PETAA Leading with Literacy conference 2020: Reading to Write


Misty Adoniou

Dr Misty Adoniou is a Senior Lecturer in Language Literacy and Teaching English as a Second Language at the University of Canberra. She is the recipient of a number of teaching awards, including the 2014 Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence. She has presented nationally and internationally in the areas of spelling, literacy pedagogy, grammar and Teaching English as an Additional Language.

Misty was the lead writer for the national English as an Additional Language Teachers Resource which accompanies the Australian Curriculum and has served on several national advisory boards. She is on the Board of Directors of TESOL International — a teachers’ association representing over 100 teachers’ associations around the globe.

She has served as the President of two international TESOL Affiliates; TESOL Greece and the Australian Council of TESOL Associations.

Jennifer Asha

Jennifer Asha is a literacy educator with a passion for helping children become literate in technologically and visually rich environments. She works in schools to support teachers in the use of quality literature in best practice literacy education. Jennifer teaches at the Australian Catholic University and University of Sydney in a variety of literacy teaching units. She has written the classroom units for the Teachers' Guide to the Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Awards, Picture Book category from 2012 to 2020 and is the presenter and moderator of popular face-to-face and online courses for PETAA.

Jon Callow

Dr Jon Callow is an experienced teacher, having worked in primary schools, universities and in professional development for teachers. His areas of expertise include primary English and literacy teaching. His research areas include visual literacy, multimodality, the use of ICT to support literacy and multimodal learning, as well as student creativity and engagement. As a professional literacy consultant, he has worked alongside teachers in their classrooms, in Australia and the US. He is passionate about engaging and equitable education for all his students.


Ursula Dubosarsky was born in Sydney, wanted to be a writer from the age of six and is now the author of over 60 books for children and young adults. She has won several national prizes, including the NSW, Victorian, South Australian and Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards and has been nominated for the international Hans Christian Anderson and Astrid Lindgren awards for children’s literature. She was appointed the Australian Children’s Laureate for 2020-2021 at a ceremony at the National Library of Australia in February.


Helen Harper

Helen Harper is a Senior Lecturer in English, Literacies and Languages Education at the University of New England. Helen has worked as a mentor in literacy education, as a linguist in remote Indigenous communities (Queensland and NT), and as a teacher of English as an additional language. Her current research interests include collaborating with teachers to apply principles of scaffolding language across the curriculum, and investigating the provision of English language services to refugees in regional Australia. In 2016–2017 she was a co-recipient, with Bronwyn Parkin, of the Primary English Teaching Association of Australia (PETAA) Research Grant. With Bronwyn, Helen has co-authored the PETAA publications Teaching with Intent: Scaffolding academic language with marginalised students, and Teaching with Intent 2: Literature-based literacy teaching and learning.

Julie Hayes

Julie Hayes has worked in schools as a teacher and leader, both here and in the UK, for nearly 35 years. She retired in 2019 having been Principal of Cowandilla Primary School in Adelaide for the past 16 years. Most of her career was spent in schools and preschools with high numbers of migrant and refugee children. Knowing the important role language plays in learning and social interaction in and out of school, Julie ensured her teachers were trained in and Accelerated Literacy and Systemic Functional Linguistics. Teachers need to be experts in order to help children construct highly effective oral, written and visual texts. Julie has been an active member of state and national Principals’ associations and won the 2019 John Laing Award for her contribution to professional learning in South Australia.

Dr Pauline Jones

Dr Pauline Jones is Associate Professor, Language in Education in the School of Education and is the Co-ordinator of the Graduate Language and Literacy strand. She is also Convenor of Professional Learning in the School of Education. She teaches educational linguistics, classroom-based research, English curriculum and policy in undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Her publications cover a range of topics including teacher expertise with respect to language and literacy, oral language in the classroom, online dialogue, metalinguistic awareness and functional language/semiotics.

Her research interests include dialogic teaching, functional linguistics/semiotics, teachers’ knowledge about language and multimodality. Pauline completed a Doctor of Philosophy at the University of New South Wales and her research investigated the nature and role of oral language in classroom learning with particular emphasis on the literacy outcomes for disadvantaged students.

She is currently leads ‘Transforming Literacy Outcomes (TRANSLIT)’ $350,000 research project investigating the nature of students’ literacy experiences at key points in schooling from Foundation to Senior Secondary. Pauline is also Chief Investigator on an ARC funded project investigating the use of student generated multi-modal texts in tertiary science classrooms.

Pauline Jones has over 20 years' experience as a tertiary teacher educator specialising in language and literacy research, curriculum and pedagogy. Having completed her PhD on oral language in 2005, Dr Jones' current research is in the use of student generated multimodal texts in Science, and language and literacy transitions across schooling years. Dr Jones has written extensively for teachers (in- and pre-service) in language and literacy and most recently completed co-editing of a book on dialogue in teaching and professional learning for the PETAA book — Talking the Talk: Snapshots from Australian Classrooms .

Gill Pennington was working as an EAL/D consultant for the ACT Department of Education when she completed her Masters of TESOL at Canberra University. On moving back to Sydney in 2007 to take up the role of Multicultural/ESL consultant in south-western Sydney, she began her doctoral studies part-time at Sydney University. Her research into storytelling in a multilingual community was completed earlier this year, and she now tutors in the Primary Unit of Study Teaching in a Multilingual Classroom. She is currently working as a Project Manager within the NSW Department of Education, coordinating research into the impact of ICT on the teaching of writing in primary schools. She is a council member and past president of ATESOL NSW.

Tim Warwick

Tim Warwick is the Acting Principal at Gowrie St Primary School in Shepparton. Earlier in his career, he taught Legal Studies and Humanities at Wanganui Park Secondary College. Tim has led and supported a number of Indigenous education and cultural awareness strategies which have been launched in schools across the Murray Goulburn Valley region. He was the Project Co-ordinator for the Kaiela Dhungala First Peoples Curriculum and is on the boards of Ganbina and Boundless, two organisations aimed at supporting the aspirations of our young people.

Dr Bronwyn Parkin

Dr Bronwyn Parkin was adjunct lecturer in Linguistics at the University of Adelaide and is now a literacy consultant with a long history of working in the area of literacy with Aboriginal and low socio-economic students. For many years, she was a Literacy Development project officer in the Literacy Secretariat, SA Department of Education. Her Applied Linguistics PhD was titled Scaffolding Science, a study into scientific literacy development of students in a low socio-economic classroom.

Together with Dr Helen Harper from the University of New England, Bronwyn was the 2016–2017 recipient of a PETAA research grant, Scaffolding academic language with educationally marginalised students, with the resulting publication, Teaching with Intent: Scaffolding academic language with educationally marginalised students and Teaching with Intent 2: Literature-based literacy teaching and learning .

Bronwyn has 30 years' experience in supporting language and literacy teachers beginning in Aboriginal Education, remote and metropolitan through the South Australia Accelerated Literacy program focused on disadvantaged schools; through the recent PETAA research grants investigating academic language pedagogy with educationally marginalised students; and as a consultant working in disadvantaged contexts. Dr Parkin has been a member of the Literacy Education Advisory Committee of South Australian Department of Education.

Alyson Simpson

Professor Alyson Simpson has a passion for children’s literature. With a background as a teacher librarian she now works with graduate-entry trainee teachers at the University of Sydney as a Professor in English literacy education. In all areas of her teaching, Alyson links educational theory with practice. She has developed partnerships with schools to examine the connection between English, language development and the authentic use of information and communication technology in the classroom. Alyson’s classroom-based research employs discourse analysis to investigate the issues involved in the nature and development of language, critical literacy, working with children’s literature in online environments, and pedagogic change.