Preparing primary students for the next wave of digital innovation

26 Sep 2017


The pace of technological change is so fast that it can be difficult to imagine what will come next, let alone prepare today’s primary school students for tomorrow’s world.

Primary school teacher Marcus Mulcahy from Carrum Primary School in Victoria has just been announced as the recipient of a 2017 Churchill Fellowship sponsored by the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation. This Fellowship is awarded in honour of Nancy Fairfax who was an advocate for the value of early childhood education.

Like Nancy, Marcus is passionate about ensuring our younger generation of students has access to digital technologies and skills and will travel to the United States for seven weeks where he will visit leading educational institutions to identify innovative curriculum ideas and explore how exemplary schools are preparing their students for transition to secondary school and beyond.

“The rapid and almost mandatory need for students to understand and use technology means they need to learn skills such as coding and basic robotics to keep pace with the world evolving around them – so they need to learn them early,” Marcus said.

Marcus will also investigate the role of ‘makerspaces’, where students come together to create, invent and problem solve to develop capabilities in mathematics, science and digital technology.

“I am really looking forward to meeting with teachers from leading institutions on how they are preparing our kids for the future using leading-edge approaches including educators at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Brightworks School in San Francisco,” said Mr Mulcahy.

The Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation has generously sponsored and partnered with the Churchill Trust for over 25 years to offer Churchill Fellowships to people who are passionate about the impact education can have on the lives of children as they develop and learn.

“This Churchill Fellowship will provide Marcus with a timely opportunity to identify practical, transferable strategies that can not only be applied at his own primary school but shared widely for the benefit of all Australian schools,” said Mr Adam Davey, CEO of The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.

The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust was established in 1965 to honour the memory of Sir Winston Churchill, and fulfil his wish to offer people from all walks of life, the opportunity to travel overseas to gain new knowledge and insights and bring that back to Australia to positively impact our communities and society at large.

“This award is for anyone who feels they have exhausted alternatives within Australia and would like to see what other countries are doing successfully in a similar space to inspire new ideas, innovation, and excellence,” said Mr Davey.

No prescribed qualifications are required in order to apply for a Churchill Fellowship and the subject of the proposed project is limitless provided a benefit to Australia is evident and a willingness to share the knowledge gained with Australia is displayed.

For the full list of 2017 Churchill Fellows visit

See where a Churchill Fellowship can take you…apply from 1 February 2018.

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