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Our Team/Work With Us

Our Team

Our team is made up of qualified and skilled people who are passionate about early childhood development, supporting families and building communities. Our leadership, management, operational and program teams are highly experienced and driven by the values of respect, integrity and openness.

See below for vacant positions

At Playgroup NSW our people are at the heart of what we do. We pride ourselves on our inclusive and engaged organisational culture. We value work-life balance, are family-friendly, flexible and inclusive, which makes us an employer of choice.

Our experienced and dedicated team is comprised of staff based at the Playgroup NSW headquarters in Rosehill as well as support and development staff working in the Greater Sydney and regional areas.

Supporting current and prospective Playgroup NSW members to help them establish and manage community or supported playgroups is the major focus for the majority of our team. This includes providing information and guidance to playgroups, facilitating our supported playgroup sessions and promoting early childhood development with families and professionals.

Our focus and leadership is built around quality service delivery and sees our staffing resources focused firmly on playgroup development, excellence in service delivery, member support and engagement, and continuing our business and digital transformation.

Playgroup NSW also relies on the generosity and passion of our wonderful volunteers. Our community playgroups are run by volunteer committees who dedicate their time to ensure their local playgroup thrives.


Chief Executive Officer

Nadene Lee

As the CEO of Playgroup NSW, Nadene Lee is focused on delivering better outcomes for children, families and communities. She also helps families in need through her role as the Chair of SMART Recovery International - one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing global addiction treatment programs. She has held a number of non-executive director positions, including with the disability support organisation Fragile X Association of Australia.

Nadene has extensive experience corporate and not-for-profit industries, leading strategy and performance delivery for a range of state, national and international organisations.

Nadene holds a Bachelor, International Business (Chinese), and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Queensland, is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and recently completed the Company Directors Course. 


Leadership Team


Mel Hill

General Manager Programs & Quality

Mel holds a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood), from Macquarie University and has had an extensive career in not-for-profit organisations in the early childhood sector. Mel is a passionate, self-motivated professional committed to achieving strategic objectives, and has a track record in increasing the engagement and participation of marginalised children.

Mel brings to Playgroup NSW skills in building and maintaining partnerships, solid operational management experience with a focus on process, systems and implementation of strategy. Mel is a values based leader with a strong focus on collaboration and collective decision making.


Maria Cignarella

Manager Supported Programs in Supported Playgroups

Maria Cignarella is an early childhood educator with over 15 years’ experience, beginning her career supervising long day care and moving into management of supported programs with Playgroup NSW. This includes the coordination and delivery of MyTime peer support and PlayConnect Playgroups for families of children with autism, developmental delays and behavioural concerns across the state of NSW.

She also takes an active role in business development for the organisation, sourcing and creating opportunities to broaden reach and additional programs and resources to support families and children in the community. She has a special interest in supporting children to reach their potential and enjoys developing strategies tailored to children’s individual needs and interests to support them in their ongoing development. This includes supporting language acquisition, behavioural support, self-regulation strategies and physical health and well-being. 



Daniel Muller

Corporate Services Manager

Daniel is an experienced provider of IT solutions, process design and corporate services, having managed the operations of corporate, government and not-for-profit organisations in Australia and Asia. 

He is responsible for managing corporate services, enabling the team to provide excellent support to our members and playgroups. His role encompasses managing and improving our IT infrastructure, HR and finances. Daniel joined us in 2015.



Program Management Team



Hasret Mehmedali

Play Strong Program Manager

Hasret joined Playgroup NSW in 2018 after 15 years in the early childhood and community sectors across Greater Sydney. She has worked in many education settings as well as non-profits where she supported migrants and refugees by linking them to local services. Hasret commenced at Playgroup Coordinating the Community Playgroup Team and was then appointed as the Program Manager for the implementation of our new Play Strong program, which aims to establish 50 new supported playgroups across NSW.



Erika Smith

Community Playgroups Manager

Following a successful national-level Banking career specialising in Learning and Development, Erika joined the Playgroup family in 2012. Having loved coordinating her local playgroup with her own children, Erika brought her passion for family and community service to Playgroup NSW. Commencing in a Development Role, Erika shared her passion and introduced many new and expanding families throughout Sydney, and then broader NSW, to the importance of play and interaction. Working for several years to support existing playgroups and start new ones, Erika has also developed several strategies to support playgroups within a variety of communities including intergenerational playgroups, bringing children and older Australian’s together.

With over 8 years’ experience in the Early Childhood Sector, Erika now leads our Community Playgroups Team for Playgroup NSW, ultimately strengthening our support of families and carers across NSW.


Corporate Partnerships & Business Development



Sehr Minhas

Marketing and Partnerships Manager

Born and raised in Pakistan, Sehr began her marketing career in advertising. She has a Master’s Degree in Marketing with a major in Brand Management. Since moving to Australia in 2005, Sehr has held marketing positions with several not-for-profit organisations. She manages special events and corporate partnerships for awareness campaigns, playgroup resources and other activities. Sehr joined us in 2012. 


Vacant Positions 


Playgroup of the Month

Click here to find out More + Featured Activities

Beaumont Hills Little Buddies Mandarin Playgroup meets every Monday from 10am to 12pm with a wide range of fun activities laid out for the day. The aim of this playgroup is to provide a friendly, Mandarin speaking environment for all parents, carers and children in the area.

Playgroups looking for you

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Check out our Playgroups who are looking for families to join them.

Play Activities

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Children love playing with balls of all shapes and sizes. And with good reason: balls are great for group play, organised sports or just playing by yourself. They are also suitable for a variety of age groups (from babies to children and even adults).

Featured Article

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Mothercraft nurse, Chris Minogue, answers one of Kinderling Radio listener’s question on how to keep their child safe on the ground.

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