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President's Report

Welcome to the first AARE newsletter for 2014. The work of the executive began early in 2014 with the first meeting held in Sydney on February 26.  At this meeting we welcomed incoming and co-opted members to the Executive.  I would like to extend a warm welcome to Tracey Bunda (Assoc Prof) Co-opted, 2014- 15 Indigenous research and engagement; Margaret Baguley (Assoc Prof) Co-opted Chair of the Conference Standing Committee; Linda Graham (Assoc Prof) Editor AER 2013-2015; Amanda Keddie (Dr) Ordinary Member 2014-15; Martin Mills (Prof) President elect 2014 and Lisa Papatraianou (Dr) our Newsletter Editor and now ECR Member 2014-2015.  At the first Executive meeting a strategic plan document was presented for review, the budgetary position of the Association and reports on respective portfolios were presented.    

As noted above, the Conference standing committee, has had a change of chair. Margaret Baguley has wide experience in conference management and has been responsible for the vibrant leadership of the AARE Arts SIG.  2014 sees a combined conference with NZARE and is to be held at QUT. AARE has always benefitted from the significant institutional support and the input from the local committee.  Annette Woods has generously offered to support the local committee for the 2014 conference.  At the first executive meeting we also began the review process as a result of the advertised tenders for our future conference organisers. Think Business has provided us with an excellent service. With the ever increasing need to direct benefits to members through for example, reduced conference fees, we need to be advised by the Chair of the conference standing committee on whether a change of conference provider would improve member benefits.

Our Office and Events Manager Deborah Cracknell in just over six months has initiated many new member services. The AARE booth and coffee were strongly endorsed by conference attendees. Educational research in Australia faces any number of challenges and one of these is the small and shrinking pool of funds that researchers can access. The discussion on the strategic plan and the report on the assessment of ARC funding to education codes being developed by Deborah with advice and  consideration by the Executive at our July meeting  are important matters for our research community.

As many of you will be aware Australian institutions are making preparation for ERA 2015. The ARC has called for consultations regarding ERA submission guidelines and the Draft ERA 2015 Journal and Conference Lists. AARE forwarded submissions to both requests and is having discussions with key members of the ARC ERA leadership team.  There are a number of informative PowerPoint presentations [Click Here] listed on the ARC site that are useful pointers to the key changes to the 2015 ERA process.  Some key changes that are documented on these presentations include:

  • Reintroducing conference list (no ranking)
  • Book publisher list (for data streamlining and collection only)
  • New research output type: Research Report for an External Body
  • Gender data (not for evaluation)
  • Open access repository (not for evaluation)
  • Peer review research outputs must be in ERA repository
  • Staff eligibility for 0.4 FTE or less (publication association required)
  • Conference citation trial (selected FoRs only)
  • Peer review dashboard
  • NO ranking  for journals

As noted in the recent members alert, and this newsletter AARE members will be saddened to hear of the passing of Associate Professor Ray Debus (B.A., Dip.Ed. (Sydney) Ph.D. (Illinois)) on 17 February, 2014 after a short battle with liver cancer. Ray was a founding member of AARE in 1970 and, remarkably, he participated in all 43 AARE Annual Conferences held to date. I invited him to speak at the inaugural first timer’s conference last year in Adelaide. I was so glad I did. We talked about the 2014 conference but he said to me, he did not think he would make it. Sadly this will be the case.  At the February meeting the Executive discussed how we might acknowledge Ray’s contribution as an enduring part of the association.    

To improve the standing of educational research for all members and in particular ensuring that we can improve the visibility of AARE are important short and longer term priorities. During the preparations for ERA 2015 there is much that the Executive and members of the educational research can do to highlight the challenges we face in ensuring that our research community is recognised for what it does do – that is Australians make an outstanding contribution to educational research well beyond our national reach. We need to ensure more key stakeholders know of the quality of our contributions and how research impacts across education and its diverse terrain.  

Julianne Moss

President AARE 2013-2014


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