When the world throws existential issues at us, left, right and centre, people who study humanities answer the call. 


Global Warming! Inflation! Human Rights! - It will be the thinkers, the behavioural economists, the demographic analysts, the political scientists, the activists, the policy makers, the historians and those that understand our complex human nature and impact that will be best placed to address and resolve the challenges facing humanity.


2024 promises to be a big year in our faculty. As we prepare for a widely covered US election, a turning point in big-tech and A.I. regulation, continuing global supply-chain issues and a looming housing crisis, our staff are continually adapting their teaching so that McKinnon students can understand, explore and think critically about these major challenges.


The humanities faculty comprises four sub-faculty streams of History (7-12), Geography (7-12), Commerce (10-12) and Politics (10-12), with Commerce offering multiple subjects at VCE (Business Management, Legal Studies, Accounting and Economics). We also are running VCE Philosophy for the first time this year. 


As the new Key Learning Area Manager, I have the privilege of overseeing the amazing work that is done in our faculty: assembling amazing teaching and learning activities, ensuring that industry practices and skills are embedded in our curriculum, encouraging compassion and worldliness in our students and building a sense of community and respect for others. 


The desire for humanities-based skills is growing in the global workforce as communication, interaction and inter-cultural understanding become industry must-haves. Our staff are extremely excited to provide our students with those future-proof skills and are eagerly waiting to share many hands-on experiences, excursions and workshops along with their expert knowledge. We have broadened that experience and expertise this year through the addition of eight brand new staff to the humanities team. I’d like to formally introduce them:


McKinnon Road Campus

  • Nesrene Barakat - History/English
  • Sarah Jolly - Geography/Maths
  • Anthony Quon - Geography/English
  • Danielle Shmerling - Commerce/History
  • Hania Zahra - Economics/History 
  • Aphrodite Athanasi                 - Commerce/Geography

East Campus

  • Jasen Couttiguane - Geography
  • Elisha Lappen - Geography/History
  • Elisa Carson - English/History

We also welcome a couple of our long-time teachers into the humanities faculty for the first time:

  • Peter Hunt - VCE Philosophy
  • Riley Price - VCE Economics

Finally, I would like to thank our outgoing KLA managers - Phil O’Brien and Angela Masterson for their dedicated stewardship of the faculty over a very challenging time. They are both taking up new roles within the school with Angela joining the Year 7 Student Management team and Phil dedicating his time to overseeing the school’s CIS accreditation process. I thank them for the wonderful work they did in supporting the work of our incredible staff.


Let’s get ready for a huge 2024 in McKHums. 


The Melbourne Holocaust Museum (MHM) is an important partner of McKinnon Secondary College as we continue to develop our Holocaust education to suit the needs of our community as to help fulfil the Victorian government’s aim of providing every student in Victoria with Holocaust Education.


Late in 2022, our Year 10 History staff undertook intensive professional development with the MHM and began a beautiful collaboration with MHM staff. This relationship has provided us with the support to develop our Holocaust education across the school with a pilot program initiated by Lauren Maserow with her Year 7 English class last year, a Holocaust unit embedded in Year 9 Wisdom and Service, and an in-depth study in Years 10 and 11 History. Our Year 10 History Cohort will be visiting the centre again this year as they learn about the Holocaust as part of their course. 


At the end of 2023, we were invited to attend an educator’s night to celebrate this relationship and to learn about some of the work being done at the MHM that can help inform the further development of our curriculum. The highlight was seeing the exhibition “Hidden: Seven Children Saved” where visitors are guided through concepts of prejudice and the importance of standing up for others through the experiences of seven child survivors of the Holocaust, who all attributed their survival to the kindness of others.

The night was attended by Jonathan Jhoomun, Lauren Maserow, Sofija Plavsic and myself. Immediately after, we were already discussing ways that we can use the MHM resources to better teach about the Holocaust. We look forward to enrolling more Humanities staff into the professional development program as we continue our strong relationship with the team at MHM.

Joshua Cukierman
Joshua Cukierman

Joshua Cukierman

Humanities KLA Manager