Professor James AdonopoulosAcademic Dean and Director, Kaplan Professional | Independent Higher Education Australia
Professor James Adonopoulos is the Academic Dean of Kaplan Business School where he leads 450 faculty members across five cities as well as online, and the teaching and learning strategy of a dozen diverse disciplines.
Under his academic leadership, the School became only the ninth institute of higher education trusted by the regulator as a self-accrediting authority and was named Business School of the Year at the global PIEoneer Awards. In the government’s QILT data, Kaplan Business School is ranked among the Top 2 business schools for postgraduate teaching quality, Top 3 for skill development, and Top 5 for quality of educational experience.
This is his fifth year as an elected national director of Independent Higher Education Australia and regularly represents the private and international sectors in government reference groups.
James’s career pre-academia comprised managerial roles in financial services, a nationally syndicated business column and a PhD that researched the influence of leaders during organisational crises.
Professor Lise BarryDean, Macquarie Law School, Macquarie University
Professor Lise Barry is the Dean of Macquarie Law School. Lise has over 25 years experience in higher education and has held numerous leadership positions focussed on learning and teaching. Lise is interested in the power of AI to aid creativity and support academic and student productivity. Lise practices in the field of mediation and is a member of the National Sports Tribunal.
Professor Simon BedfordPro Vice -Chancellor (Learning Futures), Western Sydney University
Simon Bedford is Pro Vice-Chancellor Learning Futures, at Western Sydney University where he is responsible for the leadership of strategic educational innovation and collaboration to shape the University's commitment to ensuring its students fulfil their potential to become influential global citizen-scholars in a new technology-enabled world. His portfolio includes, Teaching and Curriculum, Technology Enable learning, , Mathematics Education Support (MESH) and Sustainability Education (SDG’s).
At Western, his contribution to teaching and learning is evidenced through his leadership of the WesternX (Microcredentialing), NPILF Projects, and Digital Transformation), the creation of a new curriculum design and approvals policy, better learning analytics for the continuous improvement of teaching, enhanced awards/recognition programs, and the collaborative delivery of original staff professional learning programs to support the design and implementation of that curriculum within our technology enabled learning environments.
As a researcher in the field of higher education, Simon currently supervises HDR students all drawing on a range of conceptual frameworks, methodologies and methods in the areas of learning analytics, assessment literacy, and digital transformation (Dx). He has helped to drive several national projects including Institutional External Referencing of Assessment Standards (ERoS), OLT Inter-institutional collaboration through delivering formative assessment, and OLT Assessing Assessments against threshold learning outcomes, and is a leader of CAULLT microcredentialing and Technology Enabled Mentoring Projects.
Simon is an award-winning teacher, having been recognised for his achievements with three Vice Chancellor Outstanding contributions to learning and teaching awards, and an Australian Awards for University teaching (AAUT) award. He is a leader of the Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia (HERDSA) assessment group and is president of the Council of Australasian University Leaders in Learning and Teaching (CAULLT).
Professor Adam BridgemanPro Vice-Chancellor (Educational Innovation), University of Sydney
Adam gained his undergraduate degree in chemistry from St Catherine’s College at the University of Oxford and his PhD in computational inorganic chemistry from Trinity Hall at the University of Cambridge. He was Director of First-Year Studies in Chemistry and Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching) in Science at the University of Sydney before joining the Education Portfolio as Director and then Pro Vice-Chancellor (Educational Innovation). In this role he leads our work to provide professional development and collaborative support for teaching and learning activities. In 2023 and 2024, he is leading the institutional response to AI in Education and to the changes in the government’s student support policies.
Adam has dedicated his career to enhancing student learning and the student experience. He has received numerous teaching awards in the UK and Australia, including four University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor Awards for Support of the Student Experience and Teaching Excellence, and an Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) Award for Programs that Support Learning.
Sarah CarneyChief Technology Officer, ANZ, Microsoft
Sarah is the Chief Technology Officer for Microsoft ANZ, where she leads the technical strategy, vision, and execution for our largest and most strategic customers. Prior to Microsoft Sarah served in the Australian army, followed by a decade travelling the world and working across a broad range of industries in both Europe and the Middle East. She has supported Think Tanks, built custom business applications and attended ballet for a living. Her varied experience and perspective across industries brought her back to Australia, first to telecommunications, and then to IT.
Tracey ClarkeHead of Learning Analytics, Knox Grammar School
A passionate advocate for excellence and equity in education. Experienced across all three educational sectors, syllabus development, professional learning and conference presentations. An advocate for the development of middle leaders in education to improve the educational experiences of the students and teachers under their care. At the forefront of developing the use of learning analytics to inform classroom practice to include student voice. Currently developing a network for Women Who Teach Boys, to build community, share stories and experiences.
David de CarvalhoChief Executive Officer, Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority
Dr Anna DenejkinaResearch Director, YouthInsight – Student Edge
Dr Anna Denejkina is the Research Director at YouthInsight, Australia’s premier youth-focused research agency, whose research spans across sectors including wellbeing and mental health, government, education, industry, technology and more. Dr Denejkina is passionate about research innovation, methods and ethics, and supporting the wellbeing of young people. Prior to joining YouthInsight, Dr Denejkina was a tenured academic with a sociology of health research program focusing on psychological trauma and wellbeing in various communities, including Defence families and the LGBTQIA+ community.
Matthew EstermanDirector, Innovation and Partnerships, Our Lady of Mercy College
Matthew Esterman is Director of Innovation and Partnerships at Our Lady of Mercy College, Parramatta. He holds master’s degrees from Macquarie University and the University of Sydney, and is the recipient of several awards, including a Commonwealth Bank Teaching Fellowship for 2023. His role involves establishing and maintaining valuable partnerships with external organisations, as well as seeking out and adopting innovative approaches to the school experience. His portfolio includes supporting the Library and Careers Education teams. Matthew recently launched the Mercy Multicredential initiative at OLMC, which allows students to curate a portfolio of evidence from across their school experience towards a nationally recognised, formal credential. He is a keen lifelong learner who believes we can bend the future using creativity, critical thinking, and compassion.
Sharon FosterExecutive Director, Curriculum, Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority
Sharon Foster was appointed Director, Curriculum in November 2021. She initially joined ACARA in September 2020 as Senior Manager, leading the consultation process for the review of the Australian Curriculum.
Sharon came to ACARA from the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA), where she was the Manager of the Victorian Curriculum: F-10 Unit responsible for the development and delivery of the Victorian F-10 Curriculum. Prior to that, she worked in senior program and policy roles across the Department of Education and Training, Victoria focused on developing and delivering curriculum projects and professional learning programs.
Sharon started her career as a secondary school teacher and progressed to assistant principal before moving into the health sector to develop education programs and projects. Throughout her career, Sharon has also worked as an education and communications consultant for a range of private sector and not-for-profit organisations.
Associate Professor Sheridan GentiliDirector, Teaching Innovation Unit, University of South Australia
Sheridan’s current role at the UniSA is that of Director: Teaching Innovation Unit (TIU).
The TIU is a team of practiced academics and specialists in education design and technology. The team works in two main areas:
1. Research and development to lead best practice in higher education; and
2. Partner and support UniSA academics and external stakeholders to design and deliver an outstanding curriculum using relevant, effective teaching practices, technologies, and tools.
The Unit's vision is for all UniSA students to receive a quality education where discipline expertise is informed by student-centered pedagogies and contemporary higher education research. Passionate academics will deliver outstanding curricula supported by leading edge teaching technologies. We build capacity by recognising excellence and empowering academic staff to translate their discipline expertise into transformative learning experiences for our students, drawing on the latest in curriculum design and delivery, and technology.
Our services include Academic Development, Audio Visual and Multimedia, and Technology Enhanced Learning support. From videos and multimedia, to curriculum design, the TIU team can help you develop a transformative your curriculum to support all students.
Sheridan is intersted in exploring how learning and teaching tools and technology, through the use of learning analytics, can be used to improve the student experience and academic performance. The propensity of academic staff to use academic performance data as indicators of success is distal of earlier learning behaviours. Therefore, Sheridan is interested in exploring the impact that personalised feedback, using real-time data of online learning behaviour, has academic success. Specifically, her work focusses on exploring the learning and teaching experiences, and behaviours that encourage high achieving students and those of average achieving students, with an aim to better inform our teaching practices to encourage student learning cross all academic levels.
She has a Ph.D. in Physiology and a Graduate Diploma in Biostatistics.
Professor Nicole GillespieCo-Lead, Trust, Ethics and Governance Alliance and KPMG Chair in Organisational Trust, University of Queensland
Dr Craig HansenFounder & Chief Executive Officer, Summit Institute
Dr Craig Hansen is the leading Digitech professional learning & development for education in Aotearoa, New Zealand. His work as a Ministry of Education accredited facilitator for Massey University, Cognition and Learning Architects has seen him train educators across the motu in the application of Ai for teaching, learning and assessment in primary and secondary schools. With a PhD from the University of Auckland, Craig has creative a unique process that connects industry, research and education to produce world-class graduates who succeed in the creative industries sector. Those who attend Dr Craig’s sessions both broaden their understanding of Ai & digital technology, while also returning back to their schools with practical steps & tools to become more efficient and effective in their day to day roles.
Max KayeHead of Data, Analytics and AI – ANZ, Google
Dr Michael KolloChief Executive Officer, Evolved Reasoning
An executive business leader with global financial services and deep technology management experience Dr. Kollo has deep subject matter expertise in quantitative finance, asset allocation, portfolio construction and risk management, as well as economic forecasting.
Dr. Kollo is an analytical and thoughtful people leader with a passion for mentoring and bringing aligning to high performing teams.
Professor Romy LawsonDeputy Vice Chancellor (Students), Flinders University
Romy Lawson is the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Students) at Flinders University. Her portfolio encompasses Learning and Teaching Innovation; Curriculum Impact; Academic Quality and Enhancement; Student Experience and Management; Marketing and the Office of Indigenous Strategy and Engagement.
Prior to joining Flinders, Romy was Provost at Murdoch University and, before that, Deputy-Vice-Chancellor (Education). Earlier roles include Pro Vice Chancellor Education at Edith Cowan University, and Director of Learning, Teaching & Curriculum at the University of Wollongong. She has been actively involved in teaching and learning development in higher education for over 20 years in both the UK and Australia. Romy led the National OLT Strategic Priority Project on Strategies for Curriculum Mapping and Data Collection for Assurance of Learning, and has been a team member in other ALTC funded projects including: Embedding Professionally Relevant Learning in Business Education; and Facilitating staff and student engagement with graduate attribute development, assessment and standards in Business Faculties.
In 2013 Romy was awarded a National OLT Teaching Fellowship for work on Curriculum Design for Assuring Learning. She has been an associate editor for the HERD Journal, senior editor for the Journal of University of Teaching and Learning Practice and she has also held executive roles with national associations including HERDSA, CADAD and ALTF.
Professor Suzanne Le MirePro Vice-Chancellor (Student Learning), University of Adelaide
As the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Student Learning at the University of Adelaide, Professor Suzanne Le Mire is responsible for the quality and compliance of the University's learning and teaching programs. In this role, she works closely with faculty members, professional staff, and students to develop and implement strategies that enhance outcomes for students. Suzanne has led transformational projects across the University including the learning and teaching response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Education in a Digital World Strategy. She is currently working on a variety of aspects of the proposed merger of University of Adelaide with the University of South Australia. She also holds a position as Professor of Law at the Adelaide Law School with research interests in corporate law and professional ethics, and a particular focus on the regulation of independence in professional contexts
Dr Heidi Le SueurDeputy Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching), International College of Management Sydney
Dr Heidi le Sueur is Deputy Vice Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) at International College of Management Sydney (ICMS) overseeing the pedagogy and curriculum of all programs of study offered by International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS) and the Aspire Institute and leading the academic department. Dr Le Sueur worked previously at the University in Cape Town and the Stellenbosch University in South Africa. In the leadership roles she held as Head of Accreditation and Quality Assurance and later Head of Teaching & Learning she was afforded the opportunity to enhance the standards of management education and to lead impactful changes to Teaching & Learning processes, programmes, assessments and other critical quality and accreditation aspects. Dr Le Sueur regularly presents at national and international conference on topics such as: Strategic Organisational Change, Scholarship of Learning Teaching, Academic Integrity, Generative AI in the classroom.
Dr Le Sueur holds a PhD in the field of organisational behaviour and personnel development from the Faculty of Education at the University Bielefeld, Germany; a Master’s degree Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Cape Town, South Africa; a Master’s degree in Education and Pedagogy from the University of Applied Sciences Cologne, Germany.
Associate Professor Danny LiuAssociate Professor (Education Focused), University of Sydney
Danny is a molecular biologist by training, programmer by night, researcher and academic developer by day, and educator at heart. A multiple international and national teaching award winner, he works at the confluence of learning analytics, artificial intelligence, student engagement, educational technology, and professional development and leadership. He is an Associate Professor in the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) Portfolio at the University of Sydney, and co-chairs the University's AI in Education working group.
Dr Ian OppermannChief Data Scientist, NSW Department of Customer Service
Dr. Ian Oppermann is the NSW Government’s Chief Data Scientist working within the Department of Customer Service. He is also an Industry Professor at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS).
Ian has been recognised as a Global Leader in Data and Analytics (Corinium’s Global Top 100 in 2020 and 2022) spanning the domains of government, industry, academia and standards. Ian has an MBA from the University of London and a PhD in Mobile Telecommunications from Sydney University.
Ian is a Fellow of the Institute of Engineers Australia, a Fellow of the IEEE, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, a Fellow of the Royal Society of NSW, is a Fellow and Immediate Past President of the Australian Computer Society, and a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He is Chair of Australia’s IEC National Committee and JTC1, the NSW AI Review Committee and the NSW Smart Places Advisory Council.
Professor Emeritus Julie OwensFormer Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research), Deakin University
Alfred Deakin Professor Emeritus Julie Owens is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research at Deakin University (2018-2023), having led a portfolio that included seven research institutes, notably the Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation and the Applied Artificial Intelligence (AI) Institute. Prior to this, Professor Owens was Pro Vice Chancellor (Research Strategy) at the University of Adelaide, and also acted as Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research. Professor Owens oversaw major growth in Deakin’s research enterprise, with external research income increasing almost 3 fold, assisted by development of unique and cutting edge tools and facilities, including AI-based, and large externally funded programs, such as the Trailblazer Recycling and Clean Energy Commercialisation Hub (REACH), creating the largest recycling and clean energy advanced manufacturing ecosystem nationally, with $384M federal government, industry & university investment. Most recently, Professor Owens contributed to the development of Deakin’s guidelines for the use of generative AI in research for academics, researchers and students.
Bridget PearceHead of Academic Services (Acting), Brisbane Grammar School
Bridget is a forward-thinking educator and human-centered innovator, currently serving as the Head of Academic Services at Brisbane Grammar School. With a background as a Senior English Teacher, she has a rich understanding of dystopian literature from authors like Shelley, Bradbury, and Orwell, which has instilled in her a strong sense of moral responsibility regarding the ethical implications of transformational technologies.
At Brisbane Grammar School, Bridget spearheads an innovation project focused on the responsible use of artificial intelligence to enhance thinking and writing, while maintaining the integrity of human connections and cognitive processes.
Bridget is a staunch advocate for inclusion, neurodiversity, and Universal Design for Learning, striving to create learning environments where every student can thrive and become the best version of themselves.
Dr Sandra PeterDirector – Sydney Business Insights, University of Sydney
Dr Sandra Peter is the Director of Sydney Business Insights at the University of Sydney Business School. She is also co-director of Sydney Executive Plus, the Business School’s new executive initiative. Her research expertise and practice focus on engaging with the future in productive ways. She has led strategic initiatives and worked on executive programs with business, Research Organisations, Government and Defence. Her new podcast series is The Unlearn Project. She also co-hosts one of Australia’s leading Business and Technology podcasts The Future, This Week. She has published in MIS Quarterly, JAIS, JIT and EJIS and works on a wide range of educational research initiatives and programs, including work with UNESCO and the Department of Education. She has contributed thought pieces, op eds, interviews and research in the Australian Financial Review, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Guardian, The Australian and the ABC.
Dr Deborah PriceACSA President | Research Degrees Coordinator, Education Futures, Australian Curriculum Studies Association | University of South Australia
Dr Deborah Price is Research Degrees Coordinator and Senior Lecturer Inclusive Education and Wellbeing at the University of South Australia (UniSA): Education Futures. She is an Executive member of the UniSA Centre for Research in Educational and Social Inclusion (CRESI) and currently President of the Australian Curriculum Studies Association (ACSA). Her educational research focuses on: Inclusive Education; Disability; Educator and Learner Wellbeing; Social Justice; Culturally and Religiously Responsive Pedagogy; Curriculum; Teacher Education; Bullying, Persistent Bullying and Cyberbullying; Youth Studies and Voice; Capabilities and Strengths-Based approaches; and Inquiry, Participatory Design and Action Research methodologies. Deborah is currently on the University of South Australia Generative Artificial Intelligence Working Group. Further details can be found at https://people.unisa.edu.au/Debbie.Price.
Professor Kylie ReadmanDeputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice President (Education and Students), University of Technology Sydney
Professor Kylie Readman is the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Education and Students) at University of Technology Sydney. In that role, Kylie focuses on creating the institutional conditions for building staff and student capacity in learning, teaching, and the student experience, centred around academic engagement, belonging, wellbeing and partnerships. Ensuring student equity is a central theme of her work, including several research projects that investigate the experience of students from a range of diverse backgrounds which are under-represented in higher education. She has had many years’ experiences of leading innovation at the whole-of-institution level, including strategy, resourcing, curriculum integration and product design and campus master planning. Kylie is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a 2020 recipient of an Equity Practitioners in Higher Education Australasia Champion for Change citation.
Dr Suneeti RekhariDirector Educational Quality, TAFE NSW
Dr Suneeti Rekhari has extensive experience in the Australian tertiary education sector, leading quality, contemporary approaches to learning and teaching, and building teacher capability. In recognition of her global leadership in these fields, she is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She is currently Director Educational Quality at TAFE NSW, responsible for a large and diverse team, with a complex strategic and regulatory portfolio.
Julian RiddenDirector, Business Transformation, Cidi Labs
A stalwart in educational technology, Julian Ridden has dedicated over two decades to revolutionizing learning through the strategic implementation of emerging digital solutions. Known widely as a passionate Edutech advocate his career spans vast contributions, from developing intuitive online learning platforms to ensuring equitable tech access in education systems. Julian's innovative strategies have earned him numerous accolades, solidifying his reputation as a pioneer in marrying education with transformative technology.
In recent years, Julian has immersed himself in the world of generative artificial intelligence, advocating for its potential to redefine personalised education and creative thinking. He collaborates with industry experts, seamlessly integrating advanced Generative AI tools into educational curricula, thus enhancing student engagement and democratising learning access while also providing a measured view on risks and policies that will need to be addressed for student use to be encouraged. His work represents a profound shift in the educational landscape, demonstrating his commitment to both excellence and equity in digital learning environments.
Today, Julian brings his profound insights to the "Generative AI for Education Leaders" workshop, ready to engage participants with practical strategies and ethical considerations for AI in education. His session promises not only to spark innovative thinking but also to provide a comprehensive roadmap for those at the forefront of an AI-enhanced educational future.
Dr Mahendra SamarawickramaACS Australian ICT Professional of the Year 2022 and Advisory Council Member, Harvard Business Review
Dr Mahendra Samarawickrama (GAICD, MBA, SMIEEE, ACS(CP)) is a leader in driving the convergence of AI, Metaverse, and Blockchain to revolutionise the future of customer experience and brand identity. He is the Australian ICT Professional of the Year 2022 and a director of The Centre for Sustainable AI and Meta61. He is an Advisory Council Member of Harvard Business Review (HBR), an Expert in AI ethics and governance at the Global AI Ethics Institute (GAIEI), a member of the European AI Alliance, a senior member of IEEE (SMIEEE), an industry Mentor in the UNSW business school, an honorary visiting scholar at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), and a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).
Greg SawyerChief Executive Officer, The Council of Australasian Universities Directors of Information Technology (CAUDIT)
Greg Sawyer joined CAUDIT in January 2020 as Director, Cybersecurity Program and was appointed CAUDIT's Chief Executive Officer in April 2022.
Greg has over 20 years’ experience in the Higher Education sector between the University of Sydney, UNSW Sydney and CAUDIT. During that time he has held faculty, technical, management and leadership roles.
Prior to this he completed 11 years in the Department of Defence, Army including operation service in Cambodia with the United Nations. Greg has represented on external advisory boards including the Australian Computer Society Internet of Things (IOT) and Cisco Mobile Technical Advisory Board.
Professor Niloufer SelvaduraiDirector, Research and Innovation, Macquarie Law School, Macquarie University
Professor Niloufer Selvadurai is a technology law scholar who researches and teaches on the effective governance of emerging and evolving technologies. She explores how technological change undermines the efficacy of laws, especially in the fields of digital finance, smart contracts, cyber security, data privacy and IP, and how legal frameworks can be reimagined to strengthen resilience and trust. A feature of her work is interdisciplinary collaborations with finance, computing and engineering. Niloufer is the Director of Research and Innovation at the Macquarie Law School and was formerly Deputy Dean. In 2022, Niloufer was the recipient of the Australian Legal Education Award for Excellence in Graduate Supervision from the Australasian Law Academics Association (ALAA).
Qualifications include a BA LLB (Hons I), USyd, PhD, Mq, and admission as a solicitor of the NSW Supreme Court. Prior to joining Macquarie, Niloufer practised as a solicitor at Ashurst and worked at Allens. Niloufer is an academic partner of the Digital Finance CRC that is developing a commercial, technological and regulatory framework for the digitisation of real-world assets, a CI on an Australian Research Council NIS Discovery Research Grant on fighting cybercrime using AI, a CI on a fintech regulation project funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and a CI on the ‘Central Bank Digital Currency – Infrastructure & Applications’ project funded by the CSIRO Emerging Technologies Program.
Full details - https://researchers.mq.edu.au/en/persons/niloufer-selvadurai
Luke SheehyExecutive Director, Australian Technology Network of Universities
Luke Sheehy is the Executive Director of the Australian Technology Network of Universities (ATN), a peak body representing Curtin University, Deakin University, RMIT University, The University of Newcastle, University of South Australia and University of Technology Sydney.
Luke has extensive higher education experience. He previously worked as the director of collaborations and partnerships and adviser on government relations at Swinburne University, a senior policy adviser to the Minister for Tertiary Education and Shadow Minister for Education and Training, and an innovation strategy consultant for the Asian Development Bank. A graduate of Monash, RMIT and Melbourne universities, Luke has a strong passion for and knowledge of the Australian higher education sector.
He is a member of the board of Palliative Care ACT, a member of the Elevate Advisory Group with the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, and has previously served as a member of the board of the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA).
Bill Simpson-YoungChief Executive Officer, Gradient Institute
Bill has spent more than 20 years building teams of researchers, software engineers and product designers to develop novel techniques, technologies and products and get these into widespread use. He started as a software engineer and research assistant in machine learning (ML), working on the c4.5 library, one of the world’s first ML technologies used commercially.
He has led R&D for global technology companies (Canon and Unisys) and government-funded research institutions (CSIRO and NICTA) and been on the executive teams of three leading Australian science and technology organisations (CiSRA, NICTA and CSIRO’s Data61).
Most recently, he has been Director of Engineering and Design at Data61 where he led a team of 100 data scientists, engineers, user experience designers and product managers, developing new techniques, technologies and products. This included work in areas incuding ML (including ethically-aware ML), data privacy, computational law, geospatial systems and more.
He designed and taught a Masters course in IT Innovation at University of Sydney for seven years to 2016 covering topics such as technology life cycles, disruptive innovation, open innovation, open source strategies, organisational culture for innovation and innovation ecosystems. He has sat on several government data-related committees influencing approaches to data sharing, data privacy, data analytics and open data as well as advisory groups at two Australian universities. He has degrees in computer science, history of art and cognitive science.
Andrew SmithChief Executive Officer, Education Services Australia
Andrew Smith is CEO of Education Services Australia, a not for profit education technology company owned by all Australian education ministers. ESA develops and deploys national education infrastructure, develops digital education resources and provides technology-based services to the education sector. Andrew has qualifications in education, science and business and brings to the role of CEO extensive experience and expertise in strategic leadership in the education, training and not-for-profit sectors. Having started his career in the classroom, Andrew’s previous roles include Vice President (Engagement) at Swinburne University and CEO of the Australian Council for Private Education and Training.
Rod SmithHead of Academic and Data Services, Girton Grammar School
Rod Smith has been an educator in both the tertiary and secondary education sectors for over 25 years and brings a wealth of experience in Technology Education. He has worked with the VCAA as a State Reviewer and an Examiner and is currently working with the Victorian State Government in a Community of Practice to help develop the Australian Framework for Generative Artificial Intelligence in Schools. In his current role as the Head of Academic and Data Services at Girton Grammar School in Bendigo, he is responsible for ensuring that testing data is used effectively in the classroom to differentiate curriculum.
Rod is here today to talk about the challenges that Disruptive Technology and AI pose to our education system and how teachers who embrace the challenges can better prepare their students to be equipped with the skills required to thrive in the new digital world.
Dr Bret StephensonPrincipal Advisor, Data and Ethics, La Trobe University
Dr Bret Stephenson is Principal Advisor, Data and Ethics at La Trobe University. Having held numerous university teaching, research, and leadership roles, his passions converge at the intersection of student equity, student success and the responsible use of AI throughout universities. His recent research has focused on the challenge of ‘ghost student failure’ and outlining an equity-focussed program of ‘inclusive analytics’ for Australian universities.
Professor Jessica VanderlelieDeputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), La Trobe University
Professor Vanderlelie is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic at La Trobe University leading the university to develop and implement a sustainable, and integrated strategies to deliver an outstanding student experience, transform equity outcomes and deliver excellence in learning and teaching. Jessica is co-chair of Universities Australia Women and is a passionate advocate for improving institutional and sector wide approaches to supporting diversity and inclusion. Jessica has demonstrated sustained leadership in learning and teaching in Australian Higher Education, she is an Australian Learning and Teaching Fellow and has been recognised nationally through receipt of an Australian Award for University Teaching and AFR Award.
Professor Steven WarburtonPro Vice-Chancellor (Education Innovation), University of Newcastle
Steven is currently the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education Innovation) at the University of Newcastle and has over twenty-five years' experience in higher education, technology and large-scale digital transformation. He is an established leader in educational development, strategic curriculum management, quality assurance, policy development and digital driven change. He has provided strategic vision and leadership to six world-class universities in the development of learning and teaching and digital education strategies. His research is situated in the areas of digital learning, design patterns and design-led methodologies for the creative sharing and reuse of design knowledge. He is nationally recognised for his leadership within CAULLT (Council of Australian Leaders in Learning and Teaching) and has a strong international reputation through extensive publications and projects working with the University of London as a Fellow of CODE (Centre for Online and Distance Education). His values reflect a personal commitment to the role of education as a positive force for change through the enhancement of social, human, and economic capital in a challenging global environment.
Professor Erica WilsonPro Vice-Chancellor (Academic Innovation), Southern Cross University
Professor Erica Wilson is Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic Innovation) and Professor of Tourism at Southern Cross University. Erica has published over 90 scholarly outputs, including two co-edited books: 'Women and Travel: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives' and 'Slow Tourism: Experiences and Mobilities'. Her research and scholarly interests lie in gender and tourism, sustainable tourism, and pedagogical transformation in higher education. Erica has co-led the design and implementation of the Southern Cross Model, a revolutionary approach grounded in student success, based on 6 week teaching periods.
She is passionate about supporting quality higher degree and early career research, and has supervised a number of PhDs, Masters by Research and Honours theses to successful completion. Erica is a proud advocate for gender equity in higher education and research.
Erica is Chair of the peak discilpine body, the Council for Australasian University Tourism and Hospitality Education (CAUTHE) and is a CAUTHE Fellow in recognition of outstanding service to the tourism, hospitality and events field.
Jacqueline WiltonChief Executive Officer, Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority
Dr Omer YezdaniChief Data Officer, University of Sunshine Coast
Dr Omer Yezdani is the Chief Data Officer at UniSC, providing strategic leadership for the delivery of insights, analytics and information management. This includes data and analytics strategy and implementation, data governance, knowledge management, intelligence and analytical services, records, privacy, load planning and forecasting, Commonwealth Grants, surveys, performance reporting and analysis, surveys, data transformation, storage and business intelligence.
Omer has led strategy, data & analytics, technology and risk in public, private and social enterprise for over 20 years, and advises on business transformation, strategy, data analytics and risk. After completing a degree in Marketing, Omer commenced his career with a major ASX-listed firm, working on next generation technologies. Developing an interest in public policy, he went on to work in the Federal Government for over a decade leading national policy in education, VET and Indigenous affairs. Completing a Master of Business Administration (MBA), Omer engaged in several high-profile initiatives, as a Senior Advisor and State Director in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and Department of Education, before leading business transformation at one of Australia’s most prominent online universities. Following two Excellence Awards, and Latin American Scholarship Award, Omer completed his doctoral research in complex systems at Griffith University, while also lecturing in strategic management, marketing and human resource management. Omer is passionate about education, multiculturalism, and making a positive difference in the lives of others. Omer is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), and Non-Executive Director at the Eidos Institute Pty Ltd, an innovative enterprise for social good.