About FLSC

The Filipino Language School of Canberra (FLSC), trading name of the Learning Filipino Together (LFT) came about as an idea through friendly discussions in 2009. We observed that our young children who have been here for less than three years have become ‘receiving bilinguals’ – they understand parents talking in Filipino but respond only in English.

An opportunity came for us to attend the Bilingual Forum on 21 February 2010 organised by the Canberra Bilingual Alliance of the University of Canberra. We realised that there were no local Filipino language school. We enlisted our interest on having a school and became part of the Canberra Bilingual Alliance mailing list. Since then, we have received information on other Filipino language schools in Australia, the ACT Multicultural Community Languages Grants and others. We applied for the language grant and successfully obtained funding for the 2010-2011 financial year for the establishment of Learning Filipino Together (LFT). This led us to affirm that we can realistically set up a language school of our own and raise our children in a bilingual or even multilingual environment.

Our Vision

To establish a premier Filipino community language school managed and operated by like-minded volunteers in partnership with families and communities.

Volunteer members and teachers working collectively to realise the importance of children growing up bilingual or multilingual to family, community and the Australian society.

Our Mission

To provide quality Filipino language lessons, promote cultural awareness and better understanding of the Filipino heritage to our students including children of mixed Australian – Filipino marriages in a safe and inclusive environment.

About The School

Established in 2010, Learning Filipino Together (LFT) is a not-for-profit organisation that manages The Filipino Language School of Canberra (FLSC). FLSC actively promotes Filipino language and culture through a structured and dynamic educational setting which includes community dance and song performances. FLSC offers classes for junior and senior students at Theo Notaras Multicultural Centre, Civic ACT during Sundays from 2:00-4:00pm. Conversational classes for adults are held in Civic or as arranged by the teachers. One-on-one sessions in all dialects are also available on request.

The organisation is run solely by volunteer members. Many members are parents of children involved in the program.In addition to holding weekly classes, LFT also actively participates in various events within the Filipino and wider Canberra communities. These events include the annual Philippine’s Embassy Christmas celebration, the Philippine Independence Day Celebration, the Filipino Heritage Day and the National Multicultural Festival in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).

LFT is a member of the ACT Community Language Schools Association (ACTCLSA), the umbrella body through which the ACT government provides funding support to the community language schools.

In early 2014, the Executive Committee had decided to use the trading name “FILIPINO LANGUAGE SCHOOL OF CANBERRA” in all print and website related material including various documents. “Learning Filipino Together” is retained as the name of the not-for-profit community organisation and registered with ATO ABN, ACT’s Office of Regulatory Services and other government institutions.

FLSC Executive Comittee Officers

Arnel Basas


Teacher Arnel is a Filipino linguist and native speaker in his workplace. He joined the school as a volunteer teacher in late 2013. He assisted in various school activities and handled the Southside class (mixed age group) at Erindale for several school terms in 2015 prior to his current role. Arnel was born and raised in Tacloban City, Leyte where he completed his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at the Leyte Institute of Technology. He migrated to Australia in 2008 with his wife Amie and two kids after finishing postgraduate studies at UNSW in 2005.

Myrna Henkel

Vice President

Belen Arboleda


Teacher Belen is a community development and training officer by profession with strong background in Science, Health and Wellness, Theatre Arts and Culture. She currently teaches the adult classes.

Rhodz Toledo


Teacher Rhodz is a graduate of Bachelor in Secondary Education at the University of Iloilo, Iloilo City.  She taught in different schools in the Philippines for 18 years before she moved here in Australia last September 2016. These schools are Leonides S.Virata Memorial School in Rio Tuba, Bataraza, Palawan, Holy Trinity University in Puerto Princesa City Palawan, Rizal Technological University in Mandaluyong City, and Trinity University of Asia in Quezon City. She started teaching in FLSC last October 2016 and currently teaches the Northside Beginner Class.

Sharon Freduenstein


Teacher Sharon is from Leyte, Philippines. She has a Bachelor of Laws from DVOREF (2006), Tacloban City, Leyte; Certificate III in Spoken and Written English from Navitas English Pty Ltd.NSW (2013); and, Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care (2014)  from CIT Woden. She currently teaches the Southside mixed group class at the Woden Library.

Kotch Velasquez

Public Officer

A Davaowena by birth, she now lives in Bonner ACT with husband Medwin and their 4 lovely girls. Hardworking, dedicated and methodical in her ways, Kotch is a founding member and currently an officer of the Filipino Language School of Canberra since 2010.  She is presently a program support officer of the Conservation Planning and Research of the ACT government.  Her varied roles at home, at work and in other voluntary organizations, including her local Catholic parish have elicited quips such as ‘how does she do it?!’ despite her diminutive persona.  Kotch is a proud Filipino-Australian who wants her children to grow up bilingual while maintaining their Filipino identity in the backdrop of Australian society.

Angeline Caringal

Regular Teacher

Teacher Angie was born and raised in Manila, Philippines. She is a BS Education graduate in Philippine Normal University and a Master’s Degree holder from the same university. She had more than 10 years of teaching experience in the Philippines. She joined FLSC as a volunteer teacher in 2020 and is actively involved in all its activities.

Our Teachers

We acknowledge the wonderful efforts and support of our current and past regular and casual teachers.


Current Teachers

  • Angeline Caringal
  • Myrna Henkel
  • Arnel Basas
  • Casual Teachers
    • Rodelyn Toledo – Beginner Class
    • Sharon Freudenstein – Junior Class
    • Purkiss – Adult Class
    • Belen Arboleda – Adult Class
    • Deo Ramos – Adult Class
    • Je Macabanti – Adult Class


Past Teachers

  • Elma Kurban – Northside Beginner Class
  • Annabelle Redman – Northside Junior Class
  • Maylyn Salindo – Southside Beginner Class
  • Joyce Anne Pineda – Northside Junior Class
  • Misaela Leahy – Southside Beginner Class
  • Peter Cayton – adult class teacher for Terms 3 to 4 2015 and casual teacher for Northside.
  • Arnel Basas – regular teacher for Southside Multi-Age Class for Terms 1 & 2 1015 and currently the FLSC President.
  • Sheila Flores – regular teacher for Southside Multi-Age Class from Term 1 2013 to Term 1 2014 and regular teacher for opening Adult Class Terms 2 to 4 2013.
  • Rachelle Velasquez – regular teacher for Northside Junior Children’s Class from Term 4 2013 to present, and one-on-one teacher on Cebuano/Bisaya dialect.
  • Alma Gunner – regular teacher for Southside Multi-Age Class from Terms 2 to 4 2014, formerly the FLSC Principal and Radio Presenter at 2xx 98.3 FM Radio The Filipino Language and Culture Radio Program.
  • Lucita Cynita Rago – regular teacher for Northside Senior Children’s class for Term 3 to 4 2013.
  • Josephine Mercado – regular teacher for Northside Junior Children’s Class from Term 4 2012 to Term 2 2013 at Gungahlin Library.
  • Jayson Lamcheck – regular teacher for Northside Senior Children’s Class from Term 4 2012 to Term 2 2013.
  • Gloria Ross – regular teacher for Northside Multi-Age Class from Term 4 2010 to Term 1 2012 of Northside Children’s Class at Palmerston Community Centre.
  • Jennifer Baui – regular teacher for Northside Multi-Age Class from Term 2 2012 to Term 3 2012 at Gungahlin Library.
  • Kristel Urbanski – regular teacher for Southside Multi-Age Class from Term 3 2011 to Term 4 2012 of Southside Children’s Class.
  • Casual Teachers
    • Anne “Ish” Abaygar
    • Gina Aljecera
    • Catherine Diamampo
    • Jodi Garcia (from Term 2 2014)
    • Alvin Mendoza
    • Kikay Ortega
    • Misael Racines
    • Jennifer Ramos