Our Team


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.

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


Ranka Trisic

Ranka is a long time supporter of SLAC and its work. She was involved with SLAC over the years in her capacity working in Family Services with the City of Greater Dandenong Council,  and more recently, with the City of Kingston. 

Ranka holds  Bachelor of Adult Learning and Diploma in Community Services, her qualifications, experience and expertise in supporting diverse families is very important for the ongoing success of SLAC.

Emma Sayegh

Emma has been a member of SLAC since 2018. Emma holds Bachelor of Education and Design and  brings in years of experience working in NFP sector, government and business, both in Australia and overseas. 

Emma brings in years of experience of community involvement with strong approach to strategy, and mentoring of groups and individuals.  Her expertise in supporting migrants and refugees to achieve economic participation is invaluable for the success of SLAC Social Enterprise.



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.


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.

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”.


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.”

Christine Hermawan

Education Programs Coordinator

Christine enjoyed a highly successful career in retail business for over 12 years when she decided to change the direction to the community sector and adult learning. Christine started with SLAC as a volunteer English language facilitator and quickly became one of the busiest and most popular facilitators. SLAC is very fortunate to have Christine as the coordinator across SLAC Learn Local Programs and CoCO’s social enterprise.

Apart from coordinating over 23 different weekly classes, Christine facilitates pre-accredited programs in Customer Service and Business Skills, a very successful Interview Skills short course and a popular Work Readiness Program out of CoCO’s.

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