Program Director, Victoria
Mia is a passionate educator and strong believer in its transformative power. Through her extensive travels and time living abroad, she has developed an understanding of how powerful real world learning experiences can be. This, accompanied by her love of working with young people, drives her to provide meaningful educational experiences which encourage students to engage in their local and global communities. Across her nine years of teaching experience in secondary schools she has led international immersion trips, managed social justice initiatives and developed a student leadership program to empower young leaders. She has a Bachelor of Secondary Education (PE/Health/Science) from Deakin University.
After four years of steady growth in New
South Wales, High Resolves launched in
Melbourne in 2009.
To date, we have empowered more than 58,000 young Victorians to act as purposeful global citizens, and to lead their communities, and the world, to a brighter future. High Resolves currently partners with over 40 government, independent, and Catholic schools across metropolitan Melbourne, and we are about to embark on a new journey into regional and rural Victoria.
High Resolve’s national Videos for Change challenge is a powerful opportunity for your students to create and be heard while leading social change. 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 $12,000!
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
Dandenong High School has been an important High Resolves partner for four years. We began working with Year 9 students back in 2015, and that initial program was so successful that we expanded into Year 8. For the past three years, we have consistently received funding from the Department of Premier and Cabinet for programs to empower Dandenong High School students to promote social cohesion, both offline and online. We have also worked with teachers at the school to help them better understand how to positively influence mindsets and attitudes of teenagers. Dandenong High School has reported that the High Resolves program has been invaluable. One student stated, “We feel more comfortable about helping others online because we are better educated about it now. We know what to do if something wrong is happening to us or other people. We also feel more confident in making the online world a better place.”
Dandenong High School is very proud of the partnership that we have established with High Resolves. This partnership has seen our Year 9 students participate in the Global Leaders Program during the last three years. The success of this experience for our students encouraged us to become willing partners with High Resolves and to apply for a Community Resilience Grant from the Department of Premier and Cabinet in order to design and deliver face-to-face workshops to our Year 8 students around building resilience towards extremist narratives, and to empower young people to insist that online and offline environments are safe, democratic, and promote social cohesion. Our Year 8 students have found the learning delivered by this pro-social model invaluable. They have reported that they feel more confident and much more able to contribute positively and to maintain safe online spaces.
Program delivery included two workshops: Digital Citizenship and Independent Thinking. The quality of the materials delivered to our students was engaging and vastly relevant to their world and the way that they communicate with others, both in digital and real spaces. A member of our Leadership Team also attended a professional learning opportunity where she was trained to deliver the program to other staff and students at our school. Dandenong High School also received all of the resources required for successful program delivery. Our staff member reports that the program resources are engaging, relevant, and tailored to encourage people to think deeply about how they want the world they live in to be. Further, we intend to implement the program more widely within the school from 2018.
A common practice at Dandenong High School is to evaluate programs and seek student feedback. We ran a focus group regarding the High Resolves workshops and included a random sample of participants. Students were asked to comment broadly on the following areas:
(i) The purpose of the workshops
(ii) The relevance of the workshop materials to the students
(iii) Whether they feel more empowered to implement pro-social strategies in their online and offline spaces
(iv) Whether they feel confident and able to promote social cohesion practices
In summary, our student responses were as follows:
(i) ‘The purpose of the workshops was to teach us about the importance of working together and to speak about important issues using social media, and to be safe while doing so. The workshops were also meant to give insight to us digital natives about current social issues affecting people around the globe. The aim of the Digital Citizenship workshop was also to show us that we should accept all people, no matter their religion, sexuality, or race.’
(ii) ‘Social cohesion means that we work together to make environments safe for us to freely speak about issues. It means to make us feel more connected to others globally, in a safe way.’
(iii) ‘Jon gave us so many examples and tips about being safe online. He helped us to understand it better. Jon made us aware of the kinds of things that go on in the online community, and how we can protect ourselves and others.’
(iv) ‘We feel more comfortable about helping others online because we are better educated about it now. We know what to do if something wrong is happening to us or other people. We also feel more confident in making the online world a better place. We also feel that we can tell perpetrators that it’s not okay to bully and lie and scare and groom kids online.’
– Vicky Argyropoulos
Assistant Principal – Dandenong High School
Community and Strategic Partnerships
– AEU News Issue 2 2018