News from AARE President Allyson Holbrook


Dear members,

I hope this newsletter finds you in good spirits despite continued tough times for health and wellbeing.
Finehaus have been providing strong support and we have been updating and filling gaps in AARE policies and processes and creating sustainable resources for each executive portfolio to ensure efficient handover and induction for new executive members. Please note that a number of roles are open for election soon, so please consider nominating.

In June we took part in an intensive and productive mid-year meeting including Strategic Planning for the 2023-25 period in Adelaide. Work on that has continued into July and will carry forward for the rest of the year as we establish an operational plan to achieve the strategy. The draft is currently with executive.  

A quarter 2 report of Executive Committee decisions and actions will be available in the members section of the website next week.  Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you wish to check in.

July a busy month for SIG leaders and reviewers involved in reading and evaluating abstracts submitted for the annual conference, and not least for SIGs Coordinator Ilektra Spandagou and Conference convenor Kathryn Grushka.  It is exciting and rewarding for SIGS and members of the conference committee that so many abstracts were received. AARE thrives because of the members who volunteer in Executive and SIG roles, and I cannot thank members enough for their participation and generosity. 

At the recent Summit of Educational Research Leaders organised jointly by AARE and cADRE, held in Adelaide, the key theme was The Future for Education Research. There was intense discussion around building and sustaining research opportunities, collaborations and partnerships within, across and outside the sector. Buoyed by these two energetic and productive days, I particularly hope this coalition will flourish and look forward to all members hearing more about next steps. My thanks to Anna Sullivan (AARE) and Catherine Manathunga and Elke Stracke (cADRE) and for the wonderful support of the University of South Australia and Dean of Research Professor Sam Sellar (Education Futures).

Welcome to Professor Kath Holmes (UWS) who has now taken up the Chair of the selection committee for the annual Ray Debus Doctoral Research in Education Award from Professor Susan Danby. The first award was made in 1989 in recognition of the high quality contribution that graduate students make to educational knowledge. It is amazing to consider just how quickly doctoral degree enrolments grew in number after that point. The Award attracts a stellar field of nominees from Australian universities and is announced and presented at the conference. Each university is limited to one nomination and nominations close at the end of August. All details are on the website.
I am delighted to announce that as a result of discussions over the past 12 months the Australian Council for Education Leaders (ACEL) and AARE have signed a memorandum of understanding, in recognition of complementary and strategic interests, and the belief that closer connection will be reciprocally beneficial. The main objective is to establish the ACEL and AARE Research and Practice Working Group. As stated in the MoU the ACEL and AARE Research and Practice Working Group will:   

  • convene quarterly to discuss priority issues, activities and key actions  
  • report to one another’s boards 
  • support joint or separate activities that meet the goals of each organisation 
  • consider co-badging/cross promotion where suitable 
  • develop collaborative priority projects 

Forging a strong connection between AARE and ACEL is very timely given the groundswell of interest in research translation and effective evidence use to enhance educational practice and student outcomes. AARE has a strong Leadership SIG and that is where the initial thrust to initiate a closer partnership emerged. 

Until the next news keep safe.

Warm regards,
Allyson Holbrook