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Presenters & Programme

Mark Osborne

Mark Osborne

Mark is Senior Consultant at CORE Education specialising in Modern Learning Environments and Practice, and building leadership capacity.

Mark’s mission is to help schools become awesomeness incubators and he has worked with dozens of schools to help them build new learning spaces, and retrofit existing ones, to support learning that is truly future-focused.

Mark also founded Emerging Leaders - Aotearoa, a group of several hundred educators who are committed to growing leadership capacity across the sector and fostering innovation in the profession. He is currently completing his PhD on leadership in modern learning environments, at the University of Melbourne.

You can find Mark on Twitter @mosborne01.

Mark's sessions:

Leading Transformative Change

One of the key capabilities of a modern leader is the ability to lead groups of people through change. While change leadership can be messy, there are clear strategies that increase the likelihood change will be successful, and some clear pitfalls to avoid.

Innovative Learning Environments

What key research is emerging around the best way to design, implement and evaluate innovative learning environments? This session will explore the latest in research and will look at practical ways to implement it. 


Rebbecca Sweeney

Rebbecca Sweeney

Rebbecca facilitates and mentors groups and individuals in clusters or networks, schools and early childhood services to build meaningful future focused visions, principles and practices. She works with practitioners in their own contexts to set and achieve their aspirations.

Her work with teachers and leaders encourages the exploration of "future focused education" so they can build definitions of this that suit their contexts and help learners to develop the skills to create the futures that they want.

Rebbecca is an expert in supporting teachers and leaders to engage in Spirals of Inquiry to innovate and transform their practice.

Rebbecca's session: Innovating Practice with Spirals of Inquiry

Positive change in teaching practice is more likely through the use of spirals of inquiry, which can enable teachers and learners to determine what they need to learn and do to promote learning. How can you best support the use of spirls of inquiry in your organisation?


Joanne Robson

Joanne Robson

Jo is a Future Focused Education Facilitator at CORE Education. She is an experienced, innovative middle leader and educator, with over 15 years curriculum and pastoral experience.

As a foundation member of the first purpose-built Junior High School in Albany, Jo held the position of Head of Learning Area English for 10 years. This included TLR Library, and the implementation of school wide literacy.

As a classroom practitioner, she worked to create a Modern Learning Environment within a traditional classroom setting, using practice and pedagogy to empower learners.

Jo’s strengths are working collaboratively to motivate and empower staff to promote excellence in teaching, leading, and learning - alongside setting high standards for all learners. She has experience teaching across several curriculum areas and is very familiar with NCEA, National Standards, Literacy Progressions and the New Zealand Curriculum.

Obtaining First Class Honours in the Master of Educational Leadership and Management focusing on ‘Appraisal of Middle Leaders’ has equipped Jo with critical skills in areas such as utilising productive dialogue and effective appraisal practice.

Jo regularly writes about her experiences on her blog: eMPOWERed: Empowering educators, leaders, and learners — one blog at a time.

You can find Jo on Twitter @eMPOWERedNZ.

Jo’s session: Universal Design for Learning/Inclusive Environments

How do we design and build innovative learning environments that respond to the needs of our diverse learners, regardless of whether the environment is new or existing? Universal Design for Learning is an approach to the design of learning opportunities that tries to ensure they are successful for all learners.


Hazel Owen and Merryn Dunmill

Hazel Owen

Hazel Owen

Hazel was a project leader for the Virtual Professional Learning and Development with CORE initiative from 2010 to 2014. She has mentored, in this role, a wide range of practitioners and leaders, and working from a strengths based approach, has helped them achieve their aspirations, transform their practice, and work through challenging situations.

She is internationally recognised for her work in mentoring and facilitation in online environments, eLearning, and online community development - areas that she has also researched and reported on extensively.

Merryn Dunmill

Merryn Dunmill

Merryn is Project Co-Leader and mentor in the Virtual Professional Learning and Development (VPLD) programme, and Co-Leader of the Future Focus Inquiries (FFI) project team. She brings a passion for inclusive education, creativity, and innovation to her leadership and mentoring roles.

The evolution of practice is at the heart of Merrynʻs mentoring as she supports teachers and leaders to critically reflect, and to value their own and their studentsʻ abilities, backgrounds, and aspirations.

Hazel & Merryn’s session: Coaching and Mentoring

Great leaders don't create followers, they create more leaders. What are the key skills and capabilities that leaders need in order to coach and mentor those around them, not only face-to-face but also virtually?


Janelle Riki-Waaka

Janelle Riki-Waaka

Janelle is the South Region Team Leader for Learning with Digital Technologies at CORE Education.

She has considerable teaching and leadership experience in both English-medium and bilingual education settings, and has written whole-school Te Reo Māori teaching and learning programmes, school policies and procedures for bilingual programmes and mainstream schools, the Treaty of Waitangi in education, Ka Hikitia Managing for Success, as well as Tikanga Māori in education.

Janelle's session: Cultural Responsiveness

As leaders in schools, how can we create a culture, systems and practices that allow our Māori learners to achieve as Māori? What strategies are emerging from research as mostly likely to make a difference?