Global Speakers


James Sheridan

CTO and Cognitive Neuroscience PHD Candidate

Igloo Vision

Topic: Setting the scene – creating an immersive projection room and 360 education tools to allow shared VR experiences

  • Using a game engine for teaching STEM, Vocational training and chemical engineering
  • Tools for transporting classes to locations and environments they couldn’t go to otherwise
  • What to think about when designing your VR space
  • The impact of Shared VR on pedagogy

James has been a researcher and educator for over 15 years with a focus on virtual environments and cognitive neuroscience. He’s worked in the cultural and education sectors for most of his career and is passionate about communicating information in new and exciting ways. He’s now the CTO and Head of Asia Pacific at Igloo Vision where he designs tools and spaces to enable education and training.

Igloo Vision


Justin Barnard

Education Specialist / Audio Visual Distributors


Topic: Cloud-based Active Learning Experience for Education

Justin has been involved in the AV industry for over 20 Years and has extensive experience from project design through to integration of small & large scale AV Projects. Justin is our specialist Infrastructure Products Manager who thrives on managing all the new technologies. He has been with AVD for many years, so you can fully rely on his expertise to guide you on choosing the correct products for your individual applications. Justin is based in Queensland, Australia.



Dr Adam Brown

Senior Lecturer, Digital Media

Deakin University

Topic: Roundtable 1: Building Engagement by Building Community: Social Media, Gamification, and Digital Learning

Dr Adam Brown is a Senior Lecturer in Digital Media at Deakin University, creator of the Social Media Stories podcast, maker of the Digital Learning with @digitalzones website and podcast, and co-host of the Our Gamified World web series. He is the author of Judging ‘Privileged’ Jews: Holocaust Ethics, Representation and the ‘Grey Zone’ (Berghahn, 2013) and co-author of Communication, Digital Media and Everyday Life (Oxford UP, 2015). Adam’s interdisciplinary research has spanned Holocaust representation across various genres, women in film, surveillance cinema, mediations of rape, digital children’s television, nonhuman animal ethics, transmedia storytelling, and gaming cultures. Adam’s current research and teaching interests centre on digital learning and gamification. Further details can be found on the Digital Zones website, and you can connect with Adam on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

Deakin University


James Brevelander

Group Digital Learning Manager

Cotton On Group

Topic: Wage War on Boring Learning: Creating Engaging and Meaningful Learning Videos

I have over 20 years experience crafting creative videos, animations, graphics and eLearning  for some of Australia’s largest companies. My mission is to deliver meaningful and engaging learning that breaks the mould of what is considered to be typical (aka boring) corporate videos or eLearning.



Assoc Prof Delene Weber

Dean Academic and Program Director, School of Natural and Built Environments

University of South Australia

Topic: Application of Digital Technologies in Education: ARVR and the Use of Drones to Augment Field Experiences of Students

Delene Weber is an experienced teacher and researcher from the University of South Australia.  While she has enjoyed administrative roles including Dean Academic and Associate Dean for UniSA Online, her true passion is engaging students and designing exciting learning opportunities.  She has been awarded an Australian Award for University Teaching for “Transforming field-based teaching of Environmental and Geospatial Sciences and the attainment of critical field skills through immersive digital visualisations” and an Australian Learning and Teaching Council Award for “outstanding and sustained contribution to the development of an innovative, integrated, and student-centred program in protected area management”.   She is excited to talk to our group about building digital capacity among academics, in particular the potential of virtual reality.

University of South Australia


Dr Betina Przybylak

Senior Leaning Designer

University of Melbourne

Topic: Roundtable 4: Developing Learner – Centred Approaches towards Digital Online Learning

Betina works as a Senior Learning Designer at the University of Melbourne. She a passion for developing innovative, student centred approaches to online education in is particularly interested in building community in online environments. Betina has a Masters of Education in eLearning, and has undertaken research into identity development in work-based programs as part of her Doctor of Education studies. She previously worked as a lecturer in teacher education at La Trobe University and lead innovative teaching and learning teams in schools in Australia and New Zealand.


Dr William Yeoh

Director, IBM Center of Excellence in Business Analytics

Deakin University

Topic: Improving Students Learning Outcome Through Analytics – Case Study of Deakin University

Dr William Yeoh is the Director for IBM Centre of Excellence in Business Analytics at Deakin University Australia. His main research interests include Business Intelligence and Analytics, AI, Data Mining, Information Quality, Enterprise Systems, Cloud Computing & Crowdsourcing. His research are supported by various funding bodies and have appeared in high-tier journals and top IS conferences. Dr Yeoh has won numerous awards including the 2017 ICT Educator of the Year Gold Award (awarded by the Australian Computer Society ACS), internationally-competitive IBM Faculty Award that rarely bestowed on Australian-based academics, Deakin’s Vice-Chancellor Award, and Faculty Excellence in Research Award. He is also the Editor-in-Chief Emeritus for the International Journal of Business Intelligence Research.

Deakin University


Wendy Palmer

Director, Global Studio

Deakin University

Topic: Global Education Re-Imagined: Delivering Post Graduate Degrees Online

Wendy is responsible for a range of innovative global digital learning initiatives and international partnerships at Deakin University, including the implementation of the pioneering [email protected] project where Deakin became the first university in the world to offer full postgraduate degrees via a MOOC platform.

With over 25 years’ experience in learning and development, Wendy was previously Head of Learning Design at DeakinCo. (Deakin’s corporate education arm) and spent over 10 years at ANZ Bank working in both Australia and India to manage large-scale learning infrastructure, operations and compliance projects.

Wendy holds a Masters in Virtual Communication from RMIT University and also spent a number of years as a lecturer in the virtual communications program.

Deakin University


Dr Ling Mei Cong

Associate Dean, Learning & Teaching Graduate School of Business and Law

RMIT University

Topic: Empowering Academics to Embrace the Future of Online Learning

Dr Ling Mei Cong is the Associate Dean, Learning and Teaching, in Graduate School of Business and Law, RMIT University. She has a passion for innovative teaching and digital pedagogies. She held academic positions in Australia and China at various universities. She taught accounting courses in Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand and Mainland China. She achieved a number of teaching awards during her teaching career.

RMIT University


Richard Cawood

Strategy Director

Ernst & Young

Topic: The University of the Future: Trends, Case Studies, Implications and Strategies

Richard is a director in EY’s strategy consulting business. He is a strategist and futurist recognised for his consulting experience in growth and innovation, scenario planning, digital transformation, development of target operating models, organisational restructuring and performance improvement.

Richard has worked across most industry sectors and issues but is particularly passionate about higher education and how to create a university system that matches the requirements of the 21st century.

Richard was the lead author of EY’s 2018 report “University of the Future: Can the Universities of Today Lead Learning for Tomorrow”. In it he explored external disruptive forces shaping the future of higher education in Australia, and outlined four divergent views on the university landscape in 2030 plus insights on how institutions need to transform themselves to serve a changing society and a profoundly changed world

His strategy consulting clients range from edtech start-ups and ivy league universities globally to G08 and innovative research universities locally.



Dr Olivia Ilic

Senior Education Product Adviser, RMIT Activator

RMIT University

Topic: Micro-Credentialing as a Pathway to Developing Entrepreneurial Skills and Competencies 

Olivia Ilic researches, designs and produces education experiences and products in the areas of creativity, social impact and enterprise skills development. Olivia is passionate about educational futures and has embarked on a PhD in the area (Education Faculty, Monash University) – where she was Ambassador for Entrepreneurship (2016). Olivia presently works at RMIT Activator as the Senior Education Product Adviser.

RMIT University


Dr Nandini Sidnal

Senior Lecturer, School of IT and Engineering

Melbourne Institute of Technology

Topic: Blended Learning at MIT

Nandini has been a researcher and educator for over twenty plus years. Nandini has held a number of academic positions (Academic Manager, Head of the Department) at universities and education institutions both in Australia and overseas. She has done every academic job from causal to Professor.

Her research interests lie in the area of Cognitive Computing using intelligent agents, Data Analytics and Semantic web. She has more than 30 research publications in peer reviewed journals and has presented some of them in International conferences. She has published couple of books on Cognitive Computing for Bidding in E-Auctions, Scholar’s Press and a C Programming Laboratory Hand Book for Beginners by Wiley publications.

Nandini has developed and practiced innovative teaching practices such as active and experiential learning. She had developed Intelligent Multi-agent framework for Adaptive e-learning as part of master thesis work. Further, she was a lead member to implemented virtual learning and assessment for specific master courses of VTU in 2005. She is now an active member of a sponsored project at MIT on Game based learning and is practicing feedforward learning for industrial based project units.


Emeritus Professor John Simons

Past Deputy Vice Chancellor

Macquarie University

Topic: The Flipped University: Making it happen

Emeritus Professor John Simons is a scholar and consultant who lives in Tasmania. He has worked in universities on every continent except Antarctica and done every academic job from casual lecturer to acting Vice Chancellor.

He has extensive experience as an auditor for the QAA in the U.K. and TEQSA and has worked on many projects on post-communist higher education in Eastern Europe for the British Council and also for the European Union. He is an alumnus of the US State Department’s International Visitor Program.

He has published some 20 academic books and numerous articles on a wide range of topics from Middle English romance through Andy Warhol to the history of cricket. His monographs in animal studies are Animal Rights and the Politics of Representation, Kangaroo, Rossetti’s Wombat, The Tiger who Swallowed the Boy and Obaysch: a Hippopotamus in Victorian London. He has also published on vegetarianism, vivisection, animal welfare law, the exotic animal trade and Empire, animals and soft power and medieval pet keeping. He is currently working on a history of fish in Victorian England. He is also a published poet.

He has a creative practice as a handloom weaver, indigo dyer and freeform basket maker.

Macquarie University




Professor Fang Chen

Executive Director, Data Science

University of Technology Sydney

Topic: The Advent of AI in Education –Analytics and Personalization 

Professor Chen is a thought leader in AI and data science. She has created many world-class AI innovations while working in Intel, Motorola, NICTA, CSIRO and now UTS, and helped governments and industries utilising data and significantly increasing productivity, safety and customer satisfaction. Through impactful successes, she gained many recognitions such as the ITS Australia National Award 2014, 2015 and 2018, and NSW iAwards 2017. She is the NSW “Water Professional of the Year” 2016, National and NSW “Research and Innovation Award” by Australian Water association. She received the “Brian Shackle Award” 2017 for “the most outstanding contribution with international impact in the field of human interaction with computers and information technology”. She is the winner of “Oscar Prize” in Australian science – Australian Museum Eureka Prize 2018 for Excellence in Data Science. Professor Chen has 280 publications and 30 patents in 8 countries. She is the Executive Director Data Science and Distinguished Professor at University of Technology Sydney (UTS).



Dr. Abigail Barzilai

Head, Center for Promotion of Learning and Teaching

The Technion, Israel

Topic: International Case Study: Blended Learning at Technion, Israel 

Dr Abigail Barzilai serves as the Head of the Center for the Promotion of Learning and Teaching (CPLT) at the Technion- Israel Institute of Technology since 2005, and formerly as a lecturer at the Technion’s Faculty of Education in Science and Technology. Throughout her career, Dr. Barzilai has been deeply involved in both local and national efforts to improve teaching and learning. Dr. Barzilai has wide experience in designing and conducting evidence-based professional academic development programs, in the evaluation and implementation of new educational technologies and in the assessment and evaluation of teaching and learning Dr. Barzilai studied exclusively at the Technion, where she was granted her M.Sc. degree from the Faculty of Medicine and her Ph.D  from the Faculty of Education in Science and Technology. Following her Vision, Dr. Barzilai led the way towards redesigning and reshaping the way the CPLT supports and promotes the Technion commitment, as a national leader, to excellence in teaching and learning. She has encouraged and supported pedagogical and technological innovations that foster student-centered interactive learning, and promoted the use of state-of-the-art instructional technologies, serving as a role model to other universities. She has promoted digital learning and the Technion’s policy to make courses accessible and available to all. She is currently actively engaged in numerous teaching and learning projects throughout the campus, including the implementation of flipped classroom, the design of MOOCs  and the implementation of multimedia in education.

The Technion - Israel Institute of Technology


Prof Gangadhara Prusty

Professor, Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering

UNSW Sydney

Topic: Adaptive Tutorials

Professor Gangadhara Prusty, UNSW: Gangadhara is a Professor in the School of Mechanical & Manufacturing and the Director of the Australian Research Council (ARC) funded Centre for Automated Manufacture of Advanced Composites (AMAC) at UNSW Sydney. He holds a PhD degree in Structural Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India and Grad Cert in University Learning and Teaching from UNSW. He has 25 + years of teaching experience at the undergraduate and postgraduate level of engineering education. He has graduated 20 HDRs, attracted research income close to AUD $ 17 million and published over 200+ refereed articles (20 in Education) in his academic career.

In 2006, Dr. Prusty pioneered the Adaptive Tutorials for Mechanics for his large class (300+) teaching of Engineering Mechanics and Mechanics of Solids courses in the School of Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering at UNSW. He led the competitive grant projects through Australian Learning & Teaching Council (ALTC) and Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) in 2010 (ALTC CG 10-1586) and 2013 (OLT ID 13-2786) respectively with colleagues from many Australian Universities in expanding the Adaptive eLearning education in engineering. Based on the grant outcomes and success, he pioneered the development of “Adaptive Mechanics Network” ( which is currently being used by a very large number of students and academics in several universities around the world.

Professor Prusty’s teaching developments have been taken up by students and academics at the national and international universities, and in recognition he have received multiple teaching excellence awards, including Australian Learning and Teaching Council Citation and UNSW Vice-chancellor’s Teaching excellence awards in 2010 and Australian Awards for Teaching and Australian Council of Engineering Deans Award for Engineering Education Excellence in 2012.

UNSW Sydney


Dr Shannon Kennedy-Clark

Senior Lecturer, School of Education

The University of Notre Dame

Topic: Using Data to Drive Learning and Teaching Decisions in the Classroom 

Dr Shannon Kennedy-Clark is a Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Notre Dame. Shannon has held a number of academic positions at universities and education institutions both in Australia and overseas. Shannon is an active educational researcher, and she has worked independently and in collaboration with both Australian and international colleagues on a wide variety of educational research projects. Current research activities comprise the development the development of data literacy in pre-service teacher education, the analysis of individual and group problem solving with computer supported-learning, design-based learning and long-term design projects, pre-service teacher professional development, measuring creativity in assessment, and academic literacy. Shannon has taught across the education sector and has enjoyed teaching students from primary school age to retirement. Her teaching areas include education and pedagogy, research strategies, ICT in education, and academic literacy.

The University of Notre Dame


Dr Shazia J Kan

Director, Learning and Teaching

Macquarie Business School, Macquarie University

Topic: Structural Identification of Online Learning Communities in Higher Education using Social Network Analysis: Implications for Learning Design and Facilitation

Shazia K. Jan is Director, Learning & Teaching, Macquarie Business School, Macquarie University where she oversees the design and innovation team. Prior to this role, Shazia was involved in the development of the Academy of Continuing Professional Development in Education at Macquarie University. Shazia is an early career academic with experience in learning design and analytics in higher education and professional learning. Shazia has authored several papers in high quality journals in technology-enhanced learning and in 2018 she was awarded the Excellence in Higher Degree Research Award by the Faculty of Human Sciences at Macquarie. As part of her doctoral research, Shazia has developed a methodological framework centred around social network analysis for investigating online learning communities. Shazia’s main research interests include online learning, learning communities, social network analysis, and educational psychology.

Macquarie University


Claire Seldon

Learning Design Expert

NSW Department Education

Topic: Using Gamification to Enhance the Value of Virtual Reality in the Classroom 

Claire Seldon is a Science and Technology teacher who works as a Learning Designer with the NSW Department of Education. She uses her ICT background to create digital teaching resources for students to use in the classroom with a focus on gamification and emerging VR/AR/MR experiences.

NSW Department Education


Professor Bob Fox

Curriculum Academic Lead Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education)

UNSW Sydney

Topic: Case Study: Enhancing Student Engagement & Learning with Digital Technologies & Innovative Pedagogies 

Professor Bob Fox, Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education) and Professor of Innovation in Higher Education (AD), School of Education, University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney, Australia. He held a concurrent appointment as Professor (Hons) at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) from 2013 to 2018. Professor Fox holds the HKU award, University Teaching Fellowship for Excellence in Teaching. Between years 2000 – 2013, he was Associate Professor and Deputy Director, Centre for Information Technology in Education, Faculty of Education at HKU with one year at the Chinese University of Hong Kong as Professor and Associate Director, Centre for Learning Enhancement and Research before returning to HKU in 2009.

He was also A/Dean (Learning Environments), Faculty of Education for the last two and a half years at HKU. Before working at HKU he was Associate Director and senior lecturer of the Centre for the Advancement of Education at Curtin University, Australia for 13 years; senior lecturer at the Hong Kong Vocational Training Council for four years; a TEFL teacher for five years in England, Hong Kong and Spain and further education lecturer for two years in England. Bob Fox has over 30 years-experience in teaching and research in Australia, South East Asia and Great Britain.
His research focuses on learning and teaching innovation and change in higher education; technological practice and curriculum change; blended, mobile and open learning. He has published widely on these topics.

UNSW Sydney


Kerry Russo

Associate Dean, Learning and Teaching, College of Business, Law & Governance

James Cook University

Topic: Re-Designing Blended Learning for Digital and Workplace Transformation  

Kerry Russo is the Associate Dean, Learning and Teaching at James Cook University (JCU) in the College of Business, Law & Governance. Prior to accepting the position of Associate Dean, Kerry was the online learning developer at JCU who designed and developed online/blended programs while building staff capacity to teach in digital learning environments. Kerry is an experienced educator who has been working in blended and online learning since 2003. Before joining JCU, Kerry was an educator and campus manager in the vocational education sector. Kerry designed and implemented the Aged Care program for Barrier Reef Institute of TAFE. This was one of the first successful blended learning programs in TAFE Qld. The program was awarded one of top four national programs in blended learning exemplar practice by the Australian Flexible Learning Network. The program also informed the practice guidelines for e-learning for mature age students. Kerry’s current role as Associate Dean includes leading the development of learning and teaching strategies committed to excellence and innovation. Kerry’s work at JCU includes facilitating curriculum design, building robust pedagogical practice and implementing authentic assessment practices. Kerry’s research area is in digital fluency and the digital divide. Kerry is researching and developing intervention strategies to upskill business students in digital fluency thereby future proofing graduates for roles in a 21st Century workforce.

James Cook University


Dr. Michael J. Jacobson

Professorial Research Fellow and Chair of Education, Sydney School of Education and Social Work

The University of Sydney

Topic: Intelligent Virtual Simulations and Cognitive Science for Medical and Health Education: Enabling Transformative Professional Education 

Michael is a Professor and Chair of Education in the Sydney School of Education and Social Work and Co-Convener of the Advanced Learning Technologies SIG at the Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation at The University of Sydney. His research explores learning with intelligent virtual worlds and agent-based modeling and visualization tools, as well as cognitive and learning issues related to understanding new scientific perspectives emerging from the study of complex systems. Professor Jacobson has published extensively in areas related to the learning sciences and technology, given invited talks at international conferences, and served as an educational and business consultant in Australia and internationally. He is also the Founder and CEO of Pallas Advanced Learning Systems, which is an advanced edtech consultancy company based in Sydney. Professor Jacobson received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1991.



Associate Professor Tomasz Bednarz

Team Leader in Visual Analytics


Topic: Using VR of the Future and Hybrid Analytics for Communicating, Teaching and Improved Decision Making  

A/Professor Tomasz Bednarz is a Director and Head of Visualisation at the Expanded Perception & Interaction Centre (EPICentre), UNSW Art & Design. He is also a Team Leader in Visual Analytics, at the CSIRO Data61 (Computational Platforms Group, Software & Computational Systems Program).

He holds Partner/Associate Investigator positions at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers (ACEMS) and holds Adjunct Associate Professor positions at the QUT (School of Mathematical Sciences) and University of South Australia (School of IT and Math Sciences).

His current roles reflect his conviction to a holistic approach to the wicked problems facing the collation, analytics and display of big data. His approach is expansive and encompasses the use of novel technologies (AR, VR, CAVE, Dome, AVIE), often in combination. Over the last couple of years, he has been involved in wide range of projects in area of immersive visualisation, human-computer interaction, computational imaging, image analysis and processing, visualisation, simulations, computer graphics, computer games, computational fluid dynamics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and multi-sensors assimilation.

He is Chair of ACM SIGGRAPH Asia 2019. SIGGRAPH conferences are the world’s largest, most influential annual meetings and exhibitions in computer graphics and interactive techniques. The conference will be held for the very first time in Australia (Brisbane).

UNSW Sydney


Professor Doune Macdonald

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning) and Director, Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation

The University of Queensland

Topic: Case Study: The UQ2U Blended Learning Project – Blended Learning Transformation at Scale

Doune is responsible for achieving The University of Queensland’s (UQ) teaching and learning objectives, including innovation in teaching and learning, digital learning, development and recognition of excellent teaching, quality assurance and enhancement, curriculum reform and renewal, and research in teaching and learning that centres on improving student learning outcomes. A key responsibility is providing oversight of UQ’s Student Strategy (2016-2020), which is transforming the student experience through pedagogical, curricula and assessment renewal as well as providing cutting edge digital and physical infrastructure and staff professional development. Prior to this, Doune served as Head of School of Human Movement Studies from 2004 to 2013.

Doune’s background is in health and physical education. She has published 14 books and more than 200 book chapters and research papers in curriculum, policy, and equity and has undertaken curriculum evaluations for state and national initiatives. This culminated in her role as the Lead Writer for the Australian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education.

She is an International Fellow of the National Academy of Kinesiology, USA, and of the Association Internationale des Ecoles Superieures d’Education Physique (AIESEP). She sits on the Board of the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority and the Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research Advisory Group.

The University of Queensland


Lionel Skinner

Award-Winning Lecturer & Academic, Faculty of Business and Law

Curtin University

Topic: Learning and Teaching on a AR Platform: VRoo, the World’s First 360 VR Interactive Learning Management System

Lionel is an award winning lecturer at Curtin University. As an early adaptor of innovative educational technologies, he delivered a presentation on Blended Learning at the Wharton-QS Stars Reimagine Education Awards 2014 which was held at The Wharton School in Philadelphia. Lionel received the School of Management Teaching Excellence in Innovation Award 2015 for introducing innovative learning technologies in MGMT1000 Fundamentals of Management. In addition, Lionel won the 2015 Curtin Business School Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning prize for demonstrating excellence in his teaching activities. Lionel was also awarded research funding from the WAND Small Grants Scheme 2016. WAND is an inter-university network that aims to facilitate the enhancement of learning and teaching in Western Australian universities.

Curtin University


Dr Mark King

Associate Professor and Director, Educational Delivery Services

Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education), UNSW

Topic: Designing & Delivering Quality Online and Blended Learning Experiences at Scale: The UNSW Experience 

Associate Professor Mark King is an influential leader who spearheads the Educational Delivery Services of the Pro Vice-Chancellor Education (PVCE) Portfolio at UNSW Sydney, and is the author of the $77M Inspired Learning Initiative (ILI). The ILI is an initial five (5) year investment is a complex programme of work incorporating nine (9) interconnected project streams to enhance student learning experiences and educational outcomes.

Mark’s portfolio of 70+ staff support all educational functions including educational intelligence & analytics, design and development, and technology; and works in Partnership with the university community to implement the Scientia Education Experience and the UNSW 2025 strategy for a sustained competitive advantage. In addition, Mark is a trained psychologist and cognitive ethnographer. He works and publishes in the areas of human cognition and learning within distributed cognitive systems. He developed an eye-tracking methodology for investigating the co-synchronisation of language behaviour and visual perception in learning events.

During previous appointments at The University of Hong Kong and The University of Melbourne, respectively, Mark pioneered the RASE learning design model that is now core to the Integrated Curriculum Framework at UNSW Sydney.

UNSW Sydney


Peter Helson

CEO & Head of Campus

SP Jain School of Global Management

Topic: Designing the Classroom of the Future Logistics

Peter is the CEO and Head of Campus (Sydney) for the S P Jain School of Global Management. S P Jain is an Australian technology-led business school with campuses in Sydney, Dubai, Singapore and Mumbai.

It was voted #4 in the world by the Times Higher Education and Wall Street Journal (2018) and has been consistently ranked amongst the Top 20 Best International Business Schools by Forbes for its one year MBA program.

Peter has over 30 years of business management and strategy consulting experience gained primarily in the corporate sector within the financial services industry in Australia and overseas.

He has worked directly for or consulted to a wide range of financial institutions and corporates in Asia Pacific and Europe throughout his career and has held senior management roles in marketing, finance, operations and strategy.

Born and educated in the UK, Peter lived and worked in Germany for five years with Citibank before being posted to Australia in 1996. Following senior roles in Citibank, David Jones and AMP, and prior to joining S P Jain, he founded Syntegral, a boutique consulting company specialising in retail bank and wealth management growth strategy development, fintech and disruptive innovation.



Carmen Reyneke

Instructional Designer, Digital Learning

Melbourne Business School

Topic: Design Thinking and Co-Design in Education 

Carmen has worked in the educational industry for 18 years. She specialised in English education and worked in South Korea and Thailand. She then moved to Malaysia, where she trained teachers for the Malaysian Ministry of Education for 5 years. While doing this, she completed her M.Ed in Instructional Design and Technology through the American College of Education, which sparked an entire new journey. She is currently the learning designer at Melbourne Business School where she is part of the digital learning team, which responsible for leading the school into the future of education. This is both challenging and creatively fun and rewardingly productive. She is passionate about the future of learning and the role technology plays in enhancing learning experiences.

Melbourne Business School


Associate Professor Marcus O’Donnell

Pro Vice-Chancellor, Teaching and Learning

Deakin University

Topic: Next Generation Digital Learning Environments Meet Next Generation Digital Practice 

Associate Professor Marcus O’Donnell is Pro Vice-Chancellor, Teaching and Learning at Deakin University where he leads digital transformation projects and overseas the Deakin Learning Futures group. He was Director Digital Learning and the academic lead on the ambitious Degrees at FutureLearn project which saw Deakin become the first university in the world to put a suite of degree programs on a global MOOC platform. Prior to joining Deakin he was an academic and convenor in the journalism program at the University of Wollongong, then Head of Digital Pedagogy and one of the leads on their university-wide Curriculum Transformation Project. His research interests include, digital storytelling, institutional digital change and contemplative pedagogies for student resilience.

Deakin University


Joanne Clarke

Enrolled Nurse Coordinator/Teacher


Topic: Blended Learning and Immersive Training for Nurses – Case Study of TAFE NSW 

Joanne Clarke, RN, BSN, MNLP, teaches and coordinates the Diploma of Nursing at Randwick TAFE.  Joanne has been teaching at TAFE for 6 years and is passionate about delivering high quality education that prepares students realistically for the workplace.  She has been a Registered Nurse for over 25 years, working in various Intensive Care Units across Sydney and London.  This experience has heavily influenced Joanne’s desire to provide an educational experience that is both practical and academically sound to the wide range of learners wanting to embark on a career in nursing.  Joanne is a compassionate person who has successfully trained hundreds of nurses since she started teaching at TAFE.  Many of her students are still enjoying practicing as Enrolled Nurses, while others have continued their studies gaining Bachelor and Master of Nursing qualifications.  Joanne prides herself on nurturing her learners to succeed in their quest to become Enrolled Nurses, recognising that the pathway for each student may be quite different. In her spare time, Joanne likes early morning exercise on the beach, yoga and walking her dog. Currently she is enjoying practicing skills that she learnt recently when she completed her Master of Neuro Linguistic Programming.



Dr Frances Shapter

Clinical Skills Hub Coordinator

School of Veterinary Science, The University of Queensland

Topic: Creating a Safe, Effective, Engaging, Self-Directed Learning Clinical Skills Facility 

Dr Fran Shapter started her career as a High School Agricultural Science teacher but moved into research in Australian native grasses and molecular genetics in 2004. However, in 2011 she returned to education and began tutoring at the UQ School of Veterinary Science, in large animal production, parasitology and microbiology. She has held a variety of teaching, research and professional roles in the vet school including project management, curriculum design and blended learning design. She was the project manager for a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) grant which developed 20 vertically and horizontally integrated, online, adaptive tutorials for veterinary science students and was co-author on the manual developed by this project. She assisted with the development of a new flexible delivery laboratory animal science course in 2015 and has been part of the SoTL research and evaluation associated with both these projects.

In 2017, Fran became the new UQ School of Veterinary Science Student Clinical Skills Hub Coordinator. The Hub is a purpose-built, state-of-the-art self-directed learning facility for students of veterinary science. Student usage, resource availability and online support for the Hub has increased more than tenfold. Fran’s aim is to provide a safe, inclusive, authentic, self-directed learning environment where students can practice their clinical skills in accordance with individual competences. Enhancing their capacity for self-directed, lifelong learning whilst acknowledging the vast array of qualifications, previous training, life experience and cultural backgrounds each student brings with them to the Hub.

The University of Queensland


Jennifer Stokes


UniSA College, University of South Australia

Topic: Using Learning Analytics to Encourage Student Connection and Engagement with Real World Problem-Solving: Future Ideas, Innovation, Addressing “Wicked Problems” Through Quality Research 

Jennifer Stokes is an award-winning educator, who specialises in digital media, foundation studies and information literacy. She recently received citations for Teaching and Learning (2016) and Digital Learning (2017). She has been recognised for her ability to engage university students through media forms and has taught film production in Australia and Singapore. Her publications focus on media engagement, critical thinking, and widening participation. She recently completed a two-year term as an Executive Board member of the National Association of Enabling Educators of Australia, and she is passionate about educational access and the role universities can play in social inclusion and societal betterment. Her background in digital media production and her commitment to social inclusion inform an innovative approach to course content.

University of South Australia


Cliff Sharif

Unreal Engine Developer/Lecturer

SAE Institute

Topic: Using VR, AR and AI Integrations, Pedagogy in Australia and the Future Students 

Cliff Sahrif has developed his career in IT industry as programmer, 3D artist, graphic designer and multimedia developer start back in 1998. Having years of experience over different programming languages, softwares and generations of target machines is part of his expertise. His favourite branch in IT industry is develop real-time interactive application which lead him to get involved in making game applications, interactive UI development, digital art and application optimizations. He teach game design and development – VR/AR at SAE Institute – Sydney branch at the moment. His favourite application is Unreal Engine.



Gillian Vesty

Associate Professor, College of Business

RMIT University

Topic: How Digital Simulations and Serious Gamified Teaching Methodologies Drive Better Experience and Higher Student Engagement 

Gillian is an Associate Professor in the School of Accounting, RMIT University. Gillian is a member of the RMIT School of Accounting Executive and RMIT Student Wellbeing Advisory Group. With a background career in the healthcare industry, Gillian’s teaching and research interests broadly encompass aspects of ‘social and environmental health and wellbeing’ with a focus on digital simulations and serious games in accounting education, management accounting and performance measurement in sustainability, public health and education. Gillian has published in journals including Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, Journal of Accounting and Finance, Issues in Accounting Education, Journal of Accounting and Finance, and Research in the Sociology of Organizations Journal.

She is on the editorial board of Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal. Gillian has received grants from the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA, US), International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), HRH Prince of Wales Accounting for Sustainability Project (A4S) and CPA Australia Global Research Funds, resulting in several publications and CPA Australia reports on capital investment and sustainability. She is an active HDR supervisor and currently supervises students in her area of expertise. She an author of a management accounting textbook and has a passion for developing innovations for use in both teaching and research. Learning and Teaching Grants have contributed to improving student experience through interactive gaming simulations developments which are now being used by academics and more than 11,000 students around the world (

Her serious game “Lucro Island” won IMA/AAA outstanding case award in 2018. Gillian’s most recent serious game “Bogart” responds to industry demands for improved business ethics ( with algorithms capturing the decisions players make throughout the game. Gillian is also involved in a clinical trial using digital gamified technologies to enhance the patient surgical journey. Her overall aim is to use serious games and gamification techniques to translate social and environmental impacts into improved practices.

RMIT University


Sophie Poisel

K-6 Innovation Leader

Emanuel School

Topic: Next Generation Makerspace in Schools: Modern Learning Spaces that Encourage Mobility, Collaboration and New ways of Learning

Sophie is the K-6 Innovation Leader at Emanuel School. She was the recipient of the Premier’s Commonwealth Bank STEM Scholarship and spent 5 weeks learning from innovative educators across North America. The focus of her study included transdisciplinary project-based learning, design thinking and alternative assessment & reporting regimes that highlight the importance of future skills.

In her current role, Sophie works with teachers to embed design thinking, maker-centred learning and emerging Digital Technologies into grade projects. She also works with students to develop interest based projects, highlighting the skills and dispositions they need now and in the future. Sophie has worked at a range of independent schools in Sydney with primary and secondary students, as a primary teacher, a Gifted and Talented Coordinator, and with pre-service teachers, at University and as a supervising teacher. She is passionate about fostering students’ curiosity in STEM fields and developing partnerships with industry mentors. Follow her on twitter @sophiepoisel

Sophie Poisel Logo


Dr Donovan Jones


School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Newcastle

Topic: Using Mixed Reality with Gamification to Improve Nursing and Midwifery Students Learning 

As an early career researcher Donovan’s PhD “mindfulness for men with pregnant partners” has attracted international recognition receiving international publications and has gained him a position as a board advisor on the international forum for wellbeing in pregnancy   In Addition, Donovan’s PhD is being run in the UK in 2019 through the University of Leeds. Recently Donovan has been exploring the use and integration of transformative technologies such as virtual and augmented reality into the bachelor of midwifery curriculum at the University of Newcastle. Donovan has taken the lead forming inter-professional research collaborations across the University and the world (University of Surry, University of Atwerp and University of Illinois) to translate transformative technologies into clinical practice. To date Donovan’s team has developed a Neonatal Virtual Reality program designed to provide health professionals and students with accessible and repeatable neonatal resuscitation lifesaving skills.  In addition to this Donovan team released the Road to Birth education application, providing a non-invasive internal view of pregnancy progression utilising both virtual and augmented reality technology. 2019 will see the launch of more research and teaching prototypes including a world first conflict resolution using VR and real-time biofeedback to help undergraduate students learn about conflict resolution in health care. Internationally Donovan is a member of SMARTlab linked with Universities around the globe with the aim to create and research social inclusive, sustainable VR/AR projects for use to all.

University of Newcastle


Shanna Fealy

Associate Lecturer

School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Newcastle

Topic: Using Mixed Reality with Gamification to Improve Nursing and Midwifery Students Learning 

Shanna is registered nurse and registered midwife, lecturer and early career researcher. She is a current PhD student investigating the application of mobile technologies for behaviour change for gestational weight gain. Shanna is committed to improving maternal and infant health through interdisciplinary collaboration and development and implementation of transformative technologies. She has been a co-founder and team member on the School of Nursing and Midwifery’s Compromised Neonate Virtuality Reality project and The Road to Birth Augmented Reality Project at the University of Newcastle led by Mr Donovan Jones. Additionally, is an alumni of the CSIRO OnPrime and OnAccelerate program enabling researchers to commercialise technologies from institutions such as universities.

University of Newcastle


Joe Haig

Director of ICT

Belmont Christian College

Topic: Experiential Learning: Using Robotics to Teach Coding

Joe is the Director of ICT / ICT Integrator at Belmont Christian College. He loves watching students acquire a sense of confidence and empowerment as they engage with digital technology and has mentored students at the national level in the dance division of Robocup Junior. Joe has developed and conducted NESA accredited professional development programs for teachers in coding, robotics and game development.

In 2015 Joe founded Codewise to support teachers, particularly those in regional areas, to provide high value digital learning experiences to their students. Codewise recently released the game “TWANG Creator” on Google Play and produced the accompanying story book and teaching resources. The app has been described as “fun, funny and super original” and features an innovative “digilogue” system.

As a teacher who took a year off to develop a mobile app in a co-working space Joe has a unique perspective on the way education is currently positioning itself to support future entrepreneurs and innovators. His experience in the start-up community gave him insight into the challenges young people will face in the new economy and the skills they will need to protect an idea and execute it successfully.

Joe believes that technology should be integrated where possible, rather than taught in isolation, because technology is a tool – a means to an end. He is particularly interested in exploring the synergy between technology and creativity that can allow artists to be architects of change on a grander scale than ever before.




Chris Bradbury


Northholm Grammar School

Topic: The Flipped Classroom

Chris is Principal at Northholm Grammar School, an independent co-educational school in Sydney, Australia. Northholm seeks to be large enough to cater for wide academic choices and small enough to care for the individual student. High expectations, scholarship and pastoral care are the School’s stated ideals that guide the development of young people in their adolescent growth.

Chris is an innovative and dynamic teacher with a strong presence as an educational leader demonstrating creativity and agility. He has a proven record of achieving effective change management targets by developing concrete strategies in working collaboratively with others to build awareness of the need of change, and developing a shared mission and a common agenda. Chris has a genuine commitment and passion for the growth of young people to achieve their personal best through life-wide learning.

Chris has been awarded a NSW Quality Teaching Excellence Award in recognition of outstanding teaching practice by the NSW State Government and was a recipient of both the Gandel Holocaust Studies Program for Australian Educators Scholarship and the NSW Premiers Westfield’s History Teacher’s Scholarship. In 2018, he has been selected to participate in the NSW AIS Leadership Centre Flagship Program which is a rigorous, holistic program for experienced school leaders in schools. He holds a Bachelor and Master’s degree in Education from the University of Sydney and a Graduate Certificate in Advanced Educational Leadership from Harvard University.

Chris Bradbury Northholm Grammar School Ltd


Dr Tony Mordini

Assistant Principal, Information Systems & College Operations

Mount Ridley Colllege

Topic: The Flipped Classroom

Tony began his professional life as a teacher. He moved into leadership early in his career showing a real interest in the needs of “at risk” children and adolescents particularly those who have been affected by trauma, come from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, are economically and socially disadvantaged, and/or are burdened by mental illness.

His broad experiences include the leadership of two schools in the Northern Territory; a Ministerial appointment as a senior policy consultant; and senior university and school leadership roles with portfolio responsibilities including equity, disability services, counselling, policy and learning support.

Tony is currently Assistant Principal at Mount Ridley College. The College, on Melbourne’s expanding North Western corridor is one of the largest public schools in Victoria with approximately 2,400 students K-12. He is currently responsible for the College’s Early Years and Junior Schools (approx. 1,200 students K – 7) and the overall College’s Operations portfolio. The College also has a dedicated trauma unit which he supervises.

Tony’s academic scholarship includes research into child and adolescent development (honours thesis); the psychopathology of adolescent self-harm (doctoral thesis and post-doctoral projects); and applied ethics (the focus of several published texts).

Tony has also been very active in the GLBTIQ and multicultural space for several decades. This has included leadership roles – President of the WA and SA AIDS Councils; Treasurer of the NT AIDS and Hepatitis Council.

Tony has extensive governance and management credentials. He has postgraduate business qualifications; is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors; is an Associate Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management; was Secretary to Council at Deakin University and he has been a director of several boards. He is currently a director of the Melbourne Council of United Way, a global philanthropic working with disadvantaged communities around three focus areas –early childhood development; employment (particularly the transition from school to work); and mental health.

Tony is a strong child protection advocate. In recent years this has motivated him to undertake a program of study through the Victorian Department of Justice. In April 2016 he was appointed an Honorary Justice with the powers to execute Interim Accommodation Orders and conduct after-hours child bail and remand hearings.

Mount Ridley Colllege


Daniel Wurm

Founder | Director

Green Building Institute | EduBytes

Topic: Trade School in Your Pocket – Apprenticeship E-learning Best Practice: A Case Study

Daniel has 8 years experience in vocational education, and 3 years experience as an instructional designer. He is passionate about combining e-learning technology with education for sustainability, to create affordable, engaging, green business courses across the planet. He believes in using new technology to make high quality education affordable and accessible for everyone, and is interested in helping employers and organisation be part of the e-learning revolution.



Mary-Lou O’Brien

Chief Digital Officer

Melbourne Girls School

Topic: Moving from Blended Learning Environment to Individualisation and Personalisation and How Data Analytics Can Support Fitness and Academic Achievements

Mary-Lou has had a very varied background that includes being one of Australia’s internet pioneers when she started Australia’s first online retail business in 1997. She then moved into the Higher Ed sector before moving to K-12 in 2009. After 9 years as the Director of eLearning at Melbourne Girls Grammar she accepted the role of Chief Digital Officer at the end of 2017 to complete their digital transformation. Last year she was a finalist for the CIO of the year award as well as making the Educators 2018 Hot List.

Melbourne Girls Grammar Logo


Stephanie Andrews

Industry Fellow Lecturer, Digital Media / Virtual Reality, School of Design

RMIT University

Topic: Avatars and Identity – A RMIT University VR Case Study

Stephanie began as a Technical Director at Pixar, and has had a genre-spanning career around the intersection of art and technology since. She is currently the Industry Fellow Lecturer in Virtual Reality for the Digital Media department at the RMIT School of Design. She has worked extensively in 3D graphics, including animation, motion capture, programming, and UX design.  She has been a leader in curriculum innovation in 3D experimental art, winning major grants for stereoscopic research at the University of Washington. She’s been exhibiting internationally as a professional artist for more than twenty years, her works exploring kinetic sculpture, holography, digital imaging, and lighting installation. As an entrepreneur, she has also founded product design companies for the online metaverse Second Life, and provided leadership to 3D printing startups. Recently, she spent three years as Creative Director for the Melbourne-based VR/neuroscience company Liminal, and is completing her PhD at RMIT.

RMIT University


Dr Amir Ghapanchi

Senior Lecturer, College of Engineering and Science

Victoria University

Topic: Three Dimensional Virtual Campus: A Case Study

Dr Amir Ghapanchi is a senior lecturer in Victoria University. He has published over 80 publications in top Information Systems, and Management journals and conferences. Amir has vast experience in online learning. He has taught online courses, ran e-learning research projects, published in E-learning journals/conferences, and supervised PhD/Masters students on the area. Dr Ghapanchi’s work have been recognized in several educational magazines.



Darren Steffen

Senior Educator, Learning and Teaching (VET)

Melbourne Polytechnic

Topic: VET Tech: Intersection of teaching innovation & creativity with digital technology, the workplace and learner engagement

Darren Steffen is a Learning and Teaching Consultant at Melbourne Polytechnic. His background in performing arts and media technology, theatre and sound design serves to inform his commitment to promoting quality learner-centred education experiences through empowering contemporary educators to identify, embrace, and exercise their inherent creative and innovative superpowers. He seeks that moment when a perceived impossibility becomes a celebrated reality.

Melbourne Polytechnic

Dan Davies

Dan Davies

Creative Education Collaborator

Geelong Grammar School

Topic: Roundtable 2: How Do We Prepare Students for Responsible Technology Use Beyond School? 

With over 20 years of teaching experience, Dan is a current leader in digital innovation in education. Dan focuses on enabling teachers to adopt emerging technologies and their practical application in the classroom through accessible tools. Dan has held a number of digital leadership positions, including Head of Learning Technologies, leading his campus in a number of digital initiatives. Dan has recently joined Geelong Grammar School’s Centre for Creative Education as part of its inaugural Creative Education team.


Bruce Joycey

AI Lead


Topic: AI for Educational Training Organisations

Bruce is passionate about technology and aware of the ever-increasing reliance business has on it. Bruce has worked a range of roles in his IT career from hands-on development through to architecture, consulting and delivery management. Bruce has extensive experience working with business and IT domains to deliver solutions that meet requirements and align with strategies.

Bruce also has a passion for Artificial Intelligence and in particular identifying use cases for businesses to utilise aspects of AI such as Machine Learning, NLP and Robotics. Helping enterprises start their AI journey and incorporating AI in to their business strategy is a big focus. Bruce also likes to work with enterprises to help clarify and demystify some of the current perceptions of AI to ensure opportunities and possibilities are understood for applying AI to not only improve business processes but radically transform them also.

Bruce has a process improvement mindset due to many years of delivering BPM and Integration programs of work. Delivering a clear process architecture and deploying a framework for continuous improvement initiatives are outcomes Bruce strives for. Bruce enjoys solving problems utilising design thinking principles and having genuine empathy for the customer or stakeholder. Bruce is also a big fan of applying lean principles not only to business processes but in the workplace and home.


Helen Whitehead

AI Expert & Design Practice Lead


Topic: AI for Educational Training Organisations

Helen is an IBM Associate Partner and customer strategy and design practice co-lead for Australia and New Zealand. She is also the co-founder of KinKai; a strategic facilitation and executive collective coaching company.

With deep expertise in customer centricity and digital transformation, her leadership spans the breadth of multi-billion dollar global transformation projects, reshaping organisations impacted by the NDIS, supporting social enterprises and working with companies to unlock the value of diversity of thought.

Helen specialises In Systems Thinking, Human Centred Design, Lean and Six Sigma and using these capabilities to deliver customer centric products and services that deliver both growth and efficiency. Her passions include AI for good, women in STEM and balancing the current biases within AI.

Before joining IBM, Helen established the inaugural CX, Lean and Product Management capabilities within RMIT, winning AMIs first CX award in 2017.


Prof Clive Smallman

Learning Strategist

Clive Smallman

Topic: Leadership at the Edge: Breakthrough Personal and Organisational Learning Strategies in the Second Machine Age 

Clive Smallman helps leaders team and organisations have breakthrough moments. He’s the Personal and Organisational Learning Strategist.

Leaders, teams and organisations get stuck in loops. Loops start with opportunities or challenges. They see opportunities they know are good, but can’t quite work their way into them. They see challenges they need to deal with, but aren’t quite sure how? They’re standing at the edge of success or failure. They need to break through. They need to create momentum.

Momentum builds out of learning from ‘moments of truth,’ those defining moments we have each day. They’re the ‘ah-ha’ and the ‘oh-no’ moments that put us into flow or stop us dead in our tracks. Building momentum means maximising the good moments and minimising the bad. It means finding and sustaining clarity. It means getting clear and immediate feedback. It means having confidence in your own abilities. These are all grounded in mindset, individual and collective. Understanding character strengths, mental toughness and learning preferences and styles is where Clive starts.

Through on-to-one and group mentoring he helps leaders and teams break through to next level performance. Through strategic facilitation he helps leaders, team and organisations leverage opportunities and tackle challenges. Through training he helps leaders to train the next generation of leaders for their organisation.

His new book “The Edge” is out soon.


Nick Busietta

Managing Director

Liminal VR

Topic: Roundtable 3: VR for Wellbeing in Education Sector

Nick is a psychology graduate, former major projects IT lawyer and Liminal’s co-founder. He is obsessed with the idea that the interface of virtual reality with neuroscience is a natural progression for human psychology. Liminal VR is working with a global network of developers, to help create short virtual reality experience that are designed to empower people to consciously choose how they want to feel and perform. Nick’s team is presently working on overcoming challenges in VR of using entertainment to help achieve targeted psychological outcomes.


Rajnesh Ram

Learning Area Leader, Science, STEM and Computing

Southern Cross Grammar

Topic: Robotics in STEM Education

I am passionate about engaging students in critical thinking, particularly in the areas of Science and STEM. I have engaged in various forums discussing the way forward for STEM education in schools and in the past 10 year I have encouraged many students and teachers to undertake STEM programs. I believe that STEM education in schools is vital in sustaining a culture of critical thinkers and inventors in our society.


Olga Gavrilenko

Instructional Design Lead

Holmesglen Institute

Sydney & Melbourne Sessions

Topic: Using  LMS as a quality control tool, a Case Study

Holmesglen Institute


Adrian Puckering

Director of Learning

Luther College

Topic: Designing Great AR/VR Learning Environments: Blending Physical Spaces with Immersive Reality


Dr. Ash Moreland

Lecturer, Discipline of Exercise and Sport Sciences, School of Health and Biomedical Sciences

RMIT University

Topic: Doing Blended Learning Correctly

RMIT University


Alex Borlenghi

Head of Digital Learning and Practice

Luther College

Topic: Designing Great AR/VR Learning Environments: Blending Physical Spaces with Immersive Reality