Meet the Team


Marian Mahat is a Senior Research Fellow at Melbourne Graduate School of Education in The University of Melbourne. She has more than twenty years of professional and academic experience, spanning several universities, the Australian Federal and local governments, as well as the private sector. Her research focuses on student learning and outcomes in various educational contexts, innovative quantitative and qualitative methodologies and interdisciplinary collaboration. She is highly passionate about building capacity and capability of academic staff at universities. She is series editor of the Surviving and Thriving in Academia and book editor of Achieving Academic Promotion and Women Thriving in Academia published by Emerald.


Joanne Blannin has taught in four countries, in three languages and has developed an in-depth understanding of learning and teaching. Her many education roles have included outdoor education curriculum director, language tutor, bilingual teacher, curriculum leader, leading teacher, teacher trainer, Victorian Department of Education & Training project officer, lecturer, and school leadership coach. Having taught in both the private and public sectors and worked with over 400 schools as a researcher/consultant, Dr Blannin now researches internationally on effective digital pedagogies & change leadership. Dr Blannin is currently Senior Lecturer in Digital Transformations at Monash University.


Ethel Villafranca is a Curator and Exhibitions Manager (Museum of Chinese Australian History), honorary academic researcher and casual academic (University of Melbourne), and lecturer (Ateneo de Manila University). She has been involved in various aspects of museum/cultural work in the Philippines, the USA, and Australia since 1998.  

She has a PhD (University of Melbourne), MA in Museology (University of Florida), and BA in Philippine Arts (UP-Manila) and has been awarded prestigious international scholarships (ie., Fulbright Scholarship, Asian Cultural Council Fellowship, Melbourne International Research Scholarship).  

Ethel has training, experience, and a strong interest in teaching deep learning in both formal (schools) and informal (museums, libraries, parks, etc.) learning environments. Her PhD research, Curated learning, identified strategies of museums for supporting student’s deep learning that school teachers can apply in their classroom practice.


Ga Young Chung is Assistant Professor of Asian American Studies and affiliated with the Cultural Studies and the School of Education at the University of California Davis. In her research, she examines the surge of dislocation, precarity, and (im)mobility in the era of uneven globalization. Centering on political activism and resistance of undocumented migrants, she unpacks how the meaning of citizenship is dismantled, rearticulated, and reassembled in the Asia-Pacific. Her scholarship is also grounded in where she is located – the university. She is investigating the new racialization of Asian student-migrants, so-called “international” students, and its impact on the other marginalized student bodies in neoliberal U.S. higher education.


Caroline Cohrssen’s work focuses on proximal influences on child learning and development in the years prior to formal school education. This encompasses the home learning environment, pedagogy in early childhood education and care settings (in particular, the teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering and mathematics), initial teacher education, and in-service teacher professional development. With a keen interest in the influence of context and culture on early childhood education, she moved to The University of Hong Kong in 2019 where she is an associate professor in the Faculty of Education. She is gaining new insights from living and working in Hong Kong SAR, building relationships with students, and collaborating with colleagues both in Hong Kong and other countries.


Jay de los Reyes is an NUS Fellow and a postdoctoral research fellow at the Department of Communications and New Media, National University of Singapore. Born and raised in the villages of the northern Philippines, Jay draws from his biography in his postdoctoral project that examines transnational connections between emigrant Filipina domestic workers in Singapore and their left behind families in rural Philippines through the lens of what he calls “global spectating”. Jay’s project hopes to offer a possible way of looking at the “mobile” and the “moored” in non-asymmetrical and covalent terms. Jay’s work has been published in Globalization, Societies and Education, and Policy Futures in Education. Jay has also received numerous scholarships and fellowships that include the Fulbright (2012), German Academic Exchange Scholarship (2017), and the NYU-Steinhardt Faculty First-Look Fellowship (2017-2018)


Priya Goel La Londe is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Hong Kong. She has a decade of experience teaching early years and primary grades, and she was a secondary school administrator. Her research examines the relationships between school reform policies, school culture, and the identities and practices of teachers and leaders. Currently, she is conducting a Hong Kong Research Grants Council funded study, based in Shanghai and Hong Kong, on the impacts of performance accountability on leadership, teaching, and school improvement.


Asma Zulfiqar is PhD candidate and research assistant at the Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) in University of Queensland. Her doctoral thesis is premised around the need to explore the social realities within which women live and the interaction that takes place between them and their environment. Asma’s project hopes to offer an understanding of how women experience the social construction of gender and navigate and negotiate with their complex relational context that influence their life choices. Prior to commencing her PhD at the University of Queensland, Asma was awarded the Australia Awards scholarship to pursue her Master’s degree in Education from the University of Melbourne in 2015. 

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