Megan is the creator and director of an Australian-first national telepresence robot pilot to keep sick kids connected to their schools. Her extensive experience throughout her career and a life-changing personal crisis has led Megan to initiate this important program for kids who are missing school.
Interview with Megan
Can you tell us about your time at Deakin?
Deakin has given me a much longed-for Master’s Degree. I started my Master’s when I emerged from a life crisis (my son was critically ill for two years). When I returned to the world, after he survived, I gave myself the gift of learning.
I wrote my thesis on transforming practice in the international development sector by mobilising big data through the collective intelligence of individual practitioners.
What has been your journey since finishing your course?
My career includes roles in government, the private sector and community organisations. I have worked on the personal staff of a government minister, in corporate magazine publishing (here and overseas), and built my own businesses as well as the consultancy businesses in which I held senior positions.
My predominant work experience has been in international development assistance, managing operations, and social and economic development programs across over 24 countries. I have held management committee roles in an international non-government organisation working in developing countries, and as the founding Chair of an Australian not-for-profit.
I am a 2016 Churchill Fellow and have a public profile in advocating to keep seriously sick kids connected to their schools, as the creator and director of an Australian-first national telepresence robot for that purpose.
Have you always wanted to pursue the kind of career you have embarked on?
I’ve had a mixed career that makes sense only when I trace it backwards. I can now see that ALL of my experience has made me uniquely prepared to fulfil my current mission: to change education systems in Australia so that kids with serious illness or injury can stay connected to their classrooms, everywhere, every day, as a matter of course. I started realising this mission through a traumatic experience that revealed a big problem that needed solving.
Is there any advice you would give to a person who is starting out in your career?
Don’t hold off using your insights and gifts for positive change in the world, because only you can. You’ll never be ‘ready’. There will never be enough knowledge, enough time, enough money, enough resources, enough confidence... Courage comes first. And answers follow action.
What are your passions outside your work?
I don’t draw a line between work and play, more between what aligns and what doesn’t. Travel is one of my very favourite things. Learning is my passion.
What is something that amazes you?
I’m amazed at the positive and enduring social change that can happen when governments, the private sector, and not-for-profits collectivise their strengths to solve a sticky problem.
Action and implementation teach us everything we need to know about our dreams, our ideas, our projects, our passions and ourselves. Start now.
More than 60,000 kids in Australia miss school because of serious illness or injury. To learn more about the project visit: http://missingschool.org.au/