John Phillips: CEO SLAM Education


John is a systems engineer with extensive international telecommunications project and employee relations experience. He retired from Telstra in 2000 after three years as General Manager, Organisation Development, and worked as a volunteer with the Warren Centre  where he promoted STEM education in general, and Primary STEM education in particular.


He was evangelising STEM well before it entered mainstream consciousness, and is now actively supporting only those projects and initiatives which are sustainable over the long term and have the potential to raise the average level of STEM literacy.

He is also a Director of AustSTEM, a charitable foundation raising STEM literacy.


Relevant Experience

  • Director of the AustSTEM Foundation  since April 2017. AustSTEM aims to raise STEM literacy in classrooms across Australia through its STEM Experiential Learning Journey programme supported by the Kookaberry STEM platform. John is responsible for AustSTEM’s interface with schools and education systems and has created the extensive teacher support content on the Kookaberry website.

  • CEO and co-founder of SLAM Education since May 2017. SLAM is a provider of educational services based in Newcastle and is collaborating with the AustSTEM Foundation in the development of training materials in support of their STEM Experiential Learning Journey.

  • Founding CEO of Jacaranda Engineering Consulting, Sydney University from December 2016 until February 2017. JEC was created by the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Sydney as a simulated professional engineering consultancy company located on the University’s Camperdown campus. JEC’s goal was for consultants to enter as students; and leave as engineers and team leaders.

  • Manager, Education Projects, The Warren Centre from January 2014 to December 2019. Prepared multiple submissions to Government Committees seeking to bring overseas STEM practice into Government policy and Australian classrooms.

  • General Manager, Organisation Development, Telstra Employee Relations from July 1997 to December 2000. Responsible for organisational structure; leadership continuity; and implementing its first internet-based HR management systems. Designed a simple management review process which saw manager’s reviews increase from 10% to 90% in just two years and replaced a complex multi-point classification and pay system with a five-band pay and delegation structure.

  • Advisor to President, Mitra Global Telekomunikasi Indonesia from Jan 1995 to Jun  1996. Headed the international engineering team which won a $1Bn domestic telecommunications network contract in Indonesia in 1994, and subsequently implemented the first optical fibre switching and transmission network in Indonesia (Central Java).


Electrical Engineering, BSc(Hons), King’s College, London, 1966