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RNZ coaches conference 2017 Speaker bios

Sir Graham Henry: Graham started his days as a secondary school teacher and rugby coach at both Auckland Grammar School and Kelston Boys High School in Auckland. His first major coaching role was coach of the Auckland Provincial rugby team where they won the NPC 4 years in a row (1994-1996). Henry also coached the Blues in the Super 12 – winning the title in 1996 and 1997, and taking the team to the final in 1998.

Graham left New Zealand in 1998 to coach Wales, guiding the team to 11 consecutive victories in 1999. He was the first coach outside the Home Nations to lead the Lions in their 2001 tour of Australia.

He returned to New Zealand where he was appointed defensive coach of the Blues during their successful 2003 Super 12 season.

Graham was appointed All Blacks Head Coach in December 2003 and is one of the most successful coaches to have worked with the All Blacks. In November 2011, Graham announced he would be stepping down as All Blacks coach after 101 test matches in a career that included a series victory over the tour British and Irish Lions in 2005, five Tri Nations, three Grand Slams and one Rugby World Cup title.

Wayne Goldsmith: Wayne has worked in sport for the past 26 years. His primary focus has been on coaching and helping coaches to learn, improve and get better in every aspect of their coaching. Wayne has worked with numerous professional teams including teams in the A.F.L., the N.R.L, six Super Rugby teams, the Wallabies, the N.Z.R.U., Tennis Australia / Australian Open Grand Slam Tournament and several Olympic teams including Swimming Australia, USA Swimming and Triathlon Australia

Dr Craig Harrison: Craig is the director of Athlete Development at AUT Millennium in Auckland, where he and his team of coaches work with primary and secondary aged athletes from a number of sports to help them improve their fundamental movement skills, to get stronger, faster and more flexible and to reduce their chances of injury. Beyond the physical components the team also help athletes with the mental side of training and conduct research to help fill the gap between what science knows and what most of us tend to do.

Dr Sarah-Kate Millar: Sarah-Kate (Skate) is a senior lecturer in sports coaching and skill acquisition at AUT University. Sarah-Kate has previously been an international rowing coach, as well as coaching several other sports. In the past 8 years she has worked widely in the area of coach development across a board range of sports. Sarah-Kate’s research area is predominately skill acquisition and she is a big advocate for constraints-led approach to coaching.

Gillian Simpson: Gillian is Executive Principal at St Margaret's College Christchurch. Gillian is currently a Trustee of The APEC Voices of the Future Trust, Trustee of the NZ Anglican Schools Trust Board, Director on New Zealand Rowing Board, Chair of Canterbury Secondary Schools Sport Council and member of NZ Secondary Schools Sports Council.

Gillian has worked as an educator and school leader in education in New Zealand and the UK since 1976 and still has the prime driver of making a positive difference in the lives of young people. The devastating effects of the Christchurch earthquakes have tested her leadership in more ways than ever imagined with a whole new skill set developed.

She brings a wealth of experience into the role of Educational Leadership.