Parents Voice in Government School Education

Annual Conference

Annual Conference is one of the major events on the Parents Victoria calendar.

Big issues

  • Conference allows parents to explore some of the ‘big issues’ confronting education across the state and the nation.
  • Each year there is a Conference theme which reflects one or more of the major challenges facing education generally or Parent Clubs in particular.
  • The issues are covered in a variety of ways including keynote speakers and workshops.

Networking opportunity

  • Conference is a unique opportunity for parents to meet and share experiences and ideas
  • Listening to and participating in debate of policy items with parents from around the state.

Who comes to conference?

  • Anyone can attend our Annual Conference.
  • Conference costs are determined by the PV Board annually.

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2023 Conference

Conference videos

Official opening, ‘social contract’ around schools

Stephen Fraser, (Deputy Secretary, Department of Education) opens the Conference, as newly appointed Minister for Education Ben Carroll was unable to attend. Stephen gives a very interesting presentation on the ‘social contract’ that underlies school education in our society. 

Questions from Conference attendees

Stephen Fraser answers questions from Conference attendees: Community Engagement Officers in schools, student absenteeism/school refusal post-Covid, support and education for parents, parent/school dialogue & collaboration.



Relationships: A Constructive Focus

John Hendry OAM presents the core principles of Relationship based Education. What are the 5 essential elements of a quality relationship? Why are relationships so important to learning?

Panel discussion – School funding

Panel members discuss the issue of school funding.

Panel discussion – School zones

Panel members discuss the issue of mandatory school zoning. 

Panel discussion – Vaping

Panel members discuss the issue of vaping.

Panel discussion – Workforce shortages

Panel members discuss the issue of workforce shortages in the school system. 

Panel discussion – Students with disabilities

Panel members discuss the issue of students with disabilities.

The facts about school funding – Trevor Cobbold

Trevor Cobbold’s presentation on the facts and figures of school funding. This presentation is also available in print form.

Roadworks in Progress – School funding

Discussion groups come up with solutions for “The Road Ahead”

Roadworks in Progress – Students with disability

Discussion groups come up with solutions for “The Road Ahead”

Roadworks in Progress – Bullying

Discussion groups come up with solutions for “The Road Ahead”


Conference outcomes and follow-up information


Conference sponsors

2022 Conference

Our 2022 E-Conference theme was Relationship based Education (RbE). The Conference was held on 24 October. 
RbE is a philosophy of education that puts relationships at the centre. It was developed by John Hendry OAM based on his 50 years experience as an educator. Relationships that form in the educational environment are the bedrock for everything else that happens.

Read more in our RbE pages. 


Full program

Download the Conference brochure for the full program. Opens in new tab

Annual Report

The Conference included our AGM, during which the Annual Report was presented.

You can download the Annual Report now Opens in new tab.

2021 Conference

Videos of presentations from the Conference are available below, as follows:

  1. Education Minister James Merlino’s Conference opening and announcement of the 2021 Joan Kirner Parent Participation Award. 
  2. “Caring through Connection” – Elspeth Stephenson.
  3. “Collective Conversation on Consent” – Debbie Ollis, Chanel Contos, Katrina Marson. 

2020 Conference

Our 2020 Conference theme was “Brave New World: Changes, challenges and opportunities for families and schools”


We thank Education Minister James Merlino for opening the conference and answering questions.

Mr Merlino presented  the Joan Kirner Award and the ‘Parent Champion During Covid’ Award.

Mr Merlino also took questions – here are his answers Opens in new tab, emailed to us after the Conference.

Joan Kirner Award 

The Joan Kirner is an annual award given to a Member Parent Club, Parent, or Individual Member who has demonstrated, encouraged, or facilitated parent or family engagement in their school.

This year’s winner is Catherine Kirby (Sandringham College)

Parent Champion During Covid Award 

The ‘Parent Champion During Covid’ is a new award for clubs and parents who have made a positive contribution to their school community during the ‘learning From home’ periods this year.

This year’s winner is Nikky Edwards (Croydon Hills Primary School)

Re-setting the foundations for good mental health for families post COVID

Presenter: Dr Stephen Carbone, Executive Director, Prevention United.

Download Stephen’s PowerPoint slides Opens in new tab

Family Engagement Officers in schools

Presenter: Dori Ellington, Community Engagement Officer at Whittington Primary School.

For a parent perspective on Dori’s role at the school, see this article by parent Jade Millman.

Connected Schools Communities: The Next School Improvement Frontier

Presenter: Adam Voigt, Director, Real Schools.


Annual Report

The 2021 Parents Victoria Annual Report was presented at the Conference.

Download the 2021 Annual Report

2019 Conference

Everyone's mental health and wellbeing matters


Conference overview

Panel discussion – Scenario 1

The Way Forward: How to kindly and constructively deal with difference and conflict in schools.
A panel of educators and students discusses scenarios of difference and conflict. This video covers Scenario 1.

Panel discussion – Scenario 2

The Way Forward: How to kindly and constructively deal with difference and conflict in schools.
A panel of educators and students discusses scenarios of difference and conflict. This video covers Scenario 2.