Community is Important

by Belinda Tynan, DVCE (RMIT)

I was delighted with the response to my Keynote at the ASCILITE Conference in December in Adelaide.  It was a privilege and I thank everyone involved in making the conference a success.. It was great to be able to reconnect with a community, which I have been part of for many years and to rekindle friendships. It was a reminder to me that there is an amazing community of experts in ASCILITE that collectively have much to offer each other, and the broader education community. Communities of Practice (CoPs) have in their own right a theoretical basis and well researched ways of working and their success is reliant on (amongst other things) having purpose.

As far as I can see, ASCILITE has a purpose which drives a vibrant community of practitioners and this was evident at the conference. I felt an enormous warmth for friends I had lost touch with and a few emerging ones from the ever changing faces within ASCILITE. I also felt a great energy- even when we were on the dance floor there was a common camaraderie between us all. Our moment of down time. Each of us in our own ways shedding the stresses of our day-to-day, the impossibilities of influencing others and the inevitable landing of various initiatives and the joys of getting it right! It is in our own way our safe space where we can just be with others. Isn't that the perfect CoP? But look at the date- it is April- can I believe that was almost 4 months ago? It is a reminder to me to nurture those staff that work with me, and the broader University. To support them as best I can and be part of their supporting community. To be kind and generous.

I hope within our ASCILITE community that we can continue to do that for each other too. We may well work in a competitive environment but I would suggest that we mostly have the same values and aspirations for our learners and staff. So, onto the dance floors with ye!!

You will find a link to my keynote at the 2016 conference website here.

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