Contact the Enlighten Education head office on 1300 735 997

Enlighten's Founders and National Directors

Dannielle Miller, CEO, Enlighten Education

Dannielle Miller, CEO, Enlighten Education.

Bachelor of Education (Secondary), Graduate Certificate in Management (Professional Practice), Certificate IV in Assessment and Workplace Training

“When working with teenagers, it is important to engage them emotionally; if you can capture their hearts, their minds will follow. I am incredibly proud of the work we do and passionate about acting as a catalyst for change.”

Dannielle is a highly respected and experienced educator, author and media commentator on issues affecting teenage girls.

Beginning her career as a high school teacher, she was soon on the path to becoming a major innovator and expert in the field of education. As English Coordinator at a dual-campus high school, she was responsible for the curriculum, staffing and quality of learning of the English faculty. Her commitment to student welfare was clear, and she was then commissioned by the Federal Government to be the Full Service Schools Coordinator for high schools – public, Catholic and independent – in the Western Sydney region. In this role, she assessed and advised on programs aimed at keeping in school those students who were at risk of dropping out before completing their education; her advice formed the basis for government funding decisions.

Having gained unique insight into how best to help at-risk students meet their full potential, she was inspired to start up a new program fusing the most effective strategies. The Lighthouse Project was born: mentors give at-risk students workplace responsibilities, which helps the students develop employment skills and allows them to discover the real-world relevance of what they learn at school. This immensely successful program continues in Western Sydney, assuring a bright future for students who may otherwise drop out.

Another of Dannielle’s innovations was a Higher School Certificate (HSC) course she developed in the field of service learning. This type of learning develops students’ entrepreneurial skills while at the same time involving them in meaningful volunteer work that benefits the community. Their work received NSW Board of Studies approval and brought a whole new level of interest to this positive and forward-thinking approach to education.

Her achievements in student welfare and curriculum development, plus long-held concerns about girls’ struggles with body image and self-esteem, came together in 2003, when Dannielle joined with fellow educator Francesca Kaoutal to found their own company, Enlighten Education. The company is based on the belief that by entering into, and engaging with, the world of teenage girls, they can encourage meaningful and constructive conversations about gender, identity, education, careers and girls’ futures. Dannielle delights in working with thousands of teenage girls across Australia, New Zealand and Singapore each year.

In 2014 Dannielle launched a new initiative aimed at empowering young men. Disengagement from school, the pressure to look buffed, feeling like they cannot express the full rage of emotions, fall outs with their mates, limiting gender stereotypes… all are issues plaguing our boys. Meanwhile we also need to do the urgent work that is required to educate them in order to help eliminate violence against women. “Goodfellas” is a considered, positive and pro-active approach and is being delivered by highly experienced, qualified male presenters with proven track records of working face-to-face with boys and men.

Danni InStyle award nomination

Weekend Australian Featuring Danni as Australia's Number 1 Emerging Leader in LearningEnlighten Education is now an award-winning national network of passionate, talented women.

Dannielle has been awarded the title NSW /ACT Small Business Champion Entrepreneur, received an Australian Leadership Award and was nominated twice for an Australian of the Year Award. The media has named her one of Australia’s emerging leaders (The Australian), one of Sydney’s most influential people (The Sydney Morning Herald) and one of the most inspiring women over 40 (Prevention), and she was a finalist for InStyle’s Women of Style Awards.

As a media contributor on parenting and women’s issues, Dannielle offers up solutions to the challenges girls and their mothers are facing. She is also an avid blogger on these issues and regularly contributes opinion pieces to national newspapers and websites like The Age, The Daily Telegraph, and sites such as Daily Life, The Hoopla, Feministing and News Corp Australia’s popular opinion site RendezView.

She is the author of The Butterfly Effect and The Girl with the Butterfly Tattoo (both published by Random House Australia), co-author of Loveability, a guide for teen girls on dating and developing respectful relationships (HarperCollins) and her latest title is Gratitude – A positive new approach to raising thankful kids. She is also a contributor to Destroying the Joint – Why Women Must Change the World (University of Queensland Press). Her achievements are featured in several education journals. She is a popular speaker at youth and education conferences and forums.

Dannielle offers parent and teacher information sessions and is available to speak at seminars and conferences. See: Parent Information Sessions – run by Enlighten’s CEO Dannielle Miller.

She can be contacted by the media on 0412 097 977 and has her own website: www.danniellemiller.com.

Francesca Kaoutal

Francesca Kaoutal.

Bachelor of Education (Secondary)

“My greatest achievements include having a wonderful family and a satisfying career. My aim has always been to inspire in young people a belief in their own potential and a belief that learning can be fun and relevant to their world.”

In Francesca’s teaching career before co-founding Enlighten Education, she combined creativity with technologies expertise. She worked as a Learning Technologies Coordinator and has led curriculum development within various high schools, devised new curriculum for the Higher School Certificate Technology courses in New South Wales, devised a cross-curricular teaching program to integrate social justice into the classroom, and led students to enhance their business IT skills by developing and creating IT-based products and services for the school and business communities.

Francesca has also brought her creativity and her desire to empower students to her role as a costume designer for the annual Rock Eisteddfod. Francesca particularly enjoys sharing her passion and flair for creating and designing in the “Style File” component of our programs. In our “Get It Together” workshops, she specialises in helping young women learn to prioritise, become organised and maximise their potential.

Nikki Davis

Nikki Davis - Senior Presenter.

Bachelor of Arts (Communications)

“I get the most amazing reaction from people when I tell them about Enlighten and what we do. I believe that many people – both genders, all ages and walks of life – are becoming more and more aware of the need for the work Enlighten does with today’s girls. I have never been more proud to talk about my work and the fact that I get to remind all these gorgeous girls just how special they are.”

A trained dancer and former dance teacher, Nikki spent a number of years performing as a dancer and modelling professionally after completing her Communications degree. Her passion for writing led to a position as the editor of a magazine for young dancers, and a scriptwriting role with a production company followed. Then she moved into a producer role, working on the creation of videos and special events, and often appearing on camera as host.

Training to be a volunteer telephone counsellor with Lifeline gave Nikki the opportunity to explore her interest in counselling and psychotherapy, which she continues to study. It quickly became clear to Nikki during her time at Lifeline that she was particularly interested in social issues related to girls and women.

A former high school student of Enlighten’s CEO, Dannielle Miller, Nikki wanted to be involved the moment she saw the work Enlighten was doing in the community. Experienced in front of a crowd, with lots of stories to tell and a special interest in young women, Nikki has a proven rapport with school-aged girls and offers a unique insight into the worlds of fashion, entertainment and the arts.

Becca Johnston

Becca Johnston - Senior Presenter.

Bachelor of Arts (Drama Studies), Edith Cowan University; Bachelor of Arts (Acting), National Institute of Dramatic Art

“Inspiring and empowering young women is one of my missions in life. As a presenter, it’s always the ‘reluctant customers’ that I’m aiming for. The quiet girls, the rowdy girls, the girls who challenge me to win them over. The girls who are terrified of being pushed outside of their comfort zones, afraid of making a mistake or getting it wrong in front of an audience. Well, in my reality, there are no mistakes. There are no ‘wrong’ choices. And that’s why I love this job. Encouraging young women to be brave – to be fearless. Watching them celebrate each other and leave our workshops full of adrenaline, inspired and empowered because they were brave enough to jump in feet first and give the experience a go. Being a part of the Enlighten team is a blast!”

Becca has worked with young women and girls from all walks of life in a mentoring or teaching capacity since she was 16 years old. From coaching girls’ netball clinics as a player in the Western Australian state league to leading an all-girls scholarship summer camp in California, facilitating acting training at independent and government schools across Australia, travelling to Northern Australia to mentor young indigenous women, sharing her childhood and her life with the two most amazing sisters a girl could want – she is incredibly passionate about empowering young women, and building their confidence and self-esteem.

With more than 13 years’ experience across multiple industries, Becca is a highly qualified public speaker, corporate trainer, MC, teacher and mentor. She has been a regular tutor for NIDA Open Program’s Teenage and Adult courses since 2008, and has facilitated corporate training and events for companies including NIDA Corporate, Australian Cancer Council, Sydney Customs and Integracom (ADF).

As an actor, writer and producer, she has appeared in theatre, film, television, advertisements and short films. She was a cofounder of Red Rabbit Theatre Company, and is a Director and Cofounder of Provoke Performance.

Becca loves to travel – some of her most rewarding experiences as a mentor have been while on tour around Australia. As a teenager growing up in Perth, she would have jumped at the chance to get amongst the courses Enlighten offers. She relishes the opportunity to work with young people who would not necessarily have immediate access to exciting youth programs because of their isolation and distance from a major capital city.

Chloe Veljanovski

Chloe Veljanovski, Senior Presenter.

Bachelor of Creative Arts (Visual Arts), Bachelor of Arts (Media and Cultural Studies), Diploma of Education (Secondary)

“I have always been a dedicated and active feminist who is passionate about helping women grow in a society that is only beginning to accommodate their rights. I want to be a facilitator, someone who can arm young girls with the tools and knowledge that will help them navigate through and analyse the plethora of images of women to which they are exposed. I am so proud to be a part of Enlighten Education, where I can follow this dream and really make a difference.”

As a trained Visual Arts teacher and television presenter, Chloe Veljanovski has an abundance of experience in reaching and communicating with young people. Chloe has worked in the music industry for an independent record label, and as a producer and host on a music television show. These opportunities have allowed Chloe to interview a range of amazing musicians such as Timmy Trumpet, Passenger and Alison Wonderland — and to experience firsthand the culture and lifestyle of the girls she works with at Enlighten.

In her time working as a teacher, Chloe has developed programs that foster the self-esteem and wellbeing of students, particularly young women, and she has worked with indigenous students through AIME. Going beyond teaching the curriculum, she feels it is important to form meaningful bonds with students and inspire them to help others. Chloe uses her expertise in the classroom, in the visual arts and media, and as presenter to follow her passion, which is to empower young women to reach their potential.

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