We are committed to the Stronger
Later in life saw Ken attending University and going on to be appointed as the CEO and Advisor to the Queensland Minister for Education, thus applying his knowledge and experience to improve the quality of life for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Ken Riddiford has over 30 years of experience working at the Senior Management and CEO level in a variety of settings and systems including government, not for profit and the private sectors. Ken is the Founder and Director of Constructing Futures, working with businesses and organisations to align their activity with their strategy to minimise risk and unlock value to maximise sustainability.
“I will dedicate my knowledge, resources and over thirty years’ experience to helping you strategise, implement and unlock your business’ potential.” - Ken Riddiford
Ken is committed to shared leadership and strengthened partnerships, which results in greater outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Through strengthening Government’s capacity to respond to the ways that social, economic, and cultural changes affect the lifestyle of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. As well as, increased educational and employment options for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people, through traineeships, scholarships, employment & training opportunities.
Her experience comes from over 30 years of employment in Indigenous education that included 9 years in the early childhood sector as a Kindergarten and Classroom Teacher aide, Day Care Centre Group Leader and Day Care Centre Assistant Director. Since the Stronger Smarter Institute originated in 2005 her roles have included Executive Secretary, Community Relations Officer, Senior Community Relations Officer, Program Coordinator/Facilitator, Team Leader Service Delivery and in her latest role as Chief Operations Officer. Over these 14 years with the Institute, Michal has contributed to the delivery and design of the Stronger Smarter Leadership Program, Stronger Smarter Workplaces Program, and the Stronger Smarter Specialist Program. She has also represented the Institute Internationally speaking at the World Indigenous Peoples Conference in Education (WIPCE) Hawaii, USA in 2014 and Toronto, Canada 2017 and the 2018 NATSIPA – National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Principals Association / Te Akatea Maori Principals conference in Waitangi, Aeotearoa. Michal is committed to supporting people’s learning about themselves and others for the future of our Jarjums.
Jesse has participated in and led a variety of projects across a local, state and national level relating to the incorporation of authentic teaching and learning experiences of Indigenous Knowledges within the STEM space co-design and evaluation. He has presented locally, nationally and internationally to a variety of audiences, and is an engaing presenter, both virtually and in person. Jesse is currently undertaking a Master of Philosophy (Indigenous) at James Cook University where he is exploring how the national curriculum and supporting educational policy positions Indigenous learners and content within the Technologies Key Learning Area.
Jesse is currently a member of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander National Advisory Groups for The Smith Family, The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network and the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA).
Have been involved with the Stronger Smarter Institute since completing the leadership program in 2009 and now employed as a Program Facilitator and Coordinator since 2016.
Damian has worked at the Stronger Smarter Institute since the beginning of 2019, having completed the Stronger Smarter Leadership Program in 2014. He brings with him a keen interest in cultural diversity and an understanding of working within a school context having over 17 years experience in education. Damian is committed to improving the outcomes for all students across all school settings.
Research & Impact
Cathy brings this wide-ranging experience to the Institute together with a passion for Indigenous education research and an in-depth understanding of the Stronger Smarter Approach in schools. Cathy has a Masters degree in Science and postgraduate qualifications in management and public relations.
Jenalee has been with the Institute for the past four years and completed the Stronger Smarter Leadership Program in Cherbourg, 2017. As our Administration officer, Jenalee is an integral part of the Finance Treasury and Governance team. She is responsible for all program logistics both internally and externally. Jenalee is currently studying her Diploma of Business.
Jana has assisted research programs at the University of Sunshine Coast (USC), including helping students with their research (from developing questionnaires to analysing data) and a project with private health insurance to assist the development of future strategies.
At the Stronger Smarter Institute Jana is responsible for data collection and analysis including the HERBI survey and Stronger Smarter alumni CENSUS and database, preparing reports and presentations, providing input to grant proposals, and contributing to product development and projects. She brings with her a high level of analytical, organisational and planning skills with good attention to detail.
Jolene is passionate about her continuous journey to further her experience and knowledge in the Not for Profit sector and to continue contributing to making a difference in society through her efforts. She thrives on challenges and acquiring new skills but most importantly brings positivity and enthusiasm.
Outside of work Jolene enjoys scuba diving, travelling, horse riding and outdoor adventures with her family. She is most proud of her family with deep love and respect for her husband who left his homeland of Fiji to come and raise their beautiful family together here in Australia. It is important to Jolene for her children to connect with their Fijian heritage, to know how their father grew up and to share his connection with the land.
Kelly is a qualified Social Worker and has vast professional experience working within the education system, with young people and their families. Later in her career Kelly became passionate about social media and technology for good.
Kelly’s personal philosophy is that technology and digital spaces should connect us and be driven by human connections and philosophies. Kelly holds a Diploma of Screen & Media - Multi-platform Production, and is a Digital Solutions Officer at Stronger Smarter Institute.