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Dr Susie Starfish to deliver sessions on creativity and sketchnoting at National Education Summit in Brisbane

Giving students the time and space to be creative and ‘just imagine’ will lead to a generation of new ideas, connections and problem solving, according to marine scientist, artist and children’s author/illustrator, Dr Sue Pillans.

“Creative thinking helps to open our minds to seeing and trying new things. And “thinking like an artist” helps students to think outside the box and gives them permission to colour outside the lines, explore, experiment and express themselves. These are the skills that have been identified as being needed in the 21st century to help prepare students for a changing world,” Dr Sue Pillans said.

Also known as Dr Susie Starfish in her work in classrooms, Dr Pillans has seen first-hand that creativity helps connect with a wide range of learners and engages the hearts and minds of students.

Dr Pillans will present two sessions within the 2-day program of free seminars at the National Education Summit when it opens in Brisbane for the first time at the end of May.

Her presentation ‘Sketchnoting in School’ will kick off Day 2 of the free seminar program with a highly visual and interactive session on the why, how, what and wow of sketchnoting.

Describing sketchnotes as visual notes created from a mixture of hand-drawn words and pictures, Dr Pillans says they can provide students with a tool for retention of information.

“Drawing is thinking so this visual thinking technique helps to make learning visual and fun. When you draw you remember more!”

Dr Pillans second session on ‘Creativity in the classroom’ will demonstrate approaches used to encourage and engage student’s creativity. Using a range of art, science and storytelling in the classroom helps to engage with as many students as possible and encourages students to use their imagination and “think in colour".

Limited places are available for the free seminars scheduled within the free trade expo at the Summit. Delivered by experts in teaching and learning, the seminars will build knowledge and count towards PD hours. Choose the seminars you would like to attend when you register to visit the trade expo featuring 40+ leading businesses and organisations exhibiting the latest resources, services, products and technology.

The free seminar series will cover a broad range of other topics, including technology and wellbeing, phonographic instruction, flipped learning, inclusive classrooms and design thinking processes to name a few.

The National Education Summit’s first Brisbane event will bring a comprehensive

professional development program to local teachers, school leaders and principals on Friday 31 May and Saturday 1 June 2019.

With the flagship National Education Summit continuing in Melbourne in August, the Brisbane addition to the long running event comes in response to strong feedback from the education sector for a Queensland event.

Held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, the Summit offers a full two-day program of innovative, informative and inspiring PD opportunities for educators in the region.

Academics and leading educators will present a range of concurrent sessions and workshop events across four conferences at the Summit: Special Needs Symposium, Digital Classroom Conference, Creativity and Innovation in Learning Conference, Capacity Building School Libraries Conference as well as the free seminar series.

Register at

National Education Summit, BRISBANE

Friday 31 May– Saturday 1 June 2019

Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre

For more information and to register, visit


Media enquiries: Ellise McLoughlan, PR and Communications Manager, IEC Group. or +61 3 9596 9205.

Images: available on Dropbox here.

About IEC Group

International Exhibition & Conference Group Pty Ltd (IEC Group) is a privately-owned Australian company. Led by industry Leader Marie Kinsella, the senior management and show team staff have more than 60 years of combined industry experience.

IEC Group produces some of Australia’s leading trade shows, industry events and conferences. In partnership with industry bodies and associations both in Australia and internationally, IEC Group works across an ever-expanding portfolio of trade shows, exhibitions and conferences.

Ciara CrossBrisNews