2018 - 2019 MAV Council

President: Michaela Epstein (Maths Pathway)

Michaela EpsteinMichaela brings to MAV Council experience from a wide range of education sectors, with this uniquely positioning her to understand the diverse needs and perspectives of those involved in maths education. She is an advocate of the important role that MAV has in maths education, and in 2016-17 has served on the Council to support the work being done by the organisation across the community.

Michaela has taught maths and coached teachers in schools in rural Victoria and in Melbourne, where she initiated and led programs aimed at supporting and extending students in maths. Michaela has also worked in the not-for-profit sector in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education, and held leadership positions on councils with Scouts Australia.
Currently, Michaela is the Head of Learning with a Victorian-founded social enterprise, Maths Pathway, where she designs learning materials and teacher professional development programs. She has also recently completed research at The University of Melbourne on the new Victorian Curriculum: Mathematics. Michaela is excited by the opportunity to lead MAV Council. She believes that good maths education is vital, with MAV having a critical role to play.

Vice President: Michael O’Connor (AMSI)

Michael O'ConnorFrom 1988 until October 2013, Michael taught mathematics and science at a number of secondary colleges in New South Wales and Victoria. Since October Michael has been the Schools Outreach Manager for AMSI. This role involves the support of teachers in teaching mathematics, the development of Mathematics materials for use in schools and the collection and dissemination of information and advice on careers in Mathematics and Mathematics in careers. In the last twelve months, he has worked with more than 200 teachers from kindergarten to senior secondary in 24 schools around the country. This work has included modelling classes, observing and providing feedback, unpacking the curriculum, planning and professional development.

Michael has a Masters of Education (Studies) from Monash University. He is an experienced author of Mathematics texts, assessment items and dynamic geometry materials.

Immediate Past President: Jim Spithill (ACER)

Jim SpithillJim Spithill is a Research Fellow (Test developer) at the Australian Council for Educational Research. He joined ACER in 2010 after thirty years’ experience teaching secondary mathematics in the Government and Independent sectors around Melbourne. He has worked on a range of ACER projects both local and international, including NAPLAN tests, the New South Wales Government selective high school and opportunity class tests, and the mathematical literacy component of PISA 2012. More recently he has become involved in adult and vocational education assessments for TAFE and other institutions in the VET sector.
He believes that good assessments inform good teaching, thereby improving student learning; and that better numeracy skills contribute to the personal, social and economic wellbeing of the individual learner.


Secretary: Max Stephens (University of Melbourne)

Max Stephens

Max Stephens is currently a research fellow at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. He has enjoyed a long connection with the MAV, both as a Councillor, former President, and as one of its Honorary Life Members. His past research interests include developing a construct of Teacher Capacity to support curriculum reform in mathematics, and investigating the cultural conditions that are needed for the successful adaptation of Lesson Study outside Japan. Most recently, he is investigating how a growing international emphasis to include coding and algorithmic thinking in the school curriculum is likely to impact on school mathematics and the consequences for needed teacher development.

He has continuing interests in mathematics education and curriculum development internationally, especially in Japan and in China, where he has been a visiting professor at several universities. Prior to joining The University of Melbourne, Max occupied several senior roles with the Victorian Department of Education and at the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority.

Treasurer: Juan Ospina Leon (Mill Park Secondary College)

Juan Ospina LeonJuan brings to MAV his knowledge from his economics degree, and his understanding of the education sector having worked as a teacher of both mathematics and economics. As the 2017 treasurer, he supported the establishment of the new Finance Committee tasked with supporting the organisation through developing financial policies to mitigate financial risks, and support the financial management of the organisation.

Outside of MAV, Juan is both a student and a teacher; studying a Postgraduate Diploma in Data Science at Melbourne University while tutoring/teaching mathematics, coding, French and Spanish at Austin Education in its various campuses in Melbourne.

As a teacher, he often looks to see how technology can support learning such as using adaptive diagnostics and spaced repetition programs that automate spacing of reviews for efficient building of knowledge. Knowledge that can then support the development of soft skills such as communication and critical thinking.

Previously, Juan taught Y7-12 mathematics for three years in the area of Whittlesea, north of Melbourne, including all three VCE mathematics of Further, Methods and Specialist. His educational background is a double degree from Monash University in Actuarial Statistics, Japanese, French and Mandarin, then a Masters of Teaching from Deakin University with methods of mathematics, humanities and languages (LOTE).


Dan Cloney (ACER)

Dan Cloney

Dr Dan Cloney is a Research Fellow in the Centre for Education Policy and Practice at the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). Dan's expertise is in early education, cognitive development, academic achievement, and inequality. His most current work focuses on the potential for high-quality early childhood care and education (ECCE) programs to narrow SES-related development gaps.

Dan’s most recent work includes:

  • Project Director of the Overcoming Disadvantage in Early Childhood Project, a partnership with the Australian Literacy & Numeracy Foundation (ALNF) to conduct a longitudinal study of the effectiveness of the Early Language & Literacy program in New South Wales.
  • Technical Consultant for the UNICEF study, Modelling of Universal Pre-Primary Education in the District of Bogor, Indonesia, providing methodological and analytical oversight and support to the national fieldwork team.
  • Project Director of an Asian Development Bank (ADB) study developing a roadmap for Indonesia’s implementation of a one-year “Quality Pre-Primary Education for All” program in support of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4.2.
  • Research Fellow on the E4Kids study; Australia’s largest longitudinal study of the contribution of ECCE programs to children’s learning and development. Dan contributed to the design, implementation, and reporting of the study from 2008 to 2015.

Dan’s recent publications focus on the validation of the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS), the availability and access of high quality ECCE programs in market systems, and the impact of everyday ECCE programs on children’s early cognitive development and later academic achievement. https://works.bepress.com/dan-cloney/

Claire Delaney (Lalor Secondary College)

Ann Downton (Monash University)

Ann DowntonAnn Downton is a Lecturer in undergraduate and post-graduate early childhood and primary mathematics education courses in the Faculty of Education at Monash University. Her research interests centre on how students construct their mathematical knowledge, in particular their development of multiplicative thinking (the focus of her doctoral studies); how teachers challenge students mathematical thinking; mathematics planning for instruction, and assessment practices. Ann was very proud to be a member of the Early Numeracy Research Project team that received the 2011 MERGA Research Award “in recognition of an outstanding contribution to mathematics education research.”

Ann has extensive experience as a primary school teacher, a part-time mathematics and science specialist and as a mathematics consultant. She continues to work with schools in a professional learning capacity and in the classroom to support teacher’s pedagogical practices and enhance students learning of mathematics and their subsequent self-confidence. Ann has been a member of the Mathematical Association of Victoria for more than 30 years, during which time she has served on Council and as a member of the Annual Conference committee.

Peter Karakoussis (St Kevins College)

Peter KarakoussisPeter Karakoussis is currently a Teacher of Mathematics at St Kevin’s College. He began his career there in 2015 after completing a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Education at Monash University. Peter has gained experience teaching Years 12, 11, 10 and 7 while also managing his role as a Tutor of the Middle School, Assistant Coach of the Firsts Swimming Team, Assistant Coach of the Firsts Water Polo Team and Coach of Soccer. He is also employed as a VCE Revision Lecturer with Australian Catholic University, developing and presenting notes on the Units 3 and 4 examinations for Further Mathematics as part of the university’s Equity Pathways program; raising student aspiration to higher education for low socioeconomic areas. A council member of the MAV since 2017, Peter has had the opportunity to convene the Publications committee, be a part of the Membership committee and contribute to the 2018 – 2020 Strategic Plan. Peter’s educational vision is one based on seeing students at the center of their learning and his role is one to inspire, engage and support his students’ passions, leading by example with his own enthusiasm for mathematics education at the secondary school level.

Allason McNamara (Trinity Grammar School)

Allason McNamaraAllason McNamara is the President of AAMT, the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers. She is currently teaching senior mathematics at Trinity Grammar School Kew in Melbourne. Previously she has been Head of Mathematics at Mount Scopus Memorial College and a number of other independent schools. She has a Masters Degree in Mathematical Modelling and Data Analysis, two Graduate Diplomas and a Degree in Agricultural Science from Melbourne University. She has been a co-author of several mathematics textbooks and VCE Specialist Mathematics examinations, and the Chief Assessor for VCE Mathematical Methods for the VCAA (Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority). She has been on a number of advisory committees for the VCAA and was recently part of the federal government’s Expert Advisory Panel for the Year 1 Literacy and Numeracy testing. She is on the Board of the National Mathematics Summer School (NMSS) and the Australian Mathematics Trust (AMT). Allason is a Past President and Treasurer of The Mathematical Association of Victoria and has done many presentations at the MAV conferences including keynote addresses. She is a current member of the MAV council and is actively involved in the Activities Committee, writing the MAV trial exams, lecturing to VCE students and teachers and running state-wide Mathematics Games Days

Thomas Moore (Lilydale High School)

Thomas MooreThomas is passionate about all things Maths Teaching. He has spent the last 8 Years of his career working as a Maths Teacher and as the Head of department at a school in Melbourne's outer east. He has a keen interest in developing mathematical lessons which are both rich and engaging, and as such has recently embarked on a PhD. in this area. Thomas is also the founder of EngageME Mathematics and works as a Maths consultant. After serving his first year on the MAV council, and heading up the Student Activities Committee, Thomas is extremely keen to continue his work as a councillor into the new year.


Kylie Slaney (Bialik College)

Kylie Slaney

Kylie is a Mathematics and STEM teacher with 17 years’ experience in the IT Industry with a Bachelor Engineering (Electronics). Kylie has taught at Bialik College for the past 5 years. Teaching Mathematics from Year 7 to 12, including VCE Mathematical Methods. Teaching and linking mathematics to engineering, the sciences, robotics and everyday life brings relevance to the curriculum and encourages students to link their learning to their lives. In 2016 Kylie wrote curriculum for a Year 8 STEM elective and in 2017 expanded this to a Year 9 STEM elective. Kylie is keen to increase the visibility of the M in STEM.

In November 2016 Kylie was appointed the STEM Cultures of Thinking Leadership role at Bialik College. This leadership role involves creating a strategy for STEM at Bialik and includes facilitating, educating and training teachers on STEM and how it can be incorporated in the classroom in a genuinely authentic manner. She has facilitated STEM Days within the school where all students in year 7-9 were engaged in researching and creating possible solutions to authentic, real-world, challenges. Kylie is also involved in mentoring the First Lego League Robotics team at Bialik.

Honorary Life Members of the Mathematical Association of Victoria

Mr Gary Asp
Mrs Robin Borland
Ms Elizabeth Burns
Dr Ken Clements
Mr Bruce Devlin
Mr Patrick Costello
Dr Ken Evans, OAM
Mr Bruce Henry
Assoc Prof Marj Horne
Mr Denis Kennedy
Mr Charles Lovitt
Ms Barbara Martin
Mr Robert Money
Mr Simon Pryor
Prof Dianne Siemon
Dr Max Stephens
Mr Douglas Williams
Mr Graham Willis






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