Who's Who

The Association has an executive management committee comprising a President, Vice-President, Secretary, Accountant and three additional members.

  Dr Ruth Schmidt Neven








Ruth is a child psychotherapist and clinical psychologist and Director of the Centre for Child and Family Development in Melbourne. She was formerly inaugural Chief Psychotherapist at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. Originally from the UK Ruth trained at the Tavistock Clinic in London and was a pioneer in the UK in the field of parent education. She runs training programmes throughout Australia and overseas through the Child and Family Wellness Consultancy and is the author of Growing Kids: Nurturing Relationships from Tots to TeensExploring Parenthood, Emotional Milestones, principal author of Rethinking ADHD, author of Core Principles of Assessment and Therapeutic Communication with Children, Parents and Families, as well as various papers and articles on child and family development.

      Lydian Conway








Lydian has taught in range of early childhood settings or in the TAFE sector in both NSW and VIC for the last 40 years whilst maintaining interests in horse riding, all things rural and family which now includes grandchildren. She now lives on a rural property close to Lancefield, north of Melbourne.


For the last few years Lydian has returned to early childhood teaching in part time positions in country Victoria and has been reflecting on a long career and the efficacy and operational skills of early childhood staff and the changes in emphasis in early childhood education.


The latest position has been with Eco Explorers. Playgroups are facilitated outdoors in all weather and aim to give parents a point of connection and an opportunity to introduce their children to learning in and from the natural world which has been very popular in a COVID affected community.

      Nicole Tonn









Nicole is a psychologist who works with children, parents and families as part of a multi-disciplinary child development team in a community health service and in private practice.

Susan Emmett.png
Dr. Susan Emmett








Dr. Susan Emmett, Senior Lecturer and Program Coordinator in Early Childhood at Federation University Victoria. Susan is also a member of the executive committee of the Association of Child and Family Development. Susan has been involved in early childhood education and research for over 30 years.

Sue Lancaster








Sue Lancaster:  BA; Grad DipEd; Grad DipSpEd; MA (Applied Linguistics). Susan's post graduate training in early childhood education and special education was followed by a Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics. She has worked in various early childhood sector roles and as a Policy and Program Adviser with government.

Emil Neven






Head of Pastoral Care and Counselling Monash Medical Centre

Amanda Stone





Amanda Stone has qualifications in education, training and child psychotherapy and spent more than 30 years working in education and student welfare in the state education system. She is currently an education and training consultant with a small multi-disciplinary practice.

Janice McDonald CPA