About Us

Our Mission:

The Professional Learning Institute brokers, develops and delivers, the high quality professional learning that is fundamental to the development of a highly effective and continually improving, Department of Education workforce.

Our Vision:

To be a nationally recognised leader in optimising professional learning opportunities that inspire a highly skilled, highly qualified and motivated workforce with the capability to deliver world class education for our students

PLI Strategic Elements:

  • Professional learning is responsive to Department of Education workforce planning and development needs
  • A standards-based, coherent and systematic approach to supporting clear career pathways for Tasmanian teachers and leaders
  • Professional learning is matched to individual’s career stage and context
  • High quality implementation of evidence based adult learning techniques
  • High quality service provision

 

Diamonds Icon Our People

Director

Brett Manion

Brett has significant experience as an educator in Tasmania, across Government, Catholic and Independent sectors in teaching roles from Prep to Year 10. His senior leadership roles include those of school principal, Principal Leader of Literacy and Numeracy, and Principal Network Leader, supporting 30 southern Tasmanian school principals in implementing school improvement strategies. Brett comes to the role as Director, Professional Learning Institute with an absolute commitment and belief in the critical role of quality professional learning in developing the capabilities of the high quality workforce that is fundamental to a world class education system. Brett sees the PLI as having an exciting future in continuing to partner across the agency and externally to provide and facilitate high quality, evidence based professional learning that is strongly aligned to the strategic vision of the Department of Education.
Professional Learning Leader

Jill Burrill

Jill has held various roles within the Department of Education over a number of years and brings to the role both in-school and out-of- school experience. Jill has returned to the Professional Learning Institute (PLI) having recently been an Assistant Principal at New Town High school. Her other leadership roles include Principal Education Officer (Curriculum Services and PLI) and a Literacy Leader across a number of schools. Jill is committed to quality teaching and learning and has co-authored the Good Teaching resources and developed professional learning to support teachers to understand and implement the key messages. As an educator, Jill is passionate about lifelong learning to improve the quality of teaching, and learning for students.
Professional Learning Leader

Karena Gregory

Karena has enjoyed a varied career in education—across Australia and in the UK—in both urban and rural schools, K - 12. Her leadership journey in Tasmania spans 20 years, working in secondary schools and Curriculum Development. Karena joined the PLI after working at Taroona High School as Assistant Principal (professional learning) and as acting Principal. Karena has a deep appreciation of the critical contribution of teachers and schools to creating thriving communities. She has professional interests in learning communities as well as leadership development. Karena was an inaugural recipient of a Hardie Fellowship in 2003, where she studied the role of inquiry and project-based learning in the Arts.
Professional Learning Leader

Stephanie Hickey

Stephanie has over 30 years' experience in the education sector as a teacher and educational leader. Her outlook to quality, high impact education includes the importance of building relationships, connecting with community, leading with an expectation of success and nurturing attitudes that promote 'anywhere, anytime learning'. She is an advocate of further study with a Master of Education (specialising in leadership and professional learning), a Post Graduate Certificate in teaching mathematics and trainer accreditation in Strengths Deployment Inventory (SDI). Her broad portfolio interests include programs in leadership, developing teams, feedback survey design, school business management and teacher assistants – giving her a true 'system' focus in improving education in Tasmania.
Professional Learning Leader

Bernadette Howard

Bernadette has a wealth of experience in all sectors of education in Tasmania and joined the PLI in its first year, 2012. As a teacher, principal and consultant, kindergarten to adult learning, Bernadette is passionate about developing self-directedness and capacity in others. Her commitment and success in growing this culture in educational settings have made her an in-demand presenter and mentor. Bernadette is an internationally accredited coach, facilitator and presenter, who continues to coach principals, school leadership teams and adults from diverse workforces. The design and presentation of Bernadette’s professional learning are recognised and sought out nationally.
Professional Learning Leader

Suzanne Jones

Suzanne is Program Leader for implementing 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. 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.
Professional Learning Leader

Kate O'Neill

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. 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. 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.
Professional Learning Leader

John Penman

John is an experienced educator, and has had an extensive career in both teaching and leadership positions within the Department Education. This has included high 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.
Manager Strategy & Planning

Cindy McDonald

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'.
Manager Strategy & Planning

Nicole Wolfe

Nicole has a wealth of experience in Business Management, with over 20 years in the sector. Nicole’s role as Manager Strategy & Planning with the Professional Learning Institute (PLI) sees her working across marketing and communications, strategy, policy development and implementation, project management, and stakeholder relations. Nicole previously held the position of Business Manager with the PLI and prior to this, Nicole was an Analyst with DoE in Budget & Resource Services and Financial Analyst with Housing Tasmania. Nicole has recently completed her Associated Degree in Applied Business with the University of Tasmania.
Business Manager

Shelley Spong

Shelley has gained extensive knowledge and experience through tenures in various school offices over the past 10 years. With current expertise in all Department of Education administrative systems utilised in schools, Shelley brings a school background and component to the PLI as our Business Manager. Shelley has completed the White Ribbon Manager training along with Growing Your Leadership with the aim to develop and improve her leadership skills.
Administration Officer

Stephanie Barker

Steph Barker 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.