Lead Researcher

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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.


Callaghan College (NSW)

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Shane Saxby is a Science Teacher at Callaghan College Waratah Technology Campus who is involved in creating content in Minecraft for Science lessons and a Minecraft elective class. He has also been involved in the development of applications and simulations to aid in the teaching of Science concepts. 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.

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Jivvel Kilham is a Science Teacher at Callaghan College Wallsend Campus who has a passion for STEM initiatives across the school and college. He considers himself a calculated risk taker, who is involved in a range of future learning projects. 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

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 which has for a number of years now driven the College Professional Learning agenda. She is avid traveler, crafter and mother of two young children.

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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

Chris Cividino is a Future Learning Coordinator and HSIE Teacher at Callaghan College Wallsend Campus. Chris is interested in Future focus pedagogies and emerging technologies in education. 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.

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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. Callaghan College has been named by The Educator magazine in the National Top 40 Innovative schools for the past three years in a row, one of only three schools in Australia to achieve this.


Dungog High School (NSW)

Lou Rowley

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. Drama teaching is her passion and she enjoys discovering new ways to engage her students. She believes there are many ways to do this and using new technology is one of them. Being involved in the VR project with Newcastle University and the success of her innovation application at Dungog High school, allowed her the freedom to explore using VR in her drama classroom. 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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