I began Her Future wanting to teach young women the things I wish someone would have taught me at their age. As a former teacher, life lessons and skills are often overlooked in school and yet they are fundamental to dealing with life, its challenges and being successful. As Her Future evolved I realised that it's not only young women that needed guidance but also women in general, and so I began developing workshops for women as well. I love the direction that Her Future is heading and I can't wait to see how it evolves further to ensure I help more women to love themselves and love their life.
I'm passionate about educating others and helping them to learn more about themselves and to be more successful in life.
My goal is to educate woman by giving them tangible tools and having open discussions to help them think for themselves, build confidence and have better direction to get the most out of their life and in turn be happy.
Cortnie Dawn Bornyk, BEd
Founder of Her Future, Teacher, Previous Public Health Policy Adviser
Neuro-Linguistic Programming Practitioner
Certificate IV in Training and Assessment
Bachelor of Education in Secondary
My favourite part of teaching in a classroom was discussing real life scenarios and helping students to think for themselves. I wanted to use that passion and create workshops for women, giving them guidance and tools to help them to become confident, successful and happy.
In my first couple of years teaching I realised the life lessons we discussed in class were as important, if not more so than the actual content. They would help students in real life, after they had left the safety of the school system. I began incorporating topics into my lessons that I thought were important such as body image and the media, bullying, goal setting, grit etc. Topics that weren't part of the curriculum but in my perspective, should be. I began to create workshops specific to these gaps and eventually realised that women were also in need of some of these tools.
I think it's really important to educate both young women and women to ensure they have a better foundation to make good decisions as well as more direction in who they want to be and what they want to do in life. Sometimes just talking about something sparks a passion or a realisation of what/who someone wants to become. There is no age limit as to when you need to decide what dream you want to follow or what you're passionate about. It's never too late.
There is currently a gap in helping women to be resilient and happy. Whether it's from the school system, social media or a combination of things doesn't matter but it's there. I am passionate about closing that gap and helping as many women as possible to take charge of their life, become the person that they were destined to be and overall be happy with who they are and love their life.
I believe through these workshops, women will walk away feeling empowered, energised and in control to achieve what ever they put their mind to.
I was told after I graduated University that I should expect to substitute teach for the first two years. There were not many teaching jobs and the few that were available were very hard to get. I remember sitting in a substitute seminar and learning how to look for jobs and seeing all of the people in the room. I was competing with them for work and I told myself then that I would not be a substitute my first year after graduating. I was going to get a job and do what it takes until I signed a contract.
When I heard about the new teacher career conference, I was so excited. I drove three hours to go to it, printed out my resume, cover letter and references and psyched myself up. I told myself that I was going to meet people, network, show them how great I am and get at least one job offer. I needed to make sure I stood out against everyone else that wanted a job also. I had to radiate confidence even though I was intimidated by so many important people.
I had three interviews on the spot with three different school boards. One in particular explained how I was perfect for a role and asked if I could fax through all of my information that night, as they had already done three rounds of interviews for the position. I couldnt believe it. I drove home that night and my dad helped me to fill out the paperwork and send everything through. I was so excited, possibly my first career job.
I remember as we were sending everything through my dad telling me to not get ahead of myself and that his friends who were teachers, although excited for me, knew the chances of me getting the position were low. I was a little sad that he wouldn't believe in me more, but I understand why he said it. Life's not easy in the real world sometimes and he wanted me to be hurt less if I knew there was a chance I might not get it. I put his opinion aside and told myself I was going to land the job.
I got a phone call the next day to come in for an interview. Driving to the interview I once again psyched myself up. I was absolutely terrified for my first real interview with very important people, my possible future bosses. When I arrived I was escorted to a room where four people sat, each one took a turn asking me a question and then everyone would write down my response. I had never experienced anything like it. I radiated confidence and attempted to be succinct and throrough in my responses.
I received a phone call before I even got home after the interview, offering me the position. I had just done what I was told I probably wasn't going to be able to. It felt great.
The position was a half year position as my degree finished half way through the school year. Unfortunately, they did not have an opening for me the next year so I had to find a new job. I began applying to different school boards and doing the necessary procedures to ensure I had as many options as possible come the next school year.
I knew that I needed to stand out as hundreds of teachers would be wanting the same positions that I did. I had to figure out how to do that, how to network without really knowing anyone.
On an afternoon when we had a half day, another school board that I was interested in working for had a full day. I took my resume, cover letter and references and went to different schools introducing myself to principals and letting me know that I was interested in working for their school. I thought if they met me I wouldn't just be a piece of paper applying for a job. Some principals were fantastic, others didn't give me the time of day. The principals that had given me their cards, I followed up with an email and thanked them for their time.
Before the end of summer, I had recieved a phone call from one of the principals. He had requested me for a teaching role and I ended up getting the job. I had just done the impossible, according to my dads teaching friends. I felt amazing. I recieved my permanent certification within that school board and am now able to work around the world where it is recognised, including Australia.
Life threw me a curve ball and I ended up moving to Australia with my serious boyfriend, as he is Australian. It was a very difficult decision since I would lose my secure teaching position, have to leave my family, friends, house, and car. Everything that I had worked so hard to achieve on my own. You can't always plan life and sometimes there is a crossroad and you have to choose the direction you want to take. I knew that if I wanted a healthy relationship with my partner, I could not expect him to stay in Canada if I had not at least tried to live in Australia. So I packed up my life in two heavy suitcases and we moved to Australia.
I had talked to my partner about teaching and how he felt if I tried something new. I loved teaching but I just had this feeling that I was meant to do something more but I had no idea what that was. I knew if it didn't work out how I wanted it to, I could always go back to teaching. He supported me completely in whatever choice I made.
I knew I would have to start in a basic role and move my way up. I became an HR administrator/receptionist for a great organisation. I figured, since they were such a big company, I could network and possibly move up within the company or find my next job through the people that I met there. After six months of working hard and showing my boss what I was capable of, a position opened as a Public Health Policy Adviser. I knew the role was a very important one, and with no public health experience I figured my chances of getting it would be slim. The thought that pushed me to apply for the position was the fact that I would never get it or know if I didn't at least try. I was surprised when I was shortlisted. Although they knew me from working at the organisation, the director was very rational and would only want the best person for the role.
I'm happy to say that I got the Public Health Policy Adviser role and was responsible for issues such as alcohol, domestic violence, asylum seekers and climate change, however after almost a year I realised that sitting in an office and researching and writing policy didn't quite fit my personality.
I missed people, as I am an extrovert, and helping to positively influence others. I missed helping others personally to be better, more confident and successful. Leaving the Australian Medical Association really pushed me to pursue my dreams of helping others to become their best selves and although life has and continues to take me to different places and opportunities, I am ecstatic to be where I am today and doing something that I am so passionate about. Especially since I feel like in the world we live in today, young girls need a good mentor and someone that they can relate to that will teach them fundamental life skills. I believe through my experiences and teaching background, I can reach young women to want to change for the better.
As I developed workshops and ran them I began to be approached by different businesses in regards to running adult women's workshops. I have to admit in the beginning I was a little nervous thinking "what could I teach these women, some of whom were older than me, that they don't already know?" Surprisingly, there was a lot. I began developing workshops specific for women and the feedback has been amazing. Her Future has since been evolving and I've even run events for men and women including being a Key Note Speaker for over 100 business professionals.
I can't wait to see where Her Future will be in one year or five years. I know that I am going to have to work incredibly hard but I am so passionate about positively helping peoples lives that it will all be worth it... because her future matters and because you matter.