Over 200 PDHPE teachers attended the inaugural ACHPER NSW K-12 PDHPE conference in Sydney last week.
The two-day event was our first large scale face-to-face conference for several years – and the enthusiasm to be together, exploring ways to better health and physical education in NSW, was clear.
“It was fantastic to bring together so many people from the PDHPE community,” said Tracy Puckeridge, CEO of ACHPER NSW.
“There was a genuine buzz among the hundreds of enthusiastic delegates, presenters, exhibitors, sponsors, volunteers and the ACHPER NSW team – all of whom contributed to a great two days.
“Special mention to sponsors AFL NSW/ACT, Tennis NSW, RHSports and the Australian Catholic University for their support.
“The conference was a sell-out, a reflection on the willingness of PDHPE teachers to learn, connect and share. I think the fact that so many teachers have given up their Saturday to attend really speaks volumes about their professionalism and desire to be the best teachers they can be for their students.
“We plan for the conference to be a regular event on our professional development calendar and we look forward to seeing everyone again in 2023,” said Tracy.
Over 60 workshops were delivered across the two days by experienced teachers and leading health experts.
On day one the energetic Kristen Douglas, National Education Manager headspace, delivered the keynote exploring social, emotional, and relational connection. Kristen provided practical ways to improve mental health and wellbeing in school communities. She also implored teachers that self-care was vital, highlighting that staff wellbeing was a “powerful and critical lever” in student and community wellbeing.
Dr Justen O’Connor, Associate Professor at Monash University, delivered the day two keynote asking us “Is PDHPE meeting the needs of a different physically active person?” Justen outlined shifting sport and physical activity participation patterns in Australia and what this means for PDHPE. He proposed an expansion to the long-held four-game classification framework to include travel sports, action or trick sports and rhythmic activity.
Across the two-days workshops were delivered covering K-6, K-10, K-12, Stage 6 CAFS and Stage 6 PDHPE.
“We put together a program designed to share evidence and innovation, as well as ensure delegates walked away with at least five new ideas they could use immediately in their classrooms,” said Janice Atkin, ACHPER NSW Professional Learning Officer.
“It was all possible thanks to the 70 presenters who gave up their time to develop and deliver thoughtful and engaging sessions. We cannot thank them enough for their willingness to share knowledge and wisdom.
“It was fantastic to have presenters representing all sectors, as well as many community organisations and the Department of Education PDHPE team.
“We’re working through evaluations to take onboard ways to improve. But overall the feedback has been really positive and we look forward to doing it all again in 2023,” said Janice.