Presentations are now available for download (please click in the presentation title to download each presentation)


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Come and join us for arrival tea and coffee on Thursday morning before the conference. Please let us know if you have any dietary requirements.

Denise Taylor (Chair) – NEAS

Denise Taylor

Denise Taylor is an experienced Chief Executive Officer with a background in quality assurance, education and government sectors. She has leadership, management and governance experience gained from a range of board memberships, management of a government regulatory authority, and management of independent and state schools.

Ana Bratkovic (Convenor) – NEAS

Ana Bratkovic

Ana has worked in the education industry since 1994 and has enjoyed a range of diverse and interesting roles in ELICOS, High School and adult migrant teaching, quality assurance & monitoring services, and event management.  Since joining NEAS in 2002, Ana has applied her experience and passion for quality education to the many roles she has enjoyed which have included Quality Assurance Assessor, Conference Convenor, ATB Manager and now General Manager.  Prior to teaching, Ana worked for the Australian Bureau of Statistics in Canberra as a Graduate Economist.

Brian Smith – Stakeholder Engagement manager – IELTS

Brian Smith has worked as Stakeholder Engagement Manager with IDP Education since 2015. In his role Brian works with Governments, professional associations and peak bodies as well as broader stakeholders in the international education sector. Prior to joining IDP Education Brian worked in public health and international development in various roles include epidemiological research, policy analysis and health program design  across South and South East Asia and East Africa.


Ita Buttrose


Exclusively represented by Saxton Ita Buttrose AO OBE is a truly exceptional Australian: a legendary media trailblazer, businesswoman, best-selling author, committed community and welfare contributor and 2013 Australian of the Year.

Ita Buttrose AO OBE is a truly exceptional Australian: a legendary media trailblazer, businesswoman, best-selling author, committed community and welfare contributor and 2013 Australian of the Year. Ita currently co-hosts Studio 10 on Network TEN. Twice voted Australia’s most admired woman, Ita Buttrose was the youngest ever and an unprecedentedly successful Editor of The Australian Women’s Weekly, the founding editor of Cleo, the first woman to ever edit a major metropolitan newspaper in Australia as Editor-in-Chief of the Sydney Daily & Sunday Telegraphs, and the first woman director of News Limited.

In 2011, Ita’s early career was the subject of highly-acclaimed ABC miniseries Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo. Ita later founded Capricorn Publishing and The Good Life Publishing Company and created ITA Magazine. She has been involved with publishing work for such clients as David Jones, Telstra and the Australian Tax Office. Ita Buttrose is the current National Ambassador of Alzheimer’s Australia having served as National President from 2011-2014, Patron of the Macular Disease Foundation, and Emeritus Director of Arthritis Australia. She received an AO for her services to the community especially in the field of public health education when she spearheaded Australia’s HIV/AIDS Education Program, an OBE for her services to journalism, and a Centenary Medal for business leadership.

A founding member and former president of Chief Executive Women and host of the TEN Network’s new morning chat program, Ita has written 11 very successful books including her best-selling autobiography A Passionate Life. In 2014 Sydney’s Macquarie University conferred an Honorary Doctor of Letters on Ita in recognition of her contribution to the arts. In 2015, Ita was conferred an Honorary Doctor of Letters (honoris causa) by the University of Wollongong, for her contribution to mental health and ageing.

An accomplished communicator with a wealth of experience across a broad range of industry sectors, Ita has worked behind the scenes and in the public eye for major corporates, small business, governments and charity. When she speaks she does so with on-the-job knowledge and experience to deliver a speech that informs, entertains and inspires her audience. Her lively wit is a joy and there is never a dull moment at question time. Not surprisingly she is much in-demand as an entertaining speaker, an accomplished facilitator and a superb master of ceremonies.

Professor Michael Anderson


Professor Michael Anderson is an internationally recognised educational leader.

He has taught, researched and published in education and transformation for over 20 years including 13 books and 55 book chapters and journal articles.

His international research and practice focus on how the 4Cs can be integrated using coherent frameworks to make learning meet the needs of 21st Century learners.

Emerging research demonstrates that quality pedagogy for the 21st Century requires an engagement with each student’s cognitive, interpersonal and interpersonal capacities.

In this interactive presentation Professor Michael Anderson will provide active and relevant frameworks and strategies to apply in learning that embed creativity, critical reflection, communication and collaboration to make quality a reality rather than an aspiration in learning.

Come and join us for morning tea and coffee on Thursday morning. Please let us know if you have any dietary requirements.

Leisl Bruhn – Ivanhoe Grammar School

Teaching demands a level of collaboration with colleagues irrespective of the school situation, environment, teaching roles or subject areas.  As colleagues we all need support and are able to give support, whether informally over a coffee or more formally at professional meetings or seminars.  Teaching in the EAL field can sometimes be isolating and the demands of the job can be sometimes be daunting.  This session will focus on building collegial relationships within school networks and teaching areas and provide some practical and positive strategies that teachers and leaders can employ to provide support and also potentially improve student outcomes.  There is also the reward of unintended outcomes!

Leisl Bruhn photo

Leisl holds a Master of Education (Applied Linguistics) and has more than 25 years teaching experience in the EAL/ELICOS fields across the primary, secondary and adult sectors.  She has been the Dean of International Students at Ivanhoe Grammar School for the past 11 years, a position that she finds exhilarating and extremely rewarding. Her responsibilities include Academic Manager of the School’s ELICOS Program and pastoral care for up to 120 students.  Leisl has also been involved in Ivanhoe Grammar School’s Offshore VCE Programs for the past 6 years, working as an EAL Mentor and collaborating and exchanging EAL teaching practices with a range of teaching professionals. Leisl has also worked on language proficiency in the corporate arena for a number of years and is the immediate Past President of Vision International, a network of schools who enrol international students.

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Robert Chasse – Centre for English Teaching, University of Sydney


Robert Chasse is currently the Education Manager Services at the University of Sydney Centre for English Teaching (CET).  He holds qualifications in Linguistics, Public Relations and Business Management from both Australian and American universities.  He has 10 years of experience in the ELT industry as an ESL and EFL teacher, Academic Manager and Academic Director in both the private and public sectors.  In his current position as Education Manager Services, Robert combines management and leadership skills with education and operational expertise to help ensure the sustainability and growth of CET in the areas of Teaching and Learning Operations, Student Experience, Testing Services, Public Relations and Professional Development. Through a proactive, data-driven and evidence-based approach, Robert continually seeks how utilizing new technologies in research and practice develops a meaningful engagement portfolio for international students. He is committed to providing an engaged international experience which supports students in achieving academic success and defy acculturative stress.

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Rod Camm – ACPET

The behaviour of a small number of providers that exploited the flawed VET FEE-HELP program and left thousands of students displaced has also damaged the reputation of private providers.

There are calls for contestability in the sector to be wound back. In fact, some stakeholders argue competition and contestability are incompatible with tertiary education and training. In response to the recent concerns, state and territory governments are lifting their compliance measures and the regulators are adopting more a ‘vigorous’ approach.

While there is a need for governments and the regulators to take steps to help ensure the integrity of the sector, they can only do so much. The private provider sector must ‘step up’ if its reputation for delivering high quality training that responds to the needs of students and industry is to be restored.

Chief Executive Officer, Rod Camm will outline the strategy ACPET is implementing to ensure that its members are providing  quality education and training services – that they are ‘the best of the best’. Mr Camm will highlight the initiatives that focus on ensuring strong student outcomes and restoring confidence in the sector.

Rod Camm

Rod Camm took the position of the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Council for Private Education and Training in October 2014.

Prior to this Rod was the Managing Director of the National Centre for Vocational Education Research. Rod also held senior appointments in Skills Queensland, Department of Education and Training and Construction Skills Queensland as well as a range of other executive roles in Government.

Rod has performed the role of director on a range of boards and is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

He has an Executive Masters of Public Administration.

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Donna Cook and Aparna Jacob

Learning from the experience, lessons and mentorship of those that have blazed trials before us is often an essential ingredient for that Q factor – Quality leadership.

Inspired by the English Australia’s women in leadership series, the presenters interviewed a number of leaders within the ELICOS sector and from the wider International Education community to distill their key learnings and messages for their colleagues in this sector. Prominent women leaders were asked how they navigated leadership challenges as a woman, how they drew on and developed their strengths to enhance their own effectiveness as leaders.

The wisdom and stories from these interviews will be used to reflect on what it means to be a leader and a woman in our sector and how the experiences of others can inform and inspire our own leadership. These insights will be explored and applied to our own positions of leadership within the ELICOS sector.

Donna Cook

Donna Cook is an educator and leader in the ELICOS, with over 20 years’ experience in Schools, ELICOS and Higher Education sectors, both in Australia and overseas.

During her three years as QLD State delegate to the English Australia Board she was involved in organising English Australia Queensland Branch events, including the annual PD Fest, and was the Program Committee Convenor for the English Australia Conference 2015.

Donna’s education includes a Bachelor of Economics and a Dip. Ed from The University of Sydney and An MA (TESOL) and A Masters of Education (Adult Education) from the University of Technology Sydney.

Aparna Jacob profile pic

Aparna Jacob has been working in the ELICOS sector in Australia since 2008 and is currently an Education Manager (University Pathway Programs) at the Centre for English Teaching at the University of Sydney.

She is a General Delegate on the English Australia Board.

Aparna holds an International Diploma in Language Teaching Management from ICTE, University of Queensland, and is now pursuing an MBA from Deakin University with a leadership specialisation. Since 2015, she has been involved in exploring gender and leadership themes specific to the ELICOS sector.

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Ron Colley – Overseas Student Ombudsman

‘When things go wrong – what we can learn from current issues in student complaints about education agents and providers’

The National Strategy for International Education 2025 notes that ‘positive student experience is crucial to the success of Australia’s International Education sector’  With a record number of international students choosing to study in Australia this year, the challenge for us all is to maintain the positive experience and if things go wrong, to restore it.

This is where the Overseas Student Ombudsman (OSO) comes in, to assist students and private education providers to resolve deadlocked disputes, including a dispute involving the actions or decisions of an education agent associated with the provider.

Last year the Government introduced the Agent Code of Ethics to provide a guide to the expected professional behaviour of individual agents and agencies working with Australian international students, parents, providers and fellow agents across the sector. Using a recent example, we’ll explore the implications for students, providers and agents when things go wrong with the agent relationship

R Colley March 2017

Ron Colley works for the Commonwealth Ombudsman and is the director of the Ombudsman’s Overseas Student Ombudsman and Postal Industry Ombudsman schemes. With over 40 years in the workforce, Ron draws on his vast experience in marketing, sales and stakeholder engagement in Government, private industry and community organisations, to work with industry to improve the quality of complaints management. Ron is married, lives and works in Melbourne and has family in both Melbourne and Perth.

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Tessa Brown- TAFE QLD, Gold Coast

The delivery of ESL programs continues to form an important part of TAFE Queensland’s core business within the VET Sector.  In an effort to continuously improve the way the ESL programs are delivered, there has been a deliberate strategy to increase the use of technology to complement the more traditional delivery methods to continue to add value to the ESL programs. Particular focus has been given to the use of iPads in the ESL Classroom.

The decision to implement the use of iPads was founded on the wide range of educational applications available to support the ESL Program, and the ease within which these devices integrate with iTunesU – which has been used to host customised learning materials and activities. The use of technology for ESL programs has provided a platform to build the digital literacy skills of both the facilitators and the learners within these programs, and has also provided additional employability skills of the learners to help them understand the commercial impacts of the digital disruption that is becoming widespread and common in all industries.

The purpose of this presentation is to provide detailed information on how the iPad technology and iTunesU has been integrated into the ESL programs, and highlight some of the challenges and issues that needed to be resolved.  Participants will also have an opportunity to experience a sample of the technology first hand during the presentation.

Tessa Brown


Tessa Brown is an educator with over 20 years teaching experience across the ELICOS, AMEP, SEE and Youth programs, including ten years teaching EFL/ESL overseas in Japan. Tessa has a keen interest and passion in the use of technology to support and enhance the educational outcomes across a wide variety of delivery modes, including face-to-face, online and blended.  She coordinated the TAFE English language Services iPad project at Gold Coast as well as co-developed and facilitated TESOL online on the Janison LMS platforms. In her present role, as the Manager of Educator Support Services at TAFE Queensland Gold Coast, she continues to assist teachers with the integration of technology and coordinates teacher training for the Brightspace LMS; Adobe Connect webconferencing; mobile delivery practices; and ESL iPads. Tessa holds a Masters of Applied Linguistics; a Graduate Diploma of Further Education and Training; and a Bachelor of Arts.

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David Wiltshire, OET Preparation Content Manager

OET, the English language test for healthcare professionals, is excited to introduce the Preparation Provider Program: an online training course and resource library for current and prospective OET teachers.  Much like NEAS’ Quality Assurance (QA) Framework, the Preparation Provider Program will provide the necessary guidance and support for providers of OET test preparation programs to ensure they meet assigned quality standards.  Recognition and promotion of high quality providers will be rewarded through the provision of “OET Premium Preparation Provider” status.  The program will improve the quality of existing OET test preparation courses and enable prospective providers to create their own high quality course.

As well as launching the Preparation Provider Program and demonstrating how it will improve the quality of test preparation courses, David will focus on teaching pedagogy for test preparation classes, including ways to avoid negative test washback in the classroom.


David Wiltshire is responsible for the OET Preparation Portal and Preparation Provider Program content at Cambridge Boxhill Language Assessment (CBLA), the Melbourne based organisation that manages the Occupational English Test (OET).

OET is a healthcare specific English language assessment used by regulators, government agencies, educators and employers to assess the language skills of foreign-trained healthcare professionals.

Since commencing his role at OET a year ago, David has introduced a number of products and services to improve support for both students who are preparing for their OET exam and teachers who are running OET preparation classes. This includes the OET Masterclasses, a series of free webinars for OET candidates, and customised feedback on speaking and writing skills.

Prior to his current role at OET, David was a Director of Studies and OET Preparation Class Coordinator at Melbourne Language Centre.  David holds a Masters of TESOL at Deakin University and a CELTA degree.


OET logo

Rod Hearps – Vice President, Asia Pacific, ICEF GmbH

The next decade will see dramatic shifts in the balance of economic and political power, which will greatly influence the shape of international education. This session will draw on an industry publication jointly produced by Barton Carlyle and ICEF Monitor.  BEYOND THE HORIZON aims to help educators understand the macro trends that will shape international education and international student recruitment over the coming years, including the rising importance of risk management, the growing role of pathways and partnerships, the increasing complexity of the marketplace, and the wide-ranging impacts of technology.  It provides insights about how best to face challenges and create opportunities as the international education sector rapidly evolves alongside the rest of the world.

Rod Hearps 2012

Rod Hearps is passionate about international education. For over 25 years Rod has sought to create innovate ways of informing, assisting and connecting international educators, agents and students.

In the 90’s Rod owned and operated a student recruitment agency with offices in Japan and Australia, then served as Principal and Marketing Manager of an Australian ELICOS College.  Rod has been involved in the ownership, management and marketing of numerous international education entities, including ICEF GmbH, ICEF Asia Pacific, EdMedia and Hyperstudy.com.

Rod currently manages the Asia Pacific region for German based ICEF GmbH, helping clients achieve real results in their marketing and international student recruitment initiatives. Services provided include ICEF Workshops (B2B educator – agent networking events), ICEF Monitor (industry updates and insight), Agent training courses, Agency quality screening, ICEF Education Fund, ICEF Media and CourseFinders.com.

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Tegan McCarthy – Discover English

Mention to a teacher, new or experienced, that you’ll be popping in to observe their class and you’ll be faced with a groan, a wince or panicked eyes. It seems that nobody likes being observed and most teachers regard it to be a penalty of sorts. However, observation is an essential tool for maintaining quality in the classroom and must be utilised in order to facilitate continuing professional development.

After researching new methods of observation, I created two processes that have allowed observation to become part of business as usual at Discover English. One to help recent CELTA graduates identify areas of their teaching practice that need development and another to encourage old dogs to keep learning new tricks. With these in place we are daring to create a culture of observation – a highly sought after atmosphere of no fear, no inhibitions.


Tegan McCarthy started as a high school English teacher and primary school substitute teacher before moving into the world of ESL. She has worked in Hanoi, London and Brisbane and is currently the Academic Coordinator at Discover English.

Her major motivation in her work is to facilitate professional and personal growth and development for the teaching staff that she has learned so much from.

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Maha El Sherif – Fusion English

What makes an effective teacher and why do they do what they do? How does an institution get the most out of its teachers while making them feel valued at the same time? These simple questions are fundamental to understanding how institutions most effectively drive teachers towards delivering quality learning to students.

In considering what motivates teachers and how to support them achieve quality teaching through Continuous Professional Development (CPD), we may notice negative connotations that surround the term as it is often delivered in the form of assessed classroom observations, compulsory after-hours workshops, and intensive-but-often-stressful teacher-training courses.

On the premise that training is what an external source delivers to us, while development is a self-determining process we perform ourselves, how does one encourage novice teachers to develop their own techniques and inspire experienced teachers to try out new things in the classroom?

As teachers’ time is often limited due to teaching/planning responsibilities, institutions need to cater to time constraints by facilitating CPD programs that work in congruence with teachers’ busy schedules. Similar to learning language itself, CPD is most effective when it targets specific needs/styles and caters to the individual.

The Teacher Individual Development Program (TiDP) therefore focuses on teachers’ motivation using similar approaches used when trying to motivate students: helping them develop self-reflection techniques, discussing strengths and weaknesses and establishing action points for the future.

The TiDP guides teachers through five stages involving reflection, input, collaboration and feedback, while supporting them through the inherent stages of planning, teaching and reflecting; allowing the program to be naturally integrated into what teachers do day to day.


Maha El Sherif - Head shot

Maha El Sherif is a DELTA certified teacher and teacher educator who has been working in the ELT industry for 11 years. Having been an L2 learner herself, she is passionate about language learning and has taught English to speakers of other languages in the United States, Canada, Australia and Egypt, as well as Arabic to English speakers in the US.

Maha is currently Head Teacher – Teacher Development at Fusion English Australia, where she teaches and runs professional development activities. Based in Melbourne, she is now focusing on pursuing the study of applied linguistics.

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Cath Moore and Helen Cook – ETS TOEFL

We all know that everyone except us has an accent.

We also know that appropriate assessment of students’ speaking and listening skills forms an important component of any quality assurance process for effective teaching of English language.  But how much does the teacher’s own accent and personal knowledge of other languages affect their judgement of their students’ performance both in formal and informal situations?

The research on assessment in the standardised test environment where listening and speaking are being assessed suggests that beyond a certain level, the effect is far more marked that most teachers realise.

This session will outline several recent research projects focusing on the effect of accent on listening comprehension and of the language knowledge of the assessor in speaking evaluations.  Factors which teachers might consider to improve their awareness of inherent biases and mitigate the effects will also be outlined.

Cath Moore

Cath Moore has over 25 years’ experience in managing and teaching across the sector in tertiary, high school, VET and private ELT centres. In her role as an English language consultant for ETS TOEFL Cath delivers free professional development on the TOEFL® test.

Helen Cook

Helen Cook is the associate director for ETS client relations in Australasia. As a client relations staff member, she supports the needs of institutions and advisors in Australia and New Zealand. Helen has over 20 years of experience and extensive knowledge of the education industry. Her experience includes her current vice presidency for International Education Association of Australia, where she is in her second term. Helen works to build relationships with institutions in Australia and New Zealand on behalf of the TOEFL® programme. Among her many duties, Helen represents the TOEFL programme at conferences and events for institutions and advisors.

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Scott Small – Director of the Adult Migrant English Program at the Commonwealth Department of Education and Training

Quality is at the heart of the new AMEP Business model. A high quality service provider in the new business model will be focused on identifying and meeting the needs of individual students and innovation in service delivery whilst supporting them to get the best possible English Language outcome.

The Australian Government will implement reforms to the AMEP on 1 July 2017.  The reforms will provide greater flexibility to service providers to determine how to achieve the best results for AMEP Clients. The reforms will also provide students with greater control over how and when they can learn English. Students will have the choice of  tailored tuition streams and more flexible participation options, including Technology- based tuition delivery.

These changes will bring in a new era of quality assurance for AMEP providers, requiring a greater focus on ensuring individual student needs are accurately identified and that the services provided to them are appropriate and contribute to their progression towards English language proficiency.

Scott Small

Scott Small is the Director of the Adult Migrant English Program at the Commonwealth Department of Education and Training. Scott’s responsibilities include administering the Adult Migrant English Program, leading the development of the new AMEP business model and contributing to migrant and settlement policy. Scott has worked across several government portfolios in Workplace Relations, Science Policy, Intellectual Property and Industry Development. Prior to his current role, Scott worked on the Commonwealth’s VET Reform Taskforce.

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Nicki Blake and Phillip Chappell

In this session, we will present an innovative model for sustainable, continuous professional development (CPD). This model involves blending together multiple strands of PD, as well as integrating personal and collaborative reflection into a 3-stage, flipped approach to reflective practice. A blended approach to CPD uses a mix of face-to-face and online professional development activities. There is a renewed focus in our sector on producing quality outcomes for participants by developing and/or reworking matrices and frameworks that enable those participants to map and reflect upon their PD commitments. There is also now an opportunity to reflect on where, how and how often that PD is accessed. Flipping PD activities involves focusing the participants on initial reflection and schema-building, and subsequent reflection and application, in dialogue and collaboration with peers. We argue that our blended and flipped model is a highly effective way to guarantee truly effective, continuous PD.

Nicki will explore how online PD supports, reflects, and enhances face-to-face PD experiences and present how various forms of online PD can be mapped onto new/existing frameworks. Phil will present his 3-stage model of ‘flipped’ CPD that shows how a participant can document their CPD engagement by focussing on a staged process of personal reflection, collaboration and knowledge building.


Nicki Blake is the Director of Studies at Kaplan International English in Perth. She is also an administrator of the #AusELT community of practice, a social media and ICT enthusiast, and co-convenor of Western Australia’s annual “PD West” event.  She can be found on Twitter @Penultimate_K

Phil (1)

Phil Chappell is a Senior Lecturer in Linguistics at Macquarie University. He convenes the Graduate Certificate of TESOL, conducts research in a variety of areas of ELT and TESOL, and supervises research students at Masters and PhD levels. His current research program is focused on teacher and student experiences in the Australian ELICOS sector. Phil has taught and managed overseas and in Australia in a variety of language and literacy programs. He is currently the Executive Editor of the English Australia Journal.

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Come and join us for afternoon tea and coffee on Thursday afternoon. Please let us know if you have any dietary requirements.

Patrick Pheasant

The objective of this workshop session is to reach out to NEAS stakeholders, partners, members and key industry representatives and seek feedback about the future direction of NEAS. Firstly, this session explores future growth around member lifecycles, services and categories. This workshop uses a strategic focus approach to propose guiding principles of trust, capacity, reach, capability, innovation and leadership. This is followed by an exploration of future opportunities for NEAS, from both within and outside of the box! Finally, the paper explores in detail the strategic priorities for 2017, 2019 and 2020. You are invited to join this exploratory journey, help shape some of these ideas and give feedback.


BIO: As Chief Executive Officer at NEAS, Patrick brings enthusiasm and a healthy pragmatism to projects and teams he engages with. With 20 years’ experience in applying drama, TESOL and teacher training methodologies across ELICOS, high school, vocational education, higher education and corporate sectors in Japan, the Netherlands, the United States and Australia, Patrick’s approach to problem solving is informed by a dynamic systems perspective with a global outlook. Patrick has held senior management positions in education for twelve years and has extensive experience in change management, including a graduate management qualification from Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM). Patrick’s recent PhD research at the University of Sydney is in using process drama in TESOL. He is a past Vice-President of the University English Centres of Australia (UECA) and past Convenor of the NEAS Advisory Council. His passion is in sharing drama and innovative TESOL pedagogy across cultures and he has had the privilege of conducting large group presentations and workshops with thousands of students and teachers at more than 50 events across 28 countries in the last five years as part of his PhD and roles with the University of Sydney, NEAS and UECA.

Come and join us for our Pre Conference drinks. A great opportunity to network with your peers.

Matthew Mitcham


Matthew Mitcham is a triple threat in every sense of the word. An Olympic Gold Medallist, acclaimed cabaret performer, keynote speaker and author. He’s also a self-proclaimed perfectionist – and it is that unrelenting quest for personal betterment that has punctuated his life journey of incredible highs and inexplicable lows. As an outsider looking in, it is impossible to ignore Mitcham’s immense talent – a ‘perfect  10’ diver, a singing voice and stage presence that rivals experienced professionals, a keynote message that captivates its audience through storyline and execution. It’s only when you read Mitchams’ 2012 biography ‘Twists and Turns’ that it reveals beneath his seemingly flawless armour, is not always an equally unbreakable core.

Matthew Mitcham came from humble beginnings, raised in a single-parent home in Brisbane. They often say that from adversity comes a burning desire for improvement. That is true of Mitcham. From when he was very young he decided he wanted to be ‘…the best in the world at something.’ That mission would first be geared to the sport of trampolining where he did in fact realise that goal in the junior ranks at least, winning the World Junior Championships in 1999 and 2001. But it wasn’t long before Mitchams’ acrobatic talents were identified by an Australian Institute of Sport diving coach. By 2004, he was on the podium at the World Junior Diving Championships, bagging three silver medals. Mitcham qualified for the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, finishing just out of the medals in fourth (3m springboard, 3m synchro) and fifth (1m springboard, 10m platform). It was the catalyst for a short break from the sport, before returning to train under current coach Chava Sobrino at the SW Institute of Sport. 2008 would be Mitchams’ breakout year.




South Wharf
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Come and join us for arrival tea and coffee on Friday morning. Please let us know if you have any dietary requirements.

Christine Bundesen AM

Christine Bundesen AM is currently Principal of cmbGlobal Consultancy Services, having retired as Director of the Institute of Continuing & TESOL Education at The University of Queensland (ICTE-UQ) in 2015.  Christine has had an extensive career as an educator, executive manager, and sector leader in developing and promoting ELICOS in Australia and abroad as well as outside the sector in the broader international education industry.  She has gained a well- recognised profile through her conference/public forum presentations and her positions on government and industry boards, councils, and working groups at state, national and international levels.* Christine was a co-recipient of the inaugural IDP Outstanding Achievement in International Education award in 1997, was a key player in the industry negotiations with the Australian Federal Government for the first ESOS Act in 2000, and was awarded a Centenary Medal in 2001 ‘for work to reform overseas student visa programs and the teaching of English to overseas students’.  Christine has had a long history with English Australia (ELICOS Association) as one of the founding members, as its inaugural Chairperson for ten years and as a General Delegate on the Board for many years;  in 2010 she was recognised through the inaugural English Australia Award for Lifetime Achievement for Outstanding Contribution to the ELICOS sector.  Christine has also had a significant role with NEAS, having personally drafted the original standards for the first National ELT Accreditation Scheme in 1989, as a member of the inaugural Board in 1990-93, as Convenor of the Advisory Council in 2015, and now as a member of the Board since 2016.  In 2012 Christine was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for ‘service to international education through leadership roles in the field of English Language Teaching, to the development of quality assurance standards, and to professional organisations’.

(e.g. Chairperson/Member, University of Cambridge ESOL Advisory Council 1996-2006; Member, University of Cambridge ESOL/English Australia Action Research Reference Group 2010-2015; Member DEST/ AESOC Transnational Quality Strategy Reference Group and Expert Group on Quality Assessment 2005-2009; Board Member IELTS Australia P/L 1990-2008; Board Member IDP Education Australia Ltd 1987-2007).  

Professor Madonna Stinson

Enacting quality pedagogies: what this looks like in the language learning context.

In this presentation Madonna Stinson draws on recent research in language teaching and learning to determine what constitutes best practice within the language classroom. She will share ideas about teaching characteristics and approaches which contribute to a culture of quality in language learning contexts, and suggest means of helping students prepare for the “coughs and hesitations” of communication in the real world.

madonna stinson

BIO: Dr Madonna Stinson is Senior Lecturer in the School of Education and Professional Studies for the Arts, Education and Law Academic Group, Griffith University. Her research and teaching concentrates on creative approaches to curriculum and pedagogies, in particular with regard to drama and language learning. She is particularly interested in methodologies and processes that allow researchers to consider how we know and understand what is happening in the spaces between teaching and learning. Recent publications and research explore how educators may employ non-traditional approaches to teaching as a means of engaging students at all levels in learning. These publications include:

  • 2018 (forthcoming) Research Methodology and Methods for Drama-Based Second Language Education. London: Palgrave. (Eds. Stinson, Madonna and Erika Piazzoli)
  • 2017 (forthcoming) Using Drama Effectively in Language Learning. In Phillip Hood (2017) (Ed). Teaching Languages Creatively. London: Routledge.
  • Winston, J. & Stinson, M. (Eds.). (2014) Drama Education and Second Language learning. London: Routledge.
  • O’Toole, J., Stinson, M. & Moore, T., (2009) Drama and curriculum: The giant at the door. Dordrecht: Springer.

Madonna’s work considers innovations and connections within drama and language teaching and learning, creative pedagogies and curriculums with the potential of offering opportunities for student agency and improving learning across the lifespan. Madonna has worked as a primary and early years teacher, a secondary Head of Performing Arts, a curriculum writer, an artistic director, an actor and playwright before becoming an academic.

Most recently Madonna worked as a Chief Investigator on the Age Appropriate Pedagogies program for the Department of Education and Training, Queensland (2015-2016), and is currently researching a large teaching artist project with a Brisbane secondary school that has a high proportion of students from refugee backgrounds.

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Kristen Hannah -Deputy Fair Work Ombudsman

FWO is seeing a significant increase in cases of deliberate exploitation of migrants and visa holders (particularly, international students) in Australian workplaces.

As trusted advisors with crucial links to the Australian community, English language teachers and those providing services to international students in universities, colleges and high schools, are often the first port of call for students when they are looking for a job or when something goes wrong at work.

Organisations like NEAS have a crucial role to play, offering a unique connection between ELT Centres and those working to protect international students at work.

Join Kristen Hannah, the Deputy Fair Work Ombudsman, as she discusses how the Fair Work Ombudsman, NEAS and its members can work together to help address the exploitation of international students in Australian workplaces.

Kristen Hannah

Kristen Hannah leads the engagement and collaboration work with key stakeholders and communities, in her role as Deputy Ombudsman Strategy, Engagement and Communications at the Fair Work Ombudsman.

In recent years, Kristen has held senior management roles in the Australian Public Service, including at the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Australian Competition & Consumer Commission and most recently, the Commonwealth Department of Human Services.

Kristen has over 15 years of experience in the private and public sector. She has led a variety of large and small teams in roles throughout Australia and the Asia Pacific. This has included managing public affairs at Telstra, the Department of Communications, British Telecommunications, Qantas, Stockland, Coca-Cola Australia and the National Australia Bank.

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The Hon Michael Lavarch AO, Commissioner Risk, Intelligence and Regulatory Support

ASQA has introduced a new model of auditing, which places the student experience at the centre of engagement with training providers. Commissioner Lavarch’s presentation will detail the basis of this approach to audit, with an explanation of the interplay between ASQA’s student centred regulation approach and NEAS’s quality assurance model.

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Professor The Hon Michael Lavarch AO has extensive experience in Higher Education and the public policy process. He is a former Dean of the Faculty of Law of the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and a former Secretary-General of the Law Council of Australia. From 1987 to 1996, Professor Lavarch was a Member of the Australian Parliament and he served as Attorney-General from 1993 to 1996. He was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2012 for his contribution to the law, education and human rights.

Professor Lavarch holds a Bachelor of Laws from QUT and was appointed Professor of Law in 2004. In 2012, he was awarded the title Emeritus Professor from QUT.

Professor Lavarch was appointed as Commissioner Risk, Intelligence and Regulatory Support of ASQA in February 2012 and commenced as Commissioner on 16 April 2012.

As Commissioner, Professor Lavarch is responsible for overseeing ASQA’s Regulatory Risk Framework which enables ASQA to identify and evaluate risks to the quality of VET in Australia and to effectively target resources.

The Commissioner has oversight of the industry engagement process, which builds relationships and gathers intelligence from industry, regulators and peak bodies. ASQA’s legal and regulatory support functions also report to the Commissioner.

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Jill Hadfield – Department of Language Studies Unitec, New Zealand

A current feel-good word in education technology is ‘interactivity’. But the term carries two implicit suggestions: first, that ‘interaction’ takes place between human and machine, rather than human and human. Secondly, it promotes the simplistic idea that educational technology equates with ‘learning’, involving interaction (human-machine)  and is good; whereas classrooms equate with ‘teaching’ which involves lecture-style transmission (teacher- student) and are bad. However, researchers find that lack of social interaction leads to feelings of isolation, disillusionment, and greater risk of dropping out. Human-machine interactivity is not enough to maintain satisfaction and engagement. Student-student interaction is not only motivating and engaging, but actually essential for learning to take place.  However, provision for interaction in online courses often remains limited.

This presentation outlines  ten principles for successful interaction online, introducing examples of different kinds of online interaction: Critical, involving an exchange of opinions, Personal,  involving an exchange of personal information, Factual, involving sharing information, Fanciful, involving an imaginary scenario and Creative, involving the creation of a ‘product’ show that  online interaction patterns differ from classroom interaction patterns, requiring different design, give suggestions for setting up and managing such activities, show examples of student contributions and consider feedback and assessment methods.

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Jill Hadfield has worked as a teacher and teacher trainer in Britain, France, China, Tibet, Madagascar and New Zealand, run short courses and seminars for teachers in many other parts of the world and  worked as  consultant for the UK’s  British Council and Department of International Development, writing materials for and reviewing aid projects in Africa. She is now Associate Professor at Unitec, New Zealand. She has written over thirty books,  translated into a total of 17 languages. These include the  bestselling Pearson Longman Communication Games series, five books in the Oxford Basics series,  Classroom Dynamics, a course for primary children: Excellent! published by Pearson which was nominated for the Duke of Edinburgh Award, two Teacher Education books: Top Tools for Language Teachers (Pearson) and An Introduction to Teaching English (OUP). Motivating Learning, co authored with Zoltan Dornyei, was published in 2013 by Routledge in the Research and Resources in Language Teaching series of which she is series editor.  A new book, co-authored with Lindsay Clandfield,  Interaction Online, has just been published by CUP.

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Come and join us for morning tea and coffee on Friday morning. Please let us know if you have any dietary requirements.

Barbara Craig & Sandra Pitronaci – Macquarie University English Language Centre

What role does culture play in the search for quality in your centre? Is quality driven by culture, or is sustainable quality more of an emergent process? If we get the culture ‘right’ by managing ourselves and our staff well, will quality follow as a natural consequence?

This practical workshop draws upon various concepts in people management, focussing on those proposed by Greenleaf, Senge, Wheatley, Underhill and others. It examines the notion of Servant Leadership and how it can be applied in our own ELT contexts to develop cultures from which quality emerges. We believe that these principles and behaviours are congruent with those we once embraced as leaders in the classroom, where we sought to build knowledge, creativity, autonomy and community amongst our students.

In this session, you will reflect with your colleagues on the risks and benefits of the servant-leader approach. We will discuss the challenges of embodying these principles and behaviours in your centre, and consider how nurturing a longer-term, slow-build approach through serving your staff and your centre can encourage quality to organically emerge out of culture rather than be forcefully driven by it.

Barbara Craig


Barbara Craig is Acting Head of Centre at Macquarie University English Language Centre where she is part of a team of engaged and dynamic professionals who are seeking to learn more in their professions. She has worked in both the private and the university ELICOS sectors and has been at Macquarie University for 15 years. Her interests include educational leadership, workplace culture, teacher development and teaching methodologies. With a background in secondary education, she also has a growing interest in the rich intersection of the ELT and broader Education fields.

Sandra Pitronaci


Sandra Pitronaci is Acting Head of Academic Programs at Macquarie University English Language Centre, and has 16 years of experience in secondary schools, ELICOS colleges and universities as classroom teacher, course coordinator, and senior teacher. She holds a Master of Applied Linguistics in TESOL/Language Programs Management, and is an active committee member of the English Australia NSW Academic Managers SIG. Her current areas of interest are second language acquisition, teacher development, organisational culture, and educational leadership, viewed through the lens of chaos/complexity theory.

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Dr Karen Treloar – Director Engagement Group

This presentation will provide an overview of TEQSA’s present regulatory and quality assurance activities and include a general update on the sector and sector issues including TEQSA’s response to the National International Strategy. Further we will provide some background on TEQSA’s developing Engagement agenda and on our increased focus on working with bodies such as NEAS to share information and establish stronger approaches to collaboration in the regulatory space. Finally, we will consider quality enhancement and how we can work together in the future to encourage good practice across the sector.

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Dr Treloar is an expert in economics, quality assurance and project management. For the past 10 years she has held director positions including Audit Director at the former Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA) and RMIT. In 2011, Dr Treloar completed a PhD in the innovation economy at Monash University. This followed the successful completion of Bachelor Degrees, Masters Degrees and post graduate qualifications in industrial relations, librarianship, economics and teaching. Dr Treloar has strong leadership, strategy and collaboration skills. Her role at TEQSA currently involves the establishment of an Engagement Group and this includes co-ordinating all elements of international partnerships and overseeing partnerships with Australia’s peak professional bodies such as NEAS, English Australia and international quality assurance agencies.

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Tom Hoskins – Kaplan International English

While the larger capital cities remain popular destinations for many ELICOS students choosing to live and study in Australia, schools situated in smaller towns and cities in regional areas continue to present a compelling alternative, offering a diverse and authentic range of experiences and opportunities that are elusive or unobtainable for students in larger metropolitan areas.

This presentation will examine the range of challenges that ELICOS institutions in regional areas may face, and demonstrate how institutions meet these challenges, build resilience within their organisations and continue to innovate. In particular, this session will focus on how successful institutions have chosen to define and embrace the notion of quality, and how this has enabled them to thrive within their particular context.

The author will address his own experiences in living and working in Cairns, but will also contrast this with the experiences of staff working at institutions in other regional areas of Australia.

Tom Hoskins pic

Tom Hoskins is based in Cairns and is the Regional Academic Manager for Australia and New Zealand at Kaplan International English.  He has worked in education for over 16 years and holds a DELTA and an MA Educational Management and Leadership (Higher Education).  He is particularly interested in how innovation in testing, data management and learning science can be used to improve student outcomes and drive good practice.

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Darren Brookes – Torrington (E-learning) and David Larbalestier

The Cambodia TESOL conference series, held in Phnom Penh each February, has grown from 150 delegates in 2004 to over 1500 delegates in 2017. “CamTESOL” is now one of the largest annual ELT conferences in the Asia-Pacific and is attended by many market leaders and other stakeholders in our region. This conference is also supported by the United States and Australian governments with the aim of helping Cambodia and South East Asia to develop their English language teaching and research capacities.  In addition to the main two-day conference program, there are also NEAS sponsored leadership and quality forums, local site visits and a full day research symposium. A part of the full day research program is a research grant awards program. This program enables local ASEAN researchers to present topical ELT research papers and submit papers for review to the prestigious Language Education in Asia (LEIA) journal.

In this session, the University English Centres Australia (UECA) research grants mentoring program project coordinator will show how Australian mentors are selected from UECA member centres to work one on one with research grant recipients. This international community engagement provides a direct link between the Australian mentor, their centre and the wider ELT research community in South East Asia. The mentors involved often share their experiences at their centres in Australia, encouraging colleagues, management and marketing staff to participate in the conference and research symposium in following years. The coordinator will also present on the various online strategies and social media used to manage and engage a diverse cohort of researchers across South-East Asia.  The goal of this mentoring is to ensure that papers are of a suitable standard and quality, not only for presentation but also for consideration for publication in the LEIA journal. The coordinator will also demonstrate how online and face to face Communities of Practice (CoP) have been used to engage researchers from high context cultures and to also help the Australian mentors to connect and share strategies.


Darren Brookes has been the University English Centres Australia (UECA) project coordinator for the Cambodia TESOL ASEAN Regional Research Grant Recipient Mentoring program since 2013. In the last two iterations of the project, Darren has coordinated a team of local mentors, selected from UECA member centers, to work one on one with research grant recipients from several ASEAN member countries. Darren holds a master’s degree in applied linguistics from The University of Queensland and has worked across the ELICOS, EFL and higher education sectors for nearly twenty years. His special interests include eLearning, mLearning, blended learning, project management and the professional development of educators. As coordinator for the research grant mentoring project, Darren has investigated ways in which to effect and manage online communities of practice for both mentors and researchers using online spaces and various social media. Darren is currently directing his own eLearning consultancy in Melbourne. His clients include NEAS, UECA and English Australia member colleges and universities.

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David Larbalestier is the Director of Studies (DoS) English language Programs and Teacher Training, UTS:Insearch, and current President of the University English Centres Australia (UECA). He holds a Masters Degree in TESOL and Applied Linguistics from Sydney University. Prior to taking up the DoS position at UTS:Insearch in 2003 David was the Associate Dean English at the Sydney Institute of Language and Commerce (SILC), Shanghai University from 1996. SILC is the largest and most successful joint venture in tertiary education in China and offers double degree and diploma programs from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and Shanghai University. Together with Dr Anna Shymkiw, David is the co-author with the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) of the very popular on-line and television program Study English:IELTS Preparation Series 1-3, as well as Passport: The IELTS Speaking Test. Dr Shymkiw and David have also produced sets of IELTS Practice Tests and IELTS Preparation Course books.

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David Persey – Regional ELT Teacher Trainer – Asia

Staying ahead of the curve: Why institutes offering 21st Century Skills and Global Awareness are the way of the future.

Increasingly in the 21st Century the demands of higher education and the workplace have become more complex, and a traditional view of language learning is no longer sufficient to prepare young people for the situations where their language skills will be used. The presenter will examine what we mean by 21st Century Skills and perspectives, going on to demonstrate how these changes are already happening in the work place, the impact this has had on international language testing, and how this affects the needs, and therefore, expectations of our customers, the students.  He will argue that, as a direct result of these changes, the traditional language school may soon be a thing of the past, and only those institutions incorporating these new skills into their courses will be primed for growth, as only they will be meeting the expectations of the customers. The presentation will conclude with three recommendations for action by language institutes.

David Persey

David Persey has been working in the ELT field for almost 25 years. A full-time regional Training Specialist and Senior ELT Consultant with National Geographic Learning since 2011, David has also worked as Head of Adult courses at the British Council in Thailand, as a Director of Studies for Accent Courses in the UK, and as a teacher in six different countries across the world. David has extensive experience of training teachers in effective ways of increasing the communicative use of English in the classroom, and has presented at conferences in Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia and The Philippines, as well as Vietnam. This is his first visit to Australia and he is excited to be here

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Dr Susan Delahunty, Elly Beolchi, Sarah Wolton– Explore English

One of the most enjoyable things about working in a standalone ELICOS school is the flexibility.  For example, there isn’t a long process when changes are needed and when we submit new business plans/ideas the timeframe is quick. The downside is that many standalone schools or ELTs associated with TAFE and HE providers might not always have confidence in our outcomes.  At Explore English we believe that Sharing is caring because we have created an inclusive cultural environment that lifts the quality of our products and services.  We believe that in the ELT industry we should all try to work better together regardless of the type of language centre we are associated with.  Key questions to be considered include: How are your classes being advertised? Are you sure your classes meet student expectations?  Independent and standalone schools can offer a diverse suite of products and if only more thinking outside of the box were to happen, there would be a lot of room for development and partnerships. This presentation will provide the audience with an insight into how an independent ELICOS school operates and the steps taken to build partnerships and grow network relationships so that student needs are met.  Quality and Culture are key factors in running any business and we will demonstrate how to do things a little differently. The English Only Policy and Teacher Recruitment are two topics open for discussion. Academic Managers and Principals will gain an insight into more creative strategies that can be implemented to inspire internal and external clients.  If your school is already doing this, then why not come along and share your ideas with the group too.  Participants will leave this session understanding the importance of solidarity, cooperation and consistency across the ELT Industry because after all, we share and care for the same clients.

Susan Delahunty

In 2015, Dr Susan DELAHUNTY set up Explore English, a new, funky, boutique style ELICOS Centre in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD.  As the Director of the School, she oversees academic output and is also responsible for implementing and designing strategies to help strengthen and grow the Centre’s position in the marketplace. Prior to this project, Susan gained valuable teaching and managerial experience in Australia and overseas working in stand-alone ELICOS schools as well as University and TAFE language Centres.  In fact, Susan has over 20 years’ experience in the teaching industry and maintains her membership with the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT).  Her two Masters degrees in Applied Linguistics (TESOL) and Education (Special Needs) has equipped her with the expertise to devise teaching and learning strategies that support a range of diverse international students.  Her overseas experience lies in the United Arab Emirates (Dubai), Malaysia and Japan.  Susan has maintained an interest in those who cross international borders to learn English, particularly students from the Middle Eastern Gulf.  To this extent, her PhD thesis illustrated the stories of Middle Eastern Gulf female university students in Australia. More recently, Susan was a finalist in the Telstra Business Woman of the Year awards for the state of Victoria.

Explore English_Elly Beolchi

Elly is one of the Academic Leaders at Explore English and has a very versatile and bubbly personality with a genuine and contagious passion for foreign languages!

She started off her career as an Interpreter and Translator in Milan, providing language services to multinationals and businessmen. She holds a Bachelor of Interpreting and Translating in English and French with a specialisation in adapting texts for movie dubbing and subtitles.

Her passion for languages has always been a key factor all her life. She speaks fluent Italian, Spanish and French. She got qualified as a CELTA Teacher in England and started teaching Business English, General English and prepared many students for the IELTS exam. She has an Italian background and thanks to her language studies, she has developed a great sense of cultural awareness which she believes to be one of her strengths. She travelled everywhere in Europe and came all the way to Australia to be able to work in a very multiethnic environment. She acquired a thorough knowledge of the ELICOS sector through her work experiences as Marketing Specialist and Student Support Officer. She enjoys talking to students and fully understands the struggles of moving to a new country.

Explore English_Sarah Wolton

Sarah is a passionate and experienced English Language Teacher at Explore English, who endeavours to inspire a love of learning in others, so her students learn English and have fun whilst doing so. Sarah started her teaching career working in primary education before moving on to teaching English at International Schools and Language Centres, as well as working as a private tutor. Her love of languages and meeting new people from different cultures are the reasons she loves teaching English and she has lived and worked in a number of countries including England, China and Australia, so she understands the learning experience that moving to a new country presents, particularly when having to adapt to a new culture or learn a new language.

Sarah has an interest in how schools adopt and utilise their English Only Policy.  She reads vividly scholarly papers debating this very topic and will enjoy sharing with you her thoughts.

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Come and join us for a delicious lunch on Friday. Please let us know if you have any dietary requirements.

Brett Blacker – Chief Executive Officer | English Australia


BIO: Brett Blacker is the Chief Executive Officer of English Australia, the national peak body for the English language sector of international education in Australia.

Brett has held a range of senior roles in international education including Director, International, Residential Services, Alumni, Careers and Employment Office, Murdoch University and Director, International Office, University of Newcastle. He gained experience in the commercial sector as National Business Development Manager and subsequently General Manager: Health, OSHC Worldcare, Mondial Assistance (Allianz) working with a cross sector institutions nationally.

Brett completed his Bachelor in Management and Marketing at the University of Newcastle. He focused his professional career in international education whilst completing his Masters in Leadership and Management in Education at Newcastle and commencing a marketing role with University’s International Development Office, during and post studies. 

He has served on the Board of Perth Education City (PEC) and as part of the executive group of Australian Universities International Directors Forum (AUIDF) is the immediate Past President and long-standing Board member of the International Education Association of Australia (IEAA).

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Greg Bell – Client Director, Audit, Sydney | Bentleys

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Greg is a client director in the Audit and Assurance group of Bentleys NSW Audit.

Greg has over 12 years’ audit and accounting experience and has worked with public listed and private clients as well as clients in the Not-For-Profit sector.

During his career, Greg has accumulated sound knowledge and experience in a number of industries including hospitality, finance, property, wholesale/distribution manufacturing, health and welfare, information technology and professional services.

In addition, Greg has managed finance teams in commercial businesses which has given him valuable experience and insight into clients needs.

His areas of expertise include audit, International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) consultation, due diligence, as well as internal controls and compliance reviews.

Greg has also worked in the United States and United Kingdom, where he has gained exposure to overseas business practices and accounting requirements.

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Michael Richards – ILSC Brisbane

In an environment in which change is the only constant, how we manage it is critically important for the morale and welfare of our people, for the relationships that sustain us, for the quality of services we provide and for the viability and survival of our organisations. Middle management has a pivotal leadership role here. Working with our teams to build acceptance of change and to enlist the enthusiastic cooperation of all our people through times of transition, disruption – and yes, even chaos – is one of the most critical and important things we do.

Michael Richards argues that the effective management of organisational change is founded on consultation, collaboration and willing contribution of all stakeholders. Effective change is not imposed from above but is co-created by managers and employees who share common values, working together towards a shared vision in relationships characterised by trust, respect, the recognition of mutual interests and the open and honest sharing of information and views at every level in the organisation.

Michael explores change management through a case study of ILSC, examining the contribution of value driven policies, processes and personalities as the school has negotiated major transitions over almost twenty years, including changes of ownership and identity, environmental impacts such as the GFC, SARS and market changes generating severe contraction and spectacular growth, renovations and changes to premises, expansion into VET, schedule and curriculum changes, and others. How has ILSC prospered through all this? What has changed? What remained constant at the core? What lessons does this story provide?

Michael Richards

If you live long enough you eventually find where you belong. Michael Richards explored careers in sales, the arts, commercial photography, journalism, theatre, film-making, educational resource development and community development before joining the ELICOS community. He had been involved in education for twenty years but only appreciated the nobility of the profession after joining ILSC (then known as Pacific Gateway) in 2005. This epiphany brought him to the role of Director of Studies and Training at ILSC, Brisbane in 2011. Since then the school has grown from around 200 students to more than 1,000 in Brisbane and over 3,000 across Australia.

Michael has lectured and written on communications, the arts, film and television and literature and presented at national and international conferences. His most important work is to support and empower teachers to facilitate and enhance their delivery of transformative experiences not only to students, but also to their colleagues and ultimately to themselves.

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Brian Smith – Stakeholder Engagement Manager | IELTS

This session will provide participants with the opportunity to review some of the ELT focused IELTS research that IELTS partners have funded and explore its relevance to their context. The session will also seek participants input on future directions for IELTS research in the ELT context.

Brian Smith

Brian Smith has worked as Stakeholder Engagement Manager with IDP Education since 2015. In his role Brian works with Governments, professional associations and peak bodies as well as broader stakeholders in the international education sector. Prior to joining IDP Education Brian worked in public health and international development in various roles include epidemiological research, policy analysis and health program design  across South and South East Asia and East Africa.

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 Wendi Fraser and George Lipinski – MeStudent

“The future promise of any nation can be directly measured by the present prospects of its youth.” John F. Kennedy

What are the concerns, mindset and motivations of the millennial international student, when selecting an international education? How do tertiary providers differentiate themselves as a quality Institution, whilst embracing disruptive communication streams, such as online platforms, social media and digital marketing methods?  How do we harness the power of disruptive technologies and tools, to achieve better quality education outcomes and go beyond traditional methods of international student engagement?

Wendi Fraser will examine current trends and powerful data from global research conducted by thought leadership organisation such as Deloitte, to navigate this topic and assist you in positioning your organisation as an Institute of choice.


George has been in the education industry since 2005. George came to Australia as an international student from Poland. His first-hand experience of the challenges faced by students coming to Australia drove him to help other students get a richer and more fulfilled experience.

This passion started with developing the international student magazine called iStudent. Since then, George has made it his mission to understand the education industry from all angles. With this knowledge and his entrepreneurial flair, he founded MeStudent – an online social networking application for international students. It’s designed to give international students a sense of community and comfort through the whole lifecycle of their time abroad.

George has participated in the ELICOS Industry Scenario Planning 2014-2019 and was attending Study NSW round tables, helping Study NSW to devise strategies related to international students. During his journey, George has had the privilege of participating in NEAS and English Australia presentations in Sydney and Adelaide and is very thankful to be invited back again this year.

Wendi Fraser

Wendi Fraser has held Senior Management positions within the Education Industry, having commenced her career within the sector through her background in Publishing as the Publisher for Hobsons.

Throughout her years within the Education sector, she has worked for ELICOS providers in three States, launched new campuses and been an integral part of setting the Sales and Marketing strategy to grow International Student enrolments.

Her last role was to devise the International Sales and Marketing strategy for Sarina Russo Institute, and James Cook University Brisbane.

Wendi has joined MeStudent, as she believes this is the disruption that is needed within the Industry to give students and providers greater recruitment choice.

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Mike Mayor – Global Scale of English – Pearson

The CEFR has become a standard framework of reference for teachers, learners and content creators around the world – moving beyond its European roots. The Global Scale of English (GSE) project takes the original CEFR research and Can Do statements and extends the set of learning objectives to address the needs of more learners. This presentation introduces the GSE and the online resources that are freely available to teachers and offers suggestions for the practical application of GSE Learning Objectives in your institution.

Mike Mayor_Pearson

Mike Mayor: Director: Frameworks and Scales, English and Schools Mike Mayor is Director, Global Scale of English at Pearson. In this role, Mike heads up research into creating audience-specific learning objectives aligned to the Global Scale of English, working with Content teams to ensure that these learning objectives underpin all new products and services. On leaving university, Mike worked as a teacher of English in France before entering the world of publishing as a lexicographer.

Mike joined Pearson in 2003 and headed up the dictionaries list until his move to the Global Scale of English in 2013.

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Come and join us for afternoon tea and coffee on Friday afternoon. Please let us know if you have any dietary requirements.

Ana Bratkovic – NEAS General Manager

Ana Bratkovic

Ana has worked in the education industry since 1994 and has enjoyed a range of diverse and interesting roles in ELICOS, High School and adult migrant teaching, quality assurance & monitoring services, and event management.  Since joining NEAS in 2002, Ana has applied her experience and passion for quality education to the many roles she has enjoyed which have included Quality Assurance Assessor, Conference Convenor, ATB Manager and now General Manager.  Prior to teaching, Ana worked for the Australian Bureau of Statistics in Canberra as a Graduate Economist.

NEAS Premium Product Endorsement gives NEAS providers the opportunity to showcase their Q Factor – an innovative quality service or product which enhances the experience and outcomes of students and staff.

The Peak Panel features five innovative Premium Products which have been awarded Endorsement by NEAS:

  • Academic English and Study Skills Bridging Course, University of Western Australia Centre for English Language Teaching (Callum Cowell) – Download Presentation
  • International Diploma in Language Teaching Management (IDLTM), The University of Queensland Institute of Continuing and TESOL Education (Julian Wilson) – Download Presentation
  • Kaplan International Tools for English (KITE), Kaplan Inc (Tom Hoskins)
  • Academic Skills for University Success MOOC Specialization, University of Sydney, Centre for English Teaching (Katherine Olston) –  Download Presentation

Each Product will be showcased with the opportunity for questions from the audience.

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Come and join Patrick Pheasant to celebrate a successful conference.

Come and join us for our Post Conference drinks. A great opportunity to network with your peers and reflect on the conference.


South Wharf
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