Our Team // Notre Équipe

Our team

Nancy Ford-Waites

Director

Education & Experience:

I started at the Alliance Francaise de Canberra 10 years ago never dreaming that I would one-day be its director. I have had a diverse career, starting out in the commonwealth public service, then moving to management consulting before working in Parliament as a ministerial advisor. I then headed World Vision’s government relations for 5 years before taking time out to be with my young children, during which time I founded and directed ''Canberra en français'' (a free bilingual French-English community magazine), and also ran for the Senate in the May 2019 federal elections.

Interests 

During my 10 years with the Alliance Francaise I have been a student, mother of students, board member, head of marketing and finally director. I am raising my two children French-English bilingual and over the years have been an active member of Les Petites Etoiles French Playgroup, on the board of the French-Australian pre-school and the P&C of Telopea French-Australian School. I am a passionate advocate for learning foreign languages at any age.

Floriane Henneaux

Head teacher

Education & Experience:

I completed a bachelor in Social sciences, and a postgraduate degree in Anthropology. In 2011, during a fieldwork observing religious beliefs in northern Thailand, I experienced learning thai in immersion while helping a school community. At that moment, I realised that teaching was something I really wanted to do. I haven’t stopped teaching since then: general french, literacy courses for migrants, french for military and french for hospitality/ tourism. With an intercultural approach, my activities at the AF emphasises a two-way learning process. Written and audiovisual media as contents are used to integrate social issues topics in class as well as literature. Staff member since 2017 and currently in charge of the Pedagogy team, I promote a communicative approach with clear tasks/ objectives according to students’ needs and interest.

Interests 

Passionate about cultural diversity, especially in Asia-Pacific, I admire historical heritage and art. I enjoy lively cafés and markets. I love listening to conversations and podcasts about current affairs, psychology and philosophy. I also have a strong interest in social justice and human rights. Walks, runs and yoga are the best way to clear my head.

Graziella Vergain

Teacher & DELF DALF Coordinator

Education & Experience:

With a Bachelor of English Studies and a Master of French as a Foreign Language, I had the opportunity to tutor various learners over the past 12 years. In 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 and diplomats at DFAT. I am now teaching all ages, levels and objectives at Alliance Française de Canberra and managing French DELF-DALF certification exams and examiners training on a national scale.

Interests:

After a childhood in the countryside in “Alsace” and the Alps, I always loved the outdoors and taking care of animals. I also enjoy spending time with my pets, baking cakes, watching movies, reading books or drawing. A language-learner myself, I hope I can use my experience to improve my teaching as well as speak foreign languages during my future travels.


Stéphanie Pouliquin

Teacher

Education & Experience: 

I was born in the north of France, near Belgium. 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! 

Skills/specialisations

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 dedicated 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

Teacher

Education & Experience: 

I did my bachelor's degree in economics  and  continued my studies with  a  General University Diploma in Economic and Social Administration -DEUG AES- at the university of Paris XII. 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.

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

Laurie Kahoul

Teacher

Education & Experience:

My studies includee a Bachelor of Arts in Japanese linguistics and literature, language sciences Master 2 (Second year postgraduate degree) of Arts in French as a Foreign Language or Second Language (ongoing) and my French teaching experience consists of having been a French as a second language teacher at College du Bois d’Amour (french middle school) French as a second language tutor, University of Pau and Pays de l’Adour French language assistant for the University of Chicago, center in Paris. I specialise in Teaching french with playful activities and games (both children and adults) Teaching french with ICT Designing videos for flipped classroom.


Interests: 

Besides loving teaching children and adults, I developed a certain interest for craft and DIY activities. I love creating new things and I am currently learning how to sew!
I love cooking and baking for my family and friends. Cakes make everyone happy.
I am also a very colourful person and I always enjoy a good laugh. If you see me at the Alliance Française, I'll probably be wearing some yellow mustard on me!
Cheers!

Mireille Hendy

Teacher

Education & Experience:

I arrived in Australia in 1999, having spent 20 years in London of which 15 years as a bookseller, bookshop manager. I discovered the Alliance Francaise in Canberra and was taken as a volunteer in the library for about a year, I was then given the chance to become a full time librarian. Over the years, I have also looked after the bar, was in charge of the DELF DALF administration, Campus France, and helped out at the front desk. I started reading stories to young children once a week in the library, this became structured classes for pre-kindy aged 3 & 4 years old, and I have had the privilege to run the classes for the past 15 years.

I retired 2 years ago, but I am still at the Alliance, still teaching the pre-kindy and working 1 day a week in the library as a volunteer, without forgetting the book club which has been running for the past 5 years.


Interests:

Passionate about teaching french to young children, I also love cooking, gardening, reading, and quilting.
I have an accreditation in Ushui Rei-ki, an interest in homeopathy, vibrational medicine, essential oils for massages, meditation and yoga.
I have a great love for nature, the environment and always shared my life with dogs.
I have been a foil fencer for many years, and did a coach accreditation level 1.

Françoise Parsons 

Teacher

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.

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

Rim Meliani 

Communication and Culture Manager

Education & Experience:
After two years of preparatory classes in Paris with a specialization in English Literature and philosophy. I did my master in Arts Management in Audencia Business School in Nantes, France and the next year I did a second Master in Arts Administration in Boston University with a focus on the public sector and especially the art world. I have worked in the past for Alliance Française and also French embassies in Asia and the United States. All these rewarding experiences in artistic and diplomatic organizations have led me to Alliance Française Canberra where I am in charge of the Communication and Culture department.

Interests:
I am passionate about cinema, especially the work of Jane Campion, French literature from Annie Ernaux to Albert Camus. In my free time I enjoy playing soccer, hiking, yoga and travelling all over Australia.

Jonathan Le Bourhis

Administrative Assistant

Education & Experience:
My studies include two bachelor's degrees, one Bachelor of Cinema and Audiovisual, Sorbonne University (film history and analysis) and another Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies, University of Tasmania (gender, politics, and identity in Northeast Asia). I participated in an exchange program at Daegu University, in South Korea (Korean culture and etiquette, popular culture and soft power, Korean film history) and I later did a Master of Asian and Pacific Studies, Australian National University (gender, social activism and human rights, tourism, heritage and globalisation, language and power). Finally I did my Master’s thesis on the long take in the films of Kenji Mizoguchi. 

Interests:
I developed a strong interest in art and art history, cinema (aesthetics and politics), soccer, philosophy, chess, and astronomy. I am also interested in understanding political, economic and cultural structures, and more specifically how these structures shape both individual and collective behaviours and systems of values.

Inès Pouliquin

Administrative Assistant

Education & Experience:
I am French-Australian and grew up in Canberra. I attended Telopea Park School / le Lycée Franco- Australien de Canberra and completed a french baccalaureate specialising in philosophy, English literature, and Spanish. I then studied a double bachelor degree in Languages (Modern Standard Arabic and Spanish) and International Relations. I recently passed the C1 DALF French exam and am currently studying French to English translation at the Royal Melbourne University. I have worked as a language tutor and otherwise always in customer service. I started working in hospitality before interning at the Embassy of the Republic of Ecuador and moving towards administrative work.

Interests:
Aside from work, I  enjoy going to film festivals such as the Alliance Française French Film Festival, and am a foodie. I am an avid traveller and enjoy exploring. Spain and Morocco are next up on the wish list! I am a huge animal and nature lover, enjoying walks in nature and otherwise staying active through aerial pole dance.

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