Our team

  Our General Manager 

Osman Boubakari

General Manager

Education & Experience

MBA in General and Financial Management

Osman Boubakari is a native francophone and has studied in French. He obtained his Baccalaureat and worked for French companies in his native Cameroun before migrating to Australia in 2000. Since 2006 Osman has been part of the Canberra community and worked in many capacities including the Government Departments of Finance and Defence and a few others. He recently worked with consulting management firms in his capacity as a Finance Specialist and directed financial and commercial processes to drive bottom-line growth while partnering with leadership to formulate and implement business strategies. During the last 15 years living in Canberra, Osman took part in French and other Francophone activities with his four children attending the French - Australian school - Telopea- Park School and Narrabundah College. Osman has travelled extensively and immersed himself in French and other cultures around the world and is an active member of the Canberra community in leading and developing many activities within Board memberships, local communities and not-for-profit societies or associations. Please feel free to walk in or make contact. 


Osman likes traveling, meeting people and has a strong sense of participation in community volunteering.

Our permanent staff

Floriane Henneaux

Director of Studies

Education & Experience

Bachelor of Sociology and Anthropology Master’s in Language Science (ongoing)

Passionate about cultures and languages, I promote cultural diversity and education for all ages. Originally from Belgium, I have lived in France, Thailand, Tonga and am now based in Canberra, Australia.

In 2011, during a fieldwork observing religious beliefs in northern Thailand, I experienced learning Thai in immersion while helping a school community. Since then, I have not stopped teaching, learning from and with my students and taking an interest in education.

AfC staff member since 2017, I am currently in charge of managing and overseeing the smooth running of the Language School. 

Art, vinyasa yoga and lively cafés. Current affairs, psychology and philosophy. Social justice and human rights.

Maureen Simon-Dou

Culture & Communication Manager

Education & Experience

Master's degree - Management, communication and culture

As Culture & Communication Manager, I am in charge of running all cultural events and communication and marketing campaigns at the Alliance.

Born and raised in Paris, I first studied English literature at the Sorbonne University and then communication at CELSA. I also spent a semester as an exchange student at UNSW in Sydney.

I specialise in institutional and cultural communications, after 4 years as a marketing and communication officer at the Paris Opera and an experience in events management at the musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac. 

I love pop culture and video games, and I’m a huge Broadway nerd. I’ve also been playing the guitar and the ukulele for more than 10 years.

Yorick Belfort

Administration Assistant

Education & Experience

Born and raised in New Caledonia, I studied and lived most of my childhood in Noumea as well as in the Northern part in a small town named Temala. I studied British Literature, Linguistics and Civilisation at the University of New Caledonia and graduated in 2016. 
Soon after, I started working as a French as Foreign Language Teacher and French/English Interpret, in the Alliance Francaise de Suva, in the Fiji Islands where I stayed working for 5 years. After the pandemic, I decided to move to Australia and I stayed in Sydney for a year. After a visit to Canberra, I fell in love with the Bush Capital and chose to stay. I started working for the Alliance Francaise de Canberra in March 2023 as both an Administration Assistant and a Casual French Teacher and I am so glad to be working with such a dynamic team here.


I am a huge nature lover, I love bush adventures, I binge-watch TV series a lot and I have an obsession for puppy videos on the internet.

Graziella Vergain

Head Teacher & DELF DALF National Coordinator

Education & Experience

Bachelor's of English Studies; Master's of Teaching French as a Foreign Language; ongoing Master's in Audiovisual Translation.

For the past 15 years, I had the opportunity to teach French in various countries and settings. In primary and secondary schools in the UK, in Victoria and at Canberra Grammar School. I also taught French to professionals, including: UN military personnel and medical staff in Asia as well as diplomats at DFAT.

I am now teaching all ages, levels and objectives at Alliance Française de Canberra and managing the French DELF-DALF certification exams and examiners training in Australia with the support of the Embassy of France.


I enjoy spending time volunteering for my local community, going outdoors and discovering more about cultures and languages. 

Stéphanie Pouliquin


Education & Experience

I was born in the north of France. I passed my early teenage years in Ardèche which was a rebirth for me. I discovered the beautiful rivers near which I spent my summer days and the breathtaking sceneries of this pretty region. After undergraduate studies in ''philosophy and languages'' I started studying history and art history, firstly at the université de Grenoble and then in Montpellier. I liked it a lot but I did not continue in that direction. In that energetic city I met many wonderful people, mainly the future father of my daughter, with whom I left France. I left at the age of 22 initially for Germany, then Italy, where I realised I loved teaching! After that we came to Australia where I fell in love and I have been in Canberra for 20 years. I have been an AF teacher since 2003 and this job is a love story for me. I love it because one never gets bored, there is so much to share and exchange, and my students have taught me as much as I have taught them! 


I have always loved languages, our beautiful French culture, literature, poetry, philosophy and film as well as going out with friends, drinking wine, music, dance, nature, hiking, which I can do so much of in Australia. I feel connected to this country. 

It's been two years since I started dedicating time daily to Nietzsche and writing prose poetry. My work at the AF is important to me and I love sharing my interest for literature, philosophy, and French cinema with my advanced students. 

Franck Leonhardt


Education & Experience

Bachelor's degree in economics ; General university Diploma in Economic and Social Administration (DEUG AES) at Paris XII university.

My work experience includes being President of parental private childcare in Nogent-sur-Marne and running a company for 20 years in France while also being active in other continents. I have taught French to children and adults in villages I crossed in both Asia and Africa. Finally since 2017 I have been a professor at the AF de Canberra and have also been engaged in French Telopea School.


My teaching interests include Grammar, Practical vocabulary for daily life, Art, History, Literature, Theatre, Gastronomy, and I have been a Disciple d’Escoffier Australie since 2020 and a Cheese manager IGA Ainslie during 2018-2020. 

Françoise Parsons


Education & Experience

In 2006, after a long working life with the French Foreign Affairs, I very happily retired and came back to Canberra, which I had left for at least 16 years... I very fortunately met the  then director of the Alliance, Bertrand, who proposed to me to come and work with them. Not being a  teacher by trade, I didn't feel not quite alright and but he did insist and proposed to me few hours. In 2007, the teaching  post to the Breakfast Club, a conversation class of quite very good level, was available and I was quite nervous to accept but I gave it a try and believe it or not, I am still with them.... getting older together but very graciously.


I have developed a passion for teaching my language and I do hope to be able to do so ...... for a while longer!

Our assistants

Juliette Charle

Cultural Assistant

Education & Experience

Born and raised in Strasbourg, I left my lovely hometown to pursue my academic studies in the south of France, in Marseille.

Currently on a gap year in my Business Master's degree, I've decided to pursue my desire to work in culture. And what better way than promoting my own culture halfway around the world?

I am looking forward to practicing what I've learned through my literary and business formation and my first experience as a communication assistant for four theaters, for the AF Community. 


As many French people in Australia, I came here to travel and discover as much as I could from this giant country. Otherwise, you would find me at the gym or drinking coffee with friends. 

Naïli Cheballah

Communication Assistant

Education & Experience

I grew up in Ardèche in the South of France. I left my countryside after graduating high school to pursue my education at Strasbourg University, where I earned a bachelor's degree in musicology of modern music.

I then set my course for the bustling streets of Paris to complete a master’s degree in marketing and communications of the arts. There, I had the opportunity to complete two apprenticeships, one at a publishing house and one at a theatre festival.

So here I am, a recent graduate, and moving on to my next challenge—an internship as a communication assistant at the Alliance Française.

My budding career testifies to my love of the arts. Whether it's music or theatre, I’m always up for a concert or a play. I also have a strong passion for creative writing and can't go anywhere without my trusty notebook.

Our committee members

AFC COMMITTEE for 2022-23 (following the AGM on 25 May 2022)

Jean-Pierre Thébault

Ambassador of France to Australia
Honorary President

Hugh Chevrant-Breton


Education & Experience:

Hugh was born in France and was a professional tour guide until his move to Australia in 1982. 

For the last 30 years he worked as a Manager for a leading international airline in Sydney, Paris, Cairns, Adelaide, Christchurch and Canberra. He has been involved for many years at the Alliance Francaise of Adelaide and Canberra.

Some of his goals as President are to grow the reach of the Alliance Francaise de Canberra to new markets, to increase its visibility through existing and new events and promote our location as a place where Francophones and Francophiles meet.

Gordon Bull


Education & Experience:

BA(Hons) MA(Hons)

Gordon is an art historian and retired academic. He taught art history and theory in Australian universities for over thirty years, principally at the School of Art and Design at Australian National University where for ten years he was Head of the Art Theory Workshop, and for seven years the Head of School.

Gordon has been a member of the executive, and treasurer and membership secretary of the Art Association of Australia and New Zealand (AAANZ), and a member of the executive, secretary and chair of the Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools (ACUADS).

Gordon has been a student at the Alliance since 2013. He enjoys learning about all things French.

Judith Woolley


Education & Experience:

Judith has been part of the AF for several years taking part in lessons & all events.

For the past 5 years she has been on the board as she wanted to give back to the AF & their expertise & friendship has been very important.

She has been part of a work community which developed skills in administration, finance, risk, policy & research.

Her external activities has included dogs for most of her life & she is a judge, breeder & owner of lovely companions.

Catherine Riordan


Education & Experience:

BA LLB (ANU) MPA (Harv.) PhD (TCD) 

Catherine has a keen interest in French culture and language which began when she attended the French pre-school at the Alliance Francaise de Canberra at 4 years of age.     

Catherine has enjoyed diverse roles in Territory, State and Federal Governments, including as Deputy Privacy Commissioner for NSW, Member of the Copyright Tribunal of Australia, and Project Manager for a review of the legal sector in Vanuatu.  She currently works in the Department of Health and Aged Care. 

Arthur Camilleri


Education & Experience:

BEc (Hons), MEc, PhD

Arthur has a keen interest in French culture, history and language — much of this stimulated and developed while living in Paris for several years and travelling across France. He also participates in cultural and language education activities at the Alliance Française.

Arthur pursued a career as an economic analyst and policy adviser. He was a senior executive in the Australian Department of Finance and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Arthur also worked for several years in a leading international organisation in Paris, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. He previously worked as a Lecturer and Senior Tutor at the Australian National University while undertaking his Ph.D. research in economics.

Leslie Barnes


Education & Experience:

Leslie Barnes is Associate Professor of French Studies at the Australian National University, where she teaches all levels of courses in French language and culture. She is the author of Vietnam and the Colonial Condition of French Literature (Nebraska, 2014) and co-editor of The Cinema of Rithy Panh: Everything Has a Soul (Rutgers, 2021).

Her daughter is enrolled at Telopea Park School and regularly attends camps and classes at the Alliance.

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