Sydney Catholic Schools
Architects of Change Defining Educational Excellence. 8 November, Sydney. Register now.
Architects of Change Defining Educational Excellence. 8 November, Sydney. Register now.

Speakers and Panellists

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Join Sydney Catholic Schools for an energising day of presentations on groundbreaking initiatives in education, inspiring performances, and insightful panel discussions. Find out more about our speakers and panellists below.

Leigh Sales

PRESENTED BY:
Leigh Sales AM

Leigh Sales AM is one of Australia’s most recognised and respected journalists. For almost twelve years, she anchored the ABC’s flagship evening current affairs program, 7.30, as well as being the face of major news coverage for the network, including federal elections and budget nights. She has been a foreign correspondent based in Washington DC, covered various rounds including national security and politics, and worked for TV, radio, print and digital. She is now the presenter of the ABC’s beloved Australian Story program.

She is the author of four books: Detainee 002: The Case of David Hicks (2007), On Doubt (2009), Well Hello (2021) and the national bestseller Any Ordinary Day (2018).

She co-hosts a wildly popular podcast called Chat 10, Looks 3 with her friend Annabel Crabb. It attracts hundreds of thousands of downloads each month, performs sell-out live shows around Australia and covers subjects ranging from arts and culture to friendship and grief.

Leigh Sales has been recognised with many honours and awards, including three Walkley awards for journalism and an Order of Australia for her public service. She has also been awarded an honorary doctorate from Edith Cowan University.

She has two sons and studies the cello in her spare time.

The Hon Chris Minns

KEYNOTE SPEAKER:
The Hon Chris Minns, MP

Chris Minns is the 47th Premier of New South Wales and the Member for Kogarah.

Chris was born and raised in the St George area and is a Sydney Catholic Schools alumni, having attended Marist College Kogarah. He has worked in politics, the charity sector and briefly as a retained firefighter in NSW while completing his studies.

Chris was elected as the Member for Kogarah in 2015 and became leader of the NSW Labor Party in June 2021, successfully leading the party to Government at the 2023 NSW Election.

Chris holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New England and a Master of Public Policy from Princeton University, where he was awarded a full scholarship.

He is married to Anna, a businesswoman and lawyer and together they have three sons, Joe, Nick, and George.

Dr Jordan Nguyen

KEYNOTE SPEAKER:
Dr Jordan Nguyen

Dr Jordan Nguyen is a leading Australian engineer, inventor and innovator, committed to improving as many lives as possible, and becoming a driving force behind both human and technological evolution as we move into the future.

An internationally renowned engineer for humanity, Jordan designs life-changing technologies to transform the lives of people with disabilities and the elderly through his role as founder of Psykinetic, a social business committed to bringing positive, sustainable and life-altering change. He also shares his adventures through documentaries across the world. Inspired by human endeavour, Jordan has big ambitions to see our world step consciously and creatively into a better future.

Jordan is Founder and CEO of Psykinetic, a social business creating futuristic, inclusive and empowering technologies to improve independence and quality of life for disability, aged care and beyond. Dr Jordan and his team have successfully created a mind-controlled wheelchair, numerous Virtual and Augmented reality applications, inclusive gaming, an instrument that enabled a friend with cerebral palsy to perform live music with her eye movements and blinks, and devices that make it possible to control household appliances or even drive cars using only the tiny electrical signals created from eye movements.

Author of the book ‘A Human’s Guide to the Future’, Jordan is also an award-winning documentary maker and presenter. In 2016 he collaborated with the Australian-based production company, The Feds, and the ABC Catalyst to create and present his first TV documentary Becoming Superhuman, which went on to
win many prestigious awards both locally and internationally. His work is regularly featured in the media. He has since gone on to present a second ABC Catalyst documentary Meet The Avatars exploring the impacts of Virtual Reality, including creating virtual interactive avatars to preserve memories of loved
ones. He has also presented numerous documentaries with Discovery Channel and National Geographic “including Frontiers of Science, Smart China Start-up Revolutions, Vietnam: Connecting East Africa, and Tibet: Living On The Roof Of The World. He recently founded his own media company and aims to
continue creating world-changing content on the intersection between technology and humanity.

Jordan is a passionate ambassador for STEAM education, adaptable mindsets and big-picture thinking, and holds a degree in Electrical Engineering, First-Class Honours, Diploma in Engineering Practice, and a PhD in Biomedical Engineering (Chancellors List) from the University of Technology Sydney. He has taught university engineering masters students and overseen PhDs in Artificial Intelligence design and Biomedical instrumentation and has supervised many more research students. He believes our young generations are the change-makers of tomorrow and has the potential to create solutions to the world’s greatest challenges.

In November 2022, the Dr Jordan Nguyen Innovation Centre at Baulkham Hills North Public School was officially opened – named by the school’s students. Jordan was a finalist for NSW in Australian of the Year in 2017, and a finalist in the AmCham (American Chamber of Commerce) awards for Artificial Intelligence. He was named in the six Harper’s BAZAAR Visionary Men of 2019, has made the list of Australia’s Most Innovative Engineers by Create Magazine, was named twice in Onalyticas Top 100 Global Influencers on Virtual Reality, travelled on a Think Inc tour with Steve Wozniak, won the Australian Computer Society’s (ACS) ̃ICT Professional of the Year Digital Disruptors Award, and has had the honour of being MC for An Evening With President Barack Obama on his last visit to Sydney.

Tony Farley

SPEAKER:
Tony Farley

Tony Farley brings a vast professional experience in education, policy, health and workplace relations to his role at the helm of Sydney’s 147-strong Catholic systemic school network.

Tony was appointed Executive Director of Sydney Catholic Schools in 2019.

During his tenure the system has experienced strong enrolment growth, outstanding learning results and worked across multiple channels to explore new and innovative methods of community engagement.

Sydney Catholic Schools’ values of empathy, excellence, collaboration, curiosity and truth are at the heart of all initiatives developed under Tony’s leadership.

His commitment to equity and excellence in education are visible in the ground-breaking Amadeus Music Education Program and a reimagining of Sydney Catholic Schools’ sports programs that emphasise diversity and inclusion. His commitment to the foundations of literacy and numeracy are evident in our system approach to excellence in teaching and learning.

Tony holds several post-graduate qualifications including an Executive Master of Public Administration from the University of NSW and University of Sydney. He is a graduate of the Vincent Fairfax Fellowship in Ethical Leadership.

Dr Jacqueline Frost

SPEAKER:
Dr Jacqueline Frost

Dr Jacqueline Frost is Chief of Staff at Sydney Catholic Schools and a strategic advisor for key initiatives across the education authority’s 147 Sydney metropolitan schools. She brings a wealth of expertise in governance, legal and education fields to the role.

As Chief of Staff, Jacqueline ensures executive mandates are executed efficiently, maintaining the efficiency and productivity of the organisation. Originally working in the system as an English and Legal Studies teacher, Jacqueline has previously held roles related to governance and policy and led the legal, child protection, WHS and staff wellbeing teams.

Jacqueline holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws (first class honours) from the University of Sydney, a Graduate Certificate in Religious Education and Graduate Diploma of Education (Secondary) from the Australian Catholic University and is a Graduate of the AICD Company Directors Course. Her PhD, from the University of Notre Dame, investigated the accountability of systemic Catholic principals with a particular focus on the interaction of secular and canon law and the role of policy as a mechanism of governance.

Jacqueline lives in Sydney with her husband and 10 year old daughter.

01-Kevin-Carraghert

SPEAKER:
Kevin Carragher

Kevin Carragher has a strong history of providing dynamic support to school leaders and expert advice on research, policy and practice.

As the Director of Education and Research at Sydney Catholic Schools, he is a strategic leader for the delivery of key initiatives and the vision, mission and values of Sydney Catholic Schools.

Kevin is a driver of change within a culture of achievement, fostering quality outcomes in the system.

Before joining Sydney Catholic Schools’ leadership team, Kevin supported 16 of the network’s secondary schools in Sydney’s south west in all areas of curriculum, teaching, learning and leadership

Kevin was Director of Learning and Teaching at St Patrick’s College Sutherland. He also spent 10 years at Bethany College Hurstville, where he served as Leader of Pedagogy, HSIE and Gifted Education Coordinator.

Kevin holds several qualifications, including a Master of Teaching from the University of Sydney and a Master of Educational Leadership (with Excellence) from the University of New South Wales.

Damien Kerr

SPEAKER:
Damien Kerr

As the Director of School Support for Sydney Catholic Schools, Damien Kerr is on a mission to reshape the landscape of education and sports management.

He has orchestrated a significant realignment of sports programs at Sydney Catholic Schools to ensure that every student within the system has access to enriching and secure sporting experiences.

His strategic insights and relentless efforts have revolutionised the integration of sports into education, fostering teamwork, discipline, and personal growth.

Damien’s journey is deeply rooted in his own experiences as both student and leader at Sydney Catholic Schools. A Marist Catholic College Penshurst and Marist College Kogarah alumni, he has worked across six diverse communities and understands firsthand the invaluable role sports play in holistic education. While Assistant Principal at Aquinas Catholic College in Menai, Damien championed an environment where students could excel both academically and athletically.

Damien’s influence extends beyond administrative roles – he has coached in seven sporting associations, directly impacting young athletes’ growth and development. He is also a committee member of his local Rugby Union and Cricket clubs, furthering his commitment to grassroots sports development.

Dr Janet Dutton

PANELLIST:
Dr Janet Dutton

Dr Janet Dutton is a passionate educator with extensive experience in initial teacher education, teacher professional learning, and as a head teacher of English in schools. 

Janet has developed curriculum and assessment in national and state organisations and was the Chief Examiner, English for the NSW Higher School Certificate from 2011 to 2016. 

Her research and industry partnerships focus on the university-to-school transition period, with emphasis on the experiences of career change teachers, mentoring, and the factors shaping retention and attrition of early career teachers.

Janet also helps teachers to employ creative pedagogy to develop the literacy of students who speak English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D) and support their engagement with their school and broader communities. Her work in this area involves translanguaging – supporting the ability to move fluidly between languages – and use of identity texts.

Dr Janet Dutton is Senior Lecturer in Secondary English, Macquarie School of Education, Macquarie University.  

01-anna

PANELLIST:
Anna Turnbull

Anna Turnbull is a dedicated educator and advocate for inclusive sports education, with a career in the field spanning more than 18 years.

As Sydney Catholic Schools’ Education Officer: Pre to Post Sport (All Abilities) her primary mission is to empower students with disabilities to develop their skills, access elite sporting opportunities, and ensure that every student can fully engage in the Personal Development, Health, and Physical Education (PDHPE) curriculum.

Anna has honed her expertise in PDHPE across diverse educational settings, including primary, secondary, and special education. She has also contributed significantly to high-level sports management and administration, focusing particularly on disability inclusion.

Over the past five years, Anna has been a driving force behind innovative practices designed to facilitate the seamless delivery of sporting events. Her influence extends from grassroots involvement to elite representation, with a keen focus on breaking down barriers that students with disabilities face in sports.

Her dedication continues to reshape the landscape of inclusive sports education, fostering a more equitable and accessible environment for all students.

Mark Tannock

PANELLIST:
Mark Tannock

Mark Tannock was appointed as the first lay Principal of St Aloysius’ College in 2014.

Mark was born and raised in Western Australia and was educated at John XXIII College – the Jesuit Companion school in Perth.  After completing his undergraduate study in Western Australia, Mark was accepted into the Alliance of Catholic Education, a teacher service program offered by the University of Notre Dame, Indiana.

He spent two years teaching at St Joseph Catholic School in Jackson, Mississippi. Returning to Western Australia, Mark taught at Christian Brothers schools including CBC Fremantle where he served as Head of Department, Director of Staff and Deputy-Headmaster during five years at the College. 

In 2008, Mark was appointed Executive Director of the Sydney Campus of the University of Notre Dame Australia and, later that year, Dean of Education. He was an Associate Professor of Education.  He returned to Perth in 2011 and was appointed Pro Vice Chancellor of the Fremantle Campus of the University, a position he held until his appointment to St Aloysius’ College.

Mark holds an Honours degree in History from the University of Western Australia, a Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of Portland, a Masters in Educational Leadership from Boston College and a Masters in Religious Education from the University of Notre Dame Australia.

Morgan Turinui

PANELLIST:
Morgan Turinui

Morgan Turinui is a former professional rugby union player, sports commentator and coach who this year led Randwick DRUFC to its first championship win in 20 years.

During his career, Turinui played 20 tests for the Australian national rugby team, the Wallabies, and was known for his subtle skill set and ability to create try-scoring opportunities for his outside supports.

Turinui represented the Australian Schoolboys in 1999 and was captain in 2000. He began his professional rugby career in 2003 with the New South Wales Waratahs after a remarkable performance for his club side Randwick DRUFC, where he scored six tries in a match against Warringah Rugby Club. 

He was quickly selected for the Wallabies and played in the 2003 and 2007 Rugby Union World Cup. He was vice-captain of the Wallabies and played all 13 tests for the team in 2005.

Turinui left the Queensland Reds in 2011 and played for Stade Français Paris in France before retiring from rugby in 2014. He then turned his attention to coaching and commentating, working for Lille Métropole Rugby Club, the Melbourne Rebels, Eurosports and FOX Sport.

In 2019, Turinui became the General Manager of the Classic Wallabies, a team made up of former Australian rugby players who participate in charity matches, events and run free kids clinics throughout Australia and the Pacific.

Today, he is a well-respected rugby commentator for Stan Sport and Nine, providing insightful analysis and commentary.

PANELLIST:
Louise Sauvage OAM

Louise Sauvage OAM is a Paralympic gold medallist and the Sport Australia Hall of Fame’s 41st official Legend of Australian Sport.

Louise was the first para-athlete to achieve legend status, the highest honour available in Australian sport, in October 2019.

She has been a dominant force in competitive track events throughout her career, which began at age 16 at the 1990 International Paralympic Committee World Athletics Championships. 

She holds nine gold and four silver medals from paralympic games, and two gold and one bronze medal from three appearances in 800m demonstration races at the Olympic Games.

Louise has also medaled at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, UK in the 800 metres, at four IPC World Athletics Championships, and has won some of the world’s most prestigious road races. 

These include four Boston marathons, three Honolulu marathons, two Berlin marathons, the Los Angeles, Oita and Sempach marathons, and 10 titles in the Oz Day 10k, Australia’s premier international wheelchair road race.

During the span of her career, Louise set world records from 100m to 5000m, her last  just one month before retiring at the Athens Paralympic Games in 2004.

Louise lit the torch at the Sydney Paralympics in 2000 and carried the flag leading out the Australian team at the Athens paralympics. 

She is a respected Assistant Coach in the NSW Institute of Sport’s wheelchair track and road program, coaching her athletes to gold medal performances on the world stage.

Danielle Fuller

PANELLIST:
Danielle Fuller

Danielle Fuller has worked in the creative and performing arts industry for over 30 years as an educator, director, musical director, musician, and performer. Her focus has been on the importance of the arts, individually and collectively, their distinctions and commonalities, and their place in education and the community more broadly. 

She has worked in the Catholic, Independent, and Government sectors and assists in the delivery of Creative Arts (K-6) courses for the Master of Education at UNSW.  Danielle managed the Amadeus Music Education Program from November 2020 – June 2023, leading a dedicated team to systematically implement the program across the Sydney Archdiocese. 

In her current role as Sydney Catholic Schools (SCS) Manager of Performing and Visual Arts, Danielle is responsible for managing and leading all projects within the Sydney Catholic Schools Strategic Plan for the Arts. These include Amadeus, network arts festivals, a Tri-Annual Performing Arts Extravaganza, and the SCS ViVA program. She also supports the development of strategic partnership initiatives with renowned external organisations in the performing and visual arts and leads change by proactively building, establishing, and maintaining strong collaborative relationships with key stakeholders.

Ross Fox

PANELLIST:
Ross Fox

Ross Fox was appointed as Director of Catholic Education in the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn in December 2016. In this role he has responsibility for a system of 56 Catholic schools across both ACT and NSW with 21,000 students and more than 2,000 staff. 

A member of the National Catholic Education Commission since 2013, Ross has held senior positions in Catholic education across Australia. These include Executive Director of the National Catholic Education Commission and Director of Policy, Research and Communications in the Catholic Education Office Melbourne.

Ross grew up in country Victoria. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering from the University of NSW and read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University. He was appointed as an independent director of the Australian Council for Educational Leaders in 2016.

Ross is inspired by the great contribution that Catholic schools and educators have made to Australia and shares a passion for seeing every child benefit from quality teaching and learning.

Patrick Nolan

PANELLIST:
Patrick Nolan

CEO and Artistic Director of Opera Queensland Patrick Nolan has created productions for Sydney Chamber Opera, Opera Australia, New Zealand Opera, Seattle Opera, Sydney Theatre Company, Belvoir St, Griffin Theatre, Melbourne Theatre Company, and all the major Australian capital city festivals.

Under his leadership Opera Queensland has experienced exceptional growth, expanding metropolitan and regional programming to develop new audiences and attract new corporate partners. The launch of the Festival of Outback Opera in Winton and Longreach in 2021 attracted audiences from around Australia and overseas and is a great example of the agile and imaginative approach he applies to the business of opera.

From 2009 – 2014 Patrick was Artistic Director of Legs on the Wall, creating works that toured Australia, UK, Korea and Brazil. These included: My Bicycle Loves You for the Sydney and Perth Festivals, The Voyage for the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad and Perch for the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

 In 2015 Patrick was awarded an Australia Council Theatre Fellowship to support research into large-scale outdoor performance and the relationship between extreme physicality and storytelling.  As a theatre maker he is driven by a process in which a performer explores the extreme of their capacity to find a way of expressing – an idea, a feeling, a sound – that takes the audience to a place of inquiry and understanding. He is a graduate of the Director’s Course at NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Art) and the University of Sydney.

01-mia

PANELLIST:
Mia Patoulios

Mia Patoulios is the Chief Executive Officer of Sydney Youth Orchestras (SYO) and has nurtured artistic development in young people for more than 20 years.

Mia sparked her passion for youth arts as a theatre maker and secondary school drama teacher in Western Sydney. She worked for seven years at Sydney Opera House establishing their education program and delivered projects including the Berlin Philharmonic Education Program and the Sydney Opera House Arts Access Program.

As SYO’s Development Manager, Mia revolutionised SYO through the implementation of its first CRM, increased its base of government, foundation and private supporters, and broke new barriers for participation in music through open programs, increased scholarships, and outreach programs in Regional NSW and Western Sydney.

Mia was appointed CEO at Sydney Youth Orchestras in 2018. Her belief in the transformative power of the arts ensures that the benefit, safety, and development of young people are the core of all SYO activities. For Mia, involvement in SYO is more than developing the technical skill of playing; it is an act of playing together. In this way, young musicians are charged with being champions of orchestral music – not just in shaping the future of the artform, but playing a larger role in building a cohesive society.

Peter Lewis

PANELLIST:
Peter Lewis

Executive Director of Essential Media, Peter Lewis, is the founder of Civility and a fellow at the Australia Institute’s Center for Responsible Technology. For over two decades, he has championed forward-thinking strategic communications and collaborated with progressive organisations to drive social change, sharing his insights in columns for publications like The Guardian Australia and Fairfax newspapers. Additionally, he’s authored five books, including “Webtopia” and “The Public Square Project.

Katrina Brangwin

PANELLIST:
Katrina Brangwin

Katrina Brangwin is a senior communications professional who has been leading clients and agencies across Australia, UK, and Canada for the last 30 years. Her career has been focused on building businesses, reputation, and relationships for communications agencies and their clients.

Before co-founding B&M, Katrina was primarily a change agent leading major business transformation agendas for three different communication agencies and building a new campus-based agency model for Australia’s biggest communications holding company.

Her core strength is creating an environment – culturally and operationally – that allows people to be, and perform, at their best through collaborative, emotionally intuitive, and human leadership.

Katrina’s career was built in brand marketing and communications and she worked both locally and internationally on major global brands such as Sony, P&G, Nokia, Diageo and Molson Breweries amongst many others, contributing strategically and creatively to these businesses and shaping her expertise of
best-in-class marketing communications.

Her expertise in change management has led to a number of client engagements around consultation for organisations wanting to inform, educate or influence the communities in which they operate.

While accepting that she may have missed her shot at Olympic glory, this does not stop her from rising at 4.30 am for rowing training, her new-found passion, where she has learnt to further appreciate the emotional and physical power of women working together; the simple joy of sunrise on the water and
the humility of learning something new.

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mcc@syd.catholic.edu.au 

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About Sydney Catholic Schools

Sydney Catholic Schools provides almost 73,000 students with an accessible high-quality, affordable education in 147 primary and secondary schools across Sydney.

As places of educational excellence, Sydney Catholic Schools embrace every child’s natural talents and strengths through diverse learning opportunities to grow as individuals.

Our mission at Sydney Catholic Schools is to know and love Christ through learning. With this at our heart, our schools are nurturing and caring places where every single child is valued and accepted.

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