Our Team


Permanent Staff

Valerie Nicolas | General Manager
Graduate in real estate law, linguistic policies, French as a foreign language and International relations

Prior to reassuming her role as General Manager of Sydney (having previously held this position between 2004-2007), Valerie has managed other Alliances based in Cairo, Strasbourg and Mexico.

She is highly specialized in international decentralized cooperation, having worked as the international cooperation adviser of the Presidents of the French regions for 7 years. Following this, Valerie spent 2 years working to create international strategy for the region of Corsica.

Valerie is delighted to be back in Sydney, and brings to the role her creativity, strong work ethic and dedication to the global Alliance network.

Denis Morandet | Director of Studies
Master of Language Science

Denis has extensive experience in education, having taught across a range of educational settings in Sydney and various countries around the world.

He also brings to his current role the unique skillset he acquired during a rich career in business and commercial diving, as well as his enthusiasm for new technologies.

In Sydney, Denis has found the perfect setting to combine his passion for teaching French to Francophiles and his love of the ocean, the great outdoors and photography.

Dominique Giovanangeli | Finance and Administration Manager
CPA, MSc

Dominique is a professional accountant and looks after all the finance, HR and corporate matters of the Organisation.

Prior to joining the company, he worked for the not-for-profit, automotive, infrastructure, facilities management and entertainment industries in Sydney and Paris.

He has a keen interest in accounting research and is a member of the Pacioli Society of the University of Sydney Business School.

Dominique is also a Justice of the Peace (JP) for the State of New South Wales.

Philippe Ostermann | Business Development Management Consultant

Philippe is the Coordinator of the Alliance Francaise French Film Festival. Prior to joining the company, he was the CEO and head of publishing of major French and Belgian comic book publisher, Dargaud.

Prior to this, he began his career at EY and then worked for many years for the leading French cultural magazine, Télérama.


Chloe Gunn | Marketing and Events Coordinator
BFA, Masters of Curating and Cultural Leadership

Chloe coordinates all marketing, communications and in-house cultural events at the AFS. 

She has extensive experience in the commercial and not-for-profit arts sector, having previously worked at cultural institutions and as a Director of an artist-run gallery. 

She brings to the role her creative outlook, dual French-Australian nationality and passion for cultural exchanges. 

Anais Leloup | National Festival Coordinator

Anais has been covering for Morgane as the Festival Coordinator since November 2020.

Over the past 10 years in Australia, she has developed her skills in digital marketing and events, working for agencies, the public sector, and the tourism industry.

She loves living in Sydney, where she has found the perfect balance between an exciting professional life and a personal life close to nature and the ocean.

Madelyn Choong | Business Development & Project Manager
BA. BEd.

Madelyn is the Business Development Manager, designing and leading a variety of projects to enhance the experience of those learning French with AFS.

Before joining the company, Madelyn shared her passion for French through her work as a secondary teacher across a variety of educational settings.

Alexia Lebouc | Education Officer
Master in Teaching French as a Foreign Language
Alexia has experience in education and pedagogical coordination, having worked previously in other Alliance Française structures around the world. 

After living for a year in the city that never sleeps and enjoying the relaxed surfing vibe of the Portuguese Atlantic coast, she thinks she has found the perfect balance by settling down in Sydney. 

When not at work, Alexia loves to hike, go camping, eat cheese, take pictures and discover all the natural beauty of her new country. 

Sophie Jarre | Kids Courses Coordinator
Master in Teaching French as a Foreign Language

Sophie has extensive experience in education, having previously taught in various countries before permanently settling down in Sydney.

Within her role at the AFS, Sophie fulfills her passion for teaching students of all ages, particularly in nurturing her youngest learners as they grow up reach language milestones. 

When not at work, Sophie likes to do judo, eat a lot of Cheese and travel around Australia.

Cécile Reyes | Community Engagement Manager

Since 2009, Cécile has worked to transform the Media Centre into an invaluable resource for Francophiles in Sydney.

Alongside her modernising initiatives such as the digitisation of the library catalogue in 2015 and the integration of our e-library, Cécile is responsible hosting a number of intreactive activities such as monthly book club.

Cécile is also credited for the creation of the famed AF Murder Parties, our interactive theatre events which have run for some of Sydney’s most iconic cultural institutions.

When Cécile is not working, she loves to write, walk, swim or bake treats for her fellow colleagues’ birthdays.

Caroline Seltz | Customer Relationship Manager

Caroline leads the Customer Service team at AFS, having joined the company in 2019.

A skilled creative by trade, Caroline is passionate about illustration and has extensive experience as an Artistic Director and Graphic Designer. In 2019, she co-published two popular children’s books and more recently painted a feature mural at the Bondi Sea wall.

Since moving to Sydney in 2017, the natural beauty of Australia’s coastlines has been a source of continual inspiration in Caroline’s artistic endeavours.

Martine Roh | Customer Relationship Officer

Martine makes up part of the Customer Service team. 

She has extensive experience in administration and customer service, having previously worked in many different settings around the world.

When she is not working, Martine loves cooking and is a very keen traveller.


Sophia Blesch | Customer Relationship Officer

Sophia is our Franco-Belgian Customer Relationship Officer, welcoming and assisting our students and visitors.

While working in various French, Belgian and German companies, she gained experience in international sales, marketing and communication. In Belgium, she worked several years as an English and French foreign language teacher in Flemish high schools.

She has a passion for languages and multicultural environments. Creative art is also an important part of her life as she creates and sells dream-catchers.


Teaching Staff

The teaching staff is comprised of 40 native French speakers.
Together they teach over 700 students in each 8 week session.

Board of Directors

Lyn Tuit | President

BA Dip. Ed, GAICD, Dipl. Sup CCI Paris


Lyn is currently the Principal at Momentum 2, a marketing and communications agency. She has gained extensive experience in marketing and has worked for the tourism sector as Director Southern Europe South Australian Tourism Commission in Paris and is a Past First Secretary of the Australian Embassy in Paris, France. 

Lyn is a Director of Intuitive Communication, Treasurer and Director of Sydney Salon and is a Past Director of the South Australian Tourism Commission. She is the Vice-President of the Association National des Membres de l'Ordre National du Mérite for Australia.

Marie Chrétien | Vice-President

MA, MBA, MEng, GAICD


Marie has a keen interest in Art and is currently a Council Member at The Power Institute (University of Sydney) and the Founder and Director of Cultureplus (organisation of cultural events). 

She had been working for 20 years in the energy industry both in Australia (APA Group, Transgrid) and France (RTE, EDF) as a National Key Account Manager.


Gareth Dando | Treasurer

MA (Hons), MBA, BSc (Hons) Mathematics, MSc Coaching Psychology

Gareth is currently a Director at Exigeant Advisory in Sydney. He is also an Executive Coach at Global Coaching Partnership in Sydney.

He previously worked as Head of Big Data Analytics, Telstra in Sydney, as Managing Director at Southern Cross Venture Partners in Sydney, as CEO at UNISEED in Melbourne, as Senior Manager at LEK Consulting in Melbourne, as a Consultant at OC&C Strategy Consultants in London, UK and Paris, France and as IT Consultant at Andersen Consulting in London, UK.



Dominique Barbeau | Board Member

MA, BA (Hons), Grad. Dip. Ed. (UNSW, Sydney), Dip.Supérieur de Français des Affaires (CCI Paris)

Dominique is currently teaching IB French at SCECGS Redlands in Cremorne. She has an extensive teaching experience in independent, selective and comprehensive public schools in Sydney. She has worked at the Board of Studies (now, NESA) for over 20 years as an HSC examiner and Senior Marker.

Dominique is a passionate advocate of French language learning and has been actively involved in the Modern Language Teachers Association of NSW  (MLTA of NSW) and the NSW Association of French Teachers (NAFT). She is a Past President of NAFT and a Past Vice-President of the Federation of Associations of Teachers of French in Australia (FATFA). 


Marie Varnier-Gittard | Board Member

B Bus


Marie has extensive experience in the airline industry, having worked as Regional Director for Aircalin, as Director and Member of the executive committee at Sofrana Unilines, and as Managing Director GSA at Thai Airways.

Marie is Chair of the Association National des Membres de l’Ordre National du Mérite for Australia, Counsellor of the French Australian Chamber of Commerce (NSW), Vice-President of the Société des membres de la Légion d'honneur, General Delegate for Australia of the French veterans living abroad (FACS), and a member of the executive committee of the Association of the Friends of the Laperouse Museum. 

Hannah Cooper | Board Member

BA Law, BLS


Hannah is currently working as a lawyer at Gilbert + Tobin (Restructuring + Insolvency) in Sydney. She previously worked as a lawyer (Restructuring) in London, UK, at Cadwalader, Wickersham and Taft LLP and at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley and McCloy LLP, and as a lawyer (Corporate Advisory) at Corrs Chambers Westgarth in Sydney.

Hannah was admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of NSW (2014) and as a Solicitor of the High Court of Australia (2016).




Anthony Kierann | Board Member

BA


Anthony is currently the Chief Operating Officer at Actors Centre Australia, one of Australia’s leading performing arts institutions. Prior to this, Anthony was the General Manager of Film Festivals, Australian Cinema and Programs with Event Cinemas. He has extensive experience in cinema theatre management with Event Hospitality and Entertainment (EVT), working across exhibition and distribution as well as a solid experience of the hospitality industry as a Past General Manager of Hotels within Sydney. 

 


Amaury Treguer | Board Member

M Com, B. Bus


Amaury is Executive Director Social at Red Havas, responsible for the social team across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. With over 15 years of combined marketing and communications experience on both agency and client sides, Amaury has proven through-the-line experience including TV, print, social media and digital. After launching Sixtine, a creative studio specialised in content production back in Paris, Amaury is now focusing his efforts in creating and implementing social and digital strategies for clients across a wide range of industries. In his ‘dawntime’, he’s taking photos for his blog Morning Bondi.

Patrick Cocquerel | Board Member

MBA, DECS (France)


Patrick is a Senior Corporate and Institutional Banking executive with an extensive network of relationships at Board and senior management levels. He has led various banking businesses in France, Australia, Spain and the United States for Credit Agricole CIB and the Westpac Group. Patrick is an MBA and Accounting graduate with a passion for diversity, sustainability and the performing arts.






Alliance Française French Film Festival Volunteers

Each year, over 40 volunteers assist with the running of the Alliance Française French Film Festival. To volunteer during the next Festival season, email us!