Conference Online

Jon Andrews is currently the Executive Director of Teaching and Learning at St Paul’s School Brisbane. He has previously occupied roles as Head of Department, Lead Teacher, Assistant Head (Curriculum, Professional Learning and Coaching). He is committed to improving outcomes for all students by developing capacity in teachers to lead quality pedagogy and learning. Jon has worked in state and independent education in the UK and Australia for 18 years. His roles have largely been focused on learning design and innovation and teacher/leader development and coaching.


Dan Bailey is the architect and coordinator of the ‘You-Turn’ Flexible Learning Program at Brisbane Bayside State College which launched in April 2015. He also currently works as a sessional tutor of behaviour management for undergraduates at QUT and is an external moderator and trainer in the implementation of ASDAN in State Schools for Education Queensland. He previously completed work on Complex Case Management resources and policy for Central Office as part of the More Support for Students with Disabilities initiative and served as an Advisory Visiting Teacher for Complex Case Management and Autism in Metropolitan Region for 7 years.


Naomi Barnes is a teacher educator at Griffith University specifically in Humanities and Social Science Curriculum for Primary Teachers. She investigates, through research and practice, the power of narrative for engagement with ideas in education.



Alberto Bellocchi’s current research focuses on uncovering the interplay between social bonds and science knowledge in junior science classrooms. This work builds on his previous research focusing on the emotional experiences of science learners and pre-service teachers that mediate scientific literacy. His other research interests include learning and teaching science and initial teacher education. He has served as Acting Assistant Dean of Teaching and Learning, Program Coordinator (BEd Sec), and taught units including MEd. research units and Science Curriculum units. Before working at QUT he taught senior chemistry and junior science in an Education Queensland school.


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Jackie Bennett is a Kamilaroi/Bigambul woman from the St George Qld region. She has been involved in education for over 25 years as a Teacher Aide and an Indigenous Education Worker in both high schools and primary schools. She worked with DET for 6 years as a Project Officer at the Indigenous Schooling Support Unit in Townsville. Jackie is currently employed by C&K as a Community Links Advisor. In this role, Jackie engages Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and CALD families to enrol their child/ren into a Government approved Kindergarten Program. Her work with parents and community has promoted the importance of education and the benefits of early childhood education for children and families. Within this role, Jackie has supported educators to provide culturally safe spaces for families and has actively promoted the importance of providing a strong sense of belonging for all families who enter an educational service.


Roshea Buksh is currently the Head of School: Secondary for a P-12 independent, culturally rich and socially diverse school in Logan, Brisbane. The college has over 1100 students with 30% ESL students and 20% refugees. Roshea has a passion for equipping students to become critical thinkers as they engage with information and media in the cyber cafe and marketplace of ideas. She is an advocate of the Australian General Capabilities, in particular critical and creative thinking which are essential to inquiry learning. Roshea has been successful in utilising social media to engage students with controversial social and legal issues through various social media platform. She has utilised Aristotle’s rhetoric and philosophical inquiry to harness students’ online citizen journalism and social activism through Storify. Consequently, students have become the authors and co-authors of their learning as they engage and connect with real world problems.



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Corinne Campbell is principal of a school for students with emotional and behavioural difficulties. She previously spent 9 years as a teaching assistant principal of a mainstream primary school. Corinne has been involved in leading many school transformation projects in the areas of student engagement, wellbeing and curriculum and is passionate about building the capacity of teachers to support students with diverse learning needs. In 2016 she was awarded NSW ICT Educators Leader of the Year.



Kathy Cologon is a Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Early Childhood, Macquarie University. Her research focuses on the development of effective approaches to supporting inclusive education and social inclusion with a view towards greater recognition of the rights of all children. Kathy’s book “Inclusive education in the early years: Right from the start” was published by Oxford University Press in 2014. She is a Chief Investigator (with A/Prof Linda Graham & Prof Sue Walker) on a longitudinal study funded by the Financial Markets Foundation for Children (FMF4C-2013) which is tracking 250 QLD prep children through the early years of school.


James Davis is currently researching emotional experiences of science learners by exploring the interdependence between embodied reasoning through social interaction and the co-construction of science concepts during science inquiry. His work contributes to the detailed implementation of smart contexts in which students are situated as active participants in learning science through authentic science experiences. James currently teaches in pre-service science curriculum units at QUT, and has worked with the Step-Up Program on a science inquiry project. He previously taught junior science, mathematics and senior biology in an Education Queensland school.

Jocelyn Elliott works as the Head of Curriculum for the Increasing Activity & Intelligent Minds (iAIM) program in the Darling Downs South West Region. She regularly communicates with over 200 Principals and works with 20 teacher leaders to develop their capacity and capability to lead positive physical activity cultural change in schools, including implementation of action research projects.  She has over 20 years’ experience working in the Education, Sport and Health sectors, including two years as Executive Officer for the Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation, where she developed professional development opportunities for teachers in regional QLD.


Keely Harper-Hill is the Research Associate with the Autism CRC’s Enhancing Learning, Teaching and the Learning Experience program. Keely’s interest in autism began when she was the speech pathologist on a multidisciplinary diagnostic team. Committed to promoting access to the classroom for students with speech, language and communication difficulties, she returned to working in schools. Keely strongly believes that excellent classroom practice must be complemented by whole school approaches. Research completed for her MEd (Special Education: Autism) through Birmingham University asked students which school strategies they found helpful. Her PhD research investigated modality and language processing in autism.



Linda Graham is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education, Queensland University of Technology (QUT). She is the Lead Chief Investigator of two longitudinal research projects focusing on disruptive behaviour. One examines the experiences of students enrolled in NSW government “behaviour” schools (Australian Research Council DP110103093), and another is tracking the language, learning, experiences, relationships, attitudes and behaviour of 240 QLD prep children through the early years of school (Financial Markets Foundation for Children FMF4C-2013; ARC DP160100319). In 2014, she was elected Editor of the Australian Educational Researcher (AER) and serves as a member of the Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) Executive Committee. 



Chris Lassig is the Executive Director of the Autism Hub and Reading Centre established by the Queensland Government Department of Education and Training this year. Chris has over 20 years of school and educational leadership experience as a teacher, principal and not-for-profit CEO. He has extensive experience in secondary and special school settings, across a range of contexts. Chris has a strong interest in maximising the engagement of students with disabilities in learning, particularly through a positive approach to supporting behaviour. Chris has drawn on his experience as a Teaching and Learning Auditor to support schools on their improvement journeys, most recently as Executive Director, School Autonomy and Improvement, State Schools- Performance.




Kelli McGraw is a Lecturer in secondary English curriculum at Queensland University of Technology. Her current research interests include project based learning, digital pedagogies, and English curriculum and assessment. Previously she worked as a teacher of high school English in South-Western Sydney, NSW. Kelli is the Vice President of the English Teachers’ Association of Queensland.



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Melinda Miller is a lecturer in the School of Early Childhood, Queensland University of Technology. Her doctoral research focused on non-Indigenous educators' work around embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives in educational curricula. Melinda publishes in national and international journals on topics including racism, whiteness and intercultural education. In 2015, she was awarded the Springer Publishing Award for Best Paper published in the Australian Educational Researcher, titled: “Consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in early childhood education: The impact of colonial discourses”.



Vicki Ogilvie has 17 years of field experience specialising in violence against women, youth health, high risk young people and youth justice.  She holds qualifications in Early Childhood, Human Services and Community Service Management.  Vicki developed and implemented the Queensland Police Services Gold Lantern Award winning program: CRYPAR [Coordinated Response to Young People at Risk, now referred to as Supportlink] which was the first early intervention Police referral program of its kind in Australia. Vicki has published and presented many unique and innovative papers and she currently guest lectures for QUT’s School of Justice and UQ’s Human Service faculty. In 2014 Vicki joined the Department of Education as the Regional Youth Support Coordinator, Metropolitan Region to manage and support the 28 Youth Support Coordinators in our Metropolitan secondary schools and to develop local initiatives to address early disengagement from education.



Charlotte Pezaro holds a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) and a Graduate Bachelor of Education (Primary). She was a teacher with Education Queensland for 6 years, teaching in remote, regional and city locations. Currently, Charlotte is a PhD candidate at the University of Queensland, focusing on the relationship between argumentation and decision-making.



Stewart Riddle is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Teacher Education and Early Childhood at the University of Southern Queensland. His research interests include looking at intersections of literacies learning, music and the lives of young people, as well as social justice and equity in education. He also plays bass in an alternative rock band, called Drawn from Bees.



Erin Sadlier is an experienced educator with specialisations in behaviour and counselling, and has worked in numerous educational settings both in Australia and the UK. She has developed partnership agreements with organisations such as The Youth Sport Trust, Sport England, HeadSpace, Queensland Police Service and University equity programs to enhance service provision and student outcomes. Erin has spent much of her career in the state education sector, working in low socio-economic and culturally diverse contexts. She has a special interest in equity, engagement and the support of young people, helping turn aspirations into actuality by facilitating positive outcomes for students. Erin currently holds a leadership role as ‎the Director of Student Engagement at Education Queensland.



Beth Saggers is a Senior Lecturer at QUT with almost 30 years of teaching experience working with students on the autism spectrum (ASD), across all phases of schooling and across a very large diverse range of educational settings. She is a key researcher in the Living with Autism Cooperative Research Centre (Autism CRC), Program 2: Education. Beth is currently leading 2 Autism CRC research projects: The Autism CRC Australian Educational Needs Analysis (ASD-ENA), and the Autism CRC Early Years Behaviour Support Project (EYBSP). She also co-leads the Autism CRC School Connectedness Project (SCP) and is a critical friend to the Autism CRC Robotics Social Clubs in Mainstream Schools Project.  Since 2014, Beth has been Chair of the Research Advisory Group for AEIOU Foundation.


Sherree Soanes began her teaching career at the Gympie Special School after completing a Bachelor of Learning Management at Central Queensland University. While working as a classroom teacher in the Special Education Unit at Gympie State High School, Sherree completed a Graduate Certificate in Special Education through Griffith University. In 2015, she commenced working in her current position at Lowood State High School as the Head of Special Education Services. Prior to commencing at Lowood Sherree worked as the Acting Head of Special Education Services at several schools, including Robina State High School, Goondiwindi State High School and Gympie State High School.


Rachael Sowden has been involved in schools as a parent since late 1999, having had four children at school. She has kids that required gifted and talented support as well as early intervention, reading recovery, support classes, creative arts and sports activities as well as all the mainstream issues that occur when you engage with schools. Student wellbeing has been an important focus, with the importance of the triangle of parent/teacher/school with the centre filled with the child. Rachael now runs Family Focus Consultancy to support parents and schools engage. She also volunteers at her local canteen and P&C at school.


Anna Sullivan is a Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of South Australia. She has extensive teaching experience having taught in Australia and England and across all levels of schooling. Anna has been a chief investigator on a several Australian Research Council Linkage grants. In particular, she is the lead investigator on the ‘Behaviour at School Study’. Anna has published books and peer-reviewed papers, and appeared regularly in the media on issues related to school discipline, student behaviour and early career teachers’ work.




Natalie Swayn is one of two Directors at the new Autism Hub and Reading Centre established by the Queensland Government Department of Education and Training this year.  Natalie has responsibility for the Autism Hub element of this service, and brings more than twenty years of experience as a high school teacher, special education teacher and public servant to the role.  Natalie has a strong interest in working collaboratively with students, teachers and educational leaders to develop innovative, research-informed and sustainable teaching practices and systems which raise achievement levels for all students and guarantee excellence with equity. 

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Greg Thompson worked as a high school teacher in Western Australia for 13 years teaching a range of subjects including English, History, Woodwork and Health and Physical Education up to Year 12 level. He graduated with a PhD from Murdoch University in 2009. From 2010-2015 he worked in the School of Education at Murdoch, before taking up an Associate Professor position at QUT in July 2015. Thompson’s research focuses on educational theory, education policy, and the philosophy/sociology of education assessment and measurement with a focus on large-scale testing such as NAPLAN and PISA. Recent research projects include reconceptualising test validity and the impending impact of learning analytics/Big Data on schools.




Sue Walker is a Professor in the School of Early Childhood, Faculty of Education, QUT and a Researcher within the Children and Youth Research Centre at the Queensland University of Technology. Dr Walker is also a senior researcher with the Excellence in Research in Early Years Education Collaborative Research Network (EREYE CRN) with Charles Sturt University and Monash University and a key researcher in the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Living with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Her teaching and research interests include epistemic beliefs and teachers’ practice; early childhood social development; child outcomes in relation to inclusive early childhood education programs; early intervention and the transition to school. She is a Chief Investigator (with A/Prof Linda Graham & Dr Kathy Cologon) on a longitudinal study funded by the Financial Markets Foundation for Children (FMF4C-2013) which is tracking 250 QLD prep children through the early years of school.




Glen Watson heads the Pathways team at in the Department of Education and Training (DET) Metropolitan Region, Queensland. He started his teaching career in special education and the early 2000s his career path changed when he accepted an opportunity to implement a targeted program aimed at improving youth engagement. Glen went on to develop a “Skill Formation Strategy” for Queensland’s rail sector. Four years of working alongside employers of young people gave him a different perspective of “pathways” for young people and the role schools play in preparing young people to transition to the workplace. In 2010 he returned to DET to manage a small team that  supports the implementation of a range of initiatives to improve the pathway outcomes of young people.


Brett Wood has over thirty years of experience working with young people. His skill and knowledge has been honed across the education and community youth sectors. This provides him with a unique understanding of the educational and personal needs of young people. He established Music Industry College when he saw the magnetic power that music has to engage disenfranchised young people. He is most proud of the achievements of his students and cannot wait to see what they do next.