Announcing Marita Cheng as ASCILITE keynote

We are beyond excited to announce Robogals founder, 2012 Young Australian of the Year, and entrepreneur Marita Cheng has accepted our invitation to be a keynote speaker at ASCILITE 2017 in Toowoomba.

Marita is a technology entrepreneur, who uses her considerable talents to improve lives and make change happen. Marita first came to prominence as the founder of Robogals while still a university student. Marita led fellow engineering students on a campaign to bring robotics to girls in high schools. Robogals is now an international enterprise, having taught more than 70,000 girls across 11 countries. Marita now develops a technologies including telepresence robots and smart phone apps that can assist a range of people, from children in hospital, to the elderly, and people with disabilities, to participate in education, work or social activities. She is also heavily involved in the world of tech start-ups through her work with RMIT, and on both the Victorian State Innovation Expert Panel and the Clinton Health Access Initiative's Tech Advisory Board.

Marita’s keynote will address the theme of Robotics in the Future of Work.

Explore the robots of tomorrow and how AI will shape our future in ways greater than we can imagine today. From machines that can see for us, process data accurately and at a greater speed than humans, and robots that get the job done and don't answer back. There is much to think about and prepare for as we create the future of work, but most importantly - what we can do to educate and equip our graduates for this future.

You can read more about Marita on our Keynote Speakers page.

We’re looking forward to glimpsing the future through the eyes of Marita – a truly inspirational keynote speaker. Register now for ASCILITE 2017 for your opportunity to hear from Marita Cheng.


Announcing our first keynote speaker: Professor James Arvanitakis

Prepare to be inspired to improve higher education!

Have you ever heard a keynote speaker who:

  • Causes a harp-like reverberation in your every nerve
  • Makes you want to stand-up and shout-out ‘Yes! Yes! Yes!’
  • Gives you hope for humanity and for creating positive futures
  • You just need to personally meet and thank after
  • Inspires you to change, create impact and take positive, practical actions?

I have! Every time I have had the pleasure of hearing Professor James Arvanitakis speak.

I am so excited that James has accepted our invitation to be one of the keynote speakers at ASCILITE 2017.

James has inspired positive change in the university student (and staff) experience through his many contributions. James has

So who is Professor James Arvanitakis? Here are a few highlights from his inspiring career. James is

  • Dean of the Graduate Research School, Western Sydney University
  • Founding Head of The Academy, Western Sydney University
  • Winner of a 2016 Australian Financial Review Higher Education Excellence Award
  • Recipient of the Prime Minister’s University Teacher of the Year Award in 2012
  • Research Fellow of the Australian Indian Institute as of 2017
  • Former economist and free market advocate who left a lucrative finance career to have impact on social justice through higher education
  • Board member of the Public Education Foundation
  • Chair of Diversity Arts Australia
  • Research Fellow at the Centre for Policy Development
  • Regular Guest on ABC News Breakfast

James' keynote promises to confront some of the issues with technology implementation in higher education:

Within the educational setting, the promises of technology rarely live up to what is delivered. Be it a lack of commitment, tools that fail to deliver the flexibility desired, faculty resistance or failure to commit resources, students frequently feel let down and educators are often frustrated. While most of us aim to ensure that the pedagogy trumps technology, it is more likely to that the pedagogy is shaped by the technology we can utilise. In this  presentation, I will draw on a cross cultural project involving Australian and Indian universities to outline how we can better deliver the programs we promise with the technology available, rather than being held hostage by it.

What are you waiting for? Register for ASCILITE 2017 and join me in being inspired by James.