day she said she was leaving and everybody wanted me to be the permanent cook... and that’s how I ended up in the kitchen! I love cooking, I love eating and I love feeding people. I just can’t help it. When I cook something I have to make sure everyone tastes it. I think this is coming from my grandmother. I grew up in an apartment in Istanbul and we had lots of neighbours. My grandmother also loved to cook and feed all the neighbours! I love children and feed them like they are my own children. Watching them eat the food I have prepared for them makes me so happy.


Dee Suvanmani

Kindergarten Teacher

My name is Dee and I moved to Melbourne from Malaysia in 2004 where I studied at University of Melbourne for my Bachelor of Early Childhood. While I was studying, I worked in numerous centres as a casual. After the 4 year course, I worked as a 3 year old kinder teacher in St Kilda, giving me the great opportunity to put my studies in practice.

After 2 years, I took a break and flew to Nepal on a volunteer program where I worked in an orphanage, teaching them Maths and Science. The program not only gave me an insight to how significantly important education is, but also narrowed down my passion in the early childhood sector. When I came back to Melbourne, I enrolled in Masters of Education; specialising in Thinking, Knowledge and Creativity. I am fascinated with the human mind and how children at a very young age are able to manipulate, evaluate and apply knowledge to develop innovative and creative outcomes.

During that 1½ years, I worked part time at Dawson Street and did some casual kinder teaching with an agency. Now, having completed my Masters and working in the Daisy Room, I am excited to be a part of the wonderful Dawson Street family and community.


Alison Gibbons

Kindergarten Teacher

I graduated from Charles Sturt University, Albury, in 2009 with a Bachelor of Early Childhood Teaching and Bachelor of Speech and Hearing Science. After completing my studies I moved to Melbourne and gained full time employment in a long day care kinder room in Moonee Ponds. I then worked at a sessional kindergarten in Port Melbourne for a year and a half. This gave me the opportunity to experience and deliver a program in a more structured kindergarten setting.

After 5½ years, my career has brought me to Dawson Street where I hope to continue to grow as an early childhood teacher. I hope to share my passion, dedication and love of the early years with the Dawson Street community.


Susan Keating

Diploma-trained Educator

I began working in the Early Childhood industry in May 1994. I gained experience while working at local centres in many different roles. I began working casually at Dawson Street in October 2001 and became a permanent full time employee in 2005. With support from the centre I studied and completed my Certificate III and Diploma of Children’s Services between 2005-2006. I also completed a Certificate IV in Training & Assessment in 2009. I enjoy mentoring students and am currently the Educational Leader at Dawson Street. As a long term staff member I have enjoyed watching Dawson Street grow and change but maintain a high quality of care.


Shahrooz Dehghani

Diploma-Trained Educator

A decade ago, I came to Australia with my husband and two young children. Whilst raising them, I undertook a full time course at NMIT to obtain my certificate and diploma in child care. I have dedicated myself to not only raising my own children, but as of 2006, the children of others whom I get the pleasure of watching develop and grow. To me, a child develops best through play-based learning by allowing them to explore their environment and find their place within the community. It is important to recognise the uniqueness of every child and support their individual skills and abilities. In doing so, each child will be able to reach their full potential throughout this important stage of their lives.


Mary Ginis

Diploma-Trained Educator

I have a Certificate of Applied Social Science (1985-1986). I spent 4 years working at Acacia Indo-Chinese Children’s Centre (1987-1990), 4 years at Brunswick Occasional Children’s Centre and then decided to obtain my Diploma of Child Care Services at Melbourne University. After that I worked as an Occasional Care Co-ordinator for Sunshine AMEP. I then stayed at home for 12 years caring for my children and then between 2009-2012 I did agency work in childcare centres before coming to work at Dawson Street.


Lucy Luzza

Diploma-Trained Educator

I have been working in early childhood for the past 15 years and in 2000 I decided to further my knowledge and completed my Diploma in Children’s Services in 2002. I have been working at Dawson Street for the last 5 years and recently returned from maternity leave after having a child of my own. I enjoy working here and am very lucky that my son will be here also and know that he will be cared for by a happy and friendly team.


Victoria Kennedy

Diploma-Trained Educator

I spent the last 8 years working in hospitality, 2 years of which I spent working in different venues and restaurants in the UK and Ireland and travelling through Europe and South-East Asia. I volunteered teaching children English while travelling in Laos and returned home to Australia where shortly after I moved to Melbourne and completed my Certificate III in Children’s Services and my Diploma in Children’s Services. I began my first job as an educator at Dawson Street in 2012 and have been here casually ever since. I’m looking forward to beginning my permanent role as an educator in the Sunflower Room in 2014.


Claire Lawrence

Diploma-Trained Educator

I have been working in Child Care for 4 years and have my Diploma in Children’s Services. I have been working at a private centre in Clifton Hill and am looking forward to crossing over into a community centre at Dawson St co-op. I am originally from New Zealand and have been living in Melbourne for 6 years. I have spent time living and travelling overseas in the US, UK, Europe and Asia.


Chico Dos Santos

Diploma-Trained Educator

I’m originally from East Timor. I studied Early Childhood Education in 2015 and was lucky enough to complete my placement here at Dawson Street. After a year of working in private centres, I was even more fortunate in 2017 to secure a full time position at Dawson Street.

Galena, Lorena and Xavier are my children and my teachers in life. I wouldn’t have chosen this rewarding profession without the support and encouragement of my family. I love playing music and being creative and curious. It goes without saying, I love working at Dawson Street, it’s awesome!


Maria Serato

Certificate III Educator

I have been a volunteer in different communities with underprivileged children in the Philippines which is where I come from. I now live in Melbourne and have been in the education industry since 2008 in OSH programs. I have been at Dawson Street since 2011 and enjoy working with the babies.


Mouena Logoitumua

Certificate III Educator

After having my children I decided to stay at home to look after them. Then when my youngest son finished grade 6 I decided to find a job to help out my family financially so I decided to study Children’s Services at TAFE. I chose to work with children because I loved spending time with my own children and knew it would be something I would enjoy. I completed my Certificate III in 2009 and am now very happy working at Dawson Street.


Lola Habeil

Certificate III Educator

I came to Australia from Egypt in 1999. I have a Certificate III in Children’s Services and a Certificate III in Children’s Services (out of school hours). I have been working at Dawson Street for 11 years. After previously working in 3 other centres I feel very lucky to now be working with a very nice Director and professional team here at Dawson Street.


Samantha Burnie

Certificate III Educator

I have been working in this industry for over 4 years now. I hold a certificate 3 qualification but would like to further my studies. I have experience working with children of all ages and I find it very rewarding.


Michelle Nibloe

Certificate III Educator

I started my career in child care and education in 1999 and have been at Dawson Street since 2008. I love coming to work and get a lot of satisfaction and enjoyment from being around children and seeing them grow and develop. As a parent myself I would be more than happy to send my child to Dawson Street, there is a strong focus on freedom, independence and the children’s voices are always heard. It’s a great place to work with lots of laughs from the children and educators every day. When I’m not at work I love to read, go for walks, see live music, go shopping and hang out with my family and friends.


Ajay Fattouh

Certificate III Educator

I jumped right into child care after finishing school. I completed my placement for my certificate at Dawson Street and was soon given the great opportunity to become a permanent educator working as a part of the Dawson Street team. I’ve been working at Dawson Street for almost two years and am loving every minute of it. I’ve always been passionate about working with children and am eager to continue my growth as a positive and enthusiastic educator.


Kayla Bruns

Certificate III Educator

I began working at Dawson Street in 2017 after completing my Early Childhood Education and Care studies from VFA Learning, where I also attained my Certificate III and IV in Fitness and Personal Training and Small Business Management.

I am young and passionate and love working in this industry. I find working with children to be rewarding and challenging as I’m educating them in those first crucial years. I look forward to growing as an educator under the guidance of the Dawson Street staff.


Lauren Salce

Certificate III Educator

I began working at Dawson Street in 2016 after completing my Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care. Prior to this I was studied a Bachelor of Primary Education at RMIT, where I decided that early childhood education was where my true passion lies. I have always loved being around children and watching them grow and develop their own unique personalities and identities.