Accredited Facilitator (English-medium) and Consultant

Region: Canterbury/Chatham Islands
Rebbecca Sweeney


Master of Education (2nd Class Hons) – Victoria University of Wellington
2021 Te Hapūtanga o Te Reo: Te Rōnakitanga ki Te Reo Kairangi (Level 5) – Te Wānanga o Aotearoa

Professional experience

Rebbecca is a culturally capable facilitator and mentor with specialist expertise in leadership development, staff engagement and culture change,, 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.
  • Support adult learners to acknowledge and address their biases and assumptions
  • 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 has worked with several Kāhui Ako and clusters in the education sector, mentoring and coaching principal groups, lead principals and within/across school teachers.


Rebbecca has expertise in the following areas:

Staff engagement and culture change

Supporting organisations 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

Rebbecca provides effective individual or group mentoring and coaching support through CORE’s He Waka Unua 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
  • can respect, acknowledge and utilise team diversity
  • 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.
Professional Growth Cycle: Inquiry and knowledge building / Spiral of Inquiry

Supporting schools to adapt and improve existing processes to meet the requirements of the Professional Growth Cycle. 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 reflecting on and changing 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 and Kāhui Ako re-visioning
School and Kāhui Ako re-visioning

Rebbecca facilitates effective processes for school and Kāhui Ako re-visioning that is co-constructed with learners, whānau, iwi, communities and teachers. She uses 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.
  • Writing up 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)


2022 The Inquiry Educators Summit (TIES): Master Class in the Spiral of Inquiry
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


2020 Transformative Educational Leadership Journal Six ways to Support the Implementation of the Spiral of Inquiry: Lessons from New Zealand, University of British Columbia
2015 Leading in the use of Spirals of Inquiry British Columbia Principals' and Vice Principals' Association

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.