Speakers in the Adult Programme

We would like to thank our many speakers for their assistance in creating this conference.  The speakers listed here will be speaking in the adult program.  The youth program will be available in June.

Speakers in the Adult Programme:

James T. Webb – Keynote speaker

Other Speakers:

Dr Nadine Ballam – The GiftEDnz Speakers’ Bureau speaker

Rose Blackett

Igor’ Kontorovich

Dr Louise Tapper

Brooke Trenwith

Madelaine Armstrong Willcocks

Andrea Delaune

Sue Breen

Dr Brett Clark

Ali McCormick

Anna Meuli

Sue Barriball

Dr Michelle Dickinson

Speaker Bios:

Dr Nadine Ballam

Nadine Ballam is a primary trained teacher and a lecturer in the Faculty of Education at Waikato University, where she teaches both undergraduate and postgraduate students in the area of giftedness and talent. Her recently completed PhD investigated the lived experiences of gifted young people from low socioeconomic backgrounds, with an emphasis on risk and resilience. Nadine is passionate about continuing to explore giftedness and the development of talent, particularly amongst underserved or disadvantaged groups. She is a member of the board of giftEDnz, and is also on the editorial board of APEX: The New Zealand Journal for Gifted Education.

Rose Blackett

Rose is a registered educational psychologist based in the Wairarapa. She has spent time as a classroom teacher, a Resource Teacher of Learning and Behaviour (RTLB) and a specialist educator in settings for students with significant special needs. Rose serves on the international Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG) Board of Directors, is the immediate past president of the New Zealand Association for Gifted Children (NZAGC), and works as an advisor / assessor for the NZ Centre for Gifted Education. She has presented on a range of educational topics, in New Zealand and internationally.

Igor’ Kontorovich

Dr Igor’ Kontorovich is a new lecturer in the Department of Mathematics, the University of Auckland. He is an emerging researcher in mathematics education with a background from Russia, Israel, and Canada. In his studies, Igor’ often involves gifted and talented students because they provide valuable insights into advanced mathematical thinking. In Israel Igor’ was teaching mathematics to promising secondary students and adolescents. Igor’ has already started to build a team for promoting high-quality mathematics education to this population of students in NZ.

Dr Louise Tapper

Louise has been an advocate and educator in the field of gifted and talented education for almost two decades. She is a primary trained teacher and has worked as both a teacher educator and a parent educator. She has written, tutored and lectured in various pre and post–service courses in gifted education, and written and taught courses around the experiences of parenting gifted children. She was a founder, and is the current Chair, of giftEDnz, The Professional Association for Gifted Education. Louise completed her doctorate in education looking at the experiences of school for gifted and talented adolescents in Aotearoa New Zealand, and in particular their understandings about achievement and underachievement. She works currently as an independent education researcher and as a contracted researcher for The Collaborative for Research and Training in Youth Health and Development, in community-based youth related projects in Canterbury.

Mrs Brooke Trenwith

Brooke works for Te Toi Tupu in their Gifted and Talented PLD Programme and through Cognition Consultancy. She has worked as a Gifted Coordinator in a Decile 3 and Decile 10 Secondary School. Brooke was the Assistant Director of an English Language School (primary) in Taiwan for over two years where she was in charge of curriculum development and teacher training. Brooke is a National Advisor for NZAGC.

Ms Madelaine Armstrong Willcocks

Madelaine works for the New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education as the Regional Lead Teacher for Auckland MindPlus units and for Gifted Online. She is passionate about gifted education and loves to fuel intellectual excitement in her students. Her special interests include social, emotional and motivational development of gifted students and how this can best be facilitated in specialist educational environments, application of Dabrowski’s work to gifted education contexts, and gifted education pedagogy in general.

Andrea Delaune

Andrea Delaune has been a passionate early childhood teacher, centre manager and educational researcher in Early Childhood Education since graduating from Christchurch College of Education in 2001. Andrea has recently completed a Masters Degree in Education entitled Gifted education for infants and toddlers in Aotearoa New Zealand: An insight into exemplary practice, and is currently working towards a PhD in early childhood and gifted education. Andrea is a proud wife, and mother of two young children who inspire her to be a better educator and person every day.

Sue Breen

Sue is the Lead Teacher for NZCGE’s Small Poppies programme and has presented at many conferences. She trains and mentors teachers towards effective programmes for young gifted children.

Dr Brett Clark

Dr. Brett Clark is Head of Learning Support at St. Andrew’s College.

Anna Meuli

Anna is the Consultancy Manager for the New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education. As well as managing the Centre’s Consultancy Services Anna has been involved in the development of the NZCGE curriculum and was instrumental in the development of the Personal Development Content Strand. Over the past 30 years in education Anna has taught across the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors in mainstream, special education and gifted education contexts as a classroom teacher, lead teacher, adviser, lecturer and consultant. Anna holds a Master of Education degree endorsed in Special Education (hons) and has presented both nationally and internationally in gifted education.

Michelle Dickinson

Invisibility and invincibility are two superpowers that Dr Michelle Dickinson MNZM always dreamed of as a child, and is still trying to achieve them through setting up her Nanomechanical testing laboratory at the University of Auckland. With a background in fracture mechanics Michelle is formally trained in breaking engineering components, but is passionate about devoting her life to breaking sterotypes, through her science communication work on TV and radio. Michelle has worked exclusively with billionaires and brilliant minds, offering her input into ways to harvest solar energy and create cheap and accessible drinking water as well as helping to design technologies for a sustainable future. A competitive kitesurfer, casual rock climber and practicing martial artist, Michelle works hard to inspire females to push the boundaries in both science and sports and to encourage sustainable living through engineering design.