All of our staff work part time or casually and pride themselves on delivering the best support for all participants and the community. Our staff aim to deliver quality and inclusive learning programs using the Community Development model.

Simone Jamieson

Simone joined the ESNLC team in 2013 and brings with her many years of community and adult education experience. Simone studied Health Science and Arts at Deakin and facilitated community development projects in Bass Coast and Melbourne. After being accepted in the Toyota Community Foundation Mentoring Program 2016 Simone was appointed manager of ESNLC in early 2017.

Simone is originally from the Bass Coast and has a passion for languages and travel. She thrives on meeting new people and will always greet you with a smile.

Fiona Cupido

Fiona has recently joined ESNLC as Bookkeeper and is looking forward to her new role. Aside from this role where she is working every Tuesday she is currently working in the Community Sector as financial officer at an Art Society and Nursery nearby. Outside work Fiona is a mother to 2 busy teenagers, loves Yoga, walking and watching movies in her spare time.

Melanie Norton

Melanie is a qualified Social Worker with a very varied history.  She began as a family therapist in Hobart then moved to England where she worked with the voluntary sector. She then moved into training, writing the education material for the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors as well as delivering the diploma of Welfare to international students. She volunteered with ESNLC to do a research project on how the City of Port Phillip recruit and celebrate volunteers. Melanie loved being at the ESNLC so much she applied for the Education Coordinator position. She loves meeting new people and seeing the regulars at the neighbourhood centre making work fun and interesting every day.

Lisa Murphy

Lisa joined the ESNLC team in 2017 and is responsible for data entry and the quarterly uploading of stats. She has been involved in the Neighbourhood House Sector for over 19 years, working in administration, as well as teaching adult classes in drawing, calligraphy, pen and ink and floral art. Lisa loves working within the community house environment, meeting new people and experiencing all the challenges and rewards that come with it.

Phillipa Armstrong

Philippa is a highly experienced community arts worker and is the current editor of The Roomers Project. She has over twenty years community arts experience working across the fields of creative writing, librarianship, music, dance, theatre and visual arts. Philippa was the children’s librarian at St Kilda library for many years and managed the Port Melbourne library for a few years. She coordinated the social meals program for the City of Port Phillip: working with residents to prepare, cook and eat delicious nutritious meals and create a “family table” and is currently working on a project to establish community gardens in a number of rooming houses in Elwood and St Kilda. Philippa is an Elwood local and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. She tries to catch at least a glimpse of the beach every day and thinks Elwood is the prettiest suburb in Melbourne.


Vivien Atkins

Vivien is an experienced teacher who has taught literacy to adults with an intellectual disability and English as an Additional Language.  With more than ten years’ experience in this area, Vivien has embraced the opportunity to be abreast of the industry by taking a Cert. IV in TAE.  Vivien has been teaching since 2006 at our centre and is passionate about training adults from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds.  Her aim is to create a friendly learning environment in which her students can develop not only language abilities but also confidence to communicate in a conversational or written manner. Vivien is currently teaching pre accredited and accredited training.

Karen McKnight

Karen is our Moving on UP! teacher on Mondays. Karen has worked as a creative writing teacher in community education for decades.

Damian Curtain

Damian Curtain

Damian is our Art Therapy teacher who has a talented group on Fridays. Damian has worked as a painter an sculptor for thirty years. He has sculptures in many public places around Melbourne. He has worked as a visiting artist in primary and secondary schools, and teaches adult art classes in community centres.

Penny Digaletos

Penny has been involved with the ESNLC for 26 years teaching yoga. She didn’t realise it was this long until a student reminded her that that’s how long she’s been coming to class.

Monica Fleck

Monica is our Yoga teacher on Tuesdays. Monica is popular amongst the locals and has a great following. Her yoga instruction and style is extremely thorough and she touches on meditation and mindfulness in her classes as part of the practice.

Annette Shilton

Annette has been teaching English language, literacy and numeracy for over 25years. She has taught in government secondary schools and adult education institutions in both Victoria and Western Australia.  Annette’s main purpose is to develop in her students good reading and writing habits combined with the ability to function confidently in the broader Australian community.  Annette teaches the literacy program at ESNLC.

Petra Sim

Petra teaches English as an Additional language. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Languages and Linguistics, with a special interest in Spanish language. She has recently completed the Cambridge CELTA Course (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults). She has a passion for different cultures and diversity and spent 6 years travelling, working and volunteering in different countries. A highlight was volunteering in Ecuador teaching young children English who were forced to work instead of attend school.

Petra teaches beginners and intermediate students and her classes are held at Emerald hill Library in South Melbourne.

Tanya Vessey

Tanya Vessey teaches digital literacy at various Learn Locals throughout Melbourne to learners and trainers alike.  Her skills cover online resources, programs and App, mobile devices and course design for digital literacy training.

Tanya also teaches creative writing workshops across Melbourne focusing on self expression and storytelling.

Helena Kallaur

Helena has been on the job trainer with our ARCS program since 2015. She is actually employed by Port Melbourne Neighbourhood Centre to supervise volunteers in our Reception Training Program.

Helena has spent many years in the retail industry and has a great deal of customer service experience.

She also has a Certificate III in Community Services, Certificate III in Business Administration and Certificate IV in Frontline Management.

Victoria Repka

Victoria Repka teaches Computer Courses in Russian. She has an extensive teaching experience in delivering Software Design and Data Analysis courses to university students in Europe. She holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science.

She loves teaching and it brings her great pleasure to share skills with other people. Victoria is actively developing her hobby – making beaded jewellery with strong connection with craft community and takes part in local Craft markets and Multicultural Festivals.

Ben Southall

Ben comes from a Computer Science background and has over 15 years experience developing software for a range of companies, including Sky, Samsung, Exxon Mobil and Dyson. He has a strong passion for technology and enjoys teaching students of all ages.

Alastair Richards

Alastair has joined the ESNLC team to deliver a series of Intro to Online Entrepreneurial Skills (Small Business). He has a been a Teacher in Tafe, Univeristy and Learn Local for many years. Alastair is extremely skilled in Digital design and E-learning. His passions in life include; Choir, Yoga, Drawing & Travel.

Katie Wong

Katie is our fabulous Art Teacher for the after-school art program called ‘Have a Go’, which is designed to engage school aged children residing in supported and public housing. The program includes art theory and practice, all in a very fun and organic way. Katie is Melbourne-based local artist armed with a teaching degree, who combines her love for teaching and passion for art. She loves sharing her versatile work with the Elwood community and many of her artwork hang on the walls of private homes in her local community.