Announcing the 2020 Thinking & Learning Conference

by | Aug 1, 2019

Australasia’s leading professional learning event for educators returns in 2020 with FOUR DAYS of the biggest names in education from around Australia and the world.


For many educators, the Thinking & Learning Conference is synonymous with the most innovative professional learning in Australia. For 16 years, Hawker Brownlow Education has brought prominent and forward-thinking professional learning practitioners and ideas to Australian shores, often for the first time.

The 17th Annual Thinking & Learning Conference – to be held at Caulfield Racecourse from 22–25 May 2020 – continues this proud legacy. Hawker Brownlow Education is assembling some of the biggest names in education from around Australia and the world in one location for four days of exceptional professional learning. Popular 2019 presenters such as Adrienne Gear and Glen Pearsall will be returning with new insights, while others – including Gail Boushey and Andrew Fuller – will be making their conference debut.

Hawker Brownlow Education’s ongoing goal is simple: to bring the best in educational learning to Australasia. The 2020 Thinking & Learning Conference will see a greater breadth and depth of expertise and subject matter than any other event for teachers in the Southern Hemisphere.

Each day of the four-day conference will feature a variety of individual sessions, as well as in-depth, whole-day institutes from selected presenters, allowing educators to build a conference schedule that suits their own professional learning needs.

From data to differentiation, PLCs to well-being, the 2020 Thinking & Learning Conference brings educators the most relevant and inspiring content and presenters to help all teachers achieve the absolute best for themselves and their students.

Registrations now open. Register at

Thinking & Learning Conference Topic Areas

  • Literacy
  • Assessment
  • Classroom Management
  • Professional Learning Communities
  • Student Well-Being
  • Teacher Well-Being
  • Neurodevelopmental differentiation
  • Raising and Educating Boys and Girls
  • School Culture and Transformation
  • STEM and STEAM
  • Data Use in Schools
  • Sustainability Education
  • …and more!

Conference Speakers

Gail Boushey (USA)

Co-author of The CAFE Book and co-founder of The Daily 5

Gail is an educator, author, speaker and entrepreneur. She is well-known in Australian schools for her Daily 5 Framework and CAFE literacy program. More than 20 years of classroom experience teaching preschool to Year 6, special education and serving as an instructional coach, along with her time consulting in classrooms worldwide, provide a rich context on which she bases her teaching philosophy.

Topic Areas

The Daily 5
The Literacy CAFE Program

Glen Pearsall (AU)

Author of Fast and Effective Assessment

Glen works throughout Australia and the world as an educational consultant, specialising in feedback and assessment, workload reduction and instructional practice. He is the author of the bestselling And Gladly Teach, Classroom Dynamics, The Literature Toolbox and Fast and Effective Assessment. His consulting work is informed by his experience as a Leading Teacher at Eltham High School and as a board member of the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority.

Topic Areas

Classroom Dynamics

Gavin Grift (AU)

Training associate and co-author of Learning By Doing, Teachers as Architects of Learning

Gavin led the implementation of the PLC at Work® process for Australian schools, and his knowledge and style have made him an in-demand presenter of keynotes, seminars and professional learning days. Gavin’s expertise in professional learning communities, teacher leadership, Cognitive Coaching and Teachers as Architects of Learning leaves him well placed to help schools grapple with the ongoing challenges associated with school improvement.

Topic Areas

PLC at Work®
Teachers as Architects of Learning

Douglas Reeves (USA)

Author of From Leading to Succeeding and Leading Change in Your School

Douglas Reeves, PhD, is author of 30 books and hundreds of articles on leadership and organisational effectiveness. He has twice been named to the Harvard University Distinguished Authors Series and was named the Brock International Laureate for his contributions to education. For his international work, Dr Reeves was named the William Walker Scholar by the Australian Council of Educational Leaders (ACEL).

Topic Areas


Fiona Forman (IRE)

Co-author of Weaving Well-Being

Fiona is a primary school teacher with 28 years’ experience in the classroom at all levels, including resource and learning support. Fiona has always had a keen interest in children’s well-being and mental health, which led her to begin her studies towards an MSc in Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) at the University of East London. The Weaving Well-Being classroom program she developed with co-author Mick Rock is currently used in 60% of schools in Ireland and has recently been launched in Australian schools.

Topic Areas

Student well-being

Andrew Fuller (AU)

Clinical psychologist and author

Andrew has recently been described as an “interesting mixture of Billy Connolly, Tim Winton and Frasier Crane” and as someone who “puts the heart back into psychology”. As a clinical psychologist, Andrew works with many schools and communities in Australia and internationally, specialising in the well-being of young people and families. Andrew’s research on neurodevelopmental differentiation is helping teachers make small changes in instructional habits with substantial improvements in student learning. At the 2020 Thinking & Learning Conference, he will be presenting on his latest work about differentiating learning strengths in the classroom.

Topic Areas

Neurological Differentiation

Anthony Muhammad (USA)

School culture expert and author of Time for Change

Anthony Muhammad, PhD, is a much sought-after consultant. A practitioner for nearly 20 years, he has served as a middle school teacher, assistant principal and principal, and as a high school principal. His expertise and knowledge in the transformation of school culture explores the root causes of staff resistance to change.

Topic Areas

School culture
School change and transformation

Adrienne Gear (CAN)

Literacy advocate and author of Reading Power

Back in 2020 by popular demand, Adrienne Gear will be presenting at all four days of the event, with a program suited to first time attendees as well as those who attended her sessions in 2019. Adrienne received her degrees from the University of British Columbia and spent three years teaching English in Japan. She was a classroom teacher for sixteen years and a teacher–librarian for three years. She is currently a literacy mentor at the Vancouver School Board and a workshop presenter with a passion for literacy, literature and learning.

Topic Areas


Michael Nagel (AU)

Author and child development expert

Dr Michael Nagel is an Associate Professor at the University of the Sunshine Coast and is regarded as one of Australia’s foremost experts in child development. He specialises in the areas of cognition and learning; human development and early learning; neurological development in children and adolescent psychology. With decades of experience as teacher and behavioural specialist on multiple continents, Dr Nagel is able to take the theory and show how to apply it in a practical environment.

Topic Areas

Raising and Educating Boys
Raising and Educating Girls

Tina Boogren (USA)

Author and presenter

Tina H. Boogren, PhD, is a former classroom teacher, English department chair, teacher mentor, instructional coach, professional developer, athletic coach and building-level leader. She was a 2007 finalist for Colorado Teacher of the Year and received the Douglas County School District Outstanding Teacher Award eight years in a row, from 2002 to 2009. She is the author or co-author of a number of books and articles including 180 Days of Self-Care for Busy Educators (to be published in September 2019), Motivating and Inspiring Students, The Beginning Teacher’s Field Guide, Take Time for You and Becoming a Reflective Teacher with Robert J. Marzano.

Topic Areas

Teacher Well-Being

Janelle Wills (AU)

Associate Director of Marzano Research Australia and Author

Dr Janelle Wills is the associate director of Marzano Research in Australia and New Zealand. Dr Wills is Hawker Brownlow’s lead training associate for High Reliability Schools, The New Art and Science of Teaching and other Marzano Research topics in Australia and New Zealand. She has authored and co-authored numerous articles and books including the Australian version of the Handbook for High Reliability Schools, Collaborative Teams That Transform Schools and Transformative Collaboration: Five Commitments for Leading a PLC.

Topic Areas

Thinking protocols

Colin Sloper (AU)

Professional Learning Communities expert and author

Colin has been a teacher, assistant principal and principal in government schools for the past 36 years. His skills and experience have mnade him highly sought-after by educators across all sectors. Colin works with schools, leaders and educators to transform their network or school into a high-performing professional learning community.

Topic Areas

Professional Learning Communities

Selena Fisk (AU)

School data-use expert and author

Selena Fisk, EdD, has 15 years teaching experience in public and private schools in Queensland and England. She earned her Doctor of Education degree from the Queensland University of Technology in 2017 and has held a range of leadership roles in her career. In 2017, Selena founded her data consultancy practice, Aasha for Schools, to help teachers and school leaders see the inherent good that data can bring, as well as the benefits of using data to develop thriving learning communities.

Topic Areas

Using data in schools

Dave Faulkner & Aaron Tait (AU)

Founders of Education Changemakers and authors

Dave and Aaron are founders of Educational Changemakers, a global training organisation focused on helping F–12 teachers and school leaders transform their teaching and improve learning. Their passion is creating and inspiring innovative changemakers in education who can work together to improve student outcomes.

Topic Areas

School transformation and innovation

Adrian Bertolini (AU)

STEM and STEAM education expert

Dr Adrian Bertolini is the founder and Director of Learning for Intuyu Consulting, an educational consultancy that works with teachers and schools to unleash learning. A strong background in both the practical application and theoretical underpinning of STEM and coding, Adrian is an engaging, passionate and in-demand speaker, facilitator and coach.

Topic Areas

STEM and STEAM education

Nansi Kunze (AU)

Sustainability education expert and author

Over the last two decades, Nansi has taught students aged 5 to 85 everything from how to mummify each other in foil to the advanced use of Australian slang. She is the author of several novels for teenagers, including Mishaps, Dangerously Placed and Kill the Music, and has twice won the FAW Mary Grant Bruce Award for children’s literature. A lifelong explorer and fan of our planet, she’s been involved with LandCare, school-based upcycling projects and the promotion of sustainable food and cooking.

Topic Areas

Sustainability education

The Hawker Brownlow Education 2020 Thinking & Learning Conference takes place from 22–25 May 2020 at Caulfield Racecourse, Melbourne. Registrations for are now open — visit to secure your place now with a one, two, three or complete four-day registration.  



Telephone: +61 3 8558 2444

Richard McKenzie Richard McKenzie is the Marketing Manager at Hawker Brownlow Education. Aside from helping to provide the best in educational resources, professional learning and events, Richard enjoys good stationery and taking nice photos. Read more articles by Richard McKenzie

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