ETAWA State Mini-Conference & Early Career Teacher Mini Conference 2024

ETAWA State Mini Conference and Early Career Teacher Mini Conference

Saturday, 24 February 2024

ETAWA Mini Conference Program – UWA – Saturday 24 February 2024:  You have been heard!

Presenter Biographies


Keynote Speaker GRAHAM AKHURST

Graham Akhurst is an Aboriginal writer and academic hailing from the Kokomini of Northern Queensland. He is a Lecturer of Australian Indigenous Studies and Creative Writing at the University of Technology Sydney. His debut YA novel Borderland was published October 1, 2023 with the University of Western Australian Press.

He is a board member for the First Nations Artists and Writers Network and for Varuna: Australia’s Writing House. He is a contributing editor at Kweli Journal based in New York City and on the editorial board of Impact Studios. He has published in Kweli and J Journal for fiction, Mascara Literary Review, and Westerly for creative non-fiction, and the Australian Book ReviewCorditeVerityLa, Off the Coast (Maine, America), Red Ink (Arizona State University Press) Australian Poetry Journal, Artlines, Meanjin, and Island Magazine for poetry. He was poet of the week for the Australian Book Review in April 2016.

Graham has been featured reader or keynote speaker many times both domestically and internationally including Dhaka Literary Festival (Bangladesh), and Kweli Children’s Literary Festival (New York City). He was a participant of the Australia Council for the Arts Future Leaders Program in 2018. Graham was a participant on the Aurora International Study Tour in 2015.

He was valedictorian of his graduating year at The University of Queensland (2014) and completed his writing honours with a first class result at UQ (2015). He has an MPhil in Creative Writing from UQ funded by an APA scholarship (2019). He was named the first Indigenous recipient of the Fulbright W.G Walker award as the highest ranked postgraduate Australian applicant (2019). The Fulbright award funded his studies at Hunter College CUNY where he was awarded an MFA in Fiction (2021). He also received the Nomad Two Worlds Foundation Indigenous Arts Scholarship from the American Australian Association and a second Australia Council of the Arts Grant for Professional Development. He is the recipient of a Robert Sykes Scholarship and the Ian Potter Cultural Foundation Scholarship as well as a Creative Writing Scholarship from Hunter College. Graham lives and works on Gadigal Country and is currently writing his second major project a novel in stories.


Keynote Speaker CARA SHIPP – AATE National Fellow.

Cara Shipp is a Wiradjuri/Welsh woman (descending from the Lamb and Shipp families in Central Western NSW) and is currently Head of Senior School, Years 10-12, at Silkwood School on the Gold Coast, QLD. She has previously run alternative educational programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students; held Head Teacher English/HASS/Languages positions; and served as President, Vice President and Editor with the ACT Association for the Teaching of English (ACTATE) and AATE National Council. Cara has completed a Master of Education focusing on Aboriginal literacy and regularly presents at local and National conferences on incorporating First Nations perspectives into the English curriculum.

Pamela Chatfield

Pamela Chatfield is an experienced educator, having taught at all levels of education.  She is a former English teacher and an associate principal.  She lead her school to become national finalists in the Narragunnawali Awards for Reconciliation Action Plans in schools in 2021.  She is now the Education Manager at Reconciliation WA.

Travis Dragon and Connor Francois

Travis and Connor are English Teachers at Bob Hawke College who are disrupting established teaching practice to improve student outcomes and ensure students are prepared for their chosen future pathway. With a combined ten years of experience in public education, Travis and Connor are interested in exploring and experimenting with how we can teach English differently to meet the needs of our learners.

Jasmyn Hunter

Jasmyn is the Youth Program Coordinator for Centre for Stories, a not-for-profit literary and cultural organisation based in Northbridge. The Centre supports emerging writers and storytellers, particularly those from historically under-represented communities.

Previously a literacy specialist teacher, Jasmyn has taught in Norway, Kenya and France, and delivered specialist programs to youth in custody. She also brings ten years’ experience in writing communications for not-for-profit organisations, working alongside people with lived experience of FDV, disability and homelessness.

Deborah Mitchell

Deb, Vice Chair of Oracy Australia Inc, was President of the Speech & Drama Teachers’ Association of Western Australia from 2016 – 2021. She has also been a member of the Association’s Council and active member for 35 years. She is currently SDTAWA’s WAAPA Liaison Officer, The Chair of the Perth Speech and Drama Festival Committee and is a member of the A.M.E.B.’s Advisory Board as SDTAWA’s representative.

Deb is a very experienced teacher of Speech and Drama within the school system and the corporate sector – her career spans 37 years. Deb is also a State Examiner with the A.M.E.B. and has adjudicated at various Speech and Drama Festivals, Speak Up/Speakers Challenge Public Speaking Competitions and Eisteddfods. She holds a BA (Training & Development) and Speech & Drama Teacher qualifications – A.S.D.A. Speech and Drama. These qualifications and experiences have provided a solid foundation upon which Deb has developed a varied and unique skill set that has helped her fill a diverse range of roles in her working life. Deb is passionate about providing students and adults with communication and drama skills to develop confidence, resilience and competence within a range of performance settings.

Elliot Stone

Elliot Stone is an English and Literature teacher at Mazenod College, Lesmurdie. He is a member of the Digital Literacy Team in his school and has presented on the use of various digital technologies within SEQTA to all staff members. Within his personal mission statement, he has a commitment to the purposeful use of digital technologies within the English classroom.

Dr Kylie Sturgess

Dr Kylie Sturgess is a lecturer in Global Media and Communication at Murdoch University and tutors in Education at Curtin University. Much of Kylie’s research focuses on narrative, podcasts, media education, and philosophy. Her research is published in Personality and Individual DifferencesThe Conversation, and The Bloomsbury Handbook of Radio.

Registration Fees

State Mini Conference AM:

Members: $180 which includes morning tea and lunch

Non-members: $210 which includes morning tea and lunch

Early Career Teachers Conference only PM:

Members: $50 which includes lunch

Non-members: $60 which includes lunch

Early Career Teachers attending both AM and PM conferences:

Members: $180 which includes morning tea and lunch

Non-members: $210 which includes morning tea and lunch

Education students:

Members: $50 for both conferences

Non-members: $ 105 for both conferences which includes annual ETAWA membership.

Click here to Register

The English Teachers Association of WA acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today. Country has, for thousands of years, been a place of learning. We at the English Teachers Association of WA are proud to share in this long tradition.

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