Ashley Van Krieken, Director of the Yarra Ranges Tech School, has a strong interest in teaching and education. He is passionate about engaging students early on in their education to ensure that they understand and can appreciate the role that studies in the sciences provide. With a zest for the sciences himself, Ashley leverages and uses his previous roles to continue to evolve the programs available at Yarra Ranges Tech School.
Announced in June 2021, Ashley became the newest Staff Elected Board Director at Box Hill Institute. “I’m interested to understand and have input into the strategic direction of Box Hill Institute,” he said. “We are on the verge of a major education change. I want to have some input into this and influence it with the experience I have,” he adds. Ashley feels that with the continued collaboration that he does with his team across many faculties, he has the fortune of getting a bird’s eye view on what’s happening across the business. “It’s with this holistic view, I feel like I can add so much more to the role.”
Almost 15 years ago, Ashley was travelling extensively with his role with the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM), a professional association representing all people in the mining industry. This role renewed his love for history, science and economics, subjects that he flourished in at school.
“It was like a rock jumped up and bit me, reigniting my love for geoscience,” Ashley said, beaming while reminiscing of the experience. It was hardly surprising that he pursued these areas of passion with this revelation, beginning to study his degree in geoscience at Monash University from 2010 and graduating with his Honours Degree of Bachelor of Science, Geoscience in 2013. “Geology is a mix of all skillsets; makes it very powerful and it’s part of the reason why I enjoy it so much.”
Armed with this thirst for sharing knowledge, Ashley began working at the John Monash Science School, as the Strategic Partnerships and Initiatives Manager. As part of this role, he became involved in managing Emerging Sciences Victoria, a program designed for high achieving secondary students to receive access to specialised STEM subjects through a virtual classroom. “It’s here I formed my love and appreciation for the partnerships that occur between tertiary providers and secondary schools.”
As with these previous work experiences, Ashley is hyper aware and mindful of the innovation, technological and social impacts of this learning. Keen to help ease any fear associated with technology and breaking down the myths, it’s obvious to anyone that has had the fortune of conversing with him that Ashley’s passion and enthusiasm is in everything he does.
Since April 2019, Ashley has been the director of the Yarra Ranges Tech School. “I think that the Tech School initiative is a fantastic approach in engaging students and teachers with industry and its future trends. There’s so many elements happening across the Tech School, I enjoy leveraging this, including the existing elements where I can,” he said. He is proud of the way the Yarra Ranges Tech School interacts and works with other faculties. Keeping Student at the Heart in mind, he comments, “Students reap the benefits.”
Join us in congratulating Ashley on his recent appointment.