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.

2019 – 2021

Athelstone School (South Australia)

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Gyllian Godfrey is the principal of Athelstone School. Prior to coming into the principal role Gyllian has held a number of diverse curriculum and languages policy leadership roles. 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

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. This project has challenged her teaching, thinking and learning and has given her an invaluable opportunity to develop skills in IT as well as VR. Angelica looks forward to the learning journey and is eager to discover whether this innovative approach will make a difference to student’s learning, language retention and love of the Italian culture.

Joanne Romeo

 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. Joanne is excited about the opportunity to incorporate immersive technologies into  Italian lessons and looks forward to the learning experiences it will create for her students. She feels fortunate to experiment with the VR platform in a languages role, as this has not been researched in a primary school setting. 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)

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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.

2018 – 2019

Dungog High School (New South Wales)

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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