Thurs 3 Oct Workshop 1

Title: High Engagement Upper Primary Australian History.

Bio: Mr Nick Adeney

Nick Adeney has been teaching in Primary classrooms in Melbourne since 2001.He has spent the last decade developing learning platforms which use empathy to teach Upper Primary Australian History while connecting with other curriculum areas. Nick’s work in History curriculum design and as an HTAV Director earned him an HTAV award in 2017.


This session will demonstrate innovative learning platforms to teach Australian History to Years 4-6. Firstly, this session will demonstrate ways to design your curriculum to engage students through empathy. Secondly, this session will model the use of History as an authentic context where diverse skills are learned and applied through inquiry, research and creative expression. The learning platforms present Australian History in a way that students will understand key concepts with depth and breadth.

Title: Conflict in the Middle East: A Case Study of the PLO

Bio: Ms Emily Shanahan

Emily has 15 years’ teaching experience. She is a perpetual student, receiving several academic awards for her Master of Educational Leadership. Emily ventures overseas at every opportunity, walking in the footsteps of historical figures. Recent highlights include her 2017 Gandel Scholarship to Israel, and a 2018 study tour of Finland.


Whether teaching the Arab-Israeli Conflict, a unit on terrorism or looking at contestability, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) provides an excellent case study. This workshop provides an overview of the historical context and contributions of the PLO to ongoing tension in the Middle East, examining their actions from the Arab, Israeli and Western perspectives. Resources and pedagogical approaches will be shared, demonstrating the ways in which this unit can enhance critical and creative thinking, as students apply problem solving techniques based on the analysis of sources. A study of the PLO provides students with a greater understanding of the long-standing conflict in the region, before the emergence of the Syrian crisis and modern groups such as ISIS. The workshop incorporates elements of social and political history, with clear links to a range of studies, including the Cold War, to help contextualise the unit.

Title: Using Funky Sources from the Salem Witch Trials to Stimulate Inquiry.

Bio: Mr Michael Street

Michael Street is the Head of HSIE at Green Point Christian College and has been teaching for 7 years. He is a recipient of the 2019 NSW Premier’s History Teachers Association History Scholarship where he explored the historiography of witch-hunts and witch trials in the USA and Europe.


The Salem Witch Trials carry the weight of myth, History and American identity on their perpetually confounding shoulders. From beginning to end, 18 people were hanged, 1 man was pressed to death, and almost 200 people were formally accused and imprisoned. It is an event which many New Englanders at the time hoped to forget. However, the massive number of sources produced in and around the trials, both written and material, have stubbornly stimulated and haunted historical discussion for three centuries. In this seminar, you will have the opportunity to engage with some of these sources and learn how to use them yourself to encourage engaging and exciting historical inquiry in the History classroom. Programming and resourcing will be discussed throughout.

Title: Master the Superpower of Question Formulation Technique to generate completely engaging projects

Bio: Ms Nadia Szimhart

Nadia Szimhart has been teaching and studying history for 19 years. She has a passion for using history as a vehicle for embedding critical thinking skills so her students can improve their action potential as engaged global citizens. After teaching in New South Wales for 14 years she needed to update her knowledge and skills. For the past three years she has been on an adventure completing a Masters in International Studies with the University of Wollongong in Global Citizenship Education and teaching in Dubai. She also completed courses with the Harvard Graduate School of Education to master the Question Formulation Technique developed by the Right Question Institute, and has attended Stanford University’s d-School to master Design Thinking for Education. As the Head of History, Coordinator of Gifted and Talented Students, and Lead Teacher of Critical Thinking at Safa Community School in Dubai she combined these new superpowers to create engaging and impactful project based units for her history students. She has just returned home to Australia and can’t wait to share these superpowers with fellow teachers.


Question Formulation Technique, developed by the Right Question Institute, can help you achieve maximum engagement in the classroom. I was tired of attempting to engage disinterested students through carefully constructed projects and lessons where only 80% to 90% of the students were engaged. Those last few drove me crazy trying to rack my brain for new ideas, resources and materials that could hook them in to love learning, When I read about QFT something clicked. After studying QFT through the Harvard Graduate School of Education my teaching transformed and I finally had those last few students on board. I’ve come here to share this with you. In 50 minutes you will experience the QFT, learn how to use the QFT and generate a bank ideas for QFT driven projects in your classroom. This is great introduction to the QFT as well as a refresher for developing killer Question Focus stimuli. The aim of this session is to support you to walk away with project ideas that will place the students firmly in the driving seat so they will stay focused and engaged through the entire process.

Title: History matters in a democracy: developing informed and active citizens

Bio: Ms Deborah Sulway

Deborah Sulway is Manager of Learning at MoAD (Museum of Australian Democracy). Her professional background is in primary teaching, special education and museum education. Her experience extends from mainstream primary classrooms to specialised learning environments across 20 years in ACT, NSW and QLD. Her work and experience in museum education for over 16 years has informed and refined her learning philosophy and approach around learning pedagogies, digital learning, and the importance of student voice and agency in education.


Democracy the world over is under pressure. An understanding of historical context is critical for healthy democracy. Why is this? In this workshop, we unpack historic decisions, significant turning points and key milestones in our democratic history, and explore why this historical perspective is so important in our contemporary world.

Using discussion and hands-on activities, you will develop a greater understanding of the history of Australian democracy and the rights and freedoms that we experience with it. The content and resources will provide your students with a foundational knowledge and understanding of key moments and people in our past that have contributed to the development of our democracy and inspire them to participate more effectively and share their voice.

This workshop explores the following key questions:

• Why and how did Australia become a nation?

• What is democracy and how is ours unique?

• How did Australian society change throughout the twentieth century?

• How was Australian society affected by other significant global events and changes in this period?

Title: Hurley at War

Bio: Ms Toni Hurley

Toni taught secondary History in NSW schools for 30 plus years and completed her teaching career in History teacher education at UTS and Sydney Universities. She has presented at NSW teacher conferences and Professional Learning days for many years. In this presentation, as the granddaughter of Frank Hurley, she is indulging a personal interest.


A consideration of Hurley’s career as Australia’s official war photographer. This presentation will draw on Hurley’s diaries and a selection of his WWI and WWII images to explore the man, his work and some of the controversies related to his use of composite images.

Title: The Abandoned Schools of Chernobyl.

Bio: Mr Billy Penfold

Mr Billy Penfold is a History archivist who specialises in the History of the Cold War in Asia, most notably the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia and the communist movements in Vietnam. Billy has conducted tours to Cambodia and Vietnam for over 20 years. Billy first travelled to the former USSR in 1992 and most recently travelled to Chernobyl, Ukraine and North Korea.


This workshop will focus on the education system in the city of Pripyat close to Chernobyl Nuclear Reactor No 4. frozen in time (1986). We will explore several abandoned schools and classrooms that were under the control of Moscow during the Cold War. Specifically, we will look at Soviet Union era propaganda, symbolism and indoctrination within the education system. Interestingly we will focus on several subjects taught in the abandoned schools and examine how this model ‘Nuclear City’ provided some of the finest education for the children of scientists and military personnel who constructed and controlled the nuclear and military facilities for which this city was built. Billy personally travelled to Chernobyl in July 2017 and July 2018 to conduct this research.