We are committed to the Stronger
John’s core work roles over the past decade have focused on educational excellence, woven within a team environment.
“Wherever I weave, I lay a footprint based on sustaining excellence – a core feature of my work outcomes – growing leadership density and developing cultures of excellence and aspirations”.
John has worked as a lead educator in schools including positions as Principal, Head of Department, and Subject Area Coordinator for Indigenous Education. He has also held lectureship positions with the University of Queensland and James Cook University, and has worked as a QCAA and ACARA Advisor. In 2016, John completed his PhD in Indigenous Community Models of Education – Community Durithunga, with the Queensland University of Technology. Other research interests include Indigenous languages as LOTE, embedding Indigenous Knowledges and Indigenous ways to multimodal literacy. John is passionate about our people, our languages and culture and working and moving our ways forward as best practice in education and community development.
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.
Scott undertook an in-country sabbatical project in Siem Reap, Cambodia in 2014, working with Khmer organisations and their partners to deliver quality teacher training and curriculum support and by extension, community development activities and support. This was a life-affirming experience and piqued Scott’s interest in the triggers for community development; education is the key. Other community experience highlights include co-founding the West End Film Festival in Brisbane, Australia.
Scott is excited about the work of the Stronger Smarter Institute, in achieving transformative change through education within and for Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
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.
Paul’s most recent role was in Professional Standards (Diocese of Sale) where he provided advice to leadership personnel on child safety in schools relating to the findings of the Royal Commission into the Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Paul undertook the Stronger Smarter Leadership and Facilitator programs in 2011 and 2012. He has post-graduate qualifications in Educational Leadership and Administration and Government Investigations.
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.
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.
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. He has presented locally, nationally and internationally to a variety of audiences. 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 and the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA).
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.
Finance, Treasury and Governance
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.