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VPC Parent, School, Community Engagement Day

VPC Parent, School and Community Engagement in Student Learning


with international guest speaker Prof Debbie Pushor

Victorian Parents Council co-hosted event with the Australian Parents Council






in addition to the following 

 guest speakers and panel members



  • Parent Engagement in Education and Schooling

Debbie Pushor, PhD,

Professor, Department of Curriculum Studies, University of Saskatchewan, Canada. Debbie has engaged in narrative inquiries into parent engagement and leadership, a curriculum of parents, and parent knowledge. In her undergraduate and graduate teaching, Debbie makes central an often absent or underrepresented conversation about the positioning of parents in relation to school landscapes. Debbie, in collaboration with the Parent Engagement Collaboratives I and II, published, Portals of Promise: Transforming Beliefs and Practices through a Curriculum of Parents (Sense Publishers, 2013) and Living as Mapmakers: Charting a Course with Children Guided by Parent Knowledge (Sense Publishers, 2015).

While the terms parent involvement and parent engagement are often used interchangeably, there is a significant conceptual difference. What is that difference? Why is it important? What does the research tell us? In this session, Dr. Debbie Pushor will define parent engagement, discuss critical attributes of parent engagement, and share examples of meaningful and authentic parent engagement practices.


  • Parent Engagement Communication and Home-School Conflict

Jacqui Van de Velde

Jacqui has more than 25 years experience in education in both a professional and volunteer capacity. She has worked in and continues to work across a variety of educational and cultural contexts, in Australia, New Zealand, the EU, Singapore and North America. Jacqui is a passionate advocate for parent engagement in education, teaching standards, improved educational outcomes for K-12, wellbeing, professional learning networks and continuing education in the workplace. Jacqui is married with two adult children and is based in Sydney, NSW, Australia.


  • Using Parent Knowledge in Teaching and Learning including home visits

Debbie Pushor, PhD

Parent knowledge is a critical attribute of authentic and meaningful parent engagement. Drawing from her research on parent knowledge. Dr. Debbie Pushor will explore what parent knowledge is, how parents hold and use their knowledge, and how that knowledge can be used in schools alongside teacher knowledge to enrich teaching and learning opportunities, and to enhance educational outcomes, for students.


  • Engagement/partnership approaches to learning and wellbeing in the non-government school sector in Victoria and from DET’s perspective

Catherine Meynell-James

Catherine is Stakeholder Manager |Group Strategy and Performance | Strategy & Integration Division | Early Childhood & School Education Group Department of Education & Training


  • Parent Engagement in Australia: What does that look like?

Ms Caz Batson (Bosch) MAPS

Caz is a registered psychologist and consultant with core expertise in leadership development and organisational change. As a committed volunteer for many years, she has directed her energy towards improving the education, health and well-being outcomes of young people in Australia and Asia. A former president of YMCA Australia, the Australian Parents Council and Federation of Catholic School Parent Communities SA, Caz knows that informed and engaged families make a vital difference to children and communities. Caz is the president of Parents Australia Incorporated, a charity which builds the confidence and capacity of parents to productively engage in children’s learning and development. She designed the nationally recognised qualification, 10500NAT Certificate IV in Parent, Family and Community Engagement, and collaboratively revised the core elements of Australia’s Family-School Partnerships Framework (2017).


  • Engagement/partnership approaches to learning and wellbeing in the independent school sector from ISV’s perspective

Aynur Simsirel

Aynur is Principal Advisor for Independent Schools Victoria. She supports schools in a variety of contexts, ranging from compliance, policy development, curriculum and student wellbeing initiatives as well as school performance, strategic planning and governance. Aynur has significant experience in school leadership. She has worked in middle leadership roles, as a deputy principal and executive principal overseeing the growth of a multi campus Independent school. She has over 20 years’ experience as an educator.


  • Panel member

Rachel Saliba

Rachel has worked in various levels of education and has three children attending primary and secondary schools in Melbourne. She currently runs a consulting firm, Practically Learning, specialising in guiding schools and families to embrace a culture of family engagement in learning so together they can provide the support and encouragement children need to thrive. Rachel also manages roles as Executive Officer for Catholic School Parents Victoria and is a representative of Catholic School Parents Australia.





for current VPC members, individual or parents/staff from VPC member schools, including catering cost 80$ per ticket
Non-members and other organisations (Seminar and catering) 100$ per ticket
Complimentary ticket only if you receive a "complimentary ticket"  by email

at Brighton Grammar School

 Brighton Vic 3186







Thursday 23 August 2018


Registration from 8.30am, including "working with children certificate"


Seminar commences at 9.00am - 4.30pm


Contact Details:



mobile; 0401 229 140