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  • Reach Out Through Reading, SLANSW State Library Conference Day (7 March 2020)

Event details

Reach Out Through Reading, SLANSW State Library Conference Day (7 March 2020)

  • 7 Mar 2020
  • 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
  • State Library of NSW, Sydney
  • 63


  • For participants who are not current financial members of SLANSW (note complimentary membership of the Association will be provided for the remainder of the membership year as part of this registration fee)
  • For financial members of SLANSW only
  • Discounted rate for SLANSW Committee members
  • For presenters/organisers to register their complimentary attendance as advised by the Organising Committee

SLANSW Conference Day

Venue: State Library of NSW, Macquarie Street, Sydney 

This conference will feature authors, academics, teachers and teacher librarians who have expertise in various aspects of reading across the curriculum and Indigenous language and culture. The purpose of the program is to share research into reading and language, and to provide practical applications of strategies for engaging students in reading and developing a broader understanding of language.

Specific attention will be given to the conference theme across all stages, with a focus on developing reading programs that address language and culture, with direct links to the curriculum. The keynote and concurrent sessions will provide research and strategies to assist in the creation of opportunities for students to develop an understanding of and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and languages.

Other concurrent sessions will address how reading programs can be designed to meet the needs of students with varying levels of physical, social and intellectual development. The structure of the program and the range of presenters provides participants with learning opportunities targeted to their professional needs.

Details of the full conference program are available here.


Featured speakers include

Alex Wharton

Alex Wharton is Head of Middle School at Carinya Christian School, Gunnedah. Alex is an English Teacher and has written extensively with regards to teaching and learning resources for subject English, and has presented at local, state and national conferences for English Teachers.

In 2014, Alex won a Premier’s English Teachers Association Scholarship and travelled to the United States in 2015 to research famous American novels including To Kill a Mockingbird, The Great Gatsby, Of Mice and Men and Catcher in the Rye.

In 2019, Alex became the Copyright Agency’s first Reading Australia Fellow for Teacher of English and Literacy. Alex’s research project is titled The Missing Peace and will be an analysis of the Australian literary representation surrounding the First Nation and non-First Nation colonial experience. In doing so, Alex will explore best practice around teaching Indigenous literature in the classroom.

Other confirmed presenters for the conference include:

Melissa Jackson
State Library of NSW, Librarian Indigenous Engagement

Growing up in Sydney, Melissa Jackson is of Bundjalung descent with family links to the Baryulgil area near Grafton, New South Wales. Melissa has worked in various NSW government departments before starting work at the State Library of New South Wales in 1991. She has a background in teaching and librarianship and has a Master in Indigenous Language Education from the University of Sydney.

Ground-breaking exhibitions like “Living Language” do not happen without the guidance and direction of Community. Melissa, who is one of the curators of this exhibition, will be sharing how the Library’s extensive consultation with language champions has made this exhibition a brilliant fusion of library collections and lived community experiences.

Heather Zubek
Freelance writer and educator, based in Melbourne.

Heather is conscious of the fact that early readers make life-long readers and takes every opportunity to play matchmaker with books and children. She is also a read aloud advocate who delights in reading to children and adults and in helping parents turn their children into enthusiastic readers.

Judith Wakeman

Teacher Librarian

Judith recognises the special relationships many students build with their school librarian, helping them view their library as a safe place – a learning environment where they are able to explore ideas and be themselves free of judgement from others. She has studied Bibliotherapy and Youth Mental Health First Aid, and believes that the school library can be one of many exciting and colorful pathways to building and maintaining good mental health and resilience for young people struggling with life pressures.

Lee FitzGerald

Teacher Librarian and an adjunct lecturer at the School of Information Studies, Charles Sturt University.

and Dr Kasey Garrison
Senior Lecturer, School of Information Studies, Charles Sturt University.

Lee and Kasey will focus on using fiction and literary nonfiction in areas other than English, for the Cross Curriculum Priorities and General Capabilities. Their presentation will look at locating and providing examples of genres in topic areas across the curriculum in the form of graphic novels, picture books, fiction and literary non-fiction as well as digital literature.   

Winnie Mak
Teacher Librarian, 
Botany Public School & Kingsgrove Public School

Creating informative, meaningful and interactive learning spaces through Library Displays is her passion. Winnie will be sharing ideas on what her displays are about, where she gets her inspiration, and presenting her 2020 ideas for you to use, or as inspiration for you to take your displays to the next level.

Louise Sherwin-Stark
Chair, Australian Reading Hour Committee and  CEO of Hachette Australia & New Zealand 

Passionate about promoting the benefits of reading to all Australians, Louise will be suggesting how teacher librarians can take part in Australian Reading Hour 2020. The Australia Reads Committee are planning a much broader and diverse range of activities to promote books, authors, reading and writing throughout September this year.

Janet Agostino
Co-ordinator of Diverse Learners, Our Lady of Good Counsel, Forestville and Post Graduate Research student at UNSW

Gifted students benefit from thought-provoking and language-rich literature to engage their enquiring minds and develop their social-emotional learning skills. Janet will outline how the school-wide cluster grouping model is used to extend literacy enrichment opportunities to gifted students across the school. Ideas for selecting and teaching quality literature will be discussed. Feedback and work samples from the students themselves will also be presented.

School Library Association of NSW through the Professional Teachers’ Council NSW is endorsed to provide the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Registered Professional Development for teachers accredited at Proficient, Highly Accomplished, and Lead levels.

Completing Reach Out Through Reading on 7 March 2020 will contribute 4 hours 30 minutes of NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Registered PD addressing 2.4.2, 3.3.2, 6.2.2 and 7.4.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.

Thank you to our event sponsor: The State Library of NSW

Please note SLANSW's Cancellation and Refund Policy for Professional Learning Events when registering for this conference.

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