Our Victoria Team

Elizabeth Thorne
Program Director, Victoria

Elizabeth has extensive leadership experience in the education sector in Australia and Canada. Previous roles include Publisher at Macmillan Education Australia in Melbourne and Manager of Professional Education at a not-for-profit organization in Toronto. After publishing ground breaking resources to support respectful relationships education in Australia, Elizabeth came to High Resolves seeking a role more explicitly in line with her passion for social action. Elizabeth is an activist and media spokesperson for various feminist collectives, including International Women’s Day Melbourne. Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of Arts (Joint Honors) in History and English from the Memorial University of Newfoundland in St John’s and a Master of Arts in History from York University in Toronto. She specialized in race, gender, and sexuality in a modern American context.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
As a feminist activist, I’m passionate about empowering young people to take action on social issues they care about.

Tom Marks
Program Manager, Victoria

Having worked in developing rural communities in South America and South Africa, Tom has developed a passion for global and social issues. He has worked with children of all ages from kindergarten through to grade 12, both in Victoria and abroad. He also implemented physical education and social programs in the Cayman Islands where he taught at a private special education needs school. Tom is an enthusiastic educator and passionate about motivating and inspiring youth to be positive and morally responsible global citizens. Tom holds a Bachelor of Psychological Science and a Diploma in Education from La Trobe University.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
I am so inspired by the passion and resolve of young people to make positive social change, and love being a part of them growing and sharing their ideas!

Fiona Tassone
Program Manager, Victoria

Fiona is an experienced secondary school teacher, spending the majority of her career teaching senior English. She is passionate about helping young people to realise their potential, as well as assisting them in developing their worldview. Fiona has a Bachelor of Arts (Creative Writing) from Deakin University and a Diploma of Education from Australian Catholic University.
I am passionate about High Resolves because…
I am determined to promote a fair and just world and I truly believe that education is the key. I want to teach young people that we all have the power to make change and, as a result, create a fairer world.

Steve Moore
National Program Director, Australia

While working in some of India’s poorest communities, Steve was struck by the power of education to create social change. Upon returning to Australia he resolved to help equip young people with the skills to positively change the world around them. Working as a science teacher in Sydney’s high schools, Steve saw the need for new educational experiences that developed students as active participants in society, leading to him organizing and running leadership programs in low socio-economic status schools. Joining the High Resolves team enabled Steve to unite his management experience in the for-profit sector with his passion for social change through education. Steve holds a Master of Science from the University of Bristol, and a Graduate Diploma in Education from Macquarie University and Master of Business Administration from Kaplan University.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
I have the opportunity to work with a group of individuals who are incredibly determined to make the world a better place.

Lee Martin
Global Manager Quality Assurance and Training; Head of Curriculum, Australia

Lee has worked at High Resolves since 2010, working in a variety of roles including face-to-face delivery of content to young people and teachers, developing curriculum, and quality assurance and training. He holds a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from the University of Sheffield and a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) in History and Politics from the University of Warwick. Lee worked as a high school history teacher in socially diverse areas of the U.K. and took on the roles of form tutor, Head of Year and Head of Department. In May 2009, government inspectors reported that the history department and its management were “outstanding”.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
I have always believed that education is the most effective way of overcoming some of the problems that the world faces today. High Resolves offers me that opportunity by working with young people to develop the confidence, motivation and skills to make our world a better place.

Ursula Ramirez
Operations Support

Ursula is a policy analyst, interdisciplinary researcher and operations manager. She has over six years’ experience working in youth leadership and international educational organizations both in the corporate and not-for-profit sectors. Ursula’s work has taken her to Mexico, Turkey, Slovenia and most recently Australia. She recently completed her Master of International Law, Governance and Public Policy, which ignited an interest in the intersectionality between law, social justice and governance.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
It is a powerful means of developing the leadership potential and cross-cultural outlook of today’s youth. In my role as Operations Support, I’m able to evaluate our business processes, manage multiple projects, and continuously look for ways to make our programs even better!

Rachel Hinds
National Program Director, Australia

Rachel has worked in the education sector in both Australia and overseas since 2007. She has a strong commitment to empowering students to be the leaders of tomorrow and a belief that all young people can make a difference to their own lives. During her time as a classroom teacher, Rachel worked predominately with disengaged and at-risk students and was instrumental in designing and implementing an alternative education program for disengaged students in the UK. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Graduate Diploma in Education from Griffith University.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
I have seen first-hand the impact we have on young people. It is an awesome thing to experience when you see a young person feel empowered to step up and create the change they want to see in the world!

Paul Kelsey
Global Chief Operating Officer

Paul Kelsey was the inaugural CEO for High Resolves for ten years in Australia and is now the Global Chief Operating Officer. Prior to High Resolves, Paul was in various senior management positions in financial services for over 20 years.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
I am passionate about High Resolves more than ever now because I have three teenage children, and I see first-hand how difficult it is for young teenagers to develop a genuine sense of empathy for global issues and to feel empowered to make a difference.

Roya Baghai
Co-Founder and Executive Director of Videos for Change

Roya has a degree in architecture but has worked in many different design fields, from graphic and object design to typography. Throughout all her work, she has been passionate about creating transformative experiences through design. Her commitment to creating positive social change and empowering young people to do the same was the inspiration and driving force behind the co-creation of High Resolves in 2005 and her deep involvement since. Over the last three years, she has also been leading Videos for Change: a powerful platform that is amplifying the voice of young people who have creatively engaged with social issues and are catalyzing positive change in the world.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
I am passionate about contributing in some small way to the creation of a world with unity in diversity, and where justice and equality of opportunity is upheld and experienced by all. I am joyous and privileged to work towards this vision with the impressive and multi-talented team at High Resolves.

Mehrdad Baghai
Co-Founder, Chairman, and Global CEO

As Global CEO of High Resolves, Mehrdad has focused on rapid growth of the program in Australia and expansion into the U.S., Canada, China, Brazil and Africa. Mehrdad is Chairman of Alchemy Growth, a boutique strategy advisory firm. Previously, he was a partner at McKinsey & Company and co-leader of the Firm’s worldwide Growth Practice, and an Executive Director at the CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency. Mehrdad has degrees from Harvard Law School, Harvard Kennedy School and Princeton University. He is a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
I have seen and felt the impact of social division and hatred first hand. We need to think of prejudice, racism and hatred as public health issues and engage in immunization programs in order to eradicate these diseases.

Contact our Victoria team

Our history

After four years of steady growth in New
South Wales, High Resolves launched in
Victoria 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.

Upcoming Events

Videos for Change 2018

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 officially open in July but we will be announcing some exciting additions and prizes for this year’s competition, so be sure to register and be the first to hear the news.

For more information and to register your interest, please click below.

CLICK HERE

The Future of Global Citizenship Education: New Approaches Melbourne CBD – Friday, 20 July 2018

How can you foster a global citizenship mindset in your students? Learn about critical learning outcomes in global competencies such as intercultural understanding and critical thinking.

This workshop will share key insights on the future of global leadership education, including example strategies for achieving personal and social capabilities in the areas of:

• Collective Identity
• Independent Thinking
• Social Justice
• Digital Citizenship

All participants will be provided a set of high quality, practical teaching resources for use in the classroom. For more information and to register, please click below.

CLICK HERE

AEU – Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Mehrdad Baghai is a world-renowned strategy and leadership expert, and author of three international management bestsellers. He is the chairman of Alchemy Growth, a boutique advisory firm. Previously, he completed a three-year term as an Executive Director of the CSIRO, and before that, he was the co-leader of the worldwide growth practice at McKinsey & Company.

Mehrdad and his wife, Roya, founded High Resolves, an international not-for-profit that has empowered over 200,000 Australian teenagers to be purposeful global citizens and leaders. Mehrdad has reduced his business interests to serve as CEO of High Resolves and to drive its expansion into Canada, America, Brazil, and China.

Come along for a unique opportunity to hear Mehrdad tell the remarkable story of the High Resolves program and how it builds global citizenship and leadership mindsets and skills in young people.

For more information and to register, please click below.

CLICK HERE

Ed Summit 2018: Resolve to Lead – Thursday, 9 August 2018 in Sydney, NSW

High Resolves and the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) are excited to announce a new full-day event for education leaders, Ed Summit 2018: Resolve to Lead, which will be held at UTS on Thursday, 9 August.

Ed Summit will focus on one of the most important educational challenges of our time: how do we act now to develop 21st-century skills in Australian schools to ensure our students will thrive in a globalised world? Our vision is ambitious: Let’s reshape education in Australia.

Attendees of Ed Summit will walk away with:

A Global Perspective: Expand networks, meet partners, and learn from educators, thought leaders, and innovators from around the world. With speakers from Rwanda, Singapore, China, Canada, America, and Brazil, learn from real-life case studies and engage in discussions with colleagues about how education is changing globally.

Innovative Solutions: Learn from some of the world’s foremost educational practitioners about the challenges they have faced and how they overcame them. Be inspired by groundbreaking, innovative, and practical solutions that you can implement immediately in your own school.

An Action Plan for Change: Inform your own personal action plan with ideas from around the world and the experiences of your peers. Use a set of proven and powerful tools and approaches to equip your students to thrive, not just survive, in the 21st century.

For more information and to register, please click below.

CLICK HERE

Videos for Change: Creating Compelling Videos for Positive Social Change Melbourne CBD – Tuesday, 21 August 2018

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 receive a share of prizes worth over $12,000!

This workshop will provide you with the knowledge, skills, and practical resources to help students create compelling videos that can raise awareness of a social issue that matters to them. Please note this is not a technical filmmaking workshop; rather, it is designed to assist you to enable your students to create a powerful video narrative.

All participants will be provided a set of high quality, practical teaching resources for use in the classroom. For more information and to register, please click below.

CLICK HERE

Geography Teachers’ Association of Victoria (GTAV) Annual Conference – Monday, 27 August 2018

High Resolves will be presenting at this year’s Geography Teachers’ Association of Victoria (GTAV) Annual Conference. The theme is Geography: Critical Creative Innovative, and we will be presenting on Videos for Change.

Videos for Change 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. This national challenge is designed to help young people develop confidence and practice effective communication, teamwork, collaboration, and organisational skills, and is aligned with the National Curriculum General Capabilities. Join us to find out more about how to implement Videos for Change at your school.

For more information and to register, please click below.

CLICK HERE

Leadership Education: Building Students’ Capacity to Lead Melbourne CBD – Friday, 30 November 2018

What skills do your students need to be leaders in the 21st century? Conflict resolution, effective collaboration, and leading others in collective action are just some of the critical competencies covered in this workshop.

This workshop will share key insights on the future of global leadership education, including example strategies for achieving personal and social capabilities in the areas of:

• Personal Impact
• Collective Action
• Effective Collaboration
• Conflict Resolution

All participants will be provided a set of high quality, practical teaching resources for use in the classroom. For more information and to register, please click below.

CLICK HERE

Project Based Learning: Developing Leadership Skills through Social Action Projects Melbourne CBD – Friday, 7 December 2018

Do you want to create a unique leadership opportunity for students? Gain a framework and practical resources to facilitate student-led social action projects.

This workshop will provide you with the knowledge, skills, and practical resources to facilitate student-led social action projects. We have facilitated hundreds of student-led projects, and we will share our model to help develop students into the leaders of tomorrow.

All participants will be provided a set of high quality, practical teaching resources for use in the classroom. For more information and to register, please click below.

CLICK HERE

Our work

Case Study: Dandenong High School

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.”

Testimonials

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