Meet some of our World-class Speakers

Emerging Voices for Change

Simon Breakspear

Educational Strategist & Summit Curator


Simon holds a first class honours degree in Psychology from UNSW and a MSc in Comparative and International Education from the University of Oxford. He is currently completing his PhD in Education System reform at the University of Cambridge as a Gates Scholar.

Simon delivers keynotes and consults to educational leaders and practitioners to help stimulate fresh thinking and challenge the status quo. He has worked extensively to help principals understand the need to create innovative, collaborative, inspiring and challenging school cultures in order to retain talented teachers, train future leaders and deliver improved educational outcomes. He challenges educational policy-makers to put teacher and leader quality at the heart of the 21st century education reform agenda.

Anders Sorman-Nilsson

Creative Director at Thinque

Anders is a reformed lawyer, an avid social commentator, and a somewhat funky thinker. He is the Creative Director and founder of the consultancy Thinque. Swedish by design, Germanic by schooling, and Australian by choice, he is a linguistic gymnast who challenges his audiences to upgrade the way they think. A self-described cultural transvestite, Anders draws on a smorgasbord of international ideas and trends to inspire ideas and facilitate conversations.


His keynotes, Thinque Tanks and consulting provide GPS directions for individual and organisational brands that want to successfully navigate a constantly changing business landscape and successfully position their intellectual property in a whacky world.


David Faulkner

Director of School Performance Barkly Region Northern Territory

David Faulkner is the Director of School Performance in the Barkly Region (Northern Territory) leading 18 schools across the largest and one of the most remote educational regions in Australia.  A Principal at 24, David has been a Principal for 7 years in Western Australia spending his time in rural and remote locations with a real passion for making a difference for Indigenous students. David has headed some of the most challenging schooling environments in the country with some outstanding results, including a transformation of his most recent school Halls Creek District High School, which gained positive state and national attention for its many innovations.

During his time as a Principal David has been recognised with awards such as WA Young Leader of the Year (2003), WA Young Person of the Year (2003) and in 2004 was named Young West Australian of the Year by the National Australia Day Council. In 2008 David was named Non-Aboriginal Person of the Year for his recent work in the Kimberley. David has a strong belief that passionate, innovative teachers and leaders have the ability to transform the lives of young people and he takes the opportunity in his work to motivate people to be MAD (Make a Difference).

Aaron Tait

Social Entrepreneur and Director of Spark International

The day after his 18th birthday, Aaron - the youngest officer in the Royal Australian Navy at the time - began a deployment to the Middle East with the United Nations. In the years since, he has travelled and worked in more than 55 countries, running a school for street kids in Tanzania, building community projects in Kenya, and most recently completing a Masters with distinction at the University of Cambridge. After working for a number of grassroots and international charities, Aaron co-founded Spark* International, an organisation dedicated to educating and empowering young leaders in the places that most need them.

Michael Furdyk

Co-founder and Director of Technology for

Michael Furdyk is the Co-founder and Director of Technology for, a global online community for young people, providing a platform for millions of youth across more than 200 countries to engage with social issues. Along with managing the technology team at TakingITGlobal, Michael was involved in developing the TIGed education program, and has spoken to over 50,000 educators about the importance of engaging students and integrating technology and global perspectives into the classroom. In 2008, he was named by Contribute Magazine as one of 10 Tech Revolutionaries Redefining the Power and Face of Philanthropy.
In the past, he has turned his interest in technology into a series of successful online companies, co-founding (later sold to and (which raised $4.5-million of venture capital). Michael has provided insights on the Net Generation to a number of Fortune 500 companies, including a 6-month engagement developing youth strategy with Microsoft in Seattle, Washington.
As one of Teen People's "20 teens that will change the world", Michael has shared his expertise in youth engagement and experiences bringing the power of technology to the non-profit sector by speaking at dozens of events, including the World Congress on IT, the US Government's National Youth Summit, Microsoft's Anytime, Anywhere Learning Summits, The Business Council, and TED. He has made numerous media appearances including The Oprah Winfrey Show, Time Magazine, Fast Company, BusinessWeek, and USA Today. He is a board member and advisor to numerous groups including Better the World, Microsoft Partners in Learning, Virgin Unite, Greenpower Canada, and several other national and global organizations.

International Educational Thought Leaders

Professor Andy Hargreaves

UK Specialist and Academies Trust and the National College for School Leadership and is concerned with organisations that perform beyond expectations in education, sport, business and health.

Tony Mackay

Tony Mackay is a leading figure within the Australian Education Community and is widely acknowledged for his commitment to achieving educational outcomes not only nationally but also internationally. Within Australia, Tony continues his role as Director of the Centre for Strategic Education, Melbourne, Australia in addition to his role as Deputy Chair of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), the body that is responsible for the Australian National curriculum (K-12), assessment program, and data collection and reporting. 


Valerie Hannon

Valerie Hannon is a Managing Partner of the Innovation Unit, a not-for-profit agency  based in London which works in partnership with organisations from the public, private and third sectors to create better outcomes from public services at lower cost.  A former  county Director of Education, teacher, and university researcher, Valerie has worked in a wide range of Local Authorities and has been an adviser to the Department for Children, Schools and Families, the Local Government Association, and Creative Partnerships.  Her interests include the contribution of other sectors (particularly the creative, cultural and third sectors) to the transformation of public services in the 21st century through social innovation; the role of leadership; and building creative capacity amongst practitioners. 

Jenny Lewis M.Ed; Dip.Ed; B.Ed; FACE; FACEL; AFAIM; AFSAE

Australian Council for Educational Leaders - Chief Executive Officer

Jenny has served schools and their students for twenty five years, and as principal led staff and community at Noumea Primary School to create an innovative approach to professional learning, school and pedagogical reform.  As a result the school received national and state awards for assessment, literacy, numeracy, knowledge management, school leadership and the integration of mathematics and technology. 


She holds postgraduate qualifications in Educational Leadership, publishes regularly in education journals and is asked to present at national and international conferences on the areas of evidence based leadership and building professional learning communities.  

Stephen Harris

Stephen Harris, is passionate about lots of things. These include quality education, innovation in learning and really just about all things education. Luckily for him, Stephen is also Principal of Northern Beaches Christian School (NBCS), in Sydney, Australia, where he gets to turn his passion into reality. NBCS has over 1200 day students and a further 350 online students. Stephen Harris is founder and Director of the Sydney Centre for Innovation in Learning (SCIL), a research and development unit within NBCS. Stephen Harris has worked continuously in schools for 33 years and has been the Principal of NBCS for the last eleven years. Stephen has presented papers at a number of national and international conferences on topics relating to the effective integration of technologies into the classroom, as well as strategies for transforming the pedagogic practice of teachers.
Stephen Harris is a part time PhD student at the University of Technology, Sydney, with a focus on embedding innovation and research into the everyday life of the school: the SCIL story.