Unfortunately, throughout history we have not always listened to those who are seen as “other.” This has come at great cost to cultures and people groups. I am passionate about people learning from others in a way that honours and respects all people, particularly those who are vulnerable and marginalised in society. We are not called to be a voice for the voiceless - the “voiceless” actually are speaking - rather how can walk humbly as amplifiers of those voices to bring justice and foster compassion in the world?
Although I have been involved in education for the last 15 years, it’s over the last 11 years that I have been personally challenged of how best to engage with a world in need. After being the teacher leader on several short term exposure trips to Bangladesh and Vanuatu for Year 10 and 11 students I became very interested in how students learn while experiencing a different culture. To better equip myself in this area I completed degrees in Community and International Development, and Missiology. I would read, share with others about my experiences and connect with others doing similar programs. My own learning continued, as I volunteered with an international NGO, facilitating two teacher training trips to Cambodia and it was here that the trajectory of my life as a teacher changed. Still passionate about education, I decided to leave the classroom and completed a Masters of International Education. I hoped that I would gain further knowledge and experience in learning from different cultures and helping others to do so - intercultural education. These experiences and learnings led me to Cambodia to volunteer as an educational consultant with Rok Kern. Now, with the presence of the General Capabilities within the Australian National Curriculum, I believe there is real scope for the Rok Kern Program to partner with Australian schools, to provide a transformative learning experience for students. I am passionate that intercultural understanding is vital learning for all people, no matter the age. Being open to learning from others, fosters genuine empathy and compassion, both of which are essential in the world today.