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Empowering young people, educators & schools to realise their full potential.

by Alyssa Burns, Program Manager, Future Anything

Alyssa joined the Future Anything team in early 2024. In this, her first blog, she unpacks her ‘why ‘ and shares how she’s excited to support young people to develop essential skills for success beyond the classroom.

If you were fortunate enough to attend Future Anything’s inaugural Future Fest teacher professional development conference earlier this month, you would’ve seen how much our CEO and my colleague Nicole Dyson had the hundred-plus educators in the room all moving and mingling right out of the gate as we each shared our ‘why’.

Besides the holidays and love for late-night marking, Nic challenged us to dig deep into the real reason we’re educators.

I love this question! It always hits home and centres me in the moments when it all starts to feel a little overwhelming.

My why is simple – to help young people better understand their passions and skills, and the value they bring beyond the classroom and into the future as global citizens.

In fact, it’s with that in mind that I start this exciting journey as a Program Manager at Future Anything, eager to share my passion for innovative education with educators in our schools across Australia.

With over a decade of experience in education, I’ve dedicated my career to fostering innovation, empowering educators, and nurturing the next generation of young people. My passion lies in the development and implementation of enterprising classrooms that embrace Project-Based Learning (PBL) curriculum, design thinking and a possibility mindset, which I know are essential in preparing our young people for the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow.

Having served in diverse leadership roles in both primary and secondary schools, I’ve seen first-hand the importance of authentic professional learning for educators. I’ve had the privilege of leading initiatives focused on innovation, pathways, mentoring, and pastoral care, all aimed at creating supportive and future-focused learning environments.

One highlight of my teaching career has been teaching Future Anything’s award-winning Activate curriculum in the classroom. Teaching Activate was a rewarding experience, seeing students engage with real-world challenges, collaborate creatively, and develop essential skills for success beyond the classroom.

Beyond education, I’m proud to be actively involved in the community as a board member of a non-profit organisation, and my love for travel leaves me planning the next trip while I’m on the flight home from the current one. When I’m at home in Brisbane, I love to relax with a book by the beach or take a long walk on the river.

As a Program Manager at Future Anything, I’m beyond excited to bring my experience to support young people, educators, and schools in realising their full potential. Together, I know we’ll explore new possibilities, inspire innovation, and empower the next generation of changemakers.

About the author: Alyssa Burns

Alyssa Burns is an experienced leader in education, with particular expertise in the development and implementation of Project-Based Learning curriculum and academic mentoring programs.

With more than ten years’ experience in independent primary and secondary schools, Alyssa has a passion for the authentic professional development of educators, and creating successful, engaging and future-focused student programs.

As a Future Anything Program Manager, Alyssa brings her knowledge and experience to support young people, educators, and schools as they engage with our portfolio of programs.

Future Anything’s Activate in-curriculum program and student workshops build confident communicators of all ages, by empowering young people to develop, and then persuasively pitch, innovative social enterprise solutions to the problems they care about.

Find out more about our programs here.

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