Stephen has over 25 years language teaching experience, ranging from K-12 (public and private) to TAFE, ATWEA (formerly WEA) and Newcastle University. Stephen lived in Japan with his wife and children for about ten years until 2002. During that time, he received black belts in two martial arts, studied calligraphy and was a respected member of the teaching team at the elite Tōkō Gakuen High School in Kawasaki City.
As EFL Coordinator and responsible for the living English curriculum for Years 7 through 12, he taught English to Middle School and Senior School, ran English Club and taught homestay English in preparation for annual school trips to the USA.
Since returning to Australia, Stephen developed an eclectic martial arts system that engages a wide range of young people. The syllabus requires not only martial arts skill, but also an increasing level of Japanese language, wider Asian cultural awareness, social development, and mentoring responsibilities.
Stephen established the Japanese Cultural Society (JCS), based on the above system, and benefits of JCS activities were first recognised by the New South Wales Department of Education in 2005. He has been an accredited coach with the Martial Arts Industry Association since 2005.
From among the awards for which he has been a nominee over his teaching career, Stephen received the inaugural Outstanding Educator Award from the Modern Language Teachers Association NSW in 2016. He was soon after appointed as a member of the MLTANSW Committee.
An academic scholarship recipient during his undergraduate years, Stephen would later receive funding from the Japan Foundation to present at a national symposium at Melbourne University as a language education expert. Other noted professional contributions include seminar presentation for AIS.
As Head of Japanese at St Philip's Christian College from 2011 to 2016, Stephen connected PDHPE with language through martial arts and worked passionately to see healthy house spirit as Housemaster at that campus until December 2016.
Since 2002, Stephen has taught a wide range of subjects in NSW. In addition to work in his home city of Newcastle, his impact as an educator has extended from schools as far south as regional Taree in the north, and schools in the Port Stephens, Muswellbrook, Cessnock, and Dungog areas.
Although having taught in a number of out-of-field areas, Stephen’s passion has remained in the disciplines of Language, Humanities, and Careers. He has also served schools in welfare and wellbeing support roles. His evolving Careers advisory and consultancy roles are the successful culmination of many years in education and a vast variety of world (life) experience.
Stephen enjoys eating out, art, design, and language. Stephen enjoys listening to an eclectic mix of music, including Folk Metal, late 80s and early 90s music. He loves teaching and is intrinsically motivated. His passion drives his work and vice versa. He is most interested in the long-term achievements of his students. As such, he is dedicated to helping his individual students to overcome personal barriers the idea of helping them define, achieve, and enjoy personal levels of success.
A native of Tōkyō, Mika has approximately 20 years of experience as a Japanese chef in Australia. She holds a 2nd Dan in Shodō (brush calligraphy) and a teacher’s license in Sadō (Japanese tea ceremony).
She is the main coordinator of Global Language and Culture programmes relating to Japanese food preparation, Shodō, Sadō and origami.
She has conducted cultural incursions into schools and has also taught Japanese in the Australian school system.
Mika enjoys eating out, loves animals and plants, and is interested in nutrition and home design. She has an easy-going personality with a caring concern for all people.
She is committed to helping Australians appreciate Japanese culture and loves connecting Australia with Japan.
Gene is a black belt in the Shikishimakan Dōjō and the main assistant for GLAC incursions. Educated in Japan during his earlier years, Gene is bilingual (Japanese/English) and is the grandson of a local full contact Karate instructor. He is also a graduate of the Newcastle Conservatorium of Music. He continues to evolve as a talented musician while developing his knowledge and skills within the scope of GLAC activities.
Nate is the director of social media for GLAC. He is an accredited primary school teacher and has over 18 years experience in various children's programs. He has a desire to help children and youth see their full potential in life and views GLAC as a catalyst for this to happen.
One of the first Shikishimakan students to become accredited as an instructor by the MAIA, Jessica is one of the oldest students in the system. A graduate of Fine Arts, she is the main artistic advisor to GLAC.