Last week the LDP 8 program got underway with a two-day intensive workshop. The initial intention was that the 30+ participants and their mentors would gather together in Adelaide. However, with the COVID restrictions and the uncertainty of how the states and territories would respond should there be an outbreak, the decision was made to organise three hub groups, one in Adelaide at ALC, one in Melbourne at the Quality Inn at the airport and one at QUT in Brisbane. Those unable to travel to any of the three hubs linked in via zoom.
The program started with a devotion by Pastor James Winderlich. Then we had a celebration and presentation of a back-pack and some treats for the participants with the mentors receiving a similar pack. I sat in on the participant sessions at QUT and on a couple of occasions the mentors joined the participants for whole group sessions. This was replicated in Melbourne and Adelaide. The program for the two days gave participants some additional context to the briefings already shared about the program.
On the first day the participants learned in detail about the three core frameworks and how the mentoring program would ideally work. The second day started with a panel of four, Derek Bartels, Anthony Dyer, Heather Vogt and Eloise Beveridge. The panel started with expressions as to what had changed in education since 1996, what was different about education and the responsibilities and expectations of leaders in schools today. The panel then took questions from the participants across the hubs and remote venues. A really valuable session was the general feedback from the participants.
The enthusiasm that the participants showed at the announcement that they had been successful in their application to be part of the program over the next two years continued throughout the two days of workshops.
Participants (students) now have two years of study ahead of them. We wish them well as they embark on the LDP 8 program and pray that their experience will give them some valuable tools, skills and knowledge that they can put to very good use in their current and future roles in the years ahead.
We are hoping that in late September during the holiday break, we will be able to join as a whole group in Melbourne face-to-face. Some of the participants have mentors in other states and so they haven’t been able to get together at this point. As we have learned about IT from our COVID experiences Zoom is a great tool, so too are other platforms for connecting with our colleagues and friends, but they cannot replace the real thing of face-to-face. Let’s pray that in September we can all come together as we share our knowledge and experiences with each other in Melbourne.
Eunice Stoll – DSLS