Who we are
Teachers Across Borders Australia is a group of motivated Australian educators who help bring learning and teaching to life in Cambodian classrooms. A shared love of Cambodia, Teaching and Learning and authentic cultural exchange is what connects us. We volunteer our time, talent and treasure to create opportunities that empower ourselves and our Cambodian colleagues. Together with our Cambodian colleagues we share a commitment to:
Sustainable Development Goal (Goal 4) of “Quality Education”
the United Nations conventions (1989) on the rights of the child
We operate as a non-denominational, not-for-profit organisation. Our board meets and operates out of Melbourne, Australia, we welcome volunteers from across Australia and around the world.
Jem is a practicing English and Media Studies high school teacher. She has been teaching for 13 years and is currently in a leadership role at Buckley Park College in Essendon, Victoria. Jem first learned about Cambodia when she had to teach the text “Little Brother” by Allan Baillie to a class of Year 7 English students. She then travelled there on her honeymoon in 2012, where she fell in love with the country and its people. She first joined Teachers Across Borders Australia as a workshop co-presenter (with her husband, Steve Kolber) in 2012 and joined the Board in 2015. She has co-presented a number of times in a number of locations in Cambodia and is being mentored by long-serving Board member Susie Lachal to take over the Kampong Thom program as of January 2022.
Michele is an educator with technical expertise in the design and evaluation of targeted school programs, as well as system level expertise with implementing Professional Learning Communities, school-university partnerships, co-designing leadership capacity building programs, governance and accountability projects and redeveloping compliance and school improvement frameworks. Presently, she is an initial teacher education course accreditation panel member for the peak body AITSL. She has facilitated international workshops on pedagogy for aspirant college level students and currently serves as an active Board and Committee member for the education based not-for-profit organisation, Teachers Across Borders. Her love for education and policy has seen her attend conferences, present papers and visit schools across a variety of systems including; Indonesia, Cambodia, India, Mauritius, China and New Zealand, along with research study tours to Germany, Finland, Norway, Singapore and the U.K. She has strong client relations across a variety of public and private sectors at a federal, state and local level and was a finalist for the prestigious Victorian Young Achievers Award for her work with improving student engagement and wellbeing. ... see more
Steven Kolber is a proud public Government school teacher who has been teaching English, History and English as an additional language for 10 years. He is passionate about teacher collaboration which he supports through organising Teach Meets, running #edureading (an online academic reading group), being part of the #AussieED twitter group and taking groups of teachers to Cambodia to run teacher development workshops with Teachers Across Borders Australia. He leverages technology to share teaching ideas and develop teachers through the ‘Teachers Educational Review’ podcast and his own YouTube channel ‘Mr Kolber’s Teaching’. He is a passionate advocate for inclusive teaching practices, through differentiation, Individual Learning Plans and assistive technology to include all students in mainstream schools.
Marita is an experienced English, Digital Technologies and Special Needs teacher. She has been teaching enthusiastically for just over thirty years. Marita attended the first-ever Teachers Across Borders workshop program in Battambang and has returned to participate in programs Phnom Penh, Kampong Cham and Kampong Thom. Teachers Across Borders has connected Marita to others with a passion for teaching & learning. Teacher training workshops sow seeds for a better future, opening up opportunities for access to quality education. Workshops are challenging and satisfying for presenters, translators and participants. The perfect environment to meet inspiring people.
Geoff Hayhow has recently retired from full time work after 37 years as a teacher and leader in education. He intends to develop a consultancy based around Recruitment, Team building and Coaching.
Geoff has qualifications of Bachelor of Education in Creative Arts and a Masters of Educational Management with a focus on Human Resources Management. His last role of was Director of People and Culture at Westbourne Grammar School.
Geoff is an experienced teacher of music with 37 years’ experience. During that time, he has taught music in the classroom from year 5 to the VCE level and Brass instruments, his major being the trombone. Geoff is also an examiner for the VCAA in Music Performance and Investigation.
Geoff was Director of Music for 15 years at Westbourne Grammar school. During his tenure at Westbourne Grammar he was awarded the Westfield Premier’s scholarship to travel and study school and community partnership in the USA, Europe and the UK. He also undertook a teaching exchange to the prestigious Chetham’s specialist music school in Manchester, Britain.
Geoff has been involved with Teachers Across Borders for the last 6 years running a workshop with trainee teachers in music based curricula.
Apart from music Geoff has a passion for cooking and photography and continues to endeavour to improve his golfing and Baseball sporting skills.