VPA Annual Conference

Our 2019 Conference was held at the Pullman Hotel on the 15 and 16 of August.

The Carranballac P–9 College Rock band opened the day, much to the delight of attendees. The Hon. James Merlino, Minister for Education, then opened the conference by discussing our shared purpose and how we can work together to create a better future.

Lee Watanabe Crockett was our first official speaker. Lee shared fascinating real-world case studies of future-focused learning, where learners were encouraged to consider issues that matter to them, as well as the tools and courage to deal with the problem. In Lee’s presentation we saw how learners are more engaged with their teaching when it is built around them and they are included in its design.

Elise Morris then took to the stage and talked about our neurological superpowers – our strengths! Elise showed us how it is possible to identify, navigate and develop our strengths and build up a talented multi-skilled team by understanding how strength collisions – where someone else’s strengths improve your own – can be calibrated in the workplace.

Wayne Schwass delivered a moving presentation, where he encouraged us to invest the same kind of time and resources in our mental health as we do with our physical health. By sharing his own mental health struggles, Wayne opened his own toolkit and showed us how we can better look after ourselves – and each other.

Our final speaker of the day was Sharon Bown, who suffering from severe injuries when the helicopter she was travelling in crashed in a violent storm. Sharon is proof that our resilience faces its greatest challenge in times of crisis – but as leaders, we can rise in extreme circumstances.

Our annual conference dinner was once again a hit. After the presentation of our 2019 Study Awards, our attendees quickly hit the dance floor!

Day two commenced with a fantastic choir performance from Burwood Heights Primary School. Fiona Robertson then led us through the neuroscience of belonging, and how as social animals this is our greatest need – ahead of food and shelter! Fiona broke down the differences between leadership and staff teams, and how the two can work harmoniously together.

APPA president, Malcolm Elliiot, gave a short presentation where he reminded us about the privilege it is to be a school leader. Our conference then closed with Malcom Dix, who gave us some useful strategies to communicate more clearly with actions, which are so much stronger than words, and showed us just how loudly our body language speaks.

Thank you to everyone who attended our 2019 Annual Conference! Check out pictures from the spectacular two days below.