Kath Murdoch

Kath Murdoch is an experienced teacher, author, university lecturer and popular consultant who has worked for many years in schools throughout Australia, New Zealand, Asia, America and Europe. She is widely respected for her work in the field of inquiry based learning and integrative curriculum in which she has taught, researched and published for well over 20 years.

Beginning her professional life as a classroom teacher in Melbourne, her fascination in how students constructed their understandings - and her interest in the way questions and big ideas could drive curriculum soon lead to a passion for integrative and inquiry based methodologies. This passion has become a career long focus for teaching, research and writing and the methodologies in which Kath specialises are now central to curriculum frameworks in many parts of the world – including the popular International Baccalaureate, PYP program. 

Critical to Kath’s success is her continued involvement in classroom teaching. Whether it is to demonstrate techniques, coach teachers or build her own repertoire of practices, Kath is committed to regular and ongoing work with students. Her classroom work and research feeds a dynamic and ever-evolving expertise in the area of integrative and inquiry-based learning. 

Dan Finkel
Play and rigor in mathematics


Dan Finkel is the Founder of Math for Love, a Seattle-based organisation devoted to transforming how math is taught and learned. Dan develops curriculum, leads teacher workshops, and gives talks on mathematics and education nationally and internationally. His TEDx Talk, 5 Principles of Extraordinary Math Teaching, has been viewed over half a million times. His puzzles have appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian, the Hindu, and as TED-Ed riddles.


Dan’s curriculum has been used by thousands of students, and is known for its combination of rigor and play.

James Nottingham
Challenging Learning

James Nottingham is co-founder and director of Challenging Learning. His passion is in transforming the most up-to-date research into strategies that really work in the classroom. He is regarded by many as one of the most engaging, thought-provoking and inspirational speakers in education. His first book, Challenging Learning, was published in 2010 and has received widespread critical acclaim. Since then, he has written six books sharing the best research and practice connected with learning; dialogue; feedback; the Learning Pit; Early Years education; and Growth Mindset. 

James often presents alongside Carol Dweck (Growth Mindset) and John Hattie (Visible Learning). James has been described in Sweden as, “one of the most talked about names in the world of school development,” and the Observer newspaper in the UK listed him among the Future 500 - a “definitive list of the UK's most forward-thinking and brightest innovators.

Gail Loane


Gail has worked as a teacher, associate principal, principal and school adviser in the Waikato area. She has also worked on national projects for the Ministry of Education such as the Literacy Taskforce, Literacy Leadership, the development of the English Exemplars and the National Literacy Project.

She now works as an independent consultant in schools, tutoring and coaching school leaders and teachers in the development of literacy.


Gail is a skilled and inspirational presenter. As the author of the book I’ve Got Something to Say ~ leading young writers to authorship, she delivers workshops and seminars related to its content.

Nathan Mikaere Wallis

Nathan Wallis is a father of three and foster parent with a professional background in child counselling, teaching and social service management. Until recently he lectured in Human Development at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand and was also a board member and senior trainer with the highly respected Brainwave Trust. In 2010 he founded a private training consultancy, Nathan Wallis Ltd, with the goal of facilitating easy to understand professional development training reflecting the latest neuroscience discoveries and their practical implications for everyday practice. Since then he has been in hot demand, delivering in excess of 150 presentations every year throughout New Zealand and Australia. He has developed a reputation as a lively and engaging speaker who uses humour and plain language to make this complex topic come to life.

Jan Robertson
Leadership Coaching

Kia ora koutou. He mihi nui ki a koutou katoa. I have been in education now well over 40 years but I still feel as passionately about my work as the day I started at teachers' college. If anything I feel even more urgent about developing contributing citizens who honour New Zealand's dual cultural heritage and who value diversity for the wealth of creativity and innovation it can provide. I believe it is my role as a leadership educator, to challenge, provoke, affirm, present ideas, and seek commitment to thinking about change and innovation in places of learning, for meeting the needs of today's learners and tomorrow’s leaders. I love working at the boundaries of research and practice. I am a photographer, an author, a kayak fisher, the mother of an amazing 32 year old daughter who has taught me so much about life and learning, a senior researcher for the Institute of Professional Learning at the University of Waikato, the academic director of the National Aspiring Principals’ Programme (NAPP) and a leadership consultant who lives on Waiheke Island, by Piritahi Marae. No reira, tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa.

Professor Guy Claxton
Building Learning Power

Professor Guy Claxton is the UK's foremost expert on practical ways of expanding young people's appetite and capacity for learning. His Building Learning Power approach has been tried, tested and developed in hundreds of primary and secondary schools.


Guy is a cognitive scientist specialising in the expandability of learning capacity and intelligence. Since retiring from university life in 2013, he has focused on writing and consultancy. Much in demand all around the world, his recent books include New Kinds of Smart, Expansive Education and Educating Ruby: What Our Children Really Need to Learn (all with Bill Lucas). Prior to that, Guy has been Co-Director of the Centre for Real-World Learning and Professor of the Learning Sciences at the University of Winchester.

Barbara Brann
Specific learning difficulties


Barbara is an educational consultant involved in education for many years both in Australia and New Zealand. Barbara’s Master’s Degree specialized in the area of spelling, but her interest in handwriting led to the creation of “The Magic Caterpillar Handwriting Process“ and her programme, Building Blocks to Literacy. For ten years, Barbara taught in schools, tertiary institutions and teacher education in New Zealand. She is also an accomplished public speaker and the writer of many other educational publications.

Throughout her career Barbara has had particular interests in metacognition and learning to learn, information processing and memory and the influence of motor co-ordination on learning.  These interests are at the heart of much of her writing and underpin Barbara’s professional development seminars.

Dr Murray Gadd

Murray Gadd is an independent literacy consultant who works nationally and internationally on literacy issues, particularly reading and writing. For the Ministry of Education, he led the team that developed the national writing exemplars, he wrote Effective Literacy Practice in Years 5 to 8 and he worked closely on the English sections of the NZ Curriculum.

He currently works across the country with clusters of schools on literacy-focussed topics. He is midway through a PhD for the University of Auckland on ‘effective teaching of writing in year 5-8 classrooms’.


Warwick Pudney
MAppSc, BA, DipTchg, DipSocSc

Warwick Pudney works currently as a lecturer at Auckland University of Technology (AUT) in Counseling and male issues. He is the founder of male social service and an author of Volcano in my tummy, Adolescent volcanoes, Little volcanoes and Helping Young Children and Their Parents to Deal with Anger. Warwick is runs workshops, trains, supervises and writes, and has a keen interest in gender issues and social-ecological approaches. He also has two sons who have taught him a lot about boys learning.

Peter Smith

Peter is the Education Manager of the National Science Roadshow and Manager of the Sir Paul Callaghan Science Academy. In these roles he develops hands-on science experiences, programmes and shows that are delivered to around 700 schools per year and delivers teacher in-service training programmes, workshops and school-based PLD in science for teachers throughout New Zealand.  


For many years Peter ran his own publishing and consulting business specialising in science education and prior to this, he was Liaison Manager for Lincoln University, a pre-service primary science lecturer at Christchurch Polytechnic, helped set up and manage education at Science Alive! in Christchurch, was a Teaching Fellow at Lincoln University and taught high school senior biology. His key area of interest is interactive hands-on science and how this engages students and enhances learning experiences.