AGTA 2017 Conference
The AGTA 2017 conference will be held from 9-12 January 2017 at the University of Melbourne in Melbourne. The conference organisational arrangements are being undertaken by the Geography Teachers Association of Victoria.
Join the pre-conference tour to study the coastal geomorphology and volcanic landscapes of western Victoria, followed by the conference to be held in the beautiful Old Arts building at the University of Melbourne. You will hear leading international and national keynote speakers, participate in workshops and broaden your experience with fieldtrips in the Melbourne region.
Early bird registrations are now open! Register early to ensure you benefit from a significant discount and secure your place on the pre-conference study tour.
Keynote speakers announced
The organising committee has confirmed the following keynote speakers for this conference.
Professor Bruce Rasmussen — Director of Victoria Institute of Strategic Economic Studies (VISES), Victoria University. His work has included reports for government on regional and urban economics, particularly the development of Melbourne and its constituent regions. His most recent work at VISES has been on the link between health and productivity and the economic returns to investment in health, for the US Chamber of Commerce, World Health Organization and the United Nations Population Fund.
Workshops and fieldtrips
Pre-Conference Fieldwork Study Tour
Four days/three nights incorporating the Great Ocean Road (coastal geomorphology), Western Districts (volcanic landscapes), Grampians (land conservation and tourism) and Narmbool (wind farms and agriculture near Ballarat).
Food and Agribusiness Solutions
Food and Agribusiness Solutions, in conjunction with the Australian Government, has produced an excellent set of resources to assist teachers to use agribusiness examples when teaching the Australian Curriculum.
Teachers can also access the resources via the Scootle website. Examples of the resources include
CARE’s Global Poverty: Teacher’s Toolkit
CARE Australia has developed an online resource that covers a variety of themes, from food security and climate change, to education and the importance of working with women and girls to bring about positive change. Each topic includes teaching tools such as sample lesson plans, fast facts, videos and stories designed to spark curiosity and enhance classroom discussion. Topics cover learning modules ideal for subjects such as health and human development, social studies, geography, international studies, economics and media studies.
Latest issue of AGTA's Geographia
The March 2016 issue of AGTA's newsletter Geographia is now available. Contents include
Commonwealth Class news
Participating School Profile: Narrabeen Lakes Public School (NSW)
Earlier in 2014 we invited schools from around Australia to become a 'Participating School' for the Commonwealth Class Project. Participating Schools were encouraged to use the themed resources, classroom activites and online tools to get their respective classes actively involved in the Commonwealth Class Project - with a view of increasing young people's learning and knowledge about the Commonwealth countries and encouraging global citizenship.
"Skype Lessons" - Australia / Malaysia UpdateThank you once again for all those who put forward their school to partake in 'Skype Lessons' as part of the Commonwealth Class Project. The British Council have now contacted two of the nominated schools who will be the first Australian schools to participate in the initiative.
Congratulations to both Eltham East Primary School and Sydenham Hillside Primary School on being selected by the British Council (UK). The schools will liaise with Malaysia to discuss ‘Every drop counts’ - an activity from the Commonwealth Class education resource (p 7). The activity focuses on water – a subject with global significance, which in previously held sessions has generated lively discussions amongst students about the similarities and difference in their daily uses of water and its wider cultural significance in each country.
It is with great pleasure that we announce the winners of the Commonwealth Class trip to Glasgow! ‘Participating Schools’ were invited to participate in Commonwealth ‘tasks’ (global activities) by the British Council, and also went into the running to be selected to have one teacher and one student go to the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in July. Ten participating schools across Australia signed up to be actively involved in the prescribed activities, with the British Council selecting Maribrynong College (Victoria) as the winning school. A huge congratulations to Fiona Walker (teacher) and Arabella (student) who will be flying to Scotland (Glasgow) in July to attend the Opening Ceremony and a range of other events over 10 days.
The following is an excerpt from Fiona Walker's report after attending the Commonwealth Games.
"Being chosen to take part in the final Commonwealth Class activity was fantastic. Being able to travel to Glasgow was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I will never forget. As Australia was late to become involved in the Commonwealth Class we ran a flag design competition in the school. When designing the flag the students were thinking about diversity within the Commonwealth and what the Commonwealth values meant to them. By travelling to Scotland, Arabella (student) was able to develop a first hand understanding of how diverse the Commonwealth really is. The program has confirmed the importance of global education in schools for me and the skills and ideas that I developed while I was in Scotland will inform my teaching for years to come.
School resources available
Hard copy Commonwealth Class Education Packs are still available for schools and teachers. As outlined above the resources can aid in the development of classroom activities and lessons to inspire young students to learn about other Commonwealth countries and to be a global citizen!
If you would like a hardcopy resource please email the Program Manager (Michelle Campbell — Email: firstname.lastname@example.org) with your name, address and how many copies you would like posted.
Diamonds ahead in Constellation CupWe would like to congratulate our Australian netball team, the Diamonds, on their sensational win over the New Zealand Silver Ferns on Wednesday night. The Diamonds' latest thrilling win at Melbourne Park set up a 2-0 lead in the Constellation Cup four-test series. An Australian win in Sydney on Saturday night will secure the Cup for the world's number one-ranked team.
For all the news on the Constellation Cup visit the Diamond's home page.
>> Read the eNewsletters sent to AFSSSE affilates and Australian schools.
What is Commonwealth Class?
Commonwealth Class is an initiative for schools from the British Council, BBC and Commonwealth Secretariat, and is delivered in Australia by AFSSSE (the Australian Federation of Societies for Studies of Society and the Environment). The initiative offers free access to teaching resources, classroom activities, online debates and competitions to mark the run-up to the Glasgow 2014 Games.
The Commonwealth Class education pack for teachers is a dynamic, engaging resource that introduces students to Commonwealth values like rights and responsibilities, protecting the environment, healthy living, poverty alleviation and respect for other people.
How can you become involved?
The entire Commonwealth Class project aims to involve all schools across the Commonwealth in a number of ways including:
A major highlight of this project is that for Australian Schools who actively engage with the Commonwealth Class resources, could have the opportunity to send one teacher and two students to the Glasgow 2014 Games. More information to come on this exciting opportunity!Follow all of the above on our social media pages including
National Consumer and Financial Literacy Framework
The 'National Consumer and Financial Literacy Framework' has been approved by AEEYSOC. This document is a revised version of the National Consumer and Financial Literacy Framework (the Framework) originally developed in 2005. It articulates a rationale for consumer and financial education in Australian schools; describes essential consumer and financial capabilities that will support lifelong learning; and provides guidance on how consumer and financial education may be structured to support a progression of learning from Foundation–Year 10. Companion resources to this Framework, being developed by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), provide further guidance about integrating consumer and financial education into specific learning areas of the Australian Curriculum. These companion resources are available at: www.teaching.financialliteracy.gov.au.
Thinking Geographically DVD
A ready-to-go professional development resource to support the F-10 Australian Curriculum: Geography. The DVD contains:
Australian orders: $99.00 Postage & GST inc.
Do you want to promote business education?
BEAQ has designed a series of full colour brochures which are suitable for use at subject and career selection and parent‑teacher evenings. Download an order form here.
Educating for a Sustainable Future
A National Environmental Education Statement for Australian Schools
Educating for a Sustainable Future - A National Environmental Education Statement for Australian Schools provides a nationally agreed description of the nature and purpose of environmental education for sustainability through all years of schooling, including a vision and a framework for its implementation. It is intended for teachers, schools and their communities, education systems and developers of curriculum materials. It is also intended as a companion to existing State and Territory polices and programmes and does not replace them. Download the statement as a PDF document here.
Pacific Neighbours: Understanding the Pacific islands
Pacific Neighbours: Understanding the Pacific islands has been produced to help students develop their knowledge and understanding of the Pacific region, its history and geography, its political and social development, and its people and their cultures. They will examine a range of issues that impact on the region, consider Australia’s place and role in the Pacific and explore opportunities to take action.
AFSSSE was funded to promote and support teachers implement the teaching of this resource.
Online health resource for teachers and school communities
RealTime Health, in collaboration with Education Services Australia (ESA), the Chronic Illness Alliance and six partner support groups, has launched an innovative online resource for teachers and school communities. The resource provides 50 digital video clips of young Indigenous and non-Indigenous people discussing their personal experiences of chronic illness. These Speaking from Experience clips aim to provide a deeper understanding of the impact and management of chronic illness within school communities. They cover six topics: asthma, epilepsy, families and chronic illness, hearing impairment, mental health and type 1 diabetes. The young people talk openly about their day-to-day challenges, coping strategies, and the impact on their families. The clips are supported by downloadable worksheets and guidance on how they can be used.
The Speaking from Experience resource is available from http://education.realtimehealth.com
National Regional Profiles: The One Stop Shop for data about a geographic area
National Regional Profiles (NRP) available from the Australian Bureau of Statistics website provide 'snapshots' for over 2,000 regions across Australia. The profiles contain a range of data from both the ABS and other sources, for geographic areas such as Local Government Areas, Statistical Local Areas up to States and Territories. The data are presented for a number of years (2004-2008) where it is available, and therefore provides the opportunity to compare regions over time. The National Regional Profiles are found on the left hand navigation bar of the home page of the ABS website (www.abs.gov.au).
Asia Literacy Ambassadors – Partnering Businesses & Schools project
The project is establishing and supporting partnerships between businesses and schools to stimulate and increase student and school community demand for Asia literacy.
Skilled professionals from the business sector (Ambassadors) are being matched to secondary schools across Australia. By sharing their own story, Ambassadors are assisting school communities to better understand the diverse career and life opportunities available to employees who are knowledgeable about Asia, who speak an Asian language and have the skills and dispositions needed to effectively engage with the people and cultures of Asia, off-shore and domestically.
Ambassadors and their partner schools have the flexibility to establish a partnership that best suits the specific interests, expertise and availability of the Ambassador and the needs of the school community. Partnerships take many forms – for example, student visits to the Ambassador's workplace, presentations to student groups, dialogue with leadership teams, career practitioners, teachers and school councils, or mentoring students involved in career planning and decision-making.
Partnering Ambassadors and schools are required to participate in at least three face-to-face interactions over a six-to eight month period. Further details here.
Indigenous Statistics for Schools
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has developed a new, free online resource to provide teachers and students with access to data on Indigenous Australia. Indigenous Statistics for Schools (ISS) provides easy to use data for students and teachers on topics such as Indigenous population, education, health, housing, work and more. Links to the original on-line data sources are also provided for those who want more information.
The ISS web pages also cover general issues such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identification (including the history of the Census questions on ethnicity), how Indigenous statistics are collected and the importance of accurate Indigenous statistics. The resource offers easy to find data for classroom use, particularly for assignments. Students can use it as a 'jumping off' point to more detailed information found in ABS publications. The resource also aim to improve students ability to appropriately and rigorously examine numerical data
For further information please contact Education Services on Free call 1800 623 273 or email.
Teaching for uncertain futures
Teaching Australia has released a scenario book Teaching for Uncertain Futures, about possible futures for teaching in Australia through to the year 2030. Teaching for Uncertain Futures is the work of teachers and principals involved in a national scenario building project, the Open Book Scenarios, supported by Teaching Australia in partnership with the Neville Freeman Agency. The central question of the project was “What will the Australian teaching profession have to do to be successful in 2030?”
Where does financial literacy fit into education and training? The Financial Literacy Foundation has been established by the Australian Government to give all Australians the opportunity to better manage their money. A section of the Understanding Money website provides support and advice to teachers, trainers and human resource professionals who deliver financial literacy programs. It also provides advice for developers of financial literacy educational materials.
Help Geography students make their subject choice
Download a copy of this updated document here. (676 KB Adobe Acrobat file)