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2012 Keynote Speakers
WA Minister for Education
The Hon Peter Collier was elected to the 37th Parliament for the North Metropolitan Region on February 26, 2005. Following his re-election in September 2008, he was sworn in as Minister for Energy and Minister for; Training.
As Western Australia's economy continues to grow, one of Peter's priority areas is to increase the status of training while ensuring the State has a skilled workforce to meet future labour needs. To this end, the training portfolio was broadened to provide a stronger focus on workforce development, which included the creation of a new department dedicated to training and workforce development.
Some significant achievements in this area to date have included the release of Training WA, a blueprint for training delivery over the next decade; Training Together – Working Together, a comprehensive plan for Aboriginal training; and Skilling WA – A workforce development plan for Western Australia, which is a whole-of-Government document that will provide the framework to build, attract and retain a skilled workforce.
Before the 2008 State Election, Peter held the position of shadow minister in a number of portfolios, including Education and Training (April 8, 2006 – September 23, 2008), Heritage; Training and Higher Education; Works and Services (February 4, 2006 – April 8, 2006), Science (September 26, 2005 – February 4, 2006) and Communication; Science (May 22, 2005 – September 26, 2005).
In addition, Peter has served on many State and Federal committees including the National Expert Advisory Committee on School Drug Education, the Western Australian Youth Advisory Committee and the WA Youth Grants Selection Committee.
Before entering Parliament, Peter had an outstanding career in teaching. He was Head of Department (Political and Legal Studies, History) at Scotch College and was also Head of Politics and History at Presbyterian Ladies' College. He also taught at Lesmurdie Senior High School and John Curtin Senior High School.
Baroness Mary Warnock studied at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, and was made an Honorary Fellow in 1984. From 1949 to 1966, she was a Fellow
and tutor in philosophy at St Hugh's College, Oxford. She was Talbot Research Fellow at Lady Margaret Hall (1972–76). From 1976 to 1984, she was a Senior Research Fellow at St Hugh's College, and was made an Honorary Fellow of the College in 1985. She then became Mistress of
Girton College, Cambridge (1986–89). Warnock delivered the Gifford Lectures, entitled "Imagination and Understanding," at University of Glasgow in 1992. In 2000, she was a visiting professor of rhetoric at Gresham College, London.
In the early 1960s, whilst still teaching at St Hugh's College, Warnock took a seat on the Oxfordshire local education authority. From 1966 to 1972, she was Headmistress at the Oxford High School for girls. She is a patron of The Iris Project, a charity which promotes the teaching of classics.
Because of her background as an educationalist, Warnock was appointed in 1974 to chair a UK inquiry on special education. Her report, published in 1978, brought radical change in the field, by placing emphasis on the teaching of learning disabled children in mainstream schools and introducing a system of “statementing” children in order for them to gain entitlement to special educational support. Warnock has since expressed dissatisfaction with the system she helped to create, calling it "appalling" because of the expense of its administration and its tendency to deny support to mildly disadvantaged children. She has recommended the establishment of a new inquiry.
Baroness Warnock was created a life peer in 1985 as Baroness Warnock of Weeke, in the City of Winchester.
Dr. Simona D'Alessio is a researcher in the area of inclusive education
and disability studies in education. Since 2006 she has been working for the European Agency for Development in Special Needs Education supporting Agency project work specifically focussing upon content
related tasks and analysis activities.
In 2008 she completed her PhD in Inclusive Education at the Institute of Education, University of London, UK. She has conducted research in the area of policy analysis, inclusive education and disability studies at national and international levels. She has published extensively in the area of inclusion and special needs education. A former specialized secondary school teacher, she has a wide experience in school practice.
Dean of Education, Flinders University
Professor Robert (Bob) Conway is the Dean of Education at Flinders University. His background is as a teacher in both regular and special education. His key research and teaching interests lie in the area of students with emotional and behaviour problems in both mainstream
and specialist settings, and the adaptation of learning and teaching to support the inclusion of students with special needs.
He works closely with school systems in supporting students with behaviour problems, has worked both nationally and internationally on a wide range of research and consultancy projects, and is a frequent keynote speaker at national and international conferences. He is a Fellow of the Australian College of Educators and holds a Distinguished Service Citation from the Australasian Society for the Study of Intellectual Disability.
Deputy Secretary, Regional Support Officer, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Victoria
Nicholas Pole is currently Deputy Secretary, Regional Services with the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD), a position which he took up in April this year.
Prior to moving to Victoria, Nicholas worked in the New Zealand Ministry
of Education where he had responsibility for Special Education Services and more latterly the department’s regional services.
Following the Canterbury earthquakes in 2010 and 2011, Nicholas led the New Zealand Ministry of Education’s work on the recovery and re-establishment of the Christchurch education system.Nicholas has an extensive background working in both education and welfare agencies.He has qualifications in education, social research and management and more than 27 years experience working in government.
Master of Ceremonies
Adam is the Founder and Principal Consultant of 'The Equity Institute'
and Board Member of the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). The former CEO of the Foundation for Young Australians, Adam
has a background in non profit leadership and has generated more than $20 million in philanthropic and corporate investment in Australian schools. Adam is passionate about promoting equity and excellence in schools and encouraging additional philanthropic support of education.