Steiner Education Australia


2023 National Teachers’ Conference


The joy, creativity and inspiration of Steiner teaching

photo courtesy of Glenaeon Rudolf Steiner School


3 – 6 July, 2023

Linuwel School

East Maitland/Wonnarua Country, NSW




Steiner Education Australia invites all teachers, teachers aides, assistant teachers, subject teachers and specialist teachers, parents and tertiary students to the 2023 National Teachers’ Conference. This July we will be holding the National Teachers’ Conference at Linuwel School, East Maitland/Wonnarua Country, NSW. Our sincere thanks to Linuwel School for welcoming SEA and teachers from around the country to their school. We are so pleased to be holding this conference face-to-face, and look forward to seeing you there.

We have a wonderful line up of inspirational keynote speakers delivering thought-inspiring lectures based on the theme ‘The joy, creativity and inspiration of Steiner teaching’.



Keynote Speakers:

Day 1, Monday July 3

Shelley Davidow: Imagination, Inspiration, Intuition – on the role of creativity in Steiner Education 

If teaching is an art, then the teacher is always, to some degree, an artist in the broadest sense. This presentation explores the roles of imagination, inspiration and intuition and their relationship to creativity* in Steiner Education. We look at the journey of teachers and students in Steiner Educational settings as inner journeys of ‘becoming’ – a movement towards attaining ‘freedom of thought.’ We consider what facilitates the potentially deeply creative act of teaching and learning in our educational settings, what prevents it – and what its value might for our collective human present (and future).

Day 2, Tuesday July 4

Kevin Lowe: Culturally nourishing schools

The Culturally Nourishing Schooling (CNS) project is part of a collaborative research study between Local Aboriginal communities, schools, university researchers and key partners . The project investigates the impact of 6 critical interlocking strategies to improve the schooling of First Nations students, the development of new relationships with First Nations families and communities, deeper and meaningful engagement with community knowledges and histories and the orientation of teaching and learning to culturally nourishing pedagogic practices.

Within this whole school project, the role of school leadership is broadly conceptualised to include middle leaders, teachers and school-based Aboriginal staff who collaborate in developing a transformative, responsive, and contextual educational program that meets the broad aspirations and needs of students. The presentation will sketch how these inter-related strategies and a rich research agenda will inform our collective understanding of possibilities for locally supported whole-school change that resonates from the ground up.

Day 3, Wednesday July 5

Noella Maletz and Kirsty McGeogh: Courage, trust and the cultivation of joy, creativity and inspiration


Our deepest calling is to grow into our own authentic self-hood, whether or not it conforms to some image of who we ought to be. As we do so, we will not only find the joy that every human being seeks–we will also find our path of authentic service in the world.

Parker Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

Courage & Renewal work is based on the approach to reflective practice in a community of inquiry developed by writer, educator and activist, Parker J. Palmer and the Center for Courage & Renewal.  This approach creates space for people to cultivate the inner resources and wisdom to live and lead more authentically, aligning who they are to what they do.   It does so through engaging in ways of being and relating that build psychological safety, trust in self, and relational trust within communities.  This keynote will introduce the Courage & Renewal approach, how it supports the growth of relational trust, and what this might mean in terms of cultivating and sustaining the joy, creativity and inspiration of Steiner teaching. 

Day 4, Thursday July 6

Nicole Ostini: Finding Ithaca

If what you are doing no longer makes you creative, leave the island, if you lack inspiration, take sail, if it brings you no joy, let go of the rudder and ask the wind to take you to faraway places so that when you return you may have found your place amongst the constellations of guiding stars. As Steiner teachers we are all shining lights for our students, loadstones for our class ships, we are the Odysseus for all the souls in our care. Don’t be fooled into thinking the journey is a solo one. It is full of companions, wild beasts, and Gods. We must connect our individual stars into new constellations, that help navigate virgin vessels to unknown distant shores. To set sail for Ithaca you won’t find comfort, nor stability, nor any answers, but inspiration will set your course, creativity keep your sails blown and if you are prepared to make all the sacrifices, a joy that swells the ocean to the shore.

When you feel like you are sinking, that your world has gone stale, that going through the motions makes no sense in today’s divisive world then it’s time to take the journey to Ithaca.



workshop program

In addition to the lectures, we are offering two workshop series (morning and afternoon).

Please choose one workshop from the ‘Morning workshop series’ list and one workshop from the ‘Afternoon workshop series’ list.  Please attend the same workshop for the three days.  Workshop content will build over the three days as you work deeper into the topic with the presenter and fellow participants.

For a full description of these exciting and varied workshops, please click on the workshop number.

Morning workshop series

Workshop 1.1 Supporting our learners Annette Barone
Workshop 1.2 Culturally nourishing schools Kevin Lowe
Workshop 1.3 How do we approach challenging behaviours in today’s Steiner schools? Elise Duffield
Workshop 1.4 The harmonious teaching rhythm of a Steiner teacher: literacy Lisa O’Donnell, Claudia Alfaro and Jacqui Dutson
Workshop 1.5 How does the Steiner curriculum work creatively in unplugged ways in primary school to scaffold and develop the skills needed for digital technology in the high school? Corey Flynn
Workshop 1.6 Bringing wholeness to meet Child Safe standards Melanie Deefholts
Workshop 1.7 What is science and what does Goethe have to do with it? Jane Greenslade
Workshop 1.8 Wellbeing – creating cocoons for transformation Lisa Devine
Workshop 1.9 How can we breathe new life into our shared humanity? Jan Baker Finch
Workshop 1.10 Differentiation in Mathematics in Australian Steiner primary schools Svantje Mertens


Afternoon workshop series

Workshop 2.1 Teacher as writer Shelley Davidow
Workshop 2.2 Creative arts in the Steiner curriculum Lily Riley and Annette Batchelor
Workshop 2.3 Geometrical Transformations and Nature Sophia Montefiore
Workshop 2.4 Clay and its many therapeutic and joyous applications Tania Hungerford
Workshop 2.5 Whittling and binding Tom Hungerford
Workshop 2.6 The inspired, creative and joyful learning classroom Nicole Ostini
Workshop 2.7 Courage, trust and the cultivation of joy, creativity and inspiration Kirsty McGeogh and Noela Maletz
Workshop 2.8 Bothmer Gymnastics – Movement, integration, incarnation – ways in which movement can assist and support children and young people of today to live into a balanced experience of the physical body as the home and temple of the soul and spirit. Elise Duffield and Katherine Ellis
Workshop 2.9 Narragunnawali: Reconciliation in Education Nina Ross, Reconciliation Australia
Workshop 2.10 Nature Connection for the Wellbeing, Development and Vitality of the Whole Being  Bethanie Jolly







Maitland/Wonnarua Country

For information on the Maitland area including accommodation and sight seeing opportunities, click here:

Experience MyMaitland

The Maitland Visitor Information Centre staff would gladly help with inquiries about the local area at or on 02 4931 2800.



Steiner Education Australia would like to thank our sponsors:

SEA Partner