Annual AAFEBS’s Conference in Melbourne

On Wednesday 13 October, the annual conference of the Australian Association of French English Bilingual Schools, AAFEBS took place. This year Caulfield Junior College was in charge of the orgnaisation and as the internal borders were still closed, the conference pivoted online.

Dr. David Howes, Deputy Secretary for Schools and Regional Services in Victoria, opened the Conference by noting how the pandemic and the resulting online learning had demonstrated the importance of the schools as institutions allowing not only  the transfer of knowledge but also the wellbeing of the students.

Mr. Boris Toucas, the Cultural and Scientific Advisor to the French Embassy underscored the relevance of the AAFEBS network that allows useful professional development and the emergence of the best techniques for teaching tow languages within local Australian schools.

The conference then followed with two sessions on governance and leadership in the context of of bilingual/binational teaching, under the coaching of Brendan Maher, from Leading Teams.

Mr. Victor Pappas from the Victorian Department of Education presented statistics on French studies in Victoria.  Français dans le Victoria. it is worth noting that French remains one of the most popular Foreign languages selected by schools and students. For the VCE, French is even in pole position [if we do not count for Mandarin as a first language]!

The AAFEBS then held its AGM.  Veronique Danjou from the Preschool in Canberra was reelected President,  Caroline Pommier from Caulfield Junior College, Vice President, Anne Bentley Treasurer and David Binan, Principal at Telopea Park School, Secretary. Congratulations to all!

Myriam Boisbouvier-Wylie, the Honorary Consul General of France in Melbourne  concluded by commending the positivity and the resilience of the teaching community when confronted by the huge disruptions linked wiht the pandemic. Then, Gilles Almosnino, director of AEFE in the Asia Pacifique zone,  closed the meeting.