Keynote Speakers

Opening Keynote Address — Monday 28 November

Professor George Siemens - University of South Australia, Director for Change and Complexity in Learning, UniSA Education Futures
George Siemens HS Port

George Siemens researches how human and artificial cognition intersect in knowledge processes. He co-leads the Center for Change and Complexity in Learning (C3L) at University of South Australia and is cross appointed as a Professor of Psychology at University of Texas, Arlington. He has delivered keynote addresses in more than 40 countries on the influence of technology and media on education, organisations, and society. His work has been profiled in provincial, national, and international newspapers (including NY Times), radio, and television. He has served as PI or Co-PI on grants funded by NSF, SSHRC (Canada), OLT (Australia), Intel, Boeing, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Soros Foundation.  He has received numerous awards, including honorary doctorates from Universidad de San Martín de Porres and Fraser Valley University for his pioneering work in learning, technology, and networks. He holds an honorary professorship with University of Edinburgh.

Dr. Siemens is a founding President of the Society for Learning Analytics Research ( He has advised government agencies Australia, European Union, Canada and United States, as well as numerous international universities, on digital learning and utilising learning analytics for assessing and evaluating productivity gains in the education sector and improving learner results. In 2008, he pioneered massive open online courses (sometimes referred to as MOOCs). His current projects, Global Research Alliance for AI in Learning and Education (GRAILE) and SenseAI focus on creating the most complete analysis of how AI is deployed in learning and knowledge settings and the organisations that enable and support this work.

Radford 2020 — Monday 28 December

Professor Patricia Thomson - University of Nottingham, Director of Centre for Research in Schools and Communities School of Education
Professor Pat Thomson HS

Dr Pat Thomson PSM has been Professor of Education at The University of Nottingham since 2002. She is also a Visiting Professor at Deakin University, the University of South Australia, University of the Free State, South Africa, and the University of Iceland. She is an elected fellow of the UK Academy of Social Science and the Royal Society of Arts. She was formerly a school principal of disadvantaged schools in Adelaide and is a life member of the South Australian Secondary Principals Association. Pat’s research focuses on three interconnected areas: leading for socially just school change; the arts in schools and communities, and doctoral education. Current research projects include Leading in Lockdown, focusing on the recruitment and retention of school leaders during and after the pandemic ( and Researching Arts in Primary Schools ( looking at arts rich schools and initial primary teacher education. Her most recent books are School Scandals: Blowing the whistle on the corruption of our education system (2020, Policy Press) and Why garden in schools? (2021, Routledge). Cultural citizenship. Arts education for life and Refining your academic writing. Strategies for reading, revising and rewriting will both be published by Routledge in late 2022. She blogs as patter ( and tweets as @ThomsonPat.

Indigenous Keynote Address — Tuesday 29 December

Professor Michelle Trudgett - Western Sydney University, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Leadership DVC's Unit Indigenous Leadership
Michelle Trudgett HS Port

Professor Michelle Trudgett is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Leadership at Western Sydney University. Prior to this role she held the position Pro Vice-Chancellor Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education, Strategy and Consultation at Western Sydney University.  She is an eminent higher education leader who has also held senior positions at the University of Technology Sydney and Macquarie University.  Professor Trudgett’s significant contributions to the sector have been recognised through several awards including the highly prestigious National NAIDOC Scholar of the Year Award, the Neville Bonner Award for Teaching Excellence, and the University of New England Distinguished Alumni Award. 

Professor Trudgett currently serves as the inaugural Chair of the New South Wales Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Committee and Deputy Chair of the inaugural Universities Australia Pro/Deputy Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Committee.  She has been a Chief Investigator (CI) on four Australian Research Council grants, three as the lead CI, which equate to almost $4.2 million in funding. She has developed an international reputation as a leading Indigenous Australian scholar whose research provides considerable insight into Indigenous participation and leadership in higher education.

Professor Trudgett is a recognised strategic thinker who adopts a highly collegial approach to achieve positive outcomes for the higher education sector. She is particularly passionate about leading strategic initiatives that empower Indigenous people and communities.


Professor Susan Danby - Queensland University of Technology, Faculty of Creative Industries, Education & Social Justice School of Early Childhood & Inclusive Education
Susan Danby HS

Susan Danby is a Professor within the School of Early Childhood and Inclusive Education at Queensland University of Technology, and Director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child.

Susan’s experiences as early years educator and teacher in Australia and the USA in government and social service agencies provided strong foundations for understanding and working with families, early childhood services and partners.

Susan leads a collective of national researchers from 6 Australian universities and partners across government, industry and community to enable the Centre’s vision –young children are healthy, connected and educated in a rapidly changing digital age.  Her cross-disciplinary research explores children’s everyday social and interactional practices with peers, teachers, family, helpline counsellors and medical clinicians.

Susan is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (2021), and was awarded an ARC Future Fellowship (2012-2017), and has been chief investigator of 6 ARC Discovery Projects. She was a member of the ARC College of Experts (2016-2017) and of the ARC Engagement Impact Panel (2018). In 2019, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Uppsala University (Sweden) for her international contribution to child studies, and studies of children and digital technologies. 

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