The SeeThrough Story
In 2018, an energetic digital product creator, Patrick Payne, was doing some contracting work for an Australian education technology and software company. Towards the end of his project, he learnt about the staggering decline of Australia’s education system, something the company had witnessed up-close for over 20 years, and were increasingly worried about.
It was suggested that lack of transparency around schools and education in Australia was contributing to this and, fuelled by coffee and a number of collaborative brainstorming sessions, Patrick realised the key was to let people speak openly and honestly about what was really happening in schools, without fear of retribution.
He recognised that they could find reviews for everything from hamburgers, films, employers, electric guitars and more, but there were almost no reviews for schools – something that can truly impact the future of our children’s lives.
He developed an idea to create a transparent digital review platform for schools; and SeeThrough.com was born.
He reached out to an experienced digital platform manager, Yannick Pierre, to bring his ideas and mock-ups to life. Yannick also happened to be a dad who was just starting to research schools for his young son online. He was immediately struck by how little information he could find about the schools in their catchment area, and was met by confusing walls of information about NAPLAN results, as well as glossy prospectuses and websites provided by the schools.
They became laser-focused on creating a site where they could not only allow all members of school communities, past and present, to share their experiences, but where they could also provide useful resources, and highlight current discussions in the education sector.
They added digital content creators, including Margie Rhodes and Andrew Fortunatow, to produce the news and insights portion of the site, and got to work on filling it with a range of parenting resources and topical conversations around education and schools. Together they created a program to encourage other members of the community to share their own personal stories, and to ensure a diverse range of voices, viewpoints and perspectives were presented.