Festival of Teaching 2021


The Festival of Teaching, coordinated by the Professional Teachers’ Association of the NT and Member Associations, is a one-day biennial event that offers educators professional development across the curriculum and all levels of schooling.

Educators made the most of the Festival’s professional learning program, including:

  • Two keynote speakers
  • 58 professional learning sessions spanning the curriculum; and
  • Trade displays providing access to educational organisations and resources.

On the 28 August 2021 the fifth PTANT Festival of Teaching was held at Palmerston Senior College. The goal is to deliver the preeminent professional learning event of the year for NT teachers. 

Keynote speakers 

Karen Young 

Founder of ‘Hey Sigmund’


Dr Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr Baumann AM

Aboriginal activist, educator and artist

Karen began her career as a psychologist in private practice, and has worked extensively with children, teens and families. She has a Masters in Gestalt Therapy and has lectured at post-graduate level.

Karen is now a sought-after speaker and consultant, working with schools, government bodies, parent groups, and child and adolescent focused organisations both in Australia and abroad to educate, build resources, implement procedures, and support the professional development of staff. Her areas of expertise particularly include child and adolescent anxiety, trauma, attachment, and neurodevelopment.

She is regularly invited to comment by Australian and international media, including ABC Radio, The Project, and Parenting Magazine New Zealand. Her recent projects include working with Plan International Australia to create resources for parents in response to the Australian bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Karen is the founder of ‘Hey Sigmund’, an internationally popular online resource that attracts millions of readers each year. The website provides contemporary, research-driven resources to support the mental wellness of children and adolescents. She is the author of three books, including the international bestseller ‘Hey Warrior,’ which assist children to understand and manage anxiety. Her books have been translated into several languages and have sold more than 150,000 copies worldwide.

Dr Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr Baumann AM is an Aboriginal elder from Nauiyu and a renowned artist, activist, writer and public speaker.

In 1975, Miriam-Rose became the Territory's first fully qualified Aboriginal teacher. As an art consultant for the Department of Education, she visited schools through the Top End, advocating for the inclusion of visual art as part of every child's education.

Through her professional and creative life, Miriam-Rose has remained dedicated to maintaining the cultural independence of her people and being a spokesperson for the Aboriginal worldview. In recognition of her leadership, she was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia medal and an Honorary PhD in Education from Charles Darwin University.

Miriam-Rose later became the principal of the Catholic school in her home community before being appointed to the Federal Government's advisory body, the National Indigenous Council. In 2013, she established the Miriam Rose Foundation, to bridge the divide between Aboriginal culture and mainstream society —driving reconciliation at a grassroots level.

Keynote address

Strengthening children and teens against anxiety

As much as school can be an environment which can nourish and grow all children, the very nature of anxiety means that school can also have plenty of anxiety triggers. Anxiety loves anything unfamiliar or any situation that comes with any potential for embarrassment, failure, humiliation, shame, or separation from a loved one – and school is ripe for all of them. Anxiety can significantly affect friendships, confidence, and school performance, but it doesn’t have to be this way. All children and teens need the right support to thrive, and even the smallest considerations can go a long way to helping children with anxiety find the very best version of themselves. This keynote presentation will provide participants with practical, powerful, proven ways to effectively respond to children with anxiety, as well as ways to capture the powerful buffering role school can play in strengthening all young people against anxiety at school and beyond. We will explore:

⦁ an explanation of anxiety that makes sense of symptoms and behaviours;
⦁ how anxiety interferes with behaviour, grades and performance;
⦁ the different ways anxiety can manifest at school;
⦁ how to manage difficult behaviours when anxiety is the fuel;
⦁ the relationship between anxiety and learning, and how to unlock a 'learning brain';
⦁ creating an environment that will encourage brave behaviour in all children;
⦁ how to respond to anxiety in the moment to make way for calm and courage;
⦁ the strategies that will strengthen all children against anxiety, and build confidence and courage at school and beyond;
⦁ how resilience happens in the brain, and the experiences that will build the solid neural foundations;
⦁ parents and teachers – a powerful team. What parents need to know, and how to have the conversation that will make a difference.

Keynote address

The power of Dadirri

Art and culture encourage strength in our kids, support strong identities and is an outlet for identity allowing kids to face challenges with a proud and strong sense of self. Miriam will talk about the four pillars, opportunity, education, art and culture and how the pillars work together to enrich a young person’s educational experience and their life.


Miriam will introduce us to Dadirri, deep listening, silent awareness and waiting. Miriam explains this is not just an aboriginal way but everyone can do this and everyone has the power to do this. Through the power of Dadirri you will have the opportunity to find yourself and your culture, because we all have culture, and to understand another’s is to understand your own first. This spiritual skill aims to ground your thoughts, understand your surroundings and be strong to assist your students to do the same.


Miriam knows how to walk in two worlds and teaches children to do the same. She has a unique education style infusing western ways with traditional aboriginal ways. Miriam believes that to change one young person’s life around is an achievement in itself and the key to the world is a strong identity and confidence to be yourself.


Department of Education Northern Territory Government 

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We greatly appreciate the Department of Education for their strong partnership and support, as demonstrated by our current 2019-24 Funding Agreement, which provides funding for quality professional learning and networking opportunities in the NT, including the Festival of Teaching. With the Department’s support, we will continue to provide valuable resources for ‘teachers leading teachers’, and improve teaching and learning outcomes across the NT.

Fetch Berrimah 

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Fetch is your locally owned and operated one-stop-shop incorporating Office Choice Berrimah with over 13,000 products available online. Fetch supports teachers throughout the Territory to achieve the results they desire as educators by providing them with quality education resources. We have developed simplified solutions to make your Back to School ordering and the dreaded invoice reconciliation a breeze. Whether it’s one box, ten pallets or special order, our systems work! Feel free to ask me how at the Festival – see you there.

Australian Education Union NT

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The Australian Education Union NT is the professional and industrial voice of public educators in the Territory. With 2000 members working in public schools and Department of Education offices, we represent teachers, principals and classroom support staff to ensure their professional and working rights are upheld and strengthened, on everything from negotiating pay and conditions to having input into curriculum and government and departmental policies.

Fleet Network

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At Fleet Network we have been a leading provider of salary packaging in the NT for over 20 years! We provide cost effective solutions to help you lease, salary sacrifice & save on the new or used car of your dreams - as well as the costs to run it.

A novated lease means you can package your finance repayment together with your running costs (such as fuel, servicing, tyres & registration) in one easy & affordable deduction from your take home pay. This means you can maximise your salary, save on running costs & pay less tax, which puts more money in your pocket.

To discover the savings that could be available to you, please contact our dedicated NT Business Development Manager Zane Ryan on 0423 454 051 or zaner@fleetnetwork.com.au. Alternatively you can visit www.fleetnetwork.com.au for more information.

Compass Seminars Australia

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Compass Seminars Australia is a leading provider of mental health training for professionals working with children, young people and their families. From early childhood through to secondary school we provide quality training, books and resources covering a range of topics, including social-emotional development, anxiety, school refusal, dealing with difficult parents, and more. Improve the well-being of your school community with quality training and resources to maintain an emotionally positive and cognitively enriched environment.


Lvl 11, Mitchell Centre. 55-59 Mitchell Street
Darwin NT 0801

Phone: 08 8944 9324

ABN: 463 302 816 41