NZLA Presidents Report 2018-2019


President’s Report to the Annual Meeting of the New Zealand Literacy Association

8 June 2019


Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, katoa.

A very warm welcome to all of you attending this 2019 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 report as President of the New Zealand Literacy Association.

In July 2018 I travelled to Perth to the AATE (Australian Association for the Teaching of English)/ALEA (Australian Literacy Educators’ Association) National Conference.  I was warmly welcomed by ALEA President Beryl Exley, the Executive and the Conference Committee. I was invited to attend the ALEA Leadership Workshop as well as ALEA’s Annual Meeting. The Conference theme was The Art of English – Language, Literature, Literacy. There was a wonderful choice of quality plenary and keynote speakers as well as workshops and presentations.

Early in October, 2018 I chaired the IDOC (International Development of Oceania Committee) meeting in Auckland. Glenice Andrews also from NZLA attended as IDOC treasurer. ALEA’s President Beryl Exley and Chris Walsh ALEA’s Vice-president also attended. We were joined by Apolonia Tamata from Fiji and Folia Tohovaka from Niue.

In the September/October holidays I was privileged to attend Manawatu’s Literacy Landscapes conference. We were treated to a very full programme with fantastic keynote speakers, a great selection of workshops and an option to attend a workshop with a NZ author. We competed in a lit quiz with Wayne Mills and were entertained at ‘Bubbles, Bites, and Banter’.


On behalf of NZLA I extend very sincere thanks to Sarah McCord and her dedicated organising committee from the Manawatu 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.


At the Conference in Palmerston North I had the privilege of presenting New Zealand Literacy Association’s Citation of Merit to Trish Brooking of the Otago Literacy Association. The Citation of Merit is the highest award offered by the New Zealand Literacy Association and acknowledges and honours those members who provide outstanding service to the association at a local, national and international level.


At the conference we celebrated those councils who achieved Honour Council status. They were Auckland, Canterbury (Bronze), Hawke’s Bay (Gold), Manawatu (Bronze), Otago, Tai Tokerau (Silver) and Waikato. Congratulations to all Councils for gaining Honour Council status.


I would like to acknowledge the ongoing financial support NZLA receives from the Marie Clay Literacy Trust each year. Last year twelve Marie Clay Literacy Trust ‘Early Career’ teachers and six Experienced teachers from our Councils received either $1000 or $500 each from the Marie Clay Literacy Trust to attend the Manawatu Literacy Association’s Conference. The Trust also gave us $2,000 for the Dame Marie Clay address, which was given by Dr Rae Si’ilata.  Five conference awards of $1000 were also given to workshop presenters.

NZLA and Local Councils sponsored two IDOC Committee members to attend the Manawatu Literacy Association’s conference in Palmerston North. Apolonia Tamata from Fiji and Folia Tohovaka from Niue thoroughly enjoyed their experience and were inspired by the professional learning that you all made possible for them through your generosity.

Our ‘Books for Oceania’ project was again very successful, resulting in $7000 of quality children’s books being dispatched to ten schools in Samoa. A huge thank you to Rob Southam, and Scholastic NZ for their on-going support of this project. So far, a grand total of $106,550 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 42nd National Conference is being hosted by Canterbury Literacy Association and is being held at Rangi Ruru Girls’ School in Christchurch from Sunday 29 September to Wednesday 2 October. Canterbury Literacy Association’s theme is The Arts as a Bridge to Literacy and they have an amazing line up of keynote speakers. More information can be found on the NZLA website. If you haven’t registered yet, I would encourage you to do so.

Karen Hinge from Tai Tokerau Literacy Association and Kate Birch from Marlborough (TTLA) were awarded the two Marie Clay Literacy Trust travel scholarships for 2019. Karen is headed to the ISTE 2019 conference in Philadelphia and Kate to the Networks of Inquiry and Innovation Symposium in Vancouver. We had ten applicants for these awards and we are pleased that our members are keen to take up the opportunities that the Marie Clay Literacy Trust offer.


This year NZLA received two excellent applications for the NZLA Research Scholarship for 2019.  The scholarship was awarded to Moira Newton from Auckland Literacy Association. Moira’s research is titled “From Reference to Rhetoric: the Relationship between Children’s Metalinguistic Awareness and their Progress in Learning to Write”. We look forward to reading about Moira’s research in a future edition of Literacy Forum NZ.


The 2019 Regional Leadership Workshop was held in Feilding on the 30th March. Twenty people attended and the participant feedback was very positive. A huge thank you to Sarah McCord, President of Manawatu Literacy Association and Exec member for organising the venue and catering.  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 and special thanks to Scotty, Glenice and Sarah for facilitating the sessions. A big thank you to our past president Glenice Andrews who stepped in at the last minute when I was too unwell to attend. The 2020 Regional Leadership Workshop will be for the councils in the Upper North Island.

From the middle of 2018 NZLA has collaborated with 10 other subject associations to support the New Zealand Primary Schools Teachers’ Conference held in Wellington 14th -16th April 2019. Thanks to Sarah McCord for taking on the role of a committee member and organising literacy presenters and setting up our NZLA stand.

I would like to acknowledge a number of people 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.

Scotty Delemare has continued to do a fantastic job as IT Coordinator and continued to work on our website. A major focus for Scotty has been making our journal Literacy Forum NZ available to members digitally. Scotty continues to work with 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 have worked with you during the past year. I have really appreciated your on-going support.

I have been very grateful to have had the support and mentorship of Glenice Andrews as I have taken on this role of NZLA president. NZLA Exec has a special leadership structure that is truly supportive and aids transitions into key leadership roles.

A huge thank you to Jacqui and Tricia, who have so efficiently and capably carried out their jobs as secretary and treasurer over the past year. Tricia ends her job as treasurer tomorrow after seven years in this role. She has been the most amazing and efficient treasurer that anyone could want. Thank you so much.  I so appreciate all that you have done. I know you will be available to mentor our new treasurer for a few months and that offer is greatly appreciated.

Many thanks to Sarah who finishes her three-year spell as an exec member tomorrow but takes on the new role of president-elect and to Scotty for your valuable and worthwhile contributions to our Exec. A big welcome to the Exec Judith Woodham. I look forward to working with you all next year.

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.

Joy Hawke

NZLA President

June 2019

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