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From Ken Dickens (CEO)

During April I had the privilege to be involved in two state Conferences in Victoria and South Australia. The Victorian conference that that had over 600 delegates was held for three days at Donvale Christian College. As a keynote presenter I worked with Justine Toh from the Centre for Public Christianity and Mark Roques from the West Yorkshire School of Christian Studies. It was very encouraging to hear these two presenters, from vastly different contexts, in fresh ways exhorting our teachers to affirm creation and culture while discerning the idolatrous forces that cause distortion. Justine focused on understanding our cultural context in the light of the Gospel and Mark demonstrated a pedagogy of story-telling to expose the false gospels of our day.

As well as the keynotes participants could choose from a range of workshops on ‘model lessons’ from their peers or National Institute postgraduate courses taught by a cohort of adjunct leaders (mainly from Victoria with two ‘ring ins’ from WA and SA). It was great to see over 60 teachers engaging in postgraduate study as part of their conference. The whole conference was a wonderful time of fellowship, encouragement, and inspiration.

The South Australian conference was held in two different venues¬-Horizon Christian School on one day and Torrens Valley Christian School on the other. It was great to have ‘country’ and ‘town’ experience and it made it easier for the more remote schools to join in. The keynote presenters were Mike Goheen and his daughter and son in law–Erin Goheen Glanville and Mark Glanville. Mike is a theologian/philosopher, Erin is a cultural studies and literature academic, and Mark is a pastor/theologian. Between the three of them they provided a very rich understanding of how Christian education can inspire students towards a ‘contrast community’ marked by gospel generosity and thankfulness with humble discernment.

Congratulations to Michelle and Wendy and the teams they worked with to produce such rich and inspiring conferences. I look forward to working with the other states and when we meet together in Canberra later this month.

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