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Presenter Bios

Dr Philip Roberts | Associate Professor

Dr Philip Roberts is an Associate Professor in Curriculum Inquiry and Rural Education in the Faculty of Education at the University of Canberra. He is the research leader of the Rural Education, Curriculum and Communities Research Group in the Centre for Sustainable Communities at the University of Canberra and an ARC DECRA Fellow (2020-23). Philips’ research focuses on the role of knowledge in curriculum, rural knowledges and the sustainability of rural communities.

Prior to moving to the university sector 14 years ago Philip was a teacher and school executive in rural and remote schools for 12 years. He has held various positions on state curriculum boards, departmental boards, teacher registration boards and the teachers union. Philip has spent his career advocating for and supporting initiatives aimed at enhancing equity for rural, regional and remote communities.

Throughout his research career he has been awarded in excess of $6m for research projects with a focus on education and the development of professionals in rural, regional and remote areas and published over 60 academic publications on these topics. He teaches pre-service teachers, and post graduate classes on curriculum development, the use of data in educational decision making, and the preparation of professionals for rural communities.

Kate O'Connor

Kate O’Connor is Senior Lecturer in Policy and Leadership and Director of Graduate Research in the School of Education at La Trobe University. Kate’s research focuses on curriculum policy and practice in secondary schooling and higher education, both separately and as a trajectory. Her work draws on theoretical perspectives from curriculum inquiry, education policy studies and sociology of education, and is concerned with questions relating to the knowledges valued in education and the implications of different ways of structuring curriculum at the policy level. She has expertise in qualitative research methods, historical research and policy analysis and has worked on projects concerned with changes in school curriculum policies over time, the nationalisation of schooling reform, the changing context of disciplinary knowledge across the educational trajectory and the curriculum and knowledge implications of new digital platforms.

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