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Our mission is to nurture young people who will use their unique brilliance to make the world a better place.

We help students become big thinkers, communicators, leaders and innovators.

Big Thinkers

...who are curious, creative, critical thinkers and knowledge seekers.


...who are caring, respectful and have great people skills.


...who explore new

concepts, generate

bright ideas and

creative solutions.


...who speak up

courageously, share

their talents and

make a difference.

Our Values

Lifelong Learning: We are committed to ongoing learning and we value the process of learning as much as the outcomes.


Empathy: We strive to be caring and compassionate people who communicate and connect well with others.


Diversity: We celebrate the unique strengths, talents and brilliance of every individual.


Contribution: We strive to make a difference and help make the world a better place.


Innovation: We are creative, forward-thinking people who seek to solve problems and explore new ideas.

"My father used to say, 'don't raise your voice,
improve your argument'."


Meet Lesli

Coming soon! Find out about how Rise & Shine started and read about Lesli's exciting journey into the world of debating and building a remarkable organisation. Stay tuned for a tale of adventure and making a difference...

Meet The Team

Saani Bennetts
Coach, Adjudicator
(Photo coming soon)

Saani Bennetts is a creative genius, wordweaver and avid bookworm with a not-so-secret love of board games and 13 niblings. A teacher by trade, she is wildly enthusiastic about leading-edge and holistic education. Her passion for cultivating deep thinking skills and bringing learning to life is evident in her Rise & Shine classes. She will also recite Roald Dahl poetry if you ask nicely.


Becca Martin

Coach, Adjudicator

(Photo coming soon)


Becca fell in love with debating in high school, and envies Rise & Shine students who get to start even younger. A passionate and energetic public speaker, Becca cites debating as the source of the research and writing skills that have made academia a lifelong joy. She dislikes confrontation, and fervently believes that most of the world's problems could be solved by better communication. When not debating she can be found walking the fine line between fantasy and reality.

Helene Fisher


(Photo coming soon)


A retired English teacher and teacher-librarian, Helene loves to draw out students’ creativity while supporting their learning with tools for thinking critically.

Her greatest joy is in seeing students’ increasing confidence as they practice an added debating skill for their toolbox. She also has a great time talking with trees.

Sonia Kaleb


(Photo coming soon)


Sonia is thankful to be an Australian citizen living here in WA. Her career has included teaching English and promoting creative writing. Sonia's favourite activities are walking the trails of Point Walter Reserve, practicing yoga, reading, creating new recipes, and meeting with friends. She finds it a pleasure to see how the practice of debating skills gives confidence to young people.

Kirsty MacDonald


(Photo coming soon)


Kirsty is passionately interested in everything, which frequently gets her into trouble but makes her a very good adjudicator. When not working with Rise & Shine students, she can be found singing her heart out and playing her ukulele, 'Daisy.'

Kirsty loves nothing more than seeing students demonstrate critical thinking and leadership skills. 

Elizabeth Po


(Photo coming soon)


Information coming soon.

Edward Taylor


(Photo coming soon)


For me, cooking, eating, then washing up isn't just a list in chronological order; it's also the order of enjoyment in those tasks. Organised debating is vital for the civil function of our world. It teaches transferable skills - in addition to teamwork, perseverance, and self-evaluation, debating also teaches lateral thinking, research practices, and a love of understanding.

Interested in becoming a debating coach or adjudicator?
Drop us a line and we'll send you more details.

Join Our Team

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