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SLANSW hosts a number of professional learning events each year at a discounted rate for members. Our regular professional learning program consists of two face-to-face conferences per year (usually held in February and October), as well as monthly online meet-up sessions.

SLANSW also offers professional learning opportunities through partnerships with other professional associations, organisations and and industry events. Previous partners have included Eduwebinar, Syba Academy, Spark Festival, and Brisbane Summit's Capacity Building School Libraries conference. 

Professional learning calendar

    • 7 Mar 2020
    • 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
    • State Library of NSW, Sydney
    • 129

    SLANSW Conference Day

    Venue: State Library of NSW, Macquarie Street, Sydney 

    This conference will feature authors, academics, teachers and teacher librarians who have expertise in various aspects of reading across the curriculum and Indigenous language and culture. The purpose of the program is to share research into reading and language, and to provide practical applications of strategies for engaging students in reading and developing a broader understanding of language.

    Specific attention will be given to the conference theme across all stages, with a focus on developing reading programs that address language and culture, with direct links to the curriculum. The keynote and concurrent sessions will provide research and strategies to assist in the creation of opportunities for students to develop an understanding of and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and languages.

    Other concurrent sessions will address how reading programs can be designed to meet the needs of students with varying levels of physical, social and intellectual development. The structure of the program and the range of presenters provides participants with learning opportunities targeted to their professional needs.

    Details of the full conference program are available here.


    Featured speakers include

    Alex Wharton

    Alex Wharton is Head of Middle School at Carinya Christian School, Gunnedah. Alex is an English Teacher and has written extensively with regards to teaching and learning resources for subject English, and has presented at local, state and national conferences for English Teachers.

    In 2014, Alex won a Premier’s English Teachers Association Scholarship and travelled to the United States in 2015 to research famous American novels including To Kill a Mockingbird, The Great Gatsby, Of Mice and Men and Catcher in the Rye.

    In 2019, Alex became the Copyright Agency’s first Reading Australia Fellow for Teacher of English and Literacy. Alex’s research project is titled The Missing Peace and will be an analysis of the Australian literary representation surrounding the First Nation and non-First Nation colonial experience. In doing so, Alex will explore best practice around teaching Indigenous literature in the classroom.

    Kirli Saunders

    Proud Gunai Woman, Kirli Saunders is an award-winning international Children's Author, Poet, Teacher, and emerging Artist. She leads Poetry in First Languages, delivered by Red Room Poetry.

    Kirli’s debut picture book The Incredible Freedom Machines was shortlisted for the Prime Ministers Literary Awards and CBCA notables. Her poetry collection, Kindred was Highly Commended in Black&Write.

    She is the inaugural winner of the Daisy Utemorrah Award and University of Canberra ATSI Poetry prize. Kirli was shortlisted for the 2020 NSW Woman of the Year. She was guest writer for the Embassy in Jakarta and Bali (2019) and Beijing (2020).

    Other confirmed presenters for the conference include:

    Melissa Jackson
    State Library of NSW, Librarian Indigenous Engagement

    Heather Zubek
    Heather is a freelance writer and educator, based in Melbourne.
    Heather is conscious of the fact that early readers make life-long readers and takes every opportunity to play matchmaker with books and children. She is also a read aloud advocate who delights in reading to children and adults and in helping parents turn their children into enthusiastic readers.

    Janet Agostino
    Co-ordinator of Diverse Learners, Our Lady of Good Counsel, Forestville

    Judith Wakeman
    Judith is a Melbourne based Teacher Librarian who recognises the special relationships many students build with their school librarian, helping them view their library as a safe place – a learning environment where they are able to explore ideas and be themselves free of judgement from others.
    She has studied Bibliotherapy and Youth Mental Health First Aid, and believes that the school library can be one of many exciting and colorful pathways to building and maintaining good mental health and resilience for young people struggling with life pressures.

    Dr Kasey Garrison
    Kasey is a Senior Lecturer and specialist in children’s literature at the School of Information Studies, Charles Sturt University.

    Lee Fitzgerald
    Lee is a teacher librarian with a long history in primary and secondary school libraries and an adjunct lecturer at the School of Information Studies, Charles Sturt University.

    Winnie Mak
    Teacher Librarian, Botany Public School & Kingsgrove Public School

    Louise Sherwin-Stark
    Chair, Australian Reading Hour Committee

    School Library Association of NSW through the Professional Teachers’ Council NSW is endorsed to provide the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Registered Professional Development for teachers accredited at Proficient, Highly Accomplished, and Lead levels.

    Completing Reach Out Through Reading on 7 March 2020 will contribute 4 hours 30 minutes of NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Registered PD addressing 2.4.2, 3.3.2, 6.2.2 and 7.4.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.

    Thank you to our event sponsor: The State Library of NSW

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