Welcome to the Victorian Parents Council Parent Podcast Series. Our podcasts have been delivered since 2018 and feature authority speakers in many fields of interest that link to education and parenting children.

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VPC Parent Podcast Speakers

Dianna Daou picture - Podcast


Dianna Daou is an academic performance coach of nearly a decade specializing in working with year 10-12 students to achieve their academic goals. Through her time as a student studying Biochemistry and a Master’s in Education as well as 6 years working in workplace training and development, Dianna noticed a set of fundamental skills that are not being taught at school or university. These missing skills are affecting student’s ability to organize their time, process information and create habits that help them achieve their goals. Because of this, Dianna has made it her personal mission to help students develop these skills and strategies they are not getting from the traditional schooling system and over the 9 years has helped thousands of students maximize results and minimize stress.

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Michelle Mitchell picture - Podcast


Michelle Mitchell is an award-winning speaker, and bestselling parenting author. She has been termed ‘the teenage expert’ by the media and is sought after for her compassionate and grounded advice for parenting tweens and teens. Michelle started her career as a teacher, but soon discovered a special interest in wellbeing. She left teaching in 2000 to found Youth Excel, a ‘boutique’ health promotion charity which delivered tailor made life skills programs and psychological services to thousands of young people and their families. Today she uses her experience to write and speak in schools, community events and through media. https://www.michellemithcell.org

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Dr Marie Yap picture - Podcast

Dr Marie

Marie is an Associate Professor and Psychologist at Monash University. She is passionate about translating research evidence into resources that parents can access, to help promote their children’s resilience and protect them from mental health and substance misuse problems. She has developed personalized online programmes to empower parents with evidence-based skills and strategies as part of her Parenting Strategies Program, with the aim of reducing the risk and impact of mental health conditions in children and young people. She is mum to an energetic 8-year-old and a 12-year-old turning 16.

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Pamela Holko picture - Podcast


Pamela Holko was an educator for more than 30 years of her life and when she retired in 2006 – she did so just in time to become a grandparent. After 6 years of grand-parenting duties Pamela decided to write a book about it, titled “Wednesday At Gams. Providing daycare for grandchildren: what really works.”

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Maggie Dent picture - Podcast


Commonly known as the ‘queen of common sense’, Maggie Dent has become one of Australia’s favourite parenting authors and educators. She has a particular interest in the early years, adolescence and resilience, and is an undisputed ‘boy champion’. Maggie’s experience includes teaching, counselling, and working in palliative care/funeral services and suicide prevention. Maggie is an advocate for the healthy, common-sense raising of children in order to strengthen families and communities. She is a passionate, positive voice for children of all ages.

Maggie is regularly featured on parenting blogs, podcasts and news sites, as well as being heard on commercial and ABC radio around the country including Nova 937. She also appears regularly on national TV. Maggie is the host of the ABC podcast Parental As Anything. She is the author of seven major books, including her bestselling 2018 book Mothering Our Boys and her 2020 release From Boys to Men. Maggie has also authored several smaller books and e-books, and is a prolific creator of resources for parents, adolescents, teachers, educators and others who are interested in quietly improving their lives.

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Lisa Maltman picture - Podcast


The Sleep Connection was established by Lisa Maltman to meet the growing need to educate students, teachers and parents in schools on the importance of sleep health. Lisa is passionate about healthy sleep and concerned about the fact that over 30% of primary school children and 70% of teenagers are sleep deprived.

This is having significant consequences on many areas of their lives such as:
Learning & memory– sleep helps concentration and motivation along with consolidation and strengthening of new information and memories.
Emotional & mental health– studies show children and teenagers who are sleep deprived are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety, negative body image and low self-esteem.
Behaviour & decision making– sleep deprivation affects decision making capacity, has a negative effect on relationships and increases risk of accidents.
Body systems– sleep deprivation affects children’s physical growth, brain development, immune system and plays a key role in weight gain.

Lisa trained as registered nurse and has spent much of her career in medical sales, corporate and sleep health.
She is a mum of two daughters of primary and secondary school age.

The Sleep Connection

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Dr Julia Stone picture - Podcast

Dr. Julia
Stone, PhD

Dr Julia Stone is a Research Fellow at Monash University, with expertise in sleep and chronobiology. Her research interests include the role of individual differences in circadian rhythms and sleep on health and performance. Dr Stone uses a mix of research methods and computational neuroscience to understand how the body clock develops, and responds to disruption faced in everyday life. She is currently leading a longitudinal study examining sleep, circadian timing, mood and academic performance in adolescence (The CLASS Study).

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Dr. Bei Bai picture - Podcast

Dr. Bei

Dr. Bei Bei is a Senior Research Fellow at Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health, Clinical Psychologist andResearch Lead at Monash University Healthy Sleep Clinic. She holds a Doctor of Psychology (Clinical) and a PhDfrom Universityof Melbourne. Her research and clinical work focus on the individual differences in sleep-wake behaviours, the relationship between sleep and mental health, and psychological interventions for better sleep.

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SARAH HUMPHREYS min min - Podcast


Sarah Humphreys is a freelance education consultant with a focus on inclusion and developing and promoting curriculum access for all.  She is passionate about building positive relationships between parents and schools to support genuine inclusion.

Sarah has a Master’s degree in Special Education from the University of London. She has worked in both regular and special education settings in England and Australia and has lectured at the University of Sydney on inclusion. Through her role as Student Diversity Senior Project Officer with the Australian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (ACARA) Sarah was able to introduce Universal Design for Learning (UDL) as part of the curriculum development process to ensure the curriculum could be interpreted and implemented flexibly to meet the needs of all students.

BA (Hons) Primary Education, MA Special Education | https://inclusiveschools.com.au/ | ttps://www.authenticparentvoice.com/ | Linkedin | https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfqz5CPyw2r09x6DVc5wKxA

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Justin Coulson min - Podcast


After a successful radio career Justin returned to school in his late 20’s where he earned his psychology degree from the University of Queensland and his PhD in psychology from the University of Wollongong.

Since then he has written multiple peer-reviewed journal articles and scholarly book chapters, as well as several books and ebooks about parenting, including the 21 Days to a Happier Family (Harper Collins, 2016) and 9 Ways to a Resilient Child (Harper Collins, 2017).

Justin is also a highly sought-after international speaker delivering keynote speeches and workshops to boost wellbeing and improve relationships for parents, teachers, students and employees and students.

Justin has worked with The Commonwealth Bank, American Express, the Office of the Children’s E-safety Commissioner, The Federal Government’s Department of Social Services, Life Education, and hundreds, of schools.

Justin is an Honorary Fellow at the Centre for Positive Psychology in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne. He is a consultant to the Federal Government’s Office of the Children’s e-Safety Commissioner, and has acted (and continues to act) in an advisory capacity to well-known organisations including Beyond Blue, the Raising Children Network, Life Education, Intel Security, and the Alannah and Madeline Foundation.In addition, Justin is consistently sought after by the media for his expertise. He writes a weekly advice column for Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, appears regularly on The Project, the TODAY Show, Studio 10, Mornings and several radio stations around the nation. He is also the parenting expert at kidspot.com.au, Australia’s number one parenting website. Justin and his wife Kylie have their six daughters (yes six!) and live in Queensland. Together they have successfully taught their children to sleep in their own beds, wear clothing even when it’s hot, use the bathroom, and eat at least some of the food on their plate most of the time. https://www.happyfamilies.com.au/

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Amanda Lecaudee min min - Podcast


Amanda is an experienced academic life coach, executive function coach and organising expert who works closely with schools and students to ensure they are equipped with simple and effective organisational, time management and study skills, which are key to their success and enjoyment at school and in life. She regularly speaks and conducts workshops for students from Year 6-12 and in particular with a focus on the transition of students between primary and secondary school. Amanda’s workshops range from speaking to small and large student groups with the topics focusing on educating and providing students with practical tips and strategies to assist them with their academic lives.

She is a regular speaker at a variety of conferences, workshops and panels and is becoming well known for her expert knowledge and experience in these key topics. Amanda’s audiences, particularly parents, appreciate her content rich tips and strategies enabling them to be better equipped to face the challenges they and their children confront today. https://organisingstudents.com.au/ | Ep27 VPC – Homework and Study with Amanda Lecaudé

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Kelly George Profile pic - Podcast


I’m Kelly. I’m an Aussie who is currently living in a rainbow caravan, travelling our beautiful country. Along for the ride is my husband of 17 years, Daniel, and our five children – Gabrielle, 14, Holli and Asha, 13, Rex, 12, and Forrest, 9.

None of our children have ever been to school (or kinder, or childcare). We decided early on to home-school and have never regretted our decision. Although I thought home-schooling would be school at home (oh, how wrong I was!) I thought it would be the only way for my children to get a truly individualised education, and maintain their confidence and quirky individuality. Over the last ten years, I’ve realised that the education benefits are only the tip of the very large iceberg of home-schooling benefits.

Apart from home-schooling, I love travel. I also love making stuff. I sew, crochet, knit, make soap, cook from scratch, and when we’re living in a house, it’s always a mini-farm (Anglo-Nubian goats are my thing). I love seeing how things work, and learning how to DIY. The rainforest is where I feel most at home, and I’m happiest when I have a big pile of books and projects ready for me to work on. I’m opinionated, somewhat blunt and love a great debate. And one day I’ll finish my nursing degree (four subjects to go!). | Ep 25 VPC – Home Schooling with guest Kelly George |

Links Mention in this Podcast: https://fearlesshomeschool.com/ | https://gabriellegeorge.com/ | https://www.vrqa.vic.gov.au/home/Pages/homeeducation.aspx | https://australianhomeschoolsummit.com/

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Linda McNeil - Podcast


Over two decades, Linda McNeil has worked with schools, school systems, parents and parent associations to advocate for parents, build relationships and manage conflict.  She believes that the beauty lies in the liminal space where schools and families encounter each other to build the best environment they can for all children.

Linda is a well-known speaker on parent engagement, conflict management and generational differences.  She regularly presents workshops for teachers and pre-service teachers.

Linda is a licensed coach with Growth Coaching International

M.B.A., Grad Cert Dispute Resolution, B.Bus. | https://lindamcneil.com.au | Linkedin

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Steve Biddulph min - Podcast


Steve Biddulph is one of the world’s best  known parent educators. A psychologist for 30 years, he is now retired but continues to write and teach.  His books, including The Secret of Happy Children, Raising Boys, The New Manhood and now 10 Things Girls Need Most are in four million homes and 31 languages.  They have influenced the way we look at childhood and especially the development of boys and men.  Today though, the exploitation and misuse of girls and young women globally are a major focus. 

Steve’s live talks have had a remarkable public response, reaching 130,000 people.  Many people express surprise at how moving and emotional these talks are, as well as how much fun.  | https://www.stevebiddulph.com

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Prof. Dr Debbie Pushor min min - Podcast

Pushor PhD

In this interview we hear from Debbie Pushor PhD. Professor, Department of Curriculum Studies, University of Saskatchewan, Canada. Debbie has engaged in narrative inquiries into parent engagement and leadership, a curriculum of parents, and parent knowledge. In her undergraduate and graduate teaching, Debbie makes central an often absent or underrepresented conversation about the positioning of parents in relation to school landscapes. Debbie, in collaboration with the Parent Engagement Collaboratives I and II, published, Portals of Promise: Transforming Beliefs and Practices through a Curriculum of Parents (Sense Publishers, 2013) and Living as Mapmakers: Charting a Course with Children Guided by Parent Knowledge (Sense Publishers, 2015).

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Dr. Glenn Melvin min min - Podcast

Dr. Glenn

Dr Glenn Melvin is an Associate Professor & clinical and counselling psychologist from the School of Psychology, Deakin University in Melbourne. Glenn completed his PhD in the treatment of adolescent depressive disorder and has since conducted research into novel treatments for youth depression. 

His research interests include anxiety, school refusal, depression and suicide prevention. He is currently working on a program to support parents who have a child with anxiety or depression. He works clinically with young people, and teaches medical students about human development across the lifespan. | Ep33 VPC – School refusal with boys and girls? Are there other clues? With Dr Glenn Melvin | Ep32 VPC – School refusal and truancy with Dr Glenn Melvin

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Mary Kerba - Podcast


In this interview we speak with Mary Kerba. Mary is an experienced educator, combining special needs education and school leadership. Mary is the founder of the Hills Learning Centre, a current professional member of SPELD NSW and Learning Difficulties Australia (LDA); a committee member of the Learning Difficulties Coalition (LDC) and an associate member of the Independent Primary School Heads of Australia (IPSHA). | Ep01 VPC – NAPLAN: Sailing through NAPLAN with your Year 3 and Year 5 children – with guest Mary Kerba | Ep 02 VPC – NAPLAN: Adjustments for students with learning support needs with guest Mary Kerba

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Ruth Fordyce min min - Podcast


Ruth Fordyce is a registered psychologist from The Resilience Centre, Epping NSW. Ruth explains anxiety, what is normal and when to be concerned. She offers practical ways parents can assist their children dealing with anxiety in the NAPLAN test period. | https://www.cosmickids.com | https://www.smilingmind.com.au | Contact Ruth: www.theresiliencecentre.com.au | EP03 VPC – NAPLAN: Managing Anxiety – with guest Ruth Fordyce

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WendyEves - Podcast


Wendy Eves has extensive experience as an educator, and has worked across a variety of educational settings including Early Childhood Intervention, K-6 and Adult Education in Government, Catholic and Community sectors. 

She has developed and presented workshops for teachers and parents focussed on the early years and most specifically on the transition to school. She has developed a number of transition to school resources for both teachers and parents. 

She is passionate about supporting children and families, particularly in the early years, in order to ensure more positive long term outcomes. She is accredited by NESA and is also a trained Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) facilitator. She currently works in a consultancy capacity, providing professional support and services to schools, organisations and individuals. Her specialities include – transition to school, facilitation of professional networks, parent partnerships, linking ECEC and school sectors and developing resources. Although located in the Hunter/Newcastle region of NSW, she is open to discussions re short term contracts, part-time and one off provision of services in other locations.  | Ep09 VPC – Transition to School: A positive start – with guest Wendy Eves | Ep08 VPC – Transition to school: A smooth start – with guest Wendy Eves | Ep07 VPC – Transition to School: Practical tips for a successful start – with guest Wendy Eves | Ep06 VPC – Transition to school – what parents can do to help with early learning – Wendy Eves

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Martine - Podcast


Martine is a parent educator, and qualified youth and family counsellor at the Modern Parent. She speaks, writes and consults on the challenges faced by families in the modern world. With a background in secondary teaching she presents workshops to parents and teachers on parenting in the modern world, cyber safety and living with technology. Martine also helps families and youth with private consultations.She has  presented to numerous school, community and corporate groups as well as individuals struggling with the challenges of technology and the online world. Martine is passionate about helping parents embrace the positive aspects of the cyber world whilst minimising the risks, in order to be the most relevant and important teacher and supporter for their children. https://themodernparent.net/

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Kathryn Angle - Podcast


Kathryn has been awarded a Career Management Fellowship and Honorary Fellowship from The Teachers Guild of NSW for her work in education and with educational leaders encompassing consultation, educational programs and student workshops through her company Turning Point Consulting. Her commitment is to support individuals in identifying and developing themselves through motivation and engagement. Kathryn partners with schools and educational institutions, educators, students, parents and aligned associations that creates a platform for positive career evaluation, planning and transition. Presenting with both educational encompassing departments, independent and catholic systems, Kathryn has corporate experience across a range of sectors as well as over 18 years expertise in human resources, talent management and career development. With this expertise, Kathryn provides an insight to link education and expectations of the changing workforce.

Contact Kathryn: www.turningpointconsulting.com.au

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kate jacobs - Podcast

Dr. Kate

Dr Kate Jacobs (B.A., Post.Grad.Dip.Psych., PhD/M.Psych., MAPS, MCEDP) is an Educational and Developmental Psychologist. In 2013 she was awarded the Mollie Holman Doctoral Medal for the best PhD thesis for the year in the Education Faculty at Monash University. In addition to working as a university lecturer and researcher, Kate is the founder, director and principal psychologist at Raise the Bar Psychology, a psychology clinic based in Moorabbin (with rooms also in Collingwood). Raise the Bar Psychology provides comprehensive psycho-educational assessments for students experiencing learning difficulties; with the goal being to provide individualised and targeted support to enable the student to reach their academic potential. Kate has travelled extensively around Australia presenting professional development workshops to parents, teachers, psychologists and other allied health professionals on identifying and supporting students with learning difficulties. https://www.raisethebarclinic.com.au/

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Thank You for VPC Collaborators

Thank you to Jacqui Van de Velde for interviewing our featured speakers. 

Thank you to Emma Sidney for providing the music for the soundtrack. The original song Cherish can be listened to in full here.

We also thank Jerry Penny, our video editor, from Nurture Queen Videos.


Becoming a paid VPC members has additional value for all. Parents and Carers, Schools and Educators as well as Businesses receive substantial value by becoming a member, and VPC membership is very affordable. 

Go to Join Us to find out more about becoming an individual member, a School Partner or a Corporate Collaborator. 


Becoming a paid VPC members has additional value for all. Parents and Carers, Schools and Educators as well as Businesses receive substantial value by becoming a member, and VPC membership is very affordable. 

Go to Join Us to find out more about becoming an individual member, a School Partner or a Corporate Collaborator. 

VPC Parents Podcast Series

Last year VPC launched "VPC Parents Podcast Series"

Recently we created some new podcasts, with the following topics

  • Careers and Career planning conversations with Kathryn Taylor

  • Parents managing technology with Martine Oglethorpe

  • Parent approaches for learning support with Dr Kate Jacobs

VPC will continue to create more podcasts. If you have a ‘Podcast topic’ of interest, please let VPC know via email, [email protected]

 Thank you to Jacqui Van de Velde for interviewing the various podcast speakers. Thank you to  Ruth Fordyce, Dr Glenn Melvin, Professor Debbie Pushor, Wendy Eves Martine Oglethorpe, Kathryn Taylor and Dr Kate Jacobs for your expertise and time!