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.