Meet the Committee

Meet the Committee | SAGSE | Scholarships for Australian-German Student Exchange

SAGSE Victoria Committee

Dr Martin Schlegel


Having lived, worked and integrated his immediate family in multiple countries on different continents throughout his career, Martin understands and values the opportunities that come from being part in a foreign exchange program. He has been a supporting family member of SAGSE for more than 10 years and joined the committee before being given the honour and responsibility to guide the organisation through its next chapter.

Michael Pearce SC

Vice President

Michael Pearce SC is the Honorary Consul-General for Germany in Melbourne. He is a practising barrister and was appointed Senior Counsel in 2005. He holds bachelor degrees from the University of Melbourne in law (with honours) and arts (major in political science). He holds a master’s degree in international law from the Australian National University. He was an exchange student in Germany and worked and studied at Hamburg University. He also worked in the Frankfurt office of the Victorian Government representative in Germany. He was a foreign associate at a law firm in Washington, DC, and New York. He was editor of the Victorian Reports and is a former president of Liberty Victoria. He is currently a director of The Deloitte Foundation Ltd, a Vice-President of Scholarships for Australian German Student Exchange Inc (SAGSE) and was a Sessional Ombudsman with the Financial Ombudsman Service in 2013 and 2014.

Dirk Janssen

Sponsor Liaison and Treasurer

Dirk grew up bilingually in Australia, and works for a German company so has had plenty of opportunities to see the benefit of linguistic and cultural diversity. SAGSE is a wonderful way for corporates to support the development of high calibre young adults, perhaps with a view to future recruitment! The challenge and benefits of the Exchange for students is obvious in the feedback received, and in the continued involvement of returned students. Dirk finds it rewarding to be part of a competent volunteer organisation that is making a difference.

Warren Pratt

Secretary & Alumni Liaison

My first time outside Australia. A birthday, Christmas and New Year overseas. My first snow. First time I even saw, let alone stayed in a castle. A slightly crazy but wonderful host family. A Tramper-Monatsticket. The Berlin Wall. Group Leader Janice with her beret…... Some of my lasting memories of the winter of ’86 – ’87. Following my SAGSE Exchange I returned to Australia inspired to study German and became a German teacher, returning as often as I could to spend lots more time in that beautiful country which became my second Heimat. Now, in my day job as a German teacher and my voluntary position with SAGSE, I aim to give as many other young Aussies as possible an opportunity similar to the one I was fortunate enough to have 30 years ago.

Jack Maclean

Travel Coordinator

Alicia Haesslein

General Committee Member and Governance

Peter Wiendl

General Committee Member

Chantelle Takos

SAGSE General Committee Member, GASS President and Host Families

Nathaniel Smith

General Committee Member and School Liaison

Jody Takos

General Committee Member and Host Families

Philip Heberling

General Committee Member and assisting Treasurer

Lachie Arnold

General Committee Member

Nicola Alexiades

General Committee Member