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

2018–19 President's Report

Presented at AGM  August 2019

It has been my honour to have served another year as the president of Adolescent Success.  The past year has been one of consolidation, with many initiatives coming to fruition thanks to the tireless efforts of our committee and of our Executive Director – Angela White.  Much thanks and acknowledgement must go to our partners – Furnware, The Learning Bar, Latitude Travel, Qld EdVentures. They play a significant role in assisting us in our ongoing work.

This year, the Learning Bar as a new partner, have provided a number of our member schools access to their middle years survey – Tell them from Me.  I look forward to seeing how schools utilise this valuable data within their settings.

Our strategic priorities for 2018 and into 2019 have been to build upon those we began in 2017.  We aim to be known as a leader and to grow and serve our members.  In addition, we have focused strongly on developing our leadership in education throughout Australia and providing Professional Learning to educators around the country

As such, we have aimed to engage our members throughout the country in learning opportunities.  Our workshops have been the centrepiece of our Professional Learning during the past year, being run in the Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia.   We thank our management committee members in each of these states for ensuring the success of each of these events. They have proven to engage our members effectively and have contributed to building our membership base.

Last September saw our first Finland Study Tour led by our partners Latitude Travel.  Angela and I attended this inaugural tour, along with 16 other educators from Australia and New Zealand. It enabled us to make wonderful connections both within our membership, but also with Learning Scoop who provided the learning whilst there. Another study tour is occurring this year, which I am sure will prove to be equally successful.

Another of our professional learning opportunities is the ongoing Action Research Project that began in Singapore last October. Donna Pendergast and Katherine Main facilitated this project using their text Teaching Middle Years – Rethinking curriculum, pedagogy and assessment. We are fortunate to have such high profile educators leading …. And supporting the work we do with young adolescents.  Having a team of teachers working through this Action Research project, I know the value that this adds to a school and the engagement and education of our students.  All participants in this project are coming together to share their progress and present at this conference.  

An integral part of our professional learning is our biennial International Conference, this year Future Ready Students. The success of our conference is due again to the work that our Executive Director has undertaken during the past 12 months. Our conference committee met regularly to assist in the preparations and lead up to this major event. I thank each of them for their time and energy to assist in the lead up to this event. 

As part of our conference, we are excited to be able to present awards to a number of outstanding middle years educators. This year, we had a wide range of nominees from around the country and we commend all who nominated for these awards. As an association, we are very happy to be able to congratulate the following in the their respective categories. 

  • Awardees – Middle Years Educator of the Year – Paige Cathcart – Riverside College, Qld;
  • Middle Years Educator of the Year Runner up – Martin Ogle – Catholic Education Officer, Tas;
  • Future Ready Students Award Winner – Janet Coomber – Xavier College, SA; runner up – Jonathon Harding – St Andrews Anglican College; 
  • Middle Years Leader of the Year Kia Sheidow – Seymour College, SA, and Scott Dirix – Salisbury East High School.

Our financial position for 2019 is sustained.  Membership is the basis of our association and this year, we have been able to secure a membership partnership with Education Queensland, raising our membership base significantly. This has meant that our position is much stronger than in the previous years, and with greater membership comes greater participation in professional learning and great opportunity for collaboration and growth.  

For the 2019-2020  period, we have much planned on our Professional Learning calendar. A new structure for our Management Committee will facilitate our regional conference agenda. We have planned the following moving forward.

PD 2020:

  • NSW - Ascham School Wed 5th August
  • NSW - St Philips Christian College - Friday 1 July
  • VIC - Ballarat Fri 13th March
  • ACT - Burgmann Sat 1 August
  • WA - Georgiana Molloy School either 8th or 15th May 
  • TAS - St Patricks School Friday 4th December
  • SA - Seymour College Friday 21st August
  • QLD - Redlands College Friday 24 April
  • QLD - Brisbane - date TBA
  • Auckland - Kristin School - date TBA
  • Christchurch - St Margarets College - date TBA

In addition, our partners Latitude Travel are planning to host a study tour to High Tech High and other schools within the area and Bali Green School. 

I lastly put forth our new Management committee structure which will allow us to broaden our membership base and work more closely within the regions. This will be made up of the following:

President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Journal Editor, Communications Manager.

In addition, we will have one regional member from each state  to ensure that we are truly a national association.  I look forward to work with each of the states and strengthening our association as we grow.

I would like to acknowledge and thank the outgoing members of our management committee. Jan Hargreaves, our Vice President, and Simon Wagg, a general member have made significant contributions to our committee and association and they will be missed. I wish them all the best into the future, but know that they will continue to be active members in the association.  I thank Jan also for taking responsibility of leading the upcoming study tour in Finland. I know you will be an exceptional leader and liaison for the tour.

In conclusion, I thank our Executive Director for the work that she does to ensure Adolescent Success is an association that goes from strength to strength, connecting with educators and connecting educators across the country. I thank also, our management committee, who as volunteers provide insights, knowledge, expertise and energy to the association. 

I look forward to the coming year as President.

Debra Evans
President – Adolescent Success

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