Contact the Enlighten Education head office on 1300 735 997
Enlighten's Founders and National Directors
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.
Enlighten 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.
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.
Enlighten Education is proud to be a part of the transformation process in the following schools
- Ballarat Grammar
- Beaconhills College
- Bolwarra Primary School
- Camberwell Girls’ Grammar School
- Catholic Regional College, Caroline Springs
- Catholic Regional College, North Keilor
- Clonard College
- Cornish College
- Dartmoor Primary School
- Donvale Christian College
- Fintona Girls’ School
- Firbank Grammar
- Genazzano FCJ College
- Girton Grammar School
- Good Shepherd College
- Hamilton College
- Haileybury – Keysborough, Berwick & Brighton Campuses
- Henderson College
- Heritage College
- Heywood Consolidated School
- Ivanhoe Grammar School
- Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar School
- Kilvington Grammar School
- Loreto College Ballarat
- Lowther Hall Anglican Grammar School
- Marian College
- Mater Christi College
- Melbourne Girls College
- Mount Saint Joseph Girls’ College
- Mount Lilydale Mercy College
- Narrawong District Primary School
- Point Cook Senior Secondary College
- Portland South Primary School
- Portland North Primary School
- Sacre Coeur
- Sacred Heart College Geelong
- St Columba’s College, Essendon
- St Joseph’s College Echuca
- St Margaret’s School
- Strathcona Baptist Girls’ Grammar School
- The King David School
- The Knox School
- Tintern Girls Grammar School
- Toorak College, Mount Eliza
- Victory Christian College
- Yarra Valley Grammar School
Testimonials From Local Schools
Students and staff both loved the event! Chloe’s personality and energy was excellent! The event had positive messages that taught the girls valuable information. I would definitely recommend Enlighten to other schools.Belinda Page, Head of Health Lowther Hall Anglican Grammar School
An engaging, worthwhile program that gets girls thinking about themselves and their friendships in a positive manner. They walk away with an empowered feeling and strategies to use. Highly recommend.Linda Lightwood, Deputy Head of Middle School Haileybury Brighton
Thanks Danni for another successful day. Being the year 9 level leader who regularly follows up on student issues, I find that the girls benefit significantly after the enlighten program. We as teachers always refer to some of the lessons presented to remind students. We strategically place the program just before camp to enhance the great rapport between students and to remind students of safety in public. Thank you once again.Aphroditi Nikitiuk, Year 9 Level Leader Marian College, Sunshine West
Danni…what can I say! I have just read the comments on facebook…
What you achieved with our girls yesterday was remarkable. It is a message that we could not achieve in two years!! I really want to thank you.
Being a new (relatively young) Principal in a girls school, yesterday really gave me a good opportunity to reflect on my own wishes for our students. I love being a Teacher and a Principal and I really love Clonard and each of the students that I have been blessed with in caring for. Watching our students respond to you was an amazing experience.
Clonard is a truly special place. I am very proud of our girls. It was an absolute privilege to sit through all of your sessions finding myself captivated by every moment. What I really couldn’t get over at the end was the line of girls that just wanted to hug you and say thanks. Talk about special!!!
A number of the teachers there yesterday came up to me and said how much they had learnt. It’s true…you can teach a teacher!!!
I feel that your powerful message will stay with these students for their journey through Clonard. I know it will be something that I will refer back to when the going gets tough.
I feel privileged to have met you, listened to you and learnt from you. I do know now what Jemma and Mel (our two Yr 11 girls who attended the Insight Conference) were talking about!!!
Thank you and I hope that we can have you back in 2011.Damian McKew, Principal Clonard College, Geelong West, Victoria
Just wanted to pass on to your company what a wonderful afternoon our Year 7-9 girls have just experienced. Your presenter Nikki was just terrific and she had the girls eating out of her hands! The content was spot on and the girls certainly left on a real high. It was a pleasure reading the feedback sheets and we look forward to working with your company again.Kristen Waldron Hamilton College, Hamilton, Victoria
The girls thoroughly enjoyed the day, and I believe they took a lot away with them. The topics covered on the day were very relevant to the girls and where they are in their lives. Dannielle knew her material and knew how to reach out to the girls in a way that made them want to listen and change and take on board the messages she presented to them. The information night presented to parents was informative and the parents came away enlightened and with positive strategies on how to deal with their teenage girls. Parents were very grateful for the opportunity to listen to Dannielle.
We will definitely invite Enlighten Education to work with our students again and hope we will have the opportunity for Dannielle to present to our parents again in the future.Kathy Harris, Year 8 Coordinator Mt Lilydale Mercy College, Lilydale, Victoria
It was a great day and when asked the girls respond with enthusiasm this far down the line (2 weeks). Many of our students live so much in the moment that they move on within days so ‘The Journey’ day definitely had an impact.Colleen Brown, Health and Wellbeing Officer Portland Area Schools - 8 schools
Now! This was a hugely successful event. The girls were tentative to their approach as they walked in but Sonia had them eating out of her hands the minute she greeted them. A lovely, soft, gentle yet powerful facilitator – a role model for girls. Our group of girls are still absolutely buzzing. They really do feel empowered and loved Sonia’s enthusiasm and positive approach. We (the staff) appreciated being able to participate without having to worry about doing anything. Everything was taken care of.Bronwyn Heath, Year 8 Coordinator Ballarat Grammar
I read the girls’ responses from the day with great delight, Sonia. You have done well. I don’t think I can remember such an overwhelmingly positive response to a workshop before! Congratulations.Renata Rowe, Head of Secondary (Plenty Campus) Ivanhoe Grammar School
The workshops provided where delivered with professionalism and passion. Sonia demonstrated the traits she was encouraging within her own story and in her dealings with the girls at all times. Sonia’s group management was a credit to her experience but also to her genuine appreciation for young girls and their value and uniqueness. This group of girls arrived very skeptical and somewhat reluctantly and left buzzing, enthusiastic and pleasantly surprised and encouraged, as was very evident in the feedback forms. The content of the workshops was up-to-date, relevant and fun as well as informative.Analy Alfonso, Welfare Officer Heritage College Narre Warren Campus
I think the day was fantastic! It was very valuable to the girls who gained so much from the day. Sonia’s energy and enthusiasm really hit a cord with the group. They leant some vital skills and information about body image, self confidence and valuing who you are. Excellent!! Even the following week, some of the students were saying that they were still on a high and others were saying that they do the affirmations and positive self talk.Donna Taylor, B UR Best Coordinator St Joseph's College Echuca
I thought the day was a wonderful experience for our year 9 girls. They were interested in each workshop and Sonia’s positive demeanor had a huge impact on the girls. They learnt important information about staying safe, standing up for themselves and how to further appreciate / value who they are. Even now, the girls are still talking about their experience from the day, showing that they really valued those workshops. Sonia was able to very quickly gain the trust of the girls and they just loved her!! They also provided ample detail on their self reflections which were all very positive. I can not speak highly enough about the program. Thank you so much.Kristen Watson, Year 9 Focus Day Coordinator St Joseph's College Echuca
The girls from Year 8 loved ‘The Butterfly Effect’ and it has definitely had a lasting impact on them. Our school has had feedback from the parents to say what a difference it has made to their daughter’s attitude to things at home and teachers were positive about the program. I would definitely be interested in running a program for our girls in the future. Thank you.Belinda Frew, Year 8 Coordinator Lowther Hall Anglican Grammar School
Having read the girl’s evaluations, how can one doubt that this experience was an outstanding and positive one for them. As Year Level Co-Ordinator, I have had girls come to me re issues of bullying, in an assertive manner, as a result of this program. On Monday, there was a real positive vibe around the school, as if the girls had discovered something new. The girls are proudly wearing their pink arm bands. Thank you for a rewarding experience.Olga Cymbalak, Year 8 Co-Ordinator Catholic Regional College, Nth Keilor
This is our second dealing with Enlighten Education and Nikki as the key presenter. The information leading up to the event is extremely informative and relevant, it certainly makes things easy to organise from this end. Nikki is a brilliant speaker and presenter and they are without doubt the best workshops our students have attended. The kids were simply glowing in their praise and I know many of Nikki’s key messages will remain with the girls. If our school can receive similar grants again in 2012 Enlighten Education will be the first company we will book.Kristen Waldron Hamilton and Alexandra College
Regards Kristen Waldron
Thank you so very much Enlighten! Everything was so easy and ran so smoothly from the initial booking to the day itself. You were so engaging and the girls loved you. The program has provided a fantastic springboard for us to base our Pastoral Care program on.Hayley Keel Catholic Regional College, Caroline Springs
Dannielle Miller is gold! Her rapport with our Year 7 girls (and then Year 8’s the following day) was instant! Their eyes and ears were glued to her the entire day. The topics covered were exactly what they needed to be and we believe that our students did walk away from the event more informed, more inspired and more self-confident. Thank you Enlighten Education.Yvette Egonidis, Year 7 Coordinator Strathcona Baptist Girls Grammar School
You really engaged with our students. The material was presented in an honest and heartfelt manner. St Margaret’s would love to have you present the workshops again in the future. It was a terrific way to end the term. Thank you.Georgie Armstrong, Head of Life Skills St Margaret's School, Berwick VIC
Thank you for another great day. The students really enjoyed the day and they got so much out of the program. We feel it is a really valuable day for our students and enables the students to gain important life skills as well as being able to spend the day together as a group. Excellent.Jenny-May Wilson Marian College, Sunshine West, Victoria
Seeing as the event is for students, I usually evaluate based on student feedback. The girls were extremely positive about the program and seem to get a great deal out of it. It also addressed a number of teacher concerns related to students at year 9. The program was extremely successful. Thank you.Aphroditi Nikituk, Year 9 Coordinator Marian College, Sunshine West
You were amazing with the girls and the knowledge and wisdom you shared with them has had a positive impact and will no doubt be long lasting. Thank you! X x x
It was lovely to meet you and I really enjoyed reading all the positive feedback from the girls. Feedback from parents was also very positive. Many of the girls (including me!) are still wearing the pink bands with pride.Miranda Gazis, Year 8 Coordinator Strathcona Baptist Girls Grammar School
I love the Enlighten program and have enjoyed it here at Marian for many years even when I wasn’t teaching a class that attended I would go. Now as part of my role as a year 9 homeroom teacher, I read the book aloud in class prior to the workshops to enhance the experience and get the girls thinking about the issues beforehand. Afterwards I refer to the day and talk about the issues it raises ALL THE TIME!! We download the iphone app and continue to wear the bracelets for the time. By the time my students leave my year 9 homeroom at the end of the year, I hope that I have instilled feminism in them in a meaningful way. Thank you for helping me to do that.Kellie Illichmann Marian College, Sunshine West
The program presented to our girls was everything and more we had hoped it would be. As a school it supported our values and the vision we have for our girls to be proud, passionate and respectful young women. The impact of an outside organisation delivering the same message was very powerful. Enlighten provided a day that allowed our girls to reflect on themselves, their friendships and how they see their place in the world. It empowered them with confidence and a sense of pride and happiness within themselves. The girls loved the experience but more importantly really felt a connection with Nikki, our Enlighten presenter for the day. Her manner & tone with the girls was lovely and her enthusiasm was infectious!! The girls all loved her and felt they had made a new best friend! We will definitely have Enlighten back in the future. Thank you.Carly McLatchie, Head of Girls Middle School Haileybury Edrington
Enlighten Education is to be congratulated on such a wonderful program that is not only incredibly engaging but very relevant to young people. Dannielle’s kind and generous spirit enabled her to connect with our students and create a very warm and encouraging environment. The feedback from both our students and parents has been overwhelmingly positive. The pace of the workshops ensured that the students were completely engaged throughout the day. Thanks for providing our girls with such a wonderful opportunity.Lee-Anne Marsh, Head of Health & PE, Coordinator of Wellbeing Toorak College
Thanks for another fabulous day. Having heard so many positive reports from girls and staff who had participated previously, I was looking forward to seeing Enlighten Day first hand this year. The presentations were dynamic, in tune with the girls and informative. As I teach all of the Year 7 Health classes, it was really affirming for me to see many of the topics & concepts reiterated by other professionals and much of the discussion was followed up in the ensuing classes, where I could talk with the girls about what had happened at Enlighten Day and how it complemented what we had/were doing in class. The timing was perfect for us with friendship issues rearing their head at Year 7 after the ‘honeymoon’ period and excitement and ‘newness’ of term 1 is over.Michelle Holding, Year 7 Coordinator Strathcona Baptist Girls Grammar School