One of the LESNW Board’s strategic focus is on increasing the number of women that are equipped for senior leadership and principalship in our region. Whilst women hold a healthy percentage of middle leadership positions in our schools across SA, WA and NT, very few women hold principal positions. A recent snapshot of the status in our schools is that 31 % of principal roles are held by women. Given that 80% of the teacher workforce is women, the percentage that go onto principal and senior positions is very underrepresented.
We know for many women (and men), the classroom is their passion, and that is where they want to continue to serve. However, there are also many other women who have great capacity for school leadership and have not pursued positions for many reasons. With this in mind, we have sent an invitation to women in leadership roles in LESNW learning communities to share stories or experiences that can shed light on why we are so poorly represented in these leadership positions and to then look at ways that we together can find avenues to support women, enabling greater representation in these roles into the future. We are also encouraging leaders to pass this invitation on to other women who aspire to leadership roles in the future.
We are currently sorting out the responses from the invitations and plan to organise times and locations to chat and network which reflect suitable times from the respondents.
We will keep the LESNW community informed regarding outcomes from these meetings. If you are interested in joining in it is not too late! Please email your interest to email@example.com by Monday 21st June.
Heather Vogt (LESNW Board) & Mignon Weckert
Gender and Sexual Diversity in Lutheran Learning Communities Working Group Memo 1
17 May 2021
The LESNW Regional Office is increasingly aware of the conversations learning communities are having with parents, students and staff about students who identify somewhere within the LGBTQAI+ spectrum, and the pastoral and practical implications of this. In turn, the Regional Office has been contacted several times seeking advice and direction.
As the issues involved are quite complex, the Regional Office decided to form a working group to gain a clearer understanding of the breadth of issues involved and in light of that, to seek to develop some information and guidance for learning communities. A letter was sent to all Principals and Directors seeking nominations for the working group. In turn the following 18 staff were selected:
Roger Anderson LESNW Regional Office
Maria Chiarolli Concordia College
Dean Cummins Good Shepherd Lutheran College, Howard Springs NT
Chris England Yirara College, NT
Dale Gosden Concordia College
Marni Harding Endeavour College
Dale Hoffman Cornerstone College
Brett Humphries Good Shepherd Lutheran School, Para Vista
Nicole John Faith Lutheran College – Faith Campus
Paul Kaesler Calvary Lutheran Primary School
Leila Mattner St Paul Lutheran School
Athalie McArdle Unity College
Kathy Oliphant St Martins College
John Proeve LESNW Regional Office
Stuart Traeger LESNW Regional Office
Tim Vanderbom Cornerstone College
The working group met for the first time on Tuesday 11 May with the main aim of determining its purpose and scope.
Being a large and diverse group we spent time listening to each other’s stories, questions, and hoped for outcomes for the working group. We unpacked various understandings of a number of terms and acronyms often used in regards to sexual and gender identity to ensure the group has clarity and precision in its discussions. We then worked through the various expressions of LGBTQAI+ in order to gain an understanding of the various areas learning communities are looking for support in (e.g. same sex attraction, transgender, etc.)
The title, Gender and Sexual Diversity in Lutheran Learning Communities Working Group was chosen in the hope that it respectfully includes all the diverse expressions of gender and sexual identities without giving them titles. It also identifies it as a working group which has a task to complete within a certain time frame.
The working group realizes that gender and sexual diversity is expressed by students, staff and parents within our learning communities. The working group, however, decided to concentrate its efforts on student expression of gender and sexual diversity. It is hoped that much of this work will then in turn be able to speak into staff and parent expressions of gender and sexual diversity.
The purpose and scope is still being refined, but in essence the purpose of the working group is to provide support and guidance to LESNW learning communities in the areas of student gender and sexual diversity. Taking into account relevant LCA statements, pastoral and legal perspectives, along with student, staff and parent voices (particularly from the LGBTQAI+ community), the group hopes to provide assistance to learning communities with regard to:
- Pastoral and practical considerations
- Clarity on the relevant legal requirements
- Resources to educate staff, students, parents and community members in gender and sexual diversity
- Understandings related to acceptance, support, and celebration of gender and sexual diversity
The working group endeavors to provide the outcome of its work to the LESNW Board by the end of April 2022. In the meantime, it also intends to keep learning communities, principals and directors updated through regular memos such as this.
These are very complex and highly emotive issues as they relate to student identity. Individual views on gender and sexual diversity can be quite strong and divided. The working group began its first meeting by reflecting on how King Solomon asked God for a discerning (i.e. listening) heart so that he could govern wisely. Please pray that God will similarly grant the working group a discerning heart that we may listen attentively to the needs of students, staff and families, to the Word of God, to the laws of our state and nation, and in humility, propose a way forward for LESNW learning communities.
If you have any questions of the working group, or are aware of anything that could benefit the work of the working group, please contact me via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0437 421 558.
Stuart Traeger (Spiritual & Cultural Leader, LESNW Regional Office),
On behalf of the Gender and Sexual Diversity in Lutheran Learning Communities Working Group
LESNW is seeking feedback from its membership on the suggested strategies and actions to compliment our Strategic Intention Goals.
The Strategic Intentions 2020 – 2022 adopted by LESNW at its May 2020 AGM shows a shift from previous strategic plans being LESNW Secretariat centric to being a plan for all LESNW member learning communities to adopt.
Following the AGM, the LESNW Board put together five working groups, made up of LESNW representatives, to work through the goals and develop possible strategies and actions that could be relevant and achievable for all learning communities. Each community may not be able to achieve all of them but should be able to introduce and achieve some of them before 2022.
The collated work of the these groups is available for you to view here and forms the basis of the feedback survey.
The Goal Two Working Group has also put together some other reflection/discussion points for consideration as you look over the suggested strategies and actions: Additional notes for the LESNW Goal Working Group Strategic Intentions 2020 – 2023
The feedback survey is open to all LESNW members Monday 19 October 2020 and closes 5.00pm Monday 2 November 2020. Your feedback on these aspects of the strategies and actions is important to helping the LESNW Board and the secretariat determine how we can best support all of our learning communities. The survey has been designed to allow you to respond to as much or as little of the strategies/actions as you choose. Each strategy has a section for feedback on the strategy statement and a section for feedback/suggestions on the actions to be taken for that strategy. Alternatively, you can submit any feedback you may have to email@example.com.
You can access the survey here: https://app.surveymethods.com/EndUser.aspx?DFFB9788DF9E828ADA
It has been inspiring to observe how the LESNW community had been connecting and “sharing for improvement: harnessing collective wisdom” an important capability from Growing deep.
What does this look like?
- Ongoing forums for primary, secondary and ELC/Kindergarten senior leaders, principals and directors connecting, collaborating and sharing ideas and practices as a means of encouraging excellence in learning. Opportunities have been provided fortnightly (see below). Look out for communication regarding ongoing opportunities to connect around areas of interest and need.
- SALLS and Primary Leaders meeting remotely to share stories of “engaging the community” planned for June 4. Register via LESNW Events.
- Establishment of MS Teams for SALLS, Primary Leaders and ELC/Kindy directors to share resources, strategies and promote collaboration as well as LESNW Padlets eg COVID-19 Resources, Christian Studies, Awareness Based System Leadership
- Learning Labs 1.0 for principals, and senior leaders and Lab 2.0 recommencing in the week of June 15.
- Accessing and participating in the many online opportunities to connect with learning communities outside of LESNW, such as AISSA’s Leading Innovation Webinar Series, seminars promoted through Agile Learning – Watering Hole, as well as a raft of local and global webinars. From a personal perspective I am benefitting from being connected to the Compassionate Systems Virtual Global Community (even if it does start at 10.30pm!) where global educators share ways of using systems thinking, developing generative social fields, taking a compassionate stance and addressing the Well-being framework in these times of challenge.
We look forward to continue to provide platforms for sharing for improvement with a particular focus on harnessing collective wisdom, and welcome input from leaders and learning communities in ways to develop this further.
Forum dates and registration links
Friday 22 May 9:30 – 10:15 am Secondary teaching and learning leaders Register
Monday 25 May 2:00 – 2:45pm Primary teaching and learning leaders Register
Monday 25 May 3:40 – 4:20pm Kindy, ELC and Early Years Leaders Register
To register do so via LESNW Events. You will then be sent a Lifesize link for the session. Please check that you can access Lifesize at least a day prior to the forum.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Last week the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released data on changes in jobs and wages between the week ending 14 March 2020 (the week Australia recorded its 100th confirmed COVID-19 case) and the week ending 4 April 2020.
John Black from Education Geographics has kindly provided to LESNW data on job losses by ABS areas. It shows a remarkable consistency across areas where learning communities are located, with around a 5% loss in each area in South Australia and Western Australia.
Date: Friday March 6
Time: 9.00am to 11.00am
Venue: LESNW Meeting Room 1
For Principals, Business Managers and Complispace Administrators
Places are still available for this workshop presented by Complispace Principal Consultant Svetlana Pozydajew.
Register for this event here.
Each term the secondary school chaplains and pastors meet with myself to discuss mutual matters regarding mission and ministry in their schools. Dates for this year are:
Tuesday 17 March, 9:00am – 12:00pm. Concordia College, Concordia Campus.
Wednesday 10 June, 12pm – 3pm. Immanuel College, Novar Gardens.
Monday 24 May (5:00pm) to Wednesday 26 May (1:00pm). Sevenhill (Spiritual Retreat)
Wednesday 4 November, 12:30pm – 3:00pm. LESNW
Spiritual & Cultural Leader
Complispace have extended the close off date for Expressions of interest in the Safe Excursions – Plan Check Go proposal to this Friday 7 February. The proposal for LESNW Learning Communities can be viewed here.
Expressions of interest should be forwarded to email@example.com. Joylene is also available if you have any questions on 1300 132 090.
Or you can contact Gerry Conley at LESNW 08 8267 8411.
If you have appointed a new facilitator for Valuing Safe Communities, can you please ask them to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 14 February, indicating that they have been appointed to the role. This will help our office to identify who the new facilitators are, and a date and a venue for training will be arranged based upon the response received.
Spiritual & Cultural Leader