Keynote Speakers

Professor Graeme Aitken & Carolyn English

Topic: Where is the geography in the Social Sciences curriculum refresh?


Graeme Aitken is Emeritus Professor of Education at the University of Auckland.  He 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.  Graeme 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.  

Graeme is a currently member of Ohu Arataki – the oversight group working with the Ministry of Education on the refresh of the New Zealand Curriculum (Mātaiaho).  In this capacity he has contributed to the writing of the Aotearoa New Zealand Histories curriculum and to the Social Sciences Learning Area refresh.  He is also currently working with the Mathematics and Statistics and English Learning Area writing teams, and is co-chairing the Local Curriculum Focus Group.  

In 2019 Graeme was a recipient of a Lifetime Educational Achievement Award from the Minister of Education.


Carolyn English, is a chief advisor at the Ministry of Education. At the moment her role is leading the development of the refreshed NZC learning areas – so far she has supported the writing teams for Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories and social sciences and currently the English, and mathematics and statistics writing teams. Carolyn works closely with Ohu Arataki – the NZC refresh oversight group working with the Ministry.  Carolyn has a background of curriculum design and review in primary, secondary and tertiary education. She has been a science, biology and economics teacher, writer and national moderator of science achievement standards, Director of primary education at Wellington College of Education. She also led both Literacy Leadership in Secondary schools and Literacy Professional Development Project (in primary schools).

Professor Carol Mutch

Topic: How schools step up when crisis hits 


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.

Hon. Lianne Dalziel, Mayor of Christchurch


Lianne Dalziel is finishing her third and last term as Mayor of Christchurch after just over 30 years of public service. Lianne served for 23 years in the New Zealand Parliament, including as a Cabinet Minister in the fifth Labour Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Helen Clark.

Having represented an electorate that was hard hit by the 2010-2011 Canterbury Earthquake Sequence, Lianne has become a respected champion of resilience with a strong understanding of post-disaster challenges and opportunities.  

She believes that Christchurch’s experiences over the past decade have shown the capacity of communities to adapt to change and to co-create a new future when there is no going back to“normal”.   

Dr Eruera Tarena

Topic: How the past can shape a future free of racism


Dr Eruera TarenaNgāi Tahu (Ngāi Tūāhuriri), Ngāti Porou, Te Whānau-a-ApanuiEruera is Kaiwhakatere/Executive Director for Tokona te Raki: Māori Futures Makers, an indigenous social innovation lab to achieve equity in education, employment, and income for all Māori in the Ngāi Tahu takiwā, and beyond. 

Tokona look to the wisdom of our tūpuna to create new iwi-led approaches to future making.  We are unweaving broken systems and imagining new horizons, driving systemic change, and empowering our rangatahi to enable long-term transformation.

We are creating a world where all Māori are inspired by their futures, confident in their culture, prosperous in their careers, and succeeding as Māori.

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.

Plenary Speakers

Ruthie Atherton, Flora Tafili, and Chante Botica 

Topic: Kia whakatōmuri te haere whakamua: ‘I walk backwards into the future with my eyes fixed on my past’


Ruthie and Flora are young, passionate and strong wāhine toa. In May 2022, they were the Canterbury Regional Winners for Programming Māori & Pasifika Potential (PMP), a digital technology accelerator for rangatahi (youth) Māori & Pacifica across Aotearoa. Their digital solution RAFT, tackled a lack of perspectives regarding NZ history that supported Māori and Pacific cultures.

Graeme Eastwood & Nadene Bouwer

Topic: Using Kāhui Ako as a vehicle for ANZHC


Kia ora koutou, I work as an Across Kāhui Ako Leader for the Waimairi-iri Kāhui Ako and as a Kaiarataki (Senior Leader) at Pītau-Allenvale Specialist School. I trained as a Social Science/History teacher 20 years ago and, while I have been working in Specialist Education for the past 17 years, I have maintained a passion for the learning and teaching of history.

As a part of our AKAL team, I am excited to support the visioning and implementation of an across-Kāhui Ako strategy for the of ANZHC. A strategy that is built around: Strengthening Relationships with Mana Whenua, Integrating Local Stories in Authenitc Ways and Co-Constructing a Shared Pathway for ANZHC across our Kāhui Ako.


Kaiako at Te Kura o Waimairi-iri Burnside High School, Social Scientist, and Across School lead for the Waimairi-iri Kāhui Ako. 

As a part of our AKAL team, I am excited to support the visioning and implementation of an across-Kāhui Ako strategy for the of ANZHC. A strategy that is built around: Strengthening relationships with Mana Whenua, integrating local pūrakau and stories in authenitc ways, ensuring rangatahi have a strong sense of place, and co-constructing shared and coherent pathways for ANZHC across our Kāhui Ako.


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