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Team
Our Team
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Andrew Rogers
Chairperson
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Andrew is the current Chair of APIS, having been elected in 2020. Prior to this, Andrew was Secretary of APIS from 2016 – 2019. Andrew is also the current Chair of SCSA Curriculum Advisory Committee (CAC) for Philosophy and Ethics – a position he has held since 2019. Andrew was recently awarded the title of ‘Australian Teacher of the Year’ (Secondary non-government) in the Australian education awards.


Andrew currently teaches Religion, Philosophy and Ethics at Guildford Grammar School. Prior to this he taught at St Mark’s Anglican Community School where he worked since 2013. He has taught Philosophy and Ethics at ATAR and General level, and he has coached schools to compete in the Perth Philosothon, the Australasian Philosothon and the West Australian Ethics Olympiad.
 

Andrew gained his ‘Advanced Practice’ Philosophy in Schools qualification in 2020, building on his ‘Introduction to Philosophy in Schools’ qualification in 2015. Andrew currently teaches Philosophy and Ethics to Years 10, 11 and 12, following the WACE ATAR and General courses, as well as teaching Philosophy to Years 4 and 5 extension students. He is originally from the UK where he completed a Masters Degree in Jewish-Christian Relations, specialising in Jewish responses to the Holocaust and a Bachelor of Divinity (BD) degree in Theology from University of Wales, Bangor. He has previously taught in Secondary Schools in the UK for 13 years, which included eight years as a Subject Leader of Religious Studies, Philosophy and Ethics. 
 
Andrew previously sat on the UK Government’s Regional Standing Advisory Committee for Religious Education and has had articles published in The Journal of Philosophy in Schools (JPS) and has an article published in ‘Common Ground, the Journal of the Council of Christians and Jews’.

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Alison Freeman
Vice Chair

Alison Freeman is the Associate Principal at Geographe Primary School in Busselton. Alison has been leading a whole school approach to Philosophy in Schools for six years at Geographe Primary and prior to that lead a whole school approach at Pemberton District High School.

 

Alison is an accredited Level 2 Teacher Educator in Philosophy and has been running Level 1 workshops in Western Australia for 14 years now. In 2013 she won the Outstanding Professional Service Award for her contributions to the Association for Philosophy in Schools (WA).

 

She is currently the Head facilitator for the South West Philosothon and each year has the honour of awarding the most promising philosopher of the evening the Alison Freeman trophy.

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Kirstie Fitzgerald
Secretary

Kirstie Fitz holds a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education degree from Curtin University and a Master of Education degree from Murdoch University, is a Level 3 Classroom Teacher and the Philosophy Specialist Teacher at North Harrisdale Primary School.

 

She has been teaching for fifteen years and has a keen interest in Educational Neuroscience and Philosophy for Children, since first being introduced to P4C in 2011 at the International Conference on Thinking in Belfast, Northern Ireland, by James Nottingham. Kirstie credits James for being her proverbial white rabbit who led her down a rabbit hole of devouring everything she could find on Philosophy for Children, leading to completing training in P4C with both APIS (WA) and SAPERE (UK). She is absolutely committed to ensuring all children have the opportunity to philosophise and be critical, creative, collaborative and caring thinkers.

 

You’ll usually find Kirstie with her head buried in numerous books, writing or running around after her two-year-old son, Max, who is asking a million questions daily and keeping her on her toes!

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Shelley Smith
Treasurer

Shelley has four grown children and teaches at Methodist Ladies College. She is Head of Religious Studies as well as a Philosophy teacher.

 

Shelley serves on the APIS Executive as Treasurer for which she feels ill-equipped.

Committee Members
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Rob Wilson

Rob’s interest in philosophy in the schools is lifelong and has been career-shaping.  Rob first became involved as an undergraduate student at UWA during a visit to WA from Ann Margaret Sharp from the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children.  From 1984 until 1987, Rob ran professional development workshops for teachers and worked directly in a number of Perth schools, especially through the Primary Extension and Challenge (PEAC) program.  He ran the First Western Australian Conference on Philosophy for Children at Yanchep in 1986, and his pursuit of a doctorate in philosophy overseas was motivated by the idea of continuing to work with children and youth back in Perth.  While professor of philosophy at the University of Alberta, Rob founded Philosophy for Children Alberta in 2008 and co-founded the philosophy holiday camp program Eurekamp in Edmonton in 2009. 

 

Rob has a BA with first-class honours in philosophy from UWA, and an MA and PhD from Cornell University, where he was a Fulbright Scholar.  Rob has been professor of philosophy at UWA since 2019 and is currently convenor of the new major in Science and Technology in Society at UWA as well as of the Philosophy in the Community Committee (PiCC) of the Australasian Association of Philosophy.  He has been a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada since 2009.

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Isobel Stevenson

Isobel graduated with degrees in Philosophy, History and Education from Murdoch University. She particularly enjoyed studying Philosophy units in Ethics, Love and Friendship with Peta Bowden, Epistemology with Paul McDonald and Critical Reasoning with Lubica Ucnik.

Isobel is the teacher in charge of Philosophy and History at Willetton Senior High School where she teaches the ATAR Philosophy classes. She also coaches the Willetton Philosothon team which has achieved success in both the Perth and Australasian Philosothons.

Isobel is a Level 3 Classroom Teacher and is passionate about engaging with the broader Philosophy teaching community. She has worked with APIS on exam creation and has been appointed to the SCSA Curriculum Advisory Committee.


She recently had her first child, Maisie, and she is looking forward to nurturing the natural philosopher that exists in all young children.  

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Kaz Bland

Kaz discovered philosophy in her 30's as an undergraduate student trying to escape cooking for the rest of her life. She graduated with a doctorate in Philosophy from the University of Adelaide in 2019. Over the years she has taught casually at several universities across Australia. She now holds her first real job as a lecturer, and philosophy for children (P4C) practitioner at the University of Western Australia.

Kaz sees philosophy as very practical, a method of thinking carefully and critically about big problems. She enjoys the fact that there may be no solutions, there are better and worse ways of thinking things through. 

Her philosophy in community practice focuses on using the community of inquiry methodology as an educational tool. Exploring ideas and engaging with contemporary issues for people of all ages. By our powers combined, she hopes philosophy will take over the world!

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Oliver Keys

Oliver’s first academic love as an undergraduate was philosophy and after he briefly got distracted being an English teacher, he returned to philosophy teaching at the ATAR level in 2018. He has been a member of APIS since 2018 and was secretary 2019-2021.

 

His belief about philosophy in education is that doing philosophy builds and strengthens all other academic pursuits around it

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Lucia Carvalho Neco

Lucia (or Luba!) is a Biologist, M.Sc. in Animal Behavior and PhD Candidate in Philosophy at University of Western Australia under the supervision of Prof. Rob Wilson.

 

She is very interested in concepts in science and how to make more sense of them. Specifically, she studies the use of concepts in social behavior. Accordingly, her interests include the philosophy of biological, cognitive and social sciences.

She is very passionate about the practice of philosophy in everyday life. She is involved in the Philosophical Engagement for Public Life (PEiPL) network and philosophy for children (p4c) initiatives in Perth, Australia. She is also the co-director of Eurekamp Oz!, a holiday program for curious kids at UWA which use the community of inquiry method to stimulate the exploration of ideas by kids aged 5 to 13.

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Rachel Cook

Rachel is currently a Year 6 teacher and coordinator of the Primary School challenge and extension program at Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School. Previously, she was involved in establishing and coordinating Prometheus, the Junior School philosophy and critical thinking program at Georgiana Molloy Anglican School in Busselton.

 

Rachel is passionate about the development and facilitation of critical, creative and collaborative thinking opportunities in education, and has been involved in the establishment and running of philosophy and ethics programs in the Primary School context for the past 15 years. Her love for philosophical inquiry is embedded in her classroom teaching practices, where reasoning skills are developed through philosophical thinking and discussions, questioning and the nurturing of a community of inquiry.

 

Rachel has four children, three of whom have been active participants in the Australasian Philosothon. Needless to say, her home life for many years has been filled with spirited conversations and endless questioning

Committee
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