Reflecting on the Carey Collective conference

Over 400 Carey staff came together for a three-day conference during the third week of school holidays, in order to explore Carey’s nine Attributes of a Positive Learner. 

The attributes are grouped into three domains:
Thinking: Reflection, Curiosity, Imagination
Relationships: Collaboration, Connectedness, Communication
Self-Management: Resilience, Courage, Knowledge.

In welcoming staff, the Principal mentioned that ‘education needs to evolve to the point where students are given explicit opportunities to grow in those attributes they will need in a rapidly-changing world’. All staff, both teaching and professional support staff, had the opportunity to consider how they could personally respond to the attributes, and in turn, how this could then impact the lives of our students.

Aptly named the ‘Carey Collective’, the three days engaged a huge breadth of external presenters, including a number of OCGs and a panel of current students, providing their understanding of why these attributes are important both at school and in the world beyond the Carey gates. We heard many inspiring presentations from leading educators around the world, including the Director of the Centre for Real-World Learning, Professor Bill Lucas; the Director of Unstuck Learning, Chris Harte; and the current Principal of Rooty Hill High School, Christine Cawsey. All possess globally-recognised expertise. There was also representation from the business sector through Mercer, and in the performing arts with actress Christie Whelan Browne shedding light on her role as part of the #MeToo campaign. Former student and AFL footballer Daniel Jackson ran workshops on resilience and 19-year-old Ruby Bourke provided staff with a stark reminder of the necessity of leading a more sustainable life. Staff were encouraged to develop their own personalised itinerary over the three days, with the many elective presentations and activities for staff to choose from and many potential pathways to follow.

There were also many sessions driven by our own Carey staff. Several staff volunteered to model how they are currently combining the more traditional classroom instruction in content skills with an equally important focus on personal attribute development. Some staff contributed discussion about how they are practicing the attributes in their lives outside of the School. This ‘marketplace’ of ideas with over 30 staff presenters on the final day spoke highly of the broad staff engagement and the healthy body of work that has already been created at Carey.

It is exciting work with all staff in all areas sharing the common goal to better equip our students, regardless of age, to become wise, independent, motivated learners.

Amber in Year 11 was able to join us to present on a student panel. You can read her reflection of the conference in our Deputy Principal's article.

Peter Robson
Director of Positive Education and Wellbeing