The Empower Team

Cluster Leaders

Dr Karena Menzie-Ballantyne, Senior Lecturer, School of Education and the Arts

Dr Karena Menzie-Ballantyne has extensive experience teaching and researching in the fields of global competence and global and active citizenship, at both school and tertiary levels and in the not-for-profit sector. Karena currently works as a lecturer in pre-service teacher education particularly in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Her doctoral studies compared the reports of adolescents engaged in a two-year active citizenship project to the knowledge, skills, values, attitudes, and actions identified as necessary for global citizenship. Karena is currently working with her research partner Dr Miriam Ham examining classroom teachers’ interpretations of global competence and with the Queensland Department of Education International on their Global Competence Pilot Program


Dr Miriam Ham, Senior Lecturer, School of Education and the Arts

Miriam is a Senior Lecturer in the College of Education on the Cairns campus of CQUniversity. She is the Postgraduate Research Coordinator for the school of Education and the Arts. She was awarded a Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Exemplary Practice in Learning and Teaching for 2020 and the Australian College of Educators FNQ Tertiary Educator Excellence in Education Award for 2022. Her passion is working with teachers improve their agentic response to identified problems specific to their context. She works with teachers both nationally and internationally, through Empower. Her current research projects focus on and exploring how teachers define and teach skills of global competence in their classrooms.  



Professor Stephen Dobson

Dr Michael Hewson

Dr Malcolm Burton


Trixie James – PhD

Joel Buchholz

Chantelle Kohn

Marini Budiarti – PhD

Claire Laundy - EdD

Saba Fahim - Masters

Nur  - PhD

Chris Higgins - PhD

Chris Higgins is Director - Education at the Asia Education Foundation, with extensive experience in ed-tech, student and professional learning program design and facilitation. He currently works with educators and students across 23 Asia-Pacific nations.

Misbah Samar - PhD

I am Misbah Samar. I am a dual citizen of Australia and Pakistan and currently I am doing a PhD on approaches that teachers use to develop global competence in primary school students.

Empower team video


Education worldwide is governed by policies  that are created by a certain group of people these people live in the UK or Europe or America  and the policies that they make actually affect everybody across the world in Asia in Africa in  South America but their voices are silenced in contributing to how that policy might be enacted  in their context. Our work with Empower deals directly with people who are in the global South -  people in Indonesia Malaysia Nepal and in Pakistan. Hello I'm Saba Fahim and I'm studying Master of  Research at CQU. One should be a technologically focused and globally competent - the world is now  very advanced so I want my country people to be globally competent and to progress, that we will  keep pace with other countries of the world as well. We work with teachers who are implementing  these policies designed in the global North and try to contextualise them to their space. We  help them work out how it might work better for them and their students to get the best  outcomes so that children are equipped to work anywhere in the world and understand the world  that they live in and contribute to that space.