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Our Focus

Through the provision of accessible learning, community and work opportunities that build skills, confidence and hope, we shape the community of tomorrow, break the cycle of poverty and disadvantage and enable people to improve their quality of life.

Who We Are

Our Vision

Changing lives through education


About Prace

Prace has 30 years’ experience providing innovative and high quality Adult Community Education (ACE) programs. Over this period, Prace has increased significantly in size and scope of activities and currently receives funding from a range of local, state and federal government departments.

Prace is a:

•           Learn Local provider – delivering adult education and training programs through ACFE;
•           A Registered Training Organisation (RTO) – a provider of accredited education and training programs recognised throughout Australia
•           A funded Neighbourhood House
•           A Registered Charity
•           Independent School


Prace also manages the Merrilands Community Centre on behalf of the City of Darebin, supporting over 20 community groups who access the Centre.  The Prace program, both education and community development, operates across 2 Prace managed sites, Merrilands Community Centre and Prace Mernda Campus, as well as in a range of other community venues within the Northern growth corridor of Melbourne.

Prace actively seeks to work in partnership with industry and with members of the local community to ensure that students and community members have the opportunity to improve their quality of life.

Find out about our partners and funding bodies here.


Prace is governed by a board comprised of local community members with strong representation in all key operational areas. Board members generously volunteer their time and expertise to the governance of Prace.

2022/23 Prace Board


Ann Haynes

Elected to the Prace board in 2014, Ann has 40 years’ experience in education. She has previously held positions in primary, secondary and special schools and prior to retirement was head of Melbourne Polytechnic’s Youth Unit and the Industry and Initiatives Unit in the Faculty of Further Education. Ann has long been involved in youth development and alternative education, participating on advisory and steering committees for Yarra Youth, Pavilion and Youthworx Media. She was also co-president of VALBEC (Victorian Adult Literacy and Basic Education Council) for a period of six years and a small business owner.


Fraser Baxter

Fraser has furnished Prace with his financial expertise, since his election to the board in 2017. Fraser has eighteen years’ experience in the accounting industry derived from a broad spectrum of industries including hospitality, construction, engineering, road haulage and retail. He is a current member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).


Adele McBride

Elected to the Prace board in 2017, Adele brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in the area of state and federal government. Currently, serving as an electorate officer for the Hon. Ged Kearney, Federal Member for Cooper, Adele has a keen understanding of our local area and its needs. She is also an advocate for Indigenous issues.

Deputy Chair:

Sharon Hutchinson

Elected to the board in 2019, Sharon brings her extensive knowledge of human resources, change management and skills in policy development  to our governing body. Sharon also has experience in local and state government. She is currently employed as a Strategic Projects Manager in the Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions.

Ordinary Members: 

David Redfearn

Elected to the board in 2012, David lends Prace his expertise in the area of local government and education. David shows a strong commitment to local issues, serving on a range of boards, committees and networks over the past 40 years. David was twice a Labor mayor and councillor for the City of Northcote for eleven years, he is a longstanding member of the Friends of Merri Creek and has chaired both the Merri Creek Management Committee and the Yarra Riverkeeper Association. His career in education spans from primary school teaching to career development, connecting students with employers. He was formerly a regional industry career advisor for the Australian Industry Group and an early director of Inner Northern Group Apprenticeships Ltd (now IntoWork Australia). He was also a director of the Inner North Community Foundation. David was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 2012 for services to the conservation and environment, community and local government.

Liam Walsh

Elected to the board in 2021, Liam brings his skills in youth stakeholder engagement and relationships building to the role. He has 25 years’ experience working with young people and in that time has been involved in a range of health, wellbeing, education and employment initiatives designed to support this cohort and in particular newly arrived young people.  He is currently employed as the Youth Health and Wellbeing Coordinator at Merri-bek City Council Youth Services Unit.

Jon Rawlings

Elected to the board in 2022, Jon shares with us his knowledge and experience in local government, community planning and social service development. From 1998 to 2022 Jon held a range of positions at the City of Whittlesea, including social planning, social research, project management, and partnership brokering. Jon has a deep understanding of demographic and economic and social change in growth areas and of the key services that growing communities need. Jon has a strong commitment to the northern corridor and worked on a number of joint projects with the City of Hume and Mitchell Shire Council. Jon is currently employed as Coordinator of Community Infrastructure Planning at Mornington Peninsula Shire Council but maintains his career long interest in the communities of the northern suburbs.

 Prace Rules of Association

Discover why Prace is the place to be for people of all ages!

Prace acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woiwurrung people as the traditional owners and custodians of the unceded lands on which we work, teach and learn. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.