Our Team


Fortress Learning has a simple approach to staffing – find the best person for the job and connect with them using the tools that are available.

And when it comes to finding the best person, we don’t just go for people who look good on paper or who can talk the talk; we want people who genuinely care.

It is with this philosophy that we have expanded to have staff in a number of Australian states and other countries.

Instead of bricks and mortar, we invest in time and communications. We might be far apart, but experience tells us we are a more closely connected team than many organisations who share the same physical location. We meet at 11:07am every Tuesday and Friday no matter where we might be in the world, and most of us perform multiple roles.

Being a learning organisation, all staff are engaged in continuous formal and informal learning. Our staff are arranged with a single aim in mind, and our organisational chart bears out our commitment to student learning.

Introducing our team.

Bryan West – Managing Director

Bryan HeadshotFrom an early age, Bryan enjoyed exploring the natural world. As he moved from poking around puddles with a stick, he moved to an interest in hiking, cycle-touring and kayaking. It was while bumbling his way through a Bachelor of Science degree at the Australian National University that Bryan discovered the light bulb moment that comes from learning something new.

After moving to Sydney Bryan discovered that what he liked most was teaching. Community and corporate education, and working in TAFE, was followed by a series of cycling trips in Asia.

Not surprisingly, his twin interests in teaching and the world led to a decision to teach high school Geography. After moving to Brisbane to study education at University of Queensland, Bryan met his wife, Amy and together they moved to north Queensland. It was here that Bryan gained significant senior leadership experience and completed a Doctor of Philosophy, exploring whether assumptions about the value of technology to learning were reflected in students’ own experiences. Several publications and conference presentations related to this and other work-based studies have cemented his interest in reflective practice.

It was also while in north Queensland that Bryan met Chris. After early forays into swollen rivers in inflatable boats, they cycled west and south as part of a somewhat ludicrous attempt at a trans-continental odyssey. While they didn’t make it out of the state, they did share many ideas, and established the foundation from which Fortress Learning has emerged.

Bryan balances his work life with a range of community and personal interests, and cherishes more than anything else the time he spends with his family.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Education
  • Bachelor of Science
  • AICD Company Directors Course
  • Certificate IV in Training & Assessment
  • Diploma of Training Design & Development
  • Diploma of Vocational Education & Training | Diploma of Training & Assessment
  • Diploma of Business | Management | Business Administration
  • Certificate IV in Business (Governance)
  • Permaculture Design Certificate

Memberships

  • Associate Fellow, Australian Institute of Management
  • Member, Australian College of Educators
  • Member, Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • Member, Family Business Australia
  • Member, The Moral Fair Ground
  • Member, Vocational Education Learning Group
  • Life Member, Fair Share International

Emma Siebuhr – National Training Manager

Location – Toowoomba, Queensland

Emma_headshot_small_bwEmma joined the Fortress Learning family in 2014, after having children and wanting to get involved with the workforce again. With a background in more traditional educational methods, Emma has really enjoyed being a part of the innovative world of an online training platform. Emma enjoys getting to work with students from a range of backgrounds and social settings, from people who have no qualifications and are unsure about what training is, to university lecturers who are experienced in the field. Emma keeps busy on the weekend with her 6 and 7 year old, visiting family on the Queensland coast.

Qualifications

  • BA Hons Literature
  • Certificate IV in Training and Assessment
  • Diploma of Vocational Education and Training
  • Diploma of Training, Design and Development

Currently studying

  • Diploma of Leadership & Management

Amy Weeks – National Operations Manager

Location – Toowoomba, Queensland

Amy_headshot_BWAmy has been with the Fortress Learning since the very start. She really enjoys the one on one attention and support that Fortress prides themselves on providing to students. Amy involved herself in the industry because she enjoys exploring ideas and working with people – learning is very much about relationship building in Amy’s eyes. Amy believes that online learning doesn’t have to be isolated and enjoys ensuring that this thought is throughout Fortress Learning’s approach. In her spare time, Amy can be found immersed in music, books or films and spending time with family.

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Education
  • Certificate IV in Training & Assessment

Bheng Felisilda Celon – Lead TA | Receptionist

Location – Manila, Philippines

Bheng has been with Fortress Learning since 2010 and has enjoyed working her way in the organization from full time receptionist to the lead Trainers Assistant. Previous to Fortress, Bheng worked in a call centre as a support person for eBay and has also been an executive assistant to many business people. Bheng enjoys the family environment that has been created at Fortress and appreciates how understanding Bryan and the team are – giving flexibility of working from home, so Bheng is able to balance family life with her two boys.

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts

Currently studying

  • Certificate IV in Training & Assessment

Odeza Parangalan Tadoyo – Reception | Trainers’ Assistant

Location – Bulacan, Philippines

Odeza enjoys being a part of the Fortress team as it is allows her to work online, while being at home and close to her children. Odeza has fond memories of joining the Fortress Team and being welcomed by the entire staff who have continued to be warm, supportive and helpful.. Outside of Fortress Learning Odeza enjoys keeping busy with her three boys and travelling.

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Arts major in Mass Communications

Eunice Manugas Faustino – Accounts and Admin Officer

Location – Cebu, Philippines

Eunice

Eunice has been with Fortress Learning since she retired from teaching Mathematics in 2010 to join us and further her interest in e-Learning and business administration.  Like many of our multi-skilled people, Eunice has enjoyed many roles across administration, support, assessment and accounting.  Eunice believes that education and technology work best together, and shares this through development opportunities she hosts for teachers in the areas of Education and Technology. During her free time, Eunice enjoys studying the stock and currency markets and listening to audio-books.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Education major in Institutional Planning
  • Master of Education major in Educational Management
  • Master in Science Teaching major in Mathematics
  • Bachelor of Secondary Education major in Mathematics
  • Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (Aus)
  • Certificate in Xero Accounting (Aus)
  • Certificate in Xero Payroll (Aus)

Currently studying

  • Diploma of Business Administration (Aus)
  • Certificate IV in Bookkeeping (Aus)

Chris Ward – Trainer/Assessor

Location – Perth, Western Australia

Fortress Learning had the privilege of welcoming Chris to the team in June 2018 as our Business Studies guru (he is, after all, a graduate of Fortress!). Chris takes a reflective and focused approach to his students, along with his belief that the best learning occurs when a person’s intrinsic motivation – their why – drives the process.  It is this personal and relational approach that underpins Chris’ effectiveness as a trainer. We’re excited to have him on board, and very keen (maybe a bit scared?) to try his home made Super-Hot Chilli Sauce (that’s right – Chris grows several varieties of “face melting” chilli – Bhut Jolokia, Moruga Scorpion and 7 Pot to name a few).

 

 Qualifications

  • BSB50207 Diploma of Business
  • BSB51915 Diploma of Leadership and Management
  • BSB50415 Diploma of Business Administration
  • BSB51315 Diploma of Work Health and Safety
  • BSB41407 Certificate IV in Occupational Health and Safety
  • TAE50116 Diploma of Vocational Education and Training
  • TAE50216 Diploma of Training Design and Development
  • TAE40116 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment

Currently Studying

  • Bachelor of Adult Vocational Education (Training and Assessment)

Memberships

  • VELG training
  • Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership

Paul Sutton – Trainer/Assessor

Location – Toowoomba, Queensland

Paul has worked in senior management roles in the corporate and government sectors for nearly 40 years. Most of these roles have been in the education sector with domestic and international experience. He prides himself with treating people with respect and strives for outcomes with a values-based approach.

Paul believes that when we effectively educate a person, not only does it profoundly impact that person’s life, but it impacts their future, their family, and their community at large. A great education will not eliminate the challenges we face on a daily basis but it absolutely makes those challenges easier to address, overcome, and eventually solve. He practices what he preaches and classifies himself as a long life learner currently undertaking a Doctor of Professional Studies (research and work-based project). The Fortress team is over the moon to have such a skilled, generous and humble educator join us in supporting our students.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Professional Studies (candidate)
  • Master of Health Science Management
  • Graduate Certificate in Management
  • Graduate Diploma of Education Administration
  • TAA50104 Diploma of Training and Assessment
  • Master Project Director

Karenn Octubre – Reception | Trainers’ Assistant

Location –  Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines

Karenn joined Fortress in mid 2018, after working as a nurse for 3 years. Like many people, Karenn’s first forays into the Australian VET sector have pushed her into a whole new world, with its own rules and unique language! “I joined Fortress Learning to go outside of my comfort zone and to be able to explore the things I never thought I could do.”

Karenn’s natural instinct to support people and her vibrant personality make her ideal as a Trainers’ Assistant. She loves new challenges, assisting others in traversing new things and hanging out with her dogs, Dory and Princess. We’re all delighted to have Karenn as part of our team.

 

 

 

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Maniya Ongpauco – Assessor

Location –  Toowoomba, Queensland

Maniya is a passionate and dedicated educator, trainer and administrator with eleven years’ experience specialising in industrial/product design, visual communication, and graphic design in international design schools in higher and vocational education.

Fortress is priviledged to have her as an Assessor. Outside of work, Maniya manages a small business designing handmade polymer clay jewellery accessories. She enjoys going to the gym, swimming, cycling, photography, calligraphy and botanical painting.

Qualifications

  • Master of Science in Smart Product Design
  • Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design
  • Diploma of Vocational Education and Training (TAE50116)
  • Diploma of Training Design and Development (TAE50216)
  • Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (TAE40110/TAE40116)

Currently studying

  • Certificate IV in Small Business Management (BSB42515)

Cory Sabela – Admin / Trainers’ Assistant

Location –  Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines

Cory is always looking for new challenges. Before joining Fortress, Cory worked as a sales representative, MC and event organizer, and has now dived into the waters of the VET industry with enthusiasm and positivity. In her free time, Cory enjoys a good book, singing along to her favourite tunes and cooking (sweets being a particular specialty of hers). We are privileged to have such a bright and effervescent addition to the Fortress team!

 

 

 

 

Qualifications

  • 2nd year college level in Bachelor of Science majoring in Food Science and Technology.

Seminars and Certificates

  • Mushroom picking
  • Health and sanitation for food handlers

Stephanie Fernandez – Trainer / Assessor

Location –  Melbourne, Victoria

Stephanie joined Fortress as a Trainer/Assessor after 6 successful years teaching Hairdressing. This career change was inspired by a newfound appreciation for reflective learning practice that she gained through completing her Dual TAE Diploma with us. Steph has a gift for connecting with people, and walks alongside her students throughout their learning (how we love her!). When she isn’t immersed in hairdressing or TAE, Stephanie loves to read, watch movies and spend time with her friends and family.

 

 

 

 

Qualifications

  • Cert II Hairdressing
  • Cert III Hairdressing
  • Cert IV Hairdressing
  • Cert IV Training and Assessment
  • Diploma in Vocational Education & Training
  • Diploma in Training Design & Development