CORE's Team

Rebbecca Sweeney

Accredited Facilitator (English-medium) and Consultant


2011 M.Ed. (2nd Class Hons) Victoria University of Wellington

Contact details


P: 0800 267 300

M: 027 487 3009

Accreditation Number: ACC 256

Region: Canterbury

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Rebbecca Sweeney HandsPockets Full shot

Professional experience

Rebbecca is a facilitator and mentor with specialist expertise in leadership development, change leadership, growing teams, collaboration and using “Spirals of Inquiry” to support change.

Rebbecca’s extensive experience of mentoring and facilitation is underpinned by her ability to:

  • Mediate groups and teams towards shared vision and goals.
  • Ensure sustainability by helping participants develop their own capacities.
  • Help people to slow down and reflect on their own effectiveness as a leader or facilitator.
  • Guide strategic planning and aligning this to vision and goals.
  • Encourage the seeking of other perspectives.
  • Help teams to develop good relational trust or to repair relationship breakdowns. 
  • Model the use of mentoring and team building resources. 
  • Model the use of communication strategies and skills.

Rebbecca’s flexible and responsive facilitation and mentoring encourages the exploration of conceptual understandings of collaborative work. She is an Expert Partner working with several Kāhui Ako in the education sector, mentoring and coaching principal groups, lead principals and within/across school teachers.

Video: Hear about Rebbecca's work with Fraser High School in Hamilton.

Rebbecca has expertise in the following areas:

Supporting teams and groups

Supporting collaborative groups to engage in the following learning and development:

  • Building role clarity and trust/relationships.
  • Repairing relationship breakdowns.
  • Growing the effectiveness and productivity of teams.
  • Engaging in important conversations (sometimes seen as challenging or difficult conversations)
  • Developing and then collaborating on a common goal – to move beyond basic "sharing" practices.
  • Refining or building a coherent collaborative action plan.
  • Developing new ways of working after a team or group split/reorganisation.

Mentoring and coaching leaders and their teams

Provides effective individual or group mentoring and coaching support through CORE’s uChoose mentoring programme, supporting mentees to:

  • reflect on and analyse their practice
  • grow both personally and professionally
  • set and reach self-identified goals
  • address areas of need through observations and feedback
  • identify their own leadership and facilitation qualities for leading change
  • become mentors themselves.

Building teamwork and communication capabilities

Successfully building teams to work together effectively through the application of a range of tools and resources. Outcomes are that teams:

  • trust each other more, both personally and professionally
  • can comfortably challenge and critique each other
  • are able to hold each other accountable
  • can engage in debate successfully
  • are more committed to their mahi (work)
  • successfully reach their goals
  • know each other and feel like a great team.

Inquiry and knowledge building/Spirals of Inquiry

Reviewing and implementing improved approaches to Teaching as Inquiry (self-review in ECE, Pakirehua in Māori-medium) so that staff no longer see the process as an add-on or “tick-box” activity, but a genuine and supportive process for reflection on and change in practice for learner success. Rebbecca has particular expertise in the use of Spirals of Inquiry (Kaser and Halbert, 2012).

Teacher Only Days (TODs)

Rebbecca has facilitated successful TODs for single and combined teaching staff of up to 80 participants in relation to:

  • Spirals of Inquiry
  • Future-focused education
  • School re-visioning

School re-visioning

Rebbecca facilitates effective processes for school re-visioning that is co-constructed with learners, whānau, iwi, communities and teachers. She uses the Julia Atkin model for a values-based visioning process and encourages a shift in participants towards preparing learners for their futures, not ours.

Research and evaluation

Quantitative and qualitative data collection, analysis, and review. Write up of research and evaluation reports.

Conference presentations, keynotes, seminars, workshops, white papers

Keynote speaker

  • 2019: Porirua East Kāhui Ako (Every Learner Can Succeed)
  • 2016-17: CORE Education Breakfast Seminars: Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin (Spirals of Inquiry, Collaboration)
  • 2016: Marlborough Community of Learners (The Future of Education)
  • 2016: Christchurch Primary Principals’ Association Breakfast Seminar (The Future of Education)


  • 2021: ICSEI (online) Networks of Inquiry Weaving the Ways: What are we Learning? How is it Going? Where to Next? (workshop with other NOIIE Network Leaders alongside Judy Halbert and Linda Kaser)
  • 2020: ICSEI (Marrakech, Morocco) Six Ways to Support the Implementation of the Spiral of Inquiry (workshop with other NOIIE Network Leaders alongside Judy Halbert and Linda Kaser)
  • 2017: NOIIE Symposium (Vancouver, Canada), Leadership Workshops for the Spiral of Inquiry & Showcasing Catalyst
  • 2016-17: Emerging Leaders' Summit (Auckland, Wellington), Leading Change, Spirals of Inquiry
  • 2016: uLearn Conference, How to be a Community of Learners
  • 2015: uLearn Conference, Collaboration, Spirals of Inquiry, Mentoring and Coaching


Rebbecca led the development of CORE's Collaboration Framework.

Personal statement

I enjoy working in a wide range of contexts and situations to support adults to transform their leadership practice. I love ambiguity and have an agile approach to facilitation and mentoring. I am strengths-based and get a real sense of achievement from the shifts that I see as leaders and their teams transform and grow. I have worked in education, business and government to support people in my areas of expertise - particularly in relation to leading change, building teamwork, analysing practice for change and conducting research.