Meet your Committee


Helen Moore, AM, PhD, is a “retired” (!) teacher educator, who set up the first full professional TESOL teacher education program at La Trobe University (Melbourne) in the late 1970s. She was also Acting Director of the La Trobe Language Centre (1991-93), which included AMEP and ELICOS students. She has taught in PapuaNew Guinea, England, Holland and China as well as Australia. Her 2004 doctoral thesis from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) in Toronto analysed policies impacting on English language teaching in Australian schools from 1948 to 1996. Returning to Australia in 2004, she worked for the AMEP Research Centre on two projects (continuous enrolment and provision for refugee youth with minimal/no previous schooling). She has played a major advocacy role through the Australian Council of TESOL Associations (ACTA) and is currently ACTA Vice-President and Spokesperson on adult EALD provision. Her other passion is music.


Janica Morella says: “I was born in Malta but moved to Australia when I was 2. Maybe it’s because of this huge move that I love to travel and have always been inspired by different cultures and languages. I acquired my Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language (CERT TESOL) qualification in Spain, through the University of Cambridge. I loved teaching English in Belgium and Japan to students ranging from 2 to 72 years old! In Canberra, I now teach English to primary school students who are either new arrivals to Australia or who have other languages/dialects at home and need support. I joined the ATESOL ACT Committee in 2019. It has been a wonderful way to network with other EALD teachers and to continuously upskill through the many professional learning opportunities.

Mei French
(BA Hons, BEd, PhD) is a teacher educator and educational linguist with UniSA, specialising in multilingual pedagogies for EALD learners. Mei has presented professional learning for the Education Directorate and supported Catholic schools in the Canberra region, as well as developing EALD and multilingual curriculum and resources for South Australian and Victorian schools. Mei enjoyed over ten years teaching and leading secondary EALD programs in South Australia, teaching refugee, migrant, local and international students. She also served as chief assessor and curriculum leader for senior secondary EALD subjects in SA. Supporting and advocating for TESOL professionals and students is an important dimension of Mei’s teaching, and before joining ATESOL ACT she served on the SA TESOL committee, including terms as President and Vice President. Mei has presented professional learning for ATESOL ACT, SATESOL, VicTESOL, and at ACTA conferences.



Tania Hadlow
I came to TESOL later in life after having my children. I completed the MA TESOL at the University of Canberra in 2014 and commenced working in ELICOS programs in the ACT. Four years ago I made the move from teaching in ELICOS to teaching adult migrants. I have loved teaching both types of student but teaching the migrant students has taught me so much and I love seeing the positive outcomes we make to their lives. I’ve been a member of ATESOL for a number of years and have benefitted from their fantastic PL opportunities. This year I joined the committee and am thrilled to be part of such an experienced and passionate group.


Barbara Rogstad: Bachelor of Arts: German Studies, Bachelor of Arts: French Studies, MA: International Relations / International Communication, MA of Law: Human Rights Law and Policy, CELTA. Originally from Seattle, Washington (USA), Barbara has worked for such international organisations as Amnesty International, Berlitz, and Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia. She has also participated in several governance bodies such as the NSW Branch Committee for Amnesty International and the Pfadfinderfuehrungsgruppe (World of Scouts Movement) when living in Germany. Barbara has over 15 years of experience teaching and training adults. She began as a business English trainer in 2007 helping to transition Swiss university students into the workforce. Since then she has worked with youths and young adults in general studies tutoring with an English language support focus as well as taught international students, working holiday visa holders, and recently relocated professionals English for special purposes. While working at Amnesty International Australia Barbara convened several English conversation groups for recently resettled refugees and supported individuals from around the world in integrating into their new Australian community. Her favourite part about teaching is sharing those ‘ah-ha!’ moments with her students when a particularly tricky bit of language finally clicks.


Arika Bassett I am relatively new to the ATESOL ACT Committee. I decided to join the committee this year as I have been using and forever checking resources linked in the ATESOL ACT website. Currently I am teaching at Narrabundah College as an EAL and Indonesian teacher. I was an EFL teacher overseas and came to Australia where I update my study and qualifications at UC. I took part in the AMEP volunteer program ages ago. I was and still am interested in methodology and pedagogy. I began my teaching career in Canberra. I have taught using different curriculum and framework in a few states and worked for different sectors. I came back to Canberra in 2008 to continue my teaching exploration/adventure. All my teaching and learning experiences have always been around languages and culture. I hope to contribute or assist the committee for the benefits of all EAL/D and classroom teachers.


Colleen Caddey-Murphy (M.Ed., Grad. Dip. Ed.) is the Senior Officer Literacy Specialist for Catholic Education in Canberra and Goulburn. She works closely with the 56 CECG schools across the ACT and South East NSW to assist them in supporting their students’ literacy and English language development. Colleen has taught mostly in Primary schools K-6 and has also held leadership positions in NSW and ACT CECG schools. She recognises the value of belonging to and utilising ATESOL to support schools and learners. Colleen is passionate about schools maximising the diversity of the cultural and learning backgrounds of their students and how they can use the abilities of each student to advance and extend learning for all teachers, students and their families.


Heather White says: “I have a long-standing interest in working with people from other cultures, particularly refugees, migrants and Indigenous Australians. Originally a secondary school teacher, I studied TESOL as a result of working with groups of Vietnamese refugees in the early 1980s. I moved to work in adult education after having my own children, initially in the community-based sector in Melbourne. The AMEP has been an important thread in my life in Melbourne, East Arnhem Land and Canberra. In Canberra, I managed the AMEP until mid-2019 when I retired from paid work. It remains a special focus. I have also worked in the Australian Public Service, particularly with overseas-based staff in both English language and cross cultural training in Australia and overseas, when I was living in Cambodia and Zimbabwe and often working remotely. My Masters in Adult Education and Training included minor research into factors that influenced the success of the use of online learning modules in the workplace.”


After fifteen years in the high school sector, Jakki Cashman came to ESL teaching via the Home Tutor Program. Her first student caused Jakki to question assumptions she had made about literacy learning and explore strategies for teaching LESLLA students; these students with less schooling and literacy needs have remained among Jakki’s favourites as she moved through her MA TESOL and into the AMEP. Jakki took on the delights of senior management for a time. Now she’s back in the classroom. Jakki has been on the ATESOL ACT committee in various roles for over ten years.


Bronwyn Singh (Dip. Teaching, B Ed., Grad. Dip. TESOL) is currently teaching in one of the Primary Introductory English Centres in ACT Public Education. Canberra born and bred, Bronwyn found herself commencing her teaching career in the Middle East. It was in the United Arab Emirates, teaching in primary schools operating in the English medium, that she was initiated into the TESOL world, and relished learning more about the field at TESOL Arabia conferences. Upon returning to Australia Bronwyn became involved in teaching within ACT’s New Arrivals Programs, the Introductory English Centres. She has contributed to the ATESOL ACT Committee since 2013 and has served as President. Bronwyn is a Stage 2 nominee for a National Excellence in Teaching Award, sponsored by the Australian Scholarships Group.


Christina Braun says “I immigrated to Australia from Germany almost ten years ago. This country-change also meant a career change. Although I have always worked in education projects within not-for-profit organisations, I am now, in my new role, an early childhood teacher. I am currently working at Margaret Hendry School, where we learn and teach through inquiry and play-based experiences in our culturally and linguistically diverse community. I have always enjoyed learning and speaking other languages and practising them while working and travelling abroad. Last year, I had the opportunity to complete the Graduate Certificate in TESOL and foreign language teaching at the University of Canberra, which was the beginning of my involvement with ATESOL. I look forward to planning exciting PLs for mainstream and specialist teachers and being an early childhood advocate locally and nationally.”


Mali Wijesundara is a Senior Secondary EALD teacher in the ACT Public Education Sector. She is passionate about understanding the factors underpinning student achievement/underachievement by gifted minority students, including ethnically and linguistically diverse populations, Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and rural communities, and students with learning difficulties. She is currently researching this area in her doctoral studies at the University of Canberra. Mali’s teaching experience spans seventeen years in the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors in Australia, Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates. She is an AITSL certified Highly Accomplished Teacher and is actively involved in advocacy, developing collaborative teaching practices and establishing international partnerships to enrich students’ cross-cultural learning experiences. Mali is also a mother of two children. She loves cooking, gardening and reading.

Patricia Silvestre first developed an interest in helping migrants through volunteering as a tutor with Migrant and Refugee Settlement Services (MARSS), which provided her with local experience and good exposure to one-on-one teaching. In her first year at the University of Canberra, she was offered a one year scholarship to study in Japan. Returning to complete her Bachelor’s degree, she decided she had to go back to Japan again, and soon! The Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program provided the perfect opportunity for her to be an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT). She had a wonderful time working closely with teachers at several Elementary and Junior High Schools in a small rural city. Patricia has a Certificate in Interior Decoration from Canberra Institute of Technology and is currently studying Certificate IV in TESOL part-time through distance education. She has been an AMEP Home Tutor for over a year and is now working as an Office Manager at a small Architecture and Interior Design studio.


Sarah Warren says: “I’m Sarah Warren, primary school educator in the ACT Public Education Directorate. I have worked in a variety of different school settings throughout the ACT in between overseas postings. Currently I teach a year 3 mainstream class at Kingsford Smith School. We have an amazing diversity of home languages and cultures. My involvement as a member of ATESOL ACT is central to my professional learning and development. The expertise, advocation and excellent opportunities assist my everyday teaching. I am proud to be a member of such a dynamic association.”