BGKLLEN | Our Team
Meet the team of passionate staff behind BGKLLEN.
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Our Team

BGKLLEN (or Bayside Glen Eira Kingston Local Learning & Employment Network) is helping young people stay engaged or reengage with schooling. We do this by facilitating partnerships that help build the capacity of young people to attend education, build positive relationships with educators and develop the skills they will require to move on successfully to the next stage of their life. We are currently focusing on engagement in learning and school retention as well as professional development for staff and educators working with young people.

At BGKLLEN we are receptive and ready to listen and act. We are passionate, tenacious and care deeply about young people. We are fun to be around as we love what we do!

We are also very committed to Child Safety. To read our Statement of Commitment to Child Safety, click here.

Brendan O’Connell

Brendan O’Connell was appointed Executive Officer in May 2016 and brings with him a history of facilitation, vocational education and training and partnership brokering. His work history also includes Aboriginal Community Controlled Health, mental health and governance. Brendan relocated from Ballarat to take on the Executive Officer position but is now closer to family. Brendan has a varied education spanning from an apprenticeship to post graduate studies in Innovation in Education & Training.

Rachel Costello

Rachel is our SWL Project Officer and joined BGKLLEN from Kingston City Council where she was working as the Youth Engagement Officer, taking the lead in projects such as Kingston Junior Mayor program and coordination of the FREEZA Committee. Rachel grew up in the UK and moved to Australia in 2007. Rachel has previously volunteered with BGKLLEN on both a community co-design project and our At-Risk forum. Rachel is passionate about supporting young people and others to get ahead in life and is looking at studying Social Work. Rachel will be working in the Structured Workplace Learning (SWL) portfolio with Laura

Laura Vandersluys

SWL Coordinator Laura Van Der Sluys

As the Structured Workplace Learning (SWL) Coordinator, Laura works on the DET SWL contract to facilitate partnerships between schools and employers to deliver on the job training to young people undertaking VET studies. Laura holds a Bachelor of Health Science and has completed a Health Promotion placement with AFL Victoria. Laura is a committee member of her local Caulfield South Community Garden and has volunteered in the Community House as a kindergarten teacher running a garden program. She is also passionate about dance and manages a dance studio. Laura has recently been selected for the Victorian Youth Congress and is Deputy Chair for our region.

Kathy Woods

Kathy is the glue that keeps the office together, holding the position of Business & Operations Manager at the BGKLLEN. Kathy has extensive experience in management, financial management, administration and project management in both the health and education sectors. Kathy holds a Diploma in Business Administration as well as a Certificate IV in Financial Services (Bookkeeping). Kathy enjoys the diversity of her role at the BGKLLEN, along with working with the rest of the team to achieve organisational and regional partnership success.