Learning and Skills | Community Connections |
Excellence | Innovation | Integrity

Our People

“Any community organisation is only as good as its people are”.

Committee of Governance:

Leah Douglas


Leah Douglas is a true leader of SLAC governance team. Leah has served on SLAC Committee for many years, she was the Secretary since 1997 until 2014 when Leah was elected President.  With tertiary qualifications in Education and Finance and years of experience in business executive and strategic roles in the insurance sector, Leah makes invaluable contribution to SLAC work.

Bev Douglas


For the largest part of the past 45 years, Bev looked after the people inside and outside of SLAC. As a true leader she would always have a wise and friendly solution for any problem, and make SLAC experience unique and enjoyable for everyone.  Bev Douglas was awarded Citizen of the Year 2015 Greater Dandenong Australia Day Award.

David Hawkins


David holds tertiary qualifications in Business Studies. He has had over 35 years of experience working in managerial roles for State and Local government. David has been involved with the local community for many years and is making a substantial contribution to the Centre with his vigour and experience. David was awarded The Caroline Chisholm Award in 2014 and we commend David for many years of volunteering for the community.

Kim Tao


Kim has been an active Committee member since 2014.

Kim is involved with a range of community groups and organisations in the area and makes valuable contribution to SLAC and the community. Kim holds qualifications of Diploma of Community Development and Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.

Committee Members:

Christina Taylor

Cristina has worked in the fashion and creative industry for over 20 years; she works as an independent arts manager, developing and managing cultural events that promote inclusion and equality in the arts.  

Cristina holds tertiary qualifications in Arts Management, Fashion Technology and Business Administration.

Cristina is an active member of Women’s Association South East Melbourne Australia – Wasema a SLAC initiative that finds pathways for women to gain access to education, employment and business.

Cristina is a member of Australia Brazilian Citizens Council of Victoria, a not-for-profit organisation led by volunteers to be the point of contact between the Brazilian Embassy in Australia and the Brazilian Community in Victoria.

Tuan Tran

Tuan has been involved with  SLAC  for many years. He joined the Committee in 2017 to work closer with SLAC team to make a positive difference in the community.

Tuan brings in extensive knowledge in the printing industry and marketing services sector.

Tuan is an active member of the Melbourne Asian Basketball Association and the Wah Chin Sports Club of Melbourne


Alf DeHombre

Alf joined the Committee in the middle of 2017. Alf brings in wealth of experience in design, digital and print marketing.

His unique artistic flair coupled with professional design skills give SLAC marketing material a competitive edge and help wider community visualise our aspirations and reflect on the day-to-day work.

Team of Staff

Elena Sheldon


Elena has worked in the non-profit sector for nearly fifteen years and has been a Manager of SLAC since 2005. She holds tertiary qualifications in Education, Linguistics and Business Management. Elena is a NAATI accredited interpreter and a qualified Trainer and Assessor.

Elena’s energy, inspiration and positive attitude lead SLAC, its students and the community to prosperity, stability and success.

Nooroa Andrew

Coordinator at CoCO’s – Community Creating Opportunities SLAC Social Enterprise

Nooroa has been involved with SLAC for over five years, starting as a student, then volunteering on the Committee and joining the team of staff in 2017. She holds Diploma of Community Development and is an absolute champion in engaging with and empowering clients and volunteers to achieve positive changes.

Nooroa holds a very busy position coordinating over 50 volunteers, overseeing CoCO’s sales and coordinating Community Food Fund providing food and other material aid to nearly 600 clients during the year.

“Whoever walks into CoCO’s to shop, get assistance or just browse will never walk out with nothing. We are always happy to chat and smile, share a joke or a piece of wisdom”.

Lina Lim

Digital Literacy Trainer

Lina holds tertiary qualifications in IT Systems Management and facilitates Digital Literacy and Cultural Learning Club for parents at Springvale Rise Primary School. Lina’s classes are very helpful for beginners, her students share great friendship and the sessions become real problem solving forums.

Hyleen David

Volunteer Line Dancing Tutor

Our popular line dancing classes are held at SLAC every Wednesday, 10am – 11.30am and Hyleen makes each and every class fun with lots of cheer and smiles.

Dianna Masciulli

Education Programs Coordinator

Dianna has had a successful career as a Beauty Therapist including many years running her own successful business.  Dianna holds Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.  She completed many professional development programs in adult education and management.

Apart from coordinating over 20 different programs, Dianna facilitates English language courses, pre-accredited programs in Customer Service and Business Skills and a very successful Interview Skills short course.

 “SLAC is the most dynamic and innovative organisation, open to change and challenges. I enjoy working with the team of the most talented facilitators, great staff and very professional Committee”.

Ann Pathmasiri

Finance Officer

Ann joined SLAC team later in 2014. diligence, attention to detail and professionalism are vital to ensure that SLAC financial matters are handled properly.

Laura Cerbus

Adult Learning Facilitator – EAL

Laura holds Bachelor of Arts (English Education) from Geneva College in the United States.

Laura has been teaching for over eight years, and has taught students at every age level – primary, secondary, undergraduate, and adult education. She loves being in the classroom and sharing the learning experience with her students.

“It is a gift to teach people from so many different places and backgrounds, and I love how my job at SLAC connects me to learners who stretch me and teach me more about this beautiful world”.


Karen De Fransz

Adult Learning Facilitator – Sewing and Alterations Skills 

Karen is a third generation Sewer, qualified in Clothing and Textile Production at RMIT University and completed Adult Learning Facilitation program at SLAC.

Karen is committed to helping women in the community learn new skills whilst reviving a dying industry. She also runs a successful home based Sewing and Alteration Business.

“Tutoring at SLAC is one of the things I love doing. I enjoy everything about sewing and interacting with people from all walks of life.”

Mariela Sonn

Admin and Finance Coordinator

Mariela holds qualifications in Business and Financial Services.  For over eight years she has held this very challenging position coordinating venue bookings, student enrolments and outcomes, and bookkeeping duties.

Mariela is the first point of contact for SLAC and always demonstrates patience and empathy to all people.

“What I like about working at SLAC is the changes that are happening every year and great new initiatives that bring challenges but also opportunities to learn new skills, meet new people and stay tuned moving into the future”.


Carolyn Leach

Adult Learning Facilitator – EAL

Carolyn holds Bachelor of Arts majoring in Psychology, Diploma of Counselling and Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. Carolyn previously had her own business assisting clients with Life Coaching. This has put her in good stead for developing rapport quickly and then assisting build confidence and autonomy in her students.

She works with learners from all levels and caters to their individual needs. Carolyn’s particular strength is achieving great outcomes for learners with extremely limited verbal English.

“I love working for SLAC as I enjoy the diversity of cultures among the students and the challenge of many different levels in one class”.

Jikany Deiwal

Information Technology Trainer

Jikany has delivered training in Information Technology at SLAC since 2009. Jikany holds tertiary qualifications in Information Technology and is a qualified Trainer and Assessor. He has a unique combination of IT expertise and professional skills in community engagement. Jikany is a very popular trainer at SLAC and is respected by all students regardless of age, gender and cultural background.