Dean's Report

Jack Keating Memorial Lecture

On Monday night we held our sixth Dean’s lecture for the year with a thought provoking talk by Professor Joe Lo Bianco on Civil Conflict and Social Opportunity: Neglected Dimensions of Language and Literacy Policy in a Global Age. It was also the occasion of the 2019 Jack Keating Memorial lecture and we were fortunate to have members of Jack Keating’s family in attendance. Speaking to a full house, Joe discussed a range of issues affecting language and literacy, including the importance of government investment in language education and the policy failures that have left Australia ranked in the lower to middle ranges of the OECD average curriculum time for primary schooling, but well behind almost all OECD countries at the junior secondary level. He also recounted some examples of serious civil conflict arising from language dispossession in South Asia, South Africa and South East Asia. There were some signs of hope, however, with legislation passed in NSW in 2017 advancing the revival of Indigenous languages, and a growing understanding of language loss and intergenerational trauma and progress in linguistic restorative justice. The video of Joe’s lecture will be available soon on our YouTube channel and I encourage you to watch it.

REEaCH Hub Launch

Last week saw the official launch of our new Research in Effective Education in Early Childhood (REEaCh) hub with a lecture on Thursday night followed by a summit on Friday. The hub has been established through the support of the Leaper Foundation and the inaugural lecture was presented by Mara Krechevsky from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The Summit brought together key Australian early childhood education advocates, providers, researchers and policymakers to discuss the priorities for the sector over the next decade. The expert panel included Gabrielle Sinclair, CEO, Australian Children's Education & Care Quality Authority, Zac Hatzantonis, Partner, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Professor Sue Irvine, Queensland University of Technology and Geraldine Atkinson, from the Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Incorporated. Expertly chaired by Maxine McKew, the summit canvased a range of pertinent issues around educational leadership, workforce, values in early childhood education, and parent and community engagement. I was pleased to be part of such a passionate and informed discussion, and I look forward to REEaCh leading the way in the early childhood research.

Conflict of Interest Declaration

As mentioned at MGSE Talks last week we have been working on the development of a Conflict of Interest Declaration Process to assist staff to manage conflict of interest in a clear and transparent way. The declaration will cover the following areas:

  • Sources of income and other paid outside work
  • Personal relationships
  • Teaching
  • Research and Graduate Research Supervision
  • Membership of other boards/committees.

The Conflict of Interest Declaration process will begin in 2020 and all staff will be asked to complete the declaration form. We are all responsible to ensure a plan is in place to manage potential, actual or perceived conflicts of interest and this new process will make this easier and more consistent for all MGSE staff.

ACEL President's Award

Finally, I’m happy to announce that this year MGSE has won the Australian Council for Educational Leadership (ACEL) President’s Award for support of ACEL and I was delighted to pick up another trophy for MGSE’s collection!