We recognise two YCA Educator Champions from Queensland!

Young Change Agents is passionate about supporting Australian educators. Our aim is to work alongside educators to strengthen their work, building their capacity in social enterprise and design thinking so they are champions in their communities and beyond. 

We use a four-stage process to build sustainability from the beginning:

  1. Immersion into our program, to build empathy and deeper understanding
  2. Online learning modules and communications platform for educators
  3. Co-facilitation of the program with Young Change Agents to support where needed
  4. Championing our program across theirs and other schools/ contexts

We’d like to recognise some of the many educators who have worked together with us to strengthen youth social entrepreneurship across their regions. We’ll start by firstly recognising two teacher and Department of Education champions in Queensland – both fantastic champions of educator capacity building and youth entrepreneurship!

Mia Pinnington – DigiDesign Teacher, Coomera Rivers State School QLD

Mia in action! Delivering the Young Change Agents Explorer program with students in 2019.

Mia began her involvement with Young Change Agents in 2018, immersing herself in an Explorer program alongside her students. After this, Mia completed our teacher e-learning modules and proactively developed her own materials to adapt the program to her students. Mia then led the facilitation with a group of students with YCA’s support in 2019.

Mia became a huge supporter of Young Change Agents’ work in Southeast Queensland and is one of our strongest teacher champions. Mia is now planning to host a multi school program under the banner of AEG for 50 students & 15 teachers from 10 local schools.

Our favourite quote from Mia:

“In our third year of the Young Change Agents Program, entrepreneurial learning has been transformed at Coomera Rivers State School. YCA has provided a framework for even the youngest of students to work through the design process as they engage in a range of fun, empowering, solution focussed activities. Aligning beautifully with the Australian Curriculum in my Digital and Design Technologies lessons, YCA empowers students with the opportunity to make a real difference as they identify and design innovative solutions. As a strong advocate for the Sustainable Global Goals, the YCA program compliments the local, national and global innovative problem-solving focus for my students of all ages.”

Jane McLaren – Southeast QLD STEM Champion 

Jane (centre) in action at the launch of the Academy of Enterprising Girls International Women’s Day Breakfast! With (left) Elle Moore, YCA Facilitator, and (right) Sam Refshauge, Program Manager – SE QLD & Northern NSW, Young Change Agents.

Jane has been a passionate, consistent and vocal supporter of Young Change Agents since 2018. With Jane’s initiative, Young Change Agents has been able to invite 17 primary schools and 15 high schools across the southeast Queensland region to participate in our Discovery and Explorer programs, with many now becoming champions of youth social entrepreneurship in their own right.

Jane has been a member of the judging panel on several YCA programs and on the pitching panel for two Regional Pitch events in 2018 and 2019. Jane is a connector within the Department of Education, working to link us to others in the Department who can amplify youth entrepreneurship outcomes. This includes curating a space for teachers in the DoE intranet, where teachers are able to access resources and support.  

Jane is consistently finding ways for Young Change Agents to build teacher capacity and to share our work with the broader community – most recently for example, at the 2020 International Women’s Day Breakfast in Southeast Queensland.

Our favourite two reflections from Jane:

‘I see the E in STEM as Entrepreneurship’.   

“The South East Region Department of Education has been participating in the YCA
program since 2018. This program has invigorated students and teacher’s passion for
social change. Utilising their STEM knowledge and understanding, the students have
designed a range of environmental, social and enterprise solutions to real world problems. YCA adds purpose to their classroom learning and provides opportunities for them to enact social change in their communities.”

Jane and Mia, a huge thanks to you both for your support! It’s ecosystem champions like yourselves who enable youth to have their voices heard, build their critical thinking, creativity, problem solving and collaboration skills, and amplify the impact of social enterprise as a way to solve the challenges that youth see around them.

Reach out to us if you’re interested in more information about being an educator champion or YCA program supporter in your region!