Sylvia Walton Oration & ACE Victoria Awards

Thursday 26th October 2017

The Oration

The annual Sylvia Walton Oration is a prominent feature of the ACE Victoria calendar. Amongst many roles in education, Dr Sylvia Walton AO, FACE was Chancellor of La Trobe University, Principal of Tintern Grammar, Principal of St Catherine’s School and also Deputy Head of Campus at Caulfield Grammar School, Wheelers Hill, where this year’s oration is being held. The oration is delivered by a prominent contributor to education and seeks to highlight contemporary issues faced by the education community. This year’s oration will be presented by Professor Helen Cahill, Director of the Youth Research Centre, Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne.

The title of this year’s oration is ‘Social and emotional learning – from evidence to action’

Schools are a key setting through which to build the personal and social capabilities. The OECD defines social and relational skills as the 21st Century skills which are key for success in life and employment. Research demonstrates that social and emotional learning programs can lead to improved academic outcomes and reduced rates of bullying, disengagement, depression and anxiety. This presentation focuses on the ways that evidence-informed approaches to social and emotional learning can inform best practice in pedagogy, with emphasis on collaborative learning, relationship-building and metacognitive engagement.

The Awards

Sir James Darling Medal

This ACE Victoria award is named after the founder of the College and is awarded each year to an eminent Victorian educator. This year it has been awarded to Dr Heather Schnagl AM FACE FACEA MAICD, principal of Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar School. Unfortunately Heather cannot attend the evening in person so she will be presented the award at her school where it will be video-recorded. This, along with an interview with Heather, will be re-played on the evening.

ACE Media Award

This award profiles a powerful and significant piece of education journalism published in Victoria and celebrates the journalist whose work it represents. The award receives submissions from many media outlets. This year it has been awarded to Henrietta Cook, education editor at The Age for a feature she published which shone a light on the mental health issues plaguing our principals and teachers: ‘This is not something anyone should go through especially over a job’: the sickness plaguing our principals. Henrietta will be present on the evening and will address the audience.

The Orator

Professor Helen Cahill

Professor Cahill leads research and teaching in the area of child and youth wellbeing, specializing in approaches to addressing social health issues relating to gender, mental health and sexuality education. Her body of work includes transformative education programs developed for a range of United Nations agencies working within 15 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, and education systems across Australia.

Professor Cahill is the lead author of over 30 education programs designed to advance student wellbeing in the areas of gender rights, sexuality, social and emotional learning, violence prevention, alcohol education, grief education and youth participation. Her 70 academic publications span the disciplines of health and education. Her recent works include the Resilience Rights and Respectful Relationships teaching and learnings resources published by the Department of Education Victoria, developed for use with students from Foundation to Year 12.

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