Our Team

Sara Mitchell - Founder

Connector, Collaborator, Community advocate and Strategist - Creating collaborative communities to strengthen local economy and social cohesion


Sara is a resilient cancer survivor, mother and change-maker determined to create a more just society and an inclusive, regenerative, and sustainable economic model that works at a community level based on human-centred design. 

Sara has lived in Point Cook since 2006 with her husband and family and 2 dogs.

With a background in delivering projects from start up to scaling to multi-site environments. She is a creative, agile, and experienced Manager who can get the job done by utilising relationships and resources. Skill sets include: Project Management, Stakeholder, People, and resource management, financial, operations and marketing.

A passion for local has developed over time by thinking deeply about what is most important to build a sense of connection, community, and sustainable local economy. CoLocal a Not for Profit – Social Enterprise was founded to be able to build capacity in communities to connect the heart and build strong local economies.

Full resume here  / LinkedIn profile here >


Kaliope Vassilopoulos – Project Lead

Community champion / Creative Do-er - Engineer with 30+ years’ experience in academia and the automotive industry


Kal has lived in Point Cook for 23 years, and despite having had a very busy career with Ford as a senior Engineer has always given passionately of her time to make the community a better place.

Kal’s passion for her Greek heritage led her to to plan and run a Greek family fun day in the Point  Cook Pop Up park which is now into its third year and  a highlight on the calendar. Recently, after stepping back from her role in Ford she was able to dedicate more time to making a difference in the community and we are so lucky to have her join the CoLocal team.

Kal’s skill sets with project management and her creativity have seen her run amazing events like Halloween complete with cubby ghost houses, make Greek gods costumes from scratch and create an olive grove under umbrellas to name just a couple of examples.

Self-motivated, highly organized and detail-oriented, Kal is passionate about helping people, providing mentoring opportunities to young engineers, promoting women in engineering and in STEM areas.

"Working with CoLocal brings work-life balance from a fast-paced professional environment to one very community-centric, where people matter.  I have been been involved as a volunteer since 2018, and love the connections, impact and enjoyment it brings to my life."

LinkedIn profile here >


Mike Kalyaniwala - Director

Passionate supporter of Local, Trusted advisor, Tax expert and Family man - Capacity building through strong compliance and governance


Having been in Public Practice for more than 17 years, Mike set up Caliyan Associates in 2012, a progressive, community oriented Tax and Accounting advisory firm. Growing the client base from the ground up, the firm now employs more than 5 souls and services a client base spread across Australia and even cross borders. Mainly employed in the areas of tax and business advisory, he has developed a passion for mentoring and nurturing junior staff to become fantastic tax accountants with an uncompromising stand on attention to detail and technical nous. He enjoys client contact and has a lot of patience with dealing with all types of clients.

He is a member of CPA (including courses in Public Practice) and an MBA combined with Cert 3 in Leadership.

LinkedIn profile here >



Avalon Rodrigues - Advisory and Treasurer

Governance, Project delivery, Facilitation 


Avalon lives in Point Cook and is an ICAA (Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia) qualified accountant with over 10 years’ experience in Funds Management across Australia and the UK.

Avalon actively participates in a number of events, including organizing and presenting Funds Management forums, being involved in project change teams, facilitating various training as well as other initiatives.

LinkedIn profile here >


Nikki - Marketing Intern

Social Media, Content Creation and Branding

Nikki is a Deakin University graduate with a Bachelor of Commerce & Arts (Marketing & Politics).

She is passionate about utilising social media to continue building a strong sense of community and loves the way in which it encourages people to get involved and bond over their shared interests. She enjoys all forms of art and the creative process behind developing promotional materials. She wants to continue growing her skillset and learning through hands-on experience, whilst also working alongside such an amazing team based within the community she grew up in!

LinkedIn profile here >   


Yizi - Digital Design Intern

Graphic Design, UXUI Design and All Other Forms of Art and Design Enthusiast

Yizi is currently at RMIT University, studying a Bachelor of Design (Digital Media).

She specialises in User Experience and Interface (UXUI) and Graphic design. With her passion for art and design, she is also adept at video editing, animation and illustration. She is keen to apply, improve and expand on her skillset while giving back to the community as a Wyndham resident of more than 8 years. With leadership and hospitality experiences, she is highly skilled in communication and enjoys being part of a team.

She will be wrapping up her studies by the end of 2024 and is eager to jump into more art and design!

LinkedIn profile here > 


Profile pic of Raffie, CoLocal's mascot dog.

Raffie - Pop Up Ambassador

Good Doggo, Fluffy Doggo, Enthusiastic Doggo


You can spot Raffie, our unofficial Pop Up Ambassador pupper on CoLocal Pop Ups from time to time with Sara and her team.

Raffie will always be rolling in the grass for quality checks, asking for pets in exchange for smiles and candid photo moments (takes a few snacks).