All posts filed under: The Educators

Megan Oaten | Experimental Social Psychologist

As a mid-career scientist specialising in the field of Experimental Social Psychology, Megan Oaten is among a small but growing group of women pursuing a career in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), hoping that others will follow where they lead. “Women are equally represented in sciences at university, in post-graduate studies, and at doctorate level”, Megan says, “but once you enter the post-doctorate phase the numbers drop significantly. At the senior levels it’s a male dominated space.” Homeward Bound, which Megan has been selected for this year, is an initiative which intends to change this, through their program aimed at increasing the presence of science-minded women in policy and decision making roles. Participants receive a year-long mentorship which includes career coaching, collaborative research opportunities, mentoring meetings and networking. It culminates in a three-week trip to Antarctica in February 2018, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. “This program is really about creating a network of women across the globe. We’re aware that we are stronger together, and we support each other into our …

Thomas Rehbach | Educator, Carer, Hitchhiker

Thomas Rehbach has been a preschool educator, an administrator, a respite carer, a teacher, a courier, a soccer coach and referee. He’s lived in the area long enough to see kids he’s taught now becoming parents and teachers themselves. Tom was born in Australia to German parents and grew up in Rosehill. At age 9, Tom and his brother went to live at Dunmore House, a boys’ home in Pendle Hill. “We got into enough trouble that we had a choice to go to one of two boys homes,” Tom says. It’s a time he remembers favourably, being part of a large family unit with children of all ages. “I think that was the best thing that ever happened to us. I don’t hold any animosity towards my mum for making that choice.” After hitchhiking from Sydney to Cairns a few times in the early 1980s, Tom came back to the Northern Rivers and never left. He met his partner, Gail, through Clunes Preschool when they both had sons who were attending. The couple live …

Jim Richardson | Teacher, Librarian, Environmentalist, Volunteer

The son of a dairy farmer from McKees Hill, Jim Richardson started his education at a one-teacher school at Clovass. Since those early years, he has been fortunate enough to take advantage of the educational opportunities that came his way. They eventually led him out of rural New South Wales, to the city, and the wide world. Fast forward to the 1970s, and Jim was a scholarship student at university in Armidale. Originally aiming to become a marine biologist, Jim realised he wanted to be involved with education, so decided to become a science teacher instead. During university, Jim had been to the Nimbin Aquarius Festival in 1973, and it made an impression on him that would shape both his professional career and his environmental outlook. “I was right into this concept of needing to educate yourself and to free up education, do whatever courses you can as long as they don’t cost too much money”, says Jim. Contracted to take up a teaching post after graduating, Jim ended up in Bathurst, where he taught …