NZEALS Conference 2018

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Conference sub-themes

Leadership for Cultural Inclusivity 18 April
Leadership for Collaboration 19 April
Leadership for Sustainability 20 April

Keynote Speakers

Tahu Kukutai2

Prof Tahu Kukutai

University of Waikato

Tahu Kukutai (Ngāti Tīpa, Ngāti Kinohaku, Te Aupōuri) is Professor of Demography at the National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis, University of Waikato. Tahu specialises in Māori and indigenous demographic research and has written extensively on issues of Māori population change, Māori identity and official statistics. Tahu is a founding member of the Māori Data Sovereignty Network Te Mana Raraunga and is Vice President of the Population Association of New Zealand. She was previously a journalist.


Diversity or Divergence? Opportunities and Challenges in Aotearoa NZ

Sue Dockett

Adjunct Prof Sue Dockett

Early Childhood Education
Charles Sturt University

Sue Dockett is Adjunct Professor of Early Childhood Education, having recently retired from Charles Sturt University, Albury, Australia. Over more than 30 years, she has been actively involved in early childhood education as a teacher, academic and researcher. Much of Sue’s current research agenda is focused on educational transitions; in particular, transitions to school and the expectations, experiences and perceptions of all involved. This research has been published widely, and has had substantial impact on policy, practice and research. Complementing her research around educational transitions is research that incorporates children’s perspectives, engages with families in diverse contexts, reflects upon the practices of educators, and explores the importance of working with communities.


Collaboration and the transition to school: Opportunities, expectations, aspirations and entitlements

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Prof Ross Notman

University of Otago

Ross is Professor in Education at the University of Otago, and director of the Centre for Educational Leadership and Administration. He is the New Zealand project director of an international research study, across 25 countries, into the leadership practices of successful school principals, and the ISLDN study of leadership in high-needs schools and centres. Ross presents at international leadership conferences and has edited significant publications about successful leaders in New Zealand schools. In 2016, he was made a Fellow of the New Zealand Educational Administration and Leadership Society for his contribution to educational leadership development and research in this country.


Fire and Ice: Sustaining success for our educational leaders

Peter O Connor

Prof Peter John O’Connor

University of Auckland

Peter O’Connor is Professor of Education and Head of the School of Critical Studies in Education in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Auckland. An internationally acknowledged leader in creating theatre in marginalised communities Peter’s most recent work includes developing and leading a multi arts project in schools severely impacted by earthquakes in Mexico City. He currently heads an international research project exploring creativity in schools.


Prof Martin Thrupp

University of Waikato

Professor Martin Thrupp is Head of Te Whiringa School of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Waikato. His research interests span leadership and policy with a particular focus on the importance of school contexts. A former secondary school teacher, he has undertaken detailed research in primary and secondary schools in both New Zealand and England. Thrupp recently published a wide-ranging book about New Zealand’s National Standards, 'The Search for Better Educational Standards: A Cautionary Tale’. He is currently working on a comparative study of the privatisation of schooling in Finland, Sweden and New Zealand funded 2017-21 by the Academy of Finland.


Sustaining public education: celebrating educational leadership that is not on-message

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Associate Prof Rachel McNae

University of Waikato

Rachel McNae is Director and Associate Professor of the Centre for Educational Leadership Research at the University of Waikato. She is also the Co-Founder of The Good Human Project - an organisation supporting young people to flourish in educational settings. Rachel’s research agenda is founded on a firm belief for social justice and her numerous research projects span the fields of student voice and agency, strength-based inquiry, youth leadership, and leadership innovation and curriculum generation. Rachel’s recently published books include - Realizing Innovative Partnerships in Educational Research (Sense, 2017) and Educational Leadership for Social Justice in Aotearoa New Zealand (New Zealand Council for Educational Research, 2017) and Harnessing the Joy in Leadership, (Rowman and Littlefield, 2018).

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Dr Howard Youngs

Auckland University of Technology

Dr Howard Youngs is a Senior Lecturer in the Master of Educational Leadership at AUT. He has a leadership role in International Development and Relations. This role and his engagement with the Leadership Studies field beyond education enable him to bring other perspectives into his research, teaching, supervision and professional learning/development workshops in education settings. His current foci span collaborative inquiry, distributed leadership and the emerging area of Leadership-As-Practice (L-A-P) within and across organisations. Howard started his career as a secondary school educator, then moved into pre-service teacher education, before focusing on postgraduate education in leadership. He has been a member of NZEALS since 1995 and is on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Educational Leadership, Policy and Practice.


Reconceptualising leadership practice from the ground up: Are we missing the obvious in unsustainable times?


Associate Prof Damon Salesa

University of Auckland

Damon Salesa is University Director of Pacific Strategy and Engagement and Associate Professor of Pacific Studies. He is a scholar of Pacific politics, history, technology, culture and society. He is a prizewinning author of works on the Pacific, race and government, and his latest book “Island Time: New Zealand’s Pacific Futures” was published in December 2017.


Associate Prof Melinda Webber

University of Auckland

Dr Melinda Webber is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Auckland. She is a former Fulbright/Nga Pae o te Maramatanga Indigenous Scholar who has published widely on the nature of ethnic identity development, examining the ways race, ethnicity, culture and identity impact the lives of young people ¬ particularly Maori students . In 2016, Melinda was awarded an esteemed Marsden Fast-Start grant to undertake a research project examining the distinctive identity traits of Ngāpuhi, New Zealand’s largest iwi and in 2017, Melinda was awarded a prestigious Rutherford Discovery Fellowship to tackle an important question facing educators – ‘How can we foster cultural pride and academic aspiration among Māori students?’


Optimising Maori Potential: Learnings from Ka Awatea, MACs & Starpath

Breakout Session Speakers

Dr Cathy Wylie

New Zealand Council for Educational Research - NZCER


Collective leadership, collaborative practices, and evaluative inquiry and the Teaching and School Practices Survey tool

Assoc Prof Julie Mackey, Prof Letitia Fickel, Assoc Prof Jo Fletcher

University of Canterbury


Transition to collaborative teaching in Innovative Learning Environments from a change leader perspective