by Mark Caddey
  • High school teacher members - Check out the Zayed Sustainability Prize webinar with advice on applying for $100K for environmental projects in your school
  • Members – Early-bird rates for the Biennial AAEE conference are still open.  

With only a few months remaining in my time as President, I thought I would reflect on the organisational approach the current executive and I have been working on.  As I have said in relation to the Association and to the approach ‘our members are our greatest asset’, and this potential is unlocked through our work, events, products and members services.

So let’s unpack that diagram and at the same time I’ll update you on a couple of current projects at the same time.

Knowing and Change

With such diverse expertise in our membership the quarterly Learning Circles over the last 2 years are like a mini symposium with a topic presented and concepts discussed, explored and analysed. The most recent Learning Circle on Marine Education heard from 6 experts in the field from across Australia. If you’ve not participated check out the recordings on the website and look out for the next one.

The Biennial conference is one of the key professional learning events delivered by the Association and later this year the event will be held at Southern Cross University Coolangatta campus. The Research symposium and an Outdoor and environmental education meeting are also being scheduled the day before the conference to provide opportunity to in-depth discussions and sharing. The conference website has all the information you need Thanks to our conference convenors Cam MacKenzie and Jo-Anne Ferreira.

Internal Member services

The AAEE Executive have recently allocated funding to 3 projects that will create resources for our members. Two of the grants are open to members and chapters to create resources that will be learning resources for the use of all members. One grants decided on by the executive is focusing on improved advice and mapping of sustainability in the Australian Curriculum.

Celebrating the achievements our members is an important process and the annual awards is one small way of acknowledging them. Each year state and territory chapters award a deserving member and then this winner goes into the running for the national Environmental educator of the year award, presented at the conference.

External Partnerships

The products from the curriculum mapping project will support a future external advocacy work where AAEE is collaborating with Australian Alliance of Associations in Education (AAAE) in a review of the Australian curriculum.  This work will also contribute to a project the Association is hoping to progress with ACARA. Thanks to Graeme Sawyer and Angela Colliver for managing this process.  With changes to the Australian Government’s enforcement of environmental organisations advocacy work, the Association has to be cautious in the type of advocacy and activism work we undertake to maintain our tax deductibility status.

The Association has renewed our MOU with New Zealand and currently Association is collaborating working with the New Zealand Association for Environmental Education (NZAEE) and the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand (EIANZ) to develop a joint position statement about environmental education. I urge all members to contribute through the website survey ‘How and why do you practice environmental education?’ thanks to Peta White for managing this relationship and work.

Governance and Communication

Thank you to all the chapter representative who have helped reinstate the Chapter Check-ins, an important quarterly meeting between the national and state and territory chapters.  It provides a forum for discussing activities, management and governance issues.  If members want important issues raised and discussed at the chapter check-ins, contact you chapter representatives.

Finally, our communication activities that service all members. Our monthly AAEE Bulletin, prepared by our fantastic administration officer Natasha Cameron, who is always looking out for ways to make AAEE work better for our members. If you have a great story and photos – please send them in.  PS look out for the Gift Certificates soon – a great initiative from Natasha.  Our quarterly ozEEnews is edited by our Communications Officer Alison Cooper and again stories and photos please. Plus a thank you to Alison for managing the website update project.

The Australian Journal for Environmental Education now has total of 6,394 institutional subscriptions. It is internationally refereed and publishes papers and reports on all aspects of environmental education.  The journal editor, Dr Amy Cutter-Mackenzie is supported by an editorial team from Australia and New Zealand.

I look forward to seeing you at the 2018 Biennial conference in October.