Helen Vivienne Fletcher is a children’s and young adult author, spoken word poet and award-winning playwright. She has written numerous titles for young people, including Broken Silence which was a finalist in the Ngaio Marsh Best First Book Award. She discovered her passion for writing for young people while working as a youth support worker, and now helps young people find their own passion for storytelling through her business, Brain Bunny Workshops: Creative Writing Classes for Children. She also teaches adults who wish to write for children through the Wellington High School Community Education programme. Overall Helen just loves telling stories and is always excited when people want to read or hear them.
James Driver is a registered psychotherapist working in Christchurch. He has a special interest in understanding and treating problems arising from technology use and overuse including gaming and social media, and his master's research focused on the experiences of people who have received treatment for gaming addiction. In addition to operating a small private practice, James frequently delivers seminars and clinical training sessions on managing gaming and technology addictions and has over ten years' experience as a trainer/facilitator.
Jo is a dynamic educationalist who, after 25 years as a literacy teacher, facilitator and mentor to hundreds of teachers, parents and children, continues to believe that with explicit teaching and an unfailing belief in the child, all children can achieve success in literacy. Her literacy roles have included facilitating reading recovery programmes, Resource Teacher of Reading, and currently Resource Teacher: Literacy. Jo has delivered Literacy based Professional Learning Development to teachers, parents, teacher-aides, Learning Support groups, schools engaged in EHSAS and Resource Teachers: Learning and Behaviour. To her credit, she was granted a scholarship in 2014 in order to complete her Masters in Education which she gained with first class honours. Jo has represented the NZRTLit Association as National President and has also been a member of the Tauranga Moana Literacy Association as President. Jo continues to work beyond parameters set by job descriptions and is always seeking the change that will make a difference.
Dr John Etty is an experienced History teacher, and he currently works as Director of Teaching and Learning at Auckland Grammar School. His interests include curriculum design, assessment and evidence-based teaching practice.
Kathryn Berkett has dedicated 22 years of her education and career to helping children and youth who are the victims of extreme trauma. Holding a Masters in Educational Psychology and certification as a Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics Practitioner, Kathryn now uses her experience to train others and to develop interventions that assist reparation of the physical and psychological aspects of the brain that have been damaged. Knowing that trauma can produce emotional, behavioural and physical outcomes, she is passionate about sharing this information to as many sectors as possible. She trains and works with national and international organizations such as Police, Schools, Parents, Sports Teams, Mental Health Professionals and Corporate Offices. Through helping others to better understand Neuroscience, Kathryn is able to guide them in learning more about themselves and others, which not only leads to being more aware and in control of their own actions, it also builds the crucial attribute of resilience that we all need to live in a connected, healthy, community. Outside of her career, Kathryn raises her two adolescent children – something that reminds her every day that this information is real and extremely useful, but that we also remain fallible humans, no matter how much knowledge we have!
Lisa is an accredited facilitator, and an experienced teacher and leader. Over the past 10 years Lisa has developed a real passion for strengthening teacher knowledge about ‘the code’. She enjoys the privilege of working alongside teachers as they make sense of the way we use 26 letters to spell 43+ sounds - knowledge essential for teaching both encoding (spelling) and decoding (reading). Having recent classroom experience, Lisa develops learning approaches and resources that are hands-on, active, and engaging. Putting the jargon aside and supporting teachers and learners to have confidence that the English language DOES make sense is what it is all about. With an understanding of the way language works and the progression of learning from phonological (sound) awareness - through sound-letter relationships - the position of sounds - patterns - meaning - and the history of the English language - teachers are empowered to make effective instructional choices for their learners. Seed Learning resources created by Lisa, including 'Genius Cards' for learners in Years 1-8, are now used widely in primary schools across New Zealand, supporting a generation of learners in building strong understandings about the English language.
Mark Osborne is Director of Leading Learning Ltd and has been a teacher, school leader and consultant for more than 20 years. He works nationally and internationally on future-focused education, innovative learning environments and educational leadership, helping schools build great places to learn and the capability to make the most of those spaces. Mark is also a doctoral researcher at the University of Melbourne currently exploring change leadership in innovative learning environments.
Mark is an independent education consultant and has presented keynote addresses to over 130 national and international conferences since 2007, including the International Confederation of Principals (2007) … Over the past 12 years, Mark transitioned his work to focus on the transitions required to transform education systems globally that have not changed significantly since the 1700's… until now. The demand for change comes from our workplaces and social processes that are both evolving dramatically. For three centuries, 60-80% of people worked in factories and lived stereotyped and community framed lives. In 2020 our work and social places focus on us being adaptive to continually changing demands by society. Many of our workplaces focus on marketing, innovation, ingenuity and entrepreneurship! We have left the factory to look after itself, and as a result we must now prepare young people for the complexity that the world is demanding of us all!
Mary currently works in private general clinical practice, as well as running mental wellbeing training for businesses (www.mindtherapy.co.nz).
She has previously worked at the Auckland District Health Board,at a private eating disorder service and in private general clinical practice.
She has also lectured on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) at Auckland University of Technology (AUT).
She has experience working with a wide range of symptoms including depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, perfectionism, and eating disorders. Mary specialises in a range of issues including stress, burnout, low self-esteem, low mood and worry. She has a particular interest in work-related stress and developing mental resilience.
Mary-Anne walks her talk. She is a past fitness instructor, personal trainer and massage therapist. She has overcome life challenges that would leave many discouraged. She is an adventurer at heart. In her 40's she backpacked solo through Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Chile, and parts of Bolivia. She has trekked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, trekked to Everest Basecamp and Kilimanjaro. She has jumped out of a plane at 16500ft, and driven hot laps in a supercar. She has been a school Principal twice, organisational development advisor for over 900 staff, has extensive teaching and leadership experience in the primary and secondary education sectors. Mary-Anne has also been an Assessment Advisor and National e-Learning facilitator. She has multiple coaching certifications, teaching-related degrees and a Masters in Educational Leadership. She is NZ's Emotional Intelligence for Leadership Trainer, Coach and Assessor for an international emotional intelligence company based in London. Mary-Anne is now an international speaker, mentor and facilitator who works across education and corporate sectors. She is passionate about supporting others to create the incredible lives and workplaces they thought only existed in their dreams.