Name: Dr George Variyan
Blurb: My name is Dr George Variyan. I am a long-time home educating parent and advocate who understands the diversity of the home educating community in Victoria, and also Western Australia. I am currently an academic at Monash University, in the Faculty of Education, and am conversant with the wider research in home education internationally and through the work of my colleagues at Monash. I lecture in the Master of Educational Leadership, which includes teaching in ethics and decision-making. My current research work is in the area of gender in schooling, climate activism, higher education, and ethics. I am interested to bring my experience as a home educator, and academic, to support the role of the VHEAC.
Name: Kirsty James
Blurb: As a long-term home educator, I was involved with the 2006 and 2017 regulatory changes. I have always been active in the community, attending groups, running HEN science sessions, holding regular mums’ nights, starting a co-op, and organising excursions. Three of my children (15, 20, 22) have never attended school.
Being Assistant Co-ordinator of HEN with responsibility for Newbie Support has prepared me well for VHEAC. I check plans and reviews and created the HEN registration information. I have represented HEN in the media, and at VRQA and DET meetings where I discussed the inequality of TAFE access.
You may know me from Kryal, HEN Facebook groups, personal interactions, or not at all. Whatever our degree of relationship, I hope to represent you with integrity. I intend to promote and protect the interests of our wider community, ensuring that home education remains a valid alternative for the next generation.
Name: Megan Fisher
Blurb: I was home-schooled from prep all the way to the end of high school. During my university years I attended Purdue University and graduated with a science degree with a focus on virology and molecular biology. During my years as a student and after graduating I worked as a research assistant in a x-ray crystallography laboratory helping with viral protein production, purifying viral proteins, and working on data extracted from x-ray crystallography to determine the molecular structure of viral proteins.
Upon the arrival of my first child I stepped down from research and began teaching in the homeschool community. I have taught chemistry, maths, biology, art and dissection classes for over ten years. I currently homeschool all five of my children and we all attend a local academic homeschool co-operative.
Aside from homeschooling I teach English and citizenship classes to Afghan women in the Narre Warren South community. I grew up in a homeschooling environment and my kids are now second generation. Because of this I would like to be able to give back to the homeschooling community and share what I have learned from being homeschooled as well as being a homeschooling parent.
Name: Kamya Foster
Blurb: I am the mother of two teen girls, in our fourth year of home education. Having a lived experience of disability, I am a passionate advocate for choice in education models that enable the best fit for each child. My interest in serving on the Victorian Home Education Advisory Committee stems from this passion, from a desire to serve the home education community, and from a deep sense of fairness for all families to home educate their children in a way that suits their needs. I believe in fair access to education and opportunities for all children.
I have considerable experience in leadership roles and community service roles, having volunteered in community organisations for 30-plus years, including the Casey Cardinia Foundation Trust (a philanthropic fund), Rotary Club of Pakenham and our local church.
A Public Practice CPA accountant with 30 years experience, I strongly believe in accountability, collaboration and integrity. I believe I will bring a pragmatic approach to issues represented, offering respectful opinions and considered feedback.
Name: Michelle Heriot
Blurb: I believe children have a right to learn in an environment that supports them to develop healthy minds and a sense of who they are. I strongly align with home education as a vital and successful education option that caters for diverse needs, beliefs, and values in our community.
I would love to be a member of the VHEAC, advocating and lobbying on behalf of the home education community, and leveraging my experiences and skills.
My experiences and skills have spread over many industries (private, public and community organisations), including people with intellectual, physical, and psycho-social disabilities, and as a parent and home educator of a child with learning and social differences.
The roles and responsibilities I’ve performed have been educator, facilitator and coach, curriculum and program design and development, business, training and recruitment consultation, organisation set-ups including small businesses and RTO’s, as well as a member of a national industry committee, all of which incorporated administration, leadership and management.
I’ve collaborated with and led people with diverse personalities, beliefs, values, and motivations, have enjoyed the breadth of these experiences and value the changes I’ve been able to make for people’s lives. I believe I will be a valuable, passionate, and productive contributor within the VHEAC and look forward to being successful with my application.