Big Picture Australia's National Conference moved to Western Australia this year and a full house of educators from Australia, New Zealand and Mexico joined us to share their practice under the theme of “One design … many stories”.
A special highlight of the conference was the contribution of our indigenous colleagues. From a spine tingling welcome to country from Gail Barrow, with Didgeridoo and dance accompaniment from Yule Brook College students, to hearing about the inspiring work of leaders and teachers in the Ngaanyatjarra Lands, the Fitzroy Valley, Kalumburu and Brewarrina. Thanks to Kevin O’Keefe and Liz Ritchie in particular for leading the Town Hall. More than a few teachers in the audience were left tempted by the offer to work in these unique communities!
Town Hall sessions from John Hogan, Barry Down, Brooke Burns, Bronwyn White and Jackie Vaughan covered the ongoing growth of Big Picture in Australia, the educational research supporting our work, strategies for engagement and our breakthrough success in securing tertiary entry places for Big Picture students through the BPEA graduation portfolio.
A raft of special interest sessions, led by advisory teachers and students, kept attendees engaged: making, creating, drawing, doing, talking and sharing. Brooke Burns did a brilliant job of MC for the three days.
Participants loved catching up with students and advisory teachers in the different year groups, heard from Hilary and Eric about the 10 year Yule Brook journey with BPE, and explored ideas/issues of classroom design with Peter Lippman in a newly refurbished professional learning space at the school.Thank you to all the organisers, presenters and attendees for making the event such an outstanding success. We leave Fremantle with new connections, inspiration and energy to keep making education better around Australia, New Zealand and the world.