Meet Our Team

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MEET OUR TEAM

At Explore English, you will find our English teachers are supportive and culturally sensitive. Many of them have travelled the world and therefore have the knowledge of really making our students feel safe while they learn English in Melbourne. Our operations staff are dedicated to positive learning outcomes and love what they do. Please read the below profiles to learn more about us!

ANDREW HOOPER

ACADEMIC MANAGER

Andrew joins Explore English after successfully managing a handful of ELICOS schools across Melbourne and Adelaide. He has also come to us after starting-up and running an English school in Japan where he called his home for 2-years. Andrew has taught overseas as well as travelled through majority of North America, South-East Asia and Europe, giving him the exposure to people and their cultures from all over the world.   

He holds a Bachelor’s degree, a CELTA, an International Diploma of Language Teaching Management and a Certificate IV in Frontline Management making him the perfect fit for this new role. Andrew has over 10 years of Educational Management experience and has not only managed and taught in other schools, but also lived abroad. Andrew’s main goal is to help students achieve their educational goals and understand their individual requirements and is a strong believer in the “open-door policy.”

Our Office Team

ANNA YOUNG

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF STUDIES

Anna joins the Explore English team as the Assistant Director of Studies after teaching English to international students for over ten years in Australia, Russia and China. She is committed to inculcating passion for learning and creating multicultural awareness through the fundamentals of the English language. Anna genuinely cares about students and has a significant impact on their attitudes and motivation.

She holds and a Bachelor of Applied Linguistics and Teaching and a CELTA and is currently completing Master of Teaching.
Anna has her heart set on travelling. Outside of work, she enjoys exploring new places and meeting people of different countries.

GEMMA PIGOTT

EXPLORE CAFE MANAGER

Working in the coffee industry has helped Gemma develop strong communication skills and cultivate an effective ability to lead, mentor and educate others. She is always striving to bring 100% to her work and this passion infused with her love of coffee, lead her to opening Explore Coffee in May 2017. Explore English and MCIE brought Gemma on board to help teach their students how to make coffee in a safe, funky environment with an overall goal of helping the students gain jobs in the Melbourne hospitality workforce.

DECHEN MORISCO

STUDENT WELFARE CO-ORDINATOR

Dechen is an Italian who was born and grew up in the small Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, moving to Australia in 1999. Having lived in a few different countries, she is able to draw from her personal and professional experience in working in multicultural settings. Dechen has four years experience working as a teacher in an Islamic school, and four additional years in social work, mental health, and counseling. Dechen’s demeanor immediately puts people at ease, in welcoming new students and supporting them to achieve their personal and academic goals. Her qualifications include a Bachelor of Psychology, a Graduate Diploma of Education, and a Masters of Mental Health specializing in Art Therapy. She is very passionate about our student’s welfare and advocacy.

MAGGIE KAMBOURIDIS

STUDENT SUPPORT OFFICER

Maggie was born and raised in a small town in northern Greece and moved to Australia in 2011. She came to Melbourne for her cousins’ wedding and never got on her return flight home!

She was always interested in business and learning, so she enrolled in several business courses. She now has a bachelor’s degree in Business majoring in Human Resource Management but the possibilities of furthering her education and learning, are limitless.

Maggie worked as the Front Office Manager in one of Australia’s largest Apartment Hotel Chains in Australia. One of the things she liked about working in the hospitality industry was listening to peoples’ stories and getting inspired by their travels.

Her smile and kind nature are what makes Maggie approachable. Deciding to move to Australia was the best thing she ever did and if she could do it all over again, she would!

CHIRLANE LIMA

REGIONAL BUSINESS EXECUTIVE

Chirlane came to Australia in 2016 from Brazil to study English. She chose Melbourne because of its multicultural environment! Chirlane has experience in International Hotels & Resorts and has worked in International education previously in her home country. As she was an International Student before, she finds it easy to connect to our students and understands some of the difficulties they experience. She is a very energetic, positive and easy going person, with a strong sense of responsibility. She loves to work and learn from people of different nationalities.

One of her hobbies is wine tasting. In fact, she believes that choosing the right school is like choosing what wine to drink. You have to taste it first and if you like it, you will invest!

HYEMI CHANG

REGIONAL BUSINESS EXECUTIVE

Hyemi is a real explorer. She has studied in Seoul, Tokyo, Osaka, London, Vancouver and worked as a Coordinator for International relations in a government office. She has also worked as a freelance interpreter and translator while she was travelling all around the world.

She has big passion about marketing and loves organising cultural events as it helps people to understand each other’s culture and become friends.

She has been in the Education sector for the last 6 years since moving to Australia. She knows what the challenges are for people coming to a new country and is happy to help her students to achieve their life goals.

“Love the life you live, Live the life you love!”

AMY HUANG

REGIONAL BUSINESS EXECUTIVE

Amy comes from mainland China and has been living in Australia for 10 years. Having completed a Diploma of Community Welfare and a Bachelor’s of Accounting from local Melbourne universities, she has a good understanding on what students want and can help them to achieve their life goals. Amy has work experience in a Melbourne immigration agency and knows the pressures international students face, so if you have any questions regarding VISA applications or any future university application processes, she is the right person to talk with.

“She loves the education industry and enjoys helping students whilst seeing them succeed.”

Our English Teachers

ALBIE DE SOUSA

ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHER

Albie is a qualified English teacher who grew up in Australia and lived in Japan and Papua New Guinea. His first experience of teaching was as a volunteer English tutor for children from Africa and South-East Asia. Albie found it so enjoyable that he decided to become a teacher. He not only graduated with the Cambridge CELTA but also has a Bachelor of Arts, from the University of Melbourne, where he majored in English and History and a Diploma of Languages in French language and culture.

He was inspired by his own teachers at high school who taught him the importance of passing on their passion and knowledge to their students. From a young age, Albie was fascinated by the structure of language and the way that people use language to express meaning. He understands the process of learning foreign languages and how to help learners to overcome the challenges. Outside of the classroom, he enjoys football (soccer), reading and travelling.

JULIA ZANON

ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHER

Julia is one of the newest additions to our 2019 teaching team! She originally comes from Canada where she obtained her Bachelor of Commerce degree with a specialization in Business Management at the University of Ottawa as well as her TESOL Certification. In 2016 she moved to Italy to pursue teaching English as a second language and even speaks English, French, and Italian.

Before moving to Melbourne she spent over 3 months backpacking in South-East Asia, exploring new countries, foods, religions and meeting all kinds of amazing people from around the world. Throughout her teaching experiences she has realized how important it is to build trust and embrace the unique qualities that each student brings to the classroom. She shares an immense joy knowing that at the end of the day, little or big, her students have taken a step forward on their individual learning paths and are starting to realize that the number of opportunities for them to be successful and accomplish great things in life are simply LIMITLESS!

ANDREW WADDELL

TESOL TEACHER TRAINER

Andrew has a Master in TESOL and Literacy, a Post Graduate Diploma in Education and a BA (20th Century History and Asian Politics. He has been teaching English for almost 20 years, working in High Schools, Universities and educational organisations around the world. Having lived and worked in China and Turkey he understands the challenges of living and working in a foreign country.

He is particularly interested in how the brain works and how people learn and builds these learning skills into all his lessons so that students can develop skills that enable them to develop important skills for life.

PHIL MANFRINATO

ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHER

Originally from Brazil, Phil migrated to Australia in the pursuit of a new life in 2011.  His teaching journey commenced in 2014 when he was in his early 20’s when he worked as a history teacher.  He slowly shifted direction and began teaching English which has been his passion ever since. Phil says that teaching irradiates from the heart and maybe this is the reason why so many of his international students connect so well to his teaching style.

Phil is fond of introducing new digital learning ideas in his classroom, but he also loves to make students think outside of the box and be critical and creative. He tries to incorporate all these elements when designing his lessons to ensure class provides a different experience for his students. Phil has a welcoming demeanour and students absolutely love being part of his class.

CHLOE TUPPEN

ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHER

Chloe was born and raised on the sunny Sunshine Coast in Queensland. She moved to Melbourne three years ago and completed a Bachelor of International Studies at RMIT University. She began working at Explore English in student administration, but very soon was drawn to teaching due to her love of supporting people learn and grow. She is currently studying a Masters of Social Work at the University of Melbourne, and is furthering her skills in assisting people become the best they can be.

Chloe loves travelling and experiencing new adventures and cultures. She is drawn to vintage fashion and can be found in obscure second hand and vintage stores in her free time, experimenting with clothing and fashion. What she lacks in height she makes up with sass.

Chloe is most passionate about helping people reach their full potential as human beings.

EMMA BLACK

ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHER

Emma is a patient and compassionate English teacher, who always tries to create a collaborative and supportive learning environment in her classroom. Wherever possible, she integrates authentic materials into her teaching so that her students develop real-world English skills. She encourages her students to work together and help each other improve their English collectively.

Before becoming an English teacher, Emma taught Philosophy at the University of Queensland. She is CELTA qualified and finished her Masters in Modern European Philosophy in 2017. Emma has a fierce passion for teaching and learning. She ran her own free Philosophy school in Brisbane for four years. She also used to volunteer as an English teacher for refugees from all over the world. In her spare time, Emma enjoys reading, cooking, hiking, and dancing. She speaks three and a half languages: English, German, French, and a little bit of Japanese.

CHERYL SEICKER

ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHER

Cheryl is from small town on the Sunshine Coast, QLD. She’s been teaching English since 2004 when she swapped Brisbane for Tokyo. She received an MA TESOL in 2007 and went on to teach in Osaka, London, and San Francisco. Not bad for a country girl, eh?

She’s prepared students for exams and university study, and she’s a trainer for the Trinity CertTesol.

For Cheryl, teaching is about making connections, with people and with cultures. She thinks it’s best to approach all learning with a sense of playfulness and curiosity. She invites students to explore their ideas and creativity in the nurturing environment of the classroom.

She loves road trips and getting out and about to see the world. She’s been to at least 20 countries. In her free time, she enjoys film and live music.

HEDIYE GUVEN

ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHER

Hediye (or `Hedi` as everybody calls her) was born and raised literally three blocks away from our school building (not joking!) and moved back to Turkey where she got her Bachelors Degree on Foreign Language Teaching and she has been English teaching ever since.

Being a professional pop-jazz singer- songwriter at the same time – look her songs up on youtube, spotify- with two albums in her name, she blends her experience in the art and entertainment industry and extensive travels around the world (shooting music videos in the United states, Ireland, and performing concerts in Europe).

She is such an accomplished entertainer that it is often that students get carried away in the class and miss the break.

She also enjoys studying herbalism, naturapathy and making skincare. “Her superpowers in language teaching and entertaining make learning English fun!.”

NICK (NEGAR) RAZANI

ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHER

Nick has several years of experience teaching English in Iran and has experience teaching all levels from beginner to advanced.

Having moved to Australia 3 years ago to pursue a second master’s degree, this time in TESOL, Nick immediately felt thrilled to be in such a multicultural city!

Nick admires those who choose to learn a new language, though it’s a difficult process, it creates a new world of opportunities and possibilities. Nick is a passionate teacher who enjoys meeting new people and finding ways to help them improve their confidence in learning English in a fun way.

Nick is a professional basketball player and played in Iran’s national league for 7 years. Nick also works as a casual actor and has so far acted in several Australian shows. “Nick speaks two and a half languages; English, Persian, and a bit of Chinese!”

JAHAN KAY

ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHER

Jahan discovered his passion for teaching when he was an engineering student, so he decided to go back to university and get his Masters degree in teaching.

He worked in Melbourne as a teacher for 6 years before moving to Vietnam where he experienced teaching international students.

Jahan recently returned to Melbourne and joined the Explore English team to help international students here to improve their English.

He is CELTA qualified and he understands the challenges his students face because he has learned English as a second language himself. “Jahan speaks English, Persian and a little Vietnamese and enjoys learning about other cultures and languages.”

ALEXANDRA RIJAVEC

ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHER

Alex studied Linguistics and Anthropology at Uni, and thoroughly enjoyed researching languages and how they can reveal unique connections to places. Following this, she undertook further study to become an English Language Teacher and worked in Melbourne teaching diverse multi-cultural classes. She also worked as an Assistant Anthropologist in Australia’s north, Darwin with a lot of remote area field-work and travel.

Recently, Alex undertook a job teaching English in China in a small town outside of the big city of Fuzhou.

Now, she’s here in her home city again, Melbourne, where she can spend more time with her friends and family and also get really into the thriving music scene as she is also a singer and a keys player! Alex really likes teaching English as it allows her to be creative in her role and also get to regularly meet interesting people from all around the world!

TAYLOR COOKE

ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHER

Taylor originally hails from sunny California, USA. There, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology, which gave her a strong foundation in the science of language learning and speech production. After working in schools and clinics helping children master speech sounds and English language skills, she began itching for a change of scenery.

In 2017, Taylor decided to obtain a TEFL certificate and move to South Korea to teach English as a second language. However, what began as a spontaneous year abroad soon turned into an unexpected career change, as she discovered a sincere love of teaching English! After 2 years of teaching various levels of English in South Korea, she decided to move to Melbourne to complete her CELTA and continue her teaching career.

In the classroom, Taylor has a patient, relaxed approach that has endeared her to many a student. She strives to build personal connections with each student, as well as create a safe, comfortable classroom environment. Having both lived and travelled abroad, she understands the difficulties of navigating a foreign country. Her goal is for her students to see English as a means of forging relationships and exploring different cultures. Taylor’s classes are focused on building confidence and fluency, with the help of real-world situations and in-depth pronunciation practice.

JUSTINE ROWE

ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHER

Justine has had an interest in travel and languages from a young age. After studying communication and English language and literature at University in her hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, USA, she moved to France for her first English teaching job.

Since then she has moved further and further around the globe, teaching in Turkey, Thailand, and Australia for the last 2 years (where she doesn’t want to leave!)

Now on a student visa herself studying to be a yoga teacher, Justine believes in bringing movement and fun into the classroom. Outside of school, you can find her practising yoga or barre, cooking yummy vegetarian food, or looking for a dog to pat.

“Justine encourages discussion of real-life issues and events to encourage English language learning and communication!”

Our Interns

Anna Park

ANNA PARK

MARKETING INTERN

Anna is a Japanese with Korean heritage. She came to Australia in 2015 to study English. She then progressed to completing a Bachelor of Marketing and working as a marketing assistant while at Uni. There, she mainly managed various companies’ social media content.

Anna has three years of working experience at ANA airlines in her home town. She loves to organize events and manage them. Our lovely intern, Anna is keen to utilize her passion for helping students in providing the best possible experience for Explore English and MCIE.