2019 Speakers

Dr Pasi Sahlberg

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Bio

PasiSahlberg is a Finnish educator, author, and scholar. He has worked as schoolteacher, teacher educator, researcher, and policy-maker in Finland and has studied education systems and reforms around the world. He has served World Bank in Washington, DC; European Commission in Torino, Italy: and OECD as an external expert in various countries. His core expertise is in teacher education, international education policies, classroom pedagogies, and educational leadership. He has published widely about educational change and improvement, his book “Finnish Lessons 2.0: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland” won the 2013 Grawemeyer Award. He is also received Education Award in Finland in 2012, The Robert Owen Award in Scotland in 2014, The Lego Prize in 2016, and Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Residency in 2017. He is a former director general of CIMO at the Finland’s Ministry of Education and Culture in Helsinki and a visiting Professor of Practice at Harvard University’s

Ben Waldon

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Bio

Ben Walden is an international speaker and workshop leader in the realm of education.

He has been a main keynote speaker at many conferences in Europe, Asia, the Americas and Australia. He also works with many individual schools, looking at themes of leadership and inspiring communication with both staff and – especially – students.

In the 1990’s he played several leading roles in London’s West End theatre and as a member of the inaugural company at the new Shakespeare’s Globe. He has also spoken on leadership and the arts at many business conferences, including at both Harvard and Columbia Business Schools.

Rob Edwards

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Bio

Rob Edwards, has a Bachelor of Science with majors in Anatomy & Physiology.

He has been a company director for 20 years in the health and well-being industry where he designed and delivered staff development programs for hundreds organizations.

Prior to that he worked for five years in a cardiac rehabilitation program where he wrote the internationally distributed book "Better Blood Pressure".

He has diverse experience working with people at all levels of business, cardiac patients, young offenders, elite athletes and remote island communities.

Rob also manages the Its Time Foundation that he established in 2007 – that replaces diesel power with solar in remote island schools.

Rob’s focus is simply to encourage people to take a brief time out in their busy lives to consider their most important asset - themselves.  And to get you thinking about sustainable actions that you can do so you have a long and high quality life. 

We can’t look after other people unless we look after ourselves first.  That’s why the session is called “It’s All About You”

Dr Donna Cross

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Bio

Dr Donna Cross is a Professor with the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences at the University of Western Australia and the Telethon Kids Institute. She is the Head of Health Promotion and Education Research and Director of the Early Childhood Development and Learning Collaboration. Donna has led over 50 applied longitudinal school and community-based research intervention projects in Australia and the USA investigating ways to enhance the social and emotional development (online and offline) among children and adolescents. She currently leads 11, 3-5 year research projects investigating ways to enhance young people’s health and wellbeing, especially among vulnerable school-age children.

Simon Breakspear

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Bio

Dr Simon Breakspear is a researcher, advisor and speaker on educational leadership, policy and change. He is the Executive Director of the global consultancy Agile Schools, and Visiting Fellow at the University of New South Wales, Gonski Institute for Education.

Simon’s educational frameworks and tools make complex ideas easier to understand and act on. His speaking and advisory work has given him the opportunity to work with over 100,000 educators across 10 countries. He is also the creator of Learning Sprints, an open-source teacher learning approach used by thousands of educators across the planet to enhance their expertise and impact.

Simon is passionate about supporting school leadership development at scale. He serves as an expert advisor to the NSW Department of Education School Leadership Institute, the AITSL Leadership Steering Committee and the Ontario Principals’ Council international school leadership program.

Simon earned his PhD in education from the University of Cambridge as a Gates Scholar, and a MSc in Comparative and International Education from the University of Oxford as a Commonwealth Scholar. Simon holds Bachelors degrees in Psychology and Teaching, and began his work in education as a high school teacher. Simon lives in Sydney with his wife and three young children.