Kathe Kirby, Executive Director, Asia Education Foundation
2016 has been a significant year for the Asia Education Foundation (AEF). We have worked to develop the global competence and Asia capabilities of students and teachers on a national and international scale. We are indebted to our many partners who support us to achieve this including education systems and sectors across Australia and Asia, philanthropic and corporate supporters, government agencies, school leadership and classroom practitioners, teacher educators and peak parent bodies.
Australia-Asia BRIDGE School Partnership Program
This year our flagship Australia-Asia BRIDGE School Partnership Program expanded to include a regionally focused ASEAN project. Funded until the end of 2018, the Australia-ASEAN BRIDGE School Partnerships Program will support the establishment of 79 school partnerships between Australia and Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, The Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam - adding to existing BRIDGE programs in China, Indonesia, India and South Korea.
BRIDGE was awarded the 2016 Best Practice in International Education Award from the International Education Association of Australia. Watch the video here.
Read more about the Australia-Asia BRIDGE School Partnership Program.
In addition to school and workplaces visits supported by more than 200 skilled professionals, this year marked the launch of our new student engagement programs. These interactive programs aim to help students develop the skills they need to succeed in a diverse and interconnected world and to grow into active and informed local and global citizens.
- The Global Goals Youth Forum is a full-day program that challenges students to use design thinking to collaboratively propose innovative solutions to achieve the United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development. Students design their ‘Big Idea’ to help address global issues such as poverty, climate change and gender inequality. Supported by the Andrews Foundation and Bass Coast Shire Council, our inaugural forum in country Victoria saw Victorian Member of Parliament, Brian Paynter and CEO of the Committee for Gippsland, Mary Aldred, highlight the power of collaboration to achieve positive change and encouraged students to be open to and respectful of others’ ideas and opinions.
Register now for our first Global Goals Youth Forum in 2017.
- The Australia-ASEAN Youth Forum is a full-day interactive simulation where students discuss regional issues from the perspectives of Australian and Southeast Asian leaders. Guided by Go Global Ambassadors such as Deborah Steele, ABC Asia Pacific Editor and Kate Longhurst, Director of the ASEAN & Regional Programs Section at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the 150 students involved to date in Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory had the difficult task of reaching agreements to tackle climate change, forced migration and the impacts of regional trade.
Watch students speak about their experience in the Australia-ASEAN Youth Forum here.
"The ASEAN Youth Forum was engaging and educational. It is important for us as young people to be involved in this conversation because it is our future."
- Thea Morton, Bendigo Senior Secondary College, 2016
Our five Go Global forums in 2016 have involved 33 schools from three states. The experience had a deep impact on student learning, providing unique opportunities to put knowledge and skills into practice in a meaningful way, interact with experts, and connect what they learn in class with future education and career pathways.
Read more about our new suite of Go Global student programs.
Through our extensive range of immersive in-country programs, we delivered professional learning to 100 Australian school educators in eight programs to seven countries including India, Cambodia, Indonesia, Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong and China. AEF also provided programs in Australia to 130 teachers and school leaders from China, South Korea and Indonesia.
"The program exceeded my expectations. The opportunity has given me a solid understanding and background knowledge of the history, culture and politics of Korea."
- Korean Studies Workshop Program,2016
Read more about the study program opportunities being offered in 2017.
GEN21 Schools Service
GEN21 is a new AEF service for primary and secondary schools to improve student learning outcomes relating to three key areas of learning: Australia and our place in the world, intercultural understanding and languages learning. The Gen 21 diagnostic tool gathers data from the school community to enable schools to build on their strengths in these areas and to identify gaps in curriculum and programs that require action.
Watch GEN21 in action.
Professional Learning Programs
In 2016 AEF led a number of face-to-face programs focused on stimulating dialogue between experts and school educators focused on teaching for intercultural understanding, digital technologies and global competencies. Our Masterclasses were held in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth engaging over 250 educators over eight programs.
Leading Asia Capable Schools
AEF partnered with the Victorian Department of Education and Training, Asialink Business and the Bastow Institute for Educational Leadership to deliver a new ‘Leading Asia Capable Schools’ course to build the Asia capability of Victorian school leaders. The course included an intensive in-country study program to China to experience Australian business in action.
Watch participants speak about their experience in the Leading Asia Capable Schools Course program.
"Being part of the Leading Asia Capable Schools Program has been such a privilege. The experience has made me aware of the importance of being strategic when it comes to the economic future of our students… we need to ensure that we are delivering a curriculum that develops workforce capabilities and a global mindset so that opportunities are not missed."
- Metropolitan secondary college principal, 2016
In partnership with Independent Schools Victoria (ISV) we developed a rich interactive online Toolkit that provides teachers with access to digital content that supports embedding Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia across The Arts learning area.
This year saw the expansion of our social media footprint across Twitter, Facebook, Asia EdNet and AEF eNews allowing us to link our 20,000+ followers with like-minded educators across the globe.
AEF’s work would not be possible without the support of schools, teachers and school leaders across Australia who participate in our programs. We acknowledge your strong commitment to building a better future by equipping your students with the knowledge, mindset and skill set to be ready for the world.
We wish you all an enjoyable festive season and look forward to working with you again in 2017.
Download the 2016 Asia Education Foundation brand brochure.