2017 Speakers

Prof Chris Sarra

Professor Chris Sarra is an internationally recognised Indigenous education specialist and is the founder and Chairman of the Stronger Smarter Institute.

Professor Sarra became the first Aboriginal principal at Cherbourg State School 1998 – 2005, holds a Diploma of Teaching, a Bachelor of Education, a Master of Education, and an Executive Masters in Public Administration from the Australia New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG). He has a PhD in Psychology at Murdoch University, with his PhD thesis “Strong and smart – towards a pedagogy for emancipation: education for first peoples”, developed into a book and published in 2011. Professor Sarra is also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and an Honorary Fellow of the School of Ethical Leadership at the Melbourne Business School. In 2006, with the support of the Queensland Government, he established the Indigenous Education Leadership Institute, the forerunner to the Stronger Smarter Institute.

Professor Sarra is passionate about effecting sustainable change through positive leadership and mentoring with high expectations for a strong and smart Indigenous population. He is passionate about effecting sustainable change through positive leadership and mentoring with high expectations for a strong and smart Indigenous population.

Professor Sarra is a Commissioner on the Australian Rugby League Commission, since 2012, and is a Professor of Education at the University of Canberra, teaching and researching on school leadership, Indigenous education and educational equity. In 2004, Professor Sarra was named Queenslander of the Year, in 2005 a finalist for Australian of the Year for Queensland, and in 2010 was named Queensland Australian of the Year.

Mick Walsh

Mick is a leading international Positive Education educator and coach. He is the author of the Learning Curve Positive Education and Wellbeing program, which is used in several thousand schools worldwide. The program’s resources support parents, students and school staff to become their best possible selves.

He is keenly sought after to present at conferences and coach in schools on building resilient wellbeing through a character strengths’ approach.

Mick is an inclusive communicator who is at the forefront in creating practical resilience and wellbeing building strategies from evidence based research. He teaches people how to navigate the social-emotional development of students and themselves and empowers them to:

  • Welcome challenges to enjoy positive emotions to flourish.
  • Look to the future with optimism and hope.
  • Show in their every thought, word and action that other people matter.
  • Accept that by lifting their efforts to learn new approaches, they will grow their brain’s abilities in all areas of their lives.

Prof David Adams

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Community, Partnerships and Regional Development)

Professor Adams was appointed Pro Vice-Chancellor (Community, Partnerships and Regional Development) in July 2016, following a successful leadership role as Head of School within the Tasmanian School of Business and Economics.  As a Professor of Management his expertise is in public and social policy with a focus on communities and regional development.  Prof Adams is based at the University’s Launceston Campus and remains a strong advocate for the transformative and innovative future of the North and North-West regions of Tasmania.

Professor Adams has had an extensive career as a senior executive in the public, private and community sectors in Australia.  Prior to his employment at the University of Tasmania, he held a number of civic roles including as Chair of the Tasmanian Food Security Council and as the inaugural Social Inclusion Commissioner for Tasmania.

Formerly, Professor Adams was the Deputy Secretary in the Tasmanian Department of Health and Community Services and the Deputy Secretary in the Victorian Premiers Department.  In Victoria, Professor Adams was instrumental in establishing the Department for Victorian Communities, that became the first Australian Department of State focused on place and the development of social capital.  Professor Adams was a founding member of PASCAL the OECD linked Observatory on social capital, place management and learning regions.  In Tasmania as Social Inclusion Commissioner, Professor Adams developed both the first State Cost of Living Strategy in Australia and the first State Food Security Policy.

Dr Joan-Mary Hinds

Joan-Mary is a highly-qualified researcher, innovator and consultant in the field of teacher and employee motivation. Her original research, insights and models are outlined in her book ‘We. Me. It. Compelling insights into the essence of human motivation’ (2016).

Joan-Mary’s career includes psychologist, teacher, university lecturer, human resources director, Federal government advisor, management consultant, speaker and author (with over 100 professional academic and professional presentations). As the leader of a successful consultancy, she assisted major organisations to raise employee motivation and affect culture change.

Joan-Mary will share the results of her innovative research into the dynamics and drivers of teacher motivation and wellbeing in Australia; together with the school based actions that can make a difference. Currently an Adjunct Senior Researcher at UTAS, Joan-Mary holds post graduate degrees in teaching, education, business management, and psychoanalytic psychology, enhanced by awards for research and communication.

Monique Carter

Monique has a Bachelor of Education in Early Childhood, and has been teaching for 27 years in the Department of Education, working across a diversity of primary school settings in the state and specialising in the early years. Monique has held senior positions since 2000 and became a Principal in 2008. Currently Monique is Principal of Lansdowne Crescent Primary School in West Hobart, Tasmania, where she has been since 2012. In 2015 Monique took part in a Hardie Fellowship, travelling to the United States to study with the Project Zero team at Harvard. In 2016 Monique won the Department of Education’s Principal of the year award. Monique is a keen learner, very passionate about genuine collaboration that is founded on a shared understanding of what we want for our children and how we want our children to be when they leave our place of learning.

Peter Carr

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  a  skilled business technologist and consultant with deep experience in simplifying the practical application of complex systems within complex organisations.   Peter’s broad view of global technology, its emerging trends and key suppliers, enables him to provide organisations  with  a  balanced  view  of  innovation  including  the  selection,  procurement, implementation and management of technology.

He was appointed to the 2010 World Computer Congress organising committee, has consulted to all levels of government, and is today independently appointed to the technology governance and steering committees for a number of public, private, commercial and not-for-profit organisations across Australia and New Zealand.   As former Australia-New Zealand head of global tech-analyst firms Forrester Research, META Group, and Longhaus Peter’s 20+  years  of  global  experience  delivers  confidence,  trust  and  control  into  executive  and  board-of-management  decision making processes by delivering independent advocacy and guidance at their point of need.   Peter  is  recognised  as  one  of  Australia’s  leading  independent  technology  analysts  and  regularly  attends  international invitation-only events as a recognised thought leader, speaker, and business advisor. He actively supports the growth of the global Smart Cities agenda through both primary research and first-hand advisory projects with organisations across the Asia Pacific and was one of twenty Australian’s chosen to participate in the European Union’s World Cities program in 2017-18.


Peter  Carr  Advisory  (PCA)  is  an  Australian  strategy-to-execution  consulting  and  advisory  firm  with  deep  expertise  in technology selection and implementation. We specialise in delivering strategic advice and operational support to Private Organisations, Statutory Authorities, State Governments, Councils, Not For Profits, Technology Vendors and their channel partners,  transforming  their  businesses  through  process,  or  transitioning  enterprise  technology  environments  to  digital ecosystems that optimise the use of traditional and cloud architectures.

Graham Speight

Graham Speight will be well known to many of you from his years as principal at Bridgewater High, Launceston College and Rosetta/Montrose Bay High. Graham was also the creator and first principal consultant for the Principals for the Future program.

Graham retired from the Education Department in 2010, but retains his interest in educational issues. He has just completed a doctorate with La Trobe University: his topic – the dismissal of incompetent teachers.

Kelly Dyer

Kelly has a Bachelor of Education in Early Childhood and a Master of Education in Inclusive Practice. For the past 22 years Kelly has worked internationally and across Tasmania. Kelly is currently the Principal of New Norfolk Primary School. In 2016 Kelly participated in a Hardie Fellowship. Kelly studied at the DATA WISE Leadership Institute at Harvard University to further understand the strategic use of formative assessment data to drive decision making and instruction. In particular using student voice as a key driver to improving practice and outcomes.