CoderDojo WA welcomes new Ninjas of the North

There is a new breed of ninjas in the north after Ashdale Secondary College launched CoderDojo North over the weekend. Thanks to Curtin University, Bankwest and the Autism Academy for Software Quality Assurance (AASQA), CoderDojo North is ready to motivate coding ninjas to be innovative creators of technology.

“It was great to see such a range of community partners coming together to start yet another Dojo in the community. The launch was attended by senior members across business, the AASQA academy and universities. Without this teamwork and band of volunteers, Dojos just wouldn’t exist!”

Simon Thuijs, Manager of CoderDojo WA. 

Coding is a tool that lets you write your story with technology. It is how humans talk to machines and an increasingly important skill for current and future generations. 

“In Australia today, 87% of jobs demand digital skills, so it’s really important that we equip our youngsters with knowledge about coding and computers. Already, Ninjas at current AASQA Dojos are being linked up with paid internships and then ongoing roles, going to show that employers are really looking for candidates with these skills.”

Simon Thuijs, Manager of CoderDojo WA. 

CoderDojo North is dedicated to students with autism, working to build their strengths for future training and employment opportunities. At the Dojo (coding club), Ninjas (students aged 12-18) will work on code-related projects such as websites, apps, game development and more, with the support of volunteer Mentors from Edith Cowan University (ECU) and Curtin University

Lainey Bradley is Champion of CoderDojo North and mother to a child with Autism who has shone since he started coding. 

“My son has been a part of CoderDojo WA since July 2017 and has exceled in his IT and coding skills.  He knows what career path he would like to take and to have the support of Ashdale Secondary College, Professor Tan (AASQA) and Dr Cook (AASQA), I know that he will realise his dream job. At long last we, as parents, have hope for the future of our loved ones leaving school and going out into the community armed with the skills to be a success.”

Lainey Bradley, Champion of CoderDojo WA North

Attendees of this exciting launch included Hon Kerry Sanderson AC CVO (Ambassador for AASQA), Lyn Beazley AO (Ambassador for AASQA), Margaret Quirk MLA, Professor Arshad Omari (Vice-Chancellor ECU), Dr Tele Tan (AASQA director) and Dr David Cook (AASQA Advisory Board and ECU). 

To find out more, contact

If you love creating stories, we’d love to hear from you. CoderDojoWA are offering prizes for interesting digital stories with the theme ‘What’s next’.

Use this competition as an opportunity to build your skills for the future, and what you see as the future. What’s next, now that we are coming out of social isolation? What’s next in your life, your family or community? Use your imagination and coding skills to create a digital story about anything you want.

Our mission is to get kids coding! Coding is a tool that lets you write your story with technology. CoderDojo is a world-wide open source social education movement oriented around running free computer coding clubs (Dojos) for young people aged 7-17 (Ninjas). CoderDojo WA is a regional network of CoderDojos in Western Australia. In 2013, the Fogarty Foundation committed to establishing the CoderDojo program in Western Australia by providing training, support and ongoing encouragement to the WA community.

It could be about a boy who gets to play in the playground again or a girl who goes to the library and gets out 100 books. Or it could be about a bird that is surprised to see so many people in the city again. It’s up to you.

There’s three major prizes for two age group divisions: Ninjas 11 years and under and: Ninjas 12 years and over. For the under 11 Ninjas, use Scratch to create a digital story from 2-5 minutes long about ‘What’s next’. For Ninja’s over 12 years of age stories can be made in Game Maker, Unity, Scratch etc., it’s up to you.

Story theme: ‘What’s Next’

Prizes: 3 x Raspberry Pi 4’s for each age division. Prizes will be awarded to the judges three favourite stories in each age division. All eligible entries will receive some Coder Dojo WA merchandise.

Who: Anyone interested in coding 7 – 17 years old

When: Closing date is the 19th June. Winners announced on Tuesday 23rd June

Created in: 11 years and under use Scratch, 12 years and older it’s your choice

Duration: 11 years and under = 2-5 mins, 12 years and older = 2-10 mins

Bonus points: 11 years and under for originality, 12 years and older for interactivity

Submissions need to adhere to the above guidelines and can be submitted through the link below.

If you have any questions about the competition or have difficulties submitting your project please contact

Good luck Ninjas, we look forward to seeing what you come up with!

And the winners are…

Dylan K (age 10)
What’s next? A Solution to stop Covid 19:Creative way to control and stop spreading Covid 19 and gain our lives back to where it was before COVID 19 
Charles K (age 11)
What’s Next?: A breaking News Report from Gobo, and showing what will happen when Covid 19 is over.
Brody S (age 9)
What’s Next Zoo Story: An idea about the zoo

On Friday 13 December we hosted the CoderDojo WA end of year party for 2019. The event was held at Scitech, with over 200 of our community members attending for a fun night of presentations, science shows, prizes and pizza.

Thank you to all of our volunteers and the Ninjas, Mentors and Champions who presented their projects on the night and for all your wonderful help throughout the year. The CoderDojo WA community wouldnt be possible with your help.

Click here to see the photos from the event on our CoderDojo WA Facebook Group.

If you’re interested to learn more about CoderDojo WA and possibly starting or joining a dojo, follow the link below.

In the Sensing the Education Future project, we want to hear your stories from the places where the learning happens. We also know that sometimes those stories can be complex, and you may want more than words alone to help you tell them. To help give you a kickstart in bringing some of those deeper stories to the surface, we invite you to join us for an evening of hands-on creative engagement and powerful conversation.

In this workshop, we’ll use LEGO Serious Play to draw out those complex ideas. We’ll think with our hands, and use the LEGO bricks as the medium to build and express ourselves through storytelling and metaphor. We’ll play, chat and have a lot of fun!  Pizza will also be provided (obvs!)

Joel Birch founded Firebird Learning with the simple goal of creating opportunities to learn by connecting curiosity with creativity, working with learners of all ages, both inside and out of schools. An experienced educator and professional learning facilitator, he also works with teams and organisations to help them solve complex problems and communicate powerfully using LEGO Serious Play.

LEGO SERIOUS PLAY is a powerful, internationally-renowned method for facilitating workshops and meetings that  harness the full range of perspective and  creative expertise in your organisation to solve complex problems. The LEGO bricks are the medium for creative expression, a common language across backgrounds and perspectives. Participants build their ideas and express them by telling stories.

You are invited to a Perth-based launch event of the education book, Flip the System Australia: What Matters in Education. Join Fogarty EDfutures, the Innovation Unit, the book’s Western Australian editor Deborah Netolicky, and local authors Keren Caple, Tomaz Lasic and Ben Lewis, for an exciting evening as we ask: What matters in education?

Join us at The Platform, 5:30pm for a 5:45pm start.

Building on the work of other Flip the System books, this book was conceptualised and edited by three Australian educators with more than 60 years of teaching and school leadership experience between them: Deborah Netolicky, Jon Andrews, and Cameron Paterson. With 27 chapters by 39 authors (including 15 chapters that have authors who are currently teachers or school leaders) it brings together the voices of teachers, school leaders and scholars in order to encourage dialogue and to offer diverse perspectives, important challenges and hopeful alternatives to the current education system. It tackles issues of inequity and democracy in education, and argues that professionals within schools should be supported, empowered and welcomed into policy discourse, not dictated to by top-down bureaucracy. It advocates for a flipping and democratising of the education system, in Australia and around the world.

Since its release in December 2018, teachers have been sharing their views of the book on Twitter, saying that is “the best Australian book about education out there: inspiring, thought provoking, revolutionary” and calling it “a must-read book for every educator regardless of experience, level of leadership and sector.” Come along to this event, buy a book at a discounted price and hear from the WA contributors. Let’s explore together how those of us in education might flip and democratise the education system.

Follow the book’s editors on Twitter at @flipthesystemoz

Deborah Netolicky

A researcher, school leader, and teacher, Deborah has 20 years’ experience in teaching and school leadership in Australia and the UK. A boundary-spanner with a PhD in education, she is currently Dean of Research and Pedagogy at Wesley College, Perth, and Honorary Research Associate at Murdoch University. Deborah blogs at, tweets as @debsnet, and is a co-Editor of Flip the System Australia: What Matters in Education.

Follow Deborah @debsnet

Keren Caple

Keren leads Innovation Unit (IU) in Australia & New Zealand and its education practice globally. Keren currently co-leads IU’s work with Goodstart Early Learning, working with families and early learning professionals to co-design new models of early learning and care at scale across Australia and IU’s School Design Lab, redesigning learning and schooling in partnership with systems, sectors and schools across the country, Prior to joining IU, Keren was general manager of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL). Here she led the development of both the Australian Principal and Teacher Standards and Learning Frontiers, Australia’s first large scale education innovation project. Keren proudly began her career as a teacher, school and system leader in the WA Department of Education and continues to work in a Western Australian school.

Follow Keren @kerencaple

Tomaz Lasic

Tomaz Lasic is a Humanities and Design & Technology teacher of close to 20 years, most of it working in low-socioeconomic areas of metropolitan Perth. Recently, he started working with early career teachers as a Teaching and Learning Coach with the Department of Education WA. Tomaz has always been interested in how students and teachers understand and shape schooling and how they are shaped by it. Regular tweeter, blogger, questioner.

Follow Tomaz @lasic

Ben Lewis

Ben is currently a Director at St Catherines College at the University of Western Australia, overseeing the Dandjoo Darbalung Indigenous Program. He was the Indigenous Program Coordinator at Wesley College for 7 years previously and a member of staff at the University of Notre Dame Fremantle for their Working with Indigenous Students course.  Previously he was a secondary teacher and a Program Coordinator for the Graham Polly Farmer Foundation in Newman in the Western Australian Pilbara region. Ben works closely with local Elders and the Nyoongar community to facilitate authentic and engaging cultural experiences that empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.


The What and How of preparing learners for tomorrow

With the speed of change making it impossible to predict the future, how do we even know if our students are ready for anything? This webinar invites you to join other EDfutures members in an interactive conversation about the evolving FutureWe Readiness Framework

This framework sets out to bring together ALL of the future-proof literacies learners (and everyone) will need to invent their own futures, and it’s also designed to plug directly into the ‘how’. Get a head start in understanding the big picture and mapping out your own journey in guiding the young people you are responsible for to success.

WHEN: March 4th 5:30pm – 6:30pm AWST

WHERE: The webinar will be hosted on WebEx Teams. You can download WebEx teams for free. You will be sent further details on how to join closer to the date of the Webinar.


FutureWe was founded by Jonathan Nalder after a 6 month research sabbatical in 2016 which left him shocked at how fast AI and new tech were changing the workforce. Instead of trying to predict what Education needs as a response, he determined to help learners know how to invent their own futures and be successful no matter what the tomorrow brings.

With help from now 300+ members in 17 countries, he has created and deployed solutions such as the tool, ‘’ lessons (AR, VR, 3D), and futures scenario across Australia and internationally to ensure everyone can be future ready.

Follow Jonathan @jnxyz

EDfutures Community Night: How Values Shape Education

At this community night, we’re taking a deep dive into values and the impact they have in Australia’s education system. We will be exploring:

This session will be facilitated by Kendall Clifton-Short of The Purpose:Fully. She works with organisations to imagine tomorrow’s future, and then embed purpose-driven strategy to create purposeful impact. As a passionate member of the EDfutures community, she’s excited to facilitate an exploration of the above questions with us all.

WHEN: November 6th 2018, 5.30pm – 8.30pm

WHERE: Lotteries House, City West

WHY: Community nights are an opportunity for us to welcome new members and a create some energy and understanding around EDfutures. Each community night will focus on a different theme.


 Kendall Clifton-Short

Kendall is the Managing Director at The Purpose:fully. Kendall’s purpose:ful journey began with transformational experiences in the outdoors forcing her to redefine what she believed she was capable of. And awakening a desire to facilitate experiences that tested people’s self imposed limits and preserved the wilderness spaces essential to this transformation.

This has grown into a lifelong quest to understand how we can build systems and cultures that promote more sustainable behaviours and lifestyles.

Through the twisting, turning journey that is life and work, this has become the core belief that caring for people, communities and the environment is actually good for business, and good for humanity.

Her professional life has seen her questioning and helping people redefine what is possible:  Leading adventures in pristine wilderness environments as a Course Leader for the National Outdoor Leadership School; redesigning sustainability educational to challenge the status quo as the Director of a remote secondary education campus; and challenging CEO’s on purposeful impact, and leadership assumptions and practice.

Fundamentally helping people and organisation reshape the way they think, connect and do business, so we can reshape the business world as a force for good.

And as a friend, wife and mother to three gorgeous balls of energy, she can often be found mucking around in the bush and wild spaces with her family, and asking difficult questions about how we can live more congruently with what we believe in and care deeply about.

EDfutures Community Night: Scaling What Works

At this community night, we want to hear what you’re doing differently in education! This session will be facilitated by Sarah Dew, of Innovation Unit, London, where she grows new solutions to complex problems. With years of experience in this field, they’ve developed a model for what it takes to bring a great solution to scale.

To learn how to apply this model, we want to hear about your projects and ideas. What’s stopping you from growing and scaling your innovation? What’s working so well that you wish everyone was doing it? Tell us about it when you register for the event, and yours could be one of the ideas we workshop on the night.

WHEN: October 10th 2018, 5.30pm – 8.30pm

WHERE: Lotteries House, City West

WHY: Community nights are an opportunity for us to welcome new members and a create some energy and understanding around EDfutures. Each community night will focus on a different theme.


Sarah Dew 

Sarah is a Project Lead at Innovation Unit, with particular expertise in scaling innovation, and health and social care. Sarah is currently leading a piece of work for the Learning and Work Institute and the Work and Health Unit (jointly sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department of Health) to co-design a new programme of support for people who are long term unemployed with multiple health conditions.

Sarah is an expert advisor on the evaluation of the Health Foundation’s Exploring Social Franchising programme, which is being led by Cordis Bright. To the evaluation, Sarah brings her insight on how to scale innovation successfully in the NHS. This is informed in part by the report Against the Odds: successfully scaling innovation in the NHS which she co-authored for the Health Foundation, and by her work with the NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA).

Previously, Sarah was part of the team working on Better Endings – a year long innovation programme for end of life care in Lambeth and Southwark supported by Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity. Sarah led the research to understand the health and social care context for end of life care, and led the development of Neighbourhood Care – prototyping a new model of community based support for isolated individuals at the end of life.

EDfutures Community Night: Mapping the System

In this session, facilitated by Matt Norman, we’ll discuss what systems mapping can do for you, and start to build a map of the education system in our city, state, nation and world. Maps like these can help us to understand the role that every sector needs to play in making change, and bring up some great questions about the infrastructure we need to make system-wide collaborative approaches possible.

WHEN: September 19th 2018, 5.30 – 8.30pm

WHERE: Lotteries House, City West

WHY: Community nights are an opportunity for us to welcome new members and a create some energy and understanding around EDfutures. Each community night will focus on a different theme.


Matt Norman

Matt is an education enthusiast exploring ways to develop future-ready and equitable learning systems. He currently works as a recruiter for Teach For Australia and has 4 years of experience running performance workshops with young people. Matt’s biggest questions right now are about experimenting with the design of learning experiences, and about crafting a collective narrative to drive change in education.

Connect with Matt @m_j_norman

Harvard’s Project Zero – Critical and Creative Thinking

Put the General Capabilities into action with global educational leader Mark Church from Harvard’s Project Zero. This event is a half day workshop where participants will explore how making thinking visible and thinking routines can support students developing their critical and creative thinking skills.

Mark Church

Mark Church works with educators throughout the world striving to create cultures of thinking in their classrooms and schools.

Mark challenges teachers to foster thinking dispositions in students in service of deep understanding. He invites teachers to promote a discourse of thinking in their classrooms that communicates value for student sense-making. Mark encourages teachers to make their classroom environments rich with the documents of student thinking processes.

Mark is currently a consultant with Harvard Project Zero’s Making Thinking Visible and Cultures of Thinking initiatives worldwide, drawing upon his own classroom teaching experience and from the perspectives he has gained working with educators throughout North America, Australia, Asia, and Europe. Mark enjoys helping teachers examine opportunities for student thoughtfulness, use thinking routines as supports and scaffolds, interact with students in ways that demonstrate interest in and respect for students’ thinking, and send clear expectations about the importance and value of thinking in learning.

Together with Ron Ritchhart and Karin Morrison, Mark is co-author of the book Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners (Jossey-Bass, 2011).

Founded by philosopher Nelson Goodman at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1967, Project Zero began with a focus on understanding learning in and through the arts. Over the years, PZ has continued their inquiry into the arts and arts education, while drawing together diverse disciplinary perspectives to examine fundamental questions of human expression and development. PZ research endeavors are marked by a passion for the big questions, a passion for the conceptual, a passion for the interdisciplinary, a passion for the full range of human development, and a passion for the arts.

Today Project Zero is an intellectual wellspring, nourishing inquiry into the complexity of human potentials – intelligence, understanding, thinking, creativity, cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural thinking, ethics – and exploring sustainable ways to support them across multiple and diverse contexts. Anchored in the arts and humanities, and with a commitment to melding theory and practice, PZ continues to work towards a more enlightened educational process and system that prepares learners well for the world that they will live, work and develop in.

Schools of Thinking was born of a shared belief in the power of paying attention to students’ thinking to facilitate deeper learning, understanding and connection to knowledge. SoT seek to build upon and share the passion of educators for innovative practice leading to powerful opportunities for students by:

SoT was founded by a group of dedicated teachers and school administrators. They are a not-for-profit organisation, and board members work on a voluntary basis to run events, write blogs, create resources and advocate for innovative curricula in the hope of inspiring other teachers to put students’ thinking at the forefront of their daily practice.