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Board 1




Email: president@mawainc.org.au

Dr John West works as a lecturer in mathematics education at Edith Cowan University. John has taught mathematics at primary, secondary and tertiary levels and has consulted for the Government, Catholic and Independent education sectors in Western Australia. Previously he worked as a lecturer in mathematics education at The University of Western Australia, where he has also taught units in educational psychology, assessment and research methodology both in Australia and overseas.

In 2014, Dr West was one of four ECU researchers commissioned by the WA Government to report on the Optimisation of STEM Education in WA Schools. John is the author of numerous articles that have been published in international peer-reviewed journals including Innovations in Education and Teaching International, Child Neuropsychology and the British Journal of Educational Technology. He has also written extensively for Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom. Dr West is also the author of Problem Solving in Primary Mathematics (2017) and Foundations of Primary Mathematics Education (2018), both of which are available from MAWA. John has worked with MAWA for nearly 20 years, and joined the executive committee at the beginning of 2018.

Board 2




Email: eo@mawainc.org.au 

Paula McMahon’s original involvement with MAWA was to present at conferences before taking a more active role by assisting with the organisation of conferences and encouraging other teachers to present. Paula has been convening conferences for MAWA since 2010 and has coauthored several MAWA texts including Essential Mathematics Unit 3 and 4. Paula prides herself on advocating the needs of high school mathematics teachers to the committee when making decisions. In 2016 Paula was honoured in becoming a MAWA Life Member.

Board 3




Rom Cirillo first had contact with MAWA, in 1967, was as a student attending the UWA/MAWA mathematics summer school. In 1974/75 he was a resident tutor for the summer school. Rom has been involved in National Mathematic Summer School (NMSS) and the Year 10 Games Camp. In 1996 Rom had the role of sponsorships convenor. Rejoining the Committee in 2009, he has held the positions of Vice President, President, AAMT Councillor and convenor of conferences including HOLA day convenor. Rom has co-ordinated, edited and co-authored numerous publications for MAWA. He has also represented MAWA on numerous working parties and was the initial MAWA representative on the advisory committee for the Governor of WA’s award for school leadership in STEM subjects.




Jack Bana has been a member of the MAWA Committee every year since 1978. In most of that time he has coordinated the MAWA student activities. He is a past president of MAWA and an honorary life member, as well as being a Fellow of the Australian College of Education. His full-time profession was as a senior lecturer and also Director of the Mathematics, Science and Technology Education Centre at Edith Cowan University. He has presented at State, national and international conferences; as well as being the co-author of many mathematics textbooks for both students and teachers. Last year he was a member of the judging panel to select the top primary school in the State for the Governor’s STEM award.

Board 5




Email: Donna.Buckley@education.wa.edu.au

Meet Donna Buckley – MTQ Coordinator

Donna Buckley is a level three mathematics teacher at John Curtin College of the Arts, WA’s only selective school for gifted and talented students in the Arts. As the Mathematics Outreach Coordinator of their STEM Teacher Development School (TDS) team she develops resources to support teachers across the state with their interdisciplinary approaches to their STEM learning programs. On top of her 20 years’ experience as a mathematics specialist she also teaches cybersecurity, cryptography and the integration of Python programming in the mathematics classroom. She has presented on these topics at Mathematics, STEM and Cyber Conferences across Australia She has been an individual member of MAWA since 2000 and is currently the coordinator of Maths Talent Quest. This student activity encourages students to consider real world problems and apply mathematical and statistical thinking processes to solve them. Volunteering as a tutor at the Perth Girls Programming Network, she supports girls in secondary schools to develop their algorithmic thinking through programming. As a member of the Day of STEM Education Advisory Board she provides feedback on their programs with a WA mathematical lens and actively promotes their STEM careers resources in Cybersecurity and Data Science. Donna is an author of the MAWA Mathematics Essential Textbooks Units 1 –4.

Board 6




Wendy Pero has taught secondary mathematics at all levels for over 25 years. Her interests include educational measurement and assessment, including data analysis, and as a district panel member for the Queensland Studies Authority she was heavily involved in the moderation process of school-based assessment. Wendy is currently the Secondary Mathematics Consultant for Catholic Education Western Australia and is a member of the SCSA Curriculum Advisory Committee. She joined the MAWA Committee in 2016 and is the convenor of the annual MAWA Conference. 




Rachael is the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics specialist at ACARA and is currently undertaking her PhD at Notre Dame University in Mathematics Education. Rachael is passionate about applied mathematics and teaching mathematics through rich tasks that engage student inquiry thinking. Rachael has worked on National and International projects focussed on improving the mathematical outcomes of Australian students and has actively participated in the OECD 2030 project through her role at ACARA. Rachael has been the Executive Officer and Professional Learning consultant for MAWA and is currently on the Memberships and Media Sub-committee managing the social media and promotion of MAWA across WA.




Dion Alfonsi is a Secondary Mathematics Teacher and Academic Programs Coordinator at Shenton College. As a teacher, Dion is passionate about promoting an effective Mathematics pedagogy and assessment strategies that explore both the principles of explicit teaching and enrichment through investigation and inquiry. Dion is heavily involved in the education of Gifted and Talented students, as well as the coordination of Mathematics Enrichment activities, including participation in International Mathematics Competitions. Dion also has experience in the reSolve: Maths by Inquiry project, which includes resource development and the implementation of classroom resources and professional learning on a school-wide level. Joining the MAWA committee in 2018, Dion is involved in Memberships, Media and Promotions.

Board 9




Robert has over 20 years of teaching experience having taught the majority of these in the Great Southern region where currently he is the Head of Department at Albany SHS. Rob’s aim is to create classrooms where mathematics is made sense of and errors are valued. He believes that all students can learn, and that mastery is possible with the appropriate effort and time. Rob enjoys using low-floor/high-ceiling task with students and is constantly amazed where students go mathematically with these tasks. Being the MAWA Regional Ambassador for the Great Southern region provides Rob with a great opportunity to connect with the wonderful maths teachers in the area. He would like to foster greater collegiality between the mathematics teachers in the district who have a wealth of experience and expertise and to assist in providing opportunities for students to have positive experiences in mathematics through the support of MAWA.




Rachel is a Secondary Mathematics teacher at Lesmurdie SHS. She has been a volunteer for the Australian Mathematics Trust since 2012, is currently the WA State Director of the AMC and is working on the Discovery Series as a presenter. Rachel also teaches an online Gauss class for the WA Maths Problem Solving Program, which is a great initiative of MAWA. She has run workshops at different times, for students and teachers, including presenting at State and National Conferences, and her main focus is problem solving. Early in her career Rachel co-wrote a series of text books and more recently has been involved with writing worked solutions for current Year 12 text books.

She has 19 years experience teaching students remotely. Her work has seen her teach students all over Western Australia, as well as those studying the WA Curriculum but living in Europe and the US. One of Rachel’s goals each lesson is to ensure that students are actively involved in Mathematics, that they are doing concrete activities in class and moving around the room to different workstations or to participate in diverse activities. It is Rachel’s aim to engage students in Problem Solving, building skills that they will carry with them when they leave school. In 2020 Rachel joined the MAWA Board and is looking forward to being part of the Student Activities Committee.