National Executive Members - 2017

The Professional Learning Association New Zealand Te Māngai Whakangungu Kaiako o Aotearoa (Inc) is led by a national executive. Each year, members are elected to the national executive which consists of a Māori medium committee and an English medium committee with a chair for each committee that become co-chairs of the national executive.

Fiona Matapo Fiona Matapo

PLD Facilitator
Māori Medium - Committee
Kia Ata Mai Educational Trust

Fiona is a newly elected member of PLANZ and has been working for Kia Ata Mai for the past four years. Prior to this Fiona had thirteen years experience as a Resource Teacher of Māori and ten years as teacher and senior mangement team member in the Primary Sector. Fiona has also held the position of Tumuaki in a Kura Kaupapa in 2009.

Fiona has been an active member of NZEI Te Riu Roa throughout her career in education and held the postion of National Vice President in 2015 and 2016. She is an Associate Member of the Institute.

Fiona works mostly in Māori Medium schools and Kura in the Te Wai Pounamu region.

Nichole Gully Nichole Gully

Arareo Māori Team Leader & Faciltator
Māori & English
CORE Education

Nichole is a Māori-medium team leader at CORE Education. Before moving to CORE Nichole has worked in Māori-medium education in a variety of roles from early childhood to tertiary. Nichole lectured at the University of Canterbury teaching for over 12 years in te reo Māori and Māori education. She led a number of masters level papers in Hoaka Pounamu: Māori Bilingual and Immersion Teaching specialising in language teaching methodologies and language revitalisation. As well as the educational sector Nichole also has an ongoing commitment to working with whānau, hapū and iwi to regenerate te reo and excellence in educational achievement. She has also been a the National Provision Lead working with the Ministry of Education for Te Reo Māori in Māori-medium. Nichole has also worked in the government and business sectors developing Māori language strategic and culturally responsive practices planning and implementation.

Helen Cooper Helen Cooper

Senior Manager Contracts
English Medium - Committee
CORE Education

Helen is a member of CORE Education’s Senior Leadership Team. She oversees Professional Learning and Development contracts awarded to CORE, Early Years through schooling. Helen supports and guides project teams, providing leadership in design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. She has had a specific focus on Learning with Digital Technologies programmes, and is currently sponsor for the Connected Learning Advisory, Grow Waitaha, centrally funded PLD, Emerging Leaders and Expert Partners.

Helen is committed to fostering collaborative partnerships, building effective trusting relationships between schools, providers and iwi, through developing shared vision and agreed ways of working. Helen has also had a lead role in the design and implementation of Grow Waitaha, working in collaboration with Leadership Lab, Massey University, Evaluation Associates and Mātauraka Mahaanui. As a member of the Operations Management Group for Te Toi Tupu she worked closely with Cognition Education, University of Waikato, NZCER and Waikato Tainui College for Research and Development. Prior to joining CORE in 2011, Helen worked for the National Office of the Ministry of Education as Senior Advisor in the e-Learning Unit and prior that, as Senior Advisors Arts in the Secondary Outcomes Team. Helen has a Masters in Education in Professional Learning.

Mat Mullany Mat Mullany

Education Researcher/Resource Developer, NZCER
Māori & English
Company Director, Evaluation Associates

Mat is an Education Researcher/Resource Developer at Te Wāhanga NZCER. He was elected to the PLANZ National Executive in September 2016. Prior to PLANZ, Mat was an NZCER representative on the Operational Management Group of Te Toi Tupu and the Māori medium roopu Te Toi Ora. Mat has previously worked as a Senior Advisor Māori in the Sector Enablement and Support Group at the Ministry of Education and held a number of roles in the public and private sector.

Michael Absolum Michael Absolum

Company Director
English Medium - Committee
Evaluation Associates

Michael is the founder and director of Evaluation Associates and a thought leader in assessment for learning. He is the author of ‘Clarity in the Classroom’ which is recognised by teachers as the best New Zealand text on assessment for learning.
Michael is currently directing the Consortium for Professional Learning (CPL) Leadership and Assessment PLD in the Ministry of Education's Southern, Central South and Northern regions. He is also the co-national lead for the Ministry of Education’s Māori-medium aromatawai (assessment) project.

Michael has a deep knowledge of the New Zealand education system and what it takes to lead an effective school, create inspired and inspiring teachers and enable students to become powerful engaged learners.  He is also one of New Zealand’s most highly regarded evaluators.

In the past, Michael has held positions as a teacher, a psychologist, and with the education review office. For the last 15 years he has consulted to schools and the wider education system through Evaluation Associates, leading many highly successful professional development programmes.

Michael has a Master’s degree in science and a post-graduate diploma in educational psychology from Auckland University.

Camilla Highfield Camilla Highfield

English Medium - Co-Chair
University of Auckland

Dr Camilla Highfield has been the Director of Professional Learning and Development at the Faculty of Education since 2007. This role involves her leading a range of Ministry of Education contracts delivering professional learning and development in New Zealand schools.

Camilla’s research and professional interests are in the arts, professional development, equity and social justice, school change and leadership. Developing and coaching effective leadership practices in colleagues and young people is a particular interest.

She has given papers at conferences focused on schooling improvement and is an emerging academic writer and teacher. Camilla has worked on a wide range of projects and held roles as a board member and consultant is a range of education contexts.

Jan Martin Jan Martin

Director, Institute of Professional Learning
English Medium - Committee
Associate Dean Professional Learning, University of Waikato

Jan is the Director of the Institute of Professional Learning: Te Whai Toi Tangata and the Associate Dean, Professional Learning at the University of Waikato. Jan has experience as an educational leader and project manager. She has directed the national pilot programme for aspiring and potential principals and has led professional development programmes as a school principal, as the coordinator of the School Support Services Leadership and Management team, and as Acting Director, Continuing Education. Jan has worked with adult educators in REAP programmes, in Community Education, as a school principal and as a school adviser.

She is interested in leadership development, particularly as it relates to improved outcomes for students. She is also very interested in the involvement of parents, whānau and the wider community in educational organisations. Jan has a Masters in Educational Leadership and a Graduate Diploma in Disputes Resolution from the University of Waikato.

Ian Stevens Ian Stevens

Director, Education Support Services, University of Otago
English Medium - Committee
Te Tapuae o Rehua Mau ki te Ako Consortium

Ian is Director of Education Support Services (ESS) at the University of Otago. Since 2012 ESS has been a partner with the University of Canterbury and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu in the Te Tapuae o Rehua Mau ki te Ako consortium. In his role Ian has been responsible for leading a range of Professional Learning and Development (PLD) contracts for ESS, including English and Māori Medium, Literacy and Reading Recovery contracts.

Ian has been a Social Sciences and Leadership facilitator for the Otago/Southland region History and a Teaching/Learning lecturer at the College of Education. He is currently lecturing History in the University of Otago Masters of Teaching and Learning programme.

Ian has a strong commitment to equality of education for all students and challenging and supporting centres, kura and schools to make significant shifts for those underachieving within our system.

Phil (Piripi) Prendergast Phil (Piripi) Prendergast

Kaihautū Māori
Māori Medium - Committee
Kaiārahi: Mau ki te Ako

Piripi began his career as a secondary history teacher in the Bay of Plenty and later specialised in teaching English in Māori medium settings, mostly in Christchurch. He is the author of several bilingual social studies texts and is on the executive of the Canterbury Association for Gifted Education. Currently, Piripi is the Kaiārahi for Mau ki te Ako, the PLD consortium of ngā papatipu rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, the University of Canterbury and the University of Otago. Mau ki te Ako is one of six strategic partnerships that come under Te Tapuae o Rehua. Piripi also does facilitation work for provisionally certificated teachers.

Jill Parfitt Jill Parfitt

021 512 580

Jill has worked in education for over 25 years. From teaching and then facilitation, Jill moved into contract management and leading teams of facilitators, delivering professional development and learning in schools, predominantly in the Auckland and Northland regions. Jill has a published article about effective facilitator practice.

Jill is currently consortium manager for Te Toi Tupu - Leading Learning Network. In this role she works collaboratively with five professional learning and development organisations who hold a number of Ministry of Education contracts.

Lifelong learning and continual improvement within a supportive and growth environment are important to Jill. Working collaboratively with a number of different professional learning organisations on common issues and focus has been a highlight for Jill in recent years.

Wayne Bonnett Wayne Bonnett

Director of Education
English Medium - Committee
027 537 0963

Wayne is the director of Education Plus at the University of Canterbury and is a current partner with the University of Otago and Te Tapuae o Rehua consortium. Previous to this role Wayne was employed for the last thirteen years in the private Education sector and worked as a regional finance director for Kaplan Inc and was responsible for the financial operations for language schools and sales offices in Australia New Zealand and South East Asia.

In his current role, Wayne has been involved in overseeing the transition to a new professional learning and development funding model and ensuring that kura,schools and Kahui ako receive the best service possible from Education Plus.

Wayne is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand and although he has a finance background, he is passionate about education and observing children develop in a world class teaching environment.