Bevan Werry Speakers

Who was Bevan Werry?  Who are the Recipients of this award?  How can I get them to my region/school?

Bevan Werry

Bevan graduated with an MSc from Canterbury University and started teaching in 1961 and taught Mathematics in Christchurch, Auckland and in the Cook Islands. He joined the staff of the Christchurch Teachers College in 1967 and remained there until 1977. During his time he had a huge influence on many mathematics teachers who trained during these years and was held in high regard by them. In 1974 Bevan was a Fulbright Scholar, one of only four in that year.

In 1978 Bevan became Education Officer for Mathematics in New Zealand and moved to Wellington. In 1980 he wrote and published through NZCER a popular textbook ’Mathematics in NZ Secondary Schools”. His talents were quickly recognised by the Department of Education and he was appointed Assistant Director in 1984 and then Director of the Curriculum Development Division in 1986. This is a very important position in Education in New Zealand and one which carried great responsibility. In 1984 Bevan was the Australasian Coordinator for the UNESCO report on “Mathematics for All” at the fifth International Congress on Mathematical Education held in Adelaide.

Typically Bevan remained a very modest, quiet, generous man. He had talent in many areas. Not only was he an examiner in Mathematics but he was also an examiner in Russian for several years. He was an accomplished organist and an enthusiastic member of the Phoenix Choir.

Bevan was the Editor of the Mathematical Digest for 12 years. He took great pleasure in writing and assembling the magazine as he felt that it kept him in touch with students and teachers throughout New Zealand and Australia.

If you are interested in utilising any of the speakers below, please make contact with them directly to organise the event. Once the details are agreed upon, please to apply for funding for the event from the Bevan Werry Trust. Please note the restrictions on what the funding can be used for when applying.

NZAMT pays all reasonable travel expenses to get the speaker to a region and the regional association only needs to cover meals and billeting/accommodation if needed .

Once the event has occurred, the organisers of the event need to complete a report of the event by following the link below and completing the form. It would be a good idea to view this form before the event so you know what you will need to report on.

2023 Bevan Werry Speaker - Anna Fergusson 

Anna joined the statistics department at the start of 2015 as a Professional Teaching Fellow. Before joining the department, she was Director of Mathematics and Statistics at Avondale College. She has a Master of Professional Studies (Mathematics Education) with First Class Honours from the University of Auckland. She has a PhD in Statistics, focusing on Data Science Education (supervisors Maxine Pfannkuch, Chris Wild and Stephanie Budgett). She is interested in Statistics and Data Science Education, in particular curriculum and assessment design, and enjoy facilitating workshops to support professional development of teachers. She has worked with the New Zealand Ministry of Education and the New Zealand Qualifications Authority on the development of national assessment standards, tasks and teaching resources for statistics. She shares ideas and advice for teaching on her blog for statistics teachers: Teaching statistics is awesome ( She also developed web-based applications and tools to support teaching statistics and data science. Two very popular tools include: her interactive dot plot ( to help students estimate mean and standard deviation, and her random redirect tool ( for conducting questionnaire-based experiments online. 

2022 Bevan Werry Speaker - Pania Te Maro

Pania is a senior lecturer/researcher in education with a main focus on mathematics education in relation to kaupapa and mātauranga Māori in kura. 

Her teaching career began in 1992 in a bilingual class, and carried on to teaching in rūmaki units, kōhanga reo, kura and wharekura. Her tertiary teaching career began at Victoria University where she spent eight years mainly focusing on maths education and education for Māori. She moved to Massey University after spending six and a half years lecturing in teacher education at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, some masters classes, and some adult numeracy and te reo Māori teaching for bridging-to-nursing students. Her main focus at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi was teaching Pāngarau/maths and integration of curriculum area teaching and learning that centralises kaupapa and mātauranga Māori.  

Her PhD explored the relationships that kura communities have with mathematics education with a view to ensuring that kura have emancipated decision-making power to determine how kaupapa and mātauranga Māori are equitably privileged with kaupapa and mātauranga mathematics.

2019 Bevan Werry Speaker - Jasmine Hall

Jasmine is a PhD candidate in mathematics at Victoria University, supervised by Prof. Geoff Whittle. Though her research is in pure mathematics, she was motivated by problems in image recognition and the connection between maths and art. Her research tackles the problem of identifying communities within massive data sets and she is hoping to eventually apply this theory to problems in biology, linguistics and image recognition.

Mathematics communication – especially primary and secondary school outreach – has long been a passion of Jasmine's. As a teacher, her aim is to overcome students often negative view of maths and find engaging ways to reveal its beauty.

Māori & Pasifika outreach in particular is very close to her heart. Her commitment to improving Māori & Pasifika futures is inspired by her grandparents, who were teachers in the beautiful village of Niutoua in Nuku'alofa, Tonga. She holds her experience mentoring as her most rewarding work, and hopes to start her own programme to encourage and support Māori & Pasifika students to succeed in mathematics.

Jasmine's other interests include music, art and (slowly!) learning Tongan and Raranga.

Click here to listen to Jasmine's thought about parallels between Maths and Music

2017 Bevan Werry Speaker - Kevin Hannah

Kevin has significant experience working collaboratively with primary, intermediate and secondary schools in developing mathematics teaching practice. He is the regional leader for mathematics PLD and the mathematics interventions ALiM and MST provided to many teachers across Canterbury, West Coast, Nelson and Marlborough.


Kevin was a member of the writing team for the Mathematics and Statistics curriculum, and in 2005 was awarded the New Zealand Association of Mathematics Teachers Jim Campbell Award for Teaching Excellence. He has written and contributed to research papers published and presented in international mathematics conferences on visual reasoning and audiographics communication technology. His current interests revolve around algebraic reasoning.Kevin has a Master of Science (distinction) in mathematics from University of Otago, a Master of Education (distinction) from University of Canterbury, and a Graduate Diploma of Teaching and Learning. He holds a Registered Teacher Practicing Certificate.In his spare time Kevin grows a mass of vegetables, crafts all grain beers, tries to catch fish and enjoys excursions to the movies. Married to Rachel, he has four children and a few more grandchildren spread around the globe. They provide plenty of reasons to travel.

2015 Bevan Werry Speaker - Michael O.J. Thomas

BSc(Hons) MSc, PhD (Warwick), MRSNZ, CMath, FIMA

He is currently teaching and researching at the University of Auckland, in the Maths Education Unit (MEU).

His areas of interest are:

2013 Bevan Werry Speaker - Dillon Mayhew

Dillon Mayhew studied mathematics at Victoria University of Wellington and Oxford University, and received his PhD in 2005. He works mainly in an area of mathematics called matroid theory. Matroids are abstract mathematical objects that can be though of as geometries with only a finite number of points.

He has been interested in mathematical outreach activities since 2007, when, in conjunction with Ian Smith of the Wellington Mathematics Association, he ran a series of sessions for high-school students from around the Wellington region. 

This series has now evolved into regular school visits. Topics discussed in recent years include knot theory, combinatorial games, and the law of large numbers.

Aside from mathematics, Dillon is interested in music. His first degree was in orchestral performance, and he still plays in Wellington orchestras from time to time.

Contact Dillon here for information on him speaking at your venue.

2011 Bevan Werry Speaker - Naomi Ingram 

After a number of years teaching, Naomi was fortunate to be given the time and resources to stop and think for a while about students’ learning of mathematics. This thinking was in the form of PhD research that explored how students’ relationships with mathematics changed over their mathematical journeys. These relationships included students’ views about mathematics, their perceptions of their mathematical ability, their expectations, feelings, and the ways they engaged in the subject. 

Naomi has already presented this research to a number of international academic audiences and received feedback. However, as a mathematics teacher herself, her thesis was written for teachers, and therefore she is honoured to be the BevanWerry speaker for 2011-2012. At the NZAMT12 conference, Naomi presented her research and the thoughts she had about the experience. The plenary presentation centred on the findings of the research and the implications of these findings. The workshop was a combination of group discussion and activities related to the recommendations generated by the research.

As part of the role of being the Bevan Werry speaker, Naomi is available to work with mathematics associations, mathematics education departments, teachers, and students after the conference. This could be tailored to suit different audiences. While her research is particularly relevant for secondary teachers, it could be easily applied in the primary area as it explores the transition and differences between primary and secondary mathematics and reflects on the importance of early experiences of mathematics on the students’ feelings and engagement in the subject. Many teachers of mathematics in New Zealand at both the secondary and primary level do not have a mathematical or a mathematics education background, and they would find the workshops particularly helpful. The research could also be easily transformed into a one or two-hour workshop for secondary school mathematics students.

2009 Bevan Werry Speaker - Patrick McEntee

I was educated at De La Salle College in Mangere, and graduated from The University of Auckland with a double major in Mathematics and Applied Mathematics. After spells of teaching at Putaruru High School and Liston College in West Auckland, I moved with our young family to the sunny Hawke''s Bay, and have been a teacher at Havelock North High School for the past 22years.

I have taught both Calculus and/or Statistics and Modelling to Scholarship level just about every year I have been teaching, and have taught extension mathematics at Havelock for many, many years. During this time I have worked with many resources and developed a number myself. In 2008 I was awarded a Woolf Fisher Fellowship to Australia, which enabled me to view the delivery of mathematics in Victoria and in South Australia. I was particularly interested in the use of technology in Australia, given that an aggressive attempt was being made to usher CAS into our junior school at about the same time. I was also saddened to see the extent to which our senior curriculum had dropped away in comparison to the one that operated in Australia.

On the local scene I am probably best known as a vehement critic of NCEA and of the people who promoted it. I remain implacably opposed to the introduction of CAS into our junior school, and am thrilled with the move away from its imminent implementation that occurred just recently. I certainly am not against change, but the people who pursue drastic change must be prepared to argue their case with conviction, and if their case is good enough, we will all be clambering on board. They must also realise that when persuasion has failed, some of us have been around too long, and have developed too much of a fondness for the subject to be bullied into adopting something we do not believe in.

I am absolutely thrilled to be appointed the Bevan Werry Speaker because I know I will get to meet many people who share my love for the subject and who wish to give their pupils the best possible experience in the subject.

2008 Bevan Werry Speaker - Dr Pip Arnold 

Pip has been involved in mathematics and statistics education for over 30 years.  She has been a head of department, secondary mathematics facilitator and worked with primary mathematics and statistics teachers.  Pip has been involved in curriculum and assessment development and supporting resource development.

In 2014 Pip graduated with a PhD in Statistics Education. Since then, she has been involved in the development of the American Statistical Association Guidelines for Assessment and Instruction in Statistics Education II and is in the process of finalising a teacher’s book on Statistical Investigations from years 1-11.

Currently Pip supports mathematics and statistics teachers from year 1-13 through PLD, curriculum and resource development and sharing her interest in statistics education and cross-curricular learning.  She often describes herself as a statistics educator who also masquerades as a mathematics educator.

Pip is a long-standing member of the New Zealand Statistical Association education committee, and a member of the Auckland Mathematical Association executive and is a vice president on the executive of the International Association for Statistical Education.  

2007 Bevan Werry Speaker - Bobbie Hunter

2005 Bevan Werry Speaker - Gillian Heald

Gillian 'retired' in July 2002 after 13 years as principal of the highly regarded Rangi Ruru Girls' School in Christchurch. Prior to that position, she was Head of Mathematics at the Christchurch College of Education after 12 years teaching Mathematics and Computer Studies at Christchurch Boys' High School.

During her career in education she has been on many advisory committees for the Ministry of Education and the Qualifications Authority and has had a leadership role in many developments in Mathematics Education. She was involved in the early days of Cantamath and the NZ Mathematical Olympiad and travelled to Sweden and Russia with the NZ teams to the international Olympiad competitions.

After retirement from Rangi Ruru, Gillian spent the rest of 2002 as an Advisor to schools at the Centre for Educational Leadership at the Christchurch College of Education, and was involved in Planning and Reporting advice and Professional Development programmes. In 2003 and 2004 she has been a mentor to 20 principals in the First Time Principals' programme. In addition Gillian is a part-time Co-director of the newly established Unlimited paenga tawhiti which is a state secondary school in the centre of Christchurch city, based on Discovery Learning principles. This she describes as an exciting and challenging new direction, with moments reminiscent of being a first-time principal and/or a year one teacher! She has even had the chance to get back in the classroom again and teach some mathematics.

She has been appointed a Guardian of the Secondary Futures project which is looking 20 years out at NZ secondary education and builds on the OECD Futures-Thinking processes and is stimulated by this work in national and international contexts.In her spare time she works on contract positions for the Ministry of Education and is on a number of Boards.

2004 Bevan Werry Speaker - Tony Davidson

Tony taught for several years in three Christchurch schools, many of them spent as an HOD.  In 1989, he held a teaching fellowship at Canterbury University (his alma mater).  He spent nine years working at NZQA as an assessment officer, primarily in the tertiary sector.

In 1991, he was an inaugural recipient of a Jim Campbell award for Excellence in Teaching, and he is a life member of the Canterbury Mathematical Association. 

In 2004, he started working on contract for various organisations;  a number of those contracts were in various roles associated with NCEA (moderator, examinations materials critiquer, examinations independent checker and subject matter checker).  He has been a national mathematics/statistics examiner in both the secondary and tertiary sectors. 

These days, he is officially retired, but has been the Lead Writer for Maths Week since 2020.

2003 Bevan Werry Speaker - Stuart Liard

After graduating from Auckland University, Stuart Laird studied mathematics in Canada on a Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship before returning to New Zealand in 1970 to attend teacher College and then to teach at Rangitito College where he subsequently became Head of Mathematics.

During this period he was also a co-author of Delta Mathematics. In the early 1990s he was the Chairperson of the Policy Advisory group to the Minister of Education, overseeing the introduction of the Mathematics Curriculum.

In 1995 he spent a year in the Mathematics Department at Auckland University. The next year was Woolf Fisher Scholarship to look at mathematics and Technology in England and attend a conference in Seville.

In 1998 he shifted to the Engineering School at Auckland University, where he is currently in charge of first year mathematics. In 1999 he was given a Distinguished Teaching Award by the University. His current interest is in the ways Technology can be applied to Maths Teaching.