Keynote Speakers

Professor Stephen Billett 

Educational Researcher and Professor of Adult Vocational Education at Griffith University, Queensland Australia

Professor Billett needs little introduction to the VET research community, as a pre-eminent researcher and author on workplace learning and pedagogies, learning identities, and the integration of practice-based and higher learning.

Professor Billett’s involvement is timely and valuable in the context of New Zealand’s vocational reforms. He will be speaking on enhancing the status of vocational education and the occupations it serves. A highly pertinent topic in any year, but especially when young people face recessionary conditions and renewed efforts to support and attract people to vocational pathways and work-based education and training.

Professor Leesa Wheelahan

Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education at the Ontario Institute of Studies for Education, University of Toronto

Professor Wheelahan holds the William G. Davis Chair in Community College Leadership and is an internationally recognised author and leading tertiary education researcher. She’ll be discussing pathways in tertiary education, the relationships between vocational and higher education, curriculum development, and transitions between education and the labour market.  All topics that are highly relevant in today’s environment.

Dame Karen Poutasi

Commissioner of the Waikato District Health Board, former NZ Director-General of Health, and former Chief Executive of the NZ Qualifications Authority

During her time at NZQA, Dame Karen oversaw reforms to quality assurance in tertiary education, a programme of targeted qualification reviews, and a series of improvements to NCEA. Dame Karen was made a Dame Companion of the NZ Order of Merit for her services to health and education in 2020. Her reflections on health and education in the face of a global pandemic will be highly valuable.

Nazrene Mannie

Executive Director of the Global Apprenticeship Network (GAN Global)

Nazrene Mannie is the Executive Director of GAN Global, a network of companies, employer organisations, associations and international organisations with the mission of promoting quality apprenticeships and the goal of creating job opportunities for youth and ensuring skills for business. Nazrene is a social policy expert and an international gender champion.  Based in Switzerland, Nazrene works closely with private sector companies and international development entities such as the ILO, World Bank, IOE, UNESCO and OECD.

See the full line up of speakers

There is an impressive array of speakers at this year’s NZVETRF event. To see the full details on who else is speaking and what they’ll be discussing take a look at our Event Programme.

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