Christine O’Neill, Independent Education and Leadership Consultant and Arnika Macphail, Professional Learning Manager, Cyclone Computer Company

Christine O'Neill

Christine has extensive leadership and governance experience, including serving as Principal of St Thomas of Canterbury College, a multicultural boys’ Y7-13 school, from 2007 to 2017. During this time she led post-earthquake reconstruction and renewal and hosted another secondary school on site.  She has governance experience on primary and secondary school boards, including a current role as a ministerial appointee on the Haeata Community Campus Establishment Board of Trustees.

She served on the strategic leadership team of Edmund Rice Education Australasia (2014-2017) which has oversight direction of 50 secondary schools and has been a ministerial principal representative on national and regional cross sector forums. She was a founding member and is a steering group trustee of Community Justice Panels, an alternative restorative strategy to court partnered by NZ Police, Community Law Canterbury, Ngāi Tahu and Nga Maata Waka, now rolled out as a national Police and Ministry of Justice strategy.  She has been a trustee of the Howard League for Penal Reform (2009-2012) and is currently a member of the governance Board of T’ai Aranui Māori Justice Hub, a cross agency and iwi-based response to issues affecting Māori in the Justice sector.

Christine has deep experience in mainstream Māori and Pasifika education. She has a passion for supporting transformational leadership of organisations founded on strong social justice values of equity, diversity and inclusivity. 

She currently works as an independent education and leadership consultant and has joined Leadership Lab in the Grow Waitaha programme where 150 schools across Greater Christchurch have partnered with Ministry of Education, Ngāi Tahu, and four providers to explore future focussed pedagogy including student agency, collaborative teaching, flexible learning spaces, cultural narratives, authentic curriculum and diverse partnerships. This process includes individual coaching and mentoring of school leaders, facilitation of collaboration between schools to share innovation, and the curation of successful case studies to benefit the wider sector.



Arnika Macphail

Arnika is the Professional Learning Manager for Cyclone. She is responsible for strategy, and oversees all PLD delivered nationally.

As a New Zealand Registered Teacher, Arnika is passionate about supporting 21st Century Skills in Aotearoa. Arnika is well known for helping to strengthen relationships across the education sector on a global scale.





Leadership in the digital era

In this session Christine will reflect on her learning from a decade as a Principal in a multi-cultural secondary school and offer thoughts on leading in a disruptive age. From the journey through the Canterbury earthquakes to reformation of the curriculum in a digitally infused age, she will suggest that the greatest impact of disruption is the challenge to our values and thinking about power, leadership, and the purpose of education. Christine and Arnika will ask where does technology sit within that? How do you equip staff and students to thrive by engaging with a powerful tool?  And what partners will assist you in that journey most effectively?