B4 Co-Chairs

The B4 Early Years Coalition is Co-Chaired by Dr Diane Nailon OAM and Acting Co Chair Mel Gray (Department Premier and Cabinet)

Di & Mel are both passionate about the importance of nurturing our children through their early years, leading the way to an improved future for young Tasmanians.

Dr Diane Nailon OAM – Co Chair

Di has extensive experience leading, supporting and consulting to a wide range of early childhood communities. In June 2021 Di was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for her service to early childhood education. She served as an inaugural B4 leader from 2018 to 2022.

Di is a long term academic and researcher in leading and learning in the early years. Most recently her research publications have focused on intergenerational learning, sustainability, and the role of personal and professional beliefs in pedagogical leadership. In a career spanning more than 40 years Di has coordinated and lectured in pre-service early childhood education courses at Queensland University of Technology, James Cook, and Torrens Universities. Since 2011 she has been employed as a casual tutor at the University of Tasmania. Di’s academic role has taken her to China, Singapore, and Papua New Guinea where she shared current early childhood theory and practice with teachers and administrators. As a consultant Di worked with the Queensland and South Australian Governments and facilitated numerous professional learning experiences with early childhood practitioners in schools, long day and family day care early learning settings, and outside school hours care. Di currently serves on the organising committee of Early Childhood Educators Tasmania (ECET North) and Northern Tasmania Early Years Group (NEYG).

Di advocates strongly for respecting ‘children’s voices’ in decisions that affect them. In her term as a B4 Leader Di co-designed, facilitated and authored the ‘Making Marks’ series of workshops and materials where she prioritised the many ways young children can share their ideas. Di has a long-held deep belief in the power of collective impact to enhance the wellbeing of young children and their families. This belief drives her personal and professional interactions and relationship-building.

B4 Membership base

B4 is made up of a broad membership base of over 250 ie Leaders, Members, Supporters and Friends. The B4 membership base are passionate about and committed to supporting children in their early years to get a great start in life by working together with families and communities.

B4 Support Team

The B4 Support Team is made up of staff from the Department of Education. They provide support to B4 Leaders, Members, Supporters and Friends to raise awareness of the importance of the early years and the need for a whole of community approach. The B4 Support Team bring a variety of skills and expertise in the areas of early years, education and supporting families and communities.

Suzanne Purdon
Suzanne Purdon – Principal Leader, Early Years Partnerships and Projects
Annette Fuller
Annette Fuller – Senior Project Officer, B4 Early Years Coalition

Kate McCreadie – Administration Officer, B4 Early Years Coalition