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DSD 2022 Program

We are delighted to share the program for DSD 2022.

Please note that we may need to make changes to the program. This site will be updated regularly. A few presentation titles have been tweaked for clarity and/or brevity.

8:45 AM
  • Opening and Welcome to Country
    Senior Kaurna Man, Mickey Kumatpi O'Brien

    25 mins
9:10 AM
  • KEYNOTE: From the Wings to Centre Stage: Understanding Education from the perspective of children.
    Helen Connolly

    Helen Connolly is the inaugural Commissioner for Children and Young People for South Australia.... More

    50 mins
10:05 AM
  • Morning Tea
    40 mins
10:45 AM
  • PRESENTATION: Disengaged or disempowered?

    Disengaged or  disempowered?

    The term 'disengaged' is both complex and simplistic and as such, not much benefit to addressing the complex issues manifesting in schools across the country. It is also too deficit-laden and disempowering to provide such labelled students any real voice. Yet these very students are asking to be heard. They often ask, in the only voice they have, what I call 'acts of school resistance', to be heard. To be included. So how can we give them a voice?

    This presentation draws on doctoral research that locates positive engagement in the relationship between students, teachers and school practices and revealed how some students are disempowered in this relationship. This disempowerment results in 'acts of school resistance' which further disempowers these students. Empowerment requires the provision of alternative education experiences that allow students to forge new educational identities and develop positive relationships with education. Importantly, these alternative experiences can be provided within mainstream schools and do not require students to attend alternative placements which can often result in further disempowerment. This presentation will outline the key findings of the research, introduce a novel capital, justice capital is key in empowering students and transforming their educational experience and demonstrate a pedagogical approach that promotes emancipatory learning. This approach involves the sharing of power between teacher and the student, and supporting dis-engaged students to forge new educational identities.


    Steve Newton

    Steven has worked as a teacher and educational leader for over 28 years. He has experience... More

    25 mins
  • PRESENTATION: It made me feel like I could be something

    It made me feel like I could be something

    Evidencing Fidelity and Outcomes: a rich tapestry of learning from a three-year impact evaluation of Launceston’s Big Picture School.

    In 2020, researchers from the Peter Underwood Centre for Educational Attainment delivered their final report to the Department of Education Tasmania: An Evaluation of the Launceston Big Picture School. The evaluation drew upon perspectives from students, parents, school staff, Big Picture Education Australia staff, and local members of the business community, and examined students’ work, school documentation, policy documents and Department of Education data.

    This presentation curates a broad body of this evidence to demonstrate how researchers determined fidelity of the Big Picture design, and highlights a process which keeps young people at the centre – from consent to dissemination.

    Melody West

    Melody West is the Research and Engagement Fellow, Peter Underwood Centre for Educational... More

    25 mins
  • PRESENTATION: Creating a R.A.F.T to engage teenage parents back into education

    Creating a R.A.F.T to engage teenage parents back into education - Penny Round

    The South East Region of Melbourne is home to one of the youngest populations in Victoria. It is an area of disadvantage, with low rates of Year 12 completion (16.9%). Added to this, the region is home to 700 young parents between 15 and 21 years of age (ABS, 2011).

    Teenage parents present as a vulnerable population, and are at risk of becoming socially, economically and culturally disadvantaged. However, young parent support programs, such as the Young Parent Education Program (YPEP), provide a much-needed lifeline to student participants. These programs engage young parents back into education, after withdrawal due to pregnancy, and increase their likelihood of a life without social disadvantage.

    Dr Penny Round

    Dr Penny Round has been working in the area of students with special needs in secondary... More

    25 mins
  • PRESENTATION: AUTISM ADVOCATES- Project based learning through an advocacy lens

    AUTISM ADVOCATES- Project based learning through an advocacy lens – Natalie Evans

    Last year myself and a group of ASD young people from St Joseph Flexible Learning Centres 'SJFLC', founded a program called Autism Advocates. The Autism Advocates was created in response to the social disconnection that was caused by COVID-19 for this particular group of vulnerable young people. The SJFLC Autism Advocates have met both virtually and in person on a biweekly basis throughout 2020 and 2021. Since first starting, the group has grown enormously and now includes young people from our Geelong programs and several 'Autism Allies'. Autism Advocates has proven to provide connection and a unique and safe platform to support learning for a group of young people who often feel marginalised from their peers.

    Project based learning through an advocacy lens, has shown to be a successful approach to supporting a group of diverse and vulnerable young people to engage in meaningful learning. In linking to curriculum outcomes, the Autism Advocates have presented a 'you can't ask that' session at a whole staff meeting where they responded to questions staff had submitted around Autism and spoken at staff meetings and staff inductions about what it means to have Autism in a school context. The group have linked in with our Art and Music teachers and are working towards an immersive Autism exhibition. T

    he Autism Advocates also plan to develop a website and sell advocacy merchandise. All learning outcomes have been achieved through visions and ideas that have emerged directly from the young people. Perhaps even more importantly than the curriculum outcomes that have been achieved through this program, is the sense of pride and ownership that many young people grow to have for their Autism. Learning to understand and acknowledge the strengths that come with a diagnosis such as Autism and to connect safely with others who have a shared experience has been the real success of this program.

    Natalie Evans

    25 mins
  • PRESENTATION: Reconnecting with education

    Reconnecting with education: supporting young people to transition to the educational environment that is most appropriate for them - Fiona MacDonald, James Kelk, Alison Eales

    Many of the children and young people spending time in youth custody have complex educational and life experiences and are often disenfranchised from education. Re-engaging with education through Parkville College, the school that operates within Victorian youth custodial settings, a return to education outside the youth justice sector is regularly a part of young people's transition plan following custody. Over 70% of young people transition to a school based setting following a period in custody.

    While their educational experiences are varied, there are widespread misconceptions that the young people are not suited to return to mainstream schooling. The aim of this presentation is to consider how, with appropriate transition planning and support, all educational environments, mainstream, flexible learning, TAFE and others can be supported to enable the successful transition of a young person following a period in custody.

    The presentation draws on our research conducted with mainstream and flexible learning environments, as well as Regional and Central office support staff in the Victorian Department of Education and Training. Working with Parkville College's transition team and the new transition framework the aim of this presentation is to explore collectively how all educational environments can be the right place for a young person to re-engage, and to make their reconnection with education following custody work.

    Alison Eales

    Alison is the Vocational Education and Training Manager at Parkville College. Alison has a... More

    James Kelk

    James Kelk is the Manager of the Transitions Team at Parkville College in Melbourne and brings... More

    Fiona MacDonald

    Fiona is a CI on a project investigating how young people can be better supported to maximise... More

    25 mins
  • PRESENTATION: Top End School of Flexible Learning- The journey thus for a multi camp

    Top End School of Flexible Learning- The journey thus for a multi campus school - Bernie Davies Carmel Le Lay

    During 2018 the Top End School of Flexible Learning (TESoFL) was formed from a previous re-engagement centre and included the existing Malak campus a newly established Palmerston campus and Tivendale campus located within the youth detention centre.

    The school provides an alternative education pathway for young people who have not experienced success in a mainstream setting for a variety of reasons ranging from mental health issues through to matters relating to youth justice. The school has the capacity to provide flexible learning options.

    This presentation will highlight the journey so far- the successes, the challenges and the future. There will be a specific focus on the campus situated inside the youth detention centre and the innovation that is used to deliver engaging educational programs in this setting.

    Bernie Davies

    Carmel Le Lay

    25 mins
  • CONCURRENT: Yarning waterhole exercise

    Yarning opportunity and First Nations truth telling in a dedicated space throughout the conference

    Aunty Thelma Parker

    Thelma is a member of the Bularnu, Waluwarra and Wangkayujuru Native Title, Traditional Owners.... More

    1 hour
11:20 AM
  • PRESENTATION: Using Shared Decision Making to Overcome Rural Disadvantage.

    Using Shared Decision Making to Overcome Rural Disadvantage - Alice Herbert

    Since the 20th century, Australia has practised an industrial ‘one-size fits all’ model of education for students. This model ensures millions of students achieve specified annual learning outcomes that meet national curriculum, assessment and teaching standards. However, rigidity of curriculum delivery, reporting and assessment benchmarks and performance based progress reports fail to comprehensively understand students’ individual learning needs. Within Regional, Rural and Remote (RRR) Australia, this industrial model of education decontextualises schooling from its broader socio-economic, political and cultural context. As a consequence, social and spatial injustices occur: research proves that RRR students are consistently underperforming in comparison to their metropolitan counterparts. To improve this achievement gap, this presentation recommends using shared decision making (SDM) in RRR schools. SDM aims to harness the knowledge, skills and capacity of multiple stakeholders to maximise school success. In comparison with current bureaucratic school governance, SDM is more democratic, poses more relevant local solutions to local problems, affords schools greater responsibility, and allows for greater mobilisation of resources. This presentation will provide recommendations for effective SDM enactment based on research in RRR schools.

    Alice Herbert

    Alice Herbert has experience as a researcher, educator, school leader and advisor in regional... More

    25 mins
  • PRESENTATION: Who teaches in the flexible and non-traditional school sector in Australia?

    Teaching in flexible and non-traditional schools - Dr. Aspa Baroutsis and Professor Martin Mills 

    To date, little is known about the teaching workforce in the flexible and non-traditional sector in Australia, despite catering to around 70,000 young people, across 400 schools. This paper presents data from a national survey* of close to 150 participants, ranging from principals, teachers, teacher aides, youth workers, and social workers, who comprise the teaching workforce in the flexible and non-traditional sector. We provide a visual snapshot of those who teach in the sector including, workforce characteristics, job satisfaction, and external collaborations. Participants in this session will have the opportunity to add their voices to our findings and share their experiences of teaching in flexible and non-traditional schools. 

    *ARC Linkage project: Supporting teachers and teaching in flexible and non-traditional schools (Glenda McGregor, Aspa Baroutsis, Martin Mills, Dale Murray)

    Key points: 

    • The findings from a national survey of those who teach in the flexible and non-traditional school sector
    • An understanding of the experiences of those who teach in the sector
    • An opportunity to add their voice to the national survey (voluntary)
    Dr. Aspa Baroutsis

    Aspa Baroutsis is a senior lecturer and researcher in the Faculty of Education at Southern... More

    Professor Martin Mills

    Martin Mills is a research professor in the School of Teacher Education and Leadership at the... More

    25 mins
  • PRESENTATION: Raising expectations to improve the educational and career outcomes of Children and Young People

    Raising expectations to improve the educational and career outcomes of Children and Young People

    Research has established that there is an increased risk for Children and Young People living in out of home care for poorer educational, social and health outcomes which may manifest throughout their lives. It is also well known that Carers, Teachers, Youth Workers and other support staff play vital roles in the support they provide to Young People in both developing the skills and knowledge they require for educational success and as importantly in having high educational expectations and aspirations with and for the Young People. 

    This session will explore how we can create and provide access to events which promote educational aspiration particularly for students who may not perceive themselves as some-one who goes on to further learning or career opportunities. It will also discuss the complex challenges faced by Young People when accessing University and Post school options and strategies to assist Young People in overcoming them. 

    Practical information and resource ideas will be shared which Participants will be able to utilise in their own work with Children and Young People who have experienced complex trauma, assisting in improving their educational outcomes and career pathways.  Insights from a Young Person’s perspective in what works and where are the challenges will be explored either as co-presenter or on video. 

    Michelle Kelman-Murray

    Michelle has a Speech Language Therapy background and has worked in education for over 30 years... More

    Lorna Genoud

    Lorna has a range of broad experiences in Education, Disability, Health and Juvenile Justice;... More

    25 mins
  • PRESENTATION: The Pathways Program

    The Pathways Program, an enterprising, future ready school-based, community connected project that will lead to a successful increase in youth transitions into employment, and/or further education or training - Sarah Berry

    Statement: The United Nations Education 2030 Agenda encourages all countries to develop well-articulated education systems that offer Flexible Learning Pathways for their students. Providing multiple entry points to and progression routes between institutions, courses, employment opportunities and/or educational levels brings many benefits for young people, local community, and society, particularly in terms of equity, employability, and efficiency in the management of resources.

    As Flexible Learning Centres operate on a common ground basis where young people are empowered to determine their own pathways, the Eastern Flexi Schools Network recognised that we needed to embody this further and thus in 2019 sought funding to develop a Pathways Project across our NSW schools and employ a Project Pathways Officer to coordinate it. "Whether students are entering, moving through, leaving, or returning to higher education, the more flexible the learning pathways, the more likely it is that systems will be able to adapt to change and new challenges". - Michaela Martin, IIEP Researcher Purpose:

    The purpose of our presentation is to highlight our Pathways Project within our Flexi Learning Centres in NSW, which incorporates strategic and innovative goals to explore progressive approaches that will engage families and communities to bring about cultural transformation in our schools. This includes how our young people are achieving opportunities to fulfil their potential and how we engage families and communities to improve student learning outcomes. Context: We will outline how our Flexi Learning Centres provide an opportunity for young people to re-engage with learning and community.

    We will also include the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation, who aspires a stronger and brighter future for people and places experiencing disadvantage, who funded our Pathways Project and our ongoing relationship with Australian Schools Plus; a national charity that delivers high-impact philanthropic support for schools in disadvantaged communities. We will also incorporate how our Pathways Project is making connections and integrating community resources to support our schools, students and their families, and the impact of our "Friends of Flexi" who support our staff and young people with future pathways.

    We also share how the latest research, best practice and emerging trends assist our Transitional Support Officers to develop strategies and pathways for identified young people. Outcomes: We will not only demonstrate our positive success stories but will also delineate how our Pathways Project has the capacity and motivation to generate new understandings of how families and communities can be engaged to improve student learning outcomes and future opportunities, which also embraces and promotes collaboration to improve families' and communities' willingness, capacity, and support towards our student's learning within and beyond our Flexi Learning Centres.

    Sarah Berry

    Sarah is currently the Pathways Project Officer of the Eastern Flexi Schools Network NSW, who is... More

    25 mins
  • PRESENTATION: Future Focused Learning

    Future Focused Learning

    Jackie will present her experiences of establishing a brand new school with Future Focused Learning as the core pedagogy.

    Jackie Vaughan

    Jackie Vaughan is a proud advocate of public education and has been a teacher and educational... More

    25 mins
  • PRESENTATION: CCCares - Young Parent Program

    CCCares - Young  Parent Program

    Formally established in 2005, CCCares is an alternate education and support program for pregnant and parenting students from the ACT and surrounding districts. We provide flexible delivery of learning and content, towards achievement of an ACT Senior Secondary Certificate and certified competency-based training. Students are aged 14 to 25 and come from diverse backgrounds. CCCares provides a supportive non-judgemental environment with individual learning plans, provision of adjunct childcare and transport to facilitate student participation. As well as providing access to health and education services, we also collaborate with a range of community and training organisations.  Our aim is to provide a safe warm and stimulating environment for students and their children. We recognise that each child is unique, and that they will grow and develop at their own pace. 

    Rachael Radvanyi

    Rachael Radvanyi has been an educator in ACT schools for over 28 year schools and is currently... More

    Glen Rowe

    Glen Rowe is currently acting Executive Teacher at CCCares,  Canberra College’s young... More

    25 mins
11:55 AM
  • Sponsor welcome: CESA
    5 mins
12:00 PM
  • KEYNOTE: Proactively supporting positive behaviour in FLO

    “Proactively supporting positive behaviour in FLO: Re-imagining student behaviour intervention through a systems-informed perspective”.

    Managing complex behaviours of our young people within flexible learning classrooms requires a whole-school approach.  Managing emergencies in our campuses often exhausts our time and attention.  However, our new longitudinal research suggests that positively supporting young people requires a shift in staff mindset to focus on proactive, consistent structures which bolster the systems surrounding and including students.  Learn strategies that help staff maintain a proactive lens for understanding behaviour and strategies that increase students’ capacities to set higher expectations for themselves.

    Dr Tom Brunzell

    Dr Tom Brunzell (PhD) has experience as a teacher, school leader, researcher and education... More

    50 mins
12:50 PM
  • Lunch
    55 mins
1:50 PM
  • PRESENTATION: Mind, Body and Soul: Education beyond curriculum -Learn Engage Connect VCAL Young Parents Program

    Mind, Body and Soul: Education beyond curriculum -Learn Engage Connect VCAL Young Parents Program in Victoria

    The Young Parents VCAL program is modelled on a holistic approach to education by allowing young parents to complete their secondary schooling, while having their children with them in the classroom. A qualified childcare worker is present to provide learning and play experiences for the children, allowing the parents to focus on the educational work requirements. Students in the YPVCAL program can gain their Intermediate and Senior (Year 11 and 12 equivalent) VCAL over a period of 2 years. In addition students are also supported throughout their studies by a maternal and child health nurse, Centrelink and strong links to other community organisations. The program has been running at Chisholm for 8 years and continues to pathway students into further education, employment or higher education.

    Caitlin Davis.

    Suzanne Jabbour

    I have been involved in the education sector for over twenty years, and specifically with the... More

    Maree Radford

    I have been working in the welfare field with young people for over 30 years.  As Family... More

    25 mins
  • PRESENTATION: A Virtual Learning Centre - supporting continuity of learning during COVID and future opportunities.

     A Virtual Learning  Centre - supporting continuity of  learning during COVID and future opportunities.

    Learning from home during COVID-19 provided education systems with both a challenge and an opportunity to do things differently. 

    Research on learning during COVID highlights the need for educators to be supported to develop their skills and incorporate a blended learning approach into practice, including ways to bring connectivity, relationality and humanity into a distance learning model.[1]

    In Term 1 2022 the Tasmanian Department of Education developed the Virtual Learning Centre (VLC) to support students learning from home from Kindergarten to Year 12. 

    The VLC provided government school students with access to quality online learning programs, and online support from a registered teacher.

    Feedback from staff, parents and students of the VLC in Term 1 reflects the value of providing quality, accessible and engaging virtual learning options for students who are unable to be learning onsite. 

    The future development of the VLC will focus on engaging our learners anytime, anyplace.

    Jodee Wilson

    Jodee Wilson’s career is dedicated to education in Tasmania, having over 40 years’... More

    25 mins
  • PRESENTATION: Re-engaging the disengaged: selfpaced, personal learning plans lead to 100% retention

    Re-engaging the disengaged: self-paced, personal learning plans lead to 100% retention – Eddie Blass

    Re-engaging the disengaged: self-paced, personal learning plans lead to 100% retention

    This presentation tells the story of the Inventorium, from its inception and evidence based design through its first year evaluation to how it is being used now. In its first year of operation, the Inventorium achieved 100% retention amongst its cohort of home-schoolers who were all traditional school refusers. Given this, some schools are now utilising the Inventorium in school as an early intervention option to reduce the number of students falling out the system altogether. Key success factors are the teacher being tech-happy, the school being confident with flexible assessment design, and catching the students at the point where they disengage from the school system but before they disengage from learning. Two levels of curriculum are available, years 7-9 and 10-12.

    Professor Eddie Blass

    Professor Eddie Blass spent many years in academia working both in business schools and schools... More

    25 mins
  • PRESENTATION: Triaging Wellbeing: A validated assessment tool for disenfranchised youth.

    A validated assessment tool for disenfranchised youth – Katherine Dix & Emanuela Simos

    In 2018, YouthPlus, now known as EREAFSN Central West Network commissioned the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) to validate the then YouthPlus Young Person Wellbeing Rubric. It was established that there was little corporate knowledge about how or if the tool was being used and no formal processes in place to ensure that data were captured and managed in a consistent, meaningful and valid way across sites. For example, some sites were using the tool when a new student was enrolled, while others were using it once the student was better known by the then YouthPlus staff. The various domains within the tool were scored as raw data and did not have weighting or validation.

    By turning to the research literature and sourcing valid and reliable scales and items that map to the Domains and Aspects covered in the Rubric, revisions, and improvements were made to the Rubric to ascertain its face-validity.

    Moreover, to better understand the context in which the Rubric was being used, ACER conducted a focus group with staff from FAME (Flexible and Meaningful Engagement) to ensure that the resulting revised tool was fit-for-purpose and met the needs of the then, YouthPlus staff.

    Along with the revised Rubric, an interactive scoring spreadsheet was developed to better support data management and reporting needs. Accordingly, the presentation would outline the theoretical basis of validating the then, YouthPlus Young Person Wellbeing Rubric, showcase the interactive scoring spreadsheet and its application (for example, how this data can better inform our responses to young people's wellbeing needs) and the next steps required to achieve statistical validity.

    All participants will have access to the tool and ACER report following the conference

    Dr. Katherine Dix

    Dr Katherine Dix is a Principal Research Fellow in the Educational Monitoring and Research at... More

    Emanuela Simos

    Head of Policy and School Improvement, EREA Flexi Schools (SA,NT,WA) Over the past 30 years... More

    25 mins
  • PRESENTATION: Learning Creates Australia
    Hayley McQuire

    Hayley McQuire is a Darumbal and South Sea Islander woman born and raised in Rockhampton,... More

    25 mins
  • PRESENTATION: Open Arms and Lines in the Sand: Reconciling Unconditional Positive Regard with High Expectations

    Open Arms and Lines in the Sand: Reconciling Unconditional Positive Regard with High Expectations- Sam Grieger

    Unconditional positive regard refers to the 'complete acceptance' of an individual and could be considered the price of entry for practitioners within flexible education. However, are we obliged to accept the student behaviour, beliefs, violence and language that perpetuate the hardships they so often face? And if not, how do we maintain caring relationships while challenging potentially volatile and sensitive individuals?

    This session explores how we position ourselves as professionals and individuals when supporting our profoundly complex students. It draws upon psychological and educational writers including Carl Rogers, Scott Peck, Parker Palmer and Jordan Peterson to present a model of interaction allowing students to be accepted, without harming them through low expectations.

    The session champions personal and professional integrity as key to authentic education and hopes to provide a framework for relationships that are simultaneously safe, constructive and empowering.

    Sam Grieger

    25 mins
1:51 PM
  • CONCURRENT: The Australian Blanket Exercise

    The Australian Blanket Exercise

    Raises Awareness and understanding of the truth of Australian History

    Developed in collaboration with First Nations Elders, Knowledge Keepers and educators, the Australian Blanket Exercise is an interactive and experiential teaching tool that explores the historic and contemporary relationship between First Nations and non-First Nations peoples in Australia. During this 1- 2 hour workshop, participants step on blankets representing the land and into the role of First Nations Peoples. They are guided by trained facilitators, including First Nations Traditional Owners, Elders and Knowledge Keepers, who work from a script that covers the Doctrine of Discovery and Terra Nullius, Colonisation, the Frontier Wars, Missions, Reserves and Stations, the Stolen Generation, Assimilation, as well as Acts of Resistance and Change. Participants read scrolls and respond to cues in the script. The Australian Blanket Exercise concludes with a yarning circle, during which participants discuss the learning experience, process their feelings, ask questions, share insights, and deepen their understanding. By engaging participants on both emotional and intellectual levels, the Australian Blanket Exercise both educates and creates empathy and understanding. The Australian Blanket Exercise has endorsed the Uluru Statement from the Heart and we invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future


    Aunty Thelma Parker

    Thelma is a member of the Bularnu, Waluwarra and Wangkayujuru Native Title, Traditional Owners.... More

    1.32 hours
2:25 PM
  • WORKSHOP: Reframing Learning and Teaching Environments: from adversity to achievement

    Reframing Learning and Teaching Environments: from adversity to achievement – Ben Sacco

    Research tells us that Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) can have an impact on the developing body and brain of a child, with lasting impacts into adulthood. This means the ability for a child or young person to engage in the learning process in a positive way may be compromised due to the negative impacts of stress and complex trauma.

    Schools are a critical service provider that could better respond to children with complex needs. This interactive workshop will engage the learning process by enabling the audience to learn about building collaborative communities that shift attitudes, beliefs and behaviours about childhood adversity and hear about why schools are a critical system for delivering evidence-based interventions. Secondly, reflect on current practice in schools and how to create safe and predictable learning environments, reframing our approaches.

    We will then deepen participants understanding of how to create the preconditions for improved teaching, learning and wellbeing and the application of research into daily practice. A combination of video, participant involvement and activities will be engaged.

    Ben Sacco

    Ben is a strategic thinker with over 16 years in Education and Business Management. He has been... More

    50 mins
  • WORKSHOP: Operation By Principle

    Operation By Principle: an inclusive behaviour management program for the most vulnerable young people in Australia 

    Operation By Principle (0BP) is a behaviour management system which aims to provide the most vulnerable young people in the community with the opportunity to attend school. Such vulnerable young typically have been excluded from school because of violent behaviour or elect not to attend schools because of mental health issues. In broad terms OBP incorporates the theoretical approaches of positive behaviour programs, trauma informed programs and collaborative problem-solving approaches developed by US researchers Ross W Green and J.Stuart Albon. This presentation will provide an overview of OBP some videos demonstrations of OBP in practice.

    Lisa Burgess

    Michael Crowe

    50 mins
  • WORKSHOP: Engaging young people oneminute at a time: STAMINA for engagement in flexible learning classrooms.

    Engaging young people one-minute at a time: STAMINA for engagement in flexible learning classrooms 

    We aim to support students to set developmentally-informed goals—and to exceed their own goals. Young people who have experienced rejection in their prior schools are far more likely to be disengaged academically and therefore struggle and give up in the learning aims. Learn strategies to build stamina for engagement that have arisen from the research and practice of Maddie Witter, internationally recognised author of Reading Without Limits and co-author of the Berry Street Education Model, on how trauma-aware schools can simultaneously build self-regulation, stamina and hope whilst advancing significant academic gains for all students.

    Monique Langley-Freeman

    Monique brings experience from a range of educational contexts including regional and remote... More

    Gloria Zahar

    Bachelor of Arts (History/Politics)|Graduate Diploma Education Secondary| Post Graduate... More

    50 mins
  • WORKSHOP: Doing Professional Learning Differently: Implications for preservice education.

    Doing Professional Learning Differently: Implications for preservice education –  Andrew Bills

    Staff in alternative learning sites are involved in a continuous cycle of experimentation and adaptation as they seek to wrap education and care around a continually changing cohort of young people. In this workshop, we ask the question: How do we support teachers through ongoing professional learning and what are the implications for preservice education? In 2018 and 19 we began working with two flexible education sites: a small independent start up and a proposed flexible education pilot under the banner of Catholic Education South Australia (CESA) to develop appropriately tailored professional learning to support the development of robust and engaging curriculum and pedagogical practices for teachers working with mainstream schooling's disenfranchised young people. We are negotiating to have this program accredited at a Master's level. The professional learning for teachers starts from capturing the voices and ideas of young people and what they can tell us about schooling, engagement, pedagogy and schooling design. From this standpoint, we work with teachers to develop action research projects to capture and add to the continuous cycle of experimentation and adaptation, placed within a curriculum framework that will lead to accredited outcomes. With the expansion of the flexible education sector nationally, we need to grow the teachers that will work with our students on these sites to better support their ongoing learning. The aim of this interactive session is to share ideas, practice and develop a picture of the capabilities that preservice and experienced teachers need to support students in meaningful education in non-mainstream sites.

    Dr. Andrew Bills

    Andrew Bills is an Educational Leadership academic at Flinders University. His research... More

    50 mins
  • WORKSHOP: Strategies in Action 5 first steps to enact traumainformed strengths-based strategies in every classroom

    Strategies in Action 5 first steps to enact trauma informed strengths-based strategies in every classroom

    This workshop will address two frequent concerns of many educators: (1) Where do I start? And (2) How can I get some quick wins with my students towards durable engagement for learning?. This session will focus upon two learning aims:

    • Implementing priority strategies for classroom routines
    • Introducing priority strategies to increase student self-regulation of their own escalated behaviours
    Cheree Taylor

    Master of Business Administration | Bachelor of Education (Special Education) | Bachelor of Arts... More

    Kaine Volkov,

    Kaine has over 20 years of experience, working in various school systems in South Australia and... More

    50 mins
    50 mins
3:15 PM
  • Afternoon Tea
    35 mins
3:55 PM
  • KEYNOTE: Aboriginal Education Futures

    Aboriginal Education Futures

    Schooling in settler colonial societies like Australia continue to produce unequal outcomes and as a mass system it is far from democratic. The United Nations General Assembly has declared the period between 2022 and 2032 as the International Decade of Indigenous Languages to draw attention to the importance of Indigenous epistemologies, cultures and languages across the world and encourage action by governments and schools for their promotion and enactment.

    This session seeks to rethink education and shape the future in a world of increasing complexity, uncertainty, and precarity.

    Dr John Davis

    “My people are Cobble Cobble kinnected to Warra and Dalby. We have links directly to the... More

    Professor Lester-Irabinna Rigney

    Lester-Irabinna Rigney is esteemed Professor of Education and Co-Chair of the Pedagogies for... More

    50 mins
4:50 PM
  • Day 1 wrap up
    10 mins
5:00 PM
  • AAFIE information session and Welcome Drinks

    Cash bar available.

    1.5 hours
9:00 AM
  • Welcome to Day 2
    5 mins
9:05 AM
  • KEYNOTE: Young People Panel

    Young People Panel, young people representing Specialised Assistance School for Youth and Youth Inc. Adelaide. 

    Young people are our most important citizens, contributors and consumers. This session embraces this concept by giving the mic to the people most important to our work; young people! A fantastic panel of young people from two South Australian alternative education schools (Specialised Assistance School for Youth and Youth Inc.) will share their fresh ideas, perspectives, enthusiasm, and value to the discussion of how, why, when and where to do school differently.

    50 mins
10:00 AM
  • Pub Choir
    Phi Theodoros

    Phi Theodoros, aka The Ukulele Dream Girl, is a storyteller who weaves music and poetry together... More

    15 mins
10:20 AM
  • KEYNOTE: Deakin University: Children and young people‚Äôs digital rights in the algorithmic age

    Children and young people’s digital rights in the algorithmic age

    Children and young people’s learning increasingly takes place on digital platforms. Whether learning in a traditional educational setting or doing schooling differently, inevitably a digital platform is involved. Digital platforms are a new kind of economic, social and civic structure that connect many kinds of people from different levels– from teachers to companies and beyond. Platforms have logics embedded within them and relatively seamless personal data sharing, and in recent years there has been a massive push by big tech companies like Microsoft and Google into education. Children and young people’s personal data has value – not only to the company creating the platform, but also within the multi-billion dollar data broker economy. Further to this, digital platforms shape children and young peoples’ expectations about life and learning, subtly bending them toward the platform’s worldview. In short, digital platforms may raise as many challenges as they solve. In this talk I will outline some of the issues that children, young people and educators face when using digital platforms. Focusing on recent work around children and young people’s digital rights, I will outline the challenges and some of the recent regulatory and legal responses to these. The talk will conclude with some suggestions about how educators, researchers and other adults can better support young people to negotiate the challenges and opportunities digital platforms present.

    Dr Luci Pangrazio

    Luci Pangrazio, BA/BSc, MEd, PhD is a senior lecturer in language and literacy and Alfred Deakin... More

    50 mins
11:15 AM
  • Morning Tea
    30 mins
11:50 AM
  • WORKSHOP: An Intergenerational Learning & Living Campus

    Grandschools | An Inter-generational Learning & Living Campus: A New Model for Healthy Senior Living and Integrated School Communities  

    Mark Trotter, Fulton Trotter Architects / Queensland University of Technology, Rosamund Harrington, Australian Catholic University 

    Grandschools is a new concept that was initiated by the simple proposition for a new campus that integrates both senior living and secondary education in a physical environment that promotes intergenerational inclusivity, active living and learning, to psychological health and wellbeing of both youth and elderly. Research is currently underway through a five-year project that is funded by the Australian Government that aims to examine youth social enterprise employment, intergenerational cooperative programs, and inclusive campus design. The vulnerability of our seniors, through economic and planning approaches and policies over several decades, has been put into sharp light by the tragic circumstances of the COVID -19 Global pandemic that has seen elderly communities isolated from society. 

    This workshop provides initial ideas for intergenerational living and learning garnered from our research and its benefits for both seniors and youth from diverse backgrounds. It will engage the audience through a ‘design imaginings’ session, known as a design charette, to develop ideas of how an intergenerational learning space can benefit marginalised youth and people with unique life experiences. 

    Dr Rosamund Harrington

    Dr Rosamund Harrington is a Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy within the School of Allied... More

    Mark Trotter

    Mark is a Practicing Architect and a Director of Fulton Trotter Architects. He is also a Chief... More

    50 mins
  • WORKSHOP: Exploring Trust: An Alternatives to Violence (AVP) workshop

    Exploring Trust: An Alternatives to Violence Program (AVP) workshop.

    Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) provides practical workshops that help people learn how they can transform conflict and bring about change in their lives. It began in a Correctional Facility in New York in 1975 and is now operating in over 50 countries. Heather Millhouse and Frances Missen have been running AVP camps for young people and staff at Jabiru Community College since 2016.  

     AVP uses experiential learning and recognises that we are all teachers and learners. This workshop will explore Trust using AVP processes. It will also provide you with AVP contacts throughout Australia if you wish to learn more.

    Heather Millhouse

    Heather Millhouse taught nonviolence as a path to peace to school students for 15 years in the... More

    Frances Missen

    Frances Missen has worked in Flexible Learning Centres for 14 years, at Albert Park flexi School... More

    50 mins
  • WORKSHOP: Talking Realities: Young Parenting Program

    Metropolitan Youth Health – Talking Realities Young Parenting Program – Michel Wyman, Emma Cannon & Caras Fleetwood

    Metropolitan Youth Health – Talking Realities Young Parenting Program is a unique, innovative, community –based, collaborative, wrap around program that aims to improve the educational outcomes of young parents and their children, while also contributing to the capacity of young people and children to make informed choices regarding their health, young parenthood and pregnancy.

    With a trauma informed lens and flexible delivery approach, the program successfully addresses barriers to education and learning. Developed by young parents, some 20 years ago, the program has evolved over the years and features a one-stop shop that includes learning programs, 1:1 support, clinic, midwife, and access to a range of services on site.

    Young people, alongside workers, will provide an overview of the program including practice approaches used and young people’s experiences of how these have supported their learning journey. The presentation will include an interactive question and answer session with young parents.

    Emma Cannon

    Emma has been involved in the Talking Realities program since 2005. Emma has a Certificate 4 in... More

    Caras Fleetwood

    Michel Wyman

    Michel has worked in SA Health since 1995, when she started at Metropolitan Youth Health... More

    50 mins
  • WORKSHOP: Alternative Frontiers

    Alternative Frontiers

    This paper would include some of that original presentation in addition to more recent work. Eight years ago our school had 38 students and 5 staff, now Warakirri College has 400 students over 4 campuses across western Sydney. We serve young people 15 - 22 who have disconnected from mainstream educational pathways but who come to complete Year 10 or get their Higher School Certificate. 85% of our students have a disability, most commonly in the social-emotional domain.

    The College is growing, but the need for alternative schools is growing faster. This presentation outlines projects within the College that explore frontiers of curriculum, late-stage literacy acquisition, development of cognitive and executive functioning skills, remote learning, student engagement, relationship development through outdoor education and transition to work or further study. With practical tips and implementation insights, Carolyn will discuss the Warakirri experience regarding:

    • Universal Design for Learning and Michael Fullan's New Pedagogies for Deep learning as overlays to the Australian Curriculum to better prepare students for their post school role in the community;
    • The College's AIS funded Research project, working with Latrobe University to provide literacy enhancement interventions to intercept the School-to-Prison pipeline, enhance engagement and attendance and improve student wellbeing;
    • Applying the principles of neuroplasticity to enable students suffering from trauma and its comorbidities to enhance their executive functioning skills improving their academic outcomes and employment opportunities;
    • Being the first independent school in NSW to be accredited by NESA to deliver the Year 10 RoSA and the HSC by Distance Education. The College has experienced a steep learning curve that has resulted in streamlining the program and enhanced the effectiveness of our curriculum delivery and pastoral care opportunities. These learnings are applicable to all schools delivering blended or online learning;
    • Wrap-around services including full- time Social Worker, intensive Counsellor support and a vigorous outdoor education program work with a team of Careers Support Advisors to prepare our students for the transition from the safe, forgiving environment of school to becoming confident, independent contributing citizens. Participants will enjoy this entertaining, down to earth presentation that will assist decision making in the critical areas of:
    • student wellbeing and personal development,
    • curriculum access and delivery and
    • student engagement

    Carolyn Blanden

    Carolyn Blanden is Principal of Warakirri College, a multi campus school in greater western... More

    50 mins
  • WORKSHOP: Improving Educational experiences for Children & Young People in Out-Of-Home Care

    Panel: Improving Educational experiences for Children & Young People in Out-Of-Home Care 

    Research consistently shows that students in Out-Of-Home Care (OOHC) have poor experiences of school engagement and participation, academic achievement, school completion, and wellbeing and belonging, as compared to their peers. 

    We know that School attendance is a fundamental prerequisite for improving the educational outcomes of children and young people in OOHC. So, why is it that even when we are all working in the best interest, and towards positive outcomes for our children and young people, do we still bump against the complexity of navigating engagement with the system? 

    Why is it so hard for these students to find their place in the education system? Or why isn’t the education system finding a place for them? 

    This panel discussion will share insights from a range of invested perspectives. The panellist will be asked to contribute their experiences, learnings, and highlights from their viewpoint with the intention of opening the conversation beyond individual experiences into a collective call to action for all those children and young people in OOHC who are being failed educationally.   Participants will be invited to join in the conversation.

    Panel hosts

    • Dale and Michelle Murray (Education Team, Life Without Barriers)

    Invited panellists

    • Professor Kitty te Riele (UTAS, The Peter Underwood Centre for Educational Attainment) 
    • Professor Anna Sullivan (UniSA Education Futures)
    • Simon Vaughan (Principal, Canberra College ACT)
    • Clea North (First Nations Educator - Queensland)
    • Ivan Mahoney (Network Principal, EREA)
    Michelle Kelman-Murray

    Michelle has a Speech Language Therapy background and has worked in education for over 30 years... More

    Dale Murray

    Dale is Director Education for Life Without Barriers, one of Australia’s largest... More

    50 mins
  • WORKSHOP: Breaking good - Working with young people as co-designers in discovering new learning experiences

    Breaking Good - Working with young people as co-designers in discovering new learning experiences – Robbie Lloyd, Kirsty Nappe, Scott Lathlean

    Inclusion and Wellbeing is a whole-of-school and whole-of-system focus for Nautilus College and Yulinbal Campus, as part of Mid North Coast Community College. Our Special Assistance School sector recognises the need for collaboration across agencies and organisations to deliver high quality, holistic, strengths-based support and services, targeted to the needs of individual children and their families. The students we work with experience many different barriers to inclusion, and our approach to education aims to implement strategies, interventions, policies and support practices that address the unique needs of the young people we work with day-to day.

    Dr Robbie Lloyd

    Dr Robbie Lloyd has spent his 50 year career working for the Common Good, and reforming... More

    Kirsty Napper

    Scott Lathlean

    50 mins
12:50 PM
  • PRESENTATION: An insight into how a school's systems and language can be centred around student's wellbeing

    After 4 years of operations and growth the Special Assistance School for Youth (SASY) in Adelaide's CBD set out to design a school that had all elements based on student wellbeing.

    The result was a operating model that groups students by wellbeing rather then age and subjects. In practice this has resulted in four working teams named; Connect, Ignite, Inspire and Empower, all named accordingly to their primary function in addressing particular wellbeing needs to best enable learning. Across the school timetables are referred to as 'rhythms', student groups are named 'hubs', subjects are called 'projects and workshops', and to connect and ignite are key practice principals at play for all staff.

    In this workshop you will hear an overview of the journey that SASY undertook to come to this solution, and you will have te opportunity to have first hand experience of what a 'hub rhythm's set of workshops' can make you feel, in contrast to a 'year level's, classroom's, assignment.'

    Lastly; you'll be asked to reflect on the power of language, including your own school's language and student's perception of it's meaning.

    David Wilde

    David Wild is the Chief Executive of the Specialised Assistance School for Youth (SASY). After... More

    25 mins
  • PRESENTATION: A tripartite model for educational connectedness: Real education for those who don't 'want' it

    A tripartite model for educational connectedness: Real education for those who don't 'want' it - Jodie Long, Catherine Arnold

    Context: The David Scott School is in its 4th year of operation. The school's ambition is for all young people to have access to an authentic education which empowers them to reach their potential and equips them for a life which is meaningful to them. The school scope includes a significant systemic change ambition in conjunction with the Brotherhood of St Laurence.

    The School has developed and operates a tripartite model with equal and dynamic importance given to the domains of 'Teaching and Learning', 'Wellbeing and Engagement' and 'Careers and Pathways'. 120 young people between 15-20 years old are supported with an integrated approach to complete their education with individualised support. Students come from a range of backgrounds with a consistent history of school disconnection, social marginalisation and/or backgrounds of trauma.

    Purpose for conference session: This presentation will engage with the school's transferable practices and multidisciplinary approach which supports the whole young person. The presenters will describe the frameworks and practices that support best practice in each domain and methods of engagement across domains to ensure a systemic approach and a fully integrated experience. The session will cover the whole school approach to building and maintaining a trajectory of school connection for those who have previously experienced disconnection.

    This will include:

    • Understanding behaviour as a communication strategy whilst maintaining high expectations (through a systemic and multi-disciplinary approach),
    • Innovative, transferable and meaningful recognition systems designed through a social equity lens,
    • Mobilising connectedness as a means of ongoing social engagement both during the school experience and post school.
    Catherine Arnold

    Catherine Arnold has worked in the education sector for 30 years across the government and... More

    Dr. Jodie Long

    Jodie Long has spent 20+ years building connection between vulnerable young people, their... More

    25 mins
  • PRESENTATION: A New Urban Green School

    A New Urban Green School - Fred Heidt

    Hey, let's start a green school! Really, how hard can it be?! Just like in the Hollywood movies - 'Honey, I Shrunk the Kids', or 'We Bought a Zoo', the reality of a great idea doesn't always sink in straight away. Starting a new school is a bit like that. But in our case, we're about to do it again! Come and learn about our new urban green school, and how we plan to apply the lessons from the first time around.

    Fred Heidt

    Fred is the founding Principal of the Youth Inc. Enterprise Academy - a new school design... More

    25 mins
  • PRESENTATION: School collaboration is key to support the most at-risk learners

    School collaboration is key to support the most at-risk learners

    Read any recent abstract for an Education conference, or professional Education publication, or indeed media article – and you will note that there is consensus that the changing labour market reality is forcing school systems to adapt to prepare students to inhabit a world that will be filled with increasing ambiguity, complexity and requiring a new suite of tools to survive – this is often neatly referred to ‘21st century skills’. Key amongst these skills is ‘collaboration’.  

    As teachers and leaders of school systems; we therefore are also required to employ 21st century skills, as professional educators to ensure that all learners have access to quality wellbeing and learning supports – no matter their circumstance.

    In the North of Adelaide, the Northern Adelaide State Secondary Schools Alliance (NASSSA) was formed to maximise the learning opportunities, career pathways, retention and educational outcomes for all students in alliance schools. NASSSA constitutes approx. 19% of South Australia’s Flexible Learning Options (FLO) enrolled students; to ensure that all learners are catered for – requires schools to professionally collaborate and provide multiple options and responses beyond the immediate resources of their own sites. 

    The NASSSA Community Learning Centre provides multiple entry points for FLO enrolled senior students to access a flexible and advanced curriculum; and tailored wellbeing intervention. To manage and organise the prevailing complexity – not least of all – clarity of expectation and obligation for multiple stakeholders to manage referral process, tailored learning, wellbeing intervention, incident management and student engagement – NASSSA Schools have developed a coherent Memorandum of Agreement.

    This agreement, achieved through professional collaboration and a shared commitment, establishes strong governance and reporting structures – harnessing existing alliance frameworks. This session will identify a working example – of how school systems can collaborate to achieve results for the most disadvantaged learners; collaborating and providing solutions outside of their own school sites. 

    Adam Sherwood

    Adam is the ‘Flexible Learning Options’ Senior Leader at Northern Adelaide Senior... More

    25 mins
  • PRESENTATION: The Indie School: The Indie Way

    The Indie School: The Indie Way

    The Indie School is a non-government school which provides an alternative education option for young people aged 15-18 years, who are not actively engaged in education. Our foundations lay in Adult Education philosophies that encourage choice, independence, mutual respect and accountability. Indie School teachers are committed to changing the lives of young people. Our students enjoy learning in an environment that values their voice, is fun, secure and provides pathways to employment or further education.

    This presentation is an overview of ‘The Indie Way’ and a case study about the journey of opening a new school. At the start of 2020, Indie School opened in Devonport, Tasmania with a handful of staff and students. Devonport has been an incredibly dynamic school that has grown and developed as it reacted to the needs and voices of its students. The school now has a waitlist and has opened another site 35 minutes away.

    The aim of this presentation is to explore the possibilities when ‘Doing School Differently’ by sharing our journey, the lessons learnt (what we’d do again and what we DEFINITELY wouldn’t), as well as sharing some resources for self/school development.

    Nic Page

    Kalindi Hartigan

    25 mins
  • PRESENTATION: Whole-Person Learning: Using Curiosity as a Marker of Safety

    Whole-Person Learning: Using Curiosity as a Marker of Safety - Nick Grainger

    Doxa School Bendigo is different - and we love being so!!! Located in Central Victoria, we've been refining our unique approach to education since 2006. In this presentation, we'll take participants through the development of our 'Doxa Model', showcase the strategies we use to embed the theory of our 'model' into the practices of our school, and pinpoint how we carefully construct our school moments...every single time.

    Everyone at Doxa School Bendigo is a learner - about themselves, about each other, and about the world around them. In this regard, we understand curiosity being a marker of safety in our space and we use this as our beginning platform with our whole school community - students, staff, families and visitors alike. If you're interested in the trials, tribulations and trophies of adapting the best theoretical underpinning into a school environment then, come along, we might just have some ideas for you.

    25 mins
1:20 PM
  • Lunch
    1 hour
2:30 PM
  • BRIGHT IDEA: Key strategies in reengaging students into educational programs: Critical moments.
    Sam McCaffrey

    Sam McCaffrey is the Senior Leader: Career Development and Transition at Craigmore High School... More

    12 mins
  • BRIGHT IDEA: Exploring pathways for young people in flexible learning settings: an AAFIE Special Interest Group
    Kirra Greaves

    Kirra (she/her) is the Pathways and Transitions Coordinator at the Nano Nagle Network of... More

    12 mins
  • BRIGHT IDEA: Advocacy for the Flexible & Inclusive Education Sector: an AAFIE Working Group
    Dr Robbie Lloyd

    Dr Robbie Lloyd has spent his 50 year career working for the Common Good, and reforming... More

    12 mins
  • BRIGHT IDEA: Supporting pregnant or parenting young people to access education: An AAFIE Special Interest Group
    Rachael Radvanyi

    Rachael Radvanyi has been an educator in ACT schools for over 28 year schools and is currently... More

    Glen Rowe

    Glen Rowe is currently acting Executive Teacher at CCCares,  Canberra College’s young... More

    12 mins
  • BRIGHT IDEA: Reimagining and reengineering curriculum that builds on an ethic of care

    Reimagining and reengineering curriculum that builds on an ethic of care and seeks to make accredited outcomes possible for young people: An AAFIE Special Interest Group 

    Andrew Bills

    12 mins
  • BRIGHT IDEA: Creating a Culture of Connection, Empowerment and Opportunity: An Entrepreneurial Approach to Engagement.

    Creating a Culture of Connection, Empowerment and Opportunity: An Entrepreneurial Approach to Engagement - Martin Reeve

    Our purpose as educators at Seaton High School is to have students connect and identify with the school community whilst we foster a relevant, meaningful and supportive learning environment that prepares our students for life after school. The Seaton High School FLO program provides students at risk with an authentic, safe and viable alternative to mainstream education. At the heart of our program lies, the Seaton High School FLO developed "Positivi-tree model." A multi-faceted team-based approach focusing on community, connection, responsibility, accountability and intensive case management. Fostering success in our young people can be challenging when faced with not only students' individual needs but also organisational, structural and logistical pressures that also need to be considered and addressed. This Bright Idea session will provide insight into the keys to success for the Seaton High School FLO program focussing on the students support models and building and utilising community engagement.

    Martin Reeve

    Martin Reeve is a passionate educator. He, like the students he works with, was without a clear... More

    12 mins
2:50 PM
  • PRESENTATION: Flexible Learning Programs and the qualification outcomes for students: what matters?

    Flexible Learning Programs and the qualification outcomes for students: what matters? – Naomi Ryan

    The Flexible Learning Program (FLP), as an educational institution, can shape the narrative of the young people who attend them. The curriculum and pedagogy applied in FLPs has the ability to contribute to the young persons capacity to be fully prepared for life outside of school. Completion of a secondary education certificate is regarded by teaching staff as a key to success for these young people. Even more emphasis is placed on this where programs are offered through a State Government school system where reporting requirements of secondary completions are of high importance.

    However, the findings from this study highlight that the pressure from the school toward the student achieving a certificate of education overshadowed the meaningfulness of the work completed to achieve it. What was most apparent in this study is that young people valued the protective factors provided through their attendance at an FLP such as supportive relationships, mentoring, peer support and inclusive practices.

    They also strongly suggested that work experience and part time work contributed to an increase in their self-efficacy and confidence. However, upon leaving the fold of the FLP the young people reported the academic qualification had little significance as they returned to facing the barriers that may have prevented them from attending a mainstream education facility in the first instance.

    This presentation will highlight how flexible learning programs, where operated under government state schooling systems, focus on all students completing a secondary education certificate in order to meet their obligations, and how this may impact on the students being fully prepared to transition into further education or employment. Suggestions for educators will include meaningful approaches to encourage students to complete their education with an emphasis on what really matters.

    Naomi Ryan

    Naomi Ryan is the Associate Director (Academic) for the University of Southern Queensland... More

    25 mins
  • PRESENTATION: Hook into Books

    Hook into Books

    From birth until old age, storytelling and reading are universally accessible activities that do not discriminate or divide. Storytelling connects us. It promotes knowledge, improves communication, expands our vocabulary, and provides opportunities to escape and explore in a safe sensory space. Through the sharing of stories, we nurture our imaginations, support empathy, and make sense of challenging topics. For First Nations communities, storytelling is firmly grounded in oral tradition and history. It is through the telling of stories that First Nations people preserve their language, traditions, culture, and identity. 

    The telling and sharing of stories is woven into the fabric of our lives and sets the foundation for literacy development. 

    We know that being literate is a fundamental building block for children’s educational achievement, their lives outside school and engagement with society, and their future employment prospects. We also know that our children and young people experience and develop literacy in very diverse ways. 

    This presentation will showcase Hook into Books a national literacy campaign delivered by the Life Without Barriers, Education Team. Hook into Books is a demonstration of how we are keeping ‘education at front of mind’ and encourages all staff, carers, children, and young people to seek out and embrace literacy opportunities through their work and in their lives. The Campaign supports our vision of enhancing the literacy levels of those children and young people in Out-of-Home Care, who as a population experience some of the lowest levels of educational attainment of any group. 

    This presentation will highlight our organisational approach to providing rich and diverse literacy opportunities to our community, through fun and play. It will emphasise how the simplicity of positive and enjoyable exposure to literacy can have a profound impact on young learners. Delegates will learn how the Campaign is delivered on a local level and we will share how the Campaign incorporates First Nations perspectives and experiences of literacy.

    Megan Hall

    Megan has worked with young people in various settings, including homelessness, Youth Justice... More

    Michelle Kelman-Murray

    Michelle has a Speech Language Therapy background and has worked in education for over 30 years... More

    Clea North

    Clea North is a proud Aboriginal woman and descendent of the Mithaka and Gunngari people of... More

    25 mins
  • PRESENTATION: Operation by Principle
    Natalie Evans

    Lisa Burgess

    25 mins
  • PRESENTATION: Student Led Cultural Safety Projects.

    Student Led Cultural Safety Projects – Lynn Arvanitakis, Vanessa Murdoch and Angela Thurbon

    Knox City Council Youth Services in Partnership with EACH Community Health Aboriginal Support Worker, supported four schools in Melbourne's Outer Eastern LGA of Knox (2 primary and 2 secondary schools) to explore cultural safety for Indigenous students within the schools using a Youth Participation and Youth Empowerment model. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students were supported to explore culture and to identify ways in which their school could better acknowledge and celebrate Indigenous culture within the school community.

    The program was identified through Victorian State Education Department funded School Focused Youth Service to support Indigenous students vulnerable to or at risk of disengaging from education. Students at each school worked over 12 months to identify significant projects within their school communities to build their sense of cultural pride and safety. Projects completed by the students included, painted murals, cultural gardens, a sports and cultural celebration day, a personalised Acknowledgement to Country video, traditional arts and cooking.

    The program was a true partnership between Local Government, Community Health and schools, with each partner contributing both staffing support and resources to the program and student led projects. The learnings for all partners have been significant and this presentation would be an overview of both the content of the program and a summary of the learnings and how these have been embedded into schools.

    Lynn Arvanitakis

    Lynn Arvanitakis, has worked in the community sector for the past 12 years, working in not... More

    Vanessa Murdoch

    Vanessa Murdoch is a proud Kullilli, Wakka Wakka, Gubbi Gubbi women from Queensland who has... More

    Angela Thurbon

    Angela Thurbon, is a Community Projects Worker at Knox City Council, Youth Services. She is a... More

    25 mins
  • PRESENTATION: Advantages of Whole School Allied Health

    Advantages of Whole School Allied Health - Lessons Learnt at St Edmund's College Wahroonga and St Gabriel's School Castle Hill - Cara Suen, Caitlin Hassell

    This session will explore the benefits and challenges of implementing a whole school approach to providing speech pathology and occupation therapy services within two special education schools. St Edmund's College Wahroonga (Years 7-12) and St Gabriel's School Castle Hill (Years K-10) provide high quality education for students with a range of disability.

    The allied health service delivery at both schools use the Response to Intervention (RtI) model which is evidence-based. The Allied Health team works collaboratively with the school communities to identify meaningful goals and provide creative and practical strategies that are embedded within school programs. In this session, we will outline our evolving approach, share lessons learnt and discuss future directions for Allied Health at each school.

    Delegates will leave with a better understanding of how this approach could be applied to their school setting to support functional life skills for the individuals they support. Delegates will also have an opportunity to ask questions related to their settings.

    Caitlin Hassell

    Caitlin is the Speech Pathologist at St Edmund's College and St Gabriel's School. Before coming... More

    Cara Suen

    Cara has been working in the disability sector as an Occupational Therapist for more than 10... More

    25 mins
  • PRESENTATION: Saving Face: Strategies to Avoid Alienating International Adoptees in the classroom

    Saving Face: Strategies to Avoid Alienating International Adoptees in the classroom - Christine Hill

    The presentation will include background research into the issues faced by international adoptees and situations which may enhance their discomfort with their identity in the classroom. Scenarios will be considered and the participants provided opportunities to consider minor adjustments to programs which could reduce barriers to learning for these young people.

    Christine Hill

    Christine Hill is the Executive Manager Educational Services for Carinity where she is... More

    25 mins
3:20 PM
  • AAFIE Photo Expo

    Screening of contributions to the AAFIE Photo Expo.

    See here for details of how young people from your school/program can submit a presentation for this inaugural AAFIE Photo Award and showcase your school/program. 

    10 mins
3:30 PM
  • Conference close
    30 mins