Lead Researcher

Profile pic 2020 (2)

Erica Southgate (PhD) is Associate Professor of Emerging Technologies for Education at the University of Newcastle (Australia). She is interested in equity and education and has developed serious computer games for literacy. Erica is the lead author of the Australian government commissioned Artificial Intelligence and Emerging Technologies in Schools Report (2019). She is using emerging technologies for fun and learning and is committed to co-researching with teachers and students. Erica’s latest book is Virtual Reality in Curriculum and Pedagogy: Evidence from Secondary Classrooms (Routledge, 2020) She loves flying and jumping off clouds in VR. To find out more about Erica click here

2021 – Present

The Association of Independent Schools of South Australia (AISSA)

Monica Williams is a Senior Educational Consultant at the Association of Independent Schools of SA (AISSA). She is excited and curious about how emerging technologies transform the roles of teacher and learner. Monica collaborated with AISSA schools and university researchers on a four-year AISSA project investigating the impact of humanoid robots on student learning and teacher pedagogy. She is currently working with teachers to explore AI in the classroom and virtual reality. Emerging technologies create new ways of doing things and it important and intriguing to investigate what this means for teachers’ work. The AISSA-funded VR project with SEDA College, Trinity College and Pembroke School is a unique opportunity for a sector to partner with an academic, the IT company VRTY, and teachers to explore how VR can foster student creativity and agency and what difference it makes to learning.

SEDA College (South Australia)


Ashley Jenner is the Director of Learning Innovation at SEDA College SA. With a background in physical education, he is passionate about promoting lifelong physical activity and sharing his own love of sport. Through his involvement in this project, he seeks to facilitate new ways of engaging, educating, and empowering students, as well as supporting students to create a future for themselves in the sporting industry. Ashley sees virtual reality as a way to develop and assess students’ decision making and tactical understanding across a range of sporting contexts.

Trinity College (South Australia)

Steve_Grant_2020Steve Grant is the Director of Innovation and Creativity at Trinity College. His role is to advance and support the implementation of innovative and creative pedagogy and learning design through the Trinity Innovation and Creativity School. He is interested in exploring the role that a technologically enhanced learning environment has in accelerating student learning. Always quick in taking up a new tech, Steve is skilled in unravelling for teachers how tech toys can be transformed from a means of engagement into sustained, meaningful, genuine learning tools. Constantly curious and a keen observer of human-technology interaction, Steve is fascinated to realise the potential of VR in transforming student perspectives of themselves, each other and the world.  

Pembroke School (South Australia)

Ella portrait (002)Ella Camporeale is Assistant Head of Design and Technology at Pembroke School. With a background in Architecture, she is passionate about visualisation, advanced technologies, and sustainable design. Ella is currently integrating VR into the classroom through the Middle and Senior Digital and Design and Technology curriculums and is excited for students to have the opportunity to become creators of dynamic, immersive learning experiences.  

macHoward ‘Mac’ MacPherson, the former Head of Middle School at Pembroke School is now Head of Enterprise. This role is focused on developing partnerships, residencies and projects with emerging or expert creatives from universities and business that are aligned with curriculum initiatives being developed by staff for our students.

Thomas Oliphant is a passionate, innovative, and experienced educator who has a specialisation in robotics, programming, and advanced technologies. He is interested in the role of design and problem-based learning in promoting student interest and achievement. Graduating with a Bachelor of Industrial Design and a Master of Education, Thomas takes pride in exposing his students to new and emerging technologies and future pathways in the field of STEM learning. 

2019 – 2021

Athelstone School (South Australia)

Gyllian Godfrey is the principal of Athelstone School. Her first 17 years in schools consisted of teaching Spanish in a range of contexts R-12 and across the public and Catholic education sectors as well as some forays with ICT and digital technologies classes. This particular skill set has been put to good use in the Innovative Languages Project Grant, putting languages at the forefront of driving technological and pedagogical change.

Angelica Cardone has a Bachelor of Teaching and has been in the teaching profession for over 25 years. She is currently teaching Italian at Athelstone School from Reception to Year 7. Angelica is of Italian heritage and has always had a passion and an interest in the Italian language and culture.  With her colleagues from Athelstone School, she is incorporating VR into language classrooms to determine whether this enables students to retain language acquisition.

Joanne Romeo is an Italian teacher at Athelstone School who has been teaching for approximately 15 years in a variety of schools and in different roles. For the past 3 years she has been team teaching in the Italian role with her colleague Angelica Cardone. She is interested to see if the opportunities created through these VR experiences increase students learning, engagement and language retention.

2016 – 2019

Callaghan College (New South Wales)

Shane Saxby is a Science Teacher at Callaghan College Waratah Technology Campus. Shane is interested in technologies that can be used in the classroom that are immersive and collaborative, allowing students to take their learning to interesting and unexpected places.

Jivvel Kilham is a Science Teacher at Callaghan College Wallsend Campus who has a passion for STEM initiatives across the school and college. Jivvel is interested in providing educational pathways for students that involve teaching “outside of the box”. He gets very, very queasy using the VR equipment.

Amy Worth is The Callaghan College Coordinator who has led numerous STEM initiatives across the college. With a passion for future learning pedagogies and an inquisitive mind she is continually looking toward what’s new for students and developing quality professional learning opportunities for staff. Amy developed Callaghan College 21CL Professional Learning Framework.

David Summerville is Head Teacher Technology at Callaghan College Wallsend Campus. David is into anything geeky and loves innovating in the education environment; if there is a pilot going he will always put his hand up! His other passion is the WorldSkills movement where he pioneered the Web Design competition in South Korea in 2001 as the Australian Expert. His current role is Skill Advisor for WorldSkills International mentoring Experts worldwide.

Chris Cividino is a Future Learning Coordinator and HSIE Teacher at Callaghan College Wallsend Campus.  He is interested in technology that can virtually transport people, concepts and ideas globally in immersive VR. Spending the first 23 years of his indoors during cold Canadian winters, Chris developed a passion for technology and gaming.

Graham Eather was College Principal at Callaghan College for four years (retired 2018), and prior to that was principal at Hunter River High School for six years. Graham has focused on distributed transformative leadership that creates high impact innovative opportunities for students.

2018 – 2019

Dungog High School (New South Wales)

Louise Rowley is the Creative Arts Head Teacher at Dungog High School. Louise has spent her career teaching in country schools and helping rural students access to the best of opportunities has always been one of her core motivators. Louise loves the experience of learning alongside her students and the VR project was a lot of fun. It helped her students become collaborative designers and communicators.

Gillian Manning is an enthusiastic advocate for STEAM learning and leveraging technologies to provide engaging and immersive learning experiences.  In her role as eLearning Coordinator based at Dungog High School, Gillian is always looking for ways to support K-12 teachers across the Dungog District Community of Schools to introduce new and emerging technologies into their classrooms. 

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