The Au Pair in Australia International Team
We are the faces behind the company! We love sharing our experiences and helping people have an amazing experience in Australia.
US & UK
Charli - US Program Coordinator
I have always had a true passion for intercultural exchange! I first began working for AIFS in 2008 with their AYA student exchange program. In 2011 I decided to travel around the world and landed in Australia as an Au Pair! Following the completion of my Au Pair assignment, I earned my Master’s Degree at Macquarie University in Sydney and worked full time as a Student Support Officer at a Language School in Bondi Beach. I had the privilege of welcoming students (including Au Pairs!) to Australia, coordinating activities and supporting them as they transitioned to their new life in Australia whether it be short or long term. I lived in Australia for 5 years and fell in love with the people, culture and lifestyle of this amazing country! I returned to the US in 2016 and in 2017 I was thrilled to become the US Program Coordinator for AIFS Au Pair Australia! It is the perfect opportunity for me to stay connected with Australia while sharing my love and knowledge it with US Au Pair applicants and assist them in embarking on this incredible life changing experience! I highly recommend that anyone with a love of travel and caring for children, take the plunge and apply! You’ll never regret experiencing the beauty and culture Australia has to offer first hand!
Hannah I - UK Programme Manager
The first AIFS programme I did was Camp America in 2010 and had an amazing experience! I caught the travel bug and once I had saved enough money, I went to Australia on the Work and Travel programme in 2013! I had such an amazing experience I stayed for almost two years, working and travelling all of the east coast in a camper van, and living in Sydney for almost a year! During my second year in Australia I began working at AIFS Sydney's office on the Au Pair in Australia programme. My role was to process Host Family and Au Pair applications, match Au Pairs with Host Families, and deliver the orientations. When I returned to the UK, I started working in the AIFS London office for Camp America and Au Pair in Australia however in August 2017 I became the UK Manager for Au Pair in Australia. I love speaking with potential and future Au Pairs talking with them about Australia and helping them with the entire process. I love everything about Australia and think everyone should go and explore this amazing country!
The Australian Team
Wendi - Managing Director (AIFS Australia)
I have been working in youth tourism and cultural exchange for over 20 years, and for AIFS since 2005. Having lived and worked overseas (Boston, London and Tokyo) I know the challenges and joys that are part of living away from home. Since 2012 I have served as the chair of the Au Pair industry association, CAPAA and I am also a panel member of ‘BYTAP’, the Australian youth and backpacking advisory panel. I am passionate about au pairing - my family has been hosting Au Pairs for the last 2 years and it has been a truly amazing experience. Learning more about the world has opened my children’s eyes to travel and endless possibilities they would not have otherwise considered. As a host mum it is reassuring to know that my children are in good care, and learning more about the world. As Managing Director of AIFS I oversee AIFS’ cultural exchange programmes into and out from Australia including Au Pair in Australia, Work & Travel Australia, Au Pair in America, and Camp America.
Anja - Programme Manager
I was born in Germany and lived in Austria and Singapore before coming to Australia in 1999. During my school and study years I have been on high school and language exchange to France and England and hosted students in our family home as well. Since coming to Australia, we have hosted a lot of young people over extended periods and I do enjoy the exchange. My 2 daughters, now 17 and 19, are in the age bracket of the au pairs and I believe to have a good connection to this generation. Being a mum and having gone through the various stages, as well as living far away from my extended family, puts me in a good position to relate to both sides, au pairs and host families. At AIFS I manage the Au Pair Program and very much enjoy the different responsibilities and working with a great team. We are here to help, support and solve any problems that may occur. In Australia I have travelled extensively along the East coast and covered a lot of areas in QLD, NSW and VIC from Cape Tribulation down to Melbourne. However, just walking along Manly Beach and having coffee in Manly on the weekend is still a highlight for me and I wouldn’t want to miss it
Sarah - Team Leader
I was born and raised in Australia and am very passionate about cultural exchange. Initially I started in the arts, music and hospitality industries before changing career. I have been working for AIFS in different positions since 2005. In my family we hosted international students while I was growing up and I went on high school exchange and worked in the US as a camp counsellor. Now I have my own family and an independent and entertaining 5 year old daughter to keep me on my toes. I love to share my experiences of cultural exchange and motherhood and I am passionate about working with people and providing experiences that can change lives. Luckily I have been able to travel to every state in Australia. My favourite places are anywhere near water, it can be the beach, the harbour or a river.
Kirily - Au Pair Coordinator
Born and raised in Australia. My background is in childcare and education. I am passionate about children being safe and nurtured positively. The focus on screening au pairs and families gives a greater chance for successful placements and a safe enjoyable time for all participants. My role at AIFS is to help share with new host families how great our programme is, upload and check over new au pair applications and to assist families and au pairs with questions and queries during their time on the programme. It’s a role that has different components every day. I really love accentuating my ‘Aussieness’ when I meet the new au pairs and love sharing my favourite things about Australian culture, such as May Gibbs, fairy bread and our Aboriginal culture My favourite place in Australia is Wattamolla in the National Park in Sydney. I was taken there as a baby and through my childhood and I have shared it with visitors from Finland, Italy, Germany and England. It is a lot busier now than when I was a child! I travelled to Ireland in 2014 and so far Dingle in Ireland is my favourite place in the world. I absolutely loved exploring Ireland. I have a strong affinity with the Irish; the humour, music and history and I would love to see more of the Emerald Isle.
Kerstin - Au Pair Coordinator
Originally from Germany I migrated to Australia 15 years ago, and with no family support, managing a full-time work career whilst trying to run a household, proved challenging I am a busy mum passionate about my family life, with two boys now being in their teenage years. I still spend a lot of time keeping them engaged in sports and other activities. During the early years I was very happy to have the support of live-in Au pairs. That wonderful day to day support was a great experience and has resulted in international friendships which are maintained even today. I am happy to be working with AIFS, introducing others to this experience. Matching the needs, personalities, and wishes of both host families and arriving Au Pair is most enjoyable. Having arranged a placement for a host family, my greatest reward is when I receive their positive feedback during their placement.
Anna- Community Counsellor and Au Pair Co-ordinator
I was born and grew up in Poland. After finishing school I spent nearly 10 years in Germany where I studied and worked as a language teacher before I decided to start a new chapter Down Under. I came to Australia 6 years ago and fell in love with the country straight away! It is quite different to any European country I have been to, but the laid-back Australian life style is definitely something I enjoy! I am a mum to a gorgeous 6-year-old girl, and I feel very fortunate to be able to raise her in such an open-minded and modern country. I really love Sydney with its busy city centre, amazing beaches and multiculturalism but I also like Adelaide in South Australia and the breathtaking Great Barrier Reef in Queensland! I think Australia has got a lot to offer and everyone can find something they will enjoy! I speak Polish, English, German and Italian and together with other AIFS team members I will do my best to assist and support you throughout your Aussie adventure!