DE News 2018 T2 W04

Published on: Author: martindickens

“You cannot always wait for the perfect time. Sometimes you must dare to jump.” – Anon

DE Symposium Details

Date: Thursday 9 and Friday 10 August

Venue: Rydges World Square, Sydney

Audience: Distance Education and Access Program Schools – Executive and teachers P-12

Program Outline: 

  • Two keynotes sessions
    Kelly-Ann Denton, Chief Visual Officer; Academic National Arts Arts School Professor Gerard Goggin, Acting Head of School, Australian Research Council Future and Fellow
    Professor of Media and Communications
  • Twenty four workshops (combination of 30 minute, 60 minute and 90 minutes)
  • Fifteen Network Sessions

A program, detailing the sessions, will be provided to principals within the next few weeks for them to distribute to staff.

Watch this space

More information and details will be provided as they become available, such as:

  • Registration process
  • Support from schools for a video showcasing an initiative

Introducing new DE Symposium Planning Team members



Kelly Pfeiffer

Kelly Pfeiffer

Kelly is an experienced teacher of PDHPE and has been working at Dubbo SODE for a number of years. Over that time she has led professional learning activities for Dubbo SODE staff and the community of schools across the Central West. In 2017 Kelly coordinated and led a Project Learning Based Initiative leading to whole school implementation of PBL projects and units.

Kelly’s experience and expertise in organising professional learning activities, her extensive professional networks and strong focus on working with teams will bring great value to the team.


Hedda Whitfield

Hedda Whitfield

Hedda is an experienced English teacher at Southern Cross SODE and has a passion in GATS education, initiating a GATS DE Collegial Network four years ago. Hedda has extensive experience in symposium presentations and hosting speakers, presenting workshops and organising network sessions.

Hedda’s understanding of curriculum, Accreditation Standards and NESA processes, along with her experience as a DE Collegial GATS network Coordinator and Network member will enhance the work of the planning team

Please contact any member of the planning team for more information.

  • Kym Knight – DE Symposium Planning Coordinator, RDE State Office, 02 6334 8074
  • Sharon Hodgson – DE Symposium Planning Coordinator, Southern Cross SODE, 66810300
  • Jenny Ballhausen – Dubbo SODE, 02 5804 7000
  • Daniel Elvy – NSW School of Languages, 02 9381 4800
  • Sueanne Matthews – KDEC, 02 6210 5200
  • Crystal Stanford – Peak Hill Central School, 02 6869 1304
  • Martin Dickens – RDE State Office, 02 6334 8184
  • Hedda Whifield, Southern Cross School of Distance Education, 02 6681 0300
  • Kelly Pfieffer, Dubbo School of Distance Education, 02 5804 7000

DE School News


Sydney DEHS Newsletter

Items in the May version of the Sydney DEHS newsletter are:

  • Volunteer Firefighter
  • Harmony Day
  • Wellbeing Team Zoo Excursion
  • Year 11 Design & Technology Excursion
  • Miranda Hub Excursion
  • IST Study Day
  • Student Congratulations
  • Student Leadership Group Meeting
  • The SDEHS Choir Project, and
  • Health Myth Busters

Dubbo SODE Student Finalist at 2018 Young Achiever Awards

Congratulations to William Hazzard, Year 11 student at Dubbo SODE who was a finalist for the Arts and Fashion Award at the 2018 Young Achiever Awards, held in Sydney on Friday 21 April. Read about Will’s magnificent achievement at


DESU Excursion to Featherdale Wildlife Park

On Friday 4 May some of the DESU students, tutors and family attended an excursion to Featherdale Wildlife Park. This was a fantastic opportunity for students, tutors and families from the Western Sydney area to meet in person.

Students Usman, Alicia, Isabella, May and Tommy were welcomed by teachers Dawn, Rama, Mel and Doug.

The wildlife centre is home to an array of Australian animals including koalas, kangaroos, crocodiles and dingoes. Students were able to feed some of the animals as they explored the park and all of its inhabitants.

During a lesson, prepared by staff at the wildlife centre, students had interactive encounters with lizards, snakes, birds and even a koala!


Throughout the lesson, students had time to get up close to touch the different animals, providing them with unforgettable sensory and learning experiences. The member of staff running the lesson delivered an interactive, informative and fun lesson for all.

It was an amazing day. DESU look forward to organising future excursions in other areas, to provide other DESU students the opportunity to come together.


DE Collegial Networks

English DE Collegial Network News

Members of the network have been working hard since early last year on the writing of Stage Six English Units.

Being a professional and collaborative group they actively seek out funding and resourcing opportunities. With this attitude in mind, they met for an emergency video conference meeting during week 3 to discuss applying for a couple of DoE Stage 6 English writing grants. If successful the grants will boost their ability to fund further writing days for the new Stage 6 11/12 English Syllabus.

We wish the network all the best with their applications.

For more information, please contact Leanne Wynne, English DE Collegial Network coordinator, 02 5804 7000.

Twitterspheric 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


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