National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Conference

NATSIEC 2018 features a program of keynote presentations and workshops, with over 50 Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander presenters from all states and territories.

​Download NATSIEC 2018 Program Summary for a list of all plenary and workshop sessions.

NATSIEC presenters include:​

ActNow Theatre

ActNow is a South Australian theatre company that tailors socially conscious performance projects. ActNow works with professional artists to engage diverse communities in conversations around challenging, contemporary issues. Their work is innovative, informed, inspiring, and often confronting but never conventional.

Ms Isabelle Adams

Isabelle Adams is a specialist in Aboriginal Affairs including facilitating consultations with and training for Aboriginal people, communities and organisations and developing Aboriginal programs for government agencies and corporate and community organisations.

Isabelle Adams

Professor Ian Anderson

Dr Ian Anderson AO is a Palawa man, a Professor of Indigenous higher education and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet’s Deputy Secretary of Indigenous Affairs. Ian  is responsible for coordinating the Council of Australian Government’s (COAG) response to the refresh of the Closing the Gap  targets for Indigenous health and social disadvantage.

Professor Ian Anderson

Associate Professor Peter Anderson

Peter Anderson is from the Walpiri and Murinpatha First Nations in the Northern Territory. His research theorizes the understandings of the organisational value of academic freedom in Australian universities. He researches in the areas of organisational leadership, Indigenous peoples’ education and teacher and academic professional development.

Peter Anderson

Ms Vicki Bayliss

Vicki Bayliss is Chief Executive, NT Department of Education and an experienced and passionate leader of change, with more than 30 years in the education sector. Vicki is Chair of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Advisory Group.

Ms Cindy Berwick

Ngunnawal woman Cindy Berwick is the President of the NSW Aboriginal Education Consultation Group Inc. For 40 years, the NSW AECG has been the peak advisory body for all levels of education for the Aboriginal Peoples of New South Wales. It has local members spread out across 127 communities and its grassroots structure is key to its success.

Mr David Broun

David Broun is an educator with the CSIRO engaged in the development and delivery of ‘Science Pathways for Indigenous Communities’ facilitating selected Western Desert schools and communities to develop two-way science education curriculum at the intersection of traditional knowledge and Western Science.

David Broun

Ms Lyn Brown

Lyn Brown is Wailwan and Worimi who grew up in Dharawal Country, Campbelltown. Lyn has worked at the forefront of support for young Aboriginal people for over 20 years and is currently leading the Burraga Foundation’s Storylines Initiative..

Lyn Brown

Mr Jack Buckskin

Jack Kanya Kudnuitya Buckskin is a  Kaurna and Narungga man who has dedicated his life to learning and passing on his knowledge and language of the Adelaide Plains to future generations of Kaurna people. Jack currently works with Tauondi Aboriginal College as an Aboriginal Cultural Service Mentor, and has helped revitalise the Kaurna language.

Jack Buckskin

Professor Peter Buckskin

[NATSIEC 2018 Chair] Professor Peter Buckskin PSM FACE is a Narungga man from the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia,  and Chairperson of the South Australian Aboriginal Education and Training Consultative Council (SAAETCC). As an educator and senior leader for more than 35 years, Peter’s passion has been the pursuit of educational excellence for Aboriginal students.

Ms Anna Cain

Anna Cain is Volunteer Outreach Lead with Engineers Without Borders. Inspired by EWB’s philosophy of strength-based partnerships focused on two-way knowledge sharing and capacity building, Anna has contributed to a range of EWB initiatives.

Anna Cain

Ms Catherine Cavouras

Catherine Cavouras is Director of Education and Care at Taikurrendi Children and Family Centre. Children and Family Centres are a place for children to grow and learn and for parents to find out more about early learning, parenting, child health and safety. Taikurrendi focuses on supporting Aboriginal families with young children to provide the best possible start in life.

Catherine Cavouras

Ms Shona Chapman

Shona Chapman, a Ngiyampaa-Wiradjuri woman is Manager at the West Belconnen Child and Family Centre. Education and health is woven throughout her career: she was a school teacher, and worked in community engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents, students and children.

Shona Chapman

Dr John Davis

John Davis is a Murri Ambae man, whose core work roles have focused on educational excellence, woven within a team environment. John has worked as a lead educator in schools including positions as Principal, Head of Department, and Subject Area Coordinator for Indigenous Education. He is currently the Acting CEO of the Stronger Smarter Institute.

John Davis

Ms Sharon Davis

Sharon Davis is a Bardi Gija woman from Western Australia. Sharon brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her role as Team Leader of the Aboriginal Education Team at Catholic Education Western Australia.

Sharon Davis

Mr Kyran Dixon

Kyran Dixon, member of the Kaurna and Narungga clans, isn’t just a role model for Indigenous youth, he’s a survivor through and through, having persevered through two battles with cancer. In 2018, Kyran was awarded the South Australian Youth of the Year, and is currently Consultant, Indigenous Sector Practice with Ernst and Young.

Kyran Dixon

Dr Graeme Gower

Dr Graeme Gower, a descendant of the Yawuru people of Broome, Western Australia is a Senior Lecturer and Senior Research Fellow at Edith Cowan University. Graeme, a teacher and researcher, is particularly interested in Indigenous cultural competency and Indigenous research methodologies.



Graeme Gower

Ms Michele Hall

Michele Hall PSM is a Gamilaraay woman with cultural connections to South Western Queensland and  North Western NSW. For the past 30 years, Michele has worked in a broad range of educational instruction, principalship, advisory, managerial and Senior Officer Leadership positions in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education. She is currently the Executive Director of Aboriginal Education and Communities, NSW Department of Education.


Michele Hall

Mr Aaron Hughes

Aaron Hughes, Founder of Burraga Foundation has been an active advocate for how technology can play a role in supporting equality for all Australians through the delivery of online tools that improve offline relationships, community engagement and an individual’s confidence in their identity.



Aaron Hughes

Ms Tessa Keenan

Tessa Keenan joined Reconciliation Australia in 2015 as part of a team of early learning, primary and secondary teachers brought on board to design and develop Narragunnawali: Reconciliation in Schools and Early Learning. A qualified secondary teacher, Tessa has over a decade of experience in higher education, teaching and research.



Tessa Keenan

Mr Jesse King

Jesse King from the Waanyi-Gangalidda Nations is a former teacher who is now CSIRO’s Senior Coordinator in the Inquiry for Indigenous Science students program, a part of CSIRO’s Indigenous STEM project. In his current role, he develops and delivers Professional Development and Resources for Indigenous context hands-on Science Inquiry for schools linked to the curriculum.



Jesse King

Mr Kevin Kropinyeri

[NATSIEC 2018 Dinner MC] Australia’s premier Aboriginal comedy star, Kevin Kropinyeri is a one-man whirlwind that will have you holding your sides laughing, as he shares tales of growing up, marriage and the particular, absurd challenges of life as an Aboriginal Australian family man.




Kevin Kropinyeri

Ms Liz Kupsch

Liz Kupsch is a Waanyi-Ganagalidda and Wankamadla woman. She comes to the Stronger Smarter Institute with over 25 years of experience working in education. She has been a primary school teacher for 19 years gaining lots of hands-on experience working predominantly in schools with low socio-economic status and significant populations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.




Liz Kupsch

Professor Marcia Langton

Professor Marcia Langton AM is an anthropologist and geographer, and since 2000 has held the Foundation Chair of Australian Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne.  Professor Langton has been recently engaged to strengthen Australian school student’s knowledge about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander civilisations across Australia.

Dr Chris Matthews

Dr Matthews, a Noonuccal man, is passionate about connecting culture and mathematics, having developed a method of teaching maths to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students through dance and story. As Chair of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mathematics Alliance and a lecturer at Griffith University, Chris also organises camps and conferences designed to promote Indigenous participation in STEM.


Dr Chris Matthews

Ms Hayley McQuire

Hayley McQuire is a Darumbal South Sea Islander woman from Central Queensland with commitment to authentic youth engagement, including the establishment of the National Indigenous Youth Education Coalition. She has held a variety of roles working across the Indigenous Affairs landscape including leadership development, community media, health and vocational training.

Ms Lillian Miller

Lillian Miller is an Education Officer at the Catholic Education Service, Diocese of Cairns. Lillian has developed mathematical activities which focus on Aboriginal languages, and has been a member of ACARA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Group.

Lillian Miller

Ms Janine Mohamed

Janine Mohamed is a Narrunga Kaurna woman from Point Pearce in South Australia, and is currently CEO of CATSINaM, the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives. She has over 20 years experience in nursing, management, health workforce, health policy, and project management in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health sector.

Ms Thelma Parker

Thelma Parker is a member of the Bularnu, Waluwarra and Wangkayujuru Native Title, Traditional Owners. Thelma has worked for Catholic Education for the past 25 years and held various leadership positions. Thelma’s role is Indigenous Advisor for EREA – Youth+ where the focus of her work is to improve educational opportunities for Indigenous students and their communities.

Thelma Parker

Mr Luke Pearson

Luke Pearson is a Gamilaroi man, who founded @IndigenousX in 2012. Luke’s passion for IndigenousX stems from his belief in the need to improve Indigenous media representation in Australia and to have a platform for individuals to tell their own stories in their own words.

Dr Kaye Price

Dr Kaye Price’s career has been as a teacher, policy maker, manager, consultant, author and researcher on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education issues.

Kaye Price

Mr David Rathman

[NATSIEC 2018 MC] David Rathman AM PSM was born in Port Augusta, South Australia and now works as a consultant in Aboriginal affairs and education, community development and management, cultural studies, and communication. As an education administrator David worked for Aboriginal students and students who are on the margins of mainstream being an advocate and changing system thinking and practice.

David Rathman

Ms Rebecca Richards

Rebecca Richards is a member of the Adnyamathanha and Barngarla peoples of South Australia’s Flinders Ranges, and is the first Aboriginal person to be awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University. Along with her remarkable academic and professional achievements is her passionate engagement with Indigenous health, human rights and education issues.

Dr Rebecca Richards

Professor Mark Rose

Mark Rose is traditionally linked to the Gunditjmara Nation of Western Victoria. With a thirty-year career in education he has contributed to a broad range of educational settings within the State, nationally and internationally. Mark is currently Professor of Management at RMIT University and Chair of the ACARA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Group.

Mark Rose

Mr Joe Sambono

Joe Sambono is Curriculum Specialist with the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) with expertise in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures in the Science Curriculum.

Joe Sambono

Professor James Smith

James Smith is an Adjunct Professorial Research Fellow with the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education. In 2017, he was a 2017 NCSEHE Equity Fellow and investigated ways of strengthening evaluation in Indigenous higher education contexts in Australia.

James Smith

Mr Mike Teece

Mike Teece is Policy Director, Academic at Universities Australia (UA). UA The Universities Australia’s Indigenous Strategy 2017-2020 sets ambitious targets to lift the university enrolment and completion rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

Mike Teece

Mr Karl ‘Winda’ Telfer

Karl Telfer is a Kaurna man from the Adelaide Plains region of South Australia. Born into a family of strong cultural heritage, who are actively involved in politics, and have always fought for social justice and human rights for Aboriginal people, Karl continues the legacy by integrating his culture with the arts.

Karl Teller

Professor Gary Thomas

Professor Gary Thomas is USC’s inaugural Dean, Indigenous Education and Engagement. Gary has worked at the University of Southern Queensland, the University of Melbourne and La Trobe University, the Queensland University of Technology and the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education. He has held academic, professional and senior executive roles.
Gary Thomas

Mr Bill Wilson

Bill Wilson is Senior Policy Officer at The Department for Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology.