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  • intouch Magazine

Designing the Future at Macquarie College

Louise Whitaker, Design Thinking Leader at MC; Rohan Deanshaw, Principal at Macquarie College; Tonia Bentley, Deputy Principal MC; Laura McBain, Stanford; David Runge, Future Schools; Louie Montoya, Stanford

Macquarie College and Stanford University forge a new, design-thinking-based approach to learning.


In July, Macquarie College hosted fifteen schools from across Australia for their inaugural Design Thinking workshop, facilitated by the faculty of Stanford’s This workshop created a fantastic opportunity and platform for educators across Australia to accelerate innovation at a local level and receive professional training from world-leading experts. Participants were able to enjoy fresh and delicious food each day from MC Eats, the Macquarie College plant-based, sustainable canteen which has been developed using design thinking principles over the past two years and recently received kudos from Finnish education thought leader Professor Pasi Sahlberg.

As part of an expanding network of future-focused schools, Macquarie College is committed not only to resourcing its own staff and students but also education as a whole. Their vision includes opening a purpose-built design institute in late 2024 to serve as an innovation hub with student outcomes and opportunities at the centre.

“Together, we are reimagining the future of learning and education in Australia,” says Deputy Principal Tonia Bentley.

Since 2019, Macquarie College has partnered with Stanford University's to implement design thinking methodology across all key learning areas within their school. Backed by over 30 years of research, the faculty from Stanford has established a clear correlation between design thinking and academic excellence.

The design thinking methodology is a human-centered problem-solving approach that empowers teachers and students to challenge assumptions, confront challenges, and innovate solutions. By challenging, probing and reframing the problem statement at hand, design thinking offers a unique opportunity to unearth creative solutions and reshape the world we live in and the experiences of those around us.

Principal Rohan Deanshaw of Macquarie College believes that the partnership with Stanford's is instrumental in shaping the future of the students and ensuring their success in a rapidly changing world. He emphasises that the aim is to equip students with skills and dispositions that are necessary for success in an emerging community and workplace environment, both locally and globally.

Macquarie College aims to provide students from Preschool right through to Year 12 with locally relevant and globally significant learning programs that equip them with the necessary skills and dispositions to succeed in the communities and workplaces of the future.


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