The Professional Learning Institute (PLI) develops, brokers and conducts professional learning programs across the Department of Education: professional learning for all staff is fundamental to both school and organisational improvement.
Professional learning to build the capacity of all our staff supports our Learners First vision of a highly skilled, innovative and inspired workforce.
There is something for everyone in the 2017 program offerings and the PLI will continue to expand to meet the changing needs of our department and our people – ensuring we both continue to grow and strive for excellence.
Relationships and collaboration are vitally important to us, and program offerings are informed by consultation, feedback, data and reflection.
We are increasingly reaching and connecting with our clients through technology, in anywhere, anytime learning.
Our programs are informed by contemporary research, and partnerships have been formed with universities across Australia. Pathways are also being developed to allow participants in PLI programs to articulate into university and TAFE courses.
It’s all about giving you, our clients, the professional learning you need, delivered how you want it, to ensure we are making a difference.
Brett has over thirty years’ of experience as an educator in Tasmania across Government, Catholic and Independent sectors, in teaching roles from Prep to Year 10, and also as a teacher of Japanese, having taught and worked in Japan. Brett’s senior leadership roles in the Department of Education, include those of principal at Fairview and Howrah Primary Schools, Principal Leader of Literacy and Numeracy in Learning Services,
and most recently as Principal Network Leader, supporting 30 southern Tasmanian school principals in implementing school improvement strategies.
Brett comes to the role as director of the Professional Learning Institute with an absolute commitment and belief in the central role of professional learning in developing the high quality workforce that is fundamental to a world class education system. The PLI has an exciting future in continuing to work with partners across the agency and externally to provide and facilitate this high quality, evidence based professional learning. Under his leadership he sees the PLI as continuing to develop as a highly skilled and responsive learning organisation that is strongly aligned with the strategic vision of the Department of Education.
Steph Barker is the face of the PLI. Steph first came to the PLI as a trainee where she proved herself and her business skills and won the position as the Administration Officer. Steph is currently expanding her qualifications by working towards a Certificate IV in Business and Administration.
Steph has strong customer service and manages the front of house and event management at the PLI, Steph has a great work ethic and organisation skills and is an asset to the PLI. The PLI team would be lost without her.
Karena has enjoyed a varied career in education—across Australia and in the UK—in both urban and rural schools. Her leadership journey in Tasmania spans 15 years, working in secondary schools and district-level Curriculum Development.
Karena joined the PLI after working at Taroona High School as Assistant Principal (managing professional learning) and as acting Principal.
Karena has a deep appreciation of the critical contribution of teachers and schools to creating thriving communities. She is committed to enhancing this work through collaborative models of professional learning. Karena has professional interests in learning communities as well as fostering leadership.
Karena was an inaugural recipient of a Hardy Fellowship in 2003, where she studied the role of inquiry and project-based learning in the Arts.
Stephanie has over 27 years' experience in the education sector. Her early career was school-based teaching with significant service in diverse, rural areas of Tasmania. Stephanie attributes her country service as a formative journey that has highlighted the educational importance of building relationships, connecting with community, leading with an expectation of success and nurturing attitudes that promote 'anywhere, anytime learning'.
Stephanie's focus on effective teaching-learning practices at school and district levels saw a shift of focus from roles in school leadership to developing professional learning for others. She is an advocate of further study with a Master of Education (specialising in school improvement, leadership and professional learning), a Post Graduate Certificate in teaching mathematics and trainer accreditation in Strengths Deployment Inventory (SDI). Stephanie has been with the PLI since its beginning in 2012. She designs and facilitates a range of professional learning programs. Her broad portfolio interests include programs in leadership, respectful workplaces, school business management and teacher assistants – giving her a true 'system' focus in improving education in Tasmania.
Bernadette has over 30 years' experience in education in Tasmania. Her school and professional learning leadership roles have focussed heavily on improving professional practice through a lens of coaching, mentoring and collaborating. She moved from being a principal on the North-west coast to join the Institute in its beginning year of 2012.
Bernadette's post-graduate qualifications include a Graduate Certificate in Education (Information and Communication Technology), accredited Agency Trainer for Cognitive Coaching and accredited Agency Trainer for Adaptive Schools. Her achievements include the development of one of the PLI's flagship programs, Building a Feedback Culture, which enables teachers to focus on continual improvement, learning and growth through evidence-based reflection. She has coached principals, leadership teams and adults from diverse workforces.
As an educational leader, Bernadette is renowned for her passion for developing self-directedness and capacity in others. She brings with her significant experience in growing this culture in educational settings.
Suzanne joins the Professional Learning Institute as Program Leader to implement the Family Partnership Model across the state. Suzanne is a highly experienced educational leader with a background in the early years as a kindergarten and early childhood intervention teacher and more recently as Principal of Early Childhood Intervention Service – Devonport. She is renowned for her ability to build partnership relationships with families, local community agencies and schools. Having completed accreditation as a Family Partnership Model Facilitator in 2007, Suzanne’s leadership practice and interactions constantly reflect the underpinning principles of this model - honesty, respect, empathy, trust, humour and humility. Suzanne is a passionate advocate for the positive changes that can occur in staff, schools and workplaces as an effect of professional learning. When all students, families and staff are ‘listened to’, respected and understood, there will be positive impact on student learning, family engagement and school culture. .
Kate has over 30 years' experience in education. Her school and professional learning leadership roles have focussed on improving professional practice through the lens of coaching, mentoring and curriculum leadership. She moved from being an Education Consultant with Brisbane Catholic Education to join the Institute at the beginning of 2016.
Kate's post-graduate qualifications include a Master of Education; a Master of Online Education and most recently a Master of Arts (Educational Research) from the University of Northampton in the UK. She is a trained Mentor and an accredited Coach.
Kate brings a broad and varied skillset to the PLI. She has had a variety of school roles including classroom teacher, Lead Teacher and Assistant and Acting Principal. Her achievements include the development of curriculum and online resources (Scootle); Values Education Unit (Education Services Australia); and has presented at the BETT Conference in London in the area of Digital Citizenship.
As an educational leader, Kate is passionate about empowering educators to develop positive attitudes toward contemporary learning that supports and enhances life-long learning, collaboration and student progress in authentic, challenging, and creative ways.
John is an experienced educator, and has had an extensive career in both teaching and leadership positions within the Department Education, including in schools, colleges and Curriculum Services.
Recently he has worked extensively with school leadership and collaborative teams focusing on improving numeracy and literacy outcomes. Working with adults has added a wonderful new dimension to his learning and career journey.
John brings to the PLI a wealth of knowledge in, and passion for, mathematics and numeracy education, improving data literacy and further developing strategic leadership practice.
Ben is a passionate self-confessed Digital Creative. His career and digital leadership spans over 18 years within our department, starting in the state's North West through to his Assistant Principal role at New Town High School. Ben's project management and digital reputation advanced as manager of our Department's Virtual Learning Environment and the project management of My Education.
While constantly researching through his digital network Ben's post graduate qualifications include Honours, Future of Learning through Harvard University and a Graduate Certificate in Education (Computers for Teaching and Learning). Ben is committed enabling students to make the journey from Digital Consumers through to Digital Producers through the facilitation of the PLI's flagship programs including 21 CLD, Leading a Digital School and New Pedagogies for Deep Learning.
As an educational Leader Ben is known for both his creative thinking and innovative approach, mixed with dynamic and engaging workshops that truly leverage the power of digital for learning.
We will learn together, and the journey will be fun.
Jodee is the Principal Project Officer: Workforce Development and has responsibility for leading the Workforce Development Strategy. This
strategy is an important aspect of the formal partnership between the University of Tasmania and the Tasmanian Government and the work of the Peter Underwood Centre for Educational Attainment. Jodee's role involves establishing effective liaison networks along with developing and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders.
Jodee is deeply committed to children and youth having a bright future, to learners being first in thinking and actions and to a skilled workforce being equipped to meet demands of world-class education. She draws from extensive experience including as a teacher, Curriculum Officer, Assistant Principal, principal, manager learning; principal network leader and active involvement in professional organisations and government committees.
Jodee believes in the benefits are endless for individuals as well as the community when learning is valued and pursued . Through collaboration with the Perter Underwood Centre and purposefully engaging with key stakeholders in holistic ways, she is passionate about working to improve schools through developing workforce capacity and capability that raises performance.
Nicole has a wealth of experience in Business Management, with over 20 years' in the sector. Her role as Manager Strategy & Planning with the Professional Learning Institute (PLI) sees her working across marketing and communications, strategy and policy development and implementation, project management, and stakeholder relations.
For the past 12 months, Nicole held the position of Business Manager with the PLI. Prior to this Nicole was an Analyst with DoE in Budget & Resource Services and Financial Analyst with Housing Tasmania. In the 10 years prior to her time in State Government she worked in the private sector. Nicole is currently expanding her qualifications by working towards a Bachelor of Business Administration with the University of Tasmania.
Cindy has over 25 years experience in the Education Sector working as a School Business Manager (SBM) across both Primary & High Schools. Her most recent SBM tenure was at Ogilvie High School for eight years. Cindy joined the PLI in May 2017, bringing to her PLI role a wealth of experience in business management and people leadership.
Cindy is excited to be part of the team at the PLI and looks forward to contributing to the delivery of high quality professional learning. Cindy is currently expanding her qualifications by undertaking a Batchelor of Business Administration with the University of Tasmania and is participating in the inaugural “Whole of Government – Managers Essential Program”.