Parents Voice in Government School Education

Conference Program

State education is evolving and moving at a rapid rate – we invite you to contribute to the conversation. Here’s your opportunity to hear from key people in education, to share your thoughts with them and other parents, in order to provide a collective voice on hot education topics to address the needs and aspirations of Victorian government school children.

We are also excited to have John Hendry OAM back to assist us with this endeavour. He will illustrate how we can all constructively contribute to achieve our objectives on a way forward.


9:00 – Registration opens (Coffee cart also opens!)

Join us for a complimentary coffee and chat before the official opening.

10:00 – Official opening

Minister for Education, Natalie Hutchins

Includes the announcement of the 2023 winner of the  Joan Kirner Award for Parent Participation.

10:45 – Relationships: a constructive focus

John Hendry OAM

Relationships that form in the educational environment are the bedrock for everything else that happens. Quality relationships are the key to quality education for children – we learn through relationships and this is where quality learning takes place.
The world has changed and this is why it is critical for us all to know how to be at our best to navigate expectations and aspirations. It’s important in education and in our lives generally, to learn how to have quality relationships; to have empathy and to embed a kind culture in all that we do.

Moving from a MeFirst Culture to a WeFirst Culture so we all contribute constructively.

11:30 – Education panel discussion with parents

We know parents are passionate about their children’s future – this is a chance for a substantive discussion – to constructively share ideas, hopes and dreams and to propose solutions to challenges the education system is experiencing.

The Panel will be a representation of leaders from Victorian education support organisations:

  • Association for Children with a Disability (Karen Dimmock, CEO)
  • Australian Education Union (Meredith Peace, Victorian President)
  • Country Education Partnership (Mark McLay, CEO)
  • Victorian Principals Association (Andrew Dalgleish, President)
  • Victorian Student Representative Council (Julia Baron, CEO)

We will discuss:

  • What do parents think their students need to help them along the way?
  • What do you need to best support your children in their education?
  • What are the roadblocks you can see ahead.
  • What would you like to discuss and know more about?

12:30 – Lunch

1:15 – School funding in Victoria – the facts

 Trevor Cobbold, National Convenor, Save Our Schools (SOS)

Trevor has been the national convenor of SOS since 2006 and is a life member of the ACT Council of Parents & Citizens Associations. Before he retired, he was an economist with the Productivity Commission and its predecessors for over 30 years. SOS advocates for a high quality public education system and increased equity in education. Trevor will unpack school funding in Australia in plain language and what needs to change.

1:45 – Roadworks in progress

Wear your hard hats!

Once we have identified and unpacked the road blocks we need to construct some potential solutions. What is it that will support families and schools as they head on down the road? What are the important messages for the Department and Government?

3:15 – Afternoon tea

3:30 – Parents Victoria AGM

4:00 – Conference wrap-up & thank you

Official proceedings will finish at 4:30, to give you a break before dinner.

6.00 – Join us for dinner

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