Dr Michelle Ronksley-Pavia convened and led the 2022 Griffith University Gifted and Talented Education Symposium, with this year’s theme of “Diversity and Gifted Education” aimed at building educators’ capacity in recognising and supporting the needs of diverse gifted students.  

Coinciding with the Australian 2022 Gifted Awareness Week, the Symposium was a great opportunity for educators and leaders to gather to learn from world experts about best practice, research-based strategies and opportunities for supporting the engagement and talent development of diverse gifted and talented learners in Australian schools. 

Dr Michelle Ronksley-Pavia

The Symposium featured world renowned expert speakers including Dr Michelle Ronksley-Pavia from Griffith University, Dr Cynthia Z. Hanzen from the Bridges Academic Graduate School of Cognitive Diversity in Education (USA), Dr Genevieve Thraves from the University of New England, and Professor Peter Merrotsy from the University of Western Australia. 

A range of topics related to diversity and gifted  education was covered, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives on giftedness, hidden gifted learners in schools and understanding and supporting twice-exceptional learners (gifted learners with a disability).  

The Symposium aimed to support continued learning and professional development opportunities for teachers in gifted and talented education, based on best practice and research from those working in the field.  

Dr Michelle Ronksley-Pavia from GIER discussed her research about twice-exceptionality in her presentation titled ‘Ability in Dis/Ability: An overview of twice-exceptionality (and multiple exceptionality) in Australia.’ Dr Ronksley-Pavia shared her research about the prevalence and lived experiences of these learners in Australia.  Her presentation is viewable below. 


Of the Symposium, Dr Ronksley-Pavia said: 

“It was a wonderful opportunity to work with world-leading experts in this field. We had a great array of schools involved, and feedback from participants indicated the schools had enriching post-event discussions about the topics, framed around some of the discussion points across the sessions. It was a really collegial and collaborative event that generated conversations among  the researchers attending and participating in the event. These events are important for networking and building international understanding about gifted education and diverse gifted learners.” 

Dr Ronksley-Pavia said there was a lot of useful feedback on how to continue to improve teacher education and practice in this area, both from national and international perspectives. Further highlights from the Symposium included stories shared and other insights particularly around Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives on giftedness and talent development.

Proceedings from the Symposium can be found here.   

To learn more about understanding giftedness and talented education please see the online learning modules developed by Dr Ronksley-Pavia.