Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.
A very warm welcome to all of you attending this 2017 Annual Meeting of the New Zealand Literacy Association. If this is the first time that you have been to our Annual Meeting, an especially warm welcome to you. This meeting gives you the opportunity to learn more about the association, and to also take part or be an observer in the decision making and discussions that take place over the next two days. It gives me great pleasure to present my first annual report since becoming President in June last year.
My first official duty as President was to attend an IDOC (International Development of Oceania Committee) meeting in Auckland the weekend after Annual Meeting. This very informative meeting was chaired by Beryl Exley from Australia. I would like to acknowledge the huge amount of work Wendy Morgan did for this meeting – not only was she the minute secretary and treasurer but she also organised the flights for the Pacific Island teachers, the accommodation and catering for the weekend. Thank you Wendy – your organisation was superb.
In July, I travelled to Adelaide to the AATE (Australian Association for the Teaching of English)/ALEA (Australian Literacy Educators’ Association) National Conference. I was warmly welcomed by ALEA President Grant Webb, the Executive and the Conference Committee. I was invited to attend the ALEA Leadership Workshop as well as ALEA’s Annual Meeting. I was also invited to take part in the President’s Panel where we were asked to respond to a variety of questions. I was ALEA’s guest at a Governor’s reception held at Government House in Adelaide. The Conference theme Weaving worlds with words and wonder…had three themes – Narrative, Creativity and Language and Inquiry. There was a wonderful choice of quality plenary and keynote speakers as well as workshops and presentations.
In September we gathered at Waitangi in the beautiful Bay of Islands for NZLA’s 39th National Conference to “Navigate the Literaseas”. We were treated to a very full programme with fantastic keynote speakers, an amazing selection of quality workshops and an option to attend a pre-conference workshop, an official welcome on the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, an Author’s Evening in Russell, a cruise around the picturesque Bay of Islands and a visit to Waitangi Treaty Grounds and the new Museum of Waitangi.
On behalf of NZLA I extend very sincere thanks to co-convenors Rex Morris and Scotty Delemare, and their dedicated organising committee from the Tai Tokerau Literacy Association, who worked so hard to bring together the exciting and varied programme. Their attention to detail and their warm hospitality made it a truly fantastic conference.
Once again we were privileged to have the ILA President, William Teale from Chicago, Illinois in attendance. It is always a pleasure to have the ILA President attend our conferences and their attendance helps to personalise the international organisation with which we are affiliated. ILA Presidents are only attending NZLA conferences every second year now. On the alternate years they will go to the AATE/ALEA National Conference in Australia.
This year we also had the privilege of having Grant Webb, President of ALEA at our conference. It was nice to be able to return the hospitality and friendship shown to myself and previous Presidents when we attend their conferences in Australia.
During the opening ceremony at Waitangi we celebrated those councils who achieved Honour Council status. They were Auckland, Canterbury, Hawke’s Bay, Manawatu, Otago, Tai Tokerau and Waikato. Otago also received a Silver Award and Tai Tokerau received a Bronze Award. Congratulations to all Councils for gaining Honour Council status.
Ten Marie Clay Literacy Trust ‘Early Career’ teachers and five Experienced teachers from our Councils received $1000 each from the Marie Clay Literacy Trust to attend the National Conference. The Trust also gave us $5,000 to fund five workshop presenters (who had papers accepted) to attend the NZLA National Conference at Waitangi.
NZLA and Local Councils sponsored two teachers from Fiji to attend the Conference at Waitangi. Adi Mere Cula and Amelia Samo thoroughly enjoyed their experience and were inspired by the professional learning that you all made possible for them through your generosity. A special thanks to our NZLA treasurer Tricia Kenyon who makes all the arrangements for the Pacific Island teachers and then does an amazing job of looking after them at the conferences.
Our ‘Books for Oceania’ project was again very successful, resulting in $12,000 of quality children’s books being dispatched to six schools in Fiji. Many thanks to Sally Morch for manning the Scholastic stand at conference. A huge thank you also goes to Rob Southam, and Scholastic NZ for their on-going support of this project. So far, a grand total of $88,000 worth of books have been sent to schools in the Pacific Islands. This is a wonderful project that is making a difference. We are so appreciative of this on-going partnership with Scholastic NZ. A huge thank you also goes to all conference attendees and councils for their generosity in purchasing books.
This year NZLA’s 40th National Conference takes on a different look as Waikato Literacy Association have chosen to organise a Conference Roadshow. This exciting one day event is being held in three locations – Hamilton – 30th September, Wellington – 2nd October and Christchurch – 4th October. More information can be found on their Facebook page “The POWer of Words”. If you haven’t registered yet, I would encourage you to do so.
Judy Aitken from the Manawatu Literacy Association and Heather McQuinn from the Canterbury Literacy Association were awarded the two Marie Clay Literacy Trust travel scholarships for 2017. Judy will travel to the Literacy Research Conference in Tampa Florida and Heather is attending the Australia Literacy Educator’s Conference in Hobart, Tasmania. We had six applications for this year’s travel awards and all six applicants were worthy of winning the awards. We are pleased that our members are keen to take up the opportunities that the Marie Clay Literacy Trust offer.
Unfortunately, we did not have any applications for the NZLA Research Grant. This is a something we would like Councils to promote amongst their members.
The 2017 Regional Leadership Workshop was held in Auckland on the 1st April. 23 people attended and the participant feedback was very positive. A huge thank you to Bronwyn Hayward, President of Auckland Literacy Association and her helpers for organising the excellent venue and catering. Joy, Kath and I shared the facilitation of various sessions and Scotty took a session on the new website. The feedback we received highlighted that it was great to have the time to plan strategically with committee members, share issues and ideas, and network with other Council members. Thank you to all who made it such a worthwhile day. The 2018 Regional Leadership Workshop will be for the councils in the South Island.
I would like to acknowledge and give our warm congratulations to Heather Bell who is being inducted into the Reading Hall of Fame. This is a huge honour because the criteria for membership is that when nominated, members must have been actively involved in work in literacy for a minimum of at least twenty five years. Their reputation is to be widely known and respected by people in the profession. Their contributions have to be within the following: authorship of publications on literacy, including reports of significant research; performance in positions of responsibility in the field of literacy; and preparation of leaders in the literacy field through his/her teaching.
New members are nominated each year, and can only be nominated by members of the Reading Hall of Fame. At the annual meeting of the membership the number of new inductees for the following year is determined. A call for nominations is sent out, and via a process of voting by members, new members are inducted at the following annual meeting.
Heather has worked tirelessly for Auckland Literacy Association, NZLA and ILA. This award acknowledges Heather’s many, many years of work and her lifetime commitment to promoting literacy. Congratulations Heather.
Congratulations to Joy Hawke who becomes Incoming President Elect at the end of this meeting, and to Scotty Delemare who has been elected as the new Executive member for the next three years. Congratulations to you both. You both bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to these roles.
There is a number of people who I would like to acknowledge for their continuing support of NZLA and for the work they do.
I would like to thank Mal Thompson for her outstanding efforts in maintaining the high quality of our journal ‘Literacy Forum NZ’ and all the hard work she does as Editor. Our thanks also to Waiariki, Southland and Tai Tokerau Literacy Associations for providing and organising material for ‘Literacy Forum NZ’ during the past year.
Scotty Delemare has done a fantastic job as IT Coordinator. Our new website has been launched and Scotty has worked so hard to make this happen. He has also been working with the Waikato Conference Committee and Local Councils to help them upload information to their Council’s pages. Thank you Scotty for all the time and work you have put into our website.
To the Executive – you are an amazing group of people and I feel very honoured to be working with you. I have really appreciated your support throughout the year.
Firstly to Jane Taylor who ends her time on Executive at the end of this meeting – a huge thank you for all you’ve done during your time on NZLA. I have so enjoyed working alongside you. I have valued your knowledge, expertise, commitment and leadership, and I thank you for being such a great mentor and role model.
A huge thank you to Kath and Tricia, who have so efficiently and capably carried out their jobs as secretary and treasurer over the last 12 months. They have gone over and beyond for me and the Association. Thank you so much. I so appreciate all that you have done.
To Joy and Sarah, a huge thank you to you both for your valuable and worthwhile contributions over the last 12 months. I look forward to working with you both again.
Last, but not least, a huge thanks to all of you here and to your local committees. The people who work within local councils and give so freely of their time are the valued foundation of our association. It is great to be able to meet so many of you at our conferences, leadership workshops and here at Annual Meeting. You can be so proud of the work you do which is inspiring and appreciated by so many educators.
We have a great subject association of which we can be very proud. We are a strong network of councils, all being passionate about literacy, and spreading new ideas and pedagogy to our fellow teachers, parents and children. NZLA and local councils play a crucial role in providing professional learning with a literacy focus in our communities. In spite of the challenges we meet and the pressures we face in our professional lives, we need to continue to fulfil this role.
He kete korero
Nau te rourou
Naku te rourou
Ka ora ai tatou
With your basket of knowledge and my basket of knowledge all will benefit.
If you would like to download this, click here please. President’s Report 2017