About us | Sarina Russo

About the Sarina Russo Group

In 1979, Sarina combined inspiration and desperation to open a small typing school with just nine students. On graduation, she promised all the students jobs and she delivered.

The ability to execute is what the Sarina Russo brand stands for and why people have trusted it for over 44 years.

Today, the Sarina Russo Group employs over 500 staff and is a global leader in education, employment and training.

Our history

Our numbers

In partnership with Australia’s government employment programs, SRG drives the engagement and well-being of people


Years of helping
job seekers and employers


Australians placed
into employment


businesses supported
across the country

Our Services

Workforce Australia
Sarina Russo Job Access is the largest Australian-owned, privately-run Workforce Australia provider with 93 sites in Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales and the ACT. Over 69,000 job seekers have been placed into work since 1 July 2015.
Disability Employment Services
Over 8,000 people with a disability have been supported since 2006.
New Enterprise Incentive Scheme
9,000 people have become their own boss since 2000. 80% were still in business after 3 years.

Sarina Russo Apprenticeships

From start to completion, over 35,000 apprenticeships/trainees, and their employers, are offered personalised career advice each year.

As the only provider who can deliver services in the ACT and operating across every state in Australia, we provide opportunities for apprentices to earn and learn, gain real work skills, achieve a nationally recognised qualification and create a stepping stone to run their own business.

Sarina Russo Institute

A Registered Training Organisation educating over 10,000 Australian and International students each year in vocational education and English language courses.  SRI delivers industry-focused accredited and non-accredited training, mentoring and job placement services that meets the skilling needs of the industry.

James Cook University (JCU) Brisbane

Delivers programs through a management agreement between Russo Higher Education Pty Ltd and James Cook University. Since March 2006, over 7,500 students from 88 countries have studied foundation, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes.

Sarina Russo English

Educates thousands of international students in English Language education.  Students successfully gain skills and experience to further their study at University or gain a desired career outcome through up-skilling.

Russo Business School

Our unique focus on building leaders, gives our students the edge that they need to continue their studies at university or to enter the workforce with that x-factor.


Is a specialised recruitment agency offering exclusive student services to provide work experience, internships, part time and full-time employment opportunities.

Sarina Russo White House

Commercial cleaning and maintenance business  based on five principles – the right communication, the right supervision structure, the right scheduling, the right staff and the right equipment and materials.

Sarina Russo Foundation

The Sarina Russo Foundation sponsors and supports activities to alleviate disadvantage in our local communities through the power of education, employment, health and well-being.

Meet our team

The Team

Founder & Managing Director

Sarina Russo AM

Sarina‘s passion, persistence and self-belief transformed her from a fired legal secretary into a fired-up international entrepreneur in education, training, recruitment and property. In 41 years she has grown her small typing school into a global $100 million business and become Australia’s largest employment and apprenticeship provider employing over 500 people.

CEO - Sarina Russo Group

Kathleen Newcombe

Kathleen‘s a passionate advocate for lifelong learning, Kathleen has over thirty years of experience in the Higher Education, Vocational Training and Employment sectors both in Australia and the USA. Kathleen also spent three years in leadership roles in the Insurance industry where she successfully managed a Health Insurance business catering to the International Education sector.

CEO - Employment

Dianne Fletcher

Dianne’s passion is to support the disadvantage into work to help them become economically independent. Prior to joining the Sarina Russo Group, Dianne spent 30 years in the Australian Public Service including 12 years within the Senior Executive Service.

National Human Resources Manager

Maria Berlese

Maria’s skill set is to attract and develop the best talent in the education, training and employment industries. Maria has the responsibility to foster the careers over 1,000 professional and dedicated staff – in doing so she directly influences the lives, and careers, of tens of thousands of people every year.

COO ​and Company Secretary

Mark Berlese

Mark‘s is an absolute motivational powerhouse when it comes to enhancing the lives of Sarina Russo’s customers. His can-do leadership style sparks new ideas that deliver sure-fire results for customers – getting them that job. Mark has undertaken executive studies in the USA at Stanford, Cornell and Harvard University in the areas of Leadership, Marketing and Human Resource Management.

Legal Counsel

Justin Sharp

Justin has 20 plus years’ legal experience acting exclusively for clients in the Employment, Education and Health sectors. Justin has an in-depth understanding across these sectors including contractual requirements, governance and regulatory, privacy, data security and risk management.

Quality Assurance

Vanessa Chapman

Vanessa has worked in the employment services industry for over 25 years. She joined the Sarina Russo Group in 2004 and is responsible for quality assurance and contractual compliance of government contracts across the group.

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Get in touch

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Contact us

13 15 59

Mon - Fri: 8.30am - 5.00pm

Sarina Russo Group acknowledges the First Nations Peoples of this Country, the traditional custodians connected to the land, water and community on which we live, work and help others to live their best lives. We also pay respect to the Elders past, present and emerging, who strive to build a better and more sustainable future for future generations to come.