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Board Nominees

Below are the 2018 Nominees for the Playgroup NSW Board.


Siobhan King

I am a mother of 3 school-age boys and began attending playgroup in my regional hometown when my eldest son was 6 weeks old. As a primary teacher, I have always been passionate about providing opportunities for rich play experiences during childhood and enjoyed contributing to the all-ages and baby playgroups I have attended and coordinated over the past 11 years.

Studying both Early Childhood and Gifted Education while my children were young helped me to understand the developmental benefits in allowing infants and children freedom in movement, interaction and exploration and the crucial role that parents and families have in making these provisions. It’s been a pleasure to be a part of playgroups where children can be seen rolling, crawling, toddling and running around, interacting with their grownups, siblings and friends and exploring sand, water, dirt, playdough, books and all kinds of materials and toys. I now homeschool my sons full-time but play is still a crucial part of my boys’ days.

I have observed big changes in parenting practices and childhood experiences over the last 20 years as I've spent time in schools, playgroups and families and it will be a privilege to discuss ways in which playgroups in our local communities can advocate for the authentic play that all children need and deserve.

Janine Ferris

Janine is a mum of a super energetic daughter who can't wait for Playgroup each week! She lives in a small farming town in outback NSW which had no activities for young children and their families, so she established the local Playgroup in 2016. Through a wonderful partnership with the local Country Women's Association and community support, parents, carers and grandparents with young children now have a fantastic place to meet and support each other through the drought and general challenges of raising children. Janine is a qualified high school teacher and manages a national education program for a not-for-profit organisation helping young children and school students of all ages learn how to be safe around trains. She is also a postgraduate research student looking at ways to improve the way children learn about transport safety. Janine has also been a volunteer with the NSW State Emergency Service since 2011.


Xin Yin Ooi

I am a mum of two boys and currently running a Mandarin playgroup in Beaumont Hills. Professionally, I have worked with KPMG, office of the Auditor-General of NSW, and I’m currently with a team that manages water resources within NSW Department of Industry. My professional skills are mainly in the Finance, Data Analytics and Government management areas.

I am interested in this nomination because I feel strongly about representing the voices of cultural-specific playgroups, for these families to be heard and be part of the overall Playgroup NSW strategy. Specifically I am familiar with the challenges that cultural-specific community face that discourage them from taking their children to playgroups, or make them less able to enjoy playgroups compared to families that speak English.

I am passionate about cultural diversity and believe that with the right strategy, cultural-specific playgroups can flourish and co-exist with other general purpose playgroups. My view is they should be complementing each other, and not mutually exclusive, in their roles in our beautiful neighbourhood. There are more similarities than differences in the common values that all playgroups share: for example, everyone is expected to be kind to each other, respect each other's differences, and help each other in a volunteer-run playgroup.


Dr. Joane Jonathan

Joane Jonathan is a mother of 2 kids, Chloe, aged 3 and Ezra, aged 1. She holds a PhD in Accounting and specializes in areas of Public Governance, NGOs, Not-for-profit organizations, Accountability, Management Accounting and Strategy planning.

She has served on the University Board at La Trobe University, Melbourne, and various other organizational and planning committees. She has also lived and worked in Germany for several years where she had her first child. Joane hopes her diverse background and expertise will contribute to the board and assist in the progressive development of Playgroup NSW.

She is a firm advocate of Equal parenting and believes in the notion that it takes a strong community to raise a child. Having relocated several times, Joane has a flexible multicultural perspective on families and understands the role of the community in supporting families.


Kellie Tranter

Kellie Tranter is a mother, lawyer in private practice, researcher and human rights activist who stood as an Independent candidate for the NSW Parliament with an unsolicited endorsement of her candidature by anti-corruption fighter John Hatton AO.

She has delivered addresses, chaired workshops and participated in public debates on issues like climate change, human rights and gender equality at local, national and international conferences. She has held office with BPW International and her activism has been acknowledged by the Women’s Electoral Lobby.

Kellie regularly contributes political and social commentary to public affairs websites like ABC’s The Drum, Independent Australia, National Times and Online Opinion and has written for New Matilda and the Australia Institute.

For a period of 12 months Kellie was President of Morpeth Playgroup-based in regional NSW-when it was at risk of closing. During her term both the number of attendees and memberships grew with the success of the group being recognised by Playgroup NSW for its ‘willingness to promote itself and embrace diversity’. https://www.maitlandmercury.com.au/story/4547396/all-smiles-at-playgroup/

Tamera Lang

My name is Tamera Lang, and I have attended my local playgroup at Clovelly for several years with my two children (currently aged 5 and 2). I am the co-ordinator of the group and a session leader. Clovelly Playgroup has operated for more than 40 years, with a membership in excess of 100 families and more than 30 families regularly attending our 3 weekly sessions. My children enjoy attending playgroup for the craft and social activities. For me, I’ve found it a valuable way to make social connections and access parenting support.

I’m accepting a nomination for the Board as I think it’s important for our leadership to include parents who currently attend and co-ordinate a playgroup. Many local playgroups have difficulties attracting and retaining volunteers, and I would like to see more initiatives to support our valuable volunteers. I know there are many practical issues facing co-ordinators, and I want to ensure our interests are recognised and addressed at a high level within Playgroup NSW.

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