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Passion Keeps Sabrina Li Optimistic

"What keeps me optimistic?  I am very passionate about what I do, and I understand great things can't be achieved by one person and really need a group of excellent people who are extremely good at what they do to move forward together. When I work with those great people, I feel I can free myself and literally fall in love with the process of solving problems each day and never give up our dreams. So failure should never define us, and there is nothing we cannot conquer together."

That's what Sabrina Li told me when I asked her what makes her optimistic.

Sabrina Li is a teacher, entrepreneur and educational leader.  This year, she was recognised as one of the Top 40 under 40 Most Influential Asian Australians working in education by Asialink.

“I was raised in China, where studies focus on exams and grades,” Sabrina says. “Lacking inspiration and engagement, I pursued Australian postgraduate education in a leading tertiary institution to be suitably inspired by the capacity of the Australian education system to develop character."

Sabrina is the International Student Coordinator and a Senior Chinese Language Teacher at St Margaret’s Berwick Grammar School. She has established an International Students’ Study Tours program, which created new relationships and connections for the school – and generated a new study stream.

The school now has as a short-term study abroad program for Chinese students to experience between one and two weeks in an Australian school and to foster cross-cultural awareness.

“In addition, the program sends staff to China for short-term teaching assignments to improve their pedagogy,” Sabrina says. “The program has had strong initial success with over 300 students and 20 staff participating in 2019. Beyond COVID, the intention is to re-establish and extend this program to other locations in South-East Asia.”

Sabrina has co-founded a start-up called International STEM Education (ISE) in 2019, using a federal grant. ISE focuses on bringing programs to underprivileged schools and international students looking to experience STEM-based learning in Australia.

This year, Sabrina has also launched Guanxi Academy, which is an educational tool aimed at bridging  the gap between Chinese and Australian students.

“Our vision is to improve learning outcomes by providing all students with a collaborative digital environment that is unrestricted by geographic, economic or social boundaries,” Sabrin says.

“Students will use our 3D game environment to learn and earn game tokens while completing classroom assignments and exploring potential career pathways. With a little help from ‘Huo Ban’, our in-game learning companion, students will be guided on a personalised path from any starting point to any learning goal.”



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