Keynote Speakers

Tupe Solomon-Tanoa’i comes from a family who passionately believes that Education is your passport to the future. Her parents ran a private training establishment for 25 years and were also ECE owners before retiring.

Tupe is currently the Chief Philanthropic Officer of the Michael and Suzanne Borrin Foundation, a philanthropy which funds legal research, education and scholarship in the areas of criminal justice, family law and access to civil justice. The foundation is working towards an Aotearoa New Zealand that is just, inclusive, tolerant and free.

The Samoan, Fijian, Kiwi is passionate about advocating for a more inclusive society. In addition to her professional role, she is the writer and co-producer of a web series on unconscious bias, the host and co-producer of a chat show on Pacific success, and the theme of her talk at TEDx Pipitea was “Leading through self-acceptance.”

Tupe graduated from the University of Auckland with a BA/LLB(Hons) and is a former diplomat who has a seat on various boards and advisory groups offering her expertise in areas such as international trade, philanthropy, media, engaging with Asia and the Pacific.

In 2020 Tupe was recognised as one of the University of Auckland’s 40 under 40 and was the winner of the diversity category in the New Zealand Women of Influence Awards. In 2021, she was named as one of New Zealand’s most Influential Lawyers by NZ Lawyer in the category of Human Rights, Advocacy and Criminal Justice.

The Trainer: The session will be delivered by Kathryn Berkett of ENGAGE.  

Kathryn has her Masters in Educational Psychology, and has certified as a Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics practitioner with Dr Perry.  Kathryn has extensive experience in understanding how trauma can impact on development.  She has worked and trained, nationally and internationally, on the subject of neuroscience for over twenty years, delivering to a variety of organisations including:  the Police; Oranga Tamariki; Teachers; Corrections; Parents; Recreation Groups; Mental Health Professionals; NZ Rugby; and Corporates.  Kathryn also has a TEDx talk titled: ‘Neuroscience of Device Zombies’.

Toni and Robin Christie founded Childspace Early Learning Centres and subsequently the Childspace Early Childhood Institute in Wellington, New Zealand.

They began their careers in early childhood with a small centre in their own home and have both taught early childhood for various ages and contexts.

Currently their work involves teaching adults about the importance of the early years. Toni and Robin have written books and resources, they publish a quarterly magazine, host conferences, design and build environments for children, inspire early childhood practitioners through their keynote and workshop presentations, and they love their jobs!

Toni and Robin believe that early childhood is the most significant stage of every person’s development. They are driven to provide practical, relevant, natural and aesthetic resources and environments for all who play and work with very young children. They have applied their talents throughout New Zealand and Australia as well as other parts of the World such as Canada, Cook Islands, Denmark, Germany, Fiji, Ireland, Malaysia, Mexico, Scotland, India, Singapore and the United States.

Hon Chris Hipkins: the ministers for both Education and COVID-19 Response portfolios. We are currently awaiting his response to our invitation

Simon Laube – Chief Executive of the Early Childhood Council will be speaking about how we seek to grow and strengthen centres – how we might feel our attention is being diverted by risks and outside threats but there remains good opportunities to focus on.