Professional Learning For Schools


“Small changes at the right time and of the right type can totally changed a childs life trajectory.”
– a gifted educator

Gifted NSW recognises the desire within educational settings to meet the needs of all students. We specifically recognise the challenge in meeting the unique needs of Gifted and Gifted students with a Learning Disability. We understand the difficulties in both access and affordability for educational providers in the area of Gifted Professional Development.

Challenged by this need, Gifted NSW has teamed up with professionals working in the gifted field to oversee, collaborate and partly fund Gifted Professional Development for schools, thus making it accessible and affordable.

Workshops are designed to be single hour presentations so that they may be incorporated into a regular staff meeting within a school, though follow up and customised presentations can certainly be discussed.

Click here for the Professional Development application form.

“Just because a student looks happy and compliant does not mean all is ok. The parents of this child are not being over anxious when they raise concerns. They are seeing behaviours displayed in the childs safe space. Strength comes from combining observations from all environments. Even when these things seem to come from left field they can’t be dismissed.”
– a gifted educator

Topic Information and Presenter Biographies

Carol Barnes-­ ‘Gifted…with something else going on’.

Carol is an Australian trained lawyer and national coordinator and NSW meeting convenor for GLD Australia, a not for profit independent online learning community and support group focussing on gifted children with a learning disability (GLD). Carol is also Vice President of the Queensland gifted association’s God Coast Branch and convenor of that branch’s parent support group. She is an invited sessional lecturer on gifted and GLD at Griffith University, and has provided GLD training for SPELD Qld, for the SPELD NSW Teachers Certificate Course, for Education Queensland, for Mensa Australia, for Asperger Services Australia, and for numerous government and independent primary and secondary schools in NSW and Qld. Since 2009, she has done a wide variety of presentations on gifted and GLD at international and Australian gifted education and learning disability conferences and seminars. Most importantly, Carol is the mother of two gifted university students, each with multiple disabilities.

Accessible to: wider NSW

Lizette Campbell- ‘Identification and Assessment of Gifted/GLD Students’.

Lizette is the Principal Psychologist of Lizette Campbell & Associates.  She is NSW Chair of the College of Educational and Developmental Psychologists and a Member of the College of Clinical Psychologists.  Lizette has worked throughout NSW and London in educational, child development and child health settings.  Lizette has BSc, MA, MAPS, MCClinP, MCEDP and is a Clinical Psychologist and a Educational & Developmental Pyschologist. She has been in private practice for more than 25 years and established a group practice in 2000.

Lizette has considerable expertise and a special interest in gifted students and learning and developmental difficulties, including autism spectrum disorders and ADHD.  Lizette conducts comprehensive diagnostic assessments, and provides counselling and therapy for children and their families.  She receives complex referrals from across the state and overseas. She is an active member of a number of boards and professional organisations and has an interest in long term follow-up with her families.  She consults to both government and non-government schools, providing staff in-services, designing testing programmes and liaising with Learning Support Teams.  She offers clinical supervision to other psychologists for registration, specialist membership and professional development.

She is currently the Chairperson of the NSW College of Educational & Developmental Psychologists. Lizette has been actively involved in identification and support for gifted children and their families for approximately 25 years, and a member of GLD Australia since its inception.

Accessible to: 30Km Radius from Burwood, NSW.

Helen Dudeney- ‘Gifted Education–Starting the conversation’

Helen Dudeney has been a lecturer in Gifted Education at Murdoch University in Perth since 2007 and prior to that at Australian Catholic University – Strathfield.  For 18 years she was a member of the NSW Association for Gifted and Talented Children Committee and held the position of President for 8 years and Events Co-ordinator for 12 years.   Helen is a regular presenter and attendee at State, National and International Gifted Conferences.

Helen is also a private consultant who has been actively involved in working with gifted children, their parents and teachers since 1990. During this time she has designed and run enrichment and social skills workshops and residential camps for 3 –16 year old gifted children and their families. She has designed and conducted seminars, workshops and in-service training for parents and teachers about understanding and meeting the needs of gifted children and young people. Her consultancy specialises not only in gifted children, but also twice exceptional students including those who are visual spatial learners. She has a Diploma in Counselling, has completed the Certificate of Gifted Education at University of NSW, and a Master of Adult Education at UTS.

Accessible to: 40Km Radius from Seven Hills, NSW.

Rhonda Filmer- ‘Case Studies in Twice-Exceptional Children’

Rhonda worked in public schools as a primary school teacher for 12 years during which her interest in the underachievement of many of the brightest students became a focus and motivation for postgraduate studies at UNSW. She completed a master’s degree while working at St Andrew’s Cathedral School where she became the inaugural Gifted and Talented Co-Ordinator. In 2002 she began her Twice Exceptional Educational Consultancy to more effectively address the individual differences in learning needs of gifted students with learning disabilities, most particularly dyslexia and attention deficit disorder, at the individual, family, class and school levels. From here a major focus of her subsequent research has been the early teaching of reading since we know that if a child with a pre-disposition toward a learning disability is taught to read effectively in the K-2 years then the effects of that disability as an inhibitor of reading progress can be reduced dramatically. Rhonda is an advocate for more effective teaching of reading, early identification of children who are gifted and/or have a learning disability and for reform of university coursework in the pre-service education of teachers.

Accessible to: Sydney Metropolitan, other parts of NSW by negotiation

Denise Wood- ‘Teaching Gifted Students’

Denise Wood has been working with gifted families and children since the early 1990’s. Her work is extensive– ranging from teaching and implementing gifted programs in schools and online, to directing teacher education at Charles Sturt University. Denise  has a (B Ed (ECE); Grad Cert Special Education (Gifted Education); M Ed (Honours)(Gifted Education) and is currently completing her PhD on gifted girls. Denise is presently Lecturer and Course Director Smart Learning at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst.

The aim of the Professional Development presentation is to challenge understandings of the learning needs of gifted students, and develop skills of identifying, planning for and teaching gifted learners in the classroom.

Accessible to: Various on request, NSW.

Catherine Wormald- ‘Myths, definitions & policy – Is there a choice for teachers in gifted education?”

Dr Catherine Wormald is currently a lecturer at the University of Wollongong.  She began her career as a secondary mathematics teacher and has taught extensively in various roles such as classroom teacher, special needs and as a gifted coordinator in secondary schools across all education systems. She has taught and is currently lecturing in the education programs at both undergraduate and post graduate level. As a parent of three gifted children Catherine has an understanding of both the teaching and parenting aspects of gifted education.

Catherine worked for the Selective Schools Unit for a number of years and was also a consultant in gifted education for the NSW Department of Education and Training (DET). During this time she played an integral part in the writing of the current DET Gifted and Talented Policy. She has provided advice and professional development to teachers and academic personnel in the areas of gifted education and mathematics education. Catherine recently worked with the ACT Department of Education on the development and implementation of a revised gifted education policy.  Dr Wormald is a past president of the NSW Association for Gifted and Talented Children (NSWAGTC) and the Australian Association for the Education of the Gifted and Talented (AAEGT).

In 2009 Catherine Wormald completed a PhD thesis titled “An Enigma: The barriers to the identification of gifted students with learning disabilities”. She received the AAEGT John Geake Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award for her research.  Her areas of interest include gifted education, students who are identified as having learning disabilities who are also gifted, underachievement and mathematics.

Accessible to: Wider NSW