Committee of Governance

Committee members are drawn from the local community and bring a variety of professional skills or local knowledge to their voluntary work. The Committee of Governance governs CNLC and sets its overall strategic direction, mission and values.  The commitee is transparent and accountable for all matters pertaining to CNLC and is responsible for monitoring financial and organisational viability and compliance with all legal and ethical obligations. Meetings are usually held on the 3rd Tuesday of the month at 6pm.

If you are interested to volunteer on the Committee, we welcome expressions of interest. Please contact the Manager.



Denise Patience, Chair

Denise has been teaching English to international students at RMIT REW since 2015. Prior to this, she owned and operated a small retail business for 17 years. Going back even further, she worked as a producer in the film and television industry, with her own production company. Although these jobs may at first seem quite disparate, they share the common threads of communication and creativity, and provide the wealth of experience that she brings to the Committee.


Carlo 2 colour

 Carlo Zabotto, Treasurer

Carlo is a comparatively new committee member, appointed in May 2019. Born in Melbourne, to Italian migrants, he has lived in the Carlton/Fitzroy area for over 30 years, and studied at the University of Melbourne obtaining a degree in Electrical Engineering and a MBA. He has extensive corporate experience with a number of multinational companies and has expertise in the areas of Strategy, Business Planning and Business Development. He loves the community spirit of inner Melbourne and has two children both raised in the local community.


Karen West, Secretary



 Joanna 2 colour

Joanna Buckingham

Joanna’s whole career has been in adult education. Much of that has been in dual sector universities that provide vocational and well as higher education programs, and in the development and provision of literacy courses. Additionally, responsibilities relating to strategic planning, program and people management and regulatory compliance in educational institutions have provided a relevant background for supporting the varied activities and functions of the Carlton Neighbourhood Learning Centre. Joanna loves the work of the CNLC and, while sharing her expertise, she feels that she’s always learning.


Kavita 2 colour

Kavitha Chandra-Shekeran

Kavitha Chandra-Shekeran has close to 20-years’ experience working in the not for profit sector and State government to address disadvantage and promote equity and social inclusion. These organisations also focussed on improving community health and well-being, as well as combating discrimination.
“I am a committee member because I value and recognise the important work the Neighbourhood House does to strengthen local communities through education, training, community development and sustainability. CNLC is a great example of place-based engagement and community development, bringing diverse community members together to build a positive and rich community”.


Alberta Gray 1 colour

Alberta Gray

Alberta has worked and volunteered in multiple community settings and feels strongly about challenging disadvantage and creating stronger communities. She is currently involved in CNLC’s Make it Work project and loves spending time in the CNLC garden with Michelle. Alberta holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree and a Masters of Law from Monash University.


Julie New