14 September 2023 at 10:00 am

NZ EdTech’s taking a diversified and leading message to the Australian digital education market

Following a successful EduTech Melbourne exhibition in 2022, Education New Zealand Manapou ki te Ao (ENZ) and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) joined forces once again at EduTech Melbourne 2023 Conference and Expo from 24-25 August. The event is held annually and brings together some 10,000 attendees from across the Australian education sector where the goal is to discuss, debate and evaluate the future of education.

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, ENZ’s Alana Pellow with NZTE Trade Commissioner Hamish Campbell, and NZTE team members Jane King and Tanan Zorigt on the NZ Pavilion at EduTech Melbourne 2023.

ENZ had a stand at NZTE’s pavilion with six of the eight EdTech who had expressed an interest in attending EduTech as part of an ENZ delegaton, showcasing their products alongside NZTE’s five customers. The companies in the ENZ delegation included Pacific Kids' Learning, NutriblocksPipiLearningJix RealityPolyMath and Code Avengers and the Student Volunteer Army were also part of the wider ENZ delegation. This diverse group of technology providers from K-12 to Vocational Training and Education (VET) and Higher Education (HE) provide a range of digital education solutions including numeracy, literacy, financial literacy, STEM, programmes for neuro diverse learners, Pacific based and culturally responsive digital tools, immersive digital education experiences and health and wellbeing educational games.

PolyMath Co-Founders Sophie and Christian Silver (second and third from left) talking with attendees at their EduTech Melbourne 2023 stand.

ENZ’s participation supports Focus Area Two of the New Zealand International Education Strategy which is to ‘Build a new international education future’. In taking NZ EdTech offshore, ENZ’s goal is to show how Aotearoa New Zealand is leading in education innovation while also helping NZ EdTech companies explore and understand the export opportunity in Australia in a low-risk and low-cost way.

ENZ’s Business Development Manager | Kaiwhakawhanake Pakihi, Alana Pellow, said that having a stand on NZTE’s pavilion gave ENZ’s delegation profile and extra visibility during the Expo. This included the opportunity to promote their products, a presentation slot to pitch their products, visibility of their collateral and the opportunity to engage with expo attendees over the two days of the event.

“All six EdTechs on our stand generated a total of 80 prospective customer and partner leads, with one company signing a contract with a local university while there.

“All met with decisions makers and government education officials, explored opportunities to partner with other NZ EdTechs and refined their thinking and business planning on the opportunities presented by the Australian market. They all referenced the significant value of being ‘in market.’”

Nutriblocks Co-Founder Dr Claudia Leong and Tech Programme Developer Tim Kern presenting at EduTech Melbourne 2023.

ENZ also sponsored the NZTE networking dinner for the combined 13 EdTech businesses. Invited guests included representatives from the Victorian Department of Education and Training, Victorian Association of State Secondary Principals, Matterworks/Board Director and the NSW Department of Education. Both Education Departments set the scene for the education technology landscape in NSW and Victoria and the journey both states are on in digital adapting and adopting specifically in K-12. 

ENZ also supported giving broader visibility of Aotearoa New Zealand’s expertise in digital education and secured two speaker sessions for the EduTech VET conference stream.  Norie Ape, Digital Product Manager for Te Pūkenga, presented on ‘Collaborative Innovation: Transforming Vocational Education through Technology and Work Based Learning’ while Elizabeth Asbury, Director of Pipi Learning  also spoke on ‘Cultural responsive and designed for neurodiversity in the Vocational Education and Training sector’. Both sessions were well attended and Norie and Elizabeth have been approached for further discussions involving contracting their EdTech services.

Norie said it was a huge privilege to spend time together connecting on our shared passion for better outcomes for our learners, employers, and our colleagues.

“We had two incredible days of meeting, learning, and collaborating in person with awesome humans using Tech 4 Good in Melbourne.  Time now to recover and setup all those post conference connections to further the new relationships forged and consider how to embed new ways of collaboration in and beyond.’’

Norie Ape, Digital Product Manager for Te Pūkenga (second from left) with Code Avengers Founder, Hamish Day (far right) and Bradley Hansen (left) plus Karl de Borst (second from right) of Amazon Web Services.

At the conclusion of EduTech Melbourne 2023, Alana shared here top three takeaways from the conference.  

“Firstly, nothing beats being on the ground in market, to understand the needs of educators and the opportunity that exists. 

“Secondly, there is power in the collective ‘we’ when Aotearoa New Zealand turns up en masse, in market. Collaborating and having deep relationships with other NZ Inc agencies adds greater support to the sector and provides one door to our government, truly putting the customer at the centre. 

“My last takeaway is how the Australian education ecosystem is embracing all that technology offers without throwing learners or indeed educators to the kerb. We could learn more from our Australian education colleagues and how they are using digital to create competitive advantage that supports their international education success alongside building their domestic market citizens ‘fit for future’ capability”, said Alana.  

Next stop for NZ EdTech companies with ENZ is EduTech Asia in Singapore this November. Any NZ EdTech and Education publisher companies or education providers looking to be involved in education technology related Conferences and Expos can contact Alana Pellow on alana.pellow@enz.govt.nz    

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