NZEALS Conference 16

Invited Speakers

Four guest speakers have been invited to present at this conference because of the knowledge and experience they bring to the conference theme in national and international research into leadership for social justice and high-need schools, indigenous education, and futures thinking.

Bruce Barnett is a Professor in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Department at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Bruce's work appears in numerous books, book chapters, and journals. His professional interests include educational leadership preparation programs, mentoring and coaching, reflective practice, and beginning principals and assistant principals.

He is involved in international research and program development, co-authoring books, researching mentoring and coaching programs, and presenting workshops in different countries, including Australia, New Zealand, England, Hong Kong, Ireland, and Canada. He co-coordinates the International School Leadership Development Network, a collaboration of colleagues around the world examining leadership for social justice and in high-need schools in different cultural contexts.

Mai Chen was born in Taiwan and emigrated to New Zealand in 1970 with her family. She is Managing Partner, Chen Palmer Public and Employment Law specialists; Adjunct Professor at University of Auckland School of Law; Director on the BNZ Board; and Chair, New Zealand Asian Leaders.

Mai is a thought leader, a direction setter and a futures thinker. She is one of New Zealand's top constitutional and administrative law experts, specialising in central and local Government policy and legislation, especially as it applies to business, and litigating major public law cases. She has written a Superdiversity Stocktake of law, public policy and business implications using New Zealand’s experience with its biggest city Auckland as an example, since it already has about a 50% Maori, Pacifika and Asian population and there have been almost 80,000 downloads of the report.

Ross Notman is an Associate Professor in Education at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, and director of the Centre for Educational Leadership and Administration at this university.  He has worked extensively in principal appraisal and in principal support groups through activities such as coaching and group support networks. 

His major research interests focus on teacher and school principal development, particularly in the field of the personal dimensions of principalship. He is the New Zealand director for the International Successful School Principalship Project and the International School Leadership Development Network project on high needs schools. Ross has presented internationally at conferences in the USA, South Africa, Germany, Canada, Australia and the UK.

Dr Chris Sarra is an internationally recognised Indigenous education specialist and is the founder and chairman of the Stronger Smarter Institute. In the 1990s, Chris took on the challenges of Indigenous education as principal of Cherbourg State School in South East Queensland. Under Chris' leadership, the school became nationally acclaimed for its pursuit of the Stronger Smarter Philosophy which significantly improved the educational and life outcomes of students.

Chris is passionate about effecting sustainable change through positive leadership and mentoring with high expectations for a strong and smart Indigenous population. He embraces a proud cultural identity and a holistic sense of what it means to be Aboriginal in contemporary Australian society.  

Conference delegates will have the opportunity to chat informally with each speaker following their keynote address.