Speakers

Matthew Porter

Deputy Head of Senior School

Central Coast Grammar School

Matt Porter has taught Physical Education and Psychology for 20 years across Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada. He possess a Bachelor of Applied Science in Human Movement and Bachelor of Teaching  from Deaking University and a Masters if School Leadership from Monash University. He recently commenced a new role as Deputy Head of Senior College at Central Coast Grammar where he is responsible for the holistic academic care of students in Years 10-12. Prior to this he designed and implemented a purpose built Pastoral Care Program as the Director of Student Wellbeing at Waverley College in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

Originally from Melbourne, Matt worked as the Deputy Head - Teaching and Learning at Worawa Aboriginal College an all girls boarding school located in the picturesque Yarra Valley an hour and a half east of Melbourne. For 10 years he worked as the Head of Senior School, Acting Assistant Principal, Wellbeing Programs Coordinator and Year Level Coordinator at Ringwood Secondary College. 

Karen Yager

Deputy Head of Student and Teacher Excellence

Knox Grammar School

Karen Yager is the Deputy Head of Student and Teacher Excellence K-12 at Knox Grammar after a diverse career with NSW DET schools. A key part of Karen’s role is leading the development of professional learning for teachers that focuses not only on enriching pedagogical knowledge but on fostering teacher well-being.

Karen is a Premier’s Literary Scholarship winner and in 2013 the Singapore Ministry of Education awarded Karen their first ever International Teaching Fellowship. In 2014 Karen was awarded the prestigious APTA (Australian Professional Teachers' Association) for Meritorious Contribution to the Profession Award and in 2015 the NSW State Library Fellowship.

Mark Smith

Principal

Lomandra School

Mark is Principal of Lomandra School, a NSW Department of Education Behaviour School supporting students with severe challenging behaviours and mental health issues. In this role for over nine years, he has placed great emphasis on team, on positive risk-taking, on shifting students’ imaginations and on advocating for students whose lives have been severely impacted upon by their contexts.

Formerly, Mark has held executive roles in Student Services, led a Wilderness Program for students with challenging behaviours and, for nine years, was a classroom teacher in English, Drama and Special Education in NSW and England.

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