About Grok Academy

Helping teachers implement Digital Technologies

Grok Academy is an Australian EdTech charity that aims to educate all learners in transformative computing knowledge, skills, and dispositions, empowering them to meet the challenges and seize the opportunities of the future.

Our team includes award-winning curriculum, technology, and pedagogy experts and Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies authors. We collaborate regularly with education, industry and the broader tech community to champion a deeper understanding of Digital Technologies and their applications in a range of fields, including computer science, data science and cyber security.

Academy Staff

James Curran

Dr. James Curran is the CEO of Grok Academy, a charity that combines Grok Learning and the Australian Computing Academy from the University of Sydney, where James was an Associate Professor in Computer Science.

Grok Academy’s mission is to educate all learners in transformative computing skills, knowledge and dispositions, empowering them to meet the challenges and seize the opportunities of the future.

James is Director of the National Computer Science School, the largest computer science school outreach program in Australia. Last year, over 22,500 students and teachers participate in the 5-week NCSS Challenge.

James was a writer on the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies and consults with curriculum authorities around Australia. In 2014, James was named ICT Leader of the Year by the ICT Educators of NSW and the Australian Council for Computers in Education.

Karsten Schulz

Karsten Schulz is the Head of Projects and Analytics at Grok Academy. Karsten has a PhD in Computer Science and a Bachelor in Electrical Engineering with a focus on Software Engineering.

For 10 years, Karsten led the research division of a large multi-national ICT company in Australia and the Asia-Pacific Region and between 2013 and 2016 he led the national Digital Careers Program.

In 2010, Karsten created the Young ICT Explorers Competition and in 2014 he founded the Bebras Australia Computational Thinking Challenge which is part of the international Bebras Challenge.

Bruce Fuda

Bruce Fuda is Head of Education (Curriculum) at Grok Academy and the Project Lead on the Schools Cyber Security Challenges Project.

Prior to joining Grok Academy, he has held jobs in Secondary Schools and the University sector, working as a teacher, Head of Department and Associate Principal, and lecturing in Masters programs. Bruce has over 16 years experience working in education and teacher training, teaching all years levels from Year 6 through 12, and working with both pre- and in-service teachers.

Bruce was a member of the advisory group for the writing of the Australian Curriculum: Technologies, and later joined the writing team for Digital Technologies during the consultation and review process.

He was the 2016 ACCE/ACS Australian ICT Educator of the Year, and was awarded an ISTE Making IT Happen award in 2017. He is the founding President of Information Technology Educators ACT.

Nicola O'Brien

Nicola O'Brien is a Senior Educator at Grok Academy and is responsible for teacher engagement. Nicola works with primary school students and teachers to bring coding and computer science to schools.

She is a Girls Programming Network Tutor. She also coaches students in the Tech Girls are Superheroes competition, travelling with a winning team to pitch their ideas in Silicon Valley in 2017.

Nicola loves working with students to solve real world problems with technology.

Owen Brasier

Owen Brasier is a Lead Educator at Grok Academy. Owen was previously the manager and technical lead of MadMaker - an outreach project that teaches STEM skills through programming and has engaged over 2,500 students and teachers.

Owen is an electrical engineer whose passion is teaching students to create and build technology to improve the world around them.

Penny Player

Penny Player is an Associate Educator at Grok Academy.

She is a tutor for the Sydney Girls Programming Network, and was the Coordinator of Zero Robotics at the University of Sydney, an international competition giving high school students the chance to program robotics satellites on board the International Space Station.

Craig Carroll

Craig Carroll is the graphic designer at Grok Academy. He has a Bachelor of Education (Visual Arts).

With over 20 years experience, he has worked in magazine publishing, fashion, outdoor media, brand and marketing services at The Unviversity of Sydney, as well as a working for a number of freelance clients. He has also presented to TAFE students on the Graphic Design industry and career placement.

He has won a number of awards including the Australian Publishers Award for Best Special Edition in 2014 for EmpireTV, Best Youth and Entertainment Cover Maggies 2013, and Best General Interest title in 2009 and 2012. He was also a Finalist for The Maggies Magazine Cover of the year 2014.

Lisette Tennant

Lisette Tennant is the Head of Finance and Partnerships at Grok Academy. With a background in finance, she has held various management roles in the UK and Australia in the hospitality, media and entertainment, banking and tertiary education sectors.

She has a Graduate Certificate in Business & Technology, University of New South Wales, and a Bachelor of Business (Accounting), Macquarie University. She is also a Certified Practising Accountant (CPA).

Lisette is responsible for improving the operational systems, processes and policies, and driving initiatives that will contribute to long-term operational excellence.

Lyndsey Thomas

Lyndsey Thomas is an Associate Educator at Grok Academy. As an experienced GPN and NCSS Challenge tutor, Lyndsey has worked extensively with school age students over recent years. She has also worked as a web developer, creating resources for teacher professional development with ICTENSW. Lyndsey has a background in Computer Science and is particularly passionate about encouraging young girls to study IT.

Her other interests include learning to live sustainably, her tiny but mighty balcony garden, good puns, and her little dog Charlie.