Since early 2010 Language Connection has had a board of directors that have offered both strategic advice and mentorship of the volunteers.


  (Board meeting August 2012, Volunteers to left, mentors to right)

Bob Simpson


After a career in commerce and industry, Bob spent time working with ACCESS Ministries. In his role he saw the Christian community has very limited effective engagement with Australian people through public media. Along with others he founded a group in which Christians could engage with media professionals. He later joined and became a Board member of 89.9 Light FM.

Later, he worked in one of Melbourne’s largest churches. From 2005 – 2010 he was National Director of Trans World Radio in Australia. Insights from these experiences convinced him a movement was needed to engage the Church with the public media, so that the Australian people could rediscover the value of Christian faith for their own lives, and their families and communities. Since then he has worked to establish AMEP (The Australian Media Engagement Project Inc).

Raffaele Grosso


Raffaele is a retired automotive design engineering manager with 47 years experience in that arena. He had lengthy assignments in Japan, USA and Europe. Currently, he teaches conversation English to migrant students on a voluntary basis at RMIT REW. Raffaele is dedicated to inspiring and motivating young students to achieve their goals. He enjoys contributing whatever he can to persons wishing to succeed. He is currently a full time carer for his pensioner father and would like to improve my golf game when the weather permits.

Yukari Sekino


Yukari is a Japanese Student Program Consultant / Student Coordinator at The Australian Centre at University of Melbourne with a core purpose to ‘Help people reach their potential by working together, inspiring, motivating and coaching.’ She has great passion in self-development and huge interest in other’s development and making people happy through internation student care, counseling and coaching.

Julien Leyre


Julien has broad experience in writing and editing, education, event and group facilitation, research, translation, film, project management, business development, web development, evaluation and strategy. He has worked in six countries and five languages, and can easily adapt to new settings, as well as mediate implicit cultural expectations.

Julien is looking for cross-cultural/multi-lingual opportunities in the arts, government, education, IT, media or not-for-profit sector – and is particularly interested in building relationships between Australia and China. He is also looking to support or participate in independent collaborative literary and artistic projects.

Michael Zuo


Michael has extensive experience in working with language learners coming to Australia and with translation and interpreting. His knowledge of Chinese values has been an enormous boost to us and he has been with the project since its early stages in 2008.

Victoria Wilding


Following a 25 year career as a senior executive working across the corporate, government and community sectors in Australia and around the world, Victoria has for the past six years dedicated her efforts to transforming the culture of emerging leadership. Victoria’s expertise is in developing the essential leadership capacities, mindset and worldview required to migrate humanity to a sustainable future.

By challenging existing perspectives, limiting beliefs and old paradigms, Victoria is guiding a new cadre of global leaders who are actively seeking to take bold steps to transform themselves their organisations, industries, communities and nations.

Sam Taylor


With a background in marine biology, specialising in climate change ecology, Sam’s experience in international relations and governance stretches between the traditionally disparate threads of science, policy makers, the populist media and the general public. Sam is interested in communication mechanics and believe that scientific literacy is one of the keys to a functional and progressive society.

He hopes one day to play a part in Australia’s contribution to global citizenship, and help to engender inter-cultural understanding (as an ideological goal of multiculturalism) among Australians. Sam’s experience in cross- and multi-disciplinary projects has given him a true appreciation for the critical importance of mutual understanding in local and international contexts.

Jun Ohashi


Dr. Jun Ohashi is a lecturer at the Asia Institute at the University of Melbourne. He has considerable experience in teaching Japanese at universities in the UK and Australia. His interest in teaching the language go beyond the learners’ language acquisition. He believes in humanistic values in language education.

His current project: “Integrating international students through languaging” is generously supported by Collier Charitable Fund, and it focuses on intercultural learning which provides both local and international students with ability to question themselves who they are. He is a leading scholar in the study of social meaning of thanking, and the author of a book titled Thanking and politeness in Japanese: Balancing acts in interaction which will be published by Palgrave Macmillan.

 Chester Li


Chester is a scientist by training and a policy officer by profession. Beginning his journey in Australia as an international student, Chester felt the difficulties for people who come from a non-English speaking background to fit into the mainstream culture. Hence he is contributing his time and experience to Language Connection. Chester now is interested in climate change mitigation measures including policy, economics and technology instrument to reduce the total anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.