AEL Volume 39 Issue 1 March 2017
AEL March 2017; 39 (1):
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From the President

Stephen Gniel, MBA, BEd FACEL

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Representing, Supporting and Advocating
The ACEL Board, in our most recent discussions, have been focused on one of the key aspects of our purpose – advocacy. Our current strategic plan1 includes “representing, supporting and advocating for the education profession” as one of four strategic goals. There is no doubt that ACEL is a well recognised and well respected organisation. In recent years we have continued to build our profile and networks to increase our level of influence in areas of importance to ACEL. In our own vernacular we are clear that it is the profession of educational leaders that we represent, however, we need to be more explicit, and indeed specific, in what it is we advocate for and support.

Over the last number of years we have successfully provided forums to give voice to our profession. These have included our increasing number of conferences, state-based Q&A sessions, breakfasts with Ministers and our New Voice initiative to name a few. This is an important aspect of our purpose, however, this is not necessarily advocating for the profession. To truly deliver on our purpose it is crucial that we are clear about what we, ACEL, stand for and how we will promote this to influence, as well as respond, with strength of conviction.

There are fundamental questions that need to be answered before we can successfully advocate, as advocacy must have a solid rationale and clearly defined purpose. Without these two pillars, it is in danger of slipping into the much less regal category of agitating. We must continually reflect and ask ourselves what is it that ACEL represents? What is it that binds us all? What is our niche? We must recognise not only where we can advocate, together, from a position of knowledge and strength, but just as importantly, the limits of our remit or its end. These are questions that will be best answered by engaging with others beyond the President and the Board to help determine answers. These are questions for our members, through our Branches and our other communication channels.

Over the course of this year we will be engaging with members to seek your input in developing answers to these questions. By channeling the diversity, expertise and passion of our members we can lay a solid foundation to advocate, support and represent. There will be multiple opportunities to participate in the conversation.

It is exciting to have such strong confidence in so many aspects of the organisation that we are in a position to support a conversation about what we, ACEL, stand for. I look forward to hearing from many of our members as we shape the next phase of our organisation’s future, including how we take the lead in representing, supporting and advocating for our profession.

Getting involved in our work
ACEL branches across the country work in concert with the national office, to deliver on ACEL’s mission and strategic goals in their states and territories. Their work at the local level including the hosting of professional learning events, networking forums and awards functions have contributed to ACEL’s strong standing in the sector.

Later this year, all our branches will be holding elections to form their executive committees that will take on the task of supporting ACEL’s work in the next three years. Through these executive committees we also determine our state and territory presidents and National Board Directors. We are actively seeking people who are keen to contribute to the profession, and willing to take on a leadership role in shaping the sector’s future. I warmly encourage you to take on the opportunity to contribute to our work as we move into the next phase of our growth and development. The call for nominations will be going out soon and of course, you will need to be an ACEL member to apply for these positions. I look forward to meeting the new branch executive committees that will be welcomed at our national conference and commence their terms in October 2017.

Our current state and territory presidents are more than happy to discuss the benefits that come with executive committee membership. For quick reference, their details are given in the next page. You can contact the office on 1800 680 559 or email and we will get back in touch to answer any queries.

1    ACEL Strategic Plan, 2015-2018, available at

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