BRIDGE International School Partnerships
Student + Youth Programs
Educator Professional Learning
Asialink Group CEO, Martine Letts, is delighted to announce the formal appointment of Jen Star OAM to the position of Director - International and Chris Higgins to the position of Director - Education of Asia Education Foundation.
Jen and Chris have been leading AEF as acting Co-Directors since January 2022. Since January, Jen and Chris have successfully led the delivery of AEF’s existing programs across Australia and Asia-Pacific and have conceptualised and delivered several new international programs.
Together, Jen and Chris have brought new energy and direction to the organisation and demonstrated that they are both exceptional educators and innovative leaders.
In these positions, Jen will continue to oversee and grow AEF’s international programs and Chris will continue to oversee and grow AEF’s state and national programs.
Jennifer Star OAM - Director (International)
Jennifer has over a decade of experience working in Education in the South Asian region as a teacher, professional learning coordinator and education consultant. At the age of 21, Jennifer founded an Education NGO, Tara.Ed that aims to promote sustainable quality education in rural and remote areas of India, Bangladesh and Afghanistan by training, supporting and empowering teachers. Since its inception in 2008, Tara.Ed has provided education to over 20 828 underprivileged children across Asia.
Prior to joining Asia Education Foundation, Jennifer was the Manager, Professional Learning (India and South Asia) at the Australian Council for Educational Research, where she led the professional learning team to design and deliver large scale, high quality professional learning programs across South Asia for clients such as the Australian Government (DFAT), the World Bank, UNESCO, The British Council, USAID and state and central Governments.
Dedicated to building Australia’s engagement with Asia and growing Asia literacy in the next generation of young Australians, Jennifer works alongside Australian schools, school leaders and teachers to embed meaningful intercultural learning into education and has led over 18 delegations of Australian teachers and pre-service teachers to India providing avenues for a cross-cultural skills exchange and professional collaboration with their Indian counterparts.
An Australian qualified Teacher, and proud product of a public school, Jennifer worked as a HSIE teacher in regional NSW in 2009-10. She holds a Master of Education (International and Comparative) from Oxford University and is currently pursuing a PhD at Deakin University.
As a result of her contributions to international education, Jennifer was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in 2019, was recognised as one of Australia’s Prominent Women Leaders with the receipt of the Australian Women’s Agenda Leadership Award (Not-for -Profit) in 2017 and as one of Australia’s 100 most Influential Women in 2014. She was also named the Young Australian of the Year (NSW) in 2012.
Chris Higgins – Director (Education)
Chris has been in education for the last 13 years and has extensive experience in learning design, ed-tech, and professional learning facilitation. Prior to joining Asia Education Foundation, Chris held a leadership position at one of Australia’s largest K-12 digital learning platforms. There he led a team of learning designers to develop thousands of cross-curricula and Humanities online learning resources used by 1.2+ million students in over 52 countries. During his time in the organisation Chris assisted the company to grow its student reach by 60% and delivered over 500 professional learning sessions across Australia and the Asia -Pacific.
Chris has always championed skills development and inclusion; in 2018 he was shortlisted for the Australian Education Award for Curriculum Innovation for his work with colleagues developing a course promoting general capabilities and global competence. He currently holds a Master of Education in Special Education, Inclusion and Early Intervention from the University of Melbourne. In 2022 he was named ‘Most Influential Educator’ by The Educator Australia, and was a member of the HundredEd.org academy, selecting the most innovative global education programs. In May Chris commenced a Doctor of Philosophy in Education exploring the use of technology to connect students across geographical regions and cultures.
Chris has extensive teaching and school leadership experience having previously been a Head of Department, EAL and Humanities teacher. He has taught in the UK, Vietnam, Thailand and China as well as for seven years here in Australia.
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