National Executive Members - 2023

The Professional Learning Association New Zealand Te Māngai Whakangungu Kaiako o Aotearoa (Inc) is led by a national executive. Each year, members are elected to the national executive which consists of a Māori medium committee and an English medium committee with a chair for each committee that become co-chairs of the national executive.

Anna Sullivan Anna Sullivan

Evaluation Associates

Anna is the Chief Executive at Evaluation Associates | Te Huinga Kākākura Mātauranga. 

With a background in teaching and school leadership, she has worked in the PLD space for many years.  She has been fortunate to have worked with many people in our PLD whānau through the different roles she has held. About a decade ago, she worked in the Ministry of Education national office, managing the school support services contracts and a range of other PLD contracts. From there, she worked for Cognition Education managing their PLD teams and she was also the foundation consortium manager for Te Toi Tupu.  When she moved into her current role, Evaluation Associates was part of the Consortium for Professional Learning with the University of Auckland.  Given this background, collaboration across organisations is a very familiar and welcome space for Anna.  

Mā whero, mā pango, ka oti te mahi.

Tammy Gardiner Tammy Gardiner

Te Arawa, Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Awa, Te Whānau ā Apanui, Whakatōhea
Māori Medium - Committee

Tammy Gardiner is a facilitator supporting the pāngarau provision. Her current research and theory on teaching and student learning continues to influence her professional practice to focus on Māori success as Māori. Tammy’s leadership roles including Special Education Needs Coordinator, Deputy Principal, Acting Principal, and 20 years of experience within the Māori medium education sector have all contributed to her wealth of knowledge in education.

Michael Richards Michael Richards

Telco Technology Services

I’m a passionate educator who thrives on the challenge of teaching at all levels. I believe in hands-on, inquiry based learning where learners have ownership of their learning and can therefore access education in meaningful, self-driven contexts.

I began my teaching career as an intermediate teacher, enjoying the challenge of extending gifted and talented students. Likewise, I have worked with struggling pre-adolescents as they developed the necessary skills and knowledge to thrive as young adults. From there, I progressively moved down the year levels, teaching years five and six for several years, and then finally teaching years one, two and three. Teaching at the junior end of schooling equipped me with the skills and understanding to teach foundation numeracy and literacy.

Since leaving the classroom, I’ve moved on to develop my adult teaching skills. During this time, I have been heavily involved in developing Ministry of Education funded professional learning programmes for New Zealand schools. This has involved face to face, internal training, and workshopping to develop, refine and improve our offering, thus ensuring value for money and efficacy of delivery.

Lindsey Conner Lindsey Conner

Education Director Asia - Pacific
Cognition Education

Lindsey brings a wealth of creative experience in leading curriculum development and assessment, supporting education systems and teacher education development in Asian and Pacific countries. She has been a secondary science and mathematics teacher, an academic in universities for 24 years leading and researching teacher education in New Zealand and Australia with over 189 research outputs. Previously she was Professor and Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor at the University of Canterbury and Professor and Dean of the College of Education, Psychology and Social Work at Flinders University, South Australia. She is currently the Education Director, Asia Pacific at Cognition Education.

Lindsey has undertaken consultancy work for the Ministry of Education, NZQA, New Zealand Universities (Academic Quality Assurance), Fiji Higher Education Commission, National Institute of Educational Research (Japan), SEAMEO (South-East Asian Ministries of Education, 11 countries) and UNESCO. She has led multiple projects in New Zealand and across Pacific nations, helping educators grow in their understanding about meeting student needs in relation to the NELPs and transforming lives through education.

Her life goal is to find multiple ways to enhance human experiences through education to help create a better world.

Carolyn Jones Carolyn Jones

Executive Assistant

Carolyn worked in the Faculty of Education, at the University of Waikato for close to 20 years. Over that time her various roles included Administrator, researcher in Early Years Learning, Research Manager for the Faculty and Manager of the Institute of Professional Learning. She left the university in 2019 to pursue other interests. Being offered the part-time role of Executive Assistant for PLANZ in March 2022 has allowed her to work once again with colleagues and organisations with whom she has had long-standing relationships. She appreciates the opportunity to re-engage with the Education sector where the opportunities for growth and learning are challenging and exciting.

Whare Issac-Sharland Whare Issac-Sharland

Tai Huki Consult Ltd

Whare is the Manahautū (CEO) and co-Director of Tai Huki Consult Ltd. She is a well-known kaupapa Māori leader, researcher and kura Māori advocate with over 30 years of proven teaching leadership from Kōhanga Reo, Kuratahi, Wharekura, and Secondary Schools through to Whare Wānanga and Tertiary education. 

Previously, Whare was a banking and finance manager, honing her business and leadership management skills. She has written language and education strategies, as well as led and been part of local and national learning programmes as a Programme Manager for a range of organisations including Te Ara Ahunga Ora (The Retirement Commission), the Ministry of Education, Te Mātāwai as well as Iwi providers. 

Her passion is to empower whānau to self-determine their learning and education journey, further supporting them to be healthy and resilient whilst growing authentic and sustainable educational change throughout Aotearoa, now and into the future.

Sharleen Nathan Sharleen Nathan

Te Whai Toi Tangata Institute of Professional Learning

Sharleen is the Director at Te Whai Toi Tangata | Institute of Professional Learning. With a Master’s in Educational Leadership, school and Ministry of Education experience and a wealth of leadership experience across sectors, Sharleen is well positioned to support schools and kura in leadership, change management, integrated and inclusive curriculum, numeracy, Pasifika achievement & online learning.

Sharleen has taught from middle school through to secondary level both domestically and internationally. Her time with Hamilton Girls High School saw her take on leadership roles as Deputy Principal 2IC and Acting Principal where her portfolios included PLD Lead, Curriculum lead, Online learning lead, Oversight of Pasifika Achievement. She also played a vital role in revitalising and managing the Waikato AP/DP cluster.

As an advocate for equity and social justice, Sharleen is committed to making a difference in the lives of ākonga, through advocating for an inclusive and culturally responsive curriculum that gives access to ALL ākonga. She believes that Education is a great equaliser that has the power to open doors and opportunities.

Hine Waitere Hine Waitere

Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi

Ruth Tate Ruth Tate

Evaluation Associates