The number of teachers available to shape the learning of our children is at an all-time low. The pandemic has not only changed our idea of education but rendered the teaching profession no longer sustainable. Australia's communities are desperate for more teachers. What incentives and support are there for future educators? How are teachers dealing with the demands of the rapidly changing education landscape? How can we equip future teachers with the tools to ensure they feel capable of leading and teaching within inclusive and diverse schools?

Our panel of speakers will foster robust discussion around the current and future challenges in the education sector, involving a range of ethical viewpoints, values and perspectives. While it is important for Australian universities to cultivate expertise, it is even more important to make it available to engage with the most important and pressing issues for Australia's future.

Chair of the Panel

Professor Mary Ryan – Executive Dean at ACU

Professor Mary Ryan is Executive Dean of the Faculty of Education and Arts at ACU. She is President of the New South Wales Council of Deans of Education and Chair of the Education Research Council for Australian Independent Schools New South Wales. She is a Principal Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy and is the recipient of a national citation for outstanding contributions to student learning. She is currently leading Australian Research Council funded projects in classrooms. Her research is in the areas of writing pedagogy and assessment, reflective writing, teachers’ work and professional learning, the enabling and constraining conditions for graduating students to manage the demands of their profession, and reflexive learning and practice.

Master of Ceremonies

Associate Professor Miriam Tanti – Associate Dean Partnerships at ACU

Associate Professor Miriam Tanti is currently Associate Dean, Partnerships in the Faculty of Educations and Arts at ACU. Associate Professor Tanti brings a great deal of experience as an educator and as a leader. She has held various leadership roles within the School of Education, including Campus Dean (Strathfield), Educational Technology Discipline Lead, Deputy Head of School (NSW) and Head of School (NSW/ACT). Before starting at ACU, Miriam was a secondary teacher, working both in the Catholic and independent sectors. She also holds a PhD from The University of Sydney; her scholarship focuses on the impact of technological change.

Panel Speakers

Prof. Claire Wyatt-Smith - Director of the Institute of Learning Sciences and Teacher Education at Australian Catholic University

Professor Claire Wyatt-Smith is the Director of the Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education, Australian Catholic University (ACU) and Professor of Educational Assessment and Measurement. She has held senior positions in schooling and universities in Australia and internationally. Her research addresses standards, professional judgement and the implications of digital disruption in schooling. Currently she leads the Graduate Teacher Performance Assessment (GTPA) and a longitudinal study of progression from entry, through candidature, and into the workforce. Recent books include Professionalizing Teacher Education (2022), Digital Disruption in Teaching and Testing (2021), and Teaching Performance Assessments as a Cultural Disruptor in Initial Teacher Education (2021).

Lisa Paul AO PSM, FAICD, FACEL, FIPAA, FAIM, FANZSOG - Former Chief Executive (Secretary) of the Australian Federal Government

Lisa Paul AO PSM chaired the Quality Initial Teacher Education Review for the Federal government in 2021. She is a Company Director of listed and private companies, an Enterprise Professor at the University of Melbourne, a Councillor of Bond University, a Director of several non-profit companies, a previous member of the Government’s Naval Shipbuilding Advisory Committee and consults as a Co-Founder of Paul and Webb P/L. She was a Chief Executive (Secretary) in the Australian federal government from 2004 until 2016, serving five Prime Ministers and nine Cabinet Ministers. She held national responsibility for early childhood education and childcare, vocational training and apprenticeships, youth transitions, post graduate and international education, research, science, employment and job creation, workforce and workplace relations, social security payments. 

Melodie Potts Rosevear OAM – Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Teach for Australia 

Melodie Potts Rosevear is founder and CEO of Teach For Australia. She is a disruptor and a problem-solver, driven by a vision for Australia where education gives every child, regardless of background, greater choice for their future. 

Melodie has made it her mission to champion better educational outcomes for our most vulnerable children in Australia. In the past 12 years, the work of TFA has helped more than 350,000 students in 220 schools, while building a community of 1200-plus teachers and leaders who are bringing about change inside and out of the classroom. 

Melodie was awarded an Order of Australia for her service to education and teacher development in 2021.She holds a Master of Public Policy from Harvard where she received a Kennedy Fellowship, and a Bachelor of Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she was a Morehead Scholar. 

Originally from rural Appalachia, Melodie lives in Melbourne with her husband Sam and young son Harrison, affectionately dubbed ‘Harry the Hurricane’, and their dog, Jack ‘The Ripper’ Russell. 

Patrick Devery - Professional Officer at Independent Education Union of Australia, NSW/ACT Branch 

Pat Devery is a professional officer and organiser for the Independent Education Union of Australia, NSW/ACT Branch. Prior to this role Pat was a secondary school History and English teacher for 25 years in both the independent and catholic systemic sectors. His passion for Ancient History saw him awarded a Premier’s History Teachers Scholarship in 2006. In his spare time Pat runs the Australian School Band and Orchestra Festival and supports the South Sydney Rabbitohs. 

Andrew Peach - Executive Principal at Marsden State High School , 2020 School Principal of the Year, and General Manager, School Participation NRL 

Andrew Peach is the Executive Principal at Marsden State High School. Marsden is Australia’s largest High School with approximately 3700 students attending from grades seven to twelve. The school has over 350 staff and works hard to provide superior opportunities built on a culture of high expectations. In 2019 Andrew was awarded Queensland College of Teacher’s TeachX Award for Excellent Leadership in Teaching and Learning from across all Queensland schools. In 2020 he was awarded the School Principal of the Year, Government at the Australian Education Awards. 

Andrew graduated from QUT in 1996 with a Bachelor of Education degree before teaching in Roma, Cunnamulla and Ipswich. He successfully completed a Masters of Business Administration degree when he moved in to school administration. 

In 2014 Andrew was the Harvard Club of Australia Principal Scholarship recipient to attend Harvard’s Principal Centre in the Graduate School of Education. He has since returned leading a group of Queensland principal’s on a Study Tour while attending the Emerging Leaders program at the Harvard Kennedy School. 

Andrew is active in areas related to pre-service and beginner teacher programs through Marsden SHS’s well recognised Staff Development programs, and continues to lead and deliver the Aspiring Leaders Program at the school. In 2021 Marsden SHS became the first school to win an Australian HR Award and in 2022 the school won it’s third consecutive Best Professional Learning Program of the Year Award at the Australian Educator Awards. 

Andrew is currently on leave from Marsden SHS while he undertakes the role of General Manager – School Participation with the NRL. 

Lauren Walters - 2022 Australian Schools Plus Early Career Teacher Award recipient, Teacher at St Agnes Catholic High School, and ACU alumnus.

Lauren Walters is a teacher at St Agnes Catholic High School in Rooty Hill. She is the school's Daily Organiser, coordinator of the COVID Intensive Learning Support Program for Numeracy and she oversees the placement of preservice teachers. Lauren has a YouTube channel where she has uploaded over a hundred instructional Maths videos for students. Her enthusiasm and innovative practice saw her awarded both the 2022 Schools Plus Early Career Teacher award and the 2022 Australian Education Awards Education Rising Star award. Lauren has three young children, and she loves to crochet.

Have a question?

We're available 9am–5pm AEDT,
Monday to Friday

If you’ve got a question, our AskACU team has you covered. You can search FAQs, text us, email, live chat, call – whatever works for you.

Live chat with us now

Chat to our team for real-time
answers to your questions.

Launch live chat

Visit our FAQs page

Find answers to some commonly
asked questions.

See our FAQs