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Western Australian Institute for Educational Research

President's Report 2014

Sue Beltman

The end of 2014 marks the end of my third year as President of WAIER. I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the work done by all the committee in continuing to promote educational research in Western Australia through the activities of WAIER. It has been a busy and quite tumultuous year for those employed in the education sector, certainly in universities, so it has been inspiring to see that WAIER has been able to continue to grow, even with many committee members also busy in other area of their lives. I would just like to give a brief overview of our major achievements for 2014 and acknowledge each member's contribution.

We have been fortunate this year to welcome Rosanna Stout and Paula Mildenhall as new members of the committee. Some of you who were here in Phil Paioff and Ian Gaynor's times as presidents, will recall their focus on succession planning so it is great that every year we seem to welcome new members who are willing to participate in our organisation.

As President I have been delighted again to have had the support of Eva Dobozy as Vice President. Eva as usual has always been ready to support me and represent WAIER. Her contribution to the journal and web site are particularly appreciated.

This year, again I would like to thank Caroline Mansfield for her excellent work as secretary for the first part of the year, and a special thanks to Sonja Kuzich who expertly took over when Caroline undertook study leave. Both have been great to work with and as President it is always wonderful to know that for our meetings, agendas, minutes and correspondence will all be efficiently managed.

WAIER seems to be perhaps the only organisation I am involved with that achieves not only a balanced budget but also a useful profit. Into his second year as treasurer, Greg Hine has conducted himself in his usual professional manner, and we always have all our necessary documents available and up to date. So thank you Greg once again.

Thanks to Brad Gobby and with help from others for the ongoing development of our website. This is our public face and it is a pretty attractive one if I do say so! A special congratulations to Brad also for achieving the PTCWA Professional Service Award in 2014.

An ongoing key part of WAIER has always been the journal IIER. Clare McBeath and Roger Atkinson have continued their excellent work in ensuring its quality despite a number of recent changes and challenges. We are fortunate indeed that Clare and Roger continue to generously give their time and expertise to support WAIER and we are grateful for their wise counsel.

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 generosity and graciousness. Thanks again, Anne. Thanks to Jenni Parker again this year too for setting up sponsors for the Forum, and to Michelle Murphy and Anne for taking over and ensuring everything ran smoothly when Jenni was on leave.

Our Forum is also the occasion where we present our various awards and I would like to thank Rita Tognini again 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 the Early Career Award applications.

The other key event for WAIER is the Research Seminars. As I mentioned at the start, this year has been a challenging one for the education sector and attendance at the seminars has perhaps reflected this. Nevertheless Leanne and Michelle did a great job of organising these and ensuring our sponsors and speakers were well looked after.

I have not mentioned Angela Evangelinou-Yiannakis who has an important and responsible job as a school principal in a location that is always a long way from our meetings and events. Yet I know that every time an email goes out for information or asking for ideas, Angela is probably the first to thank people or to give suggestions. Being able to offer enthusiastic and positive support is a wonderful gift to bring to a committee. So thank you Angela.

We recently had some discussions at Curtin regarding assessment and how the whole is often more than the sum of its parts. It occurs to me that WAIER is like this. As I list the contributions of each team member, these don't really reflect the goodwill and camaraderie that I experience anyway at our meetings and events. Everyone contributes as they are able and does it with a smile. It really is a great team to be part of.

As to the future I seem to have mentioned in my last 2 president's reports that I would like to use some of our funds to support new researchers or to promote research in WA in some other way. I don't seem to have progressed with this so perhaps some more creative minds are needed to make this idea work. Anyway I know we all have a personal vision of what could happen with WAIER so as we move ahead I would like to thank you all for your time, energy and support for WAIER in 2014.

Thank you.

Dr Susan Beltman
November 2014

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