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The association dedicated exclusively to the education, development and growth of young adolescents

2020-21 President's Report

Presented at AGM  August 2021

I begin by thanking our members for their ongoing support during what continues to be a very volatile time for associations and businesses. As an Association focused on meeting the needs of young adolescents, we know by providing opportunity for high quality Professional Learning and ways of connecting and collaborating for educators across Australia is a key element of what we can do and remains a key priority for us.

I also thank our management committee for pulling together during this last year. Spread across Australia, they have dealt with various levels of online learning, lockdowns, and restrictions and we have learnt a great deal from each other in that process. 

The year since our last AGM – October 2020.

Our strategic priority for this year has been to ensure that we are a continuing entity and much of our focus has been on financial stability. Therefore, offering various events for our members and teachers all over the country has been our emphasis, and as such have facilitated a significant number of online events during the year.

The April Conference Day was successful with keynotes from the USA, Australia and Finland. We thank Phyllis Flagel, Mike Nagel, Sanna Leinonen and Dr Jandamarra Cadd, as well as those teacher practitioners who shared their expertise within their Bubbles across Australia. All practioner papers were published in our June edition of the Middle Years Journal which is provided to all members of the association.

Webinars have been facilitated frequently during Term 3- and will continue into Term 4. Institutional members have free access to all these webinars. 

The August Conference Day – today - has proved to be of value, and I thank all participants for your ongoing commitment to our young adolescents and your own professional learning. Whilst it is a very full day, I am sure that there will be value for all and I hope that it is a catalyst for continued attention on the middle years in your school setting.

The next few months will see further opportunity for Professional Learning, with our Executive Director facilitating several Middle Years Workshops. At present, these are all based in Qld, due to COVID restrictions and travel, but as an agile association, there is facility for these to occur in an online environment and can be available to our members throughout Australia and beyond.

We are currently working on our Professional Learning Calendar for 2022, with events scheduled initially for the Student Free days in January and other opportunities. We have the capacity to work in schools around the country as required and we will meet the needs of our members.

We would also like to gauge interest in an Action Research project and the possibility of a Leader study tour, either physically or virtually. 

Our state representatives on the management committee will bolster activity In the regions, to ensure we are providing necessary information and support to our members.

It was important for us to contribute our feedback to ACARA in the process of the Australian Curriculum Review this year. Our Treasurer, Emily Ross led this for Adolescent Success, and we were able to submit a strong response to emphasise the need to include the voice of all middle year’s educators and consider more clearly, a focus on developing curriculum that is both aligned with the Alice Springs Declaration and the research that calls for being more responsive to the needs of young adolescents. We thank ACARA for acknowledging our response in this.

We continue our longstanding partnership with Furnware and know that we will continue to connect with them in the coming years. We look forward to some opportunities that will be offered to our members in the coming months through this partnership. Further to this,  we will have as a priority in the coming year, the establishment of new partnerships aimed at strengthening our association.

We received a Government Grant for the upgrade of our website, which has fulfilled one of our priorities for 2021. It is an ongoing process and the first point of call for all who interact with us. 

We have submitted a further application for support from the State Government as a Business impacted by COVID 19 and await approval for this.

Our eNewsletter will be up and running again from next week, and this will provide regular information and updates around all ‘things’ middle years. 

Lastly, this year sees a change of committee, with a number leaving us and some changing roles within the committee: 

Those leaving: our VP, Adam Somes, Victorian General Member – Charlotte Forwood, Robyn McCarthy – Qld General Member, Simon Dray – Tasmanian General Member and Judith Nicholson – Northern Territory General Member. We thank you for your service to Adolescent Success and wish you all the best moving forward. We know that we will continue to connect with you in the future. 

Those changing roles within the management committee:  Emily Ross, Treasurer to Journal Editor, Kia Shaidow – Communications Manager to SA General Member, Anne Coffey – Journal Editor to WA Gen Member, and Rachel Koulyras – NSW General Member to Social Media Manager. We are looking forward to continued work with each of you and know that you will bring great expertise to your roles and the networks in your areas. 

Those continuing – myself – President, Jenny Knowles - Secretary

I welcome our new management committee Members for the coming tenure: Darren Rackemann – Treasurer, Pascale Drever – NSW General Member, James Marsman – Qld Gen Member, Timothy Hadfield – Qld Gen Member and Rebecca Seward-Linger - Tas Gen Member.

Thank you again to Angela White, who continues to keep Adolescent Success moving. Without her, our EO, we would not be as successful as we currently are.

I look forward to your ongoing support of Adolescent Success in the coming years and encourage all of you to reach out to us.

I submit the President’s report for 2020-2021.

Debra Evans
President – Adolescent Success

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