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2021 Summit on Girls’ Education

May 11, 10:00 am - May 12, 5:00 pm, Virtual Summit,

Join us for this virtual event featuring an impressive international speaker lineup specifically chosen for their expertise in areas relevant to the education of girls.

Participate in the two-day summit from the comfort of your home or office or view on-demand recordings of all sessions anytime, anywhere.

Registration is FREE for staff of Alliance member schools, check your school’s membership status here, and request your access as staff of a member schools here. Once you have received your login detail member pricing will be available to you.

The ticket price for non-members is AUD255 (inc GST). The time zone for this event is Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST), please adjust timing for your location.


  • Dr Lisa Damour
  • Dr Ron Ritchhart
  • Dr Barbara Blackburn
  • Prof Andrew Martin
  • Assoc Prof Rebecca Collie
  • Dr Jean Twenge
  • Libby Lyons
  • Madonna King
  • Panel discussion: Life and death – dealing with youth suicide


*Program may be subject to change


Thank you to our partners whose support makes this event possible. Our Platinum Sponsor this year is Girl Up.






Girl Up was founded by the UN Foundation in 2010 as an initiative to help support UN agencies that focus on adolescent girls. As a global movement, Girl Up’s leadership development programs have impacted 75,000 girls through 4,000 Clubs in nearly 125 countries and all 50 U.S. states. They are inspiring a generation of girls to be a force for gender equality and social change.


Conference Speakers

Dr Ron Ritchhart

Ron Ritchhart is a Senior Research Associate at Harvard Project Zero

Dr Barbara Blackburn

Barbara Blackburn, a top 30 Global Guru in Education, and author of multiple books, including Rigor Is NOT a Four-Letter Word

Libby Lyons

Libby Lyons is the Director of the Australian Government's Workplace Gender Equality Agency

Dr Lisa Damour

Lisa Damour, Ph.D. is a psychologist and best selling author. She writes the monthly Adolescence column for the New York

Dr Jean Twenge

Jean M. Twenge, Professor of Psychology at San Diego State University, is the author of more than 130 scientific publications and 6 books.

Madonna King

Madonna King is a journalist, author and speaker.

Prof Andrew Martin

Andrew Martin, PhD, is Scientia Professor, Professor of Educational Psychology, and Co-Chair of the Educational Psychology Research Group in the School of Education at the University of New South Wales.

Assoc Prof Rebecca Collie

Rebecca Collie, PhD, is a Scientia Associate Professor of Educational Psychology in the School of Education at the University of New South Wales.

Event Program

9.00 am - 9.15 am


9.15 am – 10.15 am AEST

Dr Ron Ritchhart

The power of making thinking visible

Drawing from the research presented in the new book by Ron Ritchhart and Mark Church, The Power of Making Thinking Visible, this keynote will review both the goal and practices associated with making thinking visible and examine six specific ways they identified that thinking routines have “power”. These include promoting deep learning, engaging students, changing the role of teachers and students, enhancing formative assessment, improving learning outcomes, and promoting dispositional development.

Ron Ritchhart is a Senior Research Associate at Harvard Project Zero where his work focuses on the development of school and classroom culture as prime vehicles for developing students’ as powerful thinkers and learners.  Ron’s research and writings have informed the work of schools, school systems, and museums throughout the world. His research is largely classroom based, learning from the best practice of teachers to better understand how they create conditions for powerful learning.

10.25 am – 11.25 am AEST

Dr Barbara Blackburn

Rigour in a Changing Environment

In today’s world, schools are continually changing.  Sometimes we teach all students onsite, sometimes we teach remotely, and other times we use a hybrid model.  How can teachers respond to this change while ensuring instructional excellence? We’ll look at several instructional strategies you can use in any setting or with any age student.

Barbara Blackburn is expert in improving education. She is a keynote speaker, consultant and author on: increasing rigour, student motivation and leadership.

For many educators, rigour it is a negative term that means “harder’ or “double the work”. Barbara’s internationally recognised, practical, teacher-friendly concept of instructional rigour includes high expectations, scaffolding for instruction, and demonstration of learning.

Rigour is creating an environment in which each student is expected to learn at high levels, and each is supported so they can learn at a high level.

2.00 pm – 3.00 pm AEST

Libby Lyons

Why is gender equality important?

We have a very good picture of the state of gender equality in the private sector in Australia through the data collected by Australia’s workplace gender equality Agency. This session will examine the data behind the picture, the business case for change and the action required to get there.

Libby Lyons is the Director of the Australian Government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency. She was appointed Director for a period of five years from October 2015. Libby is responsible for promoting and improving gender equality in Australian workplaces.

3.15 pm – 4.15 pm AEST

Prof Andrew Martin and Assoc Prof Rebecca Collie

Exploring the role of academic buoyancy in students’ engagement, learning, and personal wellbeing: Implications for girls’ education.

Academic buoyancy is the capacity of students to effectively navigate academic challenge and setback, e.g., poor test results, stress and anxiety, difficult schoolwork, etc. Academic buoyancy is linked with many positive outcomes, including higher levels of motivation, engagement, achievement, and well-being among students. Academic buoyancy is important for all students (girls and boys), but a troubling research trend is that girls score consistently lower than boys on this attribute.

Andrew Martin, PhD, is Scientia Professor, Professor of Educational Psychology, and Co-Chair of the Educational Psychology Research Group in the School of Education at the University of New South Wales. He specialises in motivation, engagement, instruction, students with special needs, and quantitative research methods.

Rebecca Collie, PhD, is a Scientia Associate Professor of Educational Psychology in the School of Education at the University of New South Wales. Her research interests focus on motivation, wellbeing, and social-emotional development using quantitative research methods.

9.00 am – 10.00 am AEST

Dr Lisa Damour

Stress, anxiety and girls: turning a global crisis into fuel for girls

What have the events of the last year taught us about how to support and inspire female students? In this presentation, Dr Damour will highlight how the global pandemic has created opportunities to normalize the experiences of stress and anxiety and, in doing so, opened new paths for cultivating resilience in girls.

Lisa Damour, Ph.D. writes the monthly Adolescence column for the New York Times, is a regular contributor to CBS News, and serves as a Senior Advisor to the Schubert Center for Child Studies at Case Western Reserve University. Dr Damour is the author of two New York Times best selling books: Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood and Under Pressure: Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Girls and the co-host of the podcast ASK LISA: The Psychology of Parenting.

10.15 am – 11.15 am AEST

Dr Jean Twenge

iGen: Understanding the smartphone generation of girls

Today’s school-aged children and teens are now iGen (born after 1995), the first generation to spend their adolescence with smartphones. iGen adolescents are growing up more slowly and taking longer to engage in adult activities. iGen spends more time communicating electronically and less time with their friends in person. They are also spending less time sleeping. Perhaps as a result, they are more likely to struggle with unhappiness, anxiety, and depression. These troubling mental health trends are especially large among girls. We’ll discuss the implications of these generational shifts for girls’ education.

Jean Twenge is Professor of Psychology at San Diego State University, is the author of more than 140 scientific publications and several books including iGen Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy–and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood.

Dr. Twenge focuses on teaching and working with today’s young generation. Her research has been covered in Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, USA Today, U.S. News and World Report, and The Washington Post, and she has been featured on Today, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, Fox and Friends, NBC Nightly News, Dateline NBC, and National Public Radio.

2.00 pm – 3.00 pm AEST

Madonna King

A girl’s place

Where do our girls sit in 2021? From reviews on changing the culture of the Australian Parliament to outnumbering boys in university engineering courses, from taking their place in political cabinets to still being paid less, across the board, than men. A girl’s voice is so important, but is it loud enough? And do girls think it is loud enough?

Madonna King’s work as a journalist, author and speaker spans politics, business and social policy. She has chaired panels around Australia, written 12 books and advises corporations and governments on understanding teenage girls.

Her latest book TEN-AGER, released in 2021,  shows that 10 is the new start of a girl’s teenage years. It raises the issues our girls might not be talking about publicly, and guides their parents on how experts believe we should deal with it.

3.15 pm – 4.30 pm AEST

Panel: Life and death: Dealing with youth suicide

Facilitated by Madonna King


  • Tanya Appleby, Principal, St Ursula’s College, Toowoomba
  • Dr David Mander, psychologist, AISWA
  • Ruth Jones, National Senior Clinical Project Officer, Be You
  • Alexa Towersey, LIVIN

Register for this event

2021 Summit on Girls' Education - individual ticket

Member price: FREE. Non-member price: $255 (inc GST). 2021 Virtual Summit on Girls' Education. 11-12 May 2021.


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