Global Speakers



Executive Council Member / Project Director, Raranga Matihiko

EdTechNZ / Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Tara Fagan is Project Director, Raranga Matihiko | Weaving Digital Futures at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.  The Raranga Matihiko programme is part of the Ministry of Education Digital Technologies for All Equity fund and delivers innovative digital technologies to those with limited digital learning opportunities, while increasing access to national and local exhibitions and collections.

Throughout the programme, students solve real-world problems, while enriching their knowledge of their communities and regions.  Virtual reality and augmented reality form part of this programme with students sharing their knowledge with these tools.

Prior to her role at Te Papa, Tara held an education leadership role at CORE Education where she specialised in blended and digital learning. Tara is well regarded for her expertise in digital technologies in early childhood education, an area she is often called upon to provide commentary. Her strengths include open badges and micro-credentials, emerging technologies, online teaching and learning and digital technologies for accessible learning for all ages. Tara holds a MEd and Bed (Teach) ECE and is an accredited Digital Fluency PLD facilitator. She believes that using digital technologies in a well-considered blended approach enhances teaching and learning and she is passionate about accessible and lifelong learning.

Topic: Augmented and Virtual Reality Education – The Future of Classrooms
Panel Discussion: What It Takes to Create the Perfect ARVR Experience?

   EdTechNZ   Tepapa2



CEO / Managing Director

Mixt / HolXR

  • Award-Winning Producer and Co-Founder of NZ Centre for Virtual and Mixed Reality
  • 2017 Wellingtonian of the Year Finalist for Science and Technology

One of New Zealand’s leading entrepreneurs in the VR/AR space, Jessica is an award winning producer and co-founder of New Zealand’s centre for virtual and mixed reality. Her content studio Mixt was involved in a number of commercial projects including VR healthcare, training and marketing and recently had the honour of working with DIA to bring He Tohu and our nations most treasured documents to life in virtual reality.

She is now leading an exciting new mixed reality venture building location based entertainment software and games.


Topic: Virtual Reality – The Ultimate Future of Gaming Entertainment





Executive Director

Rev3 Technology

Dr Pleayo Tovaranonte is a General Practitioner and a Managing Director of Rev3 Tech, a Christchurch-based technology company focussing on Augmented/ Virtual Reality and Wearable Technology applications in the real estate/ construction/ medical/ healthcare industries. He is also a consultant for Med-IT-Aid Ltd which provides business advice to medical IT companies aiming to incorporate technology into mainstream healthcare. He has published extensively in the areas of Internal Medicine, Disaster Medicine, and Medical Technology. He is an author for the eMagazine “Invented” writing about 3D-printing applications in Clinical Medicine. He is a co-founder of “Beyond The Stethoscope (BTS)”, a charity aiming to assist junior doctors towards their overseas voluntary work in developing countries. He has extensive governance experience in both the public and private sectors having been on the clinical board for the Canterbury District Health Board, on the board of trustees for Canterbury Asthma Society (CanBreathe), Community Energy Action (CEA), Creative Christchurch Charitable Trust (CCCT), The Hive co-working Space, and Canterbury Property Investors Association (CPIA). With his multi-lingual abilities, he also offers his skills and time to Translators without Borders, helping NGO projects at the intersection of public health and human rights in various parts of the world.

Topic: Next-generation Care Delivery: How Healthcare Teams can Gain an Edge by using VR & AR for Surgery and Training
Panel Discussion: What It Takes to Create the Perfect ARVR Experience?

Rev3 Technology



Executive Director, APAC

VR AR Association

  • Innovation in Learning at Santa Clara in USA

Pradeep Khanna is Executive Director Asia Pacific, Sydney Chapter President & Global Co- Chair Education for the global Virtual Reality Augmented Reality Association. Pradeep is also founding member of IEEE ICICLE X-Reality for Learning and Performance Augmentation SIG & CEO of Global Mindset.

He has 30+ years of executive experience. Pradeep has been a leader for IBM Australia/New Zealand leveraging India, China, Philippines, Vietnam, Egypt, Romania, Brazil & Argentina.

He is Adjunct Professor in Australia, Singapore & India. Pradeep is regular speaker at international conferences including Vancouver, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, San Diego, Beijing, Shanghai, Manila, Melbourne & New Delhi. He is an acknowledged Leader in VR AR XR.

Pradeep is Advisory Boards of number of companies. He has MBA from AGSM, MSc (Computer Science) from UTS &  B Tech from IIT Delhi.

Topic: Multi-sensory Immersive Experience – ARVR’s Next Big Move
Roundtable Discussions: How ARVR is transforming Marketing & Customer Experience across different Industry Verticals

arvr association



Senior Lecturer

Massey University

  • Associate Editor for Safety Science and Editorial Member for Fire Technology

Dr Ruggiero (Rino) Lovreglio is a Senior Lecturer of the School of Built Environment at Massey University (New Zealand) where he teaches Building Information Modelling and Construction Innovation. Dr Lovreglio completed his PhD in Human Behaviour in Fire in 2016 at the Politehecnic Universities of Bari, Milan, and Turin (Italy). He has been working and visiting several institutes and universities such as Lund University (Sweden), Auckland University (NZ), National Institute of Standard and Technologies (US), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) and Edinburgh Napier University (UK). He has published more than 20 journal articles and 20 conference papers. Dr Lovreglio is part of the editorial board of Safety Science and Fire Technology. More info is available at


Topic: Virtual Disaster Preparedness -How AR/VR Improves Hazardous Safety & Emergency Response With Immersive Training

Massey University



Guest Lecturer, Master of Design Technology

Victoria University of Wellington - Miramar Creative Centre

Prototyping Leader at Computational Media Innovation Centre (CMIC), Victoria University Wellington

Meredith is a producer of virtual, augmented and mixed reality with extensive experience in R&D for emerging technology and a background in visual effects. She spent 15 years as a Producer and Executive Producer of visual effects for film at companies such as Weta Digital, Framestore and ILM before joining the world of AR and VR to continue to explore the convergence of technology and storytelling, most recently with Wingnut AR and Magic Leap.

Case Study: Interactive and Immersive Cinematic Experience by Using AR/VR

Victoria University of Wellington



Head of Learning Design, International Educator

Open Polytechnic

Simon has more than 20 year’s experience of academic practice, curriculum development and online learning design and implementation. He has worked in UK and NZ tertiary at senior levels and his scholarship has been directed at supporting academic faculty to design courses that are as flexible and open as possible whilst maintaining their constructive alignment. He has developed a range of visualisations and toolkits to support those responsible for designing learning to adopt the correct technologies and to use them in their optimal configurations.

Topic: Designing Learning Making Use of ARVR





Safety, Technology and Innovation

Melbourne Water

Scott McMillan has a trade background as an Electrical and Instrumentation Technician. He has specialised in the advanced treatment of waste water which has taken him to remote workplaces like Antarctica and the Cocos Islands. Scott now works in the Melbourne Water Safety Group and looks at new technologies and how they can improve the training outcomes for field staff.

Topic: VR Business Wide: How Melbourne Water Is Using VR To Train Staff and Build Better Plants




VR Producer

Conical - Interactive Studio

  • Finalist Young NZ Innovator of the Year at NZ Innovation Awards

Alejandro is a VR and AR producer and he is the founder of Auckland-based Conical Interactive Studios. In 2016, he was a ‘Young New Zealand Innovator of the Year’ nominated finalist after making New Zealand’s first VR movie, leading to a ripple effect across the country as a pioneer in VR/AR Storytelling. Alejandro’s universal techniques apply to both VR and AR and are used in The Green Fairy AR episode series and the upcoming interactive VR film of the same name.

Topic: Creating Perfect Story Telling and Emotional Experiences with Virtual Reality

Latest - CONICAL logo



Pacific Sales Leader, Connected People, Plant & Personal Safety and Performance Programs


Topic: Transforming Field Workers in a Connected Plant” with Focus on Safety, Competency and Productivity




Digital Principal

Context Architects

Jonny is our virtual building expert. He also does all the behind the scenes strategising that means our IT systems are some of the most advanced in the business.
Before joining us, Jonny studied architecture in his native Ireland and worked for a leading BIM software developer.

He’s an enthusiastic advocate of the power of Building Information Modelling to combine every element of a building’s design – architectural, structural, electrical, heating and plumbing – into one smart virtual model. Comprehensive BIM models lead directly to better designed, higher-performing structures that are easier to build and maintain.

In warmer months, Ironman Jonny also leads our lunchtime Context boot camps.

Roundtable Discussion: ARVR in Architectural Design and Rendering




Storyteller, Innovator, Creative Strategist and International Speaker, Managing Director

Method New Zealand

Topic: How Virtual Reality is Changing Customer Experiences
Roundtable Discussion: ARVR in Entertainment, Gaming and Tourism – How ARVR is transforming customer experience with immersive content

Method (NZ)




Augmented Reality Applications


Amber is a self-acclaimed tech geek with an addiction to technology. As a digital native, she is passionate about using immersive technologies to preserve and share the stories of indigenous peoples. Amber is the CEO of Augmented Reality Applications (ARA), a company she co-founded in 2018. ARA designs and creates environmental-based, digital experiences that connect people to cultural stories of the land, preserve and share mātauranga Māori and normalise the use of te reo
Māori. “Our goal is to provide the community with interactive experiences that promote health and wellbeing and bring together culture and technology”. Amber’s company is a finalist of this year’s NZ Hi-Tech Awards and has recently been invited to showcase their platform in Hong Kong, at Asia’s largest tech conference, RISE 2019.

Amber also works for AUT’s Research & Innovation team. Her role within the University enables her to work closely with AUT academics; providing insights into future technologies, trends and an umbrella view of the latest tech research across various industry sectors. 

Amber believes the advancements with AR and VR are highlighting phenomenal capabilities and further demonstrating the need for immersive technologies in education, healthcare, manufacturing and customer experience.

Augmented Reality Application



Manufacturing Systems

University of Auckland

Reza Hamzeh received his bachelor degree in mechanical engineering from the Amirkabir University of Technology in 2009. He obtained his master degrees in Manufacturing System Engineering by 2015. During his master degree, Reza was working on developing a simulation-based model for the optimization of assembly lines using a 3D virtual environment which brought him the opportunity of working as project manager in VR/AR projects after his graduation.
Since 2017, he joined the LISMS research group and worked under the supervision of Professor Xu and Dr. Zhong at the University of Auckland to pursue a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering. His research involves the Industrial Internet of Things, Operation Research and Technology Management.

Roundtable Discussions: How ARVR is transforming Marketing & Customer Experience across different Industry Verticals – ARVR in eCommerce: The future of eCommerce with ARVR




Senior Teaching & Learning Advisor

NZ Police

Dr Ann Cronin is a cognitive psychologist specialising in memory and learning. Ann holds a M.Sc. in Neuroscience and combines understanding of the brain, cognition, and behaviour to develop learner centred experiences across a range of tech and traditional formats. Ann has a passion for the creative arts and their application in contemporary learning environments.  In particular storytelling, perspective taking, and embodied cognition. In terms of digital learning environments Ann advocates using evidence based methods to facilitate learning, and is careful to note that engagement and learning are not equivalent. Her VR prototyping at the police college are experimental and will be tested against current best practice to examine return on investment, memory, and long term behavioural change.  

Ann has over twenty years’ experience working with a wide range of learners, both in Ireland and New Zealand. She loves NZ and wants to contribute meaningfully to making communities safe and NZ thrive, some of her work includes developing learning on decision making under stress, wellness, attitude change, and bias reduction. Ann will present on the neuropsychological aspects of Virtual Reality and how creating immersive first perspective experiences can result in meaningful change for people.  

Topic: Virtual Reality and Perspective Taking in Policing

NZ Police



Director of Graphics Group and Division for Biomedical Imaging and Visualization

University of Auckland

Topic: Virtual Reality in Healthcare




Multimedia Designer

NZ Police

Archer Yang is a multimedia designer and conceptual artist based in Wellington, New Zealand. He is currently working for NZ Police as a part of the teaching and learning team. In his job, he has been building a VR training project related to family harm issue and creating visual training materials for the education team in Royal New Zealand Police College.

Previously, Archer worked as a teaching assistant at Victoria University of Wellington Design School, tutoring “3D Modelling and Animation”, “Intro to Interaction Design” and “Photographics.” He helped student improving their technical skills and developing their design concepts throughout the semesters.

During his career and study period, Archer has been focusing on storytelling in different media platforms, including 3D Animation, VR, Game, Photography, Video, and Interactive Objects. He has been granted “2016 Dean’s List student” and “Faculty of Architecture and Design Excellence Award in Media design” in his degree.

Topic: Virtual Reality and Perspective Taking in Policing

NZ Police




Royal Business College (RBC)

Dr Mazharuddin Syed Ahmed.  An experienced academician from the Ara Institute of Canterbury where he teaches Building Information Modelling, Virtual Design and Construction. He has an experience in teaching and research that spans over 21 years.  He also has experience in Building Performance Analysis, data visualization, data mining, ubiquitous, disruptive and wearable technologies. He is actively engaged in developing a framework for Smart Citizens which aims towards building data literacy and Artificial intelligence.

Case Study: Designing Powerful ARVR Experiences with Smart User Interface

Royal Business College (RBC)



Digital Design, Marketing & VR

Context Architects

Trent runs our virtual reality lab, helping architects turn digital plans into vividly life like rendered 3D environments. Architect and client can slip on virtual reality headsets and explore the places they plan to create long before the first batch of concrete is mixed.
A true digital native, Trent graduated in Creative Technologies, a course that focuses on virtual reality and game development. He brings the level of reality that gamers have come to expect – naturalistic lighting, realistic textures – to the 3D environments he creates. And he’s equally au fait with video and other digital media.
In fact, if Trent was a Michelin-starred chef his signature dish would be virtual reality with a side-order of digital whizzery.

Roundtable Discussions: How ARVR is transforming Marketing & Customer Experience across different Industry Verticals