Keynote Conversations

Keynote conversations will open and/or close each day. Rather than passive keynotes, our Keynote Conversations will again be dynamic and interactive. Each conversation will be hosted and facilitated purposefully.

Please see below for a list of confirmed Keynote Conversations to date. Please check back on this page for more Keynote Conversations as they are confirmed:

Wednesday 22 November

Keynote Conversation 1 (11:00am – 12:00pm): The tears of the collective: The role of community arts in healing historical trauma

Speakers: Dr Te Oti Rakena and Assoc. Prof. Brydie-Leigh Bartleet
Conversation Chair: Assoc. Prof Deidre Brown

Dr Te Oti Rakena (Ngāpuhi, Ngati Ruanui, and Kāi Tahu)
Te Oti studied at New England Conservatory in Boston, received his doctorate in vocal studies from the University of Texas at Austin and undertook three years’ post-doctoral study in Germany. He is an active performer and researcher, known for his willingness to sing in and across the vocal genres and in diverse performance contexts. Performances include the world premieres of Eve de Castro-Robinson’s Len Lye the opera, David Hamilton’s work Erebus and in 2017 Gareth Farr’s operatic version of Renee Liang’s play the Bone Feeder for the New Zealand Opera Auckland Festival season. As a researcher, he has published widely in the area of studio pedagogy and community music and participated in research initiatives aimed at improving the quality of education for Māori and Pacific Island music students in the tertiary sector. He is currently the Associate Dean Māori and Pacific Island for the Faculty of Creative Arts and Industries and Coordinator of Vocal Studies in the School of Music.

Assoc. Prof. Brydie-Leigh Bartleet
Associate Professor Brydie-Leigh Bartleet is Director of the Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre, Griffith University, Australia. She is known worldwide for her research in community music and community engagement, and has worked on a range of national and international projects in community music, arts-based service learning with First Peoples, regional arts development, social justice, arts programs in prisons, and global mobility. She serves on the Board of Australia’s peak music advocacy body, Music Australia, and has served as Chair and Commissioner of the International Society for Music Education’s Community Music Activities Commission and is Associate Editor of the International Journal of Community Music. She has worked on four successive Australia Research Council Linkage projects, led a major Australian Government Office for Learning & Teaching Innovation and Development project, and produced well over a 100 research outputs. In 2014 she was awarded the Australian University Teacher of the Year.

Keynote Conversation 2 (4:00pm – 5:00pm): 
Envisaging community: Young arts educators re-imagine and reflect on the future of community arts in Aotearoa and beyond

Speakers: Pauline Hiroti, Rewa Worley, Kendall Jones and Ellré Jacobs
Conversation Chair: Dr Rose Martin
Discussion: This conversation seeks to hear the voices and experiences of four young arts educators, working in a variety of community contexts, and is motivated by the query: How might community arts play a role in fostering democracy, equality, acceptance, and diversity within our world?

Pauline Hiroti
Ko Whangaehu to Awa ataahua e rere ana
Ko Kurahaupo to Waka e maanu ana
Ko Nga Wairiki Ngati Apa te Iwi mana e ako ana
Ko Ngati Huru te ra te Hapu kaha e arataki ana
Ko Kauangaroa te Marae e tau ana
Ko Pauline Hiroti ahau
Pauline is from New Zealand, and affiliates to the tribe Nga Wairiki Ngati Apa. She is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Auckland and also works with many youth through secondary schools, community organizations, and her iwi (tribe) in Whanganui, New Zealand. Her key research interests are in community dance practice, Kaupapa Māori theory, and youth development. In particular, Pauline is incredibly interested in ways in which community dance practice and Māori concepts of whakapapa can be interweaved to create deeper connections and understandings for rangatahi (youth). Pauline is passionate about connecting with young people and creating grass roots dance initiatives that speak to the needs and aspirations of her local community.

Kendall Jones
Kendall Jones is a doctoral candidate within the Dance Studies department at The University of Auckland. Her current research interests include dance professionalism, dance in different cultural contexts, ethnography, and inclusive community arts.
Kendall has both international and local dance credits. Teaching contemporary technique (National University of Singapore), choreography (Beijing Dance Academy), dance and culture (The University of Auckland), and creative dance processes (The University of Auckland).  Kendall has experience performing in Singapore (Dance Synergy; World Dance Alliance Asia-Pacific Bridge), Los Angeles (University of California, Los Angeles), Helsinki (University of the Arts Helsinki) and New Zealand (Action; Tempo Dance Festival).

Ellré Jacobs
Ellré Jacobs is currently conducting PhD research at the University of Auckland. Her research interest is in music, health, and wellbeing.  After completing her Master of Music (MMus) on the relevance of tertiary music education to the employability and sustainability of music careers, her study influenced a curriculum re-evaluation and restructuring process at the North-West University of South Africa in 2016. During her earlier music studies, she majored in Composition, Music Technology, and Music Education and now works as the Music Programme Coordinator for Oceania Healthcare – impacting Dementia and other wellbeing issues by introducing regular doses of music through personalised playlists in the lives of the elderly.Kendall Jones is a doctoral candidate within the Dance Studies department at The University of Auckland. Her current research interests include dance professionalism, dance in different cultural contexts, ethnography, and inclusive community arts.

Dr Rose Martin
Dr Rose Martin is Senior Lecturer in Dance Studies, University of Auckland. She has extensive experience researching and teaching dance in the Middle East, China, Europe, Russia, and the Baltic region. Rose has authored Talking dance: Contemporary histories from the Southern Mediterranean (2014) with Associate Professor Nicholas Rowe and Associate Professor Ralph Buck, Dance, diversity and difference: Performance and Identity Politics in Northern Europe and the Baltics with Professor Eeva Antilla (2017), and Women, dance and revolution (2016). Her academic articles are published in leading education, dance, and cultural theory journals.

Thursday 23 November 

Keynote Conversation 3 (9:00am – 10:00am): Health, well being and quality education: Notes on sustainable development through the arts

Speakers: Prof. Rita Irwin and Prof. Peter Gouzouasis
Conversation Chair: Assoc. Prof. David Lines
Discussion: Based on UNESCO’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, we will speak to the core ideals of (1) good health and well-being, (2) quality education, (3) reduced inequalities, (4) sustainable cities and communities, and (5) peace, justice and strong institutions. Even in countries where issues of poverty and malnutrition are central to our definitions and understandings of health, well-being and quality education, culture – in various forms of artistic expression – is core to the identities of the world’s peoples. That is because the culture of a people is embodied in and reflected through their artistic expressions – music making, dance, story telling, drama, and visual art. The research we will draw from underscores how the arts are essential to world wide sustainable development.

Prof. Rita Irwin
Rita L. Irwin is a Distinguished University Scholar and Professor of Art Education and Curriculum Studies, Faculty of Education, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. She is also a Past President of the UNESCO-affiliated International Society for Education through Art and Principal Editor of the International Journal of Education through Art (2017-2020). Her major research interests include practice-based research, participatory and community engaged research, international studies, arts based research and a/r/tography set within questions related to sociocultural issues, teacher education, inquiry based learning, and contemporary art. Rita is an artist, researcher, and teacher deeply committed to the arts and education.

Prof. Peter Gouzouasis
Peter Gouzouasis is a Professor and Deputy Head of the Department of Curriculum & Pedagogy at The University of British Columbia. He leads courses in teaching and learning in early childhood music education, autoethnography, creative pedagogies and design thinking, and curriculum theory. His most recently published works are concerned with the development of a sociosophy of education, trailblazing the use of Arts Based Educational Research, a/r/tography, and Creative Analytical Practices in music education research.

Assoc. Prof. David Lines
David Lines, PhD (Education) is Associate Professor of Music Education at the University of Auckland. His research is in the area of educational philosophy and the arts, early childhood arts education, improvisation and education, creativity, music technology and music education. David plays in an instrumental jazz ensemble and has contributed to five recorded albums and numerous performances. His music teaching career has spanned primary, secondary and tertiary levels. He is  editor of Music Education for the New Millennium (Wiley) and co-editor of Intersecting Cultures in Music and Dance Education: An oceanic perspective (Springer).

Friday 24 November

Keynote Conversation 4 (3:30pm – 4:30pm): Dance and Dementia

Speakers: Prof. Suzanne Purdy and Carlene Newall de Jesus
Conversation Chair: Assoc. Prof Ralph Buck
Discussion: This key conversation will present an insight into Suzanne and Carlene’s work with dance for people dementia and explore ways that scientific and artistic methodologies and pedagogies can come together. The conversation will discuss why and how dance activities may offer unique benefits for older people with cognitive impairment and look to how this area may be strengthened through interdisciplinary understandings.

Prof. Suzanne Purdy
Suzanne Purdy is Professor and Head of Speech Science in the School of Psychology at the University of Auckland and a Principle Investigator in the University of Auckland Centre for Brain Research (CBR) and the Brain Research New Zealand Centre of Research Excellence. Her academic background is in psychology, speech science and audiology and she has research interests in the areas of communication disorders, auditory processing, hearing and neurological conditions. Suzanne worked clinically as an audiologist at Auckland Hospital before becoming an academic and researcher after completing her PhD at the University of Iowa and returning to New Zealand to join the newly established Master of Audiology programme in 1990. She was a Senior Research Scientist at National Acoustic Laboratories in Sydney from 2000-2003 before returning to New Zealand to establish the Speech Science programme. Her research with CBR music therapists Alison Talmage and Shari Storie and other colleagues in the CBR has investigated choral singing therapy for people with neurological conditions and she is currently collaborating with Associate Professor Ralph Buck and Carlene Newall de Jesus to investigate dance in people with cognitive impairment.

Carlene Newall de Jesus
Carlene Newall de Jesus is a Doctoral candidate from the University of Auckland and a performing arts educator, researcher and performer. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Bachelor of Performing Arts in Dance, and a Postgraduate Diploma and Masters in Science (Health Psychology). Her current doctoral research is supported by the Freemasons Foundation and the Centre for Brain Research examining the use of dance for wellbeing in older adults with cognitive impairment. Her interests are in community dance, the intersections of arts and science and the use of dance in wellness and health for diverse groups of people.

Assoc. Prof Ralph Buck
Ralph Buck (PhD) is Head of Dance Studies, University of Auckland. He has been recognised with several teaching, research and leadership awards. His research and teaching has been presented around the world and in leading research journals and books. His work with international organisations draws attention to potential roles of dance as a dynamic agent for change within security, health and education concerns.

Saturday 25 November

Keynote Conversation 5 (10:30am – 11:30am): Talanoa

Speakers: Marina McCartney, Tarisi Vunidilo, Lana Lopesi and Michelle Johansson
Conversation Chair: Dr Te Oti Rakena

Marina McCartney
Marina McCartney holds a MA Screen Production (1st class honours) and is an award winning filmmaker. Her MA thesis film, Milk & Honey was selected as one of the top six New Zealand short films for the 2012 NZ International Film Festival’s short film competition and screened at Palm Springs ShortFest, Foyle Film Festival and ImagineNative. It was also nominated as one of the top three New Zealand short film scripts at the 2012 New Zealand Script Writer Awards.
Marina is a Professional Teaching Fellow at the University of Auckland’s Pacific Studies department.  She co-ordinates and teaches the core stage I courses, facilitates an academic enhancement programme called Vaka Moana and is the Undergraduate Advisor for Pacific Studies.  Her academic areas of interest focus on Pacific filmmaking, the representation of Pacific peoples through the mediascape and how this affects identity formation in the diaspora.

Tarisi Vunidilo
Tarisi Vunidilo has a MSc in Anthropology and a Postgraduate Diploma in Maori and Pacific Development, from the University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand, a Postgraduate Diploma in Arts, majoring in Archaeology, Australian National University, Canberra, and a BA in Geography, History and Sociology, University of South Pacific, Suva, Fiji. She has published two books and several articles about Fijian pottery, language and archaeology. She was Programs Advisor, Pacific Arts, Creative New Zealand from 2007-2009; Collections Services Manager, Waikato Museum of Art & History from 2003-2007; Collection Manager (Registrar) of Pacific Collection at Tongarewa, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa from 2001-2003, and Director from 2000-2001 and Archaeologist and Head of the Archaeology Department from 1997-2000, and Graduate Trainee, Archaeology Department from 1994-1996 at the Fiji Museum. She is currently volunteering as Secretary-General for the Pacific Islands Museums Association (PIMA) and works between her office in Port Vila, Vanuatu and Auckland, New Zealand. She completed her Phd in Pacific Studies in January of this year- on the topic of “iYau Vakaviti-Fijian Treasures, Cultural Rights and Repatriation of Cultural Materials from International Museums”, at the Centre of Pacific Island Studies at the University of Auckland (New Zealand). She currently tutors and is a Teaching Assistant (Professional Teaching Fellow) at the University of Auckland.

Lana Lopesi
Lana Lopesi is a critic of art and culture based in Tāmaki Makaurau, Aotearoa. Lana is the Editor-in-Chief and Visual Arts Editor for The Pantograph Punch and was Founding Editor of #500words. Lana currently writes a monthly column for Design Assembly called Graphic Matters where she is also the Editor, one project of hers is the Aotearoa Design Thinking series building dialogue around design in Aotearoa. Current projects include The False Divides, a book to published by Bridget Williams Books in 2018, and Unceded Territories an upcoming exhibition at the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia where Lana is a part of the curatorium.
Lana holds a Bachelor of Fine Art (honours) from Elam School of Fine Arts, The University of Auckland and is currently working towards a Masters of Philosophy from Auckland University of Technology’s School of Art and Design with a thesis titled The white seas of diaspora: Indigenising the archive as practice.

Dr Michelle Johansson
Dr Michelle Johansson is a Polynesian theatre-maker and mother, doctoral scholar and former high school dropout.  She is currently Associate Programme Director at Teach First NZ: Ako Mātātupu and the Creative Director of the Black Friars Theatre Company. South Auckland, decile one born and bred, she is proud to work in the spaces where Education, Equity and the Performing Arts meet for Young Brown Scholars.

Dr Te Oti Rakena (Ngāpuhi, Ngati Ruanui, and Kāi Tahu)
As above.



Keynote Conversation 6 (4:00pm – 5:30pm): 
Reflect. Apply. Provoke.

Speakers: Prof. Rita Irwin, Dr. Brittany Harker Martin, Phil Mullen, Prof. Peter O’Connor
Conversation Chair: Assoc. Prof. Nicholas Rowe
Discussion: What are imperatives for arts education and community engagement? This session gathers an international, interdisciplinary panel of experts to share reflections that emerged from the conference, identify potential applications for arts education within communities, and provoke actions for practice, pedagogy and policy.

Prof. Rita Irwin
As above.



Dr Brittany Harker Martin
Dr Brittany Harker Martin is a thought leader on leadership, learning, and the arts. With a B.Ed, Arts Education, and a PhD in Global Strategy, she is an Assistant Professor at the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary. She teaches graduate courses in educational leadership, and arts education courses to preservice teachers specializing in art, drama, music, and dance. Her collaborations include Stanford’s Gardner Centre, Harvard’s Leadership Institute, the Rozsa Foundation, the Carnegie Foundation, the Royal Conservatory of Music, etc. She presents regularly in countries around the world on her theories of Social Empowerment, the Artistry of Instructional Design, and more.

Phil Mullen
Phil Mullen has worked for over thirty years developing music with people who are socially excluded including homeless people, offenders and seniors. Phil specializes in working with excluded children and young people at risk and in training community musicians. He runs workshops and seminars on community music and creativity all over the world. Phil has a PHD from Winchester University. Phil’s publications include co-editing ‘Reaching out – Music education with ‘hard to reach’ children and young people’.

Prof. Peter O’Connor
Peter O’Connor is Professor of Education and Head of The School of Critical Studies in Education at the University of Auckland.  Peter’s research centres on applied theatre as public and radical pedagogy. Peter has over 80 publications, including 5 books on drama/ creative education.  In 2012 he was awarded the Griffith University School of Education Alumnus of the Year Award for his contributions to applied theatre and social justice. Peter was formerly the National Facilitator for Drama for the Ministry of Education overseeing the introduction of Drama as part of the Arts Curriculum for New Zealand schools.  He is the Academic Director of the Creative Thinking Project at the University of Auckland overseeing research into the creative process in schools.

Assoc. Prof. Nicholas Rowe
Nicholas Rowe graduated from the Australian Ballet School and holds a PhD in Dance Studies from the University of Kent at Canterbury. He has facilitated inclusive dance programmes and projects in Asia, the Pacific, Europe and the Middle East over three decades. His books include Art, during siege (2004), Raising Dust: a cultural history of dance in Palestine (2010), Moving Oceans: celebrating dance in the South Pacific (2013), Talking Dance: contemporary histories from the Southern Mediterranean (2014) and Talking Dance: contemporary histories from the South China Sea (2015). Nicholas is currently an Associate Professor in Dance Studies at the University of Auckland.

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