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Our People

Our People

Last updated by Rene Burton

Brian Annan (PhD), Provider Team Director


Faculty of Education, University of Auckland

Brian’s director role for the provider team is focused on exciting school and kura leaders into developing ways that students are immediately in the forefront of the network activities with their families. He believes a partnership arrangement between the Ministry of Education team, the facilitation team led by The University of Auckland and existing community and iwi-based networks, such as Manaiakalani and Kura a Iwi, is essential for success. An important aspect of Brian’s leadership is to encourage participants to link into global networks so as not to reinvent the wheel. Brian is personally involved in the International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement (ICSEI), the Global Education Leaders Programme (GELP) and OECD’s Innovative Learning Environments (ILE) project. Brian’s previous career exploits as a chief policy advisor and change manager in the Ministry of Education, as a doctoral researcher into the effectiveness of schooling improvement and as a principal and teacher has made him equally comfortable interacting within and across policy, research and practice fields. That comfort combined with a skill to take those groups into deep thinking about what they can change to improve the learning environments for New Zealand youngsters positions Brian well for his important leadership role in the strategy.


Rene Burton (PGDip Art & Design), Provider Team Project Manager


Faculty of Education, University of Auckland

Rene’s role is focused on the overall coordination of Learning and Change Networks through the development of blended communication and knowledge mobilisation across the provider team. Rene is actively involved in face-to-face delivery to networks, and also creates alternative delivery methods that engage and excite audiences via Internet based mediums. Rene is a strong advocate for involving the students in all levels of the Learning and Change Networks intervention, with the aim of empowering the students to become life long learners through lateral learning. Rene has a passion for open source knowledge sharing and using creativity to engage audiences. Rene is currently working on his Master of Art and Design and is also a practising artist. Rene’s previous career bridged IT Management and innovation in the education and creative sectors.


Ministry of Education Team Learning and Change Networks

  • Jackie Talbot, National Manager
  • Bruce Adin, Lead Development Advisor
  • Mark Brown, Lead Development Advisor
  • Rose Carpenter, Lead Development Advisor
  • Rob Mill, Lead Development Advisor
  • Te Rita Papesch, Lead Development Advisor
  • Andrea Stocks, Project Co-ordinator
  • Jit Jagu, Business Analyst

Facilitation team with additional responsibilities

  • Brian Annan, Programme Director
  • Rene Burton, Project Manager
  • Mary Wootton, Lead Facilitator
  • Dorothy Burt, Blended Learning Advisor
  • Arihia Stirling, Kura-a-iwi Advisor
  • Jean Annan, WFRC Affiliate


Facilitator team

  • Linda Bendikson
  • Kaye Brunton
  • John Clarke
  • Jo Grant
  • Alison Hall
  • John Locke
  • Gayle McIlraith
  • Cath Runga
  • Andrea Scanlan
  • Janine Simpson
  • Glenda Stewart
  • Raewyn Williams

Evaluative Probe Facilitators

  • Robyn Chester
  • Karen Mose
  • Rae Siilata
  • Lorna Earl, Research Advisor
  • Helen Timperley, Research Advisor

Woolf Fisher Research Centre

  • Rebecca Jesson
  • Stuart McNaughton
  • Aaron Wilson

Administrative support

  • Natasha (Tash) Sumner, Administration Support, Learning and Change Networks provider team.

Strategic advisors

  • Russell Burt, Systems coherence advisor
  • David Copeland, Visual imaging advisor
  • Pat Sneddon, Community, business, philanthropic advisor
  • Te Kepa Stirling, Matauranga Māori advisor
  • Derek Wenmoth, National blended learning advisor