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Coffs Coast Regional Tour

March 14 @ 10:00 am - 9:00 pm

$20.00 – $40.00

Saturday 14th March

Guest Presenters: Dr Sue Vasilevska, Melinda Gindy, and Rebecca McKeon


Only 1 ticket is required to attend any or all of the sessions
Gifted NSW members $20
General entry (non-members) $40
Not a member yet? Join today to save on this event 

Please register at the bottom of this page, and when finalising your purchase in the cart please tick all the sessions you will be attending on the day.  Note: Gifted NSW members – please log in to access the special event pricing. For the GAW dinner please RVSP on the cart page if attending so we can reserve seating, however please order and pay at your leisure.




Registration opens


Collaboration, Communities and Gifted Children: Is all that talk really necessary?
by Melinda Gindy

Advocacy. The associated context often comes with a range of preconceived notions, many of which are strong and negative. The Macquarie Dictionary defines advocacy as ‘to plead in favour of; support or urge by argument…’. The very definition of the word can manifest into the wrestling of the stake-holders in the life of gifted children. Should such stake-holders become locked into a parent verses teacher or a teacher verses parent relationship, the effectiveness in working collaboratively gives way to a preventative boundary; depriving the gifted child of the best possible outcome for their education. Research indicates that effective, responsive, well-planned home/school partnerships and communication produces numerous positive results for all involved. By developing an understanding and appreciation for the roles, expertise and experience that parents, teachers, students and the wider community can collectively contribute to a gifted child’s education, a constructive approach breaks down the boundaries of advocacy and produces constructive collaboration.


Featuring parents, educators and professionals in gifted education

12:30 – 2pm

Break for lunch – at leisure, non-catered

2 – 4.30pm

High Potential and Gifted students:
Who are they and how can we develop their talents? – Dr Sue Vasilevska

This presentation will outline the attributes and characteristics of high potential and gifted students with a focus on the Intellectual, Physical, Creative and Social-emotional domains. The  New South Wales Department of Education High Potential and Gifted Education Policy will be explored with an emphasis on the impact teachers and schools will play in the talent development of these students. A differentiation tool will also be introduced for practical implementation in the regular and specialist classroom.


Gifted students who are not thriving at school  – Melinda Gindy

Knowing a student’s IQ is only the beginning of the ‘gifted journey’.  What happens when a gifted student is not thriving at school?  Could it be an unidentified disability which affects learning or academic performance, or an undiagnosed medical or neuro-biological issue?  Or something else?  Not all learning impairments are apparent in early childhood – indeed, the higher the IQ, the later they are usually identified. This presentation will provide a general introduction to gifted students with disability (sometimes called ‘twice-exceptional’ in the literature), and suggest how educators could support such students in the classroom, within the whole school setting and when applying to testing authorities for disability adjustments for state tests and exams.


When outside help is needed – how do I know, and where do I go? – by Rebecca McKeon

Students can present with a range of disabilities, and gifted children can mask the extent of their challenges for some time in the school environment.  What should we look for in the classroom?  What red flags might indicate a need to delve deeper to determine what is happening for a given student, and what support they might need?

Parents often look to teachers for guidance in determining the next step for investigations beyond the classroom.  Raising concerns with families, and making these recommendations, can be a difficult thing as a teacher.  It often helps to be able to give families clear directions on what type of professional might be best for them to see initially.  So which professionals are best to evaluate which concerns?

Some students are working with allied health professionals already, perhaps even at school.  How can health and education work together to support the needs of the 2e student?

This presentation will explore answers to these questions, and provide resources to support classroom teachers in working with 2e students.

6 – 9pm

Toormina Hotel, Minorca Place, Toormina
All welcome, order at leisure



Suzanne Vasilevska

Sue Vasilevska is currently Teaching and Learning advisor in the Learning and Teaching Directorate in The NSW Department of Education. Her substantive position is Deputy Principal of Riverside Girl’s High School. Sue is passionate about providing for high potential and gifted students, their families and teachers. She has served as president of both the National and State Gifted and Talented Association and has also worked as the State Gifted and Talented Advisor. Sue’s doctorate investigated why students from minority and low socio-economic groups were under-represented in State Gifted and Talented Programs.

Melinda Gindy

BArts(mus), GradDipEd(mus), GradCertGiftedEd, MEd (SpEd), MMTA, HFTGN

Melinda is the co-founder and President of Gifted NSW (formally GFSG Inc.). Melinda Gindy has a background in music teaching across primary and secondary settings and is the Leader of Diverse Learning at a K-12 school in Sydney. Melinda is the President of the Australian Association for the Education of the Gifted and Talented (AAEGT) and represents the AAEGT at the Australian Alliance for Associations in Education (AAAE). Melinda is the Founding President of GFSG Inc./Gifted NSW and has served as the associations’ President for 8 years. She is the former AAEGT Vice-President (2015 – 2019) and was National Facilitator of Gifted Awareness Week Australia from 2015 to 2019. Melinda is also an Australian Delegate to the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children. Melinda served on the organising committees for the 2016 AAEGT National Gifted Conference, the 2017 and 2019 NSW Gifted Awareness Forum for Educators (GAFE), and the 22nd Biennial World Gifted Conference. In 2016, Melinda published 2E Music Studio, an evidence-based resource for music teachers focussed on meeting the needs of twice-exceptional children during private music lessons. Melinda works in a volunteer capacity across multiple education sectors, including writing and consulting for the recently delivered NSW Department of Education High Performance and Gifted Education Policy and associated resources. Melinda has been an invited and sessional presenter at a number of local, state, national and international conferences, including 2017 and 2019 World Gifted and the 2E Research Symposium in Los Angeles, USA. In 2019, Melinda was awarded the Honorary Fellowship of the Teachers’ Guild of NSW. Melinda is also proud mum to three gifted/twice-exceptional tween/teenagers.

Rebecca McKeon

BAppSc (SpPath), CPSP

Rebecca is the Vice President of Gifted NSW and is passionate about supporting gifted children, their families and their educators through what can be a challenging journey. As a Speech Pathologist working with gifted children with learning disabilities, Rebecca brings understanding and experience from a professional perspective to the role.  As mum to three gifted and GLD school-aged daughters, Rebecca understands this journey on a personal level.

Rebecca completed her Speech Pathology degree at the University of Sydney in 2001.  Since that time she has held positions across the public and private sectors, working in schools, preschools and community health services in the Illawarra, South Western Sydney, and Sutherland Shire.

Since joining the Gifted NSW committee in 2013, Rebecca’s formal roles have included Gifted Awareness Week representative for NSW, Organising Committee member for the 2016 AAEGT National Gifted Conference, and Gifted NSW Secretary.

Rebecca has participated in an array of professional learning opportunities specific to the field of gifted education, and is passionate about furthering her knowledge in this field through collaboration with others, and reviewing current literature. Throughout her work with Gifted NSW Rebecca has been privileged to meet many dedicated educators whose passion and understanding changes the lives of their gifted students for the better.  She also cherishes the connections she has made with insightful parents as they develop skills, knowledge and experience advocating for their gifted children.


March 14
10:00 am - 9:00 pm
$20.00 – $40.00
Event Categories:
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Mary Help of Christians Primary School
2 Eungella Street
Toormina, NSW 2452 Australia
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Gifted NSW Inc


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