It all began with a mother's determination. In 1998, Elisabeth, not just any Parisian mother but one with a vision for her daughter Vinciane, decided to reshape the concept of cultural exchange. Discontent with the existing impersonal options, she envisioned a program that was as much about forging lasting bonds as it was about mastering a language.

Her vision led her to collaborate with Ben Dinning, a Melbourne-based Francophile and our family friend, who was deeply influenced by his time in France during his school days at Melbourne Grammar. Together, they pioneered a reciprocal exchange program uniquely tailored to the personalities and preferences of each participant and their families.

The heart of this new venture began to beat when Vinciane spent a transformative couple of months at St. Catherine's School in Toorak.


"It takes a village..." and in our case, it's a team effort spanning dozens of dedicated members across France and Australia. However, allow us to introduce you to the first team members you'll encounter as you embark on this journey.

Vinciane Thomas
General Manager

Born and raised in France, Vinciane took the helm of AFX in 2006. But her journey with FX started in 1998, as AFX very first exchange student, a transformative experience at St Catherine’s School in Toorak that deepened her connection to Australia. This inspired her to further her education in Australia, where she earned a Master's degree from Monash University, following her Law Degree in France.
Now embracing her Franco-Australian identity, married to an Australian and raising two binational children, Vinciane's leadership at AFX is driven by her belief in the power of a Franco-Australian team. She is convinced that such a team is uniquely equipped to guide families through the complex world of cultural exchange, leveraging her personal and professional experiences to ensure the success of AFX's mission.
A Franco-Australian team dedicated to creating tailor-made student exchange programs between France and Australia.

Elodie Félix
Program Manager

Elodie, AFX's inaugural employee, joined our team in 2011 upon her arrival in Melbourne, following an enriching tenure at the Alliance Française that ignited her passion for guiding students in their journey to learn about French language and culture.
Born and raised in Toulouse, Elodie has crafted a life that bridges the vibrant cities of Melbourne and her hometown.
Today, Elodie leads with a dedication to creating meaningful connections and friendships between participants and their host families. Her approach is deeply rooted in the belief that every exchange should be as unique as the individuals it brings together, ensuring that our programs are organized according to the highest standards of personalization and safety.

Laura Bret
High School Program Coordinator Australia

Laura's passion for travel and languages flourished early on, leading her to participate in student exchange programs in the United States and Canada. After years in the Design industry in Paris, she moved to Australia in 2017.
Now residing in Perth with her French-Aussie family, Laura's unique position as a French native living in Australia makes her an unparalleled guide for Australian students and families looking to embark on a student exchange experience to France.
Laura's expertise and personal journey equip her to bridge cultural gaps, making her an ideal mentor for those eager to explore the depths of French culture through our exchange programs.

Kirsty Dale
High school program coordinator France

Originally from Australia, Kirsty is now embracing the Parisian lifestyle. Her journey into the heart of French culture began with a transformative school exchange in Lille in 2011, sparking a lifelong affection for France’s language and customs.
Armed with a degree in French Language and Culture from the Australian National University, complemented by studies in law, Kirsty brings a rich academic background to her role.
Kirsty’s passion doesn’t end there; as a devoted gymnast and dancer, she embodies the spirit of creativity and the pursuit of excellence. This blend of cultural immersion, academic prowess, and a commitment to personal growth makes Kirsty an inspiring guide for families looking into student exchange programs.

Melissa Bac
Enrolment Officer

Born on the picturesque island of Mauritius, where fluency in French and English is a shared legacy, Melissa has always held a special affinity for Australia, particularly Sydney, where part of her family resides.
With her professional journey beginning as a Copywriter & Journalist, Melissa chose to delve deeper into her passion for languages by teaching English and French in schools for special needs students. This path not only sharpened her linguistic talents but also equipped her with a profound appreciation for tailored educational methods.
Melissa's role is crucial in ensuring that families and students setting out on their student exchange adventure feel thoroughly supported and confidently ready for the enriching experiences that await.