Beyond Performance: Connecting Wellbeing and Performance through Personal Authenticity

0910 – 1010

This Keynote will explore the critical link between ‘well people’ and ‘well performance’. In part based on the insights of positive psychology into why leading from personal gift is the path of highest yield, I will use stories from my own experience with leaders across a diverse range of contexts to illustrate the need to remember that leadership is fundamentally social. Strictly speaking, we don’t lead schools, we don’t lead change. We lead people. A key further focus will be on exploring the link between wellbeing and  ‘collective efficacy’.

Mindful Learning: from theory to application – Keynote Presentation

1125 – 1225

Mindfulness is a generic skill with many applications relevant to work, learning and teaching. Being able to effectively engage attention is a pre-requisite for virtually anything else we want to do and for that reason is the single most important life-skill we ever learn. This keynote address will explore the science, philosophy and practice of mindfulness with a particular focus on aspects relevant to wellbeing, managing workload and education.

Putting the Pedagogy back in Technology with STEAM thinking

Mark Gleeson and James Riggall

In Tasmania we have great schools, excellent teachers and wonderful young people, but sometimes there can be a disconnect between what we teach and how these experiences are delivered.  Mark and James will talk about their experiences as STEAM educators, interrelating purposeful learning experiences with technology and collaborative learning cultures to produce powerful, innovative outcomes.  Mark and James will emphasise that Tasmania has a great advantage in this area – access to partners in these learning journeys that can add enormous value to your school programs.

Presentation Introduction:

  • An overview of the kinds of skills young people are going to need in the future.  Not just coding etc., but the thinking skills — computational thinking, design thinking, creativity, etc.
  • James Cuda who runs Savage interactive hires for “creativity” and Simon Tyrrell from LiveTiles hires for “empathy”.  Those are the employers we’re preparing students for.

 Interesting Projects:

“So, if this is what we’re trying to teach, what are some of the ways we can teach it?”.

  • The Battery Shed
  • Design Thinking with LiveTiles
  • Breakie with a Techie
  • Bitlink programs (particularly Level Up)
  • Active Technology, etc.
  • VR in Education @ Bellevue College
  • Family Code Club @ Enterprize

Where can you start?:

  • We introduce some easy/low barrier places to start:
  • Running a code club at your school.
  • Getting out of the building and seeing who’s around in your community.
  • Reaching out to the parents and friends network.
  • If you’re in Launceston, talk to the STEAM NGN.
  • Use org or Scratch.

 Key themes/ideas:

  • That you want to build a community around technology if you can. Avoid single-person dependence!
  • That you want to engage the wider community in this teaching at your school. Partnerships are everything!
  • You don’t need a whole heap of specialised knowledge to get started. Getting started is the key!
  • The kids can move at their own pace if you use the right kinds of tools. Engagement, engagement, engagement…
  • Don’t lose track of pedagogy when you start tangling with the technology. Technology without pedagogy is a gimmick…

Innovation Precincts: A Model for Equitable Community Development

Pete Carr

Peter will share some of the specific activities being undertaken within the city to establish Hobart’s own campus vision. From an initial narrative, to stakeholder consultation and practical strategic themes, this workshop will encourage ideas and discussion that may spark your school’s own smart campus ideation journey.


Peter has enjoyed a rewarding career in the technology and media industries as international analyst, business advisor, technology researcher, media producer and operational manager. He is now the Director of City Innovation and Technology at the City of Hobart responsible for how technology is used to drive and support service innovation and operational efficiency across the city.

Connected Hobart: An Innovative Smart Campus

Pete Carr

Although Hobart, at 1,696km², is slightly larger than the average school campus, the boundaries between city campus and school campus are increasingly blurred. From stakeholders to technologies and partnerships to vision, the smart campus is a critical design thinking concept that will increasingly shape the success of contemporary education. Peter will explore some of the thinking behind the creation of the City of Hobart Smart City Alliance Innovation Precinct, a project in collaboration with the University of Tasmania, as a way of encouraging schools to engage and unlock the potential of their whole communities.


Peter has enjoyed a rewarding career in the technology and media industries as international analyst, business advisor, technology researcher, media producer and operational manager. He is now the Director of City Innovation and Technology at the City of Hobart responsible for how technology is used to drive and support service innovation and operational efficiency across the city.

Technology Sandpit

To follow up Sally Gill’s Ed Talk prepare to be inspired by attending this hands-on workshop, where a range of hands-on stations will allow you to try a wide variety of digital technologies. Learn about the potential pros and cons of each featured technology, gain ideas and resources to support their use, and talk with upper primary students about how they have used them. Featured technologies will include MaKey MaKey, Scratch, Arduino, Micro:bit, BeeBots, Bebras and other free and low-cost digital options.


Sally Gill has been Principal of Waimea Heights Primary for the past seven years. She has led both rural and city schools. Under her leadership Waimea has been instrumental in exploring real life problem solving using the digital technologies and was also selected as an Amplify STEM school in 2017. The school has rebranded itself as a school focused on developing strong global citizens whose students feel empowered to make a difference. The three year involvement in the New Pedagogies for Deep Learning Project was the initial catalyst for developing the opportunities for deep student learning focused on authentic contexts. In 2016 Sally was a recipient of the John Laing Awards for her contribution to professional learning.  

Philippa Clymo is Assistant Principal at Waimea Heights Primary, where she has been instrumental in supporting digital technologies, STEM and a problem solving approach. She trains all Year 5/6 students in the Future Problem Solving program, and has taken six teams to the national finals in six years, with two teams being selected to represent Australia at international level. Philippa has also pioneered Waimea’s involvement in the Young ICT Explorers competition for three years, supporting teachers and students to use digital technology to solve a multitude of real-world problems. Philippa received a Hardie Fellowship to study STEM Education in USA, and was awarded the TASITE Educator of the Year 2017, and the Tasmanian STEM Teacher of the Year (Primary) 2017.

Four Parts Inspiration, One Part Perspiration

Sally will share a story of inspired/highly engaged students, courageous teachers and a supportive and resourceful community led by an inspirational school leader who captured an unexpected moment to build on a (digital learning) opportunity. This led to deepening the use of digital technologies as students solved real world problems.  Building on a three year journey with the New Pedagogies for Deep Learning Project, Waimea had developed its own identity as a problem solving school when an unforeseen moment arose. A chance encounter, or even a misunderstanding, enabled students and teachers to grasp The Young ICT Explorers competition and made it part of the school learning culture as students engaged in making the world a better place.

During Sally’s leadership at Waimea, the school has been transformed especially in the area of the  digital technologies. The journey began when Waimea joined the New Pedagogies for Deep Learning Project with 20 other Tasmanian school. This gave the school the impetus to explore ‘new’ pedagogies and develop the ‘Waimea Way’ which focuses on the embedding of the  digital technologies, ensuring a  strong pedagogical  approach, developing learning partnerships with the wider community, whilst ensuring the school’s  values of learning & achievement, integrity, social responsibility and diversity are utmost.



Stronger Smarter: High Expectations Relationships with Indigenous Students

Thursday, 10:00 – 10:45

Professor Chris Sarra’s work at Cherbourg State School, an Aboriginal community school in South East Queensland, was groundbreaking, exposing the teaching profession and Aboriginal communities to a newer, more positive and honourable reality in which Aboriginal children could be stronger and smarter. After 7 years at Cherbourg School he founded the Stronger Smarter Institute, which has worked with and inspired more than 3000 school and Aboriginal community leaders in more than 600 schools. The tide of low expectations did change and today there is no place to hide without being challenged, in any classroom in Australia for any teacher of Aboriginal children.

In his address Professor Sarra will reflect upon his personal and professional journey and invite us to contemplate how we as educators might learn from this and set about purging the stench of low expectations in our own schools.

Developing a Culture of Inquiry – Leading with Curiosity and Courage

Thursday, 11 50 – 12 10

What do all great teachers and leaders have in common? A need to continue to question and inquire into their practice and the effectiveness of it. Having an inquiry mindset is essential to improved practice and student learning outcomes. But how do we refine this so that we are focusing on the right work and not driving ourselves crazy with questions, insight and continual change?

Finding the right question to inquire into is crucial – knowing what you want to work towards focuses your work and energies. Building this mindset in schools needs a leader who questions their own beliefs about education, welcomes and grows curiosity in their school and has the courage to tread the right path for their school context and community.