Expert Educators ready to put Australia on the world stage

Microsoft has selected six ‘Expert Educators’ who will represent Australia’s brightest teaching talent at the Global Educator Exchange

14 April 2015 – Sydney, Australia: Microsoft has today announced the six Microsoft Innovator Educator Experts (MIE Experts) who have been selected to represent Australia at the Microsoft Global Educator Exchange (E2) in Seattle, Washington USA, on the April 29.

E2 is an annual event where 300 of the most innovative educators and students gather from around the world to exchange cutting edge ideas aimed at having a global impact on educational practices.

“The Expert Educators attending E2 have been selected for their enthusiasm, leadership and contribution to their industry and to the program. Each year the Global Forum celebrates renowned educators who are part of this exclusive global community of leaders, paving the way for their peers in the effective use of technology for better learning and student outcomes,” said Jane Mackarell, Academic Programs Manager, Microsoft Australia.

The educators selected to represent Australia at E2 are:

  • Trent Ray – St Helena Secondary College (VIC)
  • Matthew O’Brien – Brisbane Boys’ College (QLD)
  • Michael Valentine – Hale School (WA)
  • Noelene Callaghan – Rooty Hill High School (NSW)
  • Matthew Jorgensen – Coomera Anglican College (QLD)
  • Tamara Sullivan – Ormiston College (QLD)

The six educators are part of a global network of MIE Experts who work closely with Microsoft to drive technology innovation in the classroom. They advocate, share their valuable experiences, lessons and best practices with peers – working together as a community to promote ideas for better teaching and learning.

The Global Educator Exchange event is part of the Microsoft in Education initiative that offers a range of professional development programs to bridge the gap between technology skills and innovative teaching. Through these programs, Microsoft trained more than 10 million educators and reached more than 200 million students since 2003 worldwide.

“Microsoft’s Innovative Expert Educators are inspiring examples of how individuals are using technology to increase students’ productivity and learning and develop the skills needed in the workplace,” said Jane Mackarell “These educators are transforming learning environments and delivering more personalised education to students, allowing them to do and achieve more.”


Trent Ray – Curriculum Innovation Leading Teacher St Helena Secondary College (VIC)

Trent believes that as technology rapidly changes, teachers need support to incorporate technology in the curriculum, giving students the skills and confidence they need to empower them to tackle the world of work in the future.

“Microsoft’s Innovative Educator Experts program has connected over 40 awesome innovators who are all passionate about technology and on the same wave length. There are some amazing ideas that are regularly shared amongst the group and being able to take those ideas and apply them in my own role has been invaluable,” Trent said.

Matthew O’Brien – Head of Strategic Planning – Brisbane Boys College (QLD)

Mathew believes it is critical for educators to better leverage technology in order to deliver content through which educators can build greater relationships with students, engaging them in the classroom to ensure they reach their full potential.

“These resources and the community of like-minded people provides the best test-base in the world for people like me who want to trial and troubleshoot new initiatives. The group has given me access to a bank of great criticism, feedback and support for future projects I might be looking to deploy,” Matthew said.

Michael Valentine – Head of online learning – Hale School (WA)

It’s been more than 150 years since Hale School first opened its doors, and in that time the school has come a long way. Michael Valentine is a strong believer that technology now has the power to transform education, and his role has allowed him to connect rural school communities together.

‘Hale@home’ is a Hale initiative giving boys at country schools the opportunity to engage with the technology, connect with each other, and get to know the curriculum remotely in the year before transitioning to Hale as a full time boarder. While “Hale21 Future School” is an initiative where rural primary schools work with Michael to explore the reality of online classrooms. “I’ve really enjoyed being part of the Expert Educator community – to challenge myself to meet the expectations of the group, and it has certainly opened doors to a different way of thinking,” Michael said.

Noelene Callaghan – Teacher of Technology – Rooty Hill High School (NSW)

Noelene sees a collaborative culture within schools as the key to learning development. She believes that no two students are the same and that technology is key to providing tailored learning, even in low economic areas. By using a different delivery methods, teachers can vary their style of teaching according to a student’s way of learning, ensuring that each student is on a level opportunity playing field.

“The program has really changed the way we approach things,” Noelene said. “Beforehand, we were really sceptical about moving technology forward but since collaborating with Microsoft and other educators, we have experienced so much positive growth and change within our school.”

Matthew Jorgensen – eLearning Manager, eSmart Coordinator – Coomera Anglican College(QLD)

Matthew provides curriculum-based support to teachers, educates teachers, parents and students around cyber safety, as well as leads onsite teacher training sessions, providing support for teachers inside and outside the college through Professional Learning Australia (PLA).

“When it comes to technology and the curriculum, it’s critical that the two worlds meet,” Matthew said. “We’ve come a long way in the last two years; some of our teachers wouldn’t even touch computers at first and now they are leading the pack. We are looking forward to continuing to work with Microsoft as we continue to expand our breadth and use of technology.”

Tamara Sullivan – Dean of eLearning – Ormiston College (QLD)

Tamara’s portfolio extends across students from Ormiston’s primary and secondary schools, being focused on helping college staff integrate ICT to deliver more meaningful and effective learning for students.

“As part of my role, I lead our Learning Innovations Leadership Committee which consist of 17 teacher leaders across the school,” she said, “so by having productive and honest conversations around technology in the classroom, we have become focused on building critical 21st century skills. This means that once our students leave Ormiston, they have the necessary skills required in today’s tech-centric world to actively contribute and be part of the broader community.”


For more information about the Expert Educators visit the press kit.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential.

For more information, press only:
David Dunn
02 8437 5312 / 0413 743 931

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