Michael Pakakis, AM


Michael has a BSc in microbiology and biochemistry from Latrobe University and a Dip Ed from Monash University. He has directed VSSEC since 2006. He was awarded the Latrobe University Deans Medal for outstanding service to Science and Engineering, 2007.

Peta Kenny

Program Manager & Finance Officer

Peta has a BEng in Environmental Engineering from RMIT. She leads the day-to-day delivery of VSSEC programs, is responsible for new educator training, contributes to the development of new programs and manages VSSECs finances.

Stephen Gray

IT Manager

Stephen has a degree in Information Technology from Federation University. He is responsible for maintaining the technology in VSSEC, ensuring the best experience for students who participate in our programs. Stephen is the one who keeps the lights on in the literal sense.

Danielle Shean

Laboratory Manager, Curriculum Developer

Danielle has a BSc in geology and MSc in palaeontology from Monash University. Danielle is responsible for the operation of the laboratory, and development of VSSEC programs. Danielle was once stuck in a cave for six hours.

Luca Bertolacci

Strategy and Partnership Manager

Luca has a BSc in Biomedicine and a Graduate Diploma of Education from Victoria University. Responsible for strategic and operational planning at VSSEC, he also teaches and works in a coaching capacity as a Learning Specialist at Strathmore Secondary College.

Mark Gleeson

STEM Learning Specialist & Curriculum Manager, Teaching & Learning

Mark has a BSc and a Master of Teaching, with industry expertise in the disciplines of Science and Engineering. His role is to explore development of current and emergent curriculum areas across a wide audience. Mark loves a good pun.

Vicky Scicluna

Administration Manager

Vicky is the first point of contact for all enquiries relating to VSSEC. She manages our front office, bookings, events and general finance. Vicky is friendly, organised and has a bubbly personality. She has
been a staff member with VSSEC for over 12 years.

Thomas Barnes

Curriculum Writer

Thomas has a BSc in biology from Deakin University and a Grad. Dip. Ed from RMIT University. His duties include developing curriculum for the centre, program writing and assisting in the delivery of VSSEC programs. His favourite family of dinosaurs are the Hadrosaurs.

Ciara Pell

Lead Educator

Ciara has a BSc in Applied Physics and a GradDip in Astronomy. Her role includes the delivery of programs, supporting the Challenge Enrichment project and contributing to the development of new programs. Ciara is very passionate about space sciences and remembers receiving a telescope for her 12th birthday.

Ian Christie

Finance Officer, Curriculum Developer and Special Projects

Ian has a Bach Sci. and Dip. Ed. from Latrobe University. His duties include developing programs, organizing special projects and financial officer. Ian is the author of The Australian Bicycle Book.

Emma Barnett

Student Excellence Program Coordinator

Emma has a BSc in physics from the University of Melbourne. With a deep enthusiasm for STEM outreach and education, they coordinate the Invisible Universe and VSSEC STEM Club programs. Emma once filled in for a kids entertainment show as a clown named Wally.

Dr Chris Kladis

Curriculum Developer

Dr Chris Kladis has a PhD in physical chemistry and spectroscopy from RMIT. He is currently developing new STEM curriculum. Chris has survived flaming sodium shrapnel and unruly chemical rockets.