Our Leadership Team | Foundation Learning Centre

Our Leadership Team

Our Leadership Team

Sarah Lynch

Chief Executive Officer

Sarah’s original connection to FLC was as a participant in the Early Learning Centre in 1983, when it was then known as Narre Neighbours.

Sarah returned to FLC as a staff member in 2005 and was predominantly involved in the expansion of the Youth Education Department, leading to her becoming the Department Manager in 2008. During this period, she led an incredible team of passionate and highly skilled educators and support workers that changed the lives of so many students.  Sarah has over 17 years’ experience in Education and Training, alongside qualifications in Dance, Drama, Education & Youth Work.

Through her career, Sarah has witnessed and nurtured the personal growth and individual journeys of many who saw FLC as a new beginning.  Sarah is passionate about the community and the concept of lifelong learning. She is committed to ensuring that FLC is there to provide the necessary foundation for future growth and learning of all students and clients.

Sarah is extremely proud of the work that we do and prides herself on knowing that the core values of FLC will always be a compass of the Organisation.

Tina Bampton

General Manager

As the General Manager at Foundation Learning Centre in Victoria, Tina has worked for this community-based training organisation for 15 years in a variety of roles.

Tina’s passion and commitment to the health and wellbeing of others, particularly children, young people and disadvantaged persons can easily be seen through her previous roles with various learning, support and care-based organisations.

In terms of qualifications and professional development Tina has clearly spent many hours developing her knowledge and skills. From her initial qualifications of an Advanced Certificate and an Associate Diploma in the areas of Childcare and Social Sciences Tina moved forward and successfully complete a range of further qualifications including a Certificate IV in Education and Training and a Diploma of Youth Work. Tina was also awarded the 2018 VET International Practitioner Fellowship with the ISS Institute where she studied young pregnant and parenting teens in education within the United States.

Tina lives in the South Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne. Bringing up 3 sons together with her husband, she continues to work hard while enjoying the happiness, and facing all the usual hurdles, of family life. She strives for fairness and equity while taking on new challenges and change with unfaltering focus and determination. Tina thrives on providing programs, education and support to those that need her most – children, young people and the disadvantaged.

Cathy Hodgson

Chief Financial Officer

Cathy Hodgson is the founder of Infocus360 having previously worked as a Virtual CFO in Melbourne with Sequel CFO. After a long career in Head of Finance roles for Medium and Large sized entities across multiple industry sectors, Cathy has years of experience managing large finance teams, improving systems and process, and providing financial reports and analysis to executive teams.

Cathy has come onboard as Chief Financial Officer at FLC and is working closely with our Leadership and Finance teams.

Bron O'Callaghan

Compliance & Training Manager

Bron commenced working at FLC more than 15 years ago, initially bought to the organisation as a consultant to assist with the addition of the Certificate III in Hairdressing, now Vogue Academy. During this process Bron began working in the Youth Department as an educator and quickly developed a passion for the cohort,  organisational values, and the difference FLC programs make to the lives of our community, young people and their families.  

Through involvement with audits Bron established her knowledge and a strong interest in compliance and in 2019, took the opportunity to move into the compliance department. Bron holds qualification across a range of industries, including Hairdressing, Education and Training, Business and Architectural Drafting.  

Tania Sacco

Operations Manager

Tania Sacco comes to the FLC Operations Manager position with 20+ years experience in the Community Sector and two years at FLC leading our Administration and Customer Service Team.

Tania has a background in Banking, Telecommunications and Security as well as Diplomas and Advanced Diplomas in Management, Project Management and Community Sector Management.

Always a believer in further education, she is currently undertaking a Diploma in Human Resources.

Tania’s introduction to FLC was as a parent when her son attended Year 11 in 2017. Having 2 children on the Autism Spectrum, her own experiences have developed into a passion for helping those in the community that are less fortunate.

Tania is a natural networker and brings an positive energy to FLC, ensuring her team is focused on providing that excellent customer service experience and bringing this to the community by living the FLC values.

Tania is a local, residing in nearby Hampton Park and prides herself on the Live Learn Work Local philosophy.

Fiona Barrientos

Head of Department: VET Education

Fiona first worked at Foundation Learning Centre (then known as Narre Community Learning Centre) from 2007 – 2012 as an Early Childhood Educator and VETiS Coordinator. Over the past ten years Fiona has grown her portfolio working for the YMCA as the Customer Experience Manager at Casey RACE and Casey ARC. Within this role, Fiona lead two large staff teams and rolled out many large programs and initiatives for the YMCA. Fiona also worked for two years in local government for Cardinia Shire Council in their Child and Family team. During this period, she worked closely with community groups and local government representatives in developing processes and programs that aligned with Councils Child, Youth and Family strategy.

Fiona has a great understanding of local community needs having lived within the City of Casey for 19 years. She bases her leadership style on a values-based approach which includes excellent customer service that focuses on establishing solid and professional relationships with all.

Fiona returned to Foundation Learning Centre in 2021 to our YPEP program. In 2022 she moved into our Head of Department position overseeing our Youth and VET programs. From 2023, Fiona will focus on growing our VET and VETDSS programs as Head of Department: VET Education.

Fiona is excited to help make a difference and connect our young people to Foundation Learning Centre, their community and each other.

Fiona looks forward to rolling out new and exciting initiatives that are student lead and inclusive for all and in creating a learning environment that is hands on, safe, fun and exciting.

In her spare time, Fiona enjoys spending time with her three children and husband, going to the football, and supporting her daughters on the netball court. 

Donna Dowler

Head of Department: Community Education

Donna joined Foundation Learning Centre (then NCLC) in 2014 as Administration Manager, following many years of being affiliated with the organisation as the director of Adlib Young Performers. 

In that role, Donna worked with many members of the community, supporting their search for social inclusion or learning opportunities. 

Donna has worked in numerous roles in many industries as event management, graphic design, and theatre production. Donna has spent most of her adult life involved in community theatre, and in 2011 she was honoured to receive the Lindsay King Arts Award for Performing Arts in Casey, for her contribution to youth theatre.   

Donna believes that everyone can aspire to be their best, and learning, at no matter what age or situation, opens up your world.

Donna believes that in this ever changing world, having a central community hub is more important that ever.  To connect and learn, in a safe, non-judgemental environment where people can be themselves.  The perfect place to take a breath and attend a wellbeing class, to improve your skills in area’s you always wanted to try, such as photography or cake decorating or just to meet up with friends and be creative.  But also to regain your sense of self, by taking the first step back to a career, or pathway to a new career when all other options seem overwhelming.  Donna feels that that is who we are…

Pam Elias

Head of Department: Wellbeing

Pam’s early career was in sales working for a pharmaceutical company, and it was during this time that she developed an interest in Wellbeing and the benefits taking care of ourselves to be the best we can be both physically and mentally.

Pam has always been interested in counselling and trained to be a volunteer counsellor with the Bonnie Babes foundation. The counsellors support women who have miscarried or delivered still born babies at a time when they are most vulnerable. That experience lead to Pam to return to study and attain a qualification in counselling. Pam had a private practice as well as working in a Salvation Army counselling service that dealt mostly with forensic and AOD clients.

Pam thrived on being able to work with disadvantaged people and attained qualifications in AOD, Youth work and Mental Health in order to support the work she was doing. Pam worked in this environment until 2011 when she was approached to create a Wellbeing program for a Community VCAL program that became an Independent school, and this area of Wellbeing became her absolute passion. Pam developed a program that supported the needs of the students who had been unsuccessful in mainstream school due to barriers such as Mental Health, Alcohol and other Drugs and Family violence. The alternative education programs offered a holistic approach to education and wellbeing and improved the outcomes of the complex cohort.

Pam started in FLC in June 2020 with over twenty years of experience in counselling and the previous ten years in alternative education settings. Pam has been key in the evolution of Wellbeing at FLC. Thanks to the hard work of Pam and our amazing Wellbeing team, FLC is able to support our students with their mental health challenges so that they have the opportunity to achieve success and personal growth whilst at FLC.