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Our People

Our Patron in Chief
The Honourable Linda Dessau, AC
Governor of Victoria


Annual Reports


Board Members

Barry Smith, President
Elected Member

Barry has had a varied career as a teacher, teacher union official, government adviser and business owner. Barry currently runs an investment company and as well as his involvement with State Schools' Relief supports a school and an orphanage in the Philippines.

Christine Stewart, Vice President
Represents Australian Education Union.

A secondary teacher for over twenty years. Christine’s roles include Student Welfare Coordinator. As an elected official of the Australian Education Union for twelve years.

Rommie Redlich
Elected Member

Rommie is the Head of Superannuation for Catholic Church Insurance Limited. He has over thirty years experience working for large corporations in senior roles. Previously, Rommie spent thirteen years working closely with the Victorian Education sector.

Tony Ross
Elected Member

Tony has held many senior positions in education; in Australia and abroad. Tony runs his own consulting business and as well as his involvement with State Schools' Relief he supports a school and an orphanage in the Philippines. Tony is a Board Member of Bendigo Bank and Vice President of the Pakenham Living Learning Centre.

Ralph Francione
Elected Member

Ralph has a wealth of experience as teacher, Principal, Inspector of Schools, Senior Administrator (Dept. of Education), Chairman of State Curriculum Committees; tertiary lecturer, film reviewer and umpire with Cricket Victoria.

John Hurley
Elected Member

John has been primary school principal for more than thirty years.  He is currently principal of Thomas Mitchell Primary School. He is an active member of several principal networks, and has a strong commitment to providing equity for all government school students.

Esther Wood
Elected Member

Esther has over thirteen years experience as a principal of Burwood Heights Primary Schools and Kindergarten. Esther's past board appointments and various Victorian Principals Association positions provide a wealth of knowledge for the challenges State Schools' Relief faces.

Wilma Culton
Elected Member

Wilma is a Principal at Serpell Primary In Templestowe, a position that she has held for the past fifteen years of her twenty one years as a Principal in Victorian schools.

Maria Shearn
Represents Australian Education Union - Primary

With over thirty years experience in Victorian Government schools, Maria is currently Principal of East Bentleigh Primary School, a position she hs held for seven years. As well as her strong support of ensuring equity for all Victorian students with her work with SSR, she also supports an orphanage and school in the Philippines.

​Robyn Wilson
Coopted Member. Represents Australian Business Managers in Victorian State Schools.
Robyn has worked for 15 years as a Business Manager.

Judi Benney
Represents Victorian Association Secondary Schools Principals 

Judi has had a variety of experience as a principle in the northern and eastern regions, in both secondary and primary setting

Cheryle Osborne

Represents the Victorian Principals Association (VPA)

Cheryle has over 35 years’ experience in Victorian Government schools and is currently Principal of Aspendale Gardens Primary School. Cheryle has been a member of the VPA for 20 years and a VPA Board Member for the past 11 years.


Susan Mann

Susan has worked in education in Victoria, nationally and internationally, as a secondary teacher, teacher educator, policy analyst and senior administrator for over 40 years.  Over the last 20 years, she has developed extensive experience in managing non-for-profit companies owned by the Australian Ministers for education, as Chief Operating Officer of the Learning Federation and Chief Executive Officer of Curriculum Corporation and its successor, Education Services Australia.


Sharron Healy

Sharron has been a parent advocate for public education for over 20 years. Originally on the Parents & Friends Association at her children's primary school, she also joined the school council, and remained engaged in their educations, and involved on these committees, throughout their primary and secondary schooling.  In 2005 Sharron joined the voluntary executive of Parents Victoria, the peak body representing parents of public school children in Victoria, becoming president in 2010.  Sharron also represents Victorian public school parents' interests at the national level, being the Victorian director of the Australian Council of State School Organisations.  Her belief that every student deserves an inclusive, equitable, and excellent public school education keeps her passion alive.


Lisa Amalfi-Chiera

Regardless of social and economic background Lisa Amalfi-Chiera firmly believes every student deserves access to inclusive and equitable education.  Lisa’s introduction to becoming a Parent Advocate for public education in Australia started as Parent Representative on both School Council at Seaford Primary School, and the College Board at Mount Erin College. In 2017, she jumped at the opportunity to join the voluntary executive of Parents Victoria, the peek body representing parents of students in Victorian public schools. Lisa’s passion to see all students have a good quality education led to her involvement with State School’s Relief.


Sue Karzis

Sue Karzis is the new Chief Executive Officer at State Schools Relief. Sue is a values-driven leader and educator with over ten years’ experience in senior roles. She was most recently the Associate Director, Student Services with Monash College leading a team across all student services, including Monash English, Foundation Year and Diplomas across multiple sites. Prior to this, Sue was appointed to the position of Director, Partnerships and Engagement at Trinity College, The University of Melbourne, for over six years where she developed The Young Leaders’ Programs as well as various other bespoke programs. Sue also built markets of local and international students and grew the University’s investment in the Young Leaders’ Program.