TLN Presenters 2020

TLN Presenters - 2020
Abbey Boyer
TLN Presenter
Abbey is an experienced leader and teacher with over 20 years experience in primary and secondary sectors. She currently teaches at Kolbe Catholic College and lectures at Melbourne University.
Aleryk Fricker
TLN Presenter
Aleryk is a proud Dja Dja Wurring man whose ancestors come from around central Victoria. He is currently an academic at RMIT University and a former primary and secondary teacher. His research focuses on the ways that the education system in Australia can be decolonised to support the learning of all students.
Amy Cotton
TLN Presenter
Amy Cotton is an advocate of early career teacher opportunities and induction, equitable education experiences for all and the professionalism of all teachers. She has a keen interest in digital education experiences. Amy has experience teaching in many NSW schools.
Anson Li
TLN Presenter
Hello, my name is Anson. I was born in Xiamen, which is a coastal city in southeast of China. I have attained a B.A of English Language and Literature in Shanghai, and a Master of Teaching from University of Melbourne. Currently, I am a Kindergarten teacher at FROEBEL Parkville.
Belinda Webb
TLN Presenter
Belinda is a Special Education Teacher and mother of two young children who is passionate about assisting families and schools with children’s challenging behaviours.
Benjamin Pisani
Learning Designer, Project Officer
Benjamin has worked in the Government Education Sector for over 15 years. During this time he taught VCE Music Performance, Music Investigation, Music Style and Composition as well as VET Music Industry Skills specialising in Sound Production.
Bernadette Sheedy
TLN Presenter
Bernadette was the Coordinator of Gifted and Talented Education at St Monica’s College, Epping, for eight years. She completed her Master of Educational Leadership at the Australian Catholic University in 2014 and the Certificate of Gifted Education (COGE) through the University of New South Wales in 2011.
Brendan Tollit
TLN Presenter
15 years of teaching single sex and co-education across Australia and the UK. Passion for collaborative learning and fostering wellbeing in education. Have had POL’s in Student Management and Relationships, Arts Curriculum and VCAL
Catherine Sundbye
TLN Presenter
As a practicing early childhood teacher in Australia I have my pedagogy and practice deeply held in the belief that children should have agency and active participation in their education.
Cathy Hickey
TLN Presenter
Cathy Hickey is an Assistant Secretary of the Independent Education Union Victoria Tasmania who works extensively in the areas of education and professional policy, particularly to advance the interests of the union’s teaching and education support staff members with all levels of government, state teacher registration bodies, and in negotiations with non-government employers in Victoria and Tasmania. She has a background in secondary school teaching.
Chris Allen
TLN Presenter
Since graduating from the University of Tasmania in 2012, I have spent time teaching year 6 in Victoria, and years 5 and 6 in Tasmania. The contrast between a suburban primary school in Victoria, and the rural district school (K-12) in Tasmania has allowed me to experience a variety of teaching and learning practices, and has challenged me to continually refine and improve my teaching practices each year.
Coby Beatson
TLN Presenter
I am an educational consultant and teacher who has extensive experience as an educator of adults and children of all ages. My career has led me to become a skilled practitioner in many areas.
Daniel Cohen
Systems Manager
With nearly 20 years working in education, Daniel has worked in primary and secondary settings and also has qualifications in Early Childhood education and Adult Training
David Innes
TLN Presenter
Teaching in public secondary schools since 2009.
•Have taught Chemistry, Science and Mathematics (including Mathematical Methods and Further Mathematics) from Years 7 - 12.
•Have been an examiner for the VCAA.
•Wanted to be a teacher since I was in Year 10.
David Vinegrad
TLN Presenter
David started learning about education as a 'low ability' student at a Ballarat Primary School and then at a boy's technical school. His report card usually read 'talks too much' and 'not suited to all sports.'
Fast forward to today - David has over 30 years working with teachers and students in a variety of diverse educational settings undertaking and developing a wide range of roles.
Dianne O’Dwyer
TLN Presenter & Host
I have taught in kindergartens and long day care centres for 38 years. I worked in Melbourne for most of my career and moved to the Surfcoast 5 years ago. I am now working in a kindergarten in Geelong and also do casual relief teaching. I am particularly interested in sustainability and fostering creativity through arts practice. I am a long term activist with the Australian Education Union and fighting for the early childhood sector of education has been a strong thread throughout my career. I enjoy mentoring teachers and passing on what I have learned.
Emily Paterson
CRT Project Manager
Director, educator, actor, improvisor, puppeteer, laughter yoga instructor, storyteller and much sought after facilitator.
Gai Lindsay
TLN Presenter
Gai Lindsay is a lecturer and coordinator of flexible students and the professional Partners in Practice (PPP) Mentor program for the Bachelor of Education- The Early Years. Her PhD research explored the visual art beliefs and pedagogy of Australian early childhood educators.
Hannah Galloway
TLN Presenter
Hannah Galloway is a Senior Professional Practice Officer at the Victorian Institute of Teaching.
Heidi Ratje
TLN Presenter
I am a Preschool teacher in Victoria with experience working in small and large teams as well as working with Committees of Management and EYMs. I have held the role of Director/Nominated Supervisor and Educational Leader during this experience.
Iain Reed
TLN Presenter
I have worked in the Catholic Education sector in Melbourne for 10 years after starting my career in the UK. I have experience across all levels of primary education and I am currently a Mathematics and Intervention leader. I am passionate about Mathematics and STEAM, particular engaging girls and the parent community into mathematical learning.
Jane Hancock
TLN Presenter
My great passion is for spreading awareness on how students on the autism spectrum think and experience the world, to help create a more inclusive school experience.

In addition to being a trained Secondary Mathematics/Science teacher, I also have a Master’s degree of Inclusive Education for students on the Autism Spectrum.

From 2008 to 2012, I was a member of the Victorian team for the Positive Partnerships project; a Federal-government initiative aimed at supporting school aged students on the autism spectrum. In my role as Trainer, I delivered Professional Development workshops and consulting services to teachers, plus workshops and information sessions for parents and carers.

I have also recorded podcasts, written articles and delivered presentations for the Teacher Learning Network. I am currently working at Whitefriars College as Assistant Learning Leader in the Learning Diversity Department.

I have an 18 year old child, who was diagnosed with autism at age 3 and is the founder of their own consultancy business, 'Autism Actually'. I love sharing my professional and personal understanding of autism in order to inform other teachers and parents.
Jane Langley
TLN Presenter
Jane  Langley  is passionate about  supporting schools in  building  effective learning environments and managing student behaviour.  With over 20 years experience  Jane has a background in classroom teaching, educational consultancy, and student wellbeing.  Jane has hosted workshops with schools and teachers across Australia is a strong advocate for approaches that help young people be socially and emotionally competent , including Restorative Practices and Circle  Time.  She has  a collection of resources for teachers she has contributed to including  The Visual Script for Restorative Practices and the Grab and Go kit for teaching Restorative thinking.
Jane Wenlock
TLN Presenter
I have been teaching for 34 years in both Primary and Secondary Catholic settings. Throughout this time I have taught students from Foundation to Year 12. Recently my teaching career has centered around working with those students from an EAL background, gifted students and those who struggle with learning, including those with a disability.
Jessica McKay
TLN Host
Jo Bird
TLN Presenter
Jo, a lecturer at the University of New England, Armidale; successfully completed her PhD which explored children’s use of digital technologies in imaginative play and the educator’s provision of these devices.
Josh Walker
TLN Presenter
I am happily married to a teacher (Amy) and we have three beautiful girls; Samantha, Madison and Ashleigh. Much of my time outside of school is devoted to my family and their interests. I have taught in England, Canada and Australia and have been teaching for over 17 years.
Kay Bryan
TLN Presenter
I am a strong advocate for the sector and believe we need to support each other to ensure our sector is seen in a professional light. I teach in a community run stand alone kindergarten and see my role as ensuring all children receive a strong introduction to education.
Keith Heggart
TLN Presenter
Keith Heggart, PhD, is Lecturer in Learning Design at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia. Before this, he’s worked as a high school teacher and leader in both Australia and the United Kingdom, as well as being a union organiser and freelance learning designer.
Kylie Busk
TLN Presenter
I started work as a secondary teacher in 1996 working in a range of short-term casual roles in government and independent schools prior to starting ongoing work. I had a wonderful year of teaching in a regional secondary school in Buckingham but predominately my teaching experience was in large a Catholic Boys school in Melbourne. I’m a trained Teacher-Librarian and held leadership roles in curriculum/subject areas before becoming a VET/VCAL/Pathways Coordinator.
Lara Schendzielorz
TLN Presenter
I have been working in education ever since completing my own secondary education and throughout my tertiary education, in a variety of care and admin roles before graduating to the classroom as a generalist classroom teacher over the past 15 years.
Laura Greaves
TLN Presenter
Laura received her Bachelor of Education in 2006 and began teaching at a Special Developmental School in the northern suburbs. She went on to complete a Master’s of Education (Special education, Inclusion and Early Intervention) before becoming a Travelling Teacher for the Mansfield Autism Statewide Services. This role required Laura to travel to a school in regional Victoria, observe and work with a particular child and their school before going home with the student and experiencing the family life with the goal of developing and implementing necessary strategies as the family required.
Being part of tens of families’ daily experience of living with and attempting to develop a child who was on the autism spectrum proved invaluable and lead Laura to become Victoria’s first Visiting Teacher of Autism. This involved consulting teachers at mainstream schools in the Northern Metropolitan Region and working with them to build their capacity to successfully integrate and include students with an ASD. Through this work, Laura was also able to develop her skills in managing challenging behaviours and made the link between the benefits that come from using certain strategies with students who are on the autism spectrum and those who are neuro-typical.

Through this work Laura was awarded the Victorian Teachers Excellence Award — Additional Needs in 2011 and was one of 25 individuals invited to a private luncheon with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip later that year.
Laura then went on to be Wellbeing coordinator at an Autism specific school and then a special school in the northern suburbs, before deciding to apply her behavioural expertise and trauma informed practice in her current role as VCAL Coordinator and Teacher at The Gateway School in Broadmeadows.

Laura is the director of ‘Practical Best Practice’, an innovative, practical, user-friendly education group that deliver honest, positive, experienced fuelled teaching and learning practices and strategies.
Laura is also currently writing her second book.
Laura Zinghini
TLN Presenter
I am a secondary school teacher of Drama and English, with 14 year’s experience in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, teaching across all year levels from Year 7 – 12.
Lori Pereira
TLN Presenter
I am a committed and passionate teacher of English and Humanities of 14 years experience. I have been a Leading Teacher in various Curriculum areas including whole school Curriculum/Teaching and Learning Leader.
Mary Steuten
TLN Presenter
Mary has been teaching in Special Education since 1990 and has worked in special schools in Colac, Melbourne, Blackwood and now Geelong. She also spent 18 months working as a travelling teacher with Mansfield Autism Statewide Services.
Michael Victory
Executive Officer
Michael commenced his career in education as a secondary teacher, working in Catholic schools across New South Wales and Victoria. Michael has worked at the TLN since 2006 and has now completed his PHD.
Michelle Meracis
TLN Presenter
 Apple Distinguished Educator,  Apple Teacher,  Apple Teacher (Swift Playgrounds), STEM X Academy Alumni

Michelle is a primary school teacher who has been teaching for over 20 years. She has taught in a range of schools, e.g. government, independent, disadvantaged; and has held a variety of positions, e.g. Learning and Teaching/eLearning Leading Teacher, Head of Creative Technologies, Design and Technologies Curriculum Learning Specialist, Digital Learning Coach, Mathematics Leader, Advanced Learners (Gifted Education) Leader.

Michelle has a strong interest and background in Art, Creative Technologies, Design Thinking, Digital Learning, Gifted Education, Mathematics and STEM. She has presented at state, national and international conferences on a number of topics, including differentiated curriculum, digital learning, peer coaching, integrating 1:1 mobile devices, and STEM in the early years classroom. Michelle has been on the state councils for MAV and ICTEV (now DLTV). Over the years, she has also worked closely with representatives from Apple, Cisco, DET, IBM and Microsoft on educational projects.
Nichole Jenkins
TLN Presenter
I have been teaching kindergarten for over 10 years. Most of my experience has been with children aged 4-5years but I also have some experience teaching 3 year old kinder and limited experience with children under 3 years. I have worked in range of services including private owned services, community based services and services run by cluster managers. I have worked in both long day care services and sessional kindergarten during my career.
My current role sees me working as Kindergarten Teacher at a sessional committee run kindergarten where I have taken on a range of roles including director. While I have not returned to formal study since completing my degree I have been lucky enough to work with a range of amazing and inspiring teachers in my career and value what I have learn from them. I have always been dedicated to further learning and during my career I have participated in a range of professional development courses and projects through a range of organisations. While I strongly believe in evidence based practice I also feel it’s important for teachers and educators to network and share their practices with others. I personally find my practice is ever changing and that this occurs by knowing my community, stating up to date with research and reflecting on my own practice and challenging myself as a teacher.
Roland Lewis
TLN Presenter
I am father, improviser and educator. These rich experiences have led to the educational leader that I am today.
Rose Major
TLN Presenter
Rose has worked as an early childhood teacher, a primary school teacher and a playgroup facilitator in both indoor and outdoor settings. She has been part of the not-for-profit network and professional learning group the Early Childhood Outdoor Learning Network (ECOLN) since it’s inception in early 2014.
Selena Fisk
TLN Presenter
Selena Fisk has 16 years of teaching experience in both state and private schools in Queensland, Australia, as well as in comprehensive schools in South London, England.
Simon Judkins
TLN Presenter
After studying and working in other industries, including accounting and law, I went into teaching as a mature age student, and never looked back. Beginning my teaching career in 2008, I took on whatever opportunities came around, with the wonderful support of the experienced teachers around me. In 2017, I became a leading teacher, taking my experiences in education further. I’ve been blessed to work in 3 brilliant schools, with outstanding leadership. The learning never ends, and I’m always looking forward to what comes next.
Siobhan Hannan
TLN Presenter
I took up kindergarten teaching after having my own children, and have taught for over 20 years. My PhD research project was an auto ethnographic inquiry into early childhood bilingual teaching. As well as working with children, I work with adults in PD and sessional lecturing in early childhood education.
Steve Whittington
TLN Presenter
Steve has taught in Europe, Asia, New Zealand and Australia at primary, secondary and tertiary levels.
Sue Pickett
TLN Presenter
Sue Pickett is the Additional Needs coordinator, a classroom teacher and an expert in strategies for inclusive classrooms. Sue manages a large team of staff delivering high quality education to students with disabilities.
Tanya Whiteside
TLN Presenter
I have a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education, and while working in a Primary School setting went on to do my Master of Education by research. As part of this I wrote a thesis which I titled ‘Thinking Through Play’. I have been teaching for fourteen years in primary schools, and briefly also worked for 6 months in a preschool.
Zack Haddock
TLN Presenter
Having left school without completing VCE, Zack returned to education as a mature aged student and has enjoyed extensive public sector leadership and management experience gained in Victorian Government and non-Government organisations.