Program Director, Sydney
Dan grew up in Southern California where regular trips to Mexico and South America opened his eyes to the disparities in wealth between communities around the world. To pursue his passion for social justice and help the poor, Dan got a degree in International Development from Seattle Pacific University where he learned about the globalised world and the ways in which it empowers some and creates hardship for so many others. He has worked for various non-profits that focussed on the development and empowerment of young people and is passionate about creative teaching methods that inspire young people to work for the greater good and help those that are in need around them.
I am passionate about high resolves because…
To see young people learn something new and realise that they can have a positive impact on the world around them is so inspiring to me. I love being a part of an organisation that truly believes in the power of young people to create change on a local and global scale.
Program Manager and Online Learning Coordinator, Australia
Allana is a High Resolves alum, having participated in the program as a student in 2009. Coming full circle, Allana is excited to work with an organisation that was pivotal in cultivating her passion and interest in social justice. Allana holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Philosophy from the University of Sydney, writing her Honours thesis on the political rights of children. Allana’s previous work experience includes Project Officer and Instructional Designer for HammondCare, a not-for-profit aged care provider. Allana spent her early career working with children in educational settings, as well as holding volunteer positions, working with students at 826NYC and Children of Promise. In her free time, Allana enjoys performing in improvisational theatre.
I am passionate about High Resolves because…
I believe that every young person should be recognised as, and empowered to be, a contributing member of their community. I am passionate about the mission of High Resolves, to encourage young people to be critical thinkers and vocal advocates for the change they want to see in their world.
Director, Customer Success, Australia
Hannah’s passion is working to achieve social justice and the empowerment of young people through education. She has over five years of experience working in the intersection of the education, advocacy, social justice and not for profit management sectors. Hannah holds a Bachelor of International and Global Studies and Juris Doctor law degree from the University of Sydney, and a Master of Teaching from Deakin University. An alumnus of the Teach For Australia program, she spent three years teaching English and Humanities in Darwin where she loved engaging her students to think critically about global issues. Hannah’s previous work experiences include a volunteer legal placement with the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency, Board Director of UN Youth Australia, National Ambassador for education charity One Girl, and President of the University of Sydney Union.
I am passionate about High Resolves because…
I truly believe that the education of young people is the most important and powerful way we can invest in our future. Helping to create a generation of globally aware, values-driven, curious, and empathic young citizens and leaders is something that fires me up and gives me hope for our society and our world.
With a background in Positive Psychology and Wellbeing, Victoria has a passion for understanding people and enabling them to thrive. Victoria loves being a part of creating the best learning experiences for students and is inspired by the powerful personal development that young people go through with High Resolves. She believes that education is the gateway to transformational change; by educating young people on the importance of cultural awareness, social justice and positive leadership, and giving them practical learning opportunities, we are empowering them to step up and be the change they want to see in the world.
I am passionate about High Resolves because…
We provide students with the opportunity to learn and engage with education that is not typically taught in the classroom, yet is critical to living in the global world that we live in today. I feel privileged to be a part of an organisation that is transforming the way that young people think, feel, and act, which in turn, is having a positive ripple effect on their friends and families, communities, and the world!
High Resolves was founded in Sydney, New South Wales in 2005, and it remains our global headquarters to this day.
The program was first piloted at International Grammar School, which was joined by James Ruse Agricultural High School, Sydney Boys High School, Hornsby Girls High School and Ryde Secondary College, forming the original portfolio of schools. Since that time nearly 100,000 young people across the state have been empowered to make a positive difference to their communities, and this is just the beginning!
Give your students a platform to create and be heard!
Give your students the opportunity to lead social change and develop valuable global competencies through the High Resolves national Videos for Change challenge. Students from Years 7-12 are challenged to submit a one-minute video on a social issue they feel passionate about, with the chance to be featured on Network TEN’s The Project and win a share of prizes worth over $10,000!
Entries for this year’s competition have now closed, but voting for the People’s Choice Award opens on 14 October.
For more information and to register your interest, please click below.CLICK HERE
North Sydney Girls High School is a long-standing High Resolves partner that meaningfully incorporates the program into the school’s culture. The school values the way immersive experiences coupled with real world application projects equips students with important global competencies and skills they will need in the real world. Students are particularly enthusiastic about High Resolves’ Videos for Change challenge, which provides students with the opportunity to share their voice, collaborate in teams, and build their confidence that they can make the world a better place. To learn more about our work with North Sydney Girls, read testimonials from the school below.
The programs offered by High Resolves give immediacy to our role in developing ethical and aware future citizens. Over many years, I have seen students make a connection between our stated values and the world in which they live. The quality of the programs, the high calibre of the presenters and the responsiveness to student interest has ensured the place of High Resolves in our broader school curriculum. Through participation in the different modules, students have grown in their awareness and confidence to advocate for causes for which they feel impassioned. These may be local, national or global with the common thread being student empowerment. The development self-efficacy, collective student voice and practical application of social justice principles are reflected in the popularity of the program with students, staff and parents. High Resolves is an excellent example of how we fulfil our responsibilities as educators and adults helping future generations improve the world step by step. I commend the program to all schools.
David Tomlin Principal,
North Sydney Girls High
The facilitators are vibrant and engaging and encourage the student’s passion for global issues. Especially for the students who are usually hesitant to speak up, the welcoming environment created in the sessions allows students to find the courage to offer an opinion or volunteer to get involved in an activity.
Gayle Parnaby Head of P.E,
North Sydney Girls High
“I can tell you that high resolves has absolutely exploded in it’s profile across the school this year due to the year 9 & 10 programs that have been an overwhelming success!”
– Principal, Prairiewood 24/6/1
“We appreciate all of your hard work and the preparation that went into making the workshops a success. Thank you so much for facilitating such an enlightening and engaging program.”
– Teacher, Year 7 Advisor, St Johns Park
High Resolves has brought me the greatest opportunity for my life. High Resolves has given me what no other organisation could possibly do. It has given me the confidence for my future and what lies ahead. I want you to know that confidence is what you need. I have been a very shy and more of a introvert person before High Resolves. Today, I did my first presentation in front of my largest audience ever…although I was extremely nervous during the presentation, I enjoyed it…. These leadership skills from High Resolves should be applied to real life.
– Year 10 Student from Bonnyrigg High School in Sydney's South West on reflection after completing the Community Action Project
“My role as a good global citizen is to be positive to every culture and religion at all time. This has [taught] me more about how to react to every member of my community.”
“My choices can affect the future and the world. Everyone is not so different after all. As a community we can change hearts and the world.”
“Today I learnt no matter who we are we date back to the same people. Everybody is family and should be treated equally. I want to remember we are one.”
– Year 8 Students at East Hill Boys
“Today I learnt that everyone belongs, no matter of your race, religion or personal beliefs. It was really enjoyable because of the interactive activities that we did.”
– Student, Year 8, Al Faisal College, Auburn
After today, I would like to remember that no matter where I am, who I’m with, what I’m doing or how I do it, I can always make a difference to the world I’m living in. This world is up to us to take care of and I thank you for giving me the opportunity to learn more and experience life to the fullest.
– Student, Year 8, Australian Islamic College of Sydney, Mount Druitt
What I learnt during my time of high resolves was amazing. It was an eye-opener to the world. It shows me that even I can be a leader and that I should strive in what I believe in. Truly it is Our World, Our Choice.
– Student, Year 9, East Hills Boys High School, Panania
“Holroyd High School is a disadvantaged school in Sydney’s South-West, with a high proportion of refugee and asylum seeker students and students recently arrived in Australia… Programs such as High Resolves take our students out of their current situation and help them put the past and their current situation in perspective. High Resolves fosters participation and engagement in school and society, and provides students with the means to develop the confidence and skills necessary for success.”
– Principal, Holroyd High School, NSW
The [High Resolves] program aligns with our core beliefs about public education, values that underpin every aspect of school life. In particular High Resolves reinforces the need for students to be empathetic to those less fortunate or who have a different view, and to take action in helping overcome ignorance, to create a more just and caring society.
– Executive Member, Penrith High School
“The reason we run the HR program is because it focuses the kids from where they are to where they can be in the future. By the time students get to Year 12 we’ve seen they have greater capacity as a result of the program.”
– Principal, Holroyd High School
Such a great opportunity to provide guidance, input and experience to a highly motivated, enthusiastic & intelligent younger generation wanting to be engaged with and eager for the the opportunity to learn & then apply. Being part of High Resolves was not just a pleasure to contribute and share but also to see my mentoring put into action through the projects and outcomes (as well as see the students work through and overcome all the difficulties of process along their journey to conclusion). A fun and rewarding experience but also one which perhaps can give you renewed enjoyment for life and perhaps also a different perspective in life as to what can be achieved? I know it did for me.
– Christiaan Birnzwejg
National Australia Bank
“It has increased my pride in my organisation to know we are supporting such a great program and more so to be able to contribute meaningfully to the community through High Resolves. “
“I borrowed/stole several components and activities that I learned from Grant already in my own sessions with my own teams.”
“It helps me in my day job, after I have been to a session I come back with loads of energy.”
“I think I’m a better facilitator from having been a part of these sessions and watching the High Resolves program manager in action.”
“Great experience that helped me think outside of the normal perspective of a professional.”
“Totally taken me out of my comfort zone. I can’t believe how scared I was the first day. Its been great.”
– 2014 Mentor Survey
“I think it made them more confident about going to things that look like seminars where they have to give their opinions, where they have to listen to the opinions of others. I think they’re more confident dealing with each other because they’ve met kids out of their class. They’ve had to work together with students they might not have worked with before, so it’s been a really positive experience for them. I think it was also great for them to have a young and dynamic presenter instead of the same old faces in front of them, because even if we gave the same presentation, they’re used to us, and it was really wonderful to have someone with so much energy and patience to deal with the students. I think it’s a great program, it really takes the kids out of their comfort zones, it’s beautifully organised, I like how they are very responsive to the needs of the individuals schools. After our first session we did a quick evaluation and we got back to the organisation and we said ‘we’d like to do it a bit differently the next time’ and they were very accomodating. I think after doing todays Collective Identity program the kids will be a little bit more mindful about labelling others, about pre-judging other people, about believing things that they might hear in the media that are prejudicial about groups of people, and to remind them, they also have the little card that they took away and I think for students that’s really important, that they have a physical reminder of the things that they learnt on that day. I think High Resolves is one of those programs that takes the kids out of the ordinary classroom and puts them into a completely different space. If any of you have read the works of Eliade it’s like a sacred space, so you go from the mundane and the everyday to somewhere where we do things a little bit differently and it just gives the information and the knowledge they take away a completely different cache, so I would recommend it for your school, for helping to bind the group together because they’ve been part of an out of the ordinary experience”.
– Teacher (Kingsgrove North High School, after a CI sessions)
“I think that the High Resolves Program is very valuable in the sense that the kids get a very good understanding of how people live in the world and the difference between what’s just and fair and what makes things equitable. They seem to get a lot out of it, they seem to get a real clear understanding of it, so that’s good. Judging from being an observer throughout that one and a half hour session, the kids were very engaged, very active, very interested and highly motivated and I highly recommend it, just from what kids were telling me on their way out to recess. Yes I would take this program on next year with the students because, considering it’s very engaging I’m hoping that it would keep up with this engagement of kids, and it does relate to them personally; as a global citizen in the community it’s important to consider these issues and be an active participant in the global community. The delivery I thought was very effective because it was very well paced and the activities were changed up quite frequently so then the kids were’t frustrated, it didn’t take too long for them to get into the particular task and then you moved on from there and it was just really highly engaging, highly motivating and that’s what made it good for them because they kept changing up the activities and kept them interested and they were very curious as to what they were going to be doing next, and it made it very competitive as well with the whole points system, so they were very loud because of that and their competitive nature came out.
– Teacher (James Busby High School, after SJ session)
“I think it was really good for them to acknowledge the unfairness of the game and then to realise that’s actually what the world is like, like that group at the back that were complaining because they had the least opportunity to buy stuff. When you said this is what the world is like, they really got it, so it really helped, so that whole idea of feeling the unfairness from their own personal point of view was really good, because they don’t tend to think about that, so that was a great opportunity. They love the activities at the start, it was good fun, but another thing I noticed they really enjoyed were the stories you told about going to Kenya and India, they listened really well, you could just tell how attentive they were and how interested because it was just a different thing from them but so easy to relate to, like comparing their life to the life of kids overseas, so they really enjoyed that and working with a group, they enjoyed that too. This is the first time I had anything to do with it today, I thought it was pretty awesome because this is just important stuff I think for everyone to be thinking about, and I liked how you said it was an organisation without an agenda, it’s just caring about people in the world and helping people to care about other people in the world, so I think it’s a really good opportunity for them to see whats going on in other countries and to see that they have to ability to do something about it. Just to see that is massive. I think you did such a good job because you had the authority to speak to them I guess as a teacher but also just really on their level, so just your way of speaking was really engaging and they listened, and just showing a really good understanding of where they’re at is really helpful. It was long but they were with it and I think you helped them do that so good job!”
– Teacher (James Busby High School, after SJ session)
“This is a very exciting program for us because part of our pastoral care program has a global connections focus and we were looking for a structured way of delivering that. So up until now it’s been a bit hotchpotch, this way it has a developmental way of delivery and it’s quite logical and it has a beginning and an end and a purpose, its very clear, a very clear pathway and it’s very engaging for our students and motivating. To sit there and ask them what did you get from the program and to hear them rattle things off like ‘you weren’t born to judge, you learn racism from other places, from the media, from even our parents’, that’s really quite gobsmacking. It’s fabulous, simple messages that you think they aren’t going to get it but they do. The students are always very happy to hear that you’re coming back, they’re really enjoying it, they’re not saying ‘oh no, oh my God, this is going to be a big bludge or a big waste of time, they can actually see a benefit from it and a practical application in their lives so the fact that they can use it and they can see that it’s making them better people, and it’s also reinforcing a lot of the things we say to them as well. We have catch cries, and global greetings, we have things that we say everyday and every week that reinforce a lot of the principles that human connection is promoting in the seminars and in the lessons, so it sort of marrying everything that we’ve had altogether and it makes it better and it legitimises what we already do, so it’s great. I’m just so happy the program has been changed, I think Steve knows that I’ve been looking at trying to get the program in the school for a number of years, but it wasn’t accessible enough for us, in that it was very expensive, it was too long the program, using up so much time, half a day program, some of the programs you have, the older ones, where they do the project and it’s a bit more intense…now this kind of thing where it’s intense, it’s engaging and teachers then have the modules to then go off and teach and reinforce a lot of the messages ourselves in our own time is fabulous and it’s all there, wonderful.”
– Teacher (St Spyridon College, after IT session)
“I think it’s really good to have students from the age of 12, 13 onwards to start thinking about the rest of the world in a positive way, in a way that they can do something for other people. I found the students to be quite passionate when I would listen to their conversations within their group, some were calling out because they were so passionate with their opinions and it was really impressive to see how well they responded to the message to help others, to think of the world as a global community at their age. I think it is good, I’ve been involved with the year 7 cohort here, the year 8 cohort, so I think it would be great for every year. They refresh what they’ve already done and build on it as their intelligence and maturity grows, so that by the time they do leave high school, they are global citizens. They enter a world and they can be active in promoting this message, they can live their life that way.
– Teacher (Blakehurst High School, after SJ session)
“High Resolves is an engaging and interactive program where I think differing opinions can be voiced in an environment that is safe, where each opinion matters and counts and all kids are engaged. In terms of involvement, I think the kids were very interactive, there were discussions amongst their groups, they engaged with other groups and I feel that they also participated and engaged with the presenter as she was very warm, trusting and provided her personal opinions as well, which I think the kids can relate to. I think definitely this is something we can build within out welfare program here at this school, definitely it’s skills they that they learn in the classroom and I think that constant reinforcement and the ability to be a global citizen and be aware of their environment, their surroundings and the hardships within that is pivotal.”
– Teacher (Blakehurst High School, after SJ session)
“I am continually amazed and inspired by the impact the High Resolves team and all the volunteers have on these groups of young people and how they harness their ideas and passion to create positive change”.
– Michael Kilrain
“The secondary school High Resolves program has to be one of the best outreach programs around”
– Louise Denver, ICS Director
“This is the sort of story that makes me proud to work at Deloitte”
– Allan Spencer-Stewart - ICS Senior manager
“It was a fantastic experience to work with these girls – I was so impressed by their passion, thoughtfulness and ability to articulate so clearly on very tricky social issues. Congratulations High Resolves on an outstanding program.”
– Melissa Gunnsmith, ICS Director