Defence Childcare Unit gets ready to welcome children and families

Our Melbourne office is getting ready to open the One Tree Community Services Defence Childcare Unit (Defence Childcare Unit) and to welcome families and parents to their services.

It’s been a busy time for staff at our office in Sunshine West. The Defence Childcare Unit will employ 380 people.  89% of staff have decided to transfer from the previous provider Mission Australia Early Learning (MAEL).

Our enrolments team have been transitioning children across from MAEL with a total of 1,000 children being expected to enrol into services over the next month or so.

Introducing the Defence Childcare Unit team

At the helm of the Defence Childcare Unit is our executive manager Coral Callan who has been with One Tree Community Services for seven years. She moved over to Melbourne from Perth four months ago and has been regularly meeting with Defence to ensure services reach the high standards expected of them.

Tania Iezzi, General Manager Corporate will be looking after our assets. This includes our most important asset, our staff.  She is overseeing the transition process for employees, ensuring everyone has received adequate training through a comprehensive induction program.

Our human resources team also includes Sam Twaddle and Annette Crawford. They are responsible for recruiting, interviewing, training and employee relations.

Many people will know Claire McManus, who is now a general manager for services. She started out as a director at One Tree in Karratha (Western Australia), moving from South Africa. Claire is very familiar with the One Tree community and her job covers everything from producing the parent and staff handbooks, to establishing new links and relationships with the Defence community.

Brad Miller and Ruth Goga, both long-term One Tree employees have slotted into roles as regional manager co-ordinators for the Defence Childcare Unit.

Our regional managers report to Brad and Ruth. These new additions include two new staff members – Lydia Hatzedemetrakis and Jenn Jenkins. Jessa Madison was formerly a One Tree director in the Northern Territory and Keryn Lewis has been a regional manager for One Tree for nearly five years.

Sally Campbell, who previously worked in the Perth central office has moved with her family to Melbourne and is now the individual case manager and enrolments team leader. As part of her job, she’ll be assisting Defence families to secure childcare places.

Other members of the enrolments team include Marian Hennan, Ashlee Scott and Lauren McWaters.

Finance General Manager, Lorensz Senn comes to us with vast experience in the not-for-profit sector. Lorensz is a Certified Practising Accountant (CPA) and holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA).  Debra Kilford joins him as the payroll team leader having worked at the Perth central office for many years.

Raydel Prado is our administrator and information technology officer and will meet and greet guests who visit us at the Melbourne office.

As parents and families arrive at the new Defence Childcare Unit services they will notice different signs and uniforms, but there will be many familiar faces. Our directors and educators look forward to greeting everyone.


The Defence Childcare Program is designed to provide childcare to Defence personnel families and local communities.
If you want to enrol your child into a long day care, which include intergrated kindergarten programs, please visit our services page at
We have One Tree Defence Childcare services across Australia. Please choose the state you live in to see a listing of services for that state.
The One Tree Defence Childcare Unit also offers out of school hours care and vacation care in some areas.
Defence families that need help in finding a long day care, out of school hours care or vacation care can get assistance from our Individual Case Management (ICM) service.
The link to the ICM page is: