Man Of The Week – Louka Parry

Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Our newest Man Of The Week is Louka Parry and he couldn’t agree more! Louka is a Director of Programs for Education Changemakers, and he saw an opportunity in leveraging education as a tool to combat societal issues, scarcities and inequalities. Louka noticed the importance of education and the positive impact it can have in empowering somebody to live a fulfilled life of purpose and passion. His dedication to impacting the education of every young person in the world, regardless of their location, is both admirable yet necessary. To get involved, be sure to check out Education Changemakers and some of the other noble causes Louka supports.
Age: 31
What do you do?
I’m now an adult educator, working to unleash teacher-led innovation and leadership. As the Director of Programs for Education Changemakers, a BCorp, we work to enable teachers to lead positive change in their schools to make sure young people have an education worth having.
Why do you do it?
I teach because I want to see a better world, one where every person can achieve their own sense of greatness. It’s clear that we need to move from a world of scarcity to one of abundance and I see education as the key lever for social change. I’m also lucky to spend time with amazing people everyday, be they passionate teachers and leaders or my wonderful colleagues. It’s hard to underplay the importance of a great team culture to do great work.
How do you make a difference in the world? (Work, business, life, family, self)
I try to live deliberately and inspire others to lead positive, fulfilling lives where they find their purpose and use their passion to follow it. I’m incredibly lucky to support teachers from a diverse range of settings to be innovative and to use their leadership gifts to serve others. In life, I try to be the best version of myself as a positive energiser and an optimist.
What are 3 defining moments in your life?
– Firstly, the day my Papou (my Greek Grandfather) died in 2001. I was 16 and it was the first significant grief I had experienced and I realized I didn’t truly know him or much about my ancestry as the first Australian born from two immigrant families. He was too proud to speak broken English and I spoke no Greek. That moment unleashed a passion for history and linguistics and five languages later, I’m still on a relentless quest to be a hyperpolyglot.
– Second, was a lecture at university that spoke about teaching in remote communities in Central Australia. That lecture forever changed my life trajectory and 12 months later, I found myself being my teaching career in the great Australian outback. It’s also where I met Jess, a fellow teacher, who is now my long-term partner.
– Third, was the day I became a school principal. I was 27 and it was to be a test of my leadership nous, but it was rewarding work and having a committed, positive team of both Aboriginal and non-aboriginal educators made all the difference to both me and the students.
What is your life purpose?
It is said in life that you make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give. I hope to give my best, most authentic self to the world and know with satisfaction that I’ve made a difference. I hope to collect as many profound learning experiences as possible, which is one reason I love to travel, and make a positive dent on this planet while I’m fortunate enough to be here.
How did you tap into it?
I chose teaching because I wanted to help others. Education is a social leveller and anyone can experience success if given the right support. I’m a strong believer in egalitarian ideals and meritocracy and wanted to work in service of them. After all, teaching is the profession that creates all others.
Who is your Role-Model or Mentor?
I take my inspiration from many people around me and try to use their passion to spark my own. My role-model is my Yaiyai (Greek Grandma) who died a year ago. She had incredible resilience, strength, selflessness and so much love for others. I learnt so much from her and am grateful for the sacrifice she and others made so that I could have the opportunities I’ve had in Australia. Family is really important to me and I do my best to make them proud.
Do you have any daily habits? If so, what are they?
I meditate for 20 minutes, take a run or do yoga, read, listen to Spotify and connect with friends and ideas online. I also try do at least one thing that scares me and one random act of kindness, no matter how small. If the world need more of something, it’s kindness.
When do you know your work/life balance is off?
I’m incredibly privileged to do what I love so I like to think of this balance more as life/work integration. But when I find my normal positive self becoming cynical, impatient and frustrated, I know it’s time for rebalance, especially a bit of a digital detox (I’m as addicted to technology as most people nowadays).
Vulnerability is a challenge for most men – share a vulnerable moment from your life with us. 
The moment my parents separated. It was late in my life as I was 27 but it was completely unexpected, it totally challenged my concept of marriage as a life-long commitment, something I’m still working through. Thankfully, both my parents are happier now with partners who truly fulfil them.
What did you learn from it?
That life is never linear, ignoring authenticity is never promising and honesty is always the best position. If you are not happy, you need to change something. Life is too short for anything else.
If you are or were going to be a mentor for another man, what is one piece of advice you would give him?
I know it sounds morbid but I would ask him about his death. How would he like to have impacted the world? What would he want the eulogy to be about? And how close is he from achieving these things now? I personally find this strategy helps me to realise that my day-to-day worries don’t actually amount to much, and this forces me to make sure that I’m taking advantage of every opportunity to learn, grow and be my authentic self. Our energy is precious and we need to stick with the things that really matter.
How do you be the best partner (Boyfriend/Husband- past or present)
Be kind, forgiving and a clear communicator. My partner and I live between two states, so we connect daily and see each other every other week. She’s very driven running a preschool and I’m immensely proud of her. I also try to practice self-care and mediation to be the best version of myself I can be when we are spending time together. In this information saturated world, it’s as important to tend the mind as hit the gym.
Do you support any Charities or Not-for-profits? (Which one(s) and why?)
Amnesty International, Oxfam and YGAP. I find work of Y-GAP and Spark* particularly extraordinary as they support early stage social entrepreneurs in Africa, Asia and Australia. To date their program has helped improve the lives of over 100,000 people living in extreme poverty. I routinely get involved in their campaigns, like Polishedman. Definitely check them out.
If your life had a theme song, what would it be?
During the day: Watching You Breathe by Jacoo (mainly for the epic Alan Watts sample)
After dark: Daft Punk by Pentatonix (love a good acapella medley)
Where do you see yourself in 3 years?
A wiser yet relentlessly inquisitive man, still teaching and supporting others to make positive impact. Possibly undertaking a Ph.D, in great shape, beginning a family and enjoying the challenges of this crazy life.
What legacy do you want to leave for future generations?
I’d like to have inspired the people I’ve come across to live more fulfilled lives, and ultimately to work toward a world where everyone can flourish. To have contributed to the creation of a meaningful, relevant and inspiring education for every young person, no matter their location or background.
What One book would you recommend for any Man?
Linchpin by Seth Godin. Epic read.
If you know a Man that is making a positive impact on the world, we would love to hear from you! Contact us at [email protected]
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