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Keynote Speakers


Dr Welby Ings

Dr Welby Ings is a Professor in Design at Auckland University of Technology.
He is an elected Fellow of the British Royal Society of Arts and a consultant to many international organisations on issues of creativity and learning. Welby is an award winning designer, film-maker and playwright. His short films have been shortlisted for the Oscars and selected for special screenings at Cannes and Berlin. But until the age of fifteen Welby could neither read nor write. He was considered 'slow' at school and he was eventually expelled from High school and later suspended from Teacher's College.
Welby has taught at all levels of the New Zealand education system and he has remained an outspoken critic of dehumanized systems of learning and our preoccupation with micro managing teachers. He questions the obsession we have with assessing performance and he argues for higher levels of creativity in learning, teaching and educational management.
In 2001 Welby was awarded the Prime Minister’s inaugural, Supreme Award for Tertiary Teaching Excellence and in 2013 the AUT University medal for his contributions to research and education.

Nigel Latta

Psychologist and Author

Nigel Raymond Latta, is a New Zealand psychologist and author. He is also the host of the television shows Beyond The DarklandsThe Politically Incorrect Guide to Teenagers and The Politically Incorrect Parenting Show.

Latta was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2012 Queen's Birthday Honours, for his services as a psychologist.

  • Into the Darklands and Beyond: Unveiling the Predators Among Us. New Zealand: HarperCollins. 2007. 
  • Politically Incorrect Parenting: before your kids drive you crazy. New Zealand: HarperCollins. 2010. 
  • The Politically Incorrect Guide to Teenagers: before your teenagers drive you crazy. New Zealand: HarperCollins. 2010.. 
  • Mothers Raising Sons: what every mother needs to know to save her sanity. New Zealand: HarperCollins. 2009.. 
  • Fathers Raising Daughters: the father's guide to the female mind-field. New Zealand: HarperCollins. 2010. 
  • Battlefield Wisdom: top tips for busy parents. New Zealand: HarperCollins. 2012.
  • The Modern Family Survival Guide. New Zealand: Random House. 2013.

Mai Chen

Mai Chen, Managing Partner, Chen Palmer Public and Employment Law Specialists, New Zealand; Adjunct Professor at the University of Auckland School of Law, Director on the BNZ Board; Chair, New Zealand Asian Leaders.
Mai is a Founding Partner of Chen Palmer New Zealand Public and Employment Law Specialists, Barristers and Solicitors, which has won the Best Boutique Law Firm in 2010, and the Best Public Law Firm in the New Zealand Law Awards in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013 and was a finalist in the Employment Law Awards in 2011.   Mai is also the best-selling author of Public Law Toolbox published by Lexis Nexis in March 2012 and is the inaugural Chair of New Zealand Global Women.  She has recently foundedNew Zealand Asian Leaders, connecting top Asian NZ CEOs and emerging leaders with New Zealand companies doing business in Asia to enhance their success to help NZ Inc. She also helped to establish thePasifika Leadership Academy at BEST Pacific Institute of Education, led by Beatrice Faumuina.
Mai won the supreme Judges Panel Award and the Professional Excellence Award at the New Zealand Chinese Business Elite Awards in 2012.
Mai won the Business and Entrepreneur Women of Influence Award in 2013.
Mai also launched in July 2013, a site which allows the making of wills to be easy and which helps New Zealanders to live life to the full.
Mai won Next Magazine's Business Woman of the Year in 2011, and is a World’s Best New Zealander in the Kiwi Expatriates Network.  Mai was listed in the 2009 and 2010 unlimited magazine’s top Influencers List.  Mai has a First Class Law Honours degree from Otago University, a Masters degree from Harvard Law School, is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management, and an Honorary Associate of Auckland University of Technology.
Mai was in the Top 10 finalists for 2014 New Zealander of the Year.
Keynote topic - Disobedience and Discipline: The Hair and Rowing cases, and how to sustain ourselves when teachers have to be all things to people.


Hon Steve Maharey

Steve Maharey is the Vice-Chancellor of Massey University. Prior to this he was the fourth ranked Minister in Government for nine years holding the positions of Minister of Education, Minister Responsible for the Education Review Office and the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, Minister of Research, Science and Technology, Minister Responsible for Crown Research Institutes, Minister of Broadcasting, Minister Responsible for Television New Zealand, Chair of the Cabinet Social Development Committee and Member of Parliament for Palmerston North for eighteen years from 1990 until 2008.
Prior to entering Parliament he was a Snr Lecturer in Sociology. Earlier in his career he was a Jnr. Lecturer in Business Administration. He was influential, through his teaching and publications, in the development of New Zealand sociology and formation of the fields of cultural studies and media studies in New Zealand. His academic interests include social policy (particularly social development), education, media and cultural studies, social change and politics.

He is currently working on the public domain and its importance in the 21st century.

He has served as an elected City Councillor. 

He is currently on the Board of the Wellington Employers Chamber of Commerce, the Committee for Auckland, the Territorial Force Employers Support Council, and the Board of the Manawatu Cancer Society. He is Patron of the Australasian Tertiary Education Managers Association and the Manawatu Squash Association.

He was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) in 2008.

Nathan Wallis

Nathan Wallis is a father of three & foster parent with a professional background in child counselling, teaching and social service management. Until recently he lectured in Human Development at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. Nathan is also a board member and senior trainer with the highly respected Brainwave Trust.

In 2010 he founded a private training consultancy, Nathan Wallis Ltd, with the goal of facilitating easy to understand professional development training reflecting the latest neuroscience discoveries and their practical implications for everyday practice. Since then he has been in hot demand, delivering in excess of 150 presentations every year throughout New Zealand and Australia. He has developed a reputation as a lively and engaging speaker who uses humour and plain language to make this complex topic come to life.

Research and Practice Sessions



Mary Wootton

Mary Wootton (MEd 1st class Honors) is an experienced and highly successful facilitator of learning who supports people in ways that they blossom and she becomes invisible.  It is a facilitation art form that is growing in demand as people come to terms with modern learning environments.  Mary understands the importance of retaining elements of the instructional core, such as assessment, curriculum, teaching and learning pedagogies and leadership.  She also recognises the phenomenal growth of informal learning through lateral and digital networking.  Integrating formal and informal learning is no simple matter and expert facilitation can save thousands of hours of hit-and-miss development.  Mary's style is suited to many different circumstances.  She coaches individual school, business and sporting leaders to learn how to learn in the modern world, trains professional development teams to adopt future-focused facilitation skills and runs seminars and un-conferenced networking days for interested parties from small groups up to 500 people. Mary's most recent roles include:

·         Lead Facilitator for the NZ Learning and Change Networks strategy

·         Lead Facilitator for Assessment and Literacy for University of Auckland international schooling projects

·         Literacy Programme Director for the NZ Consortium for Professional Learning


Brian Annan

Brian Annan (PhD), a change expert who thoroughly enjoys leading cutting-edge learning strategies into complex and challenging situations to find better ways of stepping into the future.  He has taught kids, led schools, driven schooling improvement initiatives across New Zealand, studied systems-change, informed policy and is now supporting groups of people to develop lateral learning networks locally, nationally and globally.  Brian coaches individuals, facilitates small and large group seminars and directs future-focused programmes and projects.  His flexible interactive and deep analytic style is now in strong demand in schooling and other social service systems as well as in community and business development.  

·         Director Research and Development for new and different ventures for the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Auckland, 2010-current

·         Programme Director Learning and Change Networks strategy, 2012-current

·         NZ team member Global Education Leaders Partnerships (GELP), 2010-current


Alana Madgwick

Alana Madgwick is an Education consultant who works on a number of contracts that all involve reducing inequity for Pasifika ākonga. She is the secondary literacy online facilitator for the secondary literacy forum and website. She is the National Pasifika coordinator for the Health Promoting Schools contract. She runs workshops and webinars on ‘Accelerating Pasifika Achievement’. She co-initiated the Light the Fire group for teachers/ leaders who meet to celebrate Pasifika enjoying success as Pasifika.


Mark Osborne

Mark is a Senior Consultant for CORE Education, who works in Future-Focused Education, particularly in the areas of Modern Learning Environments, Leadership and eLearning. To put it another way, he helps schools and centres build great spaces to learn while helping educators develop the capacity to make the most of those spaces.
Mark also founded Emerging Leaders-Aotearoa, a group of several hundred educators who are committed to growing leadership capacity across the sector.


Claire Amos

Claire is a Deputy Principal at Hobsonville Point Secondary School – a brand new NZ MLE secondary school that opened in 2014. Claire has been a Director of e-learning, has lead and taught English for 17 years, her roles ranging from facilitator of the ICTs in English community on English Online, Auckland Secondary English Facilitator to Head of English Faculty. Claire also enjoys working at national level driving change with agencies such as New Zealand Qualifications Authority, NetSafe and the Ministry of Education 21st Century Learning Reference Group with a focus on enabling future-focused change and supporting teachers and students in blended learning environments.
Claire is passionate about her family, education, design and tattoos, living by the mantra – “you can never be overdressed or overeducated”.

Tom Webb

Tom Webb is Associate Principal at Onehunga High School where he has worked since 2004. In 2014 he was seconded to UACEL where he worked on leadership professional development. Tom has eight years of experience in senior leadership and has skills in Open-to-Learning Leadership, change management, e-learning and secondary school leadership and management.

Ngaire Ashmore

Ngaire Ashmore has been Principal at Tangaroa College since 2005. In 2014 she was seconded to UACEL where she worked on leadership professional development. Ngaire brings a wide range of skills and attributes including Open-to-Learning Leadership, relationship building, change leadership, culturally responsive leadership, coaching and staff development.

Louise Taylor

Louise Taylor is a researcher with CORE Education. She has been working in education since she left school a few decades ago and during this time she has worked across all education sectors. She completed a PhD in 2007 on teacher professional learning for social change and for this study she worked with a small group of teachers, exploring with them how to bring a critical, equity-focused lens to their practice. Out of this work has grown an interest in creative and disruptive methodologies and how these can be employed to support equity and innovation in education. Louise hosts the Facebook page Education for Equity.

Rowan Taigel

Rowan Taigel is a Learning with Digital Technologies Facilitator and a member of the Future Focused Inquiries team, both with CORE Education. Before this she worked predominantly as a secondary school English teacher. As a teacher Rowan discovered a passion for exploring how innovations in technology can be used to enhance teaching and learning experiences in schools. In 2014 this passion saw her awarded an eFellowship. Her research titled: Passion and Purpose: Empowering the Gifted Writer, explored how student agency could be fostered and supported through the use of an online environment, digital technology and a shift in mindset. Rowan now asks ‘what if…?’ questions for a living. Her goal is to be a full-time imagineer.

Tim Gander

Tim Gander is Education Director at The Mind Lab by Unitec in Gisborne. This is a new role for Tim and he is really excited about the transformational potential he is seeing in education across all sectors.  Tim has recently completed a MEd in e-learning - which supported his feelings that the thoughtful integration of technology and adapted pedagogies enable a greater depth of learning, understanding, and encouragement.  He was a CORE Education e-fellow in 2014, much of his work was focussed around innovative assessment in NCEA and embracing learner agency to support teaching, learning and building relationships in a collaborative learning journey.  He was a finalist in the Interface magazine “Innovative use of ICT Award” and is a Google Education Trainer - he writes on his blog

Vicki Hagenaars

Vicki Hargenaars is a Learning with Digital Technologies Facilitator, with CORE Education.  She is primary trained and has mainly taught at the primary and intermediate school level, apart from a year working as a junior mathematics teacher at Wanganui Girls’ College. In 2014 Vicki was a CORE Education eFellow and her research, titled ‘Listening to the Voices of the Unheard’ focussed on teachers usually left to get on with digital change amidst fear and anxiety. Her work this year allows her to continue to focus on those for whom change and acceptance of the digital aspect of teaching is not easy. Vicki is one of the hosts of the Facebook group Whanganui Teacher Connect and she is a virtual mentor through the Virtual Professional Learning Development community.

Dr Rosemary Hipkins

Dr Rosemary Hipkins is a Chief Researcher at the New Zealand Council for Educational Research. She began her career as a secondary science and biology teacher and worked in teacher education before moving to NZCER. Rose was actively involved in the development of the New Zealand Curriculum and has led national research projects related to both curriculum and assessment innovation in New Zealand. She is interested in deepening understandings of NZC’s key competencies, and related ideas such as learning to learn.  

Cathie Johnson

Cathie is the Education Adviser for NZCER and supports the sector with analysis and collation of assessment information. As an ex- teacher and principal, she brings a practical eye to assessment informed by the latest, relevant research. She offers both challenge and supportive frameworks to build schools’ evaluative capability and, ensure assessment strategies are relevant and purposeful. 

Dr Graham McPhail

Dr Graham McPhail has recently taken up a lectureship at the Faculty of Education, The University of Auckland. He recently completed his doctorate researching approaches in secondary schools to popular and classical music. His current research is focused on the issue of knowledge in education: more specifically the emptying out of knowledge in the curriculum in favour of skills and competencies. He is currently considering the importance of conceptual progression in curriculum and pedagogy design within the context of 21st Century schooling ideas.


Bill Hubbard

Bill Hubbard is a Deputy Principal at Rosehill College, Papakura, Auckland. He has led ICT and eLearning development at the college since 2010 and is collaborating with contributing schools for successful eLearning pathways in Papakura. Bill has overseen the growth of Rosehill College as a Google Apps for Education learning environment, with all year 9s and year 10s now mandatory 1:1 digital devices (Chromebook recommended). Bill is a Google Certified Teacher (Mountain View 2014).

Dr Leon Benade

Leon Benade is the Director of Research in the AUT School of Education, and has a career in education spanning 30 years, the last 17 of which have been in New Zealand. His main research interests are teachers' work, school policy, ethics, philosophy in schools, critical pedagogy, and the New Zealand Curriculum. Leon's current research interest is on the way the focus on '21st century learning' impacts on the work of teachers and school leaders. Related areas of interest include the question of teachers' critical reflective practice and the evolving role and nature of the concept of 'knowledge' in the 21st century curriculum. Leon serves on the Executive Committee of Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia (PESA), the editorial board of the New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies and is also a member of the New Zealand Association for Research in Education (NZARE) and The New Zealand Educational and Administration Society (NZEALS). He is co-editor of the New Zealand Journal of Teachers’ Work. Prior to commencing Doctoral studies in 2008, Leon was Deputy Principal of St Paul’s College in Ponsonby, Auckland. Between 2008 and 2011 he worked as an independent education consultant with several schools in Auckland and Northland.


Claire Sinnema

Claire Sinnema is a senior lecturer at The University of Auckland and is co-leader of the Doctor of Education (Leadership) programme offered by the Faculty of Education. Her research focuses on the improvement of teaching and learning across four main strands - curriculum implementation, teacher professional learning (in practitioner inquiry & teacher evaluation), pedagogy, and school leadership. It is concerned with understanding how teachers and principals can improve their practice. It is also concerned with the role of policy in such improvement. Claire co-authored a best evidence synthesis on effective pedagogy in the social sciences, and with her colleague Professor Graeme Aitken developed a model of Teaching as Inquiry that forms the basis of the pedagogy section in the New Zealand Curriculum. This model continues to influence school approaches towards professional learning intended to improve the quality of classroom teaching for all students. 

Miranda Makin

Miranda Makin is a Deputy Principal at Albany Senior High School, which opened in 2009 and was the first state funded senior high school in New Zealand. Her teaching career began at Manurewa High School as a science teacher and her roles have included educator at the Auckland Museum, Head of Chemistry and Science and a Lead teacher for Thurrock council (Essex).  Miranda is passionate about equity and how we as educational leaders can support teachers' in their pursuit to improve practice. Recently she has completed her Masters thesis in Educational Leadership, investigating the nature of conversations between leaders and teachers intended to support teacher professional inquiry. She found that although the leaders in her study identified their role in teacher learning as that of 'critical friend' these leaders lacked the training and interpersonal skills required to carry out this role in ways that supported learning.



Hamish Chalmers

Hamish has a depth of expertise and a strong interest in leadership and teaching and learning. After moving to Auckland from the Mainland he has taught and led in secondary schools and is presently a deputy principal at Albany Senior High School. From a strong background in English and ICTs he has developed his ideas and practice on educational leadership initially as an HOD of English at Albany Senior High and more recently in his role as deputy principal. He is also presently undertaking postgraduate study in educational leadership at Auckland University.

Dr Camilla Highfield

Dr Camilla Highfield has been the Director of Professional Learning and Development at the Faculty of Education since 2007. This role involves her leading  a range of Ministry of Education contracts delivering professional learning and development in New Zealand schools. Camilla has held a range of roles within her education career over the last 25 years. She trained as a secondary school art teacher in 1986 and  worked as a teacher and middle leader until 2000. She then became the Senior Advisor; the Arts at The Ministry of Education in 2002 and in 2004 led the Secondary Education team at The Ministry of Education. Camilla has a Masters in Fine Arts and a Doctor of Education qualification completed in 2012. She has had two books published on New Zealand artists and was the deputy chair of the board of a large secondary school for five years.
Camilla’s research and professional interests are in the arts, professional development, equity and social justice, school change and leadership. Developing and coaching effective leadership practices in colleagues and young people is a particular interest.  She has given papers at conferences focused on schooling improvement and is an emerging academic writer. The title of her doctoral thesis was The impact of middle leadership practices on student academic outcomes in New Zealand secondary schools. This involved the investigation of the variation of student academic outcomes in New Zealand secondary schools and the extent to which that variation can be attributed to the practices of middle leaders.  


Karen Stimson

A recipient of the Linking Minds scholarship to look at leadership practices abroad in England and having experienced a variety of middle leadership roles herself, Karen's interest in leadership and leadership development was sparked. Karen has worked as a curriculum leader, 'Dean' as well as led a cross curricular team of teachers. Last year Karen completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Leadership and moved into a Deputy Principal position at Albany Senior High School. Karen was the recipient of a 2015 study award and is completing her Masters in Educational Leadership.

Dawn Lawrence

Kia Eke Panuku: Building on Success Academic Director & Kaitoro/ Facilitator
I initially trained as a secondary teacher at Auckland College of Education and have taught English and Drama in a number of Auckland secondary schools and a two-year stint in London, England. In that time I became heavily involved in Drama New Zealand taking on the roles of both national treasurer and the president (2003 – 2006).
In 2005 I became a teacher participant within the Te Kotahitanga project going on to be an in-school facilitator and then spent five years as part of the University of Waikato Te Kotahitanga Research and Development Team. I am currently an Academic Director and kaitoro (facilitator) within Kia Eke Panuku: Building on Success.

Donna Tupaea-Petero

Kia Eke Panuku: Building on Success Kaitoro/ Facilitator
I have worked in schools over the last 18 years as the Head of Visual Arts and more recently, as a specialist classroom teacher and in-school facilitator within the Te Kotahitanga project.  My role as both an educator and artist has also spanned roles on national Visual Arts education panels,  and marae-based and community-based projects alongside Māori artists amd Māori students.  I am currently a kaitoro (facilitator) within Kia Eke Panuku: Building on Success.

Jane Gilbert

Jane Gilbert is Professor of Education at AUT University. She was previously Chief Researcher at the New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER). Before that she worked in the Schools of Education at Victoria University of Wellington and the University of Waikato. Many years ago, she was a secondary school teacher of science.  She is the author of Catching the Knowledge Wave? – The Knowledge Society and the future of education, published in 2005.

Danielle Myburgh

Danielle Myburgh is the founder and host of #edchatNZ, a national professional learning community for teachers. She works at Hobsonville Point Secondary School, a boundary-pushing new secondary school in Auckland, where she teaches mathematics and science and is the e-learning Specialist Classroom Teacher. Danielle is working on a Masters of Education thesis on future-oriented teacher professional learning.

Jaco Dreyer & Stephanie Harford

Jaco Dreyer and Stephanie Harford both started at Hauraki Plains College three years ago to form a new SLT team with Principal Ngaire Harris. As a team they have been working on developing fresh ways of thinking about Education in a 21st Century environment. Jaco has previous Senior Leadership experience at Townsville Grammer School in Australia and Northland's Dargaville High School and Ruawai College. Stephanie was previously Head of Performing Arts at Tauranga Girls' College and has completed her Master Degree in Educational Leadership and Management.