Meet our Team

Together we can change lives

Meet Cara Varian, HMEF Executive Director

Cara is the founding Executive Director of the Harding Miller Education Foundation and was appointed in March 2015. She leads the Foundation’s activities in supporting high potential girls with life-changing scholarships. In 2019, the Foundation has awarded 430 scholarships since 2016 across 200+ schools in every state and territory across Australia. 2019 also saw the Foundations first group of 68 graduates complete high school. Each student is supported with a package of educational resources valued at over $20,000 over 4 years. It is the most generous scholarship for public school students in Australia.

Although she grew up in Brisbane, Cara’s career has been spread evenly between Canberra and Sydney.

While in Canberra, she was in the Australian Army, a public servant in the Department of Defence and adviser to two Defence Ministers. In Sydney she has worked as an Adviser and Chief of Staff to two NSW Transport Ministers and the NSW Leader of the Opposition. She has also been a consultant in the Insurance industry and the local government sector. During this time, she volunteered at the Public Education Foundation, which led to her current role in the Not-For-Profit Sector.

Cara holds a Bachelor of Arts, a Bachelor of Business Management as well as a Master of International Development. She is passionate about climate change action, empowering women, ensuring equal access to education, and supporting young people. In addition to her professional commitments, Cara volunteers her time in support of these issues.

Cara is a theatre goer, an ocean swimmer, and a mother of a two-year-old.