Blogs and Messages

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A Culture of Conversation I hope the new school year is off to a brilliant start in all the different educational institutions where our Western Australian ACEL members serve. Over the holidays I was reflecting on what I value most about my involvement with ACEL WA over the years, and I realised it is the culture of conversation. ACEL has provided me with rich opportunities for deep and meaningful conversations about learning, teaching and leading, often crossing traditional boundaries of role, system, sector, stage or age. These conversations continue to enrich my professional journey, which is why I remain invested in ACEL. As educators we know that ...
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Our education system faces significant challenges. Young people are signalling their discontent through declining attendance, increasing disruptive behaviour, and concerning levels of mental health issues - tangible expressions of the desire for an educational experience that better resonates with the aspirations and the demands of the contemporary world. The rising numbers of school refusers raises questions about the current curriculum narrative . Over three-quarters of Australian students have reported they didn’t fully try in the latest Pisa tests . ATAR is now not used by more than 75% of our young people. Perhaps not so disconnected, renowned ...
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Summer breaks are, I believe, for relaxing, reflecting and regrouping. As someone working in school leadership, I find current times challenging in terms of providing hope and optimism for students and staff in a world where environmental pressures and human aggressions spin a web of despair into which it is hard not to get stuck. As educators, we must, however, assist our communities to flourish as best we can, given the circumstances. Wellbeing and happiness, though nebulous, are the subjects of much consideration. A *Harvard Study of Adult Development that commenced in 1938, has established a strong correlation between deep relationships and well-being. ...
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As the Queensland Executive, we look forward in 2024 to our continuing contribution towards a national organisation that positively promotes and shapes educational leadership and capability building across sectors and states, nationally and internationally. ACELQ 2024 Our Queensland Branch Executive of Bruce Addison, Lee Catterall, Tameika Grist, John O’Sullivan Williams, Sarah Gunn, Daniel Johnson, Adam Kuss and Tania Leach will gather for the first time in February as we consider the following: What actions will facilitate connections across all education sectors in Queensland? With strength in membership and connections in the south-east ...
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Dear ACEL Members, I hope you have had a great start to year and you managed to have a break over the summer. As an Executive branch we are really excited about what 2024 holds for ACEL. It is with great pleasure that we announce our inaugural event of the year—the 2024 ACEL SA Professionals Network Event and National Conference Launch. As well as Glenn Savage, Anne Dunstan and Dr Barbara Watterson, we are now honoured to also welcome Pasi Sahlberg. Pasi is a Finnish educator, teacher, and author and has advised schools and education system leaders around the world. He is currently Professor of Educational Leadership at the University ...
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Dear Colleagues, I am delighted to be following Dr Kirk Zwangobani as President of the ACEL ACT Branch in 2024 and wish to acknowledge and commend Kirk’s exceptional leadership and work to our ACT membership. The Branch Executive has gained some new members this year from each of our 3 sectors and all are very excited about the opportunity to contribute to the work of progressing ACEL as a national and local peak body in the life of our profession. Our 2024 Branch Executive include Dr Tony Bracken, Tracey Taylor, Nicole Jaggers, Melissa Planton, Maria O’Donnell and Dr Kirk Zwangobani. Each of these educators brings vast experience and a range ...
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As the academic year is drawing to a close, I am sharing news of our recent ACEL WA Awards Ceremony and some reflections about the important role that Educational Leaders play in our communities. ACEL WA Awards 2023 On the 8th of November we got the opportunity to celebrate the 2023 ACEL WA Awards for Excellence in Educational Leadership. It was a wonderful opportunity to honour the tremendous service and dedication of a number of outstanding educational leaders in our State, who serve in leadership roles, as system leaders, school leaders, teacher leaders and in their en gagement with research or tertiary studies in educational leadership. ...
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Global Citizenship 2023 was a year of global challenges. In schools, we considered the wellbeing of far-flung communities battered by wars and violence, as well as those closer to home. Members of our own communities, through connections with Ukraine or Russia, the Middle East or Indigenous tensions demand our care, attention and love. Outside COVID and the troubles in Afghanistan in 2022, I have never felt so challenged as a leader whose role, I believe, is to engender hope. Dominic Moisi writes in ‘The Geopolitics of Emotion’ that cultures are shaped by emotions. Fear and humiliation feed hatred in some parts of the world. In other parts of the world, ...
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Dear ACEL SA Members, It's evident that ACEL SA has once again had another exciting year. We're thrilled to have hosted several well-attended ‘Hot Topics’, featuring presenters who generously shared their insights. Some highlights from our events included: A thought-provoking conversation between Deborah Netolicky and Summer Howarth exploring future alternatives for educational leadership. Bec Clements and Grant Small presenting on leading school improvement and fostering culture change in primary schools. Dr. Brendan Bentley and Conor Keneally shedding light on cognitive load theory and augmented reality in a science classroom. As we look ...
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The Australian Council for Educational Leaders (New England Branch) and the New England Education Cooperative celebrated World Teachers Day in Australia on Friday 27 October 2023 with their Annual Awards evening. The function was held at the Armidale Golf Club and was attended by more than one hundred people from the New England and North West area of New South Wales. Teachers and educational leaders from public schools, private schools, Catholic schools and the University of New England were recognised for their outstanding work as teachers and leaders in a number of categories. Educational programs which have made a significant difference ...
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Farewell 2023 The anticipation of starting the 2023 academic year seems a long time ago, doesn’t it? Remember January when you were preparing for your new class, or new colleagues, or new processes, or curriculum? Remember stress around the explosion of ChatGPT, which coincidentally celebrated its much-publicised anniversary last week (although earlier and less profiled versions had already been around for a few years)? Remember hoping to have a year without COVID? Or staff shortages? Now that we find ourselves on the threshold of a break from the ebbs and flows of the year, take some time to reflect on how the year has been for you. What can ...
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Welcome to the final edition of AEL for 2023 – our final nod to our golden jubilee - 50 years since the founding of ACEL. As a result, our focus this year has been on honouring the past, acknowledging and giving thanks for the present, and looking to the future. Fifty years pales into insignificance compared to our country’s Indigenous history. Our first teachers, our first educators, and our first storytellers have set the direction and the tone for our nation – the wisdom around “two-way learning,” listening before speaking, and slowing down to engage in the complexity inherent in any community. Taking the time to honour those who have gone before, and ...
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As our 50th Anniversary draws to a close, it has been an honour to be part of a community of pioneers as well as nextgeners, all contributing vibrantly to conversations, provocations, and celebration! The inspirational history shared through Patron Frank Crowther’s Commemorative Monograph showcased ACEA/ACEL as a deeply human organisation: “it’s in our DNA.” In the monograph I was taken by the vision of the pioneering presidents, with their emphasis on personalised dialogue in addressing key challenges of the day and engaging in professional learning by choice and not imposition. Their message continues to be central to ACEL’s mission and vision, energising ...
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Good Day I hope that Term 4 is progressing well. In this newsletter I will offer a brief reflection on leadership styles, provide some updates about the ACEL WA Branch Executive Team and highlight some of our upcoming events this term. Leadership Styles Much has been written and said about the impact of different styles of leadership in education. One of my favourite articles on the topic remains the 2008 paper by Viviane Robinson and colleagues who analysed the impact of different leadership types on student outcomes, drawing the conclusion that “the average effect of instructional leadership on student outcomes was three to four ...
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2024 Vic Committee: Cameron Paterson, Melissa Riley, Prof David Gurr, Hayley Dureau, Dr Ashley Pratt, Lauren Sayer, Kara Baxter , Dr Annette Rome, Dr Steven Kolber (Absent: Charlotte Forwood, Fiona Hutton , Fiona Longmuir) Welcome to the VIC Branch of ACEL. As the Victorian Branch President, I am pleased to welcome you. It is an exciting time for education in Australasia and I look forward to stimulating, thoughtful and meaningful times ahead. The Australian Council of Educational Leaders (ACEL) was formed in 1973, and is the peak educational leadership organisation in Australasia. It plays a significant role in shaping practice and professional ...
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Dear ACEL SA Members, I am honoured to serve as the ACEL SA State President and as a national Board Member. For those who may not be familiar with me, I currently hold the position of Director of Teaching and Learning at Immanuel College. Working alongside me in the SA Branch, I have the privilege of collaborating with a dedicated team that includes Michael Murphy, Christine Haynes, Julie Tarzia, and Brendan Toohey. Together, as a branch, we are enthusiastic about providing opportunities to advance the cause of educational leadership in South Australia. I'd like to take a moment to express my appreciation for the incredible work done by Warren Symonds, our ...
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These final months of the academic year provide opportunity to reflect, recognise progress and celebrate these successes. In doing so, we acknowledge the potential for us all to determine what we do with what we have in our hands. In beginning this term in office, it is certainly important that we recognise the remarkable legacy of those who have led and contributed to ACEL Queensland across the years. Karen Fox, for your leadership, initiative and ensuring cohesion and progress for our Queensland branch, we say, bravo and thank, you. We also recognise our departing Queensland Executive of Tracey Cook, Liz Benson, Norm Hunter, Alexander Mason and Sandra ...
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As the end of the 2023 school year fast approaches, educators need to take a moment to reflect on a truly remarkable year in the realm of education. During ever-shifting challenges stemming from NSW curriculum changes to the enduring weight of teacher workloads, post-pandemic complexities, teacher shortages, and the ongoing mission to support educators and leaders at all levels, one essential element shines through – the paramount importance of professional learning. The Australian Council for Educational Leaders (ACEL), in celebration of its 50th year, has consistently been at the forefront, providing educators with excellent opportunities for professional ...
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It’s just over a month since the ACEL 50th Annual Conference held in Brisbane, and the glow of the celebrations continue; if you haven’t seen the highlights video, you can do so here . It was great to see so many NSW educational leaders there. The richness of ACEL is its breadth and inclusivity, so to bring together over 600 educational leaders from early childhood to tertiary education, and from all three school sectors, was a wonderful testimony to what has been achieved in our first 50 years. As we were encouraged at the conference, let’s celebrate our heritage and use this to springboard us from the present and into our future. Sydney played host to the ...
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Welcome to the November edition of Branch News. I am delighted to be following Dr Kirk Zwangobani as President of the ACT Branch of ACEL. Kirk has been an exceptional leader of our Branch over the past 3 years and has represented us at ACEL forums and as a member of its Editorial Committee. Most importantly he has brought energy and confidence to the work of ACEL in our local community and this has been deeply appreciated by all of our members in the ACT. Thank you Kirk. Thank you also to the wonderful Executive committee that have supported Kirk and our Branch members over the past 3 years. I would like to take the opportunity to welcome our newly elected committee ...
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