About Us

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

OELLEN is a community organisation that aims to empower young people that are disengaged from schools, employment or the Knox, Maroondah and Yarra Ranges areas. We do this through connecting them with educational programs or industry specific training.

Our mission is to broker collaborative partnerships between local agencies, organisations, industry and education and training providers that will result in improved education and training outcomes for young people aged 10-19, in particular those at risk of not making successful transitions.

Partnering with local services is key to how OELLEN operates. We aim to serve the community by working with local services which improve the regions 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.

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.

Deb Ceko

Office Manager

Debra’s most recent role before joining the OELLEN was as a trainer in the Job Services industry, working with groups of long term unemployed jobseekers. Debra has a broad range of experience having worked in administrative roles in large government departments, before moving into small business office management roles.

Jesse Boyd

Communications Officer

Jesse joined OELLEN after completing placement with the organisation. Prior to this he has worked in various roles in the IT sector. Jesse brings significant volunteer experience working in the Not-For-Profit sector and is currently completing a Master in Social Work.

Sharon Neal

Structured Workplace Learning Coordinator

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.

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.

Steve Merry

Structured Workplace Learning Coordinator

Steve joined the OELLEN team in 2016, and brings  a strong knowledge of the Structured Workplace Learning (SWL) Program developed over three years at IMVC. Steve has a background in Education, having taught in Primary Schools since 2007.

Pat Johnston

Structured Workplace Learning Coordinator


Outer Eastern Local Learning & Employment Network