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Western Australian Institute for Educational Research

President's Report 2013

Sue Beltman

In this 2013 report as President of WAIER, I would like to acknowledge the work done by all the committee in continuing to promote educational research in Western Australia through the activities of WAIER. Reports on some individual activities will be provided in more detail by others during this meeting but I will give a brief overview of our major activities for 2013 and I hope acknowledge each members contribution. At the end of 2012 AGM we farewelled Judy MacCallum and Christine Glass - two members who had contributed a great deal over the years. We have been, however, very fortunate this year to welcome Michelle Murphy as a new member of the committee.

As President I have been fortunate again to have had the support of Eva Dobozy as Vice President. Eva has always been ready to support me and up for a conversation about various issues or processes. Particular thanks for following up on the next phase regarding the journal and liaising with the other IERs and for your contribution to the new web site.

Moving on to Caroline Mansfield, I cannot speak highly enough of the work she puts in as secretary. We can confidently come to a meeting knowing what happened before and having an agenda to guide the current meeting. Correspondence is dealt with quietly and efficiently and she is always ready to help with many other bits and pieces. As you know Caroline was a deserving winner of the 2013 PTCWA Professional Service award for her contribution to WAIER.

No organisation can function well without a balanced budget and preferably with a profit. This year our Treasurer Greg Hine took over this challenging role and has superbly organised regular reports and the annual audit. Greg has also worked with Brad with regard to the Forum and online membership payments.

As you are all aware one of the biggest initiatives this year has been the launching of our new web site. Under the leadership of Brad Gobby and with help from Eva, Jenni and others providing feedback and creating content, it has been the biggest focus of our funding this year. We were proud to launch the new web site at our Forum and look forward to continuing to see the development of our online presence, so ably begun through the initiative of Roger Atkinson all those years ago.

An ongoing key part of WAIER has always been the journal IIER. Clare McBeath and Roger have continued their excellent work in not just keeping the journal going but working to continually raise its quality. A special thanks to Clare as the journal has presented some challenges over the past 2 years. This year with the resignation of the editor, Clare has been a constant support and guardian of the journal - always willing to do extra.

You have heard the expression "eyes on the street" - and it occurs to me that Clare and Roger this year have been the our "legs on the street" as they have been willing to get out and about for us - the forum program development and printing of this and bookmarks and so on. Roger also provided the winning suggestion for the Forum theme this year! It was our great pleasure to award Clare and Roger life membership of WAIER at the Forum for their consistent, valuable contributions.

The big event for WAIER each year is the Annual Research Forum and once again I must acknowledge the work of everyone for the success of this, but particularly the Forum Coordinator Anne Coffey. Anne, as in previous years has done a wonderful job of organising a large event and band of helpers with minimum fuss and a ready smile. Thanks again, Anne.

I wanted to thank everyone individually in this report but it was hard to know where to put Jenni! In the web site development, buying drinks for the Forum, or all those other jobs she happily volunteers for? In particular though I would like to acknowledge the organising of all the sponsors for the Forum as this not only makes the event more interesting and exciting for participants, it also saves us money! So thanks Jenni.

Our Forum is also the stage where we present our various awards and I would like to thank Rita Tognini for her work in managing all the preparation that goes into this important aspect of WAIER. Thanks too to Anne and Leanne Fried for assessing all the Early Career Award applications.

Leanne this year also took over the organisation of the Research Seminars. Having done this myself for a while I know it has its challenges but once again we have been treated to a variety of topics and speakers in a variety of locations. We even have one more to look forward to this year so thanks Leanne as this is also an important way of recruiting new members to our committee. In saying that, thanks to Michelle Murphy in her first year for helping Leanne with seminars and for running the raffle at the Forum.

I love being part of WAIER as it is a group where everyone contributes and supports each other. Every so often some of us have had times when we have had to pull back a bit because of work or family commitments and I would like to thank Angela Evangelinou-Yiannakis and Sonja Kuzich who have both had to manage other significant commitments this year. I personally really appreciate that you have continued to be present whenever possible and contribute and also that others are always willing to step up so WAIER can continue.

I look forward to the continuing development of our web site features and the ongoing work we do to improve the Journal, Forum and Seminars. Perhaps we can think of other initiatives for 2014. I would like to think about succession planning a bit with everyone actually documenting what they do in their roles. We have done some work towards this but it would be really helpful I think to future committee members. Last year at the AGM I mentioned perhaps using some of our funds to support new researchers or to promote research in WA in some other way. We have expanded the web site but there may be something else could investigate. However we move ahead I would like to thank you all for your time, energy and support for WAIER in 2013.

Thank you.

Dr Susan Beltman
November 2013

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