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April 2023 News

Dear Friends of ADEC, I hope you have all had a good first term and have found many ways for students and the community to experience agency within your schools and home learning environments. 2023 ADEC Conference We are excited to be able to announce the dates for the next ADEC conference:

Saturday 30th September / Sunday 1st October

Ryanston (South Gippsland) Victoria

We are working on an program of diverse speakers who will bring their unique perspective on one or more elements of a democratic learning environment and, as usual, we are looking forward to the contributions of attendees to make this a conference grounded in the root of democratic education. If you know of someone that you would like to see as a keynote presenter, please let one of the committee members know.

Transforming Education Australia (TEA)

Did you know that members of ADEC have been involved in the setting up of Transforming Education Australasia? It is an umbrella group whose purpose is to encourage conversations about different ways of doing education. We embrace learner-centred,democratic, progressive and alternative education throughout Australasia.

Our group currently includes representatives of Montessori Australia (MA), Steiner Education Australia (SEA), Australasian Democratic Education Community (ADEC), Home Education Australia, Future Schools, and others.

We are currently working on three pillars, Community Connections, Advocacy and Research. The work of the Advocacy group has resulted in two recent submissions - Senate Education and Employment Reference Committee into “The issue of increasing disruption in Australian school classrooms” and a submission to the Teacher Education Expert Panel Discussion Paper.

It has been quite a milestone for these different groups of the alternative education sector come together and work together on shared projects. We believe this is a healthy indicator of a diverse and inclusive education environment in Australia.

ADEC Committee

Committee members are your link to the formal work of ADEC. We have good coverage across Australia, so make contact with the committee member in your state (or closest) if you have ideas, questions, or feedback in relation to ADEC’s work.

Fiona McKenzie - Victoria (President)

Wendy Pettit - New South Wales (Secretary)

Chris Price - New South Wales (Treasurer)

Cecelia Bradley - ACT

Imogen Hunt - Tasmania

Mathilda Element - Queensland

Di Scullin - New Zealand


Some of you may be familiar with the long-running magazine Connect which was published between 1971-2021. A new online magazine ReConnectEd aims to carry on its legacy and build on its work by documenting and sharing student participation approaches and initiatives, supporting reflective practices among those working to increase student participation, and develop and share access to resources.

ReConnectEd’s purpose is to place student participation at the centre of both primary and secondary school learning and governance so there’s lots over overlap with the values and purpose of ADEC.

We highly recommend you support this initiative by signing up: here.


Thank you to all the schools, individuals and organisations that have renewed their membership for 2023. Your support will enable ADEC to raise the profile of democratic education within Australia and New Zealand, and give more students the opportunity to experience a democratic learning environment through our support of current and future democratic schools.

Annual fees are: School / Organisation $150, Individual $30, Students Free

If you would like to become a financial member of ADEC, please email Chris at and she will get you signed up.

An organisation like ADEC thrives on the input and energy of its members and keeping our connection active and strong enables us to know and contribute to the communities that we serve. We look forward to continuing to work with and for you in 2023.

Warm regards,

Fiona McKenzie President

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