ACE Conference 2017 - Conference Detail

ACE Conference Logo 2017

The Challenge of Change Puritia te Aka Matua

Wellington June 13-15

Venue: Te Wharewaka o Aotearoa

"The only thing constant is Change” (Heraclitus) Our world is changing fast bringing inescapable challenges in work, technological advancement, how we live, communicate, care for our environment and one another. Whether we can access lifelong learning increases or limits opportunities for full participation in the community. As adult educators we are well positioned to support the changing needs of our learners but how ready are we and how flexible, globally focused and relevant? Our 2017 ACE Conference will examine these questions and continue the conversation begun at the Hui Fono where participants will consider how we can harness the wisdom, knowledge and traditions of the past to inform the innovative approaches that will equip our learners in the future.

Click here to download the Travel Subsidy form (WORD 44KB)

Click here to register online

Click here to download the ACE Conference Flyer (PDF 354KB)

Registration Fee

$300 Conference earlybird/member rate (registration by May 10)

$350 Conference rate G $150 Conference rate unwaged*

$150 Conference rate small organisations*

* Available only to small community organisations receiving $50,000 or less government funding, or to unwaged individuals. All registrations are GST inclusive.

Keynote Speakers

Distinguished Professor Paul Spoonley - A Future Aotearoa: What Will We Look Like in 20 Years?

Distinguished Professor Paul Spoonley is the Pro Vice-Chancellor of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Massey University. He is the author or editor of 27 books, the most recent being "Rebooting the Regions" (2016). He is a Programme Leader of a research programme on the impacts of immigration and diversity (MBIE, 2014-2020, $5.5 million). He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 2011 and was granted the title of Distinguished Professor by Massey University in 2013. He was awarded the Science and Technology Medal by the Royal Society in 2009, he was a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the University of California Berkeley in 2010, and since 2013, he has been a Visiting Researcher at the Max Planck Institute of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Gottingen. The Auckland War Memorial Museum made him a Fellow in 2015.

 Maureen Mallon

Maureen Mallon has been one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Education in Scotland for over ten years. She is an Assistant Director in Education Scotland with leadership responsibility for Community Learning and Development, developing a National Improvement Hub for Scottish education practitioners, parental engagement, family learning, and transformational change. She has inspected and worked to improve practice across the country and spent a number of years working as a district inspector undertaking challenge and support across education in local authorities. Maureen has a background in community learning and development and has worked in various roles in adult learning, social enterprise and youth work. Her main thematic interests are around strategic planning, partnerships and making best use of resources and undertook an MBA at Edinburgh University with a focus on decision making in the public sector. 

Mavis Mullins

Mavis Mullins imageMavis has a primary sector background in sheep, beef, dairy and apiary commercial activities for both private enterprise and large corporates. She is a wool classer by trade and has a deep passion for wool, a sensuous natural fibre. With Chinese, Irish and Maori whakapapa Mavis easily straddles boundaries of gender, culture and belief systems. She is a founding member of The Super Diversity Council. Mavis is an experienced and sought after director and currently holds positions as Chairman of Taratahi, Atihau Whanganui Incorporation, Poutama Trust, and PSGE Rangitane Tu Mai Ra. She is Patron of AWDT and a board member of Nga Whenua Rahui and Accelerate 25. Past board positions include Landorp Farming, Massey University, Hautaki and 2 degrees mobile. Her deepest concern is how we face the future in a dynamically changing world. How we make technological shifts our norm and how we reframe our people at pace, to stay engaged and relevant. Mavis is married to Koro and they have four adult children and 14 precious mokopuna.


Workshop Programme

The workshop programme will focus on innovative learning and teaching practice.  


Tuiloma Lina Samu

Tuiloma Lina Samu (Faleula, Sapunaoa, Salelesi, Sa'asatele in Upolu, Samoa and Pu'apu'a ma Iva, Savai'i). 

Digital Navigators

In her workshop, Lina will share the work she is completing for her PhD through Massey University’s Whāriki/ SHORE Research Centre, the School of Public Health. Her thesis is entitled: Digital Navigators - how young Pasifika adults are navigating the new millennium on Facebook.



Anna Heremaia

Ana Heremaia


ĀKAU means where the land meets the water - a place of transition. The three young women who established ĀKAU in Kaikohe have created a model of ACE that while ticking all the boxes in terms of good practice, is operating in an entirely new context: a professional architectural and interior design studio that provides disengaged young people with a no cost opportunity to learn, using a hands-on approach to design real projects. They also won the ACE Aotearoa Annual Award 2016 for Programme of the Year. 


Colin Wharton - ACE Conference

Colin Wharton

Surviving and Thriving in a Climate of Change

In 2009 funding to ACE in Schools was reduced by 80% and the number of schools offering non formal community education programmes fell from over 220 to fewer than 20 in 2016. Recently-retired Wellington High School Community Education Centre (CEC) Director, Colin Wharton will be joined by Robyn Hambleton and Tai Samaeli to provide a practical workshop on how the CEC not only survived the cuts but thrived in a constantly challenging environment. You'll take away many useful ideas and suggestions, including branding and marketing, programming, managing costs and more.



Anne Alkema - ACE ConferenceNicky Murray - ACE ConferenceDr Nicky Murray and Anne Alkema

Adult Literacy and Numeracy (LN): The workplace as a site of change

In their workshop, Nicky and Anne will look at what  PIAAC tells us about adult literacy and numeracy skills in New Zealand. They will explore the workplace as a vital learning community and the role of community provision in connecting  workplaces, employers and adult literacy and numeracy learners. They will also look at the role of community provision in maintaining and sustaining change after workplace literacy and numeracy programmes end. 


Whanganui Learning CentreGail Harrison, Dr Deb Hill, Victoria Campbell and Kellee Bartlett with Support from Rihi Ponga

Whose Development Is It Anyway?

In this workshop, you will be an active participant in the examination of assumptions, mind-sets and traditional models of learning and development.You will interact with our team who will share an approach to working with people to affect change from within. Our team will give you tools to work with by examining specific cases and reflecting on teaching, learning and development practice.


Rebecca HillRebecca Cameron TurnerRebecca Cameron-Turner & Rachel Hill

Financial Capability Collaboration – In Action!

Presenter Rebecca Cameron - Turner will provide background on the work the Commission for Financial Capability (CFFC) is doing in schools, communities and workplaces and outline the Sorted tools and resources. Rachel Hill from Buller REAP will then share a practical example of how she delivers the Sorted seminars in a range of contexts in her West Coast community. 


Tracey Shepherd

Lesley Peterson

Lesley Petersen & Tracey Shepherd

Adult Learners in the ACE Context: Evaluation and Review to Support Sustained Learner Success

Lesley and Tracey will explore how successful learning is defined by learners in the ACE sector and how this can inform the programme interventions and activities offered in this learning context. They will also examine a learner-centric mechanism for ongoing evaluation and review of the interventions and actvities, ACE providers offer.


Phil Alexander-Crawford 

Phillip Alexander-Crawford

Growing tall kauri: Assisting our learners to aspire and achieve

In this workshop, Phil will outline a recently completed research project conducted by Te Matarau and NorthTec to identify the challenges and enablers to accessing higher education for learners in Tai Tokerau (Northland). The exciting outcome from this work is a highly practicable action plan, with clear strategies based around five priority domains.  Phil will explain this framework which has many transferable ideas for other community education providers.


Travel Subsidies

A limited number of travel subsidies are available (up to $500) for those wishing to attend the conference. To apply for a travel subsidy download the application form and return it to


There are a number of accommodation options close to our conference venue. 

The CQ Hotel in Cuba St has a Conference rate of $178 for the Quality Hotel wing and $116 for the Comfort wing.

All prices are NETT rates, inclusive of GST.



Additional costs, full buffet breakfast $20 (if pre-booked) otherwise $28 per person.

Car parking is available for $30 per day (subject to availability)


Rates include complimentary unlimited wifi.

For enquiries and bookings Email & quote Booking Reference ACE2017. Please note the conference rate will not apply to accommodation on the night of June 18. 

Other Hotels within walking distance of the venue include:

  • West Plaza
  • IBIS
  • Amora
  • Museum Hotel

For online bookings and rates go to their websites.

Previous ACE Conference information


To see further details about a specific event, please click on the event in the calendar. View events by region

May 2017