Dr Simon Breakspear is known internationally for helping educational leaders navigate complex change, harness research evidence and drive continuous improvement for better learning.
Simon is the Founder and Executive Director of Agile Schools, which equips educator teams with the research, routines and tools they need to drive improvement and innovation. He is also a Visiting Fellow at the University of New South Wales, and Research Fellow of the Asia Pacific Centre for Leadership and Change at The Education University of Hong Kong.
Simon holds Bachelors degrees in Psychology and Teaching, a Masters of International and Comparative Education from the University of Oxford and a PhD in education from the University of Cambridge. Simon began his work in education as a high school teacher in Sydney.
Dr Tanya Vaughan is Associate Director (Education), Evidence for Learning and is responsible for the marketing, product development, community leadership and strategy for the Teaching & Learning Toolkit.
Tanya has worked in education as a teacher, in policy design, implementation and evaluation in key Australian organisations including AITSL and ACARA. She has consulted on international and national projects in evaluation and educational leadership with Learning First and Educational Transformations. She was lead consultant in investigating the impact of programs in the arts on outcomes for students in highly disadvantaged settings. A summary of the research entitled Bridging the Gap in School Achievement through the Arts (Vaughan, Harris & Caldwell, 2011) was launched at Parliament House Canberra in March 2011 by Peter Garrett, Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth.
Tanya has co-authored one international book, three chapters, six journal articles, eight media items and facilitated 70 conference presentations/workshops in educational research. Tanya became an Honorary Fellow at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education (MGSE) at the University of Melbourne in 2011. Tanya holds a Bachelor of Science (Monash University), Bachelor of Education (Queensland University of Technology), Professional Certificate in Instructional Leadership (MGSE) and Doctor of Philosophy (Griffith University).
Dr Adam Fraser is a human performance researcher and consultant who studies how organisations adopt a high performance culture to thrive in this challenging and evolving business landscape. In this time he has worked with elite level athletes, the armed forces and business professionals of all levels. In the last 8 years he has delivered more than 1200 presentations to over 200,000 people in Australia, US, New Zealand and Asia.
While other speakers talk about research, he does the research, partnering with various Universities through Asia Pacific. In fact he is thought to be the only keynote speaker in the world to have had the impact of his keynote presentation measured in a University study (It improved the behaviour of attendees by 41%).
In addition to this Dr Adam is the author of three best selling books, including his latest book ‘The Third Space’. Adam is a regular presenter on TV and Radio and has appeared on Mornings, Today Tonight, Sunrise, Today show, Kochie’s Business and What’s good for you! Also he has been profiled in the Australian Financial Review and BRW.
He is married to a woman who is far brighter than he is. Two daughters who have him completely wrapped around their finger and a dog Tilly who routinely outwits him.
Dr Karen Edge is currently a Reader in Educational Leadership at UCL Institute of Education and recently served as Pro-Vice Provost (International) at University College London, UK. Karen has conducted research in over 30 countries and has recently completed a 6 jurisdiction study of teacher motivation and retention. Karen's Global City Leaders Project worked with Generation X (under 40 year old) school leaders in London, New York City and Toronto to understand more about their work, lives and ambitions.
Karen is also preparing two books on Generation X leaders (Routledge) and City-based education policy contexts and the influence on school leaders (Bloomsbury). She sits on ESRC (UK), Danish and Swiss National Research Review Panels and the Advisory Panel for International School Leadership Principals [http://internationalschoolleadership.com/] in Ontario. She is Past Editor-in-Chief of Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability (EAEA) and a current Editorial Board Member for EAEA, School Leadership and Management andLeadership and Policy in Schools. She completed her PhD in knowledge management and educational reform at the Ontario Institute of Education/University of Toronto. Karen is a highly sought after keynote speaker. She is known for being able to blend theory and practice with insight and humour.
Karen has been a regular face and voice of ABC TV and radio sport since joining the ABC in 1989.
After completing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and Psychology at Macquarie University in Sydney, Karen spent eight years as a TV sports broadcaster and presenter, anchoring golf, tennis and other major sporting broadcasts on the ABC network.
In 1997, she made the move to ABC Radio as the presenter of the weekend national sports program ‘Summer Grandstand’ – a role she still enjoys from her adopted home town of Perth.
Karen co-hosted ABC Radio’s cover of the Sydney, Athens and Beijing Olympics, Kuala Lumpur and Manchester Commonwealth Games and has hosted six Paralympic Games (Lillehammer, Barcelona, Atlanta, Sydney, Beijing and London) with ABC TV.
She was part of the Friday night fun of ‘Live & Sweaty’ on ABC TV in the early nineties and for six years presented sport on ABC TV’s weeknight news in Perth.
Karen was also the regular host of ABC TV’s annual coverage of the Hopman Cup tennis tournament from 1994 to 2010.
She was the Media Award winner at the 2000 and 2001 Australian Sports Awards.
Karen is married to former ABC sports commentator Glenn Mitchell and is mother of ten year old James.
Gavin Grift is the managing director of Solution Tree Australia. With experience as a teacher, assistant principal, and educational coach, Gavin’s passion, commitment, and style have made him an in-demand presenter of keynotes, seminars, and in-school support days. As a speaker, Gavin connects with national and international audiences on professional learning communities, teacher leadership, Cognitive Coaching℠, and teachers as architects of learning.
Gavin is the co-author of numerous articles and books, including Transformative Talk: Cognitive Coaches Share Their Stories (2014), Collaborative Teams that Transform Schools (2016), and Transformative Collaboration (2016). Most recently, he revised Learning by Doing (2017) with Colin Sloper, for an Australian context. As a PLC at Work™ training associate, he led the development of PLC networks within Australian schools, culminating in the establishment of the Centre for Professional Learning Communities.
Gavin has served as director for the Association of Innovation in Education and as curriculum hub leader for the Australian National Schools Network. Gavin served as the executive director for Hawker Brownlow Professional Learning Solutions from 2010 to 2016.
1999 Young Australian of the Year for Sport; World Champion Paralympic swimmer; Deputy Chair – Disability Services Commission of Western Australia; President of Western Australian Disabled Sporting Association.
Born with cerebral palsy, Priya has spent most of her life in a wheelchair but has not let this stand in her way of achieving her goals in life.
Priya began swimming at a young age for therapy and later realised her potential as a competitor. It was not until 1991, whilst competing at a school carnival, she was approached to represent Western Australia. Priya competed for the first time in the National Wheelchair Games winning a staggering nine gold medals.
With the hours of long, hard training Priya went from success to success, winning 3 gold and 2 silver medals, and breaking two world records and three Paralympic records at the Barcelona Paralympics in 1992. This was her first international competition. Priya won the most medals of any Australian athlete at the Games, and as a result was given the honour of carrying the flag for Australia at the closing ceremony. On arriving back in Australia she was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for her services to sport, and became an Australia Day Ambassador.
Priya then set her sights on the World Swimming Championships in Malta in 1994. Priya competed in five events, won 5 gold medals and set 4 world records as well as captaining the Australian team.
The lead up to the 1996 Paralympic Games in Atlanta saw Priya compete in 1995 in the Pre-Paralympic Swimming trials in Atlanta winning eight gold medals in eight events and setting one world record. These results focused much attention on her for the subsequent Paralympic Games in 1996.
At the 10th Paralympic Games in Atlanta, Priya led the charge for Australia winning 5 gold medals, 1 silver and 1 bronze medal, as well as setting three world records and five Paralympic records. Far exceeding her efforts in Barcelona four years earlier. She was also selected to captain the entire Australian Paralympic team, and once again won the highest number of medals of any Australian athlete.
In 1988 Priya competed in the British National Swimming Championships and won 4 gold medals, a bronze medal, and set a world record.
In 1999 Priya was named Young Australian of the Year for Sport, winning the award over other major sporting stars such as Pat Rafter and Ian Thorpe who were also finalists in the Sports category of this prestigious award.
Priya spent almost two years in Sydney prior to Sydney 2000 Paralympics to concentrate on her training and lifelong goal of winning gold for her country, in her country, at the Sydney 2000 Paralympics. Despite recovering from major shoulder surgery, Priya achieved her aim and in October 2000 won a gold medal in the 400m Freestyle and three bronze medals in other events.
In 2015 Priya was inducted into the Sports Australia Hall of Fame at the same ceremony as Ricky Ponting and Casey Stone and in 2017 was appointed Deputy Chair of the Disability Services Commission WA. She also sits on various otherboards and committees raising funding and awareness for people with disabilities to be involved in sport.
Priya has a degree in Health Promotion and Journalism from Curtin University of W.A, and is very involved in public speaking. She has addressed major corporate and government conferences and events in Fiji, Bangladesh (Australian High Commission), Sydney, Canberra, Hobart, Gold Coast, Cairns, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth. She is an excellent motivational speaker whose presentation titled ‘Success is A Choice’ reminds us that any dream, large or small, personal or corporate, can come true with the strength of sheer determination.
Christina Matthews is Chief Executive Officer of the Western Australian Cricket Association (WACA) and a former Australian cricketer.
Named the country’s most capped female Test player and holding the record for the most dismissals by an Australian wicketkeeper, Christina is one of only three women in the world to hold the position of CEO of a first class cricket association.
Christina is a well respected voice within the Australian cricket community, with strong leadership qualities and 27 years experience in various management roles within cricket organisations, including seven years as General Manager, Commercial Operations at Cricket NSW and roles in coaching and development.
Having represented Victoria, ACT and NSW during her career and a member of the Australian Women’s team from 1984 to 1995, including two years as Vice Captain, Christina is able to combine her in depth knowledge and experience in sport with her vast business expertise.
Christina has proven herself to be an effective and courageous leader since taking on the role of CEO at the WACA in 2012. She has redefined the way the WACA approaches its business, introducing a strong strategic focus, committing to community engagement, restructuring to ensure resourcing aligns with the Association’s strategic objectives, and managing change to ensure a successful future for the organisation. Her focus has also included increasing philanthropic endeavours and partnership development, both within the sports industry and in other complimentary business, to expand the WACA’s reach.
Christina is leading the WACA through a period of significant change, which brings with it a number of exciting opportunities. This includes guiding the Association through a transition to the Perth Stadium, building the capacity of the business and ensuring staff and the WACA’s many stakeholders are involved in the journey. She is positioning the WACA Ground as a complimentary stadium to ensure the businesses sustainability, and focusing on upgrading the facilities to ensure the best experience for Members and fans, including more food and beverage options and outlets and improved comfort and aesthetics.
A significant contributor to the development of cricket, she has spent many years supporting community cricket associations and is a member of the board of the Bradman Foundation, Life Member of the Sydney Cricket Association and the Sydney Cricket Club (formerly Balmain). Christina’s focus is not solely on cricket, also sitting on the General Council of the Chamber of Commerce & Industry, the WA Sports Federation and the Department of Sport & Recreation SD6 (Strategic Direction) Steering Committee, the Ministerial Committee for Women in Sport and is Chair of the Department of Sport and Recreation Champions of Change Working Group, which promotes diversity on boards.
Christina previously held the position of Chair of Selectors for the Australian Women’s Cricket team and has mentored young sports women aiming to move into elite sport. Her compassion and understanding has driven a supportive culture and work environment, with a focus on well being and encouraging staff to reach their potential both personally and professionally.
Outside of work, Christina loves to travel and often combines this with her passion for cycling. Her favourite destination is New York and she has completed cycling trips in Spain and south of France.In June 2016 The West Australian named Christina in their 100 Most Influential Western Australians list.