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Our Executive


The TPAV executive structure is different to other competitors. Our elected executive consist of a President, Vice-President and Treasurer who must all be teachers, these executive members make all policy decisions for TPAV.

The Secretary is appointed by the executive under the constitution and does not make policy decisions. Instead, the Secretary sees to the day-to-day operations of the organisation on behalf of the executive.

When we say "Run by Teachers for Teachers" we mean it.

 Mathew Knights 


Mathew has been a teacher since 2005 and has taught in both the UK and Australia, in both primary and secondary government education environments. The bulk of this almost 20 years has been spent as a lower secondary English teacher. He has recently taken up a position in an Independent P-12 School in Ballarat.

“My teaching passion, beyond the delivery of my curriculum area, is in intrinsic youth development. I fully believe the academic journey must coexist alongside personal development.” Mathew decided to seek an alternative to the AEU as he believed that they were not representing him at the time. Instead, it felt like they were pushing a political agenda. Mathew joined the TPAV as he was looking for an alternative to the AEU, who at the time were enforcing mandates onto the entire education workforce, something he was greatly uncomfortable with.

“The TPAVs professional philosophy, which is deeply embedded in common sense, was a no brainer to me. I have not looked back since.” After spending time during the recent federal and state elections (as a candidate campaign manager), Mathew is most looking forward to being a part of the mechanism that can truly represent the education workforce. 

TPAV President Mathew Knights

 Deanne Durst 

Vice President

With over a decade of experience in the field of education and a recent focus on serving as a Disability Inclusion Leader, Deanne has developed a deep understanding of the widespread challenges within our educational organisation. “I believe the existing organisational framework is antiquated and lacks alignment with its intended purpose. We find ourselves struggling with inadequate resources, insufficient preparedness, diminished compensation, and excessive work demands. The expectations are high, and the current environment lacks essential support.”

As a mother of three, two of whom struggle with learning difficulties, disabilities, and mental health concerns, Deanne fully comprehends the complexities faced by both educators and students in the classroom. Her vision entails creating a system that is abundantly resourced, affording educators the necessary tools to effectively support students. This includes the flexibility required to address the diverse needs of children without subjecting educators and students to an overwhelming workload, fostering a conducive work/life balance for all stakeholders.

Deanne aspires to restore the joy of teaching and learning, establishing an environment where trust and integrity hold paramount significance. “My decision to join the TPAV stemmed from a misalignment of values, where the agenda sought was to conform the school's trajectory to standardized departmental directives. I called out the questionable behaviours exhibited within the region. TPAV has been an invaluable ally. The investment in my TPAV membership stands as the most valuable investment I have made to my professional self.”

TPAV Vice President Deanne Durst

 Danielle Prollius 


Danielle has a background in Education support spanning over fifteen years. She began as a dedicated volunteer in her children’s classes and has since developed, encompassing a diverse range of roles across multiple schools, from prep to year 12. 

She is currently working at a Catholic primary school in regional Victoria as a Library Teacher, sharing the gift of knowledge through books is a passion she loves to share with both students and staff members. Danielle joined the Red Union because she wanted the assurance that there was someone else that had my back when she felt no one else did.

“I've seen firsthand the great things Red Union has achieved and continues to achieve for its members, as Treasurer I hope to aid that work to ensure all members can feel the support and guidance that Red offers.” Danielle is looking forward to playing an active part in ensuring all Red members achieve job satisfaction with the knowledge they have a Union that will back them in all situations and not back down until they succeed.

TPAV Treasurer Danielle Prollius

 Scott Stanford 

National Coordinator

Scott has been working in education for over 20 years. Throughout his career he has held various roles in a number of secondary settings in both the independent and catholic sectors ranging from Classroom Teacher to Faculty and Department Head, Head of Boarding House and Director of Sport.

Scott has completed a Masters of Educational Leadership and throughout his career has been part of external organisations such as the Australian Council for Educational Leaders, Australian Boarding Schools Association, Business Educators Association of QLD and has been an active member in many community organisations which saw him awarded the 2016 Australia Day award in recognition for the valued community service in the Electorate of Lilly.

Throughout his career Scott has always been a proactive advocate for Teacher and school staff conditions and rights, and has always been an active member of the staff association in the schools he has worked in – often being a mentor to the new staff when they come into the organisation.

Scott is very excited to be the National Co-ordinator of the Teachers Professional Association and looks forward to working with the state secretaries to continue to advocate for fairness and equality with a goal for providing the best possible education setting for all.

Scott Stanford Picture

 Abi Cohen 

TPAV State Coordinator

Abi brings a wealth of experience to Red Union, having spent nearly 30 years in the community sector before joining our team. During this time, she developed training packages for staff and external providers. Currently based in the Case Management team, Abi's role reflects her deep understanding of the challenges faced by educators and education support staff in Victoria.

As a passionate advocate for workers' rights, Abi is dedicated to supporting positive outcomes both within the workplace and on a broader scale. Working out of the Melbourne office in Clayton, she welcomes members to drop in, say hello and have a cuppa.

Abi Cohen (1)

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The Teachers' Professional Association of Victoria (TPAV) is a professional association. The Teachers' Professional Association of Australia (TPAA) is an industrial association whose principal purpose is to protect and promote the interests of members in matters concerning their employment or professional engagement. No membership fees are used to support any political party (including the ALP), so we are able to source and/or provide representation for all members, on all issues, better than our competitors. Savings of over $371 are just the beginning.

           (03) 7067 8820
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