About Us

We have a vision of improved education, training and employment outcomes for young people in the Outer East of Melbourne.

Who We Are & What We Do

The Outer Eastern Local Learning & Employment Network (OELLEN) is a community organisation funded by the Victorian Government to develop networks with schools, employers, community and families, to empower and link disengaged and vulnerable youth to education, training,and employment pathways in the local government areas of Knox, Maroondah and Yarra Ranges. The OELLEN is also funded to deliver the Structured Workplace Learning (SWL) program in those three local government areas.The SWL funding enables OELLEN to engage with local employers to provide placements that are tailored to local priorities and employment opportunities.Partnering with local services is key to how OELLEN operates and we seek to serve the community by working with local services which improve the Region's economy and autonomy.

Our Key Strategies



Broaden the applied learning opportunities available for students.


Support schools with careers-related strategies.


Support schools to engage with business and industry.

Our Team

Fiona Purcell

Executive Officer

Fiona has been the Executive Officer of the OELLEN since it was established in 2002. She has had extensive experience working with local schools, TAFE, business and industry and community groups and has developed a wide range of partnerships to improve the education and career pathway options for young people in the Outer East.

Sharon Neal

Structured Workplace Learning Team Leader

Sharon joined the OELLEN team in 2016 and brings with her extensive experience from the employment services industry in training, case management and employer liaison. Possessing a background in Education, Sharon also has a working history in Sales and Marketing.

Deb Ceko

Office Manager

Debra joined OELLEN in 2015, bringing with her a broad range of experience in administrative roles in large government departments, before moving into small business office management roles. Before joining the OELLEN Debra worked in the Job Services sector, training groups of long term unemployed jobseekers.

Cherie Messerle

Project Officer

Cherie has been a member of the OELLEN team since 2008. Prior to this she has worked closely with schools and educators as a Curriculum Consultant and School Development Officer with the Department of Education. She brings many years’ experience in education, management, business and youth work to the role at the OELLEN.

Jasmine Mishra

Structured Workplace Learning Coordinator

Jasmine joined the OELLEN team in 2018 and brings with her extensive experience from the employment services industry in training, case management and employer liaison. Jasmine also has a Sales and Marketing background as well as a strong understanding of apprenticeships and traineeships through her recent employment in a Group Training organisation.

Pat Johnston

Structured Workplace Learning Coordinator

Patricia joined the OELLEN team in 2017, bringing with her more than ten years of experience working in the education sector. Patricia’s work in secondary schools and with the atEAST group has given her broad industry connections and a strong understanding of Structured Workplace Learning and School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships.

Jenny Royle

Project Officer

Jenny has a background in education and teaching, with experience in senior program development and building school capacity. Jenny has a particular interest in creating strong and sustainable ties between schools and the community, developing meaningful connections to broaden access and training for all senior school students. She also brings understanding of not-for-profit community organizations and is an active member of local school boards and groups.

Cheryl Barr

Structured Workplace Learning Coordinator

Cheryl joined the OELLEN in 2016, bringing her knowledge of the Structured Workplace Learning (SWL) Program from her time at SELLEN. Cheryl has a background working in schools and in business and industry as a  field officer for Registered Training Organisations.

Armita Abdollahyan

Communications Officer

Armita joined OELLEN  in 2019, She has worked in various roles in the IT sector. Armita brings significant work experience in the Not-For-Profit sector and is currently completing a diploma in Community Services.


Outer Eastern Local Learning & Employment Network