Keynote speakers 

Darren McKee 

Executive Director of the Saskatchewan School Boards Association Canada 

Darren McKee is originally from O-Chi-Cha-Ko-Sipi First Nation in the Interlake region of Manitoba, but completed his formal schooling in Saskatchewan. Darren has a B.Ed. (with Distinction) and M.Ed. from the University of Saskatchewan and has been a classroom teacher, in-school administrator, Superintendent and Director of Education. 

Darren served for a number of years with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education as a Superintendent, Director, Executive Director and Assistant Deputy Minister. In 2011, he became the Executive Director of the Saskatchewan School Boards Association. Darren has presented at a number of national and international conferences on leadership and Aboriginal education and has sat on a number of national boards including C-21 Canada; Canadian Education Association (Council Member); and, the National Selection Committee with INAC. He also sits on the board of the United Way Regina. 

Darren’s knowledge and experience makes him a highly sought-after coach, consultant and speaker. Specifically, Darren provides these services in the area of education, government, governance, First Nations or Indigenous peoples relating to change, leadership, relations and strategic directions. Darren has completed the following: Leadership Training and Development through the University of Saskatchewan; Crucial Conversations; Expedition Coaching (Certification in Progress); and, Kouses & Posner Leadership Practices Inventory. 

Darren has been recognized with various awards and achievements including Valedictorian of the College of Education (First Indigenous person), Promising New Professional IPAC, and recently inducted to the Wall of Honour at the University of Saskatchewan College of Education in Indigenous Initiatives. 

Perhaps Darren’s greatest accomplishment is the raising of his three beautiful daughters and his relationship with his partner Ivy, without whom all of this would not be possible or relevant.

Paula Tesoriero 

MNZM Disability Rights Commissioner – NZ Human Rights Commission

Paula Tesoriero MNZM is a world-champion athlete and a former senior public servant, who is now the Disability Rights Commissioner. 

A role within the Human Rights Commission, the Disability Rights Commissioner works to promote and protect the rights of disabled New Zealanders. 

Paula has a passion for governance having served on several boards including the Halberg Disability Sport Foundation, New Zealand Artificial Limb Service, Sport Wellington and Paralympics New Zealand. She is also a member of the New Zealand Sports Tribunal. Paula is a mum and step-mum to children going through the education system now, and she was a student trustee for two years in the 90’s and “loved the experience”. 

A law and politics graduate from Victoria University, Paula has worked in private practice and in the Public Service. 

Winning gold in a world-record breaking time at the Beijing Paralympic Games in 2008, in the women’s 500m time trial, and two bronze medals, her services to cycling were recognised when she was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2009. She retired as an athlete in 2010. 

Paula says her role as the Disability Rights Commissioner enables her to make a contribution to changing the outcomes for disabled New Zealanders, who make up nearly a quarter of our population

Judge Peter Boshier 

Chief Ombudsman 

Judge Boshier began his term as Chief Ombudsman on 10 December 2015. Prior to this, Judge Boshier was a Law Commissioner with the New Zealand Law Commission and was also a Family Court Judge.

He was born and educated in Gisborne and attended Victoria University of Wellington, obtaining a Bachelor of Laws with Honours Degree in 1975. After a period of practice in Wellington he was appointed as a District Court Judge with a specialist Family Court warrant in 1988. Judge Boshier has a long association with Pacific judicial issues and was seconded to undertake judicial training there, based in Suva in 2002 and 2003. Judge Boshier has travelled regularly to Pacific Island countries to undertake workshops on the subject of family violence and youth justice.

He holds the Samoan Matai title of Misa which was bestowed in 2000.  In 2004 Judge Boshier was appointed as the Principal Family Court Judge of New Zealand and held that position until December 2012. During that time, Judge Boshier served on the Government’s Family Violence Taskforce.  In 2009 Judge Boshier was made a distinguished alumnus of the Victoria University of Wellington for his contribution to the law.

Judge Boshier is Patron of the Dwell Community Housing Trust in Wellington and the White Ribbon Domestic Violence Trust.