2015 Conference Update

Written by Jodie Kline, Deakin University – SPERA 2015 Conference Director

Mapping education policy landscapes: rurality and rural futures

Jo-Anne Reid (Charles Sturt University), Gary Fry (Charles Darwin University – Centre for School Leadership), Marie Brennan (Victoria University), Sabina Knight (Mount Isa Centre for Rural and Remote Health) and Jim Watterson (Director General – Queensland Department of Education and Training) will head up the program for the 31st National conference of the Society for the Provision of Education in Rural Australia.

Co-hosted by the Centre for Research in Educational Futures and Innovation (CREFI), Deakin University, this years’ conference will take place on the Geelong esplanade in the extensively renovated wool stores (1893) that now form the centre of the Deakin Waterfront Campus.

Keynote presentations will be coupled with performances by Josh Arnold of Small Town Culture fame and Geelong High students. The Deadly Dancers will be performing on Thursday evening, just prior to the annual conference dinner.

We are excited to have received a selection of high quality papers from education colleagues in all States and Territories, ensuring that the parallel sessions will be as inspirational as the featured addresses.

The new Editorial team for the Australian and International Journal of Rural Education (AIJRE) will launch the first invited symposium at the conference, featuring presentations from three of the journal’s recent authors and Warrnambool District principals have organised an exciting Q & A session, during which we can hear local perspectives on education reform.

The hope of the 2015 conference is to bring together a range of teachers, school administrators, teacher educators, academics, pre-service teachers, community and parents who are passionate about rural education.

The conference will be a key means of building and strengthening Australia’s rural network, and in doing so, draw together an increasing body of work focused on the implications of education policy and reform for rural students.

This is an opportunity to showcase the achievements of, and opportunities available to researchers, schools, parents and communities within a complex policy landscape.

We look forward to seeing you in Geelong for what is sure to be a fabulous conference, right in the middle of the region’s spring festivities!

Finally, SPERA would like to acknowledge that the present site of the Geelong Waterfront Campus is located on the land of the Wathaurong people. They are connected to these lands, have walked these lands, and continue to care for them and nurture them for future generations.