AEL Volume 39 Issue 2 June 2017
AEL June 2017; 39 (2):
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From the CEO

Aasha Murthy

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Without a vision, the people will perish. Without a plan, visions fade, aspirations evaporate, and dreams die on the vine. Without action, plans remain sterile, because only those who act, can possibly win. Action without direction however, is like the many-branched mind; making haste and arriving nowhere, slowly. As we continue to grow and expand our portfolio of events, programs and resources, ACEL is keen to ensure that our progress is goal-directed and constant; on a path that has been hewn from our purpose.

This issue, therefore, marks a new organising framework for the CEO’s message. It is a format that is mindful of our purpose: “To inspire, support, recognize and advocate for excellence in educational leadership.” We are convinced that value will inhere in our work, only if it contributes to moving the dial on the four key metrics of service to our members, as defined in this purpose statement – support, recognition, advocacy, and inspiration. Henceforth, these four metrics will be the touchstones for the efficacy of our actions at any time.

Building on the success of the Visible Learning sympoisums, we hosted two workshops facilitated by Doug Fisher, Professor of Educational Leadership at San Diego State University titled ‘Making Literacy Visible’ provided over 400 educators with strong insights into the actions teachers and leaders can take to enable strong growth in literacy learning. These events were hosted in Sydney and Melbourne ACEL’s, ‘National Disability Leadership Summit – 2017’, is being held in Sydney on the 19th and 20th of June. We expect over 250 delegates to attend the Summit which will present an opportunity for leaders to consider, reflect on and discuss the reforms and how to provide a strong foundation of high expectations for students with disability and better outcomes for children and their families through the three areas of focus: curriculum and learning; wellbeing; and collaboration.

Our branches hosted a number of events in the past quarter highlighting diverse topics of interest to educators: How High-Performing Systems Shape Teacher Quality, Educational Leadership and Change, The Ethical Principal and Supporting our students with Anxiety to name just a few.

The Curiosity and Powerful Learning Program continues with two cohorts of schools in Sydney and Albury. In March-April, Professor David Hopkins conducted a series of workshops and hub sessions – the impact of the program on teaching practice has been significant and we intend to expand this program to other states later in the year.

The ACEL New Voice Scholarships recognise forward thinking, contextually relevant and responsive educational leaders across three categories: The winners receive one year of free ACEL Membership, complimentary attendance/participation at the 2016 ACEL National Conference and the opportunity to contribute to ACEL’s publications. We have received over 120 applications from across the country in all three categories of the New Voice Scholarship this year. The uniformly high quality of the applicants has made choosing winners a difficult enterprise. Notwithstanding, ACEL’s National Awards and Scholarships committee has concluded the review process and the winners of the ACEL New Voice Scholarships for 2017, have now been selected. The winners are being notified even as we go to print. A full list of winners will be published in the  forthcoming issue of this journal along with short profiles of the winners. We hope to welcome all of them at the ACEL Conference in Melbourne later this year and formally recognise their achievement at the ACEL Awards function.

Awards functions have been held in Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory in the past quarter. Over 50 educators have been recognised for their work with a range of leadership awards and fellowships. Other states will host their awards in the next few months leading up to the National Awards which is one of the key highlights of the National Conference. Nominations are now open for our national awards and fellowships – more details can be found under the Awards section on our website.

On Friday 7th April the ACEL community gathered at Government House as guests of His Excellency the Governor of Queensland The Honourable Paul de Jersey AC and Mrs Kaye de Jersey to celebrate the passion and dedication of the teaching profession. The event marked the release of A Statement of Commitment to the Profession of Teaching, which has been developed by the Australian Council of Educational Leaders Queensland in consultation with key educational groups. This was a seminal event in the history of ACEL and we plan to build on this initiative across other states and at the national level as well. I urge you to read Norm Hunter’s article featured later in this journal which will provide greater context and detail. We are interested to hear your feedback about this initiative.

As our President Steve Gniel has outlined in his message, ACEL is putting together a advocacy strategy which will enable us to deliver on one of our strategic goals of ‘representing and advocating for the education profession’. We intend to build our plan on the three key tenets that inform everything we do – ‘evidence based, profession led and positive’, so watch this space, we will need your support and involvement!

The crowning opportunity for ACEL to demonstrate its purpose, and highlight “that which gives life” to our members’ collective hopes and aspirations is its annual National Conference. The 2017 National Conference being held at the newly-minted Sydney Convention Centre from the 4th to the 6th of October, is shaping-up, to be a remarkably memorable event. We have assembled an outstanding line-up of global, regional and local thinkers who will challenge and inform you, with their deep and diverse, breadth of knowledge and experience. “Respect the Past – Lead the Present – Secure the Future;” the conference’s theme, is the harbinger of rich, meaningful conversations that will take root and bear rich and transformational fruit for the sector.  Active learning, peer discussions, and networking will be the order of the day, with the National Awards Evening, and Networking Reception as part of the conference program. We urge you to register for the event at your earliest, if you have not already done so.  Spaces are filling up fast!

Abraham Lincoln once famously said that, “we cannot escape history.” Here at ACEL, we are more about trying and creating history with our members and well-wishers, than about escaping it. We are as strong as our strongest link. Please do stay connected.

I look forward to welcoming you at the National Conference in Sydney on 4th October.

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