DE News 2017 T4 W06

Published on: Author: Greg Alchin

“The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.” – Anon

DE Symposium 2018 planning update

The planning team for the 2018 DE Symposium 4C-able Futures – Collaboration, Creativity, Communication and Critical Thinking met last week for the first time. During the meeting they discussed some of the tasks that were necessary to undertake this year. We will continue to share information in this newsletter and through emails to principals, and DE Collegial Network coordinators.

Seeking ideas for Symposium Keynote Speakers

The planning for the 2018 DE Symposium has started! We are asking all staff throughout the Distance Education / Access community for ideas for Keynote speaker/s.

Have you seen someone dynamic, innovative, engaging or practical whose message would be invaluable in delivering information and insights based supporting the Symposium title and theme, “4C-able Futures –Collaboration, Creativity, Communication and Critical Thinking”.

If your answer is YES, then please fill out the form at by 23 November for the Planning Team to take your ideas into consideration.

2018 DE Symposium Logo Competition – 4C-able Futures Creativity Critical Thinking Communication Collaboration

Do you have design skills? Are you able to match concepts and designs? Do you have a desire to be creative? Then the DE Symposium planning team needs you!

We need a logo that encapsulates the title and theme of the symposium.

Get your creative drive going and see what ideas and logos you can develop.

The Symposium planning team looks forward to receiving your ideas.

Please send your logo designs to by Monday  4 December 2017.

Previous logos have been……

Meet the DE Symposium Planning Team

We have a dynamic, highly skilled team, with a representation across P-12, Access and Distance Education. It is a pleasure to introduce you to the planning team.

Kym Knight

Kym Knight

Kym Knight, Project Officer with RDE, is the coordinator of the 2018 symposium having had that role for each of the previous symposiums. Kym is looking forward to working with the planning team and is “confident the 2018 symposium will provide an outstanding professional learning experience for distance education and access program teachers. Each of the past DE Symposiums have been successful, thanks to the quality of the planning teams, the professionalism of the workshop presenters and commitment of the DE Network coordinators and Head Teachers Access Programs to organise network sessions.”

Sharon Hodgson, Acting Deputy Principal Southern Cross School of Distance Education, is the Assistant Coordinator for the 2018 DE Symposium planning team. Sharon was an inaugural member of the Visual Arts network that began in 2002, has coordinated numerous collegial networks and has been a planning member of the last four symposiums. Sharon “enjoys the collegiality of working with DE across the state and believes that strong connections help facilitate better outcomes for staff and students. Being a member of the planning team is an excellent professional experience and allows me to give back to the whole DE community.”

Crystal Stanford

Crystal Stanford

Crystal Stanford, is the Head Teacher of the Western Access Program and is also Head Teacher Secondary Studies and HSIE at Peak Hill CS. Having worked in the Access Program for many years Crystal has deep knowledge and experience in video conference lesson delivery. Crystal has attended a number of DE Symposiums and is “very pleased and excited to be on the planning team. Having been to a number of conferences I know they are a fantastic experience for educators to grow as professionals. I know I have learnt a great deal in attending them.”

Sueanne Matthews

Sueanne Matthews, Head Teacher Administration at Karabar DEC, has a teaching background in Creative Arts. Sueanne is heavily invested in improved outcomes for both students and teachers in distance education, has attended and presented workshops at previous symposiums and supports and drives collegiality across the state through her involvement in a number of collegial networks as a coordinator and network member. Sueanne brings to the team “an intense interest in contemporary education theory and pedagogy and has a futures focussed vision.”

Danielle Elvy

Danielle Elvy

Danielle Elvy, teacher of Indonesian at NSW School of Languages and is the delivering teacher for the “100 hours mandatory language teaching to rural and remote areas” trial. Danielle is also the editor of the school’s social media page and chair of the Promotions Committee. Danielle sees the symposium as an important event that all DE schools can benefit from. Danielle considers being a member of the planning as an exciting opportunity to “contribute to the planning and do my part for the education community whilst proudly representing my school.”


Jenny Ballhausen

Jenny Ballhausen

Jenny Ballhausen, Assistant Principal at Dubbo School of Distance Education, has been in a leadership role for many years guiding and supporting the teachers at Dubbo SODE to embrace a blended learning approach to engaging with their students. Jenny “has been a supporter of teams and collegiality, been an active member of the Primary DE Network and values the importance of working towards a common goal. Working in a P-12 school I have a whole school focus providing a broad range of understandings and balance to the planning team.”

We will continue to share information about the content, structure and timelines in this newsletter and through emails to principals, and DE Collegial Network coordinators.

Access Program News

2017 NBSA Graduation

Tamika Wood

Tamika Wood

It is always a proud moment for Northern Border Senior Access Program (NBSA) when we celebrate the graduation of our HSC students. This year saw ten students from Boggabilla, Collarenebri, Goodooga and Mungindi graduate at the Max Centre in Moree. The night was particularly successful with students receiving quite a number of awards and celebrating a successful two years with NBSA.
Graduating on the night was Tamika Wood from Goodooga Central School, Dylan McIntosh, Ronald Dennison, Shannon Hippi and Reanne McGrady from Boggabilla Central School, Jeffrey Flick, Serena Pluess and Liam Peters from Collarenebri Central School and Dana Jeffreys and Liam Hill from Mungindi Central School.

Liam Peters with Guest Speaker Buddy Hippi

Special guest for the night was Wayne ‘Buddy’ Hippi, a former Boggabilla man who spoke of his own inspiring journey and encouraged the students to believe in themselves, to develop a good support network and to follow their dreams. The highlight of the evening came when he pulled some teachers out of the crowd to take part in a traditional Aboriginal dance.

This year’s Graduation also saw the presentation of three prestigious awards. Reanne McGrady and Liam Peters were both awarded a certificate for recognition for their ‘Commitment to Senior Studies’ while Tamika Woods received an award for her ‘Significant Achievement in Vocational Education’ after successfully completing a Certificate III in Health Services Assistance.

“We are always so proud of our students on their Graduation night,” said NBSA Coordinator Shelly Riddell.

Principal Bob Lange with Dana Jeffreys

“It is a wonderful journey to watch as we see these students develop into successful young adults. “Graduation is a celebration of the end of their schooling but also the beginning of what we hope will be a successful and rewarding future.”

“Congratulations to the Class of 2017 and we wish them all the best.”

Southern Cross School of Distance Education newsletter

The November edition of the Southern Cross SODE newsletter has the following articles:

  • Principal’s message
  • Information about enrolments
  • Pathways to success through Distance Education
  • End of year presentations, and
  • Tertiary education opportunities available for students

Project Based Learning at Dubbo School of Distance Education

Kelly Pfieffer and Naomi White

Kelly Pfieffer and Naomi White

During week 5 (6 – 9 November), Dubbo School of Distance Education had the opportunity to host Project Based Learning (PBL) professional learning delivered by PBL guru, Thom Markham, founder and CEO of PBL Global. Thom is a psychologist, eduactor, author, speaker, internationally respected consultant to schools focussed on PB, 21st Century skills, innovation and high performance cultures. Thom is one of the founding fathers of PBL and shares his craft worldwide through his website PBL Global.

Teachers from around the NSW region were invited to attend a professional learning opportunity by spending a day with Thom at Dubbo Western Plains Zoo, to enhance their understanding of Project Based Learning.  Teachers left the zoo days with a PBL project that they developed throughout the day to take back to their school to refine and implement.

On Wednesday, they spent the day exclusively with Dubbo SODE staff working with them to hone their knowledge and skills in regards to PBL and the future of education for opur student’s. Thom posed the design challenge to DE staff around how to develop PBL in a DE setting.

Thom has authored two best selling books on project-based learning; the Buck Institute for Education’s Handbook on Project Based Learning and the Project Based Learning Design and Coaching Guide and Expert tools for Innovation and Inquiry for K-12 Educators. His third book, Redefining Smart: Awakening Students’ Power to Imaging their World examines the attitudes and beliefs that need to change for inquiry-based education to succeed.

Thom also has 2 NESA accredited online courses for teachers to develop their skills and understanding in regards to PBL.

Kelly Pfieffer, Relieving Head Teacher, Teaching and Learning at Dubbo SODE, did a fabulous job in initiating and coordinating this wonderful professional learning opportunity. Kelly enjoyed working with Thom to support colleagues within the school and across the region. “Thanks Debbie Murray and the staff at Dubbo SODE for supporting this awesome opportunity.” 

DE Network News

New DE Collegial Network – LMS (Learning Management Systems)

With three distance education schools now using Canvas as a learning management system and teachers from the schools meeting informally together at monthly Canvas meetings and contacting each other for support, it seems timely to establish a network to facilitate more formal connections.

The LMS network will provide schools and teachers using this platform to share resources and discuss their issues, successes and innovations. There is also a need to facilitate the sharing of resources created, including teacher created video content, to be able to readily import into Canvas as well as Moodle.

Jason Ferns, new network coordinator, looks forward to working with the members of this new network and welcomes new members. If you would like to join this new network or discover more about it please contact network coordinator Jason Ferns at Southern Cross School of Distance Education on 02 6681 0300.


Meet DE Collegial Network coordinator – HALT

Sueanne Matthews

Sueanne Matthews is the coordinator of the newly established HALT (Highly Accomplished Lead Teacher) network. Sueanne and colleagues across the DE schools saw a need for a network to support teachers in their pursuit of this accreditation. As Sueanne said, “There is evidence of interest in Accreditation at Higher Levels from experienced teachers across the distance education schools.”

The Distance Education HALT (Highly Accomplished Lead Teacher) network will provide context specific support in demonstrating achievement of standards through evidence annotation.

The network will develop capacity building and targetted support for teacher applicants seeking accreditation at Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher.

The network will achieve these aims through:

  • 4 annual VC meetings
  • one annual mini conference
  • online forum support, and
  • targetted professional learning.

Following appointment as a Highly Accomplished teacher as part of the National Partnerships Centre for Excellence Program at Temora High School, Sueanne attained accreditation at LEAD in August 2013.

Sueanne has been an advocate of accreditation at higher levels and has established the Queanbeyan HA/LT network with co-convenor Eloise Dews (Queanbeyan PS DE)  to support teachers.

Sueanne is a Visual Arts teacher, and is currently HT Administration (Single Course Curriculum provision enrolment officer) at Karabar HS and Distance Education Centre in Queanbeyan.

Meet the DE Collegial Wellbeing Network Coordinator

Rachel Angus

Rachel Angus

Rachel Angus is the network coordinator for the DE Wellbeing Network. Rachel has worked at Sydney Distance Education High School since 2011 as a Learning and Support Teacher. In 2015, she took on the role as Head Teacher Welfare for Year 10 and in 2016 moved across from Learning and Support Teaching, into the CAPA department teaching Visual Arts, which she says is a wonderful combination with Wellbeing.

Prior to arriving at SDEHS she had an amazing teaching career, working in many different facets and roles, including working in the Catholic Education system to working in London at Linden Lodge School for the Blind and then Visual Arts teaching at The Ellen Wilkinson School for Girls. She has also relieved as an Itinerant Support Teacher Integration and HSLO with Educational Services in Sydney. She says she is very lucky to have two teaching certificates.

Rachel’s passion is student wellbeing and working with students, parents, teaching staff and external agencies to find the best educational and wellbeing outcomes for our most at risk students. She says it is “a challenging role, ever changing but I honestly love what I do and hope by creating the network we can all collaborate and share our ideas and inspiration to support our most in need students.”

DoE Curriculum News

HSIE Statewide Staff meeting

It’s hard to believe! The final statewide staff meeting for 2017 is scheduled for Monday 13 November 2017, commencing at 4:00pm

The log on link is  Agenda can be down down loaded.

Remember that these meetings are “point in time” and no recordings will be done.


Please contact Jennifer Curtis, HSIE Advisor 7-12 Secondary Curriculum, Learning and Teaching Directorate.


T: 02 9244 5463

Twitter iconTwitterspheric professional learning

Twitter is a quick and easy tool for participating in and/ or building a Professional Learning Network. To learn more about using twitter for professional learning, download the The Global Digital Citizen Foundation’s Twitter-Tastic Teacher’s Guide.  Below are some of Twitter feeds we hope you find worthwhile!  Why not tweet us about what other networks you would like us to highlight!

International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL)

Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership

International Society for Technology in Education


Universal design for Learning

Common Sense Education


Don’t miss out (or be delayed) in receiving the latest news. Just enter your email address and click on the subscribe button on the front of  our site. Our newsletter is spam free email and you can opt out any time.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email