About us


The Wellington Mathematics Association aims to support the teaching and learning of Mathematics in education.  

We aim to support both educators and students to achieve their full potential.

The WMA Office Holders


President Misbah Sadat (Onslow College)


Secretary Liesl van der Schyff


Treasurer Bruce Welsh

The WMA Executive Committee

Misbah Sadat

Misbah Sadat was previously the Head of Faculty Mathematics at Horowhenua College, and is currently the Deputy Principal at Onslow College. Misbah has been active in encouraging the de-streaming of mathematics classrooms. Misbah is the president of the WMA.

Liesl van der Schyff

Liesl van der Schyff has taught primary and intermediate students in New Zealand schools for a number of years and has held mathematics curriculum responsibilities. She is currently teaching mathematics at Onslow College. Liesl qualified in law before starting a family, and then retrained as a teacher after discovering a love for mathematics along the way. Liesl is the secretary of the WMA.

Bruce Walsh

Bruce Welsh thinks maths is fun.  Maths is something he uses everyday as an architect.  He has also been involved in Mathswell training and events and has written a book on problem solving based around Mathswell questions. Bruce is the treasurer of the WMA.

Shimmy Unnikrishnan

Shimmy Unnikrishnan is the learning area leader of Mathematics and Statistics at Onslow College, Wellington. She has been teaching Mathematics for the past 13 years. Shimmy has a degree in Civil Engineering but chose to teach Mathematics because of her passion for the subject. Other than Mathematics and Statistics, Shimmy is a trained Bharatanatyam dancer who enjoys teaching the art form to people in the community during weekends.

Derek Smith

Derek Smith is currently on contract to the University of Otago as a Mathematics and Statistics Facilitator and Victoria University of Wellington as a Teaching Fellow. Derek was also responsible for coordinating the Network of Expertise for NZAMT from 2018 - 2021. He has taught mathematics and statistics at secondary schools in the Wellington and Wairarapa regions for 33 years holding HOD positions and a position as senior lecturer at VUWCE lecturing in Mathematics Education.  

Ian Clark

Ian Clark is the Head of Mathematics and Statistics at Hutt International Boys School, as well as previously being the Head of Mathematics at Wellington College. He has been teaching Mathematics for the past 20 years, and has a real passion for enabling all learners to value, enjoy and succeed in Mathematics.

Steven Archer

Steven Archer is a teaching professional at Victoria University, working with the mathematics group in the school of Mathematics and Statistics, within the faculty of Engineering.

Sophia Shinn

Sophia Shinn's expertise includes calculus, biology and chemistry. She studied Bachelor’s Medical Laboratory Science. She began teaching in the Wellington region in 2006. Currently Sophia is teaching Mathematics at Onslow College. During her service in teaching, she had successes with students gaining the numeracy credits to further their studies as well as in Year 12 and 13 Mathematics. Her interests are reading, craft and golf.

Bex Lawton

Bex Lawton is the Assistant Head of Mathematics at Porirua College, is the college's numeracy coordinator, and holds a WSL Kāhui Ako role focusing on the DMIC pedagogy and numeracy. She is passionate about providing a classroom environment that allows students to enjoy mathematics, and challenge themselves.

Jake Wills

Jake Wills has been teaching secondary maths in New Zealand since 2013. He has twice been awarded the Ernest Duncan award from NZAMT for contribution to teaching of mathematics and is the creator of NZGrapher. He is currently on leave from his role as an Assistant Principal at Kāpiti College, and in the past has been head of Maths and a dean.

Demelza Murrihy-Topp

Demelza Murrihy-Topp is currently one of the Associate Principals at Amesbury School. Demelza began at Amesbury School as maths lead and is now leading all areas of the curriculum. She has a particular passion for designing learning (where students are at the centre of decision making), engaging with curriculum and growing teacher capability (through coaching and being a learning partner).

Shelley Vaile

Shelley Vaile is a primary teacher who has taught from New Entrant to Year 8, most recently at Karori West Normal School, where she had curriculum responsibility for mathematics and statistics. She has also worked for the Ministry of Education and Victoria University in a variety of roles focussed on mathematics and statistics education.

Anthony Burt

Anthony Burt is the learning area leader of Mathematics and Statistics at Wellington East Girls’ College. He has been teaching Secondary Mathematics and Science for 8 years. Anthony has a degree in Chemical Engineering and spent 20 years in various Engineering and Manufacturing Management roles before becoming a Secondary School Teacher. He is passionate about supporting young people to reach their full potential.


For 2022 the membership fee has been waived

NETS Fund 

Life Members 

2014  Mike Camden 

2015  Linda Van Milligan 

2018  Derek Smith