ETAWA 2014 State Conference


Trinity College, East Perth

Saturday May 24

ETAWA invites you to join us for 2014’s premier professional learning and networking event: State Conference 2014

Speakers include… 


Isobelle Carmody

Author of Obernewtyn Chronicles and The Red Queen


Dianne Wolfer

WA Teacher, writer and illustrator


Dr. Helen Street

Applied Social Psychologist and Educator, Chair of Positive Schools

Available Packages:

Early bird registration Normal registration
ETAWA Members $200 $260
Student members $100 $150
Presenters $100 $200
Non-members $300 $350
Student non-members $150 $200

Download Registration Form
     Online Registration

Conference delegates are asked to arrive at the venue via Nelson Crescent. There will be parking available at the school at the carpark adjacent to the school on Nelson Crescent. The Nelson Crescent carpark is the closest point to the conference venue. There will be some road closures in the area on the day of the conference, and there will also be weekend sports activities on the other side of campus. Approaching from Nelson Crescent (as if you were going to the WACA or Gloucester Park) will avoid traffic congestion in the area.

The conference will take place within the Trinity College Cultural Centre, on the Nelson Crs side of the campus.

Registration will be set up in the lobby to this building, near the lifts, from 8.00am.

Download Map

Please use the following link to submit conference feedback online:

Conference Program:

Saturday – 24 May 2014

Session Presenters
Acknowledgement of Country: 8.45am – 9.00amConference Opening: 9.00 – 9.10am Isaiah Morich  – Year 12, Trinity CollegeWendy Cody – ETAWA President
Keynote Presentation: 9.10am – 10.30am

The Journeywoman - Isobelle Carmody: Robert Braham Auditorium, First Floor

Isobelle believes writing at its deepest is a journey a writer makes into themselves, and the deeper that journey, the more likely it is that the resulting story will find echoes and resonances in the minds and hearts of readers. She will talk about how she makes use of the journeys she has made – both those of the spirit and the heart and her actual journeys- in various stories she has written. The talk will touch on the Little Fur and Land of the Lost books, The Gathering and the Obernewtyn series and on the short stories in the Metro Winds collection.

Concurrent Sessions 1: 11.00am – 12.00pm

Exploring the General Capabilities of Creative and Critical Thinking and Ethical Understandings through Literature - Warren Grellier and Melanie Hindley: Vincent Basile Room, First Floor

Why do teachers ask students questions about literary texts that they already know the answers to?  How do we help students to become more critical readers and ask their own questions about the literary texts that they read?Adult readers come to book clubs not knowing all the answers and depend on each other to construct the meanings they make. They ask important questions to connect with the text and also with their lives. This was the approach used to explore the General Capabilities of Critical and Creative and Ethical Understandings in the Australian Curriculum through an action learning project involving representatives from 11 AISWA schools, both metropolitan and regional. The action research was conducted in 2013, and ‘stories’ from the action research appear in AISWA’s 2014 publication The Places You Could Go.This workshop will focus on:

  • the aims and background to the project
  • the ways in which one teacher of Year 7 developed critical questioning and ethical understandings through literature in her classroom
  • the processes of her action learning
  • the outcomes she achieved with her students
  • reflections on the success of the project, what was learned and the implications for teaching and learning

Dr Melanie Hindley has taught in regional and metropolitan Western Australia for more than 25 years in both government and independent sectors. She holds a PHD based on research into middle school curriculum leadership. She is the recipient of the 2001 Institute of Educational Administration Prize, the 2010 Australian Council of Educational Leaders Prize and 2010 Lawrence McGrath Prize for outstanding research in school leadership. Melanie is currently teaching at Hale School in Western Australia.

Warren Grellier is a private consultant working with organisations, schools and teachers across the state.  Warren has more than 30 years’ experience in teaching, seminar and workshop presentations, curriculum development, project management, and educational administration. He was a Head of Department English, the Senior Consultant for English in the Department of Education, and is a WACE English marker.

In 2014 Warren is the Consultant Head of Department, English at Manea Senior College in Bunbury and teaches at Curtin University and the University of WA.

Sustainability - a context for learning that supports strong minds, places and futures - Howard Flinders: Albert Lynch Room, Second Floor

The Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative WA (AuSSI-WA) is a whole school planning framework for education for sustainability created ‘by schools, for schools’.

AuSSI-WA supports schools to implement the Australian Curriculum in ways which are engaging, meaningful and empowering consistent with individual school contexts/local place and space.  Schools are supported to reflect on the world in which they live, create a vision for a preferred future and plan and act to build school communities that support a more sustainable future.

The whole school planning framework specifically supports implementation of the cross curriculum priority of sustainability as linked to general capabilities and learning area content.

The workshop will provide participants with an opportunity to:

engage with the AuSSI-WA framework through its unique resources/activities;
review good practice case studies of participating schools (with a focus on English and literacy links); and
consider the applicability of the framework and associated resources for use within their respective schools.
Howard Flinders

Howard is currently Project Manager, Sustainability at the Department of Education, Western Australia. Based in the Literacy and Numeracy Support branch of Statewide Services, Howard coordinates the ongoing rollout of the Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative in WA (AuSSI-WA). AuSSI-WA supports schools to engage with sustainability as a key context for meaningful, empowering teaching and learning.

Prior to taking up this position, Howard has worked as a primary teacher in WA and the UK, as well as carrying out a range of consultancy and project management roles in the area of education for sustainability for various government and non-government agencies.

Cross-Curriculum Priority : Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Histories & Cultures - Katie Oriti: Mary Kerr Room, Second Floor

For many years now, there has been an expectation that teachers are integrating Aboriginal perspectives into all the learning areas of the curriculum. With the introduction of the Australian Curriculum, the Cross-Curriculum Priority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures increases the demand for this focus.

In her work as Aboriginal Studies Consultant for Catholic schools in WA, Katie Oriti finds that generally teachers are keen to do this but some feel that their life experiences and teacher training have not adequately prepared them to do so. There is often a lack of confidence and a fear of saying or doing the wrong thing.

In this workshop, participants will explore ideas and resources to assist English teachers in an authentic implementation of the Cross-Curriculum priority.

Katie Oriti

Katie Oriti is the GECKOS (Growing Enriched Cultural Knowledge in Our Schools) Consultant in the Aboriginal Education Team at the Catholic Education Office of WA. Her role is to support the staff in WA Catholic Schools in the integration of Aboriginal perspectives into all areas of the curriculum, at all year levels.

Prior to teaching teachers, she had 22 years teaching students, from pre-primary to Year 12.  As she was a teacher librarian in a previous life, she knows the importance of good resources and is passionate about sharing them with others.

Speaker: 12.00pm – 1.00pm

Better Than OK - Helen Street: Robert Braham Auditorium, First Floor

Despite ongoing debate about the best educational aims are for young people, we know for sure that all aims are better achieved when kids are happy and well.  This talk asks how we, as parents and educators, can best support our children in the pursuit of wellbeing and happiness. In particular I will focus on two important aspects of education that need revolutionising in our pursuit of youth wellbeing.These are motivation and creativity.In talking about motivation, I will challenge one of the most deeply held misconceptions of modern teaching, the misconception that rewards provide effective incentives for learning. In talking about creativity, I will challenge the growing notion that creativity is at best a luxury and at worst insignificant in today’s world. In contrast, I will introduce ideas and concepts for helping kids to embrace intrinsic motivation and creativity for life long learning; and in so doing, become ‘Better Than OK’.Dr Helen StreetApplied Social psychologist and education expert Dr Helen Street has worked extensively in Australian schools since 1999. Her work focuses on how social influence impacts on wellbeing, engagement and motivation in young people and in adults. Her ideas and research findings have been presented internationally in academic journals and in the popular media. Helen’s work has been met with international acclaim and has been endorsed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and ‘brown eyes blue eyes’ creator Jane Elliott, among many others.Helen is an adjunct research consultant for the health department of WA’s Centre for Clinical Interventions and co-chair for Positive Schools. In 2011 Helen was awarded the title of Honorary Research Fellow with the School of Graduate Education at UWA. She was the show psychologist for Channel Ten’s ‘The Circle’ and is now a regular feature writer for Western Teacher. Helen is one of the original creators of Positive Schools in addition to being a regular host and presenter at the events. Helen’s latest book “Better Than OK’ is co-edited with Neil Porter and will available Australia wide from May 2014. Helen lives with her partner and their three daughters in Perth, WA.

Concurrent Sessions 2: 2.00pm – 3.00pm

Imagination, hope and change: The role of literature in active global citizenship - One World Centre: Albert Lynch Room, Second Floor

Want of imagination makes things unreal enough to be destroyed. By imagination I mean knowledge and love. I mean compassion. People of power kill children, the old send the young to die, because they have no imagination. - Wendell Berry. Author, farmer, conservationistBy imagination, Wendell Berry doesn’t mean make believe, or any suggestion of a lack of reality. Instead, he implies the sense of the root word – image – to ‘picture’ or to ‘see’. Imagination, in one sense, enables us to see what is real even though it is not in front of us. Distance, and a lack of imagination, can permit us not to see the story of another. We may not see the vulnerable brushed away by the strong. We may not see those who face life-threatening challenges, nor understand at least a little of those who live differently than ourselves.Complex global issues are often expressed largely through facts and statistics. While these expressions have an important role to play, it is stories that can transform abstract ideas to deeper understanding, foster empathy, and make possible the imagining of new ways to work for a better world.How can we use literature well to imagine and to see, and then to act for a more just and sustainable world? This workshop for lower secondary teachers will introduce a range of texts suited to this task and provide strategies for examining, responding to, and creating literature in ways that both fulfill the demands of the Australian Curriculum: English literature strand, and foster active global citizenship. Kylie Hosking and Cameron Tero – Education Officers, One World CentreKylie and Cameron are passionate global educators who believe that young people and adults want to and can make a difference. They have worked towards a just and sustainable world for many years in schools and the university sector, as well as in their own lives.The OWC provides professional learning and resources for teachers wishing to bring global education to their schools and classrooms. The OWC implements the Global Education Project, a program of the Commonwealth Government’s overseas aid program

Developing a culture of thinking and a sense of place in the year seven classroom - Phoebe McCarthy and Penny Simpsons: Mary Kerr Room, Second Floor

Tim Winton’s short novel Blueback is an engaging text for young readers and explores issues of sustainability and belonging that speak to the concerns of young adolescent students.  Its rich language is a mine of material for exploring the structure of language from the word to the whole text level.  In this presentation, we share our experiences with designing and implementing a program that will:

  • Encourage a culture of thinking in the classroom through the use of various thinking routines, and the documentation of student responses
  • Link the Literature and Language strands by embedding exploration of functional grammar in a novel study
  • Assist students in their first term of Middle School to develop better organisational strategies and more independent study habits
  • Make links to the concept of sustainability as well as to the Year Seven Geography course in the Australian Curriculum

Phoebe McCarthy and Penny Simpson teach at Great Southern Grammar, where Year Seven has been the first year of Middle School since the school opened in 1999.

Penny has a background in French and German literature, primary and gifted education and in the last 15 years has somehow metamorphosed into a teacher of Middle School English and S&E and Gifted and Talented Education Coordinator.  She takes no credit for Phoebe’s development into a passionate and talented young teacher despite having taught her in Year Nine.

Phoebe is currently in her second year of teaching. She is primarily trained as an Art teacher however is also teaching English and Society and Environment in the Middle School at Great Southern Grammar. In 2013 she attended the week long Project Zero conference at Harvard in Boston. Project Zero’s work includes investigations into the nature of intelligence, understanding, thinking, creativity, ethics, and other essential aspects of learning. Phoebe came back to school full of ideas and inspired by what she had heard and seen.

Jasper Jones: from novel to play - Barking Gecko: Vincent Basile Room, First Floor

For over 20 years Barking Gecko, a not for profit professional theatre company, has created exceptional arts experiences for thousands of young people. Barking Gecko’s productions are timely, of imaginative scale, well developed and artistically ambitious. We are a proudly Western Australian arts company that spends considerable time reflecting on our place in the world, and how our theatre productions contribute engaging WA communities in the performing arts.

In July this year Barking Gecko will present Jasper Jones by novelist Craig Silvey, adapted by WA’s Kate Mulvany. Hailed as a modern classic and devoured by teenagers across the state we are certain that Jasper Jones will offer students an experience of artistic excellence as they see the novel transformed for stage.

‘I’m particularly thrilled to have BGTC bring my novel Jasper Jones to life on stage. I can’t begin to elucidate just how rewarding it is to have such a talented fleet of people applying their passion and expertise to a tall tale I divined. It’s one of the true highlights in my short and fraught career.’ Craig Silvey

During this session BGCT’s CEO/Producer Helen Hristofski will discuss the novel’s inspiration, themes and its transformation into a play. An intimate and behind the scenes look at one of WA’s classic novels.

Ms.  Hristofski

Perth born  and  raised, Ms  Hristofski has  extensive  experience  in youth  theatre  and   the   arts   education   in   Australia.   She studied   at   the   Western   Australian  Academy   of   the   Performing   Arts   and   has   since   worked   with   pre-eminent theatre  companies  including  Sydney  Theatre  Company,  Bell  Shakespeare  and  Performing  Lines.

In  addition  to  co-producing,  presenting  and  commissioning  works  for  many  small  and  medium  theatre  companies,  Ms  Hristofski has  been  an  Australian pioneer   in   digital   live   streaming   performances,   particularly   to   remote   and  regional   areas,   to   provide   new   opportunities   for   children   and   adults   to   be engaged  in  all  forms  of  theatre.

Speaker: 3.00pm – 4.00pmAGM: 4.00pm

Bringing History to Life using Local Stories - Dianne Wolfer: Robert Braham Auditorium, First Floor

Dianne is author of fifteen books for a range of ages. She is passionate about sharing local stories and encouraging children to explore incidents from their own families and communities. Many of Dianne’s books revolve around a small moment within a larger historical setting.Lighthouse Girl (2010 WAYBRA winner) and partner title, Light Horse Boy (2014 CBCA shortlisted) are set in WW1. One focuses on the true story of Fay Howe, daughter of an Albany lighthouse keeper who signalled to departing troops. The other follows a young farrier through the Desert Campaign, linking to the story of Sandy, the only Australian horse to return. Both stories use archival photographs, articles, postcards and evocative charcoal illustrations to tell the story. With increasing international focus on Albany and the 100 year commemoration in November, teachers are finding these linked stories timely.Photographs in the Mudis set along the Kokoda Track in 1942. This picture book was sparked by a true incident Dianne heard when she hiked the track in 2002. It explores war from different cultural viewpoints. Dianne’s presentation will include practical examples teachers have used to workshop these historical books in their classrooms.Dianne will also share details of the writing process behind more light-hearted ‘local stories’ such as Granny Grommet and Me, inspired by surfing grannies on the south coast. She has helped Albany seniors self-publish 3 volumes of historical anecdotes, was hired to write interpretive signage for the Albany waterfront and an Ode to the Entertainment Centre, so Dianne is also happy to answer questions about community writing projects.

Arrival tea/coffee, morning tea, lunch and post conference drinks will all be held in the staff room on the Third Floor. Morning tea – 10.30am, Lunch – 1.00pm and Post Conference drinks – 4.15pm