2018 Fellows

Jobs Victoria International Fellowships

Ausra Wells (The Bridge Inc.)


The aim of this Fellowship is to explore innovate strategies to increase pathways from school, education or similar programs into Employment for young people currently under represented due to disadvantage or disability.

Georgia King (Whitelion)


This Fellowship is targeted toward two goals: gathering information around increasing opportunities for job seekers to gain and sustain long term employment, and identifying innovative strategies and practices to engaging employers. The Fellow will explore employment programs that are unique in terms of service delivery.

Gina Chinnery (Orygen)


This Fellowship will provide an opportunity to meet with leading researchers and other organisations in the United States and Canada that use the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model of employment support with a particular emphasis on IPS and youth peer workers. The Fellow will also explore models of moderated online intervention within vocational programs that provide additional career support to young people with mental health issues.

Lorraine Thomson (McAuley Community Services for Women)


This Fellowship aims to explore best practice and innovation in the UK in delivering ‘productive outcome based’ services to support women affected by family violence, mental health, homelessness and other significant barriers to securing long term employment/careers that empower women.

Mark Little (CVGT Australia Limited)


The aim of this Fellowship is to investigate best practice preventative programs for offenders, particularly young offenders, to reduce the risk-factors of ongoing criminal behaviours, through employment and employment preparation diversionary type interventions.

Rick Sproal (Worn Gundidj Aboriginal Cooperative)


This Fellowship aims to explore social entrepreneurship within a developing nation to learn strategies employed to empower local under-skilled people groups. As people from developing nations may have experiences of dispossession, discrimination and disadvantage resulting from colonialism, direct parallels may be drawn with the experience of Indigenous Australians, resulting in learning applicable to the Australian context.

Sara Amaral (The Bridge Inc.)


The goal of this International Fellowship is to investigate pioneering and innovative youth employment models that can be adapted or adopted in Victoria to boost young people’s employability. The International Fellowship will take place in a developed country, the United States of America, and in a developing country, Brazil.

Simon Crabb (Social Ventures Australia)


This Fellowship will explore the critical factors essential to scaling-up employer-led, demand-driven approaches to the employment of jobseekers experiencing significant barriers. In Australia, a small number of programs exist which seek to actively engage employers in guiding their service delivery. Unfortunately, these programs are not being delivered at a scale that would make them financially viable for widespread adoption and across cohorts, nor are employers seeking to embed these programs into their ‘business as usual’ approach.

Victoria Mead (McAuley Community Services for Women)


This Fellowship will focus on the intersection of Family Violence and unemployment and the best practice interventions being carried out in the United States to decrease family violence as a barrier for jobseekers. Government programs in the United States will be the focus of this research with the aim of identifying strategies that assist women who are job seekers and have been affected by family violence and the cycle of poverty to rehabilitate, build confidence, gain life skills, work experience and find employment.

Nicola Watts

The aim of this Fellowship was to expand our thinking around how the principles of ‘clustering’ can support improved employment outcomes within a thriving agri-food sector. It aimed to identify and provide insights from a range of other innovative placed based strategies which draw on the principles of:

  • the ‘quadruple helix’ of industry, government, researchers/educators and community working together to deliver positive social impact (alongside economic and environmental outcomes)
  • ‘green jobs’ and how they are not only supporting new job creation, but also encouraging engagement and aspiration amongst cohorts who are at risk of long term unemployment
  • ‘social enterprises’ and how they are not only supporting new job creation, but also encouraging engagement and aspiration amongst cohorts who are at risk of long term unemployment.

George Alexander Foundation Fellowships

Amy Walsh

“My Fellowship will allow me to travel to England and engage in specialist ceramics conservation training at West Dean College, the likes of which is not currently available in Australia. I will gain experience in up-to-date ceramics conservation techniques, practice on real historic objects and receive mentorship from expert practitioners. I also will complement my study at West Dean College with a series of practical internships in the UK, which will allow me to learn from institutional and private ceramics conservators alike. The aim of my fellowship is to bring innovative ceramics conservation skills and knowledge back to Australia, in order to provide best-practice care for our unique ceramic collections.” 

Aga Jones

“Are you aware, that whilst the flowers you purchase, or see at a friend’s wedding may be breathtakingly beautiful, they have likely been sprayed with a myriad of chemicals, travelled thousands of miles, are wedged into non-degradable floral foam and will end up in landfill?

My aim to make the industry more environmentally friendly:
1) to educate florists in best practices to eradicate floral foam from their designs,
2) to support local growers by designing a framework for buying locally and seasonally,
3) to help establish a system to enable florists to easily be able to compost their green waste after events.

Whilst overseas, I hope to learn from industry leaders in floral installation work that is floral foam free, learn from florists who support the local sustainable flower industry and run successful businesses as well as spend time with a composting association to develop strategies for large scale composting solutions.”

Katherine Lingard

The aim of the fellowship would be to observe best-practice implementation of visual communication systems in Children’s Hospitals and ascertain which models could be used in different contexts within Australian Hospital Schools. I would examine the use of a variety of low and high-tech systems and evaluate their effectiveness and the ability to transfer their use to an Australian context.

Furthermore, identify training procedures and policies around the use of communication tools and practical implementation strategies to widen the use of visuals by multiple agencies / stakeholders/ individuals and groups. This will increase the general populations understanding on how to best meet the receptive and expressive language needs of students with compromised communication, particularly in a hospital setting. In observing this specific area, a secondary benefit would be to examine hospital schools internationally and understand how health teams and education teams intersect and collaborate for best outcomes for students/patients.

Tom Linnell

As a successful recipient of the 2018 George Alexander Foundation International Fellowship, I intend to undertake further study at Harvard University in the 7-week intensive course, Sustainability Leadership for the Twenty-First Century. This course is facilitated by renowned Professor John Spengler and aims to inspire and enable participants to engage in effective sustainability leadership, enhancing individual change agency skills to a variety of contexts.

The United States has several recognised educational institutions that are well founded in sustainability and this Fellowship would also allow me the opportunity to experience and observe leading educators through school visits and collaborative planning sessions.

Sally Kilby

My Fellowship covers five areas of professional and skills development:

  1. To gain a Master of Books and Library Materials and thus further my international professional standing.
  2. To further develop high level book conservation treatments and hand skills.
  3. To develop condition assessment and survey techniques to identify at-risk cultural material.
  4. To gain an understanding of international best practice and how this may be applied within changing Australian organisational structures.
  5. To develop connections and establish a strong international professional network.

The completion of these five objectives will enable me to advocate strongly and successfully for the Australian conservation profession, and the continued care of Australia’s valuable bound cultural heritage.

Italian Australian Foundation Fellowships

Luca Lettieri

“My Italian Australian Fellowship will give me the opportunity to travel back to southern Italy, the birthplace of my father to investigate the tradition of peasant Italian folk art and craft relating to furniture, the aim of this Fellowship is to acquire skills with the intention of cultural preservation and continuing the tradition of regional skills. I will also be travelling to Cremona to gain an insight into the historic violin tradition and investigate the ways the craft is passed down through generations.”

VET International Practitioner Fellowships

Gurpreet Singh (MCIE)

Gurpreet’s Fellowship will focus on identifying effective practices and strategies used in other countries by training organisations, to train and upskill learners with special needs in a Vocational Educational & Training Framework, with a focus on Hospitality industry.

Jodie Whitehurst (Williamstown Community and Education Centre)

Jodie’s Fellowship will focus on the skills and knowledge required to effectively utilise drama techniques in the teaching of English as an Additional Language (EAL) to adults in the education and training sector of Victoria.

Liz Bonner (Cloverdale Community Centre Inc)

Liz’s Fellowship will focus on how to attract and engage priority cohorts into meaningful pre-accredited training and pathways, in communities facing growing social barriers and a decline in low skilled employment opportunities.

Argiroula ‘Lola’ Nicolouleas (RMIT)

Lola’s Fellowship will focus on investigating examples of international good practice in integrated Vocational Education for people with disabilities examining the classroom environment, and how the physical dimensions of space create inclusivity; the additional support provided to individuals with disabilities to participate in mainstream VET; pedagogical considerations; and pre-service training and ongoing professional development undertaken by the educators.

Melanie Williams (William Angliss Institute)

Melanie’s Fellowship will focus on researching pedagogical and curricular approaches to fostering 21st Century skills, in order to generate strategies to address the acknowledged challenge of Australian VET training products to develop these skills. In addition, I propose to research international approaches to ensuring the capacity of the VET workforce to appropriately deliver and assess these higher order skills.

Sheree Chevalier (Federation University)

Sheree’s Fellowship will focus on the role of Education Support (ES) staff internationally by exploring if ES staff are required to have qualifications; if they are provided support on managing student behaviour; how teachers are advised on how to work with ES staff and how their on-going professional development needs are monitored.

Tina Bampton and Melinda Brown (Narre Community Learning Centre)

Tina and Melinda’s Fellowship will focus on exploring best practice and learning from education professionals working with young parents, exploring how other programs internationally work with and support young parents to successfully complete their education journey.

Veronica Kioria (Diamond Valley Learning Centre)

Veronica’s Fellowship will explore possible outreach and engagement strategies to support disadvantaged persons through education and training so as to increase their participation in the VET sector. The Fellowship will target young people and more specifically those from non-English speaking backgrounds.

Agrifoods Fellowship

Emma Knowles

Emma’s Fellowship will focus on sustaining and increasing the authentic art of Dry Stonework in Australia through the development and implementation of an on-shore accreditation system that reduces the need for people to have to travel to Europe to gain certification.

Through this process she hopes to be able to offer an alternative location for international participants interested in dry stonework and help to create employment opportunities for unemployed people in rural areas, with a particular focus on woman and people from Aboriginal backgrounds.

Jody Gerdts

Varroa destructor and associated viruses are the primary cause of honey bee colony deaths globally.  Australia is fortunate to be the only Varroa-free apiculture industry in the world. However, Australia’s apiculture industry and numerous industries reliant on honey bee pollination face a significant threat from an incursion of the devastating Varroa mite.  Genetically linked traits such as grooming, tenacious cleaning (Varroa sensitive hygiene or VSH), and altered brood rearing cycles have proven to confer tolerance to select populations of both managed and feral honey bees.  These traits are known to be closely linked to adaptations specific to local environmental conditions, rendering importation or movement of stock ineffectual.

The aim of Jody’s Fellowship is to conduct 6-week fellowship at the USDA-ARS laboratory in Baton Rouge Louisiana and the Purdue honey bee lab in Indiana to learn Varroa tolerance selection techniques and to adapt these techniques to Australian environments and beekeeping equipment developing standardised methods for incorporation into Australian selective breeding programs as well as communicated to the wider beekeeping community.