2017 AASE National Conference
Friday 7th - Satuday 8th April, 2017, Darwin Convention Centre, Northern Territory

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2017 Keynote Speakers

George Sugai

Dr George Sugai

George Sugai received his M.Ed. in 1974 and Ph.D. in 1980 at the University of Washington. His primary areas of interests are positive behavioral interventions and support, systems change, teacher professional development, emotional and behavioral disorders, social skills instruction, behavioral consultation, behavioral assessment procedures, and strategies for effective school-wide, classroom, and individual behavior management.

Currently at the University of Connecticut, Dr Sugai and colleagues have established the Center for Behavioral Education and Research (www.cber.org) in the Neag School of Education to improve academic and social behavior outcomes for students in schools by engaging in the systematic study of educational issues and interventions, and dissemination to preservice and inservice school personnel. Dr Sugai's research has emphasized effective applications of applied behavior analysis principles and school-wide PBS procedures to problems found in educational contexts. The subject populations for these research areas includes students with severe challenging behavior, students with at-risk behaviors, and students described as having severely challenging behaviors.

Elizabeth Elliott

Professor Elizabeth Elliott AM

Elizabeth Elliott AM is a Distinguished Professor in Paediatrics and Child Health in the Sydney University Medical School; Consultant Paediatrician at the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network at Westmead; a National Health and Medical Council of Australia (NHMRC) Practitioner Fellow; and Chair of the National Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Technical Network, convened by the Australian Government Department of Health. 

She has been involved in clinical services, research, advocacy and policy development regarding Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) in children and alcohol use in pregnancy for over 20 years, is Head of the NSW FASD clinic and Co-Director of a Centre for Research Excellence on harms from alcohol in pregnancy (REAACH). She was a Deputy Chair of the Intergovernmental Committee on Drugs Working Party on FASD; a Member of the NHMRC committee to develop Australian Alcohol guidelines (2009); Member of the group to develop World Health Organisation guidelines for identification and management of alcohol misuse during pregnancy (2014); and Member of the group to develop an International Charter for the Prevention of FASD. 

Helen Cahill

Associate Professor Helen Cahill

Helen Cahill is the Director of Learning and Teaching in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne, Deputy-director of the Youth Research Centre and Associate Professor in Youth Wellbeing.

Helen Cahill is an internationally recognised education expert with over 30 years of experience in the sector. As deputy-director of the Youth Research Centre, Helen Cahill has substantial research and development experience at the interface between youth wellbeing and learning.

A specialist in participatory methods, she has published widely in both the peer reviewed and applied domains; developed and taught into a range of pre-service and post-graduate subjects in education; and attained teaching satisfaction scores at the highest possible level. She has become known as Australia’s foremost author of applied education materials designed to assist schools to address issues related to student wellbeing. She is the author of over 20 resources for Australian schools addressing the issues of resilience education and social and emotional learning, mental health promotion, suicide prevention, youth participation and leadership, drug education, grief education, gender rights, violence-prevention and anti-bullying education. Many of these education resources have been given state or nation wide distribution with some distributed to every school in the country.  

Her technical expertise in pedagogy and curriculum design is seen in the positive results demonstrated in a randomised control trial study of the drug prevention curriculum she developed for Victorian Schools (2010-2013). She was key author of the first phase of Mindmatters, Australia’s foremost national mental health promotion program for secondary schools, used by over 75% of the schools in the country. The materials included guidance for school policy and practices, suicide prevention guidelines and proactive prevention curricula for classroom delivery. She has recently developed the Victorian Department of Education Resilience education framework and Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships: an evidence-based social and emotional learning and respectful relationships curricula for primary and secondary schools (2015).

As Associate Professor in Youth Wellbeing, she teaches both pre-service and experienced teachers with a special expertise in use of evidence-based programs to promote child and youth wellbeing. Across the last 16 years she has responded to invitations to provide expertise to a number of United Nations agencies working in countries across the Asia-Pacific region on issues such as student wellbeing, violence reduction, gender rights, and HIV prevention. Much of Helen’s work in developing countries in the region has entailed building the capacity of senior U.N. staff and their counterparts from the ministries of education, health and youth affairs.


Des English Memorial Lecture


Nancy Devlin

Nancy Devlin is a University Fellow in the School of Education at Charles Darwin University. Her work has spanned experimental programs in East Harlem, homeland schools and bilingual classes in East Arnhem, special education teaching in Victoria and the Northern Territory, university lecturing in Beijing and Darwin. Since her main focus has always been on creating a more inclusive learning environment for all, her research and areas of expertise are inclusion, and catering for students with diverse abilities, especially in remote contexts. Nancy has been a solid contributor to professional organisations for more than three decades, serving as Vice-President and NT representative on the national council of the Australian Association of Special Education, Secretary and NT director of the Australian Association for the Education of the Gifted and Talented and President of NTAEGT and AASE. She has received awards from those associations by the Northern Territory Joint Professional Teaching Associations for teaching professionalism. She travelled to Canada, USA and Wales as a Churchill Fellow in 2000 to examine programs for students with special needs in remote indigenous and multilingual schools.  She is currently vice-president of the Northern Territory branch of the Churchill Fellows Association.


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