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Expert Viewpoints - Tapping into Wisdom

Panel 1- Expert Viewpoints

Thursday 1st August, 10:05am | Grand Ballroom 

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Panel Chair:
Dr Pasi Sahlberg


Emeritus Professor Alan Reid

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Professor Stewart Riddle

Panellist Bios

Panel Chair: Dr Pasi Sahlberg

Professor in Educational Leadership

Pasi Sahlberg is Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Melbourne, Australia. His previous work in Finland includes classroom teacher in Helsinki, teacher education in the University of Helsinki, and leading curriculum reforms and development at Finland’s National Agency of Education. He has worked as education specialist at the World Bank and the European Commission, and as visiting professor at Harvard University. He works with teachers, schools, education systems, and governments around the world to transform teaching and rethink curricula and learning. In 2023 he was a member of the Commonwealth Government’s expert panel to find ways to a better and fairer education systems in Australia. Pasi is a recipient of the 2012 Education Award in Finland, the 2014 Robert Owen Award in Scotland, and the 2021 Hedley Beare Award in Australia. Pasi is author of over 20 books, including “In Teachers We Trust: The Finnish Way to world class schools” in 2021. He lives with his family in South Melbourne.

Emeritus Professor Alan Reid

Emeritus Professor of Education, University of South Australia

Alan Reid is Professor Emeritus of Education at the University of South Australia. He has been a leading figure in some significant educational policy developments at the state and national levels; and his research and writing in education focuses on curriculum, education policy, and education and democracy. His most recent book Changing Australian Education: How policy is taking us backwards and what can be done about it was published by Allen and Unwin and argues for new directions in Australian education. In the past two years he has been working on a project which traces the development of democracy in South Australia. Alan is currently a Board member of the History Trust of South Australia, and a member of the Education Innovation Council of the South Australian Department for Education.

Professor Stewart Riddle 

Professor (Curriculum and Pedagogy), School of Education, University of Southern Queensland

Stewart Riddle is a Professor (Curriculum and Pedagogy) in the School of Education at the University of Southern Queensland. His research examines the democratisation of schooling systems, increasing access and equity in education and how schooling can respond to critical social issues in complex contemporary times. He has published extensively on educational disadvantage and the connections between equity and access to quality educational outcomes for young Australians. Stewart’s most-recent book is Schooling for Democracy in a Time of Global Crisis: Towards a More Caring, Inclusive and Sustainable Future (Routledge, 2022). Prior to joining academia, Stewart taught high school English in Queensland schools for eight years.

Sharon Foster

Executive Director, Curriculum at the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). 

Sharon’s career has been dedicated to education, working in many different roles but always with a focus on improving outcomes for all young people. She started as a secondary school teacher and progressed to the principal class. Sharon moved from the school setting into policy and program leadership roles in government and not for profit organisations. A passion for both curriculum and assessment has seen Sharon involved in many innovative projects. She has never been afraid to take on highly challenging, sensitive and political projects and roles, if this supports teachers and schools to deliver the highest quality education to their students.  

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Sharon Foster

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