Press Release


Press Release


Melbourne, Australia



Margaret Hepworth, creator of Collaborative Debating, is teaching non-adversarial debating in schools across Melbourne. She says it is time our politicians learnt it too.

The fresh faces of keen Collaborative Debaters

The fresh faces of keen Collaborative Debaters

 “With Primary school students being removed from Parliamentary question time due to the poor behavior of our politicians; with the ‘dirty tactics’ used in the Wentworth by-election; regarding name calling and deriding of an opposing party as acceptable, it is more than high time we changed debating methodology in our schools because this is how politicians were taught to do what they do”, says Hepworth, a teacher of 30 year

Hepworth’s new debating methodology has been lauded in Melbourne schools:

“She is a fabulous presenter with vast knowledge and skills. It was very successful.” Louise Willis, Carey Grammar

“I learnt through Collaborative Debating how much more respectful and beneficial it is to work collaboratively.” 15 year old student

The idea of Collaborative Debating is much better since it isn’t about fighting the opposition but more about coming to an agreement.
— 16 year old student

Hepworth is available for interviews, and you can hear from the secondary students themselves, sharing their Collaborative Debating experience, and discussing their desire to see change with current political debate.

“Our young people learn respectful ways to listen and engage with opposing viewpoints. To evolve to be a more inclusive and informed society, we need to change some of the structures by which we learn. Our politicians plan how to tear their opposition down. Why aren’t they planning together how to solve the country’s problems?” Hepworth poignantly asks.

“Collaborative Debating is a useful tool for our community to learn how to tackle the big issues in a way that promotes solutions over winning. This could help our leaders of tomorrow to become more active citizens and thoughtful decision makers.” Hannah, teacher at Templestowe College


Margaret Hepworth, creator of Collaborative Debating and founder of The Gandhi Experiment

Margaret Hepworth, creator of Collaborative Debating and founder of The Gandhi Experiment

Margaret Hepworth

0422 154 875

Hepworth is the 2016 recipient of the Sir John Monash award for Inspirational Women’s Leadership

Imagining a more respectful Parliament

Imagining a more respectful Parliament

#collaborativedebating #conflictresolution #education #innovation #thegandhiexperiment #margarethepworth #wentworthbyelection #victorianstateelection #pressrelease #stopbullyingnow #respectfulrelationships #wentworthvotes


A Writing and Wellbeing Symposium

Unleash the Beast Full Page Flyer.jpg

I will be speaking at the Unleash the Beast Writing and Wellbeing Symposium on Wed Oct 10th.

I am excited and somewhat nervous - I admit! What will be special about this particular session on 'Bullying - Can we actually do anything to stop it?' is that as well as hearing from Tick Everett, father of Dolly Everett and co-founder of Dolly’s Dream Foundation, this will not just be a conversation. I will be demonstrating some of the techniques and tools that I use when working on these very same issues with young people in schools.

This should be very useful in progressing all our learning around this very serious issue - bullying - that not only continues in our schools, yet also too often in our workplaces, our homes and even our politics.

If you can be there, hope to see you there!

Cheery blessings,

#unleashthebeast2018  #valueyourhealth #QMHW
#margarethepworth #thegandhiexperiment #bullying #stopbullying #tickeverett #chrismackey #peaceeducation #stopbullyingnow


Press Release Melbourne, Australia - 29 March 2018 Immediate Release

In a world often faced by overwhelm and despair for our young people, there is hope and optimism on the rise.

Good Education Group is excited to announce our partnership with The Gandhi Experiment. This initiative, founded by author and educator Margaret Hepworth, is based on the concept of world peace through education. The Gandhi Experiment teaches global citizenship through Gandhian principles of non-violence, relationship building and forgiveness, to resolve conflict and build a more positive future.

Margaret has lived and taught in Australia, China and the USA, building her expertise in teenage motivation and behaviour. The recipient of the 2016 Sir John Monash Award for Inspirational Women’s Leadership, Margaret has more than 30 years of experience in the education sector, including a period as Head of Campus at Preshil School. She has published three books: Clarity in Time (2012), Collaborative Debating (2016) and The Gandhi Experiment – Teaching Our Teenagers How to Become Global Citizens (2017). Her program ‘Global Citizenship – It Starts with Us!’ has been taken into schools across Melbourne, India, Pakistan and Indonesia.

Good Education Group CEO Chris Lester believes this collaboration will be a fruitful endeavour and highlights the importance of an education beyond the text books.

Margaret has had a long and decorated career in the education sphere and we are thrilled to partner with her as she continues her work with schools in Australia and overseas. The Gandhi Experiment and global citizenship are important initiatives for our children, creating awareness and understanding of their responsibilities in a global community.
— Chris Lester CEO Good Education Group
Margaret's recent visit to Bluebells School International, Delhi

Margaret's recent visit to Bluebells School International, Delhi

Margaret is also excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.

Partnering with Good Education Group will allow for a broader scope with my work. If we look out to our big, wide world, we can see that peace and values education are much needed right now. Working with Good Education Group will grow the possibilities for what we can achieve.
— Margaret Hepworth The Gandhi Experiment

Margaret Hepworth is available for interviews +61422 154 875

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Speaking at the Gold Coast Compassionate City schools event, Qld, in 2017

Speaking at the Gold Coast Compassionate City schools event, Qld, in 2017

'Global Citizenship - it starts with us!' student forum at Shelford Girls School, Caulfield, Vic

'Global Citizenship - it starts with us!' student forum at Shelford Girls School, Caulfield, Vic

Announcing the Launch of The Gandhi Experiment's Collaborative Debating Manual: A New, Creative Curriculum Strategy for Your Constructive Classroom

Press Release

Melbourne, Australia

A positively new framework for Debating, where the ‘win’ is the solution to the problem.

The Collaborative Debating Manual is the latest educational tool for social change developed by Australian educator and author, Margaret Hepworth, founder of The Gandhi Experiment.

Announcing: Online Product Launch October 24th, 2016

For Schools

Imagine a debate where an Affirmative team is being met with a Cooperative team; a Mindful Coordinator chairs the debate; and a Mentor who doesn’t judge, score or rate, instead meters out a series of Guidances.
Now you have a Collaborative Debate – a debate that may actually get us somewhere beyond the arguments, towards the solutions that we are seeking. These are debates where young people develop skills for real life that move beyond simply learning for the sake of learning. They will take these skills into their homes, their communities and lives.

Product Launch October 24th, 2016: 

With the Collaborative Debating framework already trialed across Melbourne schools and business groups, this is what people are saying:

Margaret's amazing debating techniques and skilled, insightful facilitation helped us all understand how we can turn a combative, competitive state to one of deep compassion and collaboration. She changed our view of how debating can be done for ever. Highly recommended and essential learning for schools and companies everywhere.
Carolyn Tate, Founder of The Slow School for Business
Collaborative Debating is a useful tool for our community to learn how to tackle the big issues in a way that promotes solutions over winning. This could help our leaders of tomorrow to become more active citizens and thoughtful decision makers.
Hannah, Teacher at Templestowe College

In Waleed Aly’s recent address to Media at the Andrew Olle lecture, he called for change in media debates: “the two guests might be talking past each other…We’ve all seen examples where some kind of performed, heated disagreement stands in for an actual debate where people engage each other’s ideas rather than simply roll out their predetermined talking points.”

Collaborative Debating eliminates the adversarial nature of debate. It is designed to teach our young people critical thinking, reflection and cooperation. It is cutting-edge education that builds the framework for change.

Bringing the creative genius of Margaret Hepworth into schools across Australia.

Recipient of the 2016 Sir John Monash Award for Inspirational Women’s Leadership, Margaret Hepworth is the founder of The Gandhi Experiment, a social enterprise, whose vision is ‘World peace through education.’ Her drive and commitment for social justice has grown and flourished through her secondary teaching of 30 years. Margaret is the author of the forthcoming book: The Gandhi Experiment – Teaching our teenagers how to become global citizens. (Rupa, January 2017). Margaret is a former Head of Campus (Vice-Principal) at Preshil School in Melbourne, Australia, and an international educator.

“If our young people learn this as a tool to use in any aspect of their lives – in arguments with friends, conflict at home, tension in a workplace – can you imagine what this would mean for their futures?”
- Margaret Hepworth, Educator and Author          

Margaret Hepworth can be contacted at margaret@margarethepworth.comor on +61422154875 or

The Gandhi Experiment: proudly educating for a non-violent world

The Nation, Nigeria | Writers Celebrate Mandela | Article by Ozolua Uhakheme

The life and times of the iconic former President of South Africa, the late Nelson Mandela, will be the focus of this month’s Guest Writer Session holding on Saturday at Nanet Suites, Central Business District, Abuja.

The session, being organised by Abuja Writers Forum, will feature poems, short stories, music, and talk on contemporary South African literature to commemorate the late Mandela. It is an extension of the Nelson Mandela Day celebration.

According to a statement by the forum, signed by Edith Yassin, writers expected to feature at the special session include Nkemneme Andy Chukwunonye, Kukogo Iruesiri Sampson, Margaret Hepworth and Dave Adzer...

MargaretHepworth is an Australian author, educator and facilitator. She had to receive permission from the Nelson Mandela Foundation in South Africa to use Mandela as a fictional character in her novel, Clarity In Time. While he is a pivotal character, the novel tells the story of a young Australian teacher who comes to understand that it is no longer enough to be a by-stander; that we all need to take mindful action.

Nelson Mandela, according to Hepworth, has been a role model to all. As an educator, she refers to stories of Mandela in her peace building workshops to teach young people about the choices that our world leaders can make – for reconciliation and forgiveness. She paraphrases Mandela to encourage young people to rise above their own expectations of themselves.

To read the full article, visit:

Initiatives of Change | Australian Newsbriefs Article | From Lahore to Dandenong

At 3.15 am, 28 March, Margaret Hepworth’s phone beeped with a message from Lahore, saying a school she had visited just a month before was ‘marked safe’ following the suicide bomber blast which killed 72 people.

Margaret spent the rest of her night on Facebook messaging her friends. ‘For the people of Lahore, Pakistan, my heart goes out to you.’ Then quoting a line from The Gandhi Experiment (her workshop approach to education): ‘To the people who perpetrate these acts, if you want your cause to be heard, to be known, then speak, because your violence deafens us.’

Inspired by her visits to India and teamwork with Indian educators (see Newsbriefs Feb 2015) Victorian educator Margaret launched The Gandhi Experiment last year to introduce non-violent peace-building into schools, here and overseas. Invited to present at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal Open University in February, she held four workshops in schools on the same visit. 

One day after returning to Melbourne she was in Dandenong, planning with Nazer Nazir, an Afghan graduate of Life Matters who started the Afghan Australian Initiative (AAI), for a school conference which, on 9 March, brought together 80 people – Afghan refugee youth and local students – to workshop on ‘Global participation – it starts with us’.

In between, on 27 February, Margaret and IofC volunteers also supported the AAI at their workshop for Afghan women on ‘Positive responses to negativity’, funded by Dandenong City Council. It was also attended also by Yvette Shaw, senior community engagement officer working on a social cohesion under the department of Premier and Cabinet, and by local MP Gabrielle Williams. 

Watch for more reports on or follow Margaret’s blog at

Marg Hepworth Hosts Slow School Business Dinner

Marg Hepworth is hosting a 'Slow Dinner' to introduce Collaborative Debating into the world of business.

Held at The Slow School of Business — a business school which prioritises a conscious and mindful approach to corporate culture, the evening hopes to be an eye opening experience. Collaborative debating transforms negotiations from the frame of "winning" into the frame of finding solutions to problems, a communication approach that has very real applications in the business world.


The dinner will take place at 6pm on Tuesday 4th of August.

Slow School HQ is located at 13 Lara Street, South Yarra, VIC 3141

This event is fully catered, with food and beverage included in the ticket price.


Tickets are available at

Initiatives of Change | Australian Newsbriefs Article | Together at the Indo-Pak border

February 2015

Melbourne educator Margaret Hepworth has returned from a 34 day program set up by an IofC India team of teachers to facilitate 25 workshops in four cities with 1,200 teachers and over 1000 student from 65 schools:

The IofC India team of educators, working through Education Today, Society Tomorrow, believes that change will come through education. When taking this message across India last October-November through peacebuilding workshops in schools, something extraordinary happened: I found myself connected with a team of Indian educators and others working towards building peace bridges between India and Pakistan. My own vision began to form: of Pakistani and Indian children coming together at the Wagah border to which I was taken while running workshops in Amritsar.

Unexpectedly, I met Chintan Girish Modi, in Mumbai. Chintan is a joy-filled, tenacious character, whose community initiative, Friendships Across Borders, is a testimony to his life-long dream of bridging the divide between India and Pakistan. Through it, Chintan and his team create email-pals between the separated peoples of these tense and wounded nations. When the massacre of school children took place in Peshawar, their immediate call for letters of love and support to the people of Pakistan from India generated a flood.

What grew from my visions has taken flight with an initiative called ‘When the Sword becomes Words’. We are creating a music video that incorporates school children from Pakistan, India, Australia, Fiji and China united in singing the inspiring song One Day.

Yesterday I received my first email from a Pakistani teacher confirming that the dream has begun. Our intention is that Indian and Pakistani children will “come from their hearts”, to use Chintan’s words, so that when they finally meet, hatred and ignorance will unravel.


Peace Educator Margaret Hepworth visits The Universal School Mumbai

Peace Educator Margaret Hepworth visits The Universal School Mumbai

Peace educator Margaret Hepworth paid a very special visit to The Universal School. Her workshops - The Gandhi Experiment and Make Noise for Peace were well received by the students and teachers alike. An ardent believer of social justice, Margaret left her mark on the minds of all at Universal who pledge to incorporate her ideas and work with rejuvenated rigour on the theme of Global Citizenship.

Photos can be viewed at The Universal School's website. Click the title of the post to go straight to the article.