Reading – Writing – Spelling – Inquiry


Working with me

About Deb

Deb has been a leading educator for 37 years and has presented professional development programs for State, Catholic and Independent schools. She has worked in the United States and has co-authored a number of books on literacy education. In 2011 Deb was the recipient of the ACEL Hedley Beare Educator of the Year Award and received a Fellowship in Leadership from ACEL in 2014. Deb has been both a Primary Principal and Principal of a Balinese Community School. She has recently retired from Ivanhoe Grammar School as Head of Plenty Campus (Prep to Year 12) and Deputy Principal of Ivanhoe Grammar School (2004-2016). Deb has an expertise and passion for literacy and her workshops are based on her own classroom practice from ELC to Year 9.

Working with schools


Developing Deep Level Thinkers!

How can comprehension be explicitly taught?

What are features of a well organised and comprehensive Reading Program?


Are we teaching kids or fixing their Writing?

Getting that Buzz in Writers Workshop!

How can Writing time be organised in a manageable and effective way?


How to develop metacognitive, strategic spellers?

What makes a spelling program effective?

We need to teach and not just do activities!


The Magic of curious and capable learners!

Why teach with an Inquiry mindset?

How can student understanding be strengthened?


Believing in and developing our teachers!

Why an ongoing Professional Learning Program is essential?

How can we improve whole school learning for kids and teachers?

Practical Professional Development Workshops

Practical Professional Development provides professional learning seminars by David Hornsby and Deb Sukarna. Most seminars are held on a Saturday, but some are held on a weekday. Each seminar focuses on one topic. Most of the Saturday Seminars are run for two different groups of teachers: Years P-2 and Years 3-6 (or 3-9). Teachers find the seminars relevant, extremely practical, and theoretically sound. For a downloadable copy of the Workshop, click on the link below.

Download 2019 Workshop calendar here

Structured Word Inquiry with Dr Peter Bowers

Saturday, 1 February 2020

Join Peter Bowers, PhD, for this active, engaging and practical workshop. Learn how educators around the world apply the principles of inquiry to the study of English spelling as a means of enriching vocabulary, reading and spelling – and to leverage learning in any subject area. Bowers’ instructional research has been published in prestigious journals and his workshops are highly sought after around the world.

Workshop Information

Date: Saturday, 1 Feb 2020

Time: 9:00 Tea/coffee/registration 9:15 am – 3:30 pm

Workshop Location: Brunswick South PS 56 Brunswick Rd, Brunswick East.

Parking available in surrounding streets Tram 1 or 6 along Lygon St; or Tram 96 along Nicholson St.

For whom? Classroom teachers, literacy leaders, specialists, lead teachers, speech therapists, principals.

Further Information
Book now


“Loved it! After so many years teaching, it is good to revise and learn about literacy and the better/best ways to teach this to children. I will use everything I was shown today with my class.”

Spensley Street Primary School

“Very informative and inspiring. I came out of this seminar with so many great ideas and strategies. It made me rethink some of our current practices at school, as well as reaffirm approaches we are already doing.”

Manchester Primary School

“Amazing and so inspiring and important - this stuff is a game changer. Deb is so inspirational and passionate. You make me want to be better and learn so much more.”

Plenty Valley Christian College

“As always another amazing day. You are so passionate and easy to listen to. I have pages and pages of notes to go through and many new things I want to try and implement.”

St Columba's Primary School



My first blog

Well…. this is my first time blogging and I am really looking forward to sharing…
May 5, 2017

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