I would like to welcome back all staff after what I hope was a relaxing and replenishing summer break. I am looking forward to seeing you all at our Setting the Scene day tomorrow which will allow us the time to focus on our priorities for 2019, to explore our opportunities and to look at what we need to do to achieve the best outcomes for the Graduate School. It is important that all staff here at MGSE are clear about the direction we are taking in 2019, and into the future, so that we can work together with our vision, mission and priorities firmly in mind.
Visit to EcuadorOver January I had the great privilege of visiting Ecuador to participate in the extraordinary work Lorraine Graham, Lisa Mackay-Brown, Janet Clinton and their colleagues are implementing in educational inclusion and sustainable learning.
The project aims to provide face-to-face and online support to approximately 52,000 Ecuadoreans teachers over four years. It was a busy week visiting schools, meeting government officials, university colleagues and participating in the week-long professional development program. The contrasts in Quito, where we were based, are as diverse as I’ve ever seen anywhere. On the one had there is modern infrastructure in a city nestled in the Guayllabamba river basin surrounded by the Andes mountains while on the other hand, the deprivation of some stratas of the population is immense. The differences between the “haves and haves not” could not be more evident, and yet the generosity and warmth with which we were greeted everywhere was quite overwhelming and moving. It was an honour to be there and I admire the remarkable work and impact that Lorraine and her team are achieving.
New Research Hub
I am very pleased to announce that a new Early Childhood Education Research Hub will be established at MGSE in 2019 with Professor Patricia Eadie as its inaugural Director. Funded through the generosity of the Leaper family the new research hub will engage in research with the sector around key issues affecting the education and care of young children. The new Hub will be launched in late March at a summit to be held at MGSE with a keynote speech by Professor Fiona Stanley.
Master of Education Scholarships
In late January we held a morning tea to acknowledge the generosity of the Rowe Family who have established a scholarship in honour of former MGSE staff member, Dr Ken Rowe, who died in the Black Saturday bush fires, 10 years ago this week. The scholarship provides $6,000 to a student commencing the Master of Education (Literacy Education) in 2019, or to a student who has already commenced the Master of Education (Literacy Education) in 2018.
Victorian principals' breakfast series
This week I hosted the first of our new series of breakfast meetings with Victorian school principals. We met with 11 secondary school principals to discuss our new Master of Teaching partnership model, to seek their input to the new partner benefits package and to more broadly deepen and expand our collaboration and conversation with these important colleagues. Lindsay Oades gave a thought-provoking presentation on Is your school a wellbeing enhancing organisation? - a pertinent issue for us all to think about in the context of our workplace.
Talking Teaching podcasts
MGSE’s podcast series Talking Teaching will be back with season two on 14 February - the first episode will include an interview with Larissa McLean-Davies on her mission to boost the study of Australian literature in schools. The episode will also feature one of our UMNOS schools, Cobrum Secondary College, a small regional school on the Murray River which has set out to boost its literacy level by getting all teachers involved. I’m looking forward to another year of excellent listening.