The President's blog...
The 2012 NSWAGTC President, Mimi Wellisch, updates you on the activity of the Association...
Written by Mimi Wellisch Sunday, 16 September 2012 16:53
Thank you to Rosemary Hammerton for steadfastly remaining in the role of President in the most challenging year since the start of the Association, and her dedication and work to ensure the continuity of the Association. Thanks to her countless hours of hard work (many of the emails I received from her were date-marked way after midnight!) and to those Committee members who stayed on for a while before moving on during this last year, our Association is now ready to step forward again.
The previous Committee had to work almost entirely without paid staff for most of the year due to the poor financial status of the Association. A number of Committee members came and left, in fact only Rosemary remained for the entire year - and without permanent staff, there were consequences:
· We still have a backlog of two issues of Gifted still needing to be completed and sent out
· A number of emails and phone messages have gone unanswered or missing
· The Committee members did not always respond in a timely manner to enquiries and concerns
· Events were on offer only occasionally rather than continuously
All this has understandably caused much concern and dissatisfaction amongst some members, however, thanks to the savings made, the generous donations received, and the many hours of volunteer labour by the Committee, the Association is now ready to move on, and I trust that you will support us in making this year a better one for all members.
I feel honoured to be President at this time, and feel very lucky to have such a great team on the new Committee to take us into this new phase: Rosemary Hammerton as Vice President, Naomi Burley as Membership Secretary, Karen Papdimitriou as Treasurer, Gabrielle Seaton as Parent Support, Lauren James as Educator Support, and Troy Douglas as IT Support – a very warm welcome to both previous and new Committee members. On behalf of the Association I would also like to express my gratitude to PLC Croydon for the generous provision of office space, computers, and the use of their wonderful facilities for the AGM and a promise of the use of facilities for future events.
Here is my vision for 2012-2013 for the Association, and I look forward to your support in achieving these:
VISION FOR 2012-2013
FOR YOUNG CHILDREN
· Reviving gifted playgroup(s) OR starting up an approved gifted preschool
FOR OLDER CHILDREN WE NEED
· Science Teachers
· Art Teachers
· English Teachers
· Music Teachers
· IT Teachers
…Who have a Certificate for self-employed people and who have a passion for their subject matter, enthusiastic teachers who are willing to share their passion with gifted children in workshops during the school holidays and on some weekends throughout the year. Targeting broad age-groups e.g. 3-7 year and 8-12 year olds. Events may take place at a variety of school venues. We also plan to offer:
· Discussion groups/Social skills groups
· Brief Gifted Parenting Talks in variety of venues (e.g. Libraries, Universities)
· Behaviour Management: 8-week or Weekend Workshops (Triple-P Parenting)
· Topic: Ask the experts: Questions and Answers re Gifted Children
· Presentations by Experts
· Presentations by practicing gifted coordinators and other speakers
· Regular IQ Clinic (e.g. third Saturday of each month)
Venue: At PLC offices
By appointment only: IQ tests or interpretations of IQ tests
IQ tests to be means-tested for families on low incomes
· Electronic copies of Gifted for membership and hard copies on request and to libraries and schools
· Update currently used Model Constitution with clauses in previous Constitution referring to our commitment to low income families and charitable activities
· Review Support Group relationship with NSWAGATC
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like to help with some of the above, or if you have a comment or issue you would like to bring to my attention, and I will endeavour to respond in a timely fashion.
Written by Rosemary Hammerton Friday, 12 August 2011 01:08
Thank you to Mimi Wellisch for her early endeavours to get the new committee established, and in very challenging personal circumstances. Mimi immediately identified a plan for rationalisation and her clear vision laid the foundations for our current work.
I feel honoured, though somewhat daunted, to be stepping into the Presidency at this time in the Association’s history. Having worked for the past two months with the highly motivated, skilled and committed individuals who make up the new committee, I am confident that we can turn crisis into opportunity! We are very fortunate to have diverse and complementary skills – from marketing to financial management to IT and web development to psychologists and educators working in the gifted field. What draws us together, of course, is our common
experience of parenting gifted children with all the joys, challenges, intensities, struggles and celebrations that this entails.
We have been painfully aware of the frustrations of many members with our less than optimal delivery of services. For this reason, our #1 priority as has been to develop more reliable and efficient mechanisms for membership processing, delivery of Gifted, events registration and office communication. Phase one of our website redevelopment – online membership processing – is complete, and phase two – online event registration – is almost there, thanks in large part to the generous financial backing and time invested by our Vice President, Dr Biing Yin, working with webmaster David Farmer and assitant webmaster, Christina Martin. We are now utilising social networking media and other marketing strategies to grow our presence, and for this, we are indebted to the talent and hard work of our Secretary and marketing coordinator, Anna Barnes.
We have a skilled Treasurer, Andrew Warburton, who has analysed past financial and management practices to identify areas for improvement and monitor progress. And finally, we have a very capable Parent Support Officer, Tracey Larkin, whose experience as a practicing psychologist and fellow traveller on the gifted journey, is greatly valued.
We are also grateful to our Book Keeper, Sharon Ryan, the only staff member we could afford to retain, who has also volunteered additional hours to get us over this hump.
Once we have stabilised financially and streamlined processes, we will start to engage more directly with your needs as members. We are already investigating business partnerships that will include member discounts to add value, and have exciting plans for some online forum conferences.
We welcome your questions, comments and ideas. If you would like to join our committee, or even volunteer a few hours a month, we would love to hear from you. If you have a question as a parent or teacher of gifted children, we encourage you to post on the forums. These permit a more considered and detailed response, and from a broader range of responders. It is also likely that your question will be someone else’s question, so others will benefit from the exchange. For other inquiries, please note the email links and our new office phone number on the Contacts menu.
Friday, 10 June 2011 22:19
As the incoming President I would like to take this opportunity to thank Denise Wood for her years of service as Committee member, Vice President, President, and contributor to “Outside the Square”, the middle section of this journal. Denise has kindly offered to continue to contribute to this popular section of Gifted. This is my first message as President of the Association. For those who do not know me, I have been a Member on and off for years, gaining a great deal of comfort and information from my membership as a mother of four gifted children. More recently I have held the roles of Treasurer and Vice President, and it is an honour to now be President at this fork in the road for the Association. The AGM gathering at Jasper Road Public School, Baulkham Hills, on the 4th June was small but enthusiastic. At the meeting I outlined the financial problems and hard decisions ahead of us as an Association due to a number of reasons, include falling membership, change of staff and Committee Members with all the problems this can create, and lack of radical action to remedy the problem .
Fortunately, the newly elected Committee Members are very skilled, proactive and dedicated. There were also offers of help and advice from the AGM audience, and we are following up on these. The Association is now moving rather quickly to restructure, returning to earlier times when it was run by volunteers. I am therefore apologising ahead of possible delays in responding to your enquiries, and ask for your patience while these changes occur. I am also asking you, dear Member, whether you are able to provide support in manning the office, doing accounts, responding to enquiries, fundraising, IT, editing, or any other skills you can contribute. If you feel you have something to contribute, please contact either me or any other Committee member via the 'Contacts'email link on our website.
We are also looking for valuable feedback from our members. We hear about what you do not like, and this feedback will now be used in planning how we will adjust our service delivery, so please keep those comments coming. For example, we have heard that Gifted was not delivered to you, or that you have tried to contact the Association and no one returned your call. We are now working towards Gifted becoming an electronic journal that will be accessible to all members, thus ensuring that you will get your copy in a timely manner, and simultaneously save on printing and postage costs. However, we also need to find out how the Association has helped you and your family so that we can ensure that we do not throw out the baby with the bathwater. We are therefore planning to survey our Members. The survey will be available on the website, and we ask you to contribute to the future of the Association by providing this feedback.
Finally, just prior to the AGM Cate Clark tendered her resignation as Editor of Gifted after 11 years, and while we will miss Cate, we wish her luck with her future endeavours.
Sunday, 15 May 2011 15:49
Yesterday was an excellent opportunity to hear new information and research, to connect with others in the same boat and to share ideas and thinking.
I am sure that everyone who attended was able to come away with something new to think about - and I thank all of you for your support and involvement.
Organised by a project subcommittee including Carol Barnes, Rhonda FIlmer, Helen Dudeney and Rosemary Hammerton (and myself) the event was very full- an overload of sessions that provided but a taste of the possible workshops we could bring to you as members of the Association. It was woncerful to be able to talk to so many people, to hear about the needs of parents and teachers and to share in some of the experiences and problem solutions.
The range of presentations, with time donated by al lwho offered a session. was amazing - and provided many different ways to think about the needs of this group of gifted children. Thank you to all those who gave time and thought to the day in this way.
Various displays of books and puzzles, toys and games, added value to the day for many - another chance to see what is out there,
Out of the forum will come, later in the year, a paper that outlines the needs, wishes and ideas of parents and teachers who engaged in thew roundtable dfiscussions. This innovation at our conference opened the door for discussion - and worked well. It was wonderful for me to walk around and see groups deeply engaged with conversation, talking about issues close to my heart.
A thank you to all involved. I hope that we can offer other, similar, opportunities and build a commuinty of people open to sharing their experiences and promoting action.
Next event: our AGM!
Saturday, 07 May 2011 08:14
With only a week to go, it is exciting to note the many registrations for this important day, and to read over the program and feel thrilled that there are so many sessions on offer, with so many high quality presenters prepared to stand up and talk about this group of gifted children.
I am sure the day will provide many chances for learning, interacting, networking and sharing - something that is essential as families address the needs of their 2e children. As we share in the roundtable discussions in the afternoon, we will be able to uncover the crucial issues and questions that you have about support and provision, and in doing this bring together a raft of ideas that will form the basis of an advocacy document. This is a new style of event for NSWAGTC, allowing you as participants in the forum to have a combined voiuce - there is strength in numbers!
I look forward to meeting many of our members and a broad group of interested community members there, and sharing in your experiecnes.
You will be able to purchase relevant books from the NSWAGTC stock as well as, hot off the press, the book that brings together the relevent presentations from the Asia Pacific Conference in JUly 2010 - and published by AAEGT as a result of the conference last year. This book will be available for $20 a copy, and has papers from a range of presenters at the conference.
Thank you for supporting this event. The organising committee: Rhonda FIlmer, Carol Barnes, Helen Duduney, Rosemary Hammerton and myself, along with the general committee of the NSWAGTC and the office staff are glad to be able to provide such an opportunity.
Sunday, 13 March 2011 07:14
Last Friday was the final day in our office for Julie Porter-Stephens. For the last 3-4 years, Julie has been in the role of office manager and then events mamager. Prior to this Julie was a valuable committee member, contributing in many ways to the discussion and activity the Association planned.
In her time in the role, Julie established new connections at a regional and local level, worked to present interesting and varied workshops, created the online newsletter to let you know of events happening and I know spoke to many parents offering advice and encouragement. She has overseen the office team, even when the role changed during 2010.
Her contribution to our Association has been large and valuable. There are often struggles with equipment, with technology, with providing a varied program and Julie has always done what has to be done to support our membership.
Thank you Julie.
Saturday, 12 March 2011 13:02
A month ago I was determined to write a posting for the blog but family illness , work and starting new projects seemed to be more pressing each time I sat down. The computer is such a consumer of our time, and with everything including work there in front of me it can be a challenge to prioritise.
At the time I was thinking about those early days of any school year when I recall a strong feeling of both excitement and anticipation - a new class, a new teacher, new ways of approaching learning - but also the familiar feeling of concern - will it be a good year or not? Will there be opportunity to share the way that my child sees the world? Even as a teacher myself I found very different responses to my children's needs, and sometimes unpredictable responses from my children towards their teachers.
The partnership between parents, children and school can be a vexed one, but it also can be one of delight and shared excitement. More and more as I now work with preservice teachers I hear an interest in knowing what to provide for gifted children in a classroom. We talk about offering engaging and different learning opportuinties, about opening up chances for deep investigation and question creating. There are many questions and great interest in finding out how to provide quality learning in the classroom.
Sunday, 14 November 2010 07:02
This week I have had 3 chances to share deep discussion with groups about gifted children and their opportunities in education. I enjoy having such chances as it reminds me that there are many individuals who share concerns about gifted children, and who try, in their respective settings, to ensure that opportunities arise.
Sunday, 07 November 2010 22:48
For a long time I have planned to prepare further blog entries but baulked because it seemed difficult and I was not sure! However a lesson yesterday at our meeting has reminded me of the process.
There are new things on the way for the NSWAGTC.
Tuesday, 14 July 2009 21:29
Only two weeks after our AGM our new committee met on Saturday to plan, set goals and start the work we will do this year for the Association. We have a diverse committee - it was exciting to work with others whose experiences have all been different but who all have a passion for making life for our gifted children and their families a little easier.
- Useful links for non NSWAGTC Events
- Gifted with Learning Disabilities or Differences
- Seemed gifted when younger, but has lost interest lately…
- October 2012 Newsletter
- New Zealand pulls out of hosting World Gifted Conference in 2013
- Upcoming Events for Parents and Teachers
- 2012 Financial Statement
- Teachers Wanted
Did you know?
|"We want our children to be happy in their learning yet achieving the best
possible outcomes for themselves (their ceilings). It was so refreshing to hear
Michele speak, so worthwhile as a classroom teacher." - An educator attending a NSWAGTC seminar
The blogs appearing on the NSWAGTC site are designed to provide colour, news and subjective views about the many issues and concerns facing gifted children and their parents, care-givers and educators.
Some of the blogs are associated with formal roles of the NSWAGTC, such as the President and the Webmaster. These allow the persons filling these roles to note to members any current news and changes.
Other NSWAGTC blogs are written by individuals with experience of gifted children from one or more perspectives - for example Cate's Blog is from the viewpoint of a primary school teacher and parent of gifted children. These blogs are written solely by the person identified and represent his or her views, rather than necessarily those of the NSWAGTC.
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