FLANZ Executive Committee

The FLANZ executive role provides direction and governance for the organisation. In addition, executive members contribute to initiatives depending on their availability and skills. Executive members are asked to attend monthly meetings (evenings) as well as one full day planning meeting (normally October). Costs are paid for attendance at the planning meeting, but the time needs to be made available by the member.

The executive role is flexible, allows for engagement and activity that fits with each member’s situation, and offers opportunities to work with peers nationally and internationally. If you have a passion for flexible learning and would like to be at the forefront of activity and research in open, distance and flexible learning, please consider standing for a position on the committee.

2021-2022 FLANZ Committee

Simon Paul Atkinson (President) is a consultant for higher education strategy.  He has held senior roles as Head of Department, Director and Associate Dean in UK and NZ tertiary institutions since 1999. Simon’s PhD explored the way that heritage institutions responded to the needs of adult learners. He is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. His research publications have concentrated on educational technologies and faculty development. Simon’s website is sijen.com. Profile @Linkedin
Nathaniel Louwrens 2022 Nathaniel Louwrens (Vice-President) is Manager Assessment Design at the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand. He has experience in open, distance, flexible learning as a former secondary teacher, a digital technologies facilitator to schools, as well as in learning and assessment design in the tertiary sector. Twitter / LinkedIn.
Ralph Springett (Secretary) is the Manager of the Assessment Centre at the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand. Ralph is also a Director at ReGear Learning Ltd, a company providing eLearning resources and strategy advice for vocational training organisations. Twitter In the past Ralph represented distance students while studying extramurally at Massey University.
Andrew Higgins (Acting Treasurer) is retired but retains close links in the schooling sector. His research involved work on the provision of education to isolated students and later on in the use of technologies in education. He has been a member of various Ministerial advisory committees in New Zealand and Queensland and was formerly a university Director. He is a Life Member of FLANZ.
Kwong Nui is a senior lecturer/learning and teaching consultant at altLAB (Learning Transformation LAB), Auckland University of Technology. Prior to this, I was a lecturer/academic developer at Victoria University of Wellington and studied/worked at University of Otago, Dunedin. Linkedin Twitter
Alison Field is an eLearning specialist and information scientist. Her Doctorate in Education looked at the provision of learner support inside online classrooms in New Zealand and built on three decades of experience as a librarian and senior lecturer in Information and Library Studies.

Alison’s other research interests include information-seeking behaviour and online options for continuing professional development. She is Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of Open, Flexible and Distance Learning, the flagship Journal of FLANZ.

Linda Laven is a veterinarian by training. Linda has worked in distance education since 2009 as Academic Coordinator of the Master of Veterinary Medicine programme, Massey University. Linda’s interests lie in supporting the development of engaged, lifelong learners with a passion for their workplace.
Larian Nkomo Larian Nkomo is currently Surveys Officer at the University of Otago. He has previously been involved in distance education course design and Learning Management System administration. His interests are in Higher Education, Student Engagement, Learning Analytics and Educational Technology.
Gloria Gomez undertakes applied design research in novel educational practice with Bridging Design Prototypes. She is a co-founder at OceanBrowser Ltd. (New Zealand), an honorary senior lecturer at the Save Sight Institute, University of Sydney (Australia), and a scientific committee member in the postgraduate programmes in Diseño y Creación at La Universidad de Caldas (Colombia). Her GUI and interaction design projects include OB3 online study application (OceanBrowser Ltd.), CmapTools software (Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, USA), and <“La Ciudad Fantástica”< interactive game (Proyecto Ludomática, Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia). Her new concept product projects include the “Authoring Concept Mapping Kit” (PhD project, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia), “My Otago First Year” (University of Otago, New Zealand) and the coordination of the EU consortium “FULCRUM: Smart Learning Environments for the Transition to Early Algebra” (University of Southern Denmark, Denmark). Learn more at http://www.gloriagomez.com.
John P Egan John P Egan is Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching) Director in the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences. Previously, Dr Egan was Senior Manager, Strategic Curriculum Services at the University of British Columbia. He holds a PhD in Educational Studies from the University of British Columbia and a Master of Higher Education from the University of Auckland
Kristina Hoeppner is the project lead for the open source ePortfolio platform Mahara, working for Catalyst IT in Te Whanganui-a-Tara. She traded hemispheres and careers in 2010 and enjoys supporting and working with the New Zealand and worldwide community of educators, learning designers, and education innovators in both formal and informal learning settings to create positive and supportive learning environments. Twitter / LinkedIn
Bettina Schwenger is Curriculum Development Manager and Lecturer at the Faculty of Arts,  University of Auckland and a Senior Fellow (HEA). Her research investigates some of the points at which a range of contemporary learning and teaching issues are connecting: curriculum design, scaffolding of graduate attributes, digital literacies and independent learning across a qualification, embedding of whanaungatanga and ako, and integrating online with face-to-face learning and teaching. LinkedIn