Plenary Speakers

Dr Hana O’Regan

Topic: Culturally responsive practice 
Presentation date: Monday 4 October - Morning


Dr Hana O’Regan has worked in the areas of language revitalisation, identity and cultural development, te reo Māori and education for over 25 years. Hana is a published author and composer and is recognised internationally for her work in indigenous language acquisition and revitalisation. A graduate of Te Panekiretanga – Institute of Excellence in Te Reo Māori, Hana is widely respected for her Māori language contribution, skills and advocacy. Hana’s passion for education and community, history and equity has resulted in a career committed to working with organisations, businesses and individuals to support and enhance positive outcomes for learners and whānau. 

In 2006 Hana took up the role of General Manager, Oraka for Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu where she managed the portfolios of Education, Tertiary Education and Employment Transition, Health and Wellbeing, Tribal Economies, Iwi Capability and the Whai Rawa Iwi Superannuation scheme. Prior to working at Ngāi Tahu Hana held two director positions on the senior executive at ARA Institute of Canterbury as the Kaiārahi -Director Māori and Pasifika, and the Director for the Student Services Division which oversaw the areas of Student Academic Support, Student Transitions, our Student Wellbeing portfolio, the Centre for Māori and Pasifika Achievement and the Youth Transitions stream. Hana has held many positions on national boards, review panels and committees across the areas of education, Māori development, national identity, Treaty rights and policies and health.

Professor Graeme Aitken 

Topic: The Thinking Behind the Social Sciences curriculum refresh
Presentation date: Monday 4 October - Afternoon


Graeme Aitken taught secondary school geography, history and social studies at Waitakere College from 1977-1990.  He established the inaugural secondary teacher education programme at the University of Auckland, and between 2008 and 2017 was Dean of Education and Social Work.  He has been involved in curriculum development in social studies/social sciences since 1989 and wrote his doctoral thesis on the history of the design of the New Zealand social studies curriculum.  He was a co-author of the Social Sciences Best Evidence Synthesis. 

In 2019 he was a recipient of a Lifetime Educational Achievement Award from the Minister of Education. He is currently working on contract to the Ministry of Education as a writer on the Aotearoa New Zealand Histories curriculum and the Social Sciences Refresh. 

Sir Peter Gluckman 

Topic: Looking to the future, a post COVID world
Presentation date: Tuesday 5 October - Morning


Professor Sir Peter Gluckman ONZ KNZM FRSNZ FRS trained as a paediatrician and biomedical scientist and holds a Distinguished University Professorship at the Liggins Institute of the University of Auckland. He also holds honorary chairs in University College London, University of Southampton and National University of Singapore (where he acts as chief science advisor to the Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences). He has published over 700 scientific papers in perinatal and developmental physiology, neuroscience and endocrinology, evolutionary biology and medicine. He has authored both technical and popular science books. He chaired the WHO Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity (2014-2017).

Sir Peter is chair of the International Network of Government Science Advice (INGSA) and president-elect of the International Science Council (ISC). From 2009-2018 he was first Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of New Zealand. He was also Science Envoy for the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and coordinated the secretariat of the Small Advanced Economies Initiative. He has written and spoken extensively on science-policy and science-diplomacy and science-society interactions.

He has received the highest scientific and civilian honours in New Zealand and numerous international scientific awards. In 2016 he received the AAAS award in Science Diplomacy. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of London and the Royal Society of New Zealand, a member of the National Academy of Medicine (USA) and a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (UK).

Dr Carol Mutch

Topic: Tales from the trenches: How schools step up when the unexpected happens 
Presentation date: Wednesday 6 October - Morning

Carol Mutch is a professor of Critical Studies in Education in the Faculty of Education and Social Work. She is also the Education Commissioner for UNESCO New Zealand. Dr Mutch came to The University of Auckland following many years as a primary teacher, teacher educator and policy advisor. During her career, Dr Mutch has lived and worked overseas as a teacher in Canada and the UK, a visiting professor in Japan (Nagoya & Waseda) and the UK (LSE), and taught at the National University of Samoa. Her teaching and research interests are in research methods, education policy, curriculum development and social education. 

She has published in scholarly books and journals on qualitative and mixed methods research, social studies and citizenship education, education history and policy, curriculum and evaluation theory, and the peer review process. Most recently, following the Canterbury earthquakes, she has focused on the role of schools in disaster response and recovery. Her disaster-related research has taken her to Australia, Japan, Samoa, Vanuatu, Nepal and China.

Dr Mutch has written Doing Education Research (NZCER, 2005; 2013), which is one of the publisher’s bestselling books and Optimising your academic career: Advice for early career scholars (NZCER, 2017) which won the CLNZ tertiary book award in 2018. She has edited or co-edited, Talanoa Fogafala: Hear our voices [a poetry collection] (Te Whakatere, 2019), Understanding enduring ideas in education (NZCER, 2017),  Navigating the Doctoral Journey (Cambridge Scholars, 2014) and Challenging the notion of “other” (NZCER, 2006). Dr Mutch sits on numerous international editorial boards, as well international and national association executive boards, advisory committees and reference groups. Awards and citations recognising her work have come from the American Educational Research Association’s Critical Studies in Curriculum group (Early Career Award), Griffith University (for Academic Excellence), the Christchurch College of Education (Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching) and the Peter Brice Award for Intercultural Understanding (from the Pacific Circle Consortium), the McKenzie Award for lifetime achievement in educational research (New Zealand Association for Research in Education[NZARE]) and she is an Honorary Life Member of the Pacific Circle Consortium and NZARE.

Dinner Speaker

Peter Boshier


Peter Boshier is Chief Ombudsman for New Zealand. He was appointed in December 2015, following a distinguished career as a Judge, and in May 2020 was reappointed for a second five-year term. As Chief Ombudsman, Peter’s focus has been on a faster and more effective resolution of Official Information Act and other complaints, working with government agencies to improve their practices, and strengthening his team’s investigation and monitoring of prisons and public mental health facilities.


Principal Sponsor


Major Sponsor


Entry Level Sponsors


Conference Organisers

Conferences & Events Ltd
Conference Manager: Ali Howard
 +64  4 384 1511

This event is organised by Conferences & Events Ltd, Wellington, Auckland, Nelson & Nationwide.  We are a New Zealand business.