International Boys Schools Coalition – 2018 Annual Conference

8 – 11 July 2018 at The Southport School

The Southport School is proud to be the host of this auspicious conference for 2018. In its 25th year, this International conference is shaping up to be an amazing event not to be missed!

We invite all outstanding teachers, leading researchers, and educational innovators to embrace the 2018 theme Our Boys, Their Future: Learning to Lead and share your wisdom and experience with colleagues from around the world. We hope your visit to Queensland will provide a balance between learning from one another and discovering a truly magnificent part of Australia.

We encourage you to spend some extra time on the Gold Coast so you can really experience the very best of beach side living. From the excitement of world-class theme parks to the natural beauty of the Hinterland — and everything in between — there’s something for everyone on Queensland’s spectacular Gold Coast!



Ms Catherine McGregor AM

The Southport School is delighted to welcome Ms Catherine McGregor AM as a Keynote Speaker at the 2018 International Boys’ School Coalition Annual Conference.

Ms McGregor was a military officer for nearly four decades. After graduating from the Royal Military Duntroon she served as an Infantry Officer on a variety of overseas operations. She has held a wide range of strategic policy and operational roles which included serving on the personal staffs of four Chiefs of the Army and two Chiefs of the Air Force.

She has also worked as a speech writer and adviser to some of Australia’s most senior political leaders including: Bob Carr, Kim Beazley, Tony Abbott and Barry O’Farrell. Catherine has also been an opinion columnist and editorial writer at News Limited where she writes regularly on politics and cricket.

Catherine is a published author and has been voted one of Australia’s most influential women by the Australian Women’s Weekly three times. In 2012, she was awarded the Order of Australia in the Military Division for exceptional service to the Australian Army.

Catherine is one of Australia’s most engaging and powerful speakers whose topics of reference extend from global strategic affairs to her own poignant story of gender transition.

The International Boys’ Schools Coalition looks forward to welcoming Ms Catherine McGregor AM to The Southport School on Sunday 8 July, 2018.


Key Note Speaker – Professor Ian Hickie AM

The Southport School is delighted to welcome Professor Ian Hickie AM as a Keynote Speaker at the 2018 International Boys’ School Coalition Annual Conference.

Professor Ian Hickie is Co-Director, Health and Policy at The University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre. Since its inception, he has been a Commissioner in Australia’s National Mental Health Commission (2012-current) overseeing enhanced accountability for mental health reform and suicide prevention in Australia. He is an internationally renowned researcher in clinical psychiatry, with particular reference to depression and other mood disorders, early intervention, use of new and emerging technologies and suicide prevention.

In his role with the National Mental Health Commission, and his independent research, health system and advocacy roles, Professor Hickie has been at the forefront of the move to have mental health and suicide prevention integrated with other aspects of health care, notably chronic disease and ambulatory care management.

The International Boys’ Schools Coalition looks forward to welcoming Professor Ian Hickie AM to The Southport School on Tuesday 10 July, 2018.



Associate Professor Mathew A White PhD FACE

An award-winning educator, Mathew White is an Associate Professor and Director of the Master of Education at The University of Adelaide where he lectures on Educational Leadership in Diverse Contexts and Education Policy Studies. His research publications focus on leadership, wellbeing and international education.

Before joining The University of Adelaide, Mathew held significant senior leadership positions in schools. He was the founding Director of Wellbeing & Positive Education and served on the Senior Leadership Team of St Peter’s College, Adelaide.

In 2017, the Australian Council for Educational Leaders conferred two awards on Mathew; a National Leadership Award, and a South Australian Leadership Medal in recognition of his exceptional scholarship and leadership. The International Boys’ Schools Coalition looks forward to welcoming Dr White to The Southport School on Monday 9th July, 2018.


Dr Tracy Vaillancourt – University of Ottawa

Dr Vaillancourt is a Canada Research Chair in Children’s Mental Health and Violence Prevention at the University of Ottawa where she is also a full professor in Counselling Psychology and the School of Psychology. Dr Vaillancourt’s research examines the links between bullying and mental health, with a particular focus on social neuroscience.







Li Cunxin

Li was born into utter poverty in Mao’s communist China and at a very young age, he was chosen to study ballet by Madame Mao’s people. The years of harsh training regime taught him discipline, resilience, determination and perseverance and Li’s drive and relentless hard work made him one of the best dancers in the world.

In 1999, Li made a successful career transition from ballet to finance. He was a Senior Manager at one of the largest stockbroking firms in Australia. Li was also voted Australian Father of the Year in 2009 and Queensland Australian of the Year in 2013. Recently, he received the prestigious ‘Asia Game Changer’ award at the United Nations, and currently, he is the Artistic Director of Queensland Ballet.

Li’s inspirational journey has demonstrated the importance of passion, dedication, perseverance, courage to embrace changes; of maximising opportunities in life and making dreams into reality. The International Boys’ Schools Coalition looks forward to welcoming Li Cunxin to The Southport School on Wednesday 11th July, 2018.


Ms Kylie Bowra – St Augustine’s College, Sydney

Ms Bowra is an internationally recognised teacher and innovative leader in the area of boys’ education. Currently, Ms Bowra serves as the Founder of ‘Can You Speak Boy?’ and is a Steering Committee member of Project Zero, Sydney. She is also the Leader of Teaching and Learning at St Augustine’s College, Sydney where she has been a driving force behind the improvement of boys’ literacy through the Leaders of Literacy Framework.

As an advocate of positive change, Ms Bowra is on a mission to inspire, innovate and ignite as many young minds as possible and the International Boys’ Schools Coalition looks forward to welcoming her to The Southport School on Monday 9th July, 2018.






Key Note Speaker – Mr Greg Mitchell and Mr Taj Pabari

As part of the Junior Years Strand, The Southport School is delighted to welcome Mr Greg Mitchell and Mr Taj Pabari as Featured Speakers at the 2018 IBSC Annual Conference.

Greg Mitchell’s inspirational presentations make you laugh, make you cry and can change your life. As an experienced educator, administrator, Independent Education Consultant, and School Leadership Trainer, Greg provides his audience with practical classroom applications that can enhance all aspects of school life.



“From suspended schoolboy to educational pioneer, Taj Pabari is living proof that anyone with determination and passion can change the world.” Taj is an eighteen-year-old inventor, social entrepreneur and educational pioneer passionate about inspiring children to discover and embrace the world of creativity through business and entrepreneurship. Taj won the Australian Young Innovator of the Year Award in 2014 and was the 2017 Queensland Young Australian of the Year.

The IBSC looks forward to welcoming Greg Mitchell and Taj Pabari to The Southport School on Tuesday 10 July, 2018.





Watch the promo video for a taste of what’s to come!

Further information regarding IBSC 2018 will be shared with TSS Community in coming months. If you would like further information on the IBSC organisation please visit

If you would like be involved in IBSC 2018 please contact Andrew Stark

Interested in being a Sponsor?



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