|The organisation had the goal of promoting the learning needs of 20,000 students living with epilepsy. Teachers needed to gain insight on best learning methods for students with epilepsy, not just first aid.|
Michele was engaged to lead the delivery of the globally recognised Epilepsy Smart Schools program across Australia to support students living with epilepsy.
As national engagement manager for a schools’ based program, Michele worked with national partners, state and federal government departments, state-based organisations, and local communities to successfully change the practices of the schools to support students with epilepsy.
Phase 1: She created the proof of concept change model for the program development, by working in education settings and strategically influencing government departments and education bodies about emergent risks.
Phase 2: She localised stakeholder engagement and supported partner organisations to acquire skills to implement and embed new practices to deliver a national program. Her strategic marketing and PR campaign aligned with World Epilepsy Day, resulting in significant free media (circa $700k) and program uptake across Australian schools (30%). In addition, she worked with the Executive of the Epilepsy Foundation participating in numerous projects including supporting international epilepsy partners, and the release of the WHO report into Epilepsy in 2018.
This change management project required working with State and Territory Education departments, medical experts and Epilepsy Australia federation members. This resulted in national education policy change. The Epilepsy Program, which trained teachers to administer first aid and epilepsy drugs, was mandated in 5 out of the 7 states.
Over 10,000 teachers were accredited with Epilepsy Training Recognition and gained CPD points that enabled them to meet the teacher registration requirements for best practice.
Teachers gained an understanding of how epilepsy impacts on learning, and acquired a range of teaching strategies and methodologies for engaging with students who have epilepsy.
Students with epilepsy in government schools can now be more confident that they have more support from teachers who are trained to respond to their educational needs.