Initiatives of Change Australia (IofCA) begins the new year with a new Executive Officer, Margaret Hepworth, who started work on 11 January.
Margaret is a teacher and educator who has held leadership roles in educational institutions in Victoria. She was previously Head of Campus at The Preshil School, an independent, progressive school in Melbourne, and Assistant Principal at the Berry Street School for at-risk youth. She has been a long-term contributor to the work of IofC in Australia and India.
Margaret founded the independent peace education initiative, The Gandhi Experiment, in 2014, with a vision of world peace through education. For the last seven years, her work in global citizenship and ethical leadership has taken her across Australia and India, and into Pakistan, Indonesia, China and Fiji. In 2016, she received the Sir John Monash Award for Inspirational Women’s Leadership. In 2019 she received the India Australia Business Community Award for Community Achievement Excellence.
In her education work, Margaret created the methodologies of ‘Positive Reality’ and ‘Collaborative Debating’, and has authored several books, including The Gandhi Experiment—Teaching our teenagers how to become global citizens and Collaborative Debating.
‘A new and most exciting period’
In a welcome message from the IofCA community, IofCA Chair Paul Ntoumos noted Margaret’s strong sense of social equity and people-centred leadership qualities.
He highlighted that her experience of taking trust-building and peacebuilding work into the community and her experience of working with diverse groups of people—multicultural, multi-faith and intergenerational—will be key to taking forward the work of IofC in “a new and most exciting period for IofCA.”
While IofC Australia continues with our flagship programs of Life Matters and Creators of Peace in 2021, the organization is also developing ‘Our Uluru Response’, a two-phase project for truth telling and truth hearing about Australia’s Indigenous past and present, and helping us heed the call to respond to the Uluru Statement of the Heart.
Margaret is enthusiastic for the new opportunities that are currently opening up. “Excitement and productive, mindful activity abound,” she said. “This is an opportunity for all Australians to step up to healing, reconciliation and movement forward.”
- More information on ways to get involved in Our Uluru Response will be up on the website soon. Watch this space!