Speaker Spotlight – Education Agents

This year’s NEAS Management Conference brings us a lot of diversity with speakers from all areas of the ELT sector. This week we are throwing the Spotlight on Education Agents and those who work closely with agents from schools, colleges and English Language centres, as they all play a significant roll in bringing English language students to our Australian shores.

At the conference there will two discussion panels where there will be a focus on Education Agents and the importance of the work they do.

At the In Focus: Education Agents session with: Sylvain Lolley, Melanie MacFalane and Guaravdeep (GD) Signh, agents will talk about their work in helping students choose education institutions to suit their needs.

At the COP Workshop: Education Agents session, with Gavin Dowling, Shirley Sun, Youngeun Song and Leisl Bruhn who are from different education establishments around Australia you will hear insights into the importance of Education Agents and their important role in student recruitment.

In Focus: Education Agents

Melanie MacFarlane

Melanie Macfarlane is a registered and practising Migration Agent with over 17 years’ experience securing visas for migrants to live, work and study in Australia. She has worked with individuals, families and employers from small to large-scale businesses, all with the same common goal – to explore new opportunities and create a happy world, one migrant at a time. 

Melanie founded MMMigration & Recruitment and VETA Education & Migration in 2007 and has since grown the company to offices across 3 states in Australia as well as Colombia, Chile and Mexico. At MMMigration and VETA the team reduces the stress and confusion from the migration process, ensuring peace of mind and positive outcomes. 

Sylvain Lolley

In 2016, Sylvain Lolley founded Catch-Up Education and offer numerous education opportunities to people of all ages, backgrounds and origins. 

After more than 20 years in the Pacific (Tahiti, New Caledonia) in the marketing and communication sector, Sylvain joined the education sector by becoming Sales Manager for a French-speaking education agency based in Sydney, Australia. When he created Catch-Up Education in 2016, Sylvain already had a strong network of contacts within the industry. In 2019, Catch-up Education joined ICEF as an education agency and in 2020, Catch-up Education received the KISS Rock Award from ILAC Canada for the quality of its services to students and its involvement during the Covid-19 period. The same year, Sylvain received the Quality Agent endorsement from NEAS and Sylvain believes this distinction is a guarantee of seriousness and quality for any support agency.

Guaravdeep (GD) Singh

Guaravdeep (fondly known as GD) is the CEO & MD of Apply 4 Study & also the Representative of Migration Alliance, (Australian Professional Lobby for Migration Practitioners) for Indian Subcontinent & Australian Education Sector. I have been working in Education Industry for over 18 years & have rich experience at Senior level management, particularly in areas of HRM, Training, Migration Law & Marketing.

GD’s key areas of focus are global expansion, brand building, collaborations, acquisitions & mergers. Finalist at Australian Business Champion awards, winner of the Best Inbound Education Consultancy by Corporate Vision, AI Publishing UK, winner of CEO of the Year 2022 Skill India Business Awards, New Delhi India & an eminent Indian Australian entrepreneur figure in Global education space.

COP Workshop: Education Agents

Leisl Bruhn

Leisl is the Dean of International Students at Ivanhoe Grammar, which includes being the Academic Manager of the ELICOS Program, teaching VCE EAL and pastoral care responsibilities for the School’s international students.  Leisl began her teaching career in the East End of London and for the past 6 years she has held the very rewarding position as EAL Mentor for Ivanhoe’s VCE Offshore Programs which has given her the privilege of working alongside and sharing EAL teaching practices with highly experienced and professional colleagues. Leisl is also Convenor for the Education Agents COP at this year’s NEAS Management Conference.

Shirley Sun

Shirley was appointed the Head of St John’s International College in 2006. Prior to the Head of College position, she was the Marketing Manager as well as a teacher within the college, then known as Forest Lake College.

Shirley has been working closely with education agents for more than 20 years. Due to the age of the high school students, she has to delve deeper into the complexities of connecting the agents with the parents.

Youngeun Song

Youngeun is Principal Executive Officer of APC Education Group currently comprises English Unlimited and Australian Pacific College and is responsible for overseeing the operation and strategic movements for the group. 

Youngeun started her career in education as owner director of a childcare centre in Seoul, South Korea. Since arriving in Australia 2003, Youngeun has been taking on multiple management and executive roles in the international education industry for private ELICOS centres and Vocational Education and Training colleges. 

APC Education Group is a multiple award winning private education provider that has been operating since 2004 and currently operates 13 campuses on the eastern seaboard and South Australia.

Gavin Dowling

Gavin is Chief Operating Officer at Education Centre of Australia, responsible for university partnerships, marketing, admissions, sales, HR, IT and the colleges within the ECA Group. 

He has more than 20 years’ experience in the international education sector in the UK and Australia with significant experience in student acquisition, strategic management and leadership.

After an earlier career working in marketing agencies for a broad range of clients in London, he moved into the high growth international education sector in late 1990’s working for small and large organisations; consulting; and establishing and running two successful education marketing businesses.

March 2023

Conference Speaker Spotlight

Joanna Kelly

Joanna Kelly is the General Manager, English at Academies Australasia, a publicly listed education group. Within that role she is running ELICOS operations at Discover English in Melbourne and Language Links International in Perth. Additionally, she is the CEO of Academies Australasia Polytechnic, a private VET and HE provider. Joanna has been the General Delegate on the board of English Australia since 2019. She has a comprehensive understanding of the core issues facing the international education industry and is an active contributor to submissions to government on policy changes. She is committed to enhancing Australia’s reputation as a preferred destination for international students.

Lucas Chiusoli

Lucas Chiusoli has been working in the International Education sector since 2004. He is currently the National Director, ELICOS & Higher Education Pathways at ILSC, where he has the overall responsibility for the growth, profitability, leadership, and management of the Australian schools. Lucas holds a BA in Business Management, Cambridge DELTA and other TESOL and Training qualifications. He is committed to professional development, having started as an English teacher and building to Senior Management roles. Lucas’s background in business and his previous professional experiences have provided him with a deeper understanding of how businesses operate and given him the skill set to understand and address the needs of different stakeholders. He is an experienced leader with a demonstrated history of challenging the status quo by successfully designing, presenting and implementing innovative ideas and solutions, and highly skilled at solving problems and managing projects in alignment with the organisational goals. Lucas also serves on the Board of English Australia as an elected Director and Delegate for NSW, representing state college members and engaging with several industry stakeholders. Lucas has a true passion for education and its ability to transform lives and empower people.

Sarah Huaraka

Sarah Huaraka completed a Bachelor of Arts from Lyon University (France), a Master’s degree in Language and Literature from Reading University (UK) and a Master’s degree in Intercultural Management from SIT in Vermont (USA). 

Passionate about teaching and learning, Sarah completed her Post-Graduate Certificate in Education in 2003 from Greenwich University (UK). She has over 20 years’ experience in teaching and educational leadership, both in TAFEs and at University. Sarah has a strong interest in Foundation studies, Teacher Training and TESOL.

March 2023

DAY ONE (3 May): Professional Academic Manager Training

With only six weeks before the start of the 2023 NEAS Management Conference we are excited to highlight DAY ONE of the conference – Wednesday 3 May.

Day one has been set aside to focus solely on Academic Managers – new, emerging and aspirational. This special full-day Professional Academic Manager Training Workshop worth 10 CPD points, at UTS College, Ultimo, Sydney.

If you are new to academic management or aspiring to become involved in academic management, as your ELT professional career progresses, then this is the workshop for you! This interactive day will facilitate you with exceptional management skills and equip you with strategies to become a formidable, respected and capable leader. The cost for the whole day is just $175 (+GST) for NEAS members, $275 (+GST) for non-NEAS members and places are limited to 25 – so get in quick! 

To register, please complete the JotForm.

March 2023

Conference Countdown – 7 weeks away!

NEAS Lifetime Member Award

With just seven weeks before the start of the 2023 NEAS Management Conference we are excited to throw this spotlight on the NEAS Lifetime Member Award.

The annual NEAS Management Conference sees the presentation of many different awards, but the most prestigious award is the NEAS Lifetime Member Award. Since its inauguration in 2019 there have been four, highly regarded recipients. They are NEAS members who have shown distinguished, meritorious, and sustained service to the ELT Sector and to NEAS and its Quality Endorsement and Assurance process in ELT. 

By popular demand we have extended this year’s Lifetime Award nomination period to 31 March 2023!

This award reflects the quality ideals that NEAS stands for and if you are thinking about nominating someone for this award, we would like to propose the following guidelines – they are by no means prescriptive, but that may help you nominate. 

For example, your nominee should have at least 15 years of English language teaching, leadership and contribution to the ELT community; a demonstrated impact (over time or distance) on building capacity, communication or advocacy by upholding the NEAS quality assurance standards; achieved something significant, such as a great outcome overcoming resistance or challenge while delivering great QA results; driven QA initiatives across multiple NEAS QA Areas, influencing significant cultural change; contributed to and/or delivered a legacy item for the ELT industry. 

Let’s not miss any silent achievers that we know of, in the nomination process! Legacy is one thing that you can’t buy but is important to many intellectuals and teachers who want to know that in the end ‘they made a difference’. 

To assist you in articulating reasons for your choice, you could start with: ”This life member has lived the NEAS values/standards by……”

To nominate your confidential suggestion for the Lifetime Award for 2023, please complete the attached JotForm and submit it by Friday 31 March 2023. Please note the NEAS Board makes the final decision on the recipient/s and all nominations remain in-confidence.

Remember, if you are coming in person, don’t forget to purchase your Gala Dinner tickets here, so that you can enjoy the entertainment, gourmet menu as well as the Awards Ceremony.

March 2023

Conference Countdown – 8 weeks and counting!

Speaker Spotlight – A Strong ASEAN Representation!

Our Speaker Spotlight this week throws the light on the International Panel of Leading Professionals. It is our great pleasure to remind you that  Dr Choltis Dhirathiti, the Executive Director of the AUN Secretariat who currently also lectures in Politics at the Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand, will be presenting on The Importance of the ELT Profession in Bilateral Relations among Southeast Asian Nations and the Rest of the World at this year’s NEAS Management Conference at Doltone House, Darling Harbour, Sydney, 3 – 5 May. As an eminent speaker in this panel Dr Dhirathiti will be joined by Ms Pamela Arumynathan, a Senior Teacher at James Cook University, Singapore and currently completing a PhD in Education, and Dr Alexander Nanni, Associate Dean for International Affairs at Mahidol University International College (MUIC). Their discussion promises to provide professional insight into the ELT profession and the importance of global ties. 

With just eight weeks before the conference, our Australian members are starting to benefit from strong international ties in the ASEAN Region. 

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) University Network (AUN) Secretariat continues to collaborate with NEAS as the recognised QA body in the region. A number of ASEAN ELT centres are set to start engaging with Australia and NEAS, in Bangkok on 14 March 2023. While fostering bilateral opportunities in business for our Australian members and ELT centres in the region, this initiative will ensure high quality ELT delivery. As always, the NEAS Standards will be the backbone of all QA activity, and as ASEAN member centres become endorsed, they will become important additions to the NEAS network in a global ELT community. This benefits Australia in many ways, not least in terms of Australia’s global reach in its search for high-quality employees proficient in English. We are, together with you, building a truly Global Profession of English Language Teaching organisations and professionals.

Remember, if you are coming in person, don’t forget to purchase your Gala Dinner tickets here, so that you can enjoy the entertainment, gourmet menu as well as the Awards Ceremony.

February 2023

Only 9 weeks until the 2023 NEAS Management Conference!

Speaker Spotlight

Sandra Pitronaci

Sandra Pitronaci is National Academic Director ELICOS & Pathways at ILSC Education Group and has been actively involved in COPs throughout her ELT career. Sandra is currently Convenor of English Australia AMSIG; Classroom Talk Editor of the English Australia Journal, Newsletter; Editor and Committee Member of IATEFL LAMSIG and one of a dedicated Admin team for the 2,000+ members #AusELT online COP. At ILSC, Sandra leads the team of DOSs across ILSC Australia’s four national campuses. Sandra will be co-presenting The Building of the ELT Profession at the NEAS 2023 Management Conference with Lucas Chiusoli on Friday 5 May at 13:50.

February 20 2023

2023 NEAS Management Conference Awards Announcement

We are thrilled to announce that this year at the 2023 NEAS Management Conference we will be presenting awards to more than 25 institutions! There will be two Award Ceremonies – one on Thursday afternoon, before the Cocktail Hour, and the other on Thursday evening during the Gala Dinner.

The first Awards Ceremony, sponsored by Learning Vault will be held on Thursday 4 May at 16:40 at Doltone House. Award categories are: Quality Provider Award – New Member (National and International); Quality Products & Services Award; Education Agent Award; Premium Product Award; Online Delivery Award and NEAS Master Practitioner Award.

The Gala Dinner special Awards Ceremony, starting at 18:00 will celebrate this year’s 

NEAS 25 Year Endorsement Award 

and the coveted

NEAS Lifetime Award 

For last year’s award recipients please see their names in lights here. Most excitingly, we are looking for YOUR nominations for the NEAS Lifetime Award. This prestigious award goes to the person who has shown distinguished, meritorious, and sustained service to the ELT Sector and to NEAS. To nominate the person who you think most suited to receive this award, you must be a Full or Associate NEAS member and the nominee cannot be a NEAS Board of staff member. 

To nominate, please complete the attached JotForm and submit it by Friday 3 March 2023. 

February 2023

Only 9 Weeks until the 2023 NEAS Management Conference

Speaker Spotlight

Toby Jones

Toby Jones is an education technologist and industry leader in the digitisation of learning. As Head of Education at Learning Vault – vocational education content provider and Australia’s first digital badging agency – Toby leads the strategic thinking and development of RTO courses, micro-credentials and digital credentials. Toby is a passionate commentator on the future of education and the potential application of emerging technologies. Toby will be speaking on behalf of Learning Vault in the Innovation and Strategy Session at this year’s 2023 NEAS Management Conference on Friday, 5 May at 12:30 in Park View 1 at Doltone House, Darling Harbour, Sydney.

February 2023


The countdown has started!

With a furore of activity we are well under way to welcoming you all at this year’s Management Conference. The theme of the conference has taken hold and is becoming the talk of the town as we grapple with the idea of The Profession, The Professional and Professionalism in ELT.

Nowadays, with increased scrutiny into quality standards in ELT, high professional standards are burgeoning and the number of ELT teachers up-skilling and completing Master level degrees in ELT is trending upwards at a rapid rate. ELT “requires a specialized knowledge obtained through both academic study and practical experience” (Torres – Rocha, 2019).

It is generally acceptable to say that ELT teachers and leaders are professionals because they are a “disciplined group of individuals who adhere to high ethical standards and uphold themselves to, and are accepted by, the public as possessing special knowledge and skills in a widely recognised, organised body of learning derived from education and training at a high level, and who are prepared to exercise this knowledge and these skills in the interests of others.”(cited in Professional Standards Council, 2022)

This year’s conference is set to explore the different professional landscapes in ELT locally and globally and the impact they are having on world economy, education, and future generations.

As usual, we are pleased to be able to offer a hybrid event! With three full days of in-person activities, attendees will also be able to live-stream content, so if you can’t make it in person, you can always join us online. You can download 60+ presentations, join our virtual community events and live-stream speaker sessions.

If you are coming in person, then don’t forget to purchase your Gala Dinner tickets here, so that you can enjoy the entertainment, gourmet menu as well as the Awards Ceremony.

Speaker Spotlight

Cara Dinneen

Cara Dinneen is the Associate Director, Learning and Teaching at Macquarie University College. Cara holds a Master of TESOL, Graduate Certificate in Business Educational Leadership, Trinity Diploma of TESOL, BA Communications and is currently completing a qualification in Digital Learning Leadership. Cara has 20 years’ experience in English language teaching, teacher training and leadership, having taught and managed programs in Australia, Oman and Spain. She is a fluent Spanish speaker. 

Throughout her career, Cara has designed and managed teacher development programs for large, multi-cultural teaching departments of up to 65 staff. Cara has a strong background in teaching methodology and a creative, participant-focused approach to lesson design and teacher development. 

Cara also has a keen interest in learning and assessment design. She is currently the Head Convenor for the English Australia Assessment Special Interest Group, and her current area of research is digital learning and assessment.

Yulia Kharchenk

Yulia Kharchenko is an English language teacher and a higher degree researcher. She has taught in Russia, Ireland and Australia in a variety of tertiary, adult and migrant education settings. She currently teaches on the Graduate Certificate of TESOL at Macquarie University. Her research interests include multilingual pedagogy, language policies in education and language learner identity.

2023 Conference Announcement!

We are extremely excited to announce the details of the 2023 NEAS Management Conference! Next year, we are extending the conference experience by offering a expanded, jam packed program! The three-day event will feature over 60 speakers from around the world, multiple social and networking events, Familiarisation Tours, an ELT Industry Roundtable and of course the popular NEAS ELT Communities of Practice events. The 2023 theme ‘English Language Teaching: The Profession, The Professional, Professionalism’  will explore the different professional landscapes in ELT locally and globally and the impact they are having on world economy, education and future generations.

We are delighted to have the phenomenal Ms Leigh Sales AM feature as the opening plenary speaker. Leigh was a multi award-winning author and journalist at the ABC and anchored the network’s prime time current affairs program 7.30 for 12 years. She was the face of the ABC’s major events coverage, including federal election and budget nights. Leigh has interviewed every living Australian Prime Minister and innumerable world leaders and celebrities from Hillary Clinton and Tony Blair to Paul McCartney and Elton John. We cannot wait to hear her weave her view on professionalism into her keynote address.

We look forward to bringing you further updates about the conference in the lead up to the event, including speaker additions, pre-conference activities and professional development. So stay tuned!

Call for Abstracts NOW OPEN!

There are a variety of speaking and participation opportunities available for the 2023 conference! The focus questions for the event are:

  1. How does quality assurance underpin our Profession?
  2. What does it mean to be an English Language Teaching Professional in Australia, ASEAN and beyond? How does this relate to the global context?
  3. What does Professionalism mean to you and how can NEAS support enhancement of English Language Teaching in Australia, ASEAN and beyond?

We would love for a wide variety of people from the ELT community to participate! We have expanded the scope of opportunities for you to put your work, research, innovations, and talents in the spotlight!

NEAS is now seeking abstracts for the below categories:

  • Plenary Speakers
  • Lightening Talks
  • Communities of Practice – Convenors
  • Communities of Practice – Panel Members
  • Sponsored Strategy Sessions
  • Performances
  • Familiarisation Tours
  • Speaker Recommendations

Those selected to take part will receive a complimentary conference ticket and will be spotlighted not only to conference attendees, but to over 14,000 stakeholders affiliated with NEAS worldwide via the NEAS News and social media platforms!

We want to put your passion on a pedestal – so submit your abstract now! Applications close on Friday 30 September.

Sponsorship Opportunities

There are a variety of conference sponsorship packages available with differentiating factors such booth size and proximity, advertising exposure and exclusive conference event sponsorship such as the gala dinner and awards ceremony. There are also a selection of sponsorship opportunities available in relation to the conference online platform, which attracted over 1450 delegates from around the world in 2022 and NEAS Online which attracts thousands of online registrations from our community each year!

It is our aim to work efficiently with you, by helping and promoting your business to achieve international exposure through sponsorship of the NEAS conference. We work with our sponsors in the lead up to the conference and look forward to seeing them in Sydney in May 2023 for our 26th annual conference. Completely virtual packages are also available.

To peruse sponsorship packages unique to your organisation please click below to view the 2023 prospectus.


Early bird tickets will be available soon! This special pricing has been generously discounted and we are pleased to be able to offer these savings to our members! There are a variety of ticketing options next year, so if you can’t make it to Doltone House in Sydney, we’d love to see you online! You will see that we have also added extra events to the 2023 line-up. So why not attend the industry roundtable? Or the gala dinner? Or perhaps a familiarisation tour. Or why not ALL?! Click below to see 2023 ticket types and pricing.