Samantha’s uniquely diverse personal, cultural and professional background have been key to the development of Conduit Education. This very diversity and her own personal journey lies at the core of her inspiration and drive to empower children to achieve their best. Samantha brings with her 25 years of international experience, moving from Australia to Asia before resettling back home in Melbourne in 2018.
Samantha comes from a multicultural, cosmopolitan family, attending international schools abroad before going to boarding school in Melbourne. An economics graduate, Samantha’s early career in banking and finance was further complemented when she was offered a scholarship to complete a Master’s of Finance. Later, Samantha pursued another postgraduate degree in human resource management, as her innate, natural talents and expertise unfolded – mentoring junior professionals across various industries.
Samantha has four sons, all conceived through IVF. These milestones speak for themselves; a testament of her strength and determination that anyone with experience of the IVF journey would understand. In 2005, Samantha’s eldest son was born, soon followed by twin brothers and finally the youngest. Finding herself with four children under the age of four, Samantha put her career on hold to focus on her family. At the age of seven, her eldest child was diagnosed with twice-exceptional Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), meaning he has exceptional ability and disability. Twice-exceptional ADD children are gifted in some way but they also face learning or developmental challenges. Children who are both gifted and challenged can be tough to understand. Samantha launched herself into the myriad of education systems, across Hong Kong, Singapore and other Asian countries (where they were based at the time), determined to navigate the various schooling systems as an international expatriate. She was an outspoken, committed advocate for her son, actively participating in workshops and educational programmes to better understand how she could support him.
Samantha worked tirelessly with schools and therapy services from around the world, from Asia to Australia and further afield in the USA and Europe. When they were based in Singapore, Samantha was fortunate to find exceptional care from an American behavioural paediatrician who specialises in ADHD. It had been a difficult transition for all Samantha’s children when her family moved from Hong Kong to Singapore; the boys having transferred from a British international school curriculum to an international IB (International Baccalaureate) school.
When her eldest son first began boarding school for Year 7 in Melbourne, the first two years were extremely challenging. Not only did he face the typical challenges of being away from home, he had to learn to manage his learning differences and anxiety issues. Prior to him starting Year 9, she began researching the Australian market for support services, discovering that Australia still has a long way to go in providing appropriate assistance for ADHD adolescents. The main challenge for her son is executive management. Samantha was specifically looking for a mentor/coach for teenagers. She interviewed almost all of the existing tutoring companies but found a significant gap in the market. There was support for children with severe special needs, as well as standard tutoring. However she found nothing in-between for highly able children with learning differences who attend regular schools that need just that bit of extra help.
After six months of intensive searching, Samantha came across Suhel, one of the few tutors she had met who had experience tutoring and mentoring ADHD teenagers. Extremely impressed with his approach and vision, she hired him to mentor her son. Several months later, they decided to collaborate their skills and experience and Conduit Education Consulting was born. Samantha and Suhel’s shared vision is to fill the market gap for educational support that focuses on the whole child; addressing students with learning differences, as well as providing mentor services to support all children throughout their academic experience.
Samantha believes that every child is unique and develops at a different rate. To effectively support a child, one must first get to know and understand the child and their family. A mentor must comprehend the child, understand their personality, and basically what motivates them. The mentor must also understand parents’ needs and collaborate to support the child. Samantha was looking for mentors who shared her own understanding and vision. From over a decade of personal experience, she knows that the mentors best equipped to help children and adolescents flourish are individuals who are not only educated and have life experience, but also possess the maturity and discernment to communicate with parents, teachers, therapists, doctors, psychologists and others in order to fully understand the child's needs. These mentors are the conduit to the child achieving their goals.
CEC is not only about providing mentors for children with learning differences. The same formula works equally with children who may need just a little extra help, or extension for gifted children with accelerated learning programmes, as well as kids on the other end of the spectrum who may be struggling in school. Samantha draws from her own invaluable experience of helping her child to ensure that yours too can receive the particular guidance and support they need along their academic journey.