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Event Speakers

Jan Hasbrouck PhD

JH Educational Services

Jan Hasbrouck

PhD, JH Educational Services

Jan Hasbrouck, Ph.D. is a leading researcher, educational consultant, and author who works with schools in the U.S. and internationally.

Dr. Hasbrouck worked as a reading specialist and coach for 15 years and later became a professor. Her research in reading fluency, academic assessment and interventions, and instructional coaching has been widely published.

She is the author and coauthor of several books, curriculum materials, and assessment tools. She continues to collaborate with researchers and school colleagues on projects related to reading assessment and intervention.

Lyn Stone

Linguist & Author, Lifelong Literacy

Lyn Stone

Founder, Lifelong Literacy

Lyn is an educational linguist and author and is the owner of a consultancy and tutoring practice, Lifelong Literacy.

Lyn creates research-informed professional development seminars for teachers and other education professionals. Her goal is to help teachers awaken linguistic curiosity in their students, using creative, engaging tools and strategies that are based upon scientific consensus as to what constitutes best practice.

Lyn has extensive classroom-teaching experience and provides specialist literacy education for groups of at-risk students as well as training for teachers. Her three best-selling books, Spelling for Life, Language for Life and Reading for Life have attracted worldwide acclaim.

Dr Lorraine Hammond AM

Associate Professor, Edith Cowan University

Dr Lorraine Hammond

Associate Professor for the School of Education at Edith Cowan University [AM PhD CF]

Lorraine has worked and researched in the area of early literacy, high impact instructional strategies, including explicit teaching and learning difficulties since 1990.

Lorraine completed her Masters and PhD on the prevention of reading and spelling difficulties and in 2002 was awarded a Churchill Fellowship. In 2019, Lorraine received an Order of Australia for her contribution to tertiary education and the community.

Since 2017, Lorraine has developed and presented professional learning on evidence-based literacy strategies for the Kimberley Schools Project in the north of WA in remote community schools. In 2021, she commenced work with CECG.

Professor Pamela Snow, PhD, MAPS

Professor of Cognitive Psychology, La Trobe University

Professor Pam Snow

Professor of Cognitive Psychology, La Trobe University

Pamela Snow is the Professor of Cognitive Psychology in the School of Education at La Trobe University (Bendigo campus) and Co-Director of the Science of Language and Reading (SOLAR) Lab. She is both a speech-language pathologist and registered psychologist and has research connections in education, youth justice, and welfare sectors. She has published extensively on language and literacy in childhood and adolescence and has a research focus on knowledge translation to classroom teachers.

Tom Sherrington

Teacher, Education Consultant, Author, Teacherhead Consulting

Tom Sherrington

Teacher, Education Consultant, Author, Teacherhead Consulting

Tom Sherrington is an education consultant and author. He writes the popular blog teacherhead.com and his books include The Learning Rainforest and best-seller Rosenshine’s Principles in Action. Most recently he co-authored the popular Teaching WalkThrus series with Oliver Caviglioli, reaching 50 countries worldwide.

With 30 years’ experience as a teacher and school leader, Tom is in demand from schools around the world to deliver PD for teachers and leadership teams. He works with hundreds of schools and colleges providing training and consultancy support on improving the quality of teaching through the Walkthrus materials. He is a regular keynote speaker and contributor to conferences and education festivals.

Jackie French

Author

Jackie was the Australian Children’s Laureate for 2014/15 and the 2015 Senior Australian of the Year. She is also an historian, ecologist, dyslexic, and a passionate worker for literacy, the right of all children to be able to read, and the power of books.

Jackie’s writing career spans 25 years, 148 wombats, over 140 books, 36 languages, 3,721 bush rats, and over 60 awards in Australia and overseas. Jackie is a passionate advocate of help for children with learning difficulties as well as the conservation of wildlife and our planet.

Dr Gerard Gaskin

Executive Director, Catholic Education Tasmania

Dr Gerard Gaskin

Executive Director, Catholic Education Tasmania

Gerard has devoted most of his adult life to education – teaching in primary, secondary and tertiary settings. Gerard has enjoyed senior leadership roles in four different Catholic education systems as well as lecturing to university undergraduates – specialising in the cognitive architecture of teaching and learning.

Gerard’s Masters thesis synthesised an explicit theory of learning from the work of the ancient Greeks and the medieval philosophers – one that has now been amplified and validated by neuroscience. His doctorate examined the unique dimensions of leadership in Catholic settings.

As Executive Director of Catholic Education Tasmania, Gerard brings his learning and experience into the educational life of the system he leads. He remains passionate about the foundational contributors to quality teaching and learning: a knowledge-rich curriculum and quality instructional practice guided by cognitive load theory.

Ross Fox

Director at Catholic Education, Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn

Ross Fox

Director of Catholic Education, Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn

Ross Fox was appointed as Director of Catholic Education, Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn in December 2016. He has held senior positions in Catholic education across Australia, including Director in the Catholic Education Office Melbourne and Executive Director with the National Catholic Education Commission.

Ross grew up in country Victoria and studied Engineering at the University of NSW. Later he read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University.

Ross is inspired by the great contribution that Catholic schools and educators have made to Australia and shares a passion for seeing every child benefit from quality teaching and learning.

Rebecca Birch

English Teacher and the Director of Research and Practice, Queenwood

Rebecca Birch

English Teacher and the Director of Research and Practice, Queenwood

Rebecca Birch is a teacher of English and the Director of Research and Practice at a top 20 independent school in Sydney, Australia. She worked as a learning support officer in diverse settings while she undertook her teacher training after a successful career in advertising and fashion.

Rebecca has provided consultation and content services for Ochre Education and Catholic Education Canberra Goulburn, and has appeared on panels for ResearchED and the Gonski Institute for Education. Her current research interest is the link between explicit instruction and student wellbeing.

Dr Jenny Donovan

CEO, Australian Education Research Organisation

Dr Jenny Donovan

CEO, Australian Education Research Organisation

Dr Jenny Donovan is the inaugural CEO of the Australian Education Research Organisation. Prior to this role, she established and led the Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation (CESE) as Executive Director for 8 years. Dr Donovan began her career as a high school teacher in Sydney’s western suburbs.

She has worked in a number of education roles in operational and policy areas, including some years as Deputy Director of a not-for-profit education assessment agency at the University of New South Wales. In 2024 she was a member of Professor Mark Scott’s Teacher Education Expert Panel which delivered recommendations for reform to Initial Teacher Education that were accepted by Australia’s education Ministers.

As a result, an evidence-based core curriculum will be implemented in all initial teacher education. Jenny holds a Bachelor of Arts with a Diploma of Education from Macquarie University, MA (Hons) from UNSW and a PhD in history from the University of Sydney.

Jennifer Buckingham OAM PhD FRSN

Director of Strategy and Senior Research Fellow

Jennifer Buckingham

OAM PhD FRSN, Director of Strategy and Senior Research Fellow, MultiLit

Dr Jennifer Buckingham OAM is the Director of Strategy and Senior Research Fellow at MultiLit and is the founder and director of the ‘FIVE from FIVE’ literacy project.

She is a board member of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) and a member of the National Catholic Education Commission Standing Committee for Educational Excellence.

Jennifer chaired an expert advisory group for the Australian government on a Year 1 Literacy and Numeracy Check in 2017.  She is the co-editor of Effective Instruction in Reading and Spelling (MRU Press, 2023).

Toni Hatten-Roberts

Mastery Schools Australia, COGLearn

Toni Hatten-Roberts

Mastery Schools Australia, COGLearn

Toni Hatten-Roberts is a leader in the Science of Learning: bridging the gap between theory and classroom practice. She specialises in explicit and direct instruction curriculum, instructional delivery, and design.

She has had an extensive career in education and has been awarded the Schools Plus, Teacher of the Year Award for 2022 Teaching Fellows.

In 2016, Toni was chosen by the National Institute for Direct Instruction in the United States as the Educator of the Year. She holds an Honours in Psychology with her research into the impact of verbal rehearsal on cognitive load being presented internationally in London in 2018. 

Michael Roberts

Mastery Schools Australia, COGLearn

Michael Roberts

Mastery Schools Australia, COGLearn

Michael Roberts, an educational leader, transformed Broadbeach State School on the Gold Coast with a teacher-focused school improvement approach, attracting 30 local, national, and international schools.

He later served as Executive Director at Good to Great Schools Australia, overseeing literacy programs in 36 remote schools and initiating the Lighthouse Schools Project in 10 urban schools.

In 2020-21, as General Manager at Learning Difficulties Australia, he championed the Science of Learning. With a Bachelor of Education and Honours in Psychological Science, he co-founded Mastery Schools Australia, leads COGlearn, and sits on the boards of a private school and the newly formed Science of Teaching & Learning Australia.

Glenn Fahey

Program Director in Education Policy at The Centre For Independent Studies

Glenn Fahey

Program Director in Education Policy at The Centre For Independent Studies

Glenn Fahey is director of education at the Centre for Independent Studies, a non-profit public policy think-tank based in Sydney. His research focuses on understanding implications from the science of learning, especially in mathematics. In addition, Glenn is a regular writer and commentator on issues of education policy and practice.

Jordana Hunter

Education Program Director, Grattan Institute

Jordana Hunter

Education Program Director, Grattan Institute

Dr Jordana Hunter is the Education Program Director at the Grattan Institute. She has an extensive background in public policy design and implementation, with expertise in school education as well as economic policy. She has co-authored a number of Grattan reports on school education, focusing on improvement strategy and teacher professional learning. Her particular research interests are in approaches to designing government policies to support quality teaching and evidence-based literacy and numeracy instruction. Recent reports include Making Time for Great Teaching (2022), Ending the Lesson Lottery (2022), Tackling Under-achievement (2023) and The Reading Guarantee (2024). In 2023, Jordana was a member of the Commonwealth Expert Panel advising education ministers on a better and fairer education system to inform the next National School Reform Agreement.

Prior to joining Grattan, Jordana held policy roles in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet, and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. She has also consulted to Australian school systems, education service providers, and individual schools. Jordana has a PhD from the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne and has presented her academic research at several international conferences. She also has an Honours degree in Law and Commerce (Economics) from the University of Melbourne.

Dr Nathaniel Swain

Teacher, Instructional Coach, Researcher and Writer

Dr Nathaniel Swain

Teacher, Instructional Coach, Researcher and Writer

Dr Nathaniel Swain is a Teacher, Instructional Coach, and Writer.  He works as a Senior Lecturer in Learning Sciences and Director of Undergraduate Programs at La Trobe University School of Education and SOLAR LAB. Nathaniel has taught a range of learners in schools and Universities and founded a community of teachers committed to the Science of Learning: THINK FORWARD EDUCATORS, now 20,000 members and growing. Dr Swain is a sought after speaker on educational circuits, and has a new book soon to be released in 2024 entitled “Harnessing the Science of Learning: Success stories to kickstart your school improvement”.

Brendan Lee

Education Consultant and Host of Knowledge for Teachers Podcast

Brendan Lee

Education Consultant and Host of Knowledge for Teachers Podcast

Brendan Lee is an experienced primary school leader in NSW. When he fell down the rabbit hole of educational research, he felt compelled to help bridge the gap between research and practice by supporting teachers in implementing the evidence.

Currently, he does that through providing professional learning, writing on his blog (learnwithlee.net) and as the host of the Knowledge for Teachers Podcast.

Patrick Ellis

Education Lead at Catholic Education, Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn

Patrick Ellis

Education Lead at Catholic Education, Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn

Patrick has ben in Principal and leadership roles across Catholic Education Parramatta, Wilcannia-Forbes and Canberra-Goulburn for the past 20 years. Patrick is a certified lead teacher and holds a Masters of Adolescent and Child Welfare. Patrick now leads the Teaching and Learning at CECG, including Catalyst, CECG’s system-wide approach to teaching and learning. This work, informed by the Science of Learning and Science of Reading, has involved designing and implementing professional learning across all 56 schools focusing on high-impact teaching practice.

Jennifer White

System Lead: Curriculum and Pedagogy, Catholic Education Tasmania

Jennifer White

System Lead: Curriculum and Pedagogy, Catholic Education Tasmania

Jennifer is the Project Lead for Catholic Education Tasmania’s Insight initiative. Founded on knowledge rich curriculum and high impact teaching practices, Insight draws from the best of pedagogical practice as informed by the latest advances in the neuroscience of learning. Delivering educational reform across Catholic Education Tasmania, Jennifer has led the design and implementation of Insight since its inception and is jointly convening the inaugural Teaching Matters: Science of Learning National Summit.

Jennifer has been a senior educator within the secondary sector in Victoria and Tasmania for over 20 years, delivering curriculum redesign and leading evidence-informed professional learning opportunities. As System Lead for Curriculum and Pedagogy with Catholic Education Tasmania, Jennifer has led programs for educational growth and intrastate networking across remote and rural regions of Tasmania. Prior to commencing the Insight initiative, she provided executive oversight to the design and implementation of Catholic Education Tasmania’s Literate Learners for Life, based on the Science of Reading.

Jennifer’s qualifications include a Master of Education Degree (Arts Administration), Post Graduate Diploma in Visual and Performing Arts, Bachelor of Arts Degree (English Literature and Drama and Theatre Studies), and Diploma of Education.

Jane Longhurst

Master of Ceremonies

Jane Longhurst

Master of Ceremonies

Jane Longhurst is an award winning actor, broadcaster, voice artist and popular presenter of events big and small. She has worked extensively in theatre, television and radio since graduating from the Victorian College of the Arts. Her television credits include Bay of Fires, Deadloch, Rosehaven, Death or Liberty, Blue Heelers, Janus, A Country Practice, The Flying Doctors, Neighbours and an AFI Award winning episode of GP.

Jane is well known and loved from her regular fill in roles presenting all the programs on ABC Local Radio across Tasmania including ABC Grandstand, Rural and Classic FM. She is also a regular presenter with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra for both major concerts and touring throughout Tasmanian schools.

Jane has been the Master of Ceremonies for events including the Australian Wooden Boat Festival (2017, 2019 and 2023), National Summit Teaching Matters for Catholic Education Tasmania and Catholic Education Canberra Goulburn (2023), WorkSafe Tasmania Conferences (2022, 2021 and 2017), Palliative Care Symposium (2021) and Palliative Care Conference (2022, 2019), the inaugural Youth Symposium presented by the Youth Network of Tasmania, 2020 Tasmanian Theatre Awards, 2019 International Women’s Day Breakfast with special guest Lisa Wilkinson, Defence Tasmania symposium, the 2019 Healthy Tasmania Community Forum, 2018 Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Conference, East Coast Tourism Awards (2017 and 2018), Master Builder’s Awards night (2017, 2018), Skills Tasmania Training Awards (2023, 2022, 2021 and 2017), 2016 Tasmanian Sporting Hall of Fame and the 2014 National Foster Carer’s Association.

Jane has been the MC for the Cystic Fibrosis fundraiser lunch (2018-2020) and other charities and not-for-profit organisations such as the Women in Media Tasmanian Launch, Go Red for Women Heart Foundation Launch, White Lion Bail Out fundraiser and Royal Hobart Hospital Research Foundation.