How to Get Away with Innovation

May 5, 2020

Calling all teachers, students, school leaders, policy makers, parents and other social change nerds!

The education system is a complex web of curriculum, data, reporting and administrative hamster wheels. As important as they can be, all these requirements can make it hard to see where there’s room for innovative approaches to education.

On the other hand, we know there are teachers, schools and students out there who are challenging the status quo with innovative learning – and they’re subject to the same rules and regulations as everyone else. We think the next question should be, what do they know that we don’t?

Join us for an honest discussion on innovation, impact and the future of the education system. Hear from Australia’s edu-rebels; connect with a network of innovator ninjas; and learn how you can get away with innovation in your own part of the education system.

Peter Hutton


Peter is a maverick, a free radical, a challenger of the status quo. His strength is in transformational insight and supporting leaders to build innovative and adaptive cultures. Over an eight years journey, he transformed Templestowe College from a ‘broken’ school to one now recognised by Finland’s HundrED organisation as amongst the most innovative in the world. In 2018 he founded the Future Schools Alliance where member schools from across the country collaborate to develop new models of education that empower students to Take Control of their learning and prepare for times of exponential change.

Follow Peter @EdRev

Jan Owen AM


As CEO of the Foundation for Young Australians for the past 8 years, Jan has led the organisation’s strategic mission to equip young people to create, lead and thrive into the future. This focus has included ground-breaking research regarding the future of work and education for young Australians; the largest in-school entrepreneurship and youth social enterprise programs in the nation; and the development and launch of several new initiatives including YLab, FYA’s youth-led social enterprise.

Jan’s lifelong work and commitment to unleashing the talent of young people, driving social innovation and entrepreneurship, and transforming education has seen her recognised as one of Australia’s ‘True Leaders’ in 2018 and the Inaugural Australian Financial Review and Westpac ‘Woman of Influence’ in 2012.

Jan has been awarded honorary Doctorates from the University of Sydney and Murdoch University in Perth and membership to the Order of Australia in 2000 for services to the Australian community.

She is the author of Every Childhood Lasts a Lifetime (1996) and The Future Chasers (2014).

Follow Jan @JanOwenAM

Prof. David Gibson


Professor David Gibson, Director of Learning Futures at Curtin University in Australia and UNESCO Chair of Data Science in Higher Education Learning and Teaching, received his doctorate (Ed.D. Leadership and Policy Studies) from the University of Vermont in 1999 based on a study of complex systems modeling of educational change. His foundational research demonstrated the feasibility of bridging from qualitative information to quantifiable dynamic relationships in complex models that verify trajectories of organizational change. He provides thought leadership as a researcher, professor, learning scientist and innovator. He is creator of simSchool, a classroom flight simulator for preparing educators, and eFolio an online performance-based assessment system, and provides vision and sponsorship for Curtin University’s Challenge, a mobile, game-based learning platform. He consults with project and system leaders, formulates strategies, and helps people articulate their vision for innovation; then helps connect people with the resources needed to fulfill their aspirations. His research has extended from learning analytics, complex systems analysis and modeling of education to application of complexity via games and simulations in teacher education, web applications and the future of learning.  Dr. Gibson has also advanced the use of technology to personalize education via cognitive modeling, design and implementation.

Esther Hill


Engaging teachers in conversations about pedagogy, the power of deep thinking and connected learning has been a driving force behind Esther Wilkes Hill’s school leadership. As Dean of Teaching and Learning at All Saints’ College, a leading Independent Anglican School in Perth, Western Australia, Esther strives to develop and support learning cultures where individual and group thinking is valued. As Director of Djoowak: The Beyond Boundaries Institute, Esther currently leads projects that focus on developing the capacities of students to be creative thinkers with an enterprising mindset that is focussed on problem finding and solution generating. At the core of this work is a deep commitment to the importance of teaching for understanding and making thinking visible: ideas that have been central to her work as a classroom teacher, curriculum leader and Director of Pedagogy and Professional Learning. Esther works to enable teachers across WA to access professional learning that empowers them to explore these ideas. She is passionate about developing the capacity of all teachers and learners to be innovators and thinkers who can create a better world.

Follow Esther @ThinkEsther

Adam Brookes 


Passionate about cross-curricular, big-picture learning, Adam is a middle school teacher from Mother Teresa Catholic College who challenges the status quo in education. The evolution of the education system is always at the forefront of discussions, where you’ll often hear him using “how might we” questions to encourage other educators to think about doing ‘schooling’ differently. His catch-cry of “we are the system” is a call to empower all of us to be innovators in our own right and to drive system change from the ground up. Next year, in a new role as Team Leader – Inquiry and Innovation at Mother Teresa will see Adam continue the work already done at the College to build and develop the culture of learning for students and staff, particularly in inquiry learning.

Follow Adam @brookssensei

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