Meet our recruiters

We’re here to discuss your ambitions and plans, and help you put your best foot forward in your Leadership Development Program application. If you want to find out more about the program, you can reach out to the recruiter in your state, or the one who seems like the best fit for you.

Taylor Clark, Recruitment and Advocacy Manager

Taylor Clark

Hi, I’m Taylor, the Recruitment and Advocacy Manager for Victoria. I work with Victorian graduates and career changers who want to make a positive impact through their work.

I’m passionate about helping career changers navigate their path, because I also made the hard but wonderful choice to change roles to pursue my vocation. I finished an undergraduate degree in Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Interior Architecture in 2015, funded by the Curtin University ‘Create Your Future Scholarship’. However, through my degree, I became interested in social justice, and so focused my design work and honours thesis on poverty, housing, culture, and community engagement in the South Pacific.

The time I spent in Fiji with the Community Support Network made me realise that my passion didn’t lie in design itself, but rather the communities in which I was working, and so after completing a Master of Human Rights in 2016, I worked in India and Perth, before joining Teach For Australia in 2018.

I am deeply involved in the mission of Teach For Australia, and am driven to help professionals with leadership experience and potential use their talents in the classroom. The reason I work hard to find the right people is because I graduated from one of our partner schools in WA and I understand the incredible impact a teacher can have. They opened doors for me that I did not even realise were closed.

I also volunteer with youth in in Dandenong each week. For me, they keep it real – when I’m finding candidates for the Leadership Development Program I think about them and want to find people who have the desire and drive make a difference in their lives.

So if you think you would like to make a change, give me a call. I am an extreme extravert, love getting to know people, and would love to talk to you about your career and where Teach For Australia and the Leadership Development Program might take you.

Ricki Willis, Recruitment and Advocacy Manager WA

Ricki Willis

Hi, I’m Ricki, I’m Teach For Australia’s WA Recruitment and Advocacy Manager, and I’m a millennial in almost every way. When I’m not grooming my beard, rocking a great flannel shirt, or listening to my latest music discovery, you’ll find me travelling around the west end of the country advocating for educational equity.

I am a passionate advocate, but my background is different than you might expect; I’m actually an engineer by trade. I grew up on the east coast, where I studied mechanical engineering, worked as a maintenance engineer at an Aluminium Smelter and worked as a consulting engineer designing power stations and commercial HVAC systems around the country, generating many megawatts of power and cooling.

Initially, my interest in equitable education was very much from an engineer’s perspective. As a fan of the Pareto Principle, I was immediately drawn to the massive potential to do good by improving access to education in low-SES communities.

However in the long term it’s absolutely the personal aspect that has kept my passion high; hearing Alumni of our Leadership Development Program discuss their experiences, drawing on my own personal teaching wins, and meeting the talented candidates who want to develop and contribute to education, all keep me loving my work, day in and day out.

If you’d like to talk, please reach out for a chat! I love nothing more than talking about education and Teach For Australia and what the opportunity to teach, learn from and develop in our schools can lead to in your career.

Melanie Symonds, Recruitment and Advocacy Manager VIC/TAS

Melanie Symonds

Hi, I’m Mel, and I work with Victorian and Tasmanian candidates to find and encourage the best future teachers and leaders for students in schools across the country. I work with students of Monash, the University of Melbourne and the University of Tasmania who want to use their experiences and abilities to open up opportunities for all students in Australia.

This is something that I’ve cared about for a long time. I started my career as a teacher, when I taught students in low socioeconomic communities in Australia and London. I loved working with students from many different backgrounds and abilities, and this experience showed me how important it is that children have the best possible education. When you come to school to learn in English, but your parents don’t yet speak the language, your teacher becomes a key part of your success.

I believe that all students in Australia deserve a talented teacher, and I also believe that teaching is one of the best jobs you can do if you want to work for the greatest good, and have the most fun doing it.

If you want to hear more about how the Leadership Development Program and how you can contribute, while being part of a vibrant, creative and ambitious profession, give me a call. I’d love to answer your questions about teaching and Teach For Australia.

Carolina Modesto, Recruitment and Advocacy Manager NSW/ACT

Carolina Modesto

Hi, I’m Carolina. I’m very lucky to combine my adventurous nature with my passion for community and education as I advocate and recruit leaders for Teach For Australia from NSW and the ACT.

What do I love about my job at Teach For Australia? The opportunity to learn and engage with passionate and committed people who want to transform the world through education!

One thing people notice about me is my determination and positivity, and that led me from my career in communications in Brazil, where I worked with multinational companies such as Hasbro Inc. and Itau-Unibanco, to completing a Masters of Development Studies at the University of Melbourne on a full Endeavour Postgraduate Scholarship.

I’ve been excited about the possibility of education to change people’s lives since I taught English to students in schools serving disadvantaged communities in Sao Paolo. While I was there, I saw the difference an education and a teacher could make. In that situation, learning skills like speaking English can make a real difference to a family’s future. And the same thing is true in Australia.

That’s why I want to find people who care about opening up pathways for Australian students. Education brought me to Australia – I wonder where the education you give to students will take them.

If you’d like to talk, please reach out for a chat! I love nothing more than talking about education and Teach For Australia and what you could learn and contribute through the Leadership Development Program.

Sushen Porter, Recruitment and Advocacy Manager QLD/NT/SA

Sushen Porter

Hi, I’m Sushen, the Recruitment Team Manager. I also look after recruitment for Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory and I’m a man of few words. One thing I do care about and can talk a lot about though is applying ambition to altruism – in particular, to educational equity.

I’m from a regional town in South Australia, and while I had a relatively traditional approach to education, I didn’t have the opportunities that some people enjoyed; my family couldn’t afford to send me to Uni so when I finished school I knew what I had to do. I moved to Adelaide where I worked my way into leadership positions while putting myself through Uni.

It took a lot of hard work and sacrifice but I eventually graduated with a Bachelor of Human Resources and worked as a part of the leadership team at News Corp, leading a team of 20 sales professionals.

Although I didn’t have the opportunities that some people had, it was my school experience that motivated me. Unlikely mentors meant that I wanted to work hard and learn the skills I needed to make a choice about my future – to be in control of it. And that’s why I’m so excited about finding driven and enthusiastic people who can make the same choice possible for others.

I’m driven to achieve my goals, whether that’s running an ultra-marathon, coaching a sales team to success, or finding our next Cohort of talented, compassionate and hard-working Associates. So if you would like to find out more, give me a call to talk about the Leadership Development Program and how you can achieve ambitious results for your future students.