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2016-17 Presidents Report

Presented at AGM 26 August 2017

The past twelve months for Adolescent Success has seen several initiatives and activities being undertaken that have led to new connections being developed, with existing partnerships reinforced and strengthened.


Executive Committees come and go, and with the support of the current Adolescent Success Committee, we have undertaken a number of important activities to ensure that we have a clear direction into the future.  However, An Association cannot survive without members, and as such it is important that we are able to meet their needs. AS such, this year has been one of consolidation and focus on events and activities that can bring our members together.

The Development of our new Strategic plan - 2017-2020 occurred earlier this year to establish clear direction for the next three years. Our foci continue to be on:

1          Adolescent Success seeks to be known as a leader

2          Adolescent Success striving to develop a dynamic product

3          Adolescent Success having an ever-increasing active membership base.

4          Adolescent Success being well-managed by a dedicated committee

5          Adolescent Success creating long-term financial sustainability

Using these overarching areas, we identified specific goals to create our Operational plan for the twelve months 2017-2018. This has allowed us to streamline our plans, ensuring that we are undertaking specific objectives in a clear and coordinated process.

The redevelopment of our website was one such plan. Our executive officer Angela White has undertaken a substantial amount work to update our website this year, which has meant a considerable financial saving for the association. Following our Conference, there are plans for further redevelopment to occur in September 2017.

Another key operational goal this year is around research in the middle years.  Our 2017 Conference has several streams, with a research symposium integral to strengthening and leading the way with this research. Katherine Main from Griffith University, who has been on our editorial committee for the referred section of our journal for many years has been seconded to our management committee for 12 months to work with us to strengthen this research component.  The conference has attracted researchers from around the country, and is expected to be the catalyst for continued and valuable research in the middle years into the future.

The need to maintain our journal, and to raise its profile is important for Adolescent Success. Whilst we showcase school programs and teachers work throughout the country - and this will continue to be an integral component of the journal - it is our aim also to increase the number of and value of refereed articles, hence [the] research that is occurring in middle years. This continues to be an important and necessary focus for educators around the world, and it is hoped that we can raise the profile of our journal by garnering more relevant and necessary research and evidence from a wider university base in Australia, and overseas.

During this past six months, the management committee has spent time re-examining and redeveloping our Position Paper.  This initial document has been launched at our Conference this year and will be available through our website soon.  This important resource has been revamped to capture the essence of this century and the needs of young adolescents and educators today. It will be a useful tool for use in schools throughout our country.

The Annual Awards

Our annual awards continue to be an important feature for our association. Last year’s awards ceremony was held in October 2016 at the Brisbane Convention Centre.

We received several nominations in each category last year, and we congratulated and presented awards to the following schools and educators:

The Community Engagement Award to Norwest Christian College in NSW

Middle Years Transitions Program to Sarah Redfern High School in NSW

Innovative Use of Space to Nhulunbuy HS in NT

Educator of the year to Des Hylton – St Paul’s School

This year, we have continued to offer these awards, with the inclusion of a STEM award to celebrate our Conference.

These award winners were congratulated and presented their prizes at our Conference cocktail event.  The recipients were:

STEAM Award to Canterbury College

Educator of the Year to Rhiannan Gimpel – John Paul College

Middle Years Transitions pPogram to West Moreton College

Community Engagement to Methodist Ladies College - WA

Innovative use of space to Riverside Christian College – Maryborough

We congratulate each of these schools and individuals for their dedication to the middle years.

Our executive officer attended The NZAIMS Conference Whakatane  in October 2016. We again offered our Adolescent Success Scholarship to attend this conference last year, with  Simon Wagg from Trinity Christian College in ACT being the recipient for 2016.   We continue to promote the NZAIMS conference and the connections we have with their association.  Angela also attended one of their meetings this year, reinforcing our Memorandum of Understanding with them.

We continue our connection and collaboration with our Annual Partners: Furnware, Queensland Edventures and Latitude Travel Group.  As an association, these partners are integral to our being a continuing entity, and we encourage our members to engage with these organisations to improve the opportunities that can be offered to themselves and their students.  These partners provide valuable services and are an asset to our association.

In October 2016, one of management committee members, Andrew Landroth stepped down from his position. On behalf of the Association, I wish to thank Andrew for the time he offered to us in his position; It is greatly appreciated. His resignation led us to seek interest from the membership as his replacement.  We received a high volume of nominations for this one position, and as such, it was decided to appoint two general members to our committee for the one year period. We welcomed Gabrielle Baker from St Peters School, Indooroopilly, and Howard Macpherson from Pembroke School in Adelaide to our management committee at this time.

Additionally, Sheridan Fisher from AIS Singapore nominated and has played a minor role without attending meetings. She has since been seconded to be our Regional coordinator for SE Asia for the coming twelve months. We welcome her in this new role and look forward to strengthening our connections throughout the SE Asia region.

Jodie Davey from Townsville was a distant committee member and we thank her for her time in that role.

There have been a variety of Association events this year and I wish to make mention of these. 

Teach meets were hosted in February and March of this year proving very successful and providing a platform for educators to collaborate and share practice. We hope to re-establish these in 2018.

The Adolescent Success Twitter chats continue to draw a variety of interested parties, with numbers maintaining throughout the year.  The bank of relevant information, programs, resources and knowledge that is shared through this forum is invaluable.  Our twitter followers has recently reached 2000, and I thank Adam Sommes our Community Connections member for maintaining our profile on Twitter. We will host Storifies and other resources on our website following its redevelopment.

Our Facebook page is a very successful platform, one that we encourage our members to share with their Facebook connections to broaden our reach. We will focus on increasing our presence on Instagram during the coming years.

ENewsletters have been maintained for most of 2017, and we are looking to assign its production to one of our committee members during the coming two-year tenure.

Of all events, The International Conference has been the key event for 2017, with conference profits allowing us to continue to employ our Executive Officer – Angela White, without whom, we would not be able to operate at such a high level.

With the aim of consolidating our financial position, Angela has been the conference organiser this year.  No events’ management company has been employed.  It has been an enormous undertaking, but the expertise and connections that Angela has, have meant that this conference has continued to draw a large audience of delegates. The input from the committee and other interested parties has meant that we have been able to coordinate a high-quality event, incorporating a Student Conference, Teacher and Leader Conference, as well as a Research Symposium in one event.  Our Annual partners have continued to support us in this venture, and the connections we now have with QUT and Griffith University, amongst others, will allow us to continue to offer relevant and inspiring events and conferences into the future. 

Angela secured, for Adolescent Success, an Engaging Science Grant through the Department of Information… and Advance Queensland of $10000 for the Student Strand of our STEAM conference.

Under the guidance of our Executive Officer, the management committee has plans underway for the following events and activities in 2018:

  • ·      A series of Middle Years’ workshops will be rolled out around Australia (and possibly NZ)
  • ·      A Finland Study Tour to be organised and managed by our annual partner - Latitude Group Travel
  • ·      With the secondment of a member in Singapore,  probable event/s in Singapore to work with SE Asia educators
  • ·      Study tours in South Australia and NT for Leader Members in particular
  • ·      An event in Western Australia is in the pipeline in coordination with our Journal Editor Anne Coffee
  • ·      The NZAIMS Conference in NZ in 2018.

It is only with the dedication of our volunteers who sit on the management committee that we are able to offer the types of events we do; and it is through the passion and expertise of each of these educators that Adolescent Success can grow and provide services for middle years educators. 

Finally, I would like to formally acknowledge our outgoing committee members Matt Atkinson our current Vice President and Mary Campenalla, our current Treasurer, who have decided to step down.  On behalf of the Association, I wish to thank them both for their commitment and dedication to the middle years.  They have both had significant impact within the committee and their expertise and passion has been valued.  I thank both personally for their professionalism and for their friendship throughout the past years.  The Association wishes Matt and Mary all the very best as they continue to be outstanding educators of young adolescents.

Debra Evans

President – Adolescent Success

Adolescent Success Inc. (formerly MYSA Middle Years of Schooling Association) 

Adolescent Success,  P.O. Box 2175 Toowong 4066, QLD, Australia

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