Speakers & Workshops


Barbara Somervaille


Barbara & Andrew Somervaille live on a beautiful little property north of Toowoomba where they have been busy raising their eight children. While Barbara feels like she has been homeschooling forever, she is on the homestretch now with her two youngest Hannah, 14 and Daniel, 11.

They have mainly used the ACE curriculum interspersed with abundant hands on activities and music with various resources to broaden the basics such as Sonlight historical literature and Charlotte Mason’s ideas. Horizons are broadening with a blossoming business venture that they hope will help fund some adventurous geography excursions!

Barbara has been involved with encouraging home educating families on the Darling Downs for more than 20 years and occasionally jots down some thoughts over at her blog www.quietsonbeams.wordpress.com


Bloom Where You Are Planted

A gardener at heart, Barbara will be sharing snippets and stories about raising children through different seasons and is keen to encourage you – not just to survive the adventures of home educating – but to flourish.

Storms come, even hailstorms, but God knows the beginning from the end and longs to prune and nourish you to thrive right where you are with your beautiful family.

Alice Burke


Several years ago the Lord gave Alice John 15:4 “Abide in Me, and I in you” as her life verse, and she is still loving learning what it means to abide in Christ. She’s passionate about abiding with her farming husband and four homeschooled children in northwestern NSW, while she shares her online Abode at alicemayburke.com


In her talks, “Abide” & “Abode”, Alice is hoping you’ll learn with her as we seek the Lord for answers to questions which can plague a Christian homeschooling mother, such as, ‘What does it mean to abide in the Vine, and how do I do that? Why do I struggle to consistently produce the fruit of the Spirit? If Jesus is offering joy that’s full and complete, why do I often feel so joyless and empty?’ And ‘How does Jesus’ command to abide apply specifically to homeschooling, and what does that look like?’ She is looking forward to sharing her story of God’s faithfulness, and the great news of the peace, joy and rest which are found by abiding in the Vine.

Catherine McKay

Mum Heart Conference speaker Catherine Mckay

Cathy met her husband, Steve, in kindergarten. Eventually they married and are now raising five children while looking forward to the arrival of another in April 2017. Cathy has been home educating for five years, so is very familiar with the anxieties of starting out. She has found that the best days are ones where they go outside and read a good story, aloud.


From Fearful to Fruitful

So many of our decisions and habits grow in the soil of fear. Jesus changes our relationship with fear. This changes how we see, think and feel about everything. We will look closely at John 15 and consider how resting in Jesus transforms our vision and practice of homeschooling.

Carol Hudson

Mum Heart Conference Speaker Carol Hudson

Carol and her husband have seven children and have homeschooled all of them. Five have now graduated and gone on to attend either university or TAFE. The two eldest are married and the two youngest are still being educated at home.

Carol’s interests include music, creative arts and blogging about books and home education at journey & destination.


‘The Seeds of Today’

As mums, we can have a tendency to judge each day by the fruit we can or cannot observe. We need to remember that it is the seeds that we plant and nurture today that determine the fruit we see in our children in the future. So what kind of fruit do we want to see? What seeds are we planting?

High School Graduates Panel

We are going to introduce you to a group of homeschool high school graduates. Hear some of their stories and ask them your questions.



Top Picks – Looking in the Curriculum Cupboards – Vicki Hukka

Here is a collection of some of the favourite curriculums people use: Sonlight, IEW, Math-U-See, Mystery of History and ACE. See them, feel them and touch them and here how they are used.

Teaching Character – Annette McCredie

Annette has some hysterical, creative and downright clever ideas for dealing with character issues in your kids. Come and hear what’s in her bag of tricks and join in the discussion to nut out some ideas for your own children.

Going the Long Haul – Barb Somervaille

A workshop to brainstorm ideas on how to manage the marathon of home educating a family to cross the finish line without falling in a heap.  As a mum of eight with five grandchildren, it is a juggle to stay focused on the youngest children and be the best mum everyone needs me to be. In order to bear good fruit for the long term, we need to pace ourselves.

Structure & Document Your Homeschool –Michelle Morrow

It doesn’t matter what method of homeschooling you use you still need some structure and documentation. In this workshop we will look at portfolios, workboxes and look at some ideas for documenting and organising your homeschool.

Making the Most of Books – Margaret Taylor

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” A home school without great books is like a body without a soul or spirit. This workshop aims to give ideas to transform your home school library into shelves of memorable, life enhancing treasures with grand ideas.

What defines a good book? Where do you find a good book? Let us navigate the vast and treacherous morass that hides treasures in the storerooms of booksellers. Online ordering and all its tricks negotiated! Books about books, catalogues, lists, hard copy, eBooks, audio books, fiction, nonfiction, picture books, chapter books, classics and living books, with ideas to enhance your use of books.

More Charlotte Mason – Carol Hudson

This workshop is for those who have been using Charlotte Mason’s methods for a period of time already and have some understanding of her principles. We’ll be looking at topics such as CM through high school, home schooling boys – especially during the teen years, written narrations and living books.

Special Needs Homeschooling – Trisha Button

This workshop is both for those just beginning to homeschool a child with special needs, and for veterans to share their wisdom and to offer encouragement to those just starting out. Our time together will offer a safe place to ask questions, and to talk with others who understand the challenges and sweet victories that come with parenting and homeschooling our quirky kids.

Healthy Homeschool Habits – Body, Mind and Soul

A panel of mums will discuss how to keep yourself healthy during the homeschool years. Homeschooling mothers often neglect their own health and let themselves get run down. In this workshop we will discuss helpful strategies for keeping yourself in a healthy place both mentally and physically.

More workshops to be announced……………..


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