Coastal educators honing skills at national conference
The Leadership Team from St Patrick’s Primary School in Bega recently attended the Australian Council of Education Leaders (ACEL) Conference in Sydney.
The National Conference is held annually for professional educators across Australia with nationally and internationally renowned speakers, including John Hattie, Stan Grant, Amy Cuddy and Glenn Savage.
Below, St Patrick’s leadership team shares the highlights of the Conference with the Catholic Voice.
Jo Scott-Pegum, principal
It was an excellent opportunity for learning and reflection and offered a springboard for collaboration and partnerships beyond the school.
Of note was the address by Glenn Savage titled, ‘Why school leaders should think and act more like gardeners’. The talk provided food for thought regarding schools as organic organisations where the work of leaders is to build ecosystems for diverse things to grow and flourish.
Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist, gave an inspiring presentation, ‘How to lead with confidence and be more influential.’ Amy spoke about activating the ‘approach system’, a way to use specific strategies to be present in the moment and embrace our power.
Val Sheahan, Assistant Principal
The presentations broadened my thinking, challenging me to reflect on my current leadership. I was especially inspired by Tracey Ezard, known for her ‘Ferocious Warmth’ leadership approach and professional collaborative culture work. Ezard’s framework aims to create an environment of learning, trust and innovation. Notably, the session explored several key mental models and strategies that can assist leaders in stepping into the ferocity to lead transformation and the warmth to connect and inspire others on the journey.
Emma Grant, Religious Education Coordinator
The highlights of the Conference were the sessions ‘Leading Learning for Children Experiencing Trauma’ by Matthew Smith and ‘Future Alternatives for Educational Leadership‘ by Deborah Netolicky.
Matthew Smith explored the steps to be taken for the growing number of students who need support. Deborah Netolicky delved into the purpose of education, explaining how to enable students to flourish, engage in the world and live a life of awe, well-being, purpose, meaning, and good judgement.
Mel Ferris, Curriculum Support Teacher
The Conference encouraged thinking outside the box, and in particular, I found Rosemary Kariuki’s input incredibly inspirational. Kariuki is an advocate for culturally and linguistically diverse people. Her presentation explored her work alongside the NSW Police to support the engagement of migrant and refugee people in the community. As a school curriculum leader, I found great value in having the opportunity to discuss new initiatives and hear success stories from other schools while also building on my professional reading library.