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HEIA(Q) 2018 State conference: Home economics, mindful practice and planetary health
Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, South Brisbane on Saturday 18 August 2018


Click here to view conference brochure

About the keynote speakers

Rob Edwards headshot crop sml Rob Edwards
Rob’s focus is simply to encourage people to take a brief time out in their busy lives to consider their most important asset – themselves. And to get you thinking about sustainable actions that you can do so you have a long and high quality life. We can’t look after other people unless we look after ourselves first and that’s why his presentation is called “It’s All About You”. Rob Edwards, has a Bachelor of Science with majors in Anatomy & Physiology. He has been a company director for 20 years in the health and well-being industry where he designed and delivered staff development programs for hundreds organisations. Prior to that he worked for five years in a cardiac rehabilitation program where he wrote the internationally distributed book “Better Blood Pressure”. He has diverse experience working with people at all levels of business, cardiac patients, young offenders, elite athletes and remote island communities. Rob also manages the Its Time Foundation that he established in 2007 – that replaces diesel power with solar in remote island schools.
Adam Ferrier is the founder of THINKERBELL, an agency that creates ‘measured magic’. Adam is one of the leading consumer psychologists in Australia, a brand strategist and an authority on Behavioural Economics. He’s also the author of “The Advertising Effect” and part of The Australian Creatives’ ‘Power 20’; A regular on the Gruen Transfer and featured on The Project, Celebrity Apprentice and ABC Radio. The creator of the idea behind the WARC World Innovation prize (2013), and winner of the rare Cannes Gold Lion and Gold Effie double, Adam has won at all of the world major advertising shows. Adam also created the successful board game ‘The Analyst’ (translated into four languages). Adam Ferrier doesn’t just think outside the square – he’s blown the square up. A unstoppable force in the Australian advertising landscape, Adam was previously a co-owner of Cummins & Partners – Mumbrella Agency of the Year and a founder of Naked Communications. Adam hands delegates the keys to sky rocketed motivation – whether to buy, perform or change – through cognitive behavioural psychology and a deep understanding of behavioural economics. Adam also sits on the boards of social giving company Good Thnx, and social influencing company TRIBE.
Boyd Swinburn crop sml Boyd Swinburn
Boyd Swinburn is Professor of Population Nutrition and Global Health at the University of Auckland and Alfred Deakin Professor with the Global Obesity Centre, Deakin University, Melbourne. He is also Co-Chair of World Obesity Policy & Prevention section (formerly International Obesity Task Force). He trained as an endocrinologist and has conducted research in metabolic, clinical and public health aspects of obesity. His major research interests are centred on community and policy actions to prevent childhood and adolescent obesity, and reduce, what he has coined, ‘obesogenic’ environments. He is currently leading an initiative ( to monitor and benchmark food environments internationally. He has over 350 publications related to obesity, established WHO’s first Collaborating Centre on Obesity Prevention at Deakin University in 2003, led two Lancet Series on Obesity and co-chairs the Lancet Commission on Obesity. He has been an advisor on many government committees, WHO Consultations, and large scientific studies internationally.

Concurrent session speakers

Dr Nidhi Bansal
Nidhi Bansal croppedDr Nidhi Bansal is a senior lecturer in Food Science and Technology at the University of Queensland. Dr Bansal holds a PhD degree in Food and Nutritional Sciences from University College Cork, Ireland. Before coming to Australia, she had worked at California Polytechnic State University in the US. She joined UQ in 2010 and teaches principles of food preservation, food science and food product development. She leads a research group in the areas of texture and flavour modification, non-thermal processing and shelf-life extension of dairy products.

Roy Barnes
Roy is an experienced curriculum writer with the QCAA and was lead writer for the Design Syllabus. He led a team of seven teachers and two academics to develop the syllabus and associated resources. He is committed to writing the best curriculum considering the needs of all students across all schooling sectors. Roy is a parent of four boys and is ensuring the curriculum is world-class as his youngest two will study under the new SATE system.

Natalie Billing
Natalie Billing photo 2017 croppedNatalie Billing is a Brisbane artist whose artwork focuses on memory. Originally trained in sculpture and installation art, she has been exhibiting nationally since 1994, and has several historically inspired public artworks installed around Brisbane. In recent years, Billing has been focusing on eco dyeing, which is the process of extracting colour and contact prints from leaves, using minimal to no chemicals. Using windfall gathered on daily walks, Billing creates beautiful, unique prints on both fabric and paper.

Head Chef Bowyo
Chef Bowyo croppedKhanittha, nicknamed ‘Bowyo’ by her mother, spent her childhood on a dairy farm, 250 kilometres southeast of Bangkok, in a small town named Chanthaburi. When Bowyo turned 18, she moved to Australia where her culinary journey began, firstly working in the kitchen at her Aunty’s Thai restaurant, then going on to study commercial cookery, hospitality and patisserie. Bowyo joined the Venzin Group in 2013. Fast-forward to 2018, executive chef Bowyo has created Asian-Western fusion menus for the five Asian venues in the group, forming and working with elite teams.

Penny Braithewaite
Penny Braithwaite webIn her current role at the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA), Penny is the Principal Education Officer in the Review and Transition unit and responsible for the development of the Food & Nutrition 2019 Syllabus. This year, Penny has been spreading the word about the Food and nutrition syllabus through face to face implementation workshops all over Queensland. Penny has worked as a Home Economics educator and Head of Department for over 30 years in Queensland State Education system. She was involved in the development and implementation of Hospitality Studies and performed the role of State Panel Chair for 20 years. She has been involved in professional associations being president of QAHET and Vice President of HEIA(Q).

Dean Brough
Dean image croppedQUT Academic Program Director (School of Design) and Senior Fashion Lecturer is a highly experienced educational and industry fashion professional with over 30 years of tertiary teaching. Dean’s applied research is centered on the intersection of health and design, with a focus on performance and protective apparel for sub-tropical climates. Dean is also currently investigating bio-textiles – creating textiles from living bacteria to potentially grow your own apparel. Alongside this, he has also investigated threshold positions for design innovation – the creative practice from this research received a Design Institute of Australia Award. His creative practice has been exhibited at numerous prestigious art and design venues, both nationally and internationally. Dean brings a wealth of teaching and curriculum expertise to the School of Design particularly so in an era where QUT is further strengthening graduate skills and attributes in order to thrive in 21st volatile environments.

Dr Joel Gilmore
Joel Gilmore (from previous)Joel is a physicist working in renewable energy and co-host of the SBS show Food Lab, where he talks about the science of how we cook, and how science and technology can help us cook better. He has a PhD in physics, and he has been speaking on food science since 2010, including sold-out public lectures, and presenting on TV shows such as Catalyst and SCOPE. He also hosts science comedy shows around Australia. In his spare time, he sings, dances, and has visited 54 countries.

Ehud Joseph
Ehud Joseph croppedEhud Joseph is a lecturer of the Bachelor of Applied Fashion degree at the University of Canberra, based at the TAFE Queensland Brisbane campus. A graduate of the Central Saint Martin’s (London) Fashion MA program, Ehud has worked for a broad range of international labels. During his time in Europe Ehud managed an eponymous label, showing his collections at Paris Fashion Week. Through a lecturing career spanning key universities in New Zealand and Australia, Ehud has shared his passion for experimental design coupled with a deep passion for technical innovation in garment development and construction.

Phil Marchant
Phil Marchant croppedPhil is Head Chef of two restaurants, Gauge Brisbane and Sourced Grocer, Teneriffe. He brings extensive, experience from the progressive dining scenes in Australia and the UK to produce thoughtful innovative food with intent. Phil’s visions and menu offerings at Gauge include: Soft eggs, spicy green sauce and sourdough or Black garlic bread, brown butter and burnt vanilla or Charred flank steak, confit turnip, daikon, anchovy with parsley sauce or Cow’s ricotta, sancho pepper, heirloom tomatoes and olive.

Ngaire Mayo
Ngaire is a Hospitality teacher and Year Level Coordinator based at Innisfail State College just south of Cairns. She has been teaching Home Economics and Hospitality for over 15 years in both the South East and Far North Queensland. In her teaching role she strives to help students develop a lifelong love of learning and passion for experimenting with food to support their physical and emotional wellbeing. She maintains her connection to colleagues around the state and all things ‘Home Ec’ as a member of the HEIA(Q) Conference organising committee.

Kirsten McCahon
Kirsten McCahon croppedKirsten is a passionate teacher of whose teaching areas include Home Economics, Early Childhood, Hospitality and Science. Currently based at Ferny Grove, she is involved with Home Economics Institute of Australia as current president of the Queensland division. Over the past 35 years Kirsten has positively promoted all things “Home Economics” being involved as a panellist with QCAA for over 20 years and providing career opportunities for pre-service teachers.

Lyn McErlean
Lyn McErlean croppedLyn McErlean is a Home Economics teacher and former chef. She is currently the Curriculum Leader of Design Technologies at St Benedict’s College at Mango Hill, just north of Brisbane. Lyn is passionate about teaching Home Economics and building capacity in a community of educators who are equally passionate about educating students. Lyn has created three Facebook pages to be platforms of support for teachers, engagement and discussion. In 2016 Lyn was awarded a scholarship to participate in the Advanced Leadership Program of the National Excellence in School Leadership Initiative.

Jane Milburn
Jane Milburn launches her book Slow Clothing at Dadirri House Toowong.Sustainability consultant Jane Milburn is the author of Slow Clothing, a book about living lightly through the everyday practice of wearing and caring for clothes. Jane is an agricultural scientist and rural communicator who established Textile Beat in 2013 to explore clothing culture holistically, in the context of permaculture and planetary health. She leads conversations about ethical, mindful and creative ways of dressing through the Slow Clothing philosophy and presents workshops to inspire a more sustainable clothing culture. More at

Anne Mitchell
Anne Mitchell is a former High School Teacher, leaving classroom teaching to marry. With the urge to share her skills still strong, Anne began teaching fabric designing with an Australian company. The love of what she had done for many years, combined with experience in retailing through her family history, led Anne to start her own business, Genesis Creations™, in 1999. Anne has taught fabric designing for over forty years, travelling extensively across Australia and New Zealand to share these skills.

Mark Morrison
Mark Morrison croppedProfessor Mark Morrison is an internationally recognised microbiologist with a specific interest in the role that microbes play in affecting the health and well-being of humans and animals. After nearly 20 years within US academia, he returned to Australia in 2006, initially as a Science Leader for CSIRO, and now as Chair and Principal Group Leader in Microbial Biology and Metagenomics at The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute. He has been involved in several research projects and has written and contributed to many journal articles on gut health and related topics.

Louise Pamment
btyLouise has taught Technological and Applied Studies (TAS) in NSW since 2006 and has played various roles including Head Teacher, Teaching and Learning and VET Coordinator. She has 7 years’ experience marking the NSW HSC and has written for Nelson Hospitality Focus. Currently, Louise is working for the NSW Department of Education, managing State-wide VET programs. She was the recipient of the 2017 Premier’s VET Teaching Scholarship, where she will undertake a 5-week study tour in Europe 2018 to investigate best practice in education.

Sangeeta Prakash
Sangeeta Prakash smallDr Prakash is an academic in food technology at the University of Queensland with extensive experience in processing, physical characterisation (texture analyser, rheometer and tribometer and mastersizer) and oral processing of various food ingredients and products including proteins (dairy and plant), hydrocolloids, dairy products (milk, yoghurt, custard, cream cheese and dairy beverages), rice and meat. Her research interest also extends to digestibility of food ingredients in the human gastro intestinal tract. She has authored several research articles including a book chapter. Dr Prakash has commenced several projects in food 3D printing.

Jill Shehab
2018 is Jill Shehab’s 40-year anniversary as an educator and she continues to see herself as an apprentice facilitator. There is always something new to learn and strategies to implement in supporting students through the problems they must solve in an ever changing world. Most of Jill’s working life has been in state education teaching at Springwood SHS, Yarrabah Secondary Department, Miami SHS and finally All Saints Anglican School for the past 14years. She has enjoyed teaching all areas of Home Economics. Teaching textiles from a fashion, cultural and sustainable perspectives get her excited. Jill has led Home Economics student tours to New Zealand and Japan, supported student involvement in Wool for School, Apex Teenage Fashion Competition, The Australian Wool Awards (now known as Fleece to Fashion). She is a passionate hoarder (is that another word for collector?) of vintage sewing patterns and loves writing design challenges for practical tasks.

Lynette Skeers
Lynette Skeers is the Cre8 Lab coordinator at All Hallows’ School. A qualified Library Technician who has worked in schools for 8 years, Lynette has most recently embraced the Makerspace Movement creating workshops for secondary students outside class time. Activities include coding, electronics, 3D printing, fabrication, wearable tech and crafts. Cre8 Lab projects can be viewed at:

Dr Lauren Solomon
Lauren Solomon croppedLauren Solomon is a Practitioner, Activist, Doctoral Candidate, and Associate Lecturer in Fashion at QUT. Lauren’s current research explores how design activism can be used to intervene in global fashion production networks. Using practice-led research, she recently collaborated with a local trade union in Cambodia to run a capacity building training program for garment workers. Lauren teaches a diverse portfolio of units, including Sustainability, Design, Work Integrated Learning and Human Rights.

 Paula Starr

Paula Starr 4x3 croppedPaula has over 20 years’ experience teaching home economics related curriculum in regional and urban Queensland state schools. At a systemic level she has assisted teachers across Queensland to develop curriculum and assessment. Paula is passionate about developing knowledge and skills in food science and uses practical experimental experiences related to food to develop an understanding of the physical and chemical properties of food for food formulations.

Cameron Turner
Cameron has spent 25+ years researching problems, developing solutions and executing innovation strategies to transform ideas into opportunities. During this time, he has founded 4 start-ups commercialising world first innovations, like the PERKii probiotic drink, flowering plants, new agricultural products and immune bosting supplements. Cameron has a degree in Science, however has worked as an Entrepreneur and CEO of start-ups for the last 13 years. Currently the Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Queensland Business School and a consultant to small, medium and large corporations and government agencies, Cameron enjoys talking to students, staff and executives about how to identify problems and develop innovative business models to create sustainable competitive advantage for maximum impact.

Associate Professor Mark Turner
Associate Professor Mark Turner is the Discipline Head of Food Science and Technology at the University of Queensland. He teaches the food microbiology courses at UQ, leads a research team studying bacteria used in food fermentations and also explores new ways to control pathogenic bacteria in vegetables. He has graduated 15 PhD students, published 70 research papers and delivered presentations in 8 different countries. He was the 2017 recipient of the Australian Institute for Food Science and Technology Keith Farrer Award of Merit.

Dr Ira van der Steenstraten
Ira van der Steenstraten croppedIra trained as a psychiatrist, psychotherapist and family therapist in the Netherlands. She has over 25 years of professional experience. Currently working as a Life Coach, Ira is the founder of Breeze Life Coaching ( As an experienced Mindfulness trainer and internationally recognised speaker, Ira has developed innovative Mindfulness and Resilience programs for individuals and groups, including children and doctors. She believes in empowering the patients, clients and others she works with to develop the skills and knowledge they need to be able to manage and improve their own well-being and their everyday life.

Sofie van Kempen
Sofie is a nutritionist, foodie, passionate gut health advocate, chicken mumma, suburban farmer and the brains behind her workshop business: She loves to cook wholesome food based on ingredients your grandparents would recognise as food. Sofie believes that being well, healthy & happy begins in the gut and loves to demonstrate just how simple that can be.

Anne Weaver
Anne Weaver is Head of Library and Information Services at All Hallows’ School. Anne believes that School Libraries are about connecting the school community with information and resources to promote learning. This is increasingly centred on the 4 Cs: Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking and Creativity. Future oriented libraries assist members to “make” information, not just consume it, which is reflected at her blogs: and

Amelia Webster
Amelia Webster croppedAmelia is an Accredited Practising Dietitian, with 10 years- experience in community nutrition education and health promotion and as a private practice dietitian. She is currently a Program Coordinator at Nutrition Australia Qld and a Teaching Fellow at Bond University. Amelia believes that nutrition health professionals and nutrition educators have an important role in translating and communicating evidence based nutrition science in an engaging and practical way that encourages positive eating behaviours and attitudes to food.

Kay York
Kay York croppedKay is an active member of the Home Economics community across Australia where she is currently President of the Home Economics Institute of Australia Inc. She has been working for over 30 years in various schools and drove the implementation of the Health and Physical Education curriculum in Queensland as a Manager at Curriculum into the classroom. She is Head of Department at Park Ridge State High School and has presented workshops on assessment and curriculum at both National and Queensland Conferences over many years.

Michelle Zammit
Michelle has worked in Culinary Development at McCormick Foods Australia for 3 years. In her role she is involved in product concept development through to commercialisation and product launch. It is her responsibility to ensure the products are developed with a strong sense of culinary purpose, keeping the consumer constantly front of mind. Michelle has worked in the food industry for over 25 years, in industrial, institutional and private enterprises. Prior to McCormick she worked at General Mills, Kraft Foods and consulted to Bulla Dairy and CSR sugar.