HEIA(Q) Committee of Management members at the 2022 conference. (L–R) Dr Janet Reynolds, Phoebe Hanau, Rosemarie Sciacca, Aileen Lockhart, Ngaire Mayon, Candice Bek

Keynote speaker Andrew May and MC Ngaire Mayo


Due to various unavoidable circumstances related to COVID-19 and to hosting the 2021 HEIA national conference in Brisbane, HEIA(Q) had not held its annual state conference since 2019. However, once again, the HEIA(Q) state conference, Towards Global Competence: Thriving, not Surviving on Saturday 13 August 2022, was a great success. Delegates had not forgotten how to enjoy a face-to-face conference. The number of delegates was less than in previous years but was well above what the Conference Committee had anticipated in light of COVID-related factors. There were 243 delegates plus 23 other participants, including speakers who only attended their own sessions and/or sponsors and exhibitors. This compares to attendance in a typical conference year of more than 300 registered delegates in addition to speakers, sponsors and exhibitors. But the buzz was palpable as delegates took advantage of the opportunities to catch up with long-term colleagues and meet new ones and, importantly, engage face-to-face with interactive learning.

As can be seen from the table, in 2022 there were:

  • 243 registered delegates, six of whom also presented
  • 10 additional speakers
  • 13 exhibitors.

The overwhelming majority of delegates (66%) were HEIA members, which was lower than in previous years. In addition, as in previous years, early-bird registrations were very popular (66%) but again, lower than in previous years.

Emma Bond (3rd from right) with Chairperson Michelle Harris (2nd from right) and other workshop participants

HEIAQ President Rosemarie Sciacca opening the conference

Opening ceremony

There was an excited buzz as delegates filed into the plenary room and saw how many were present. This included 17 interstate delegates: two from New South Wales, three from Northern Territory, four from South Australia, four from Tasmania, two from Victoria and two all the way from Western Australia. We missed seeing our colleagues from the Australian Capital Territory. Also present were five of the ten members of the HEIA National Council.

HEIA(Q) President Rosemarie Sciacca welcomed everyone to the conference and set the scene for the day. She then facilitated the ceremonies for the following awards:

  • HEIA national Fellowship to Kay York, presented by HEIA national Treasurer, Robert Ford
  • HEIA(Q) Certificate of Excellence to Dr William Blayney, presented by Rosemarie Sciacca
  • HEIA(Q) 2022 Dr Janet Reynolds Service Award for outstanding service to HEIA(Q) over a period of time to Lyn McErlean, presented by Dr Janet Reynolds
  • HEIA(Q) 2022 Teacher Excellence Award to Debbie Mawston, acknowledged in a presentation speech by RosemarieSciacca (Debbie was not able to be present at the conference).

More details of these awards are given elsewhere in this newsletter.

Dr Janet Reynolds,
HEIA(Q) Conference Committee

Concurrent workshop

David Bond presemnting at the Food Waste workshop

Phoebe Hanau (standing) at her Fashoion Fun with Phoebe workshop

Andrew May

Andrew May, one of Australia’s leading speakers on human performance, resilience and leadership, challenged us to individually and collectively aspire to embrace change and uncertainty, and to develop mental skills to change the way we think and respond under pressure. Andrew’s presentation included a blend of psychology, physiology, neuroscience and practical experience to inspire delegates to be more resilient and to unlock their full potential.

Andrew introduced the research of psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky, which proposes that 50% of the difference in our psychological framework is determined by genetics, 10% by lifestyle circumstances, and the remaining 40% by actions, attitudes, learned optimism and the way we handle situations. We were challenged to accept that there is greater scope to train and change the way we think and respond under pressure, and to strive for healthy, positive, adaptive mindsets, than many would believe.

Conference participants had completed the Individual Mental Skills calculator—a mental-skills tool underpinned by the fundamentals of performance psychology, behaviour change and team dynamics. To move from the ‘Striving’ to ‘Flourishing’ category my personal challenge is to prioritise how I spend my time, energy and attention, to be more curious and to learn to change negative thoughts to be more helpful. Self-reflection is to become my daily practice.

Dr Rosemary Stanton

Dr Rosemary Stanton challenged us to become less problem focused, more solution focused and to aspire to actively support healthy, sustainable practices.

Rosemary set the scene by presenting the research data into planetary health (Rockefeller-Lancet Commission 2015), sustainable development (United Nations: The 17 sustainable development goals, https://sdgs.un.org/goals) and the impact of the unsustainable (and often unhealthy) nature of our current food choices.

As home economists and home economics teachers, Rosemary reminded us of our vital role in educating children and the wider community to consider the global effects of our food choices and lifestyle choices. The data around the modern diet, dominated by discretionary food and drinks, and the increasing representation of ultra-processed foods in our diets, served to highlight the strong correlation with non-communicable diseases.

If we aim to be truly thriving, we need healthy sustainable diets. We heard the cry to rally! We need to commit, convince and collaborate with the experts in public health, medicine, allied health (nutrition, psychology and sociology), conservation, environmental sciences and education. We need to work together, to raise our voices and to never give up.
It was impossible to listen to passionate experts in their fields and not walk away from the conference feeling renewed, re-energised and empowered to make changes.

Aileen Lockhart
HEIA(Q) Vice President

HEIA(Q) Conference Committee (L–R) Dr Janet Reynolds, Lyn McErlean, Susan Smith, Ngaire Mayo

L–R Aileen Lockhart thnaking Expert Evnets staff Leanne Mulheran and Sarah Hargreaves


The Conference Organising Committee is very appreciative of the tremendous support of the many sponsors and exhibitors who collectively contributed over $15 000 to fund the conference. While the conference has passed, HEIA(Q) urges its members to support the organisations that support us, some of which have done so repeatedly over many years. Support for this year’s conference was provided by:
Program Sponsor:
– Blueprint Career Development
Teacher Education Sponsor:
– CQUniversity
Bronze Sponsors:
– King and Amy O’Malley Trust
– Project Groceries
– Cotton Australia
– Bernina
– Blueprint Career Development
– East of Grey
– habits for wellbeing
– ITC Publications
– Madi and Pip Australia
– Nelson, a Cengage Company
– OnGuard Safety
– Primary Industries Education Foundation Australia
– Project Groceries
– Textiles Direct
– The University of Queensland
Satchel inserts:
– Primary Industries Education Foundation Australia
– Project Groceries
– Teacher Professional Development
In-kind support:
– Bernina Australia
– Project Groceries
– Genesis Creations (prizes).
Dr Janet Reynolds
HEIA(Q) Conference Committee

Phoebe Hanau at her ‘Fashion with Phoebe’ workshop

Trade Table Cotton On

Trade Table East of Grey

My experience presenting at the HEIA(Q) conference

Going in to present my concurrent session, Fashion Fun with Phoebe, at the HEIA(Q) 2022 conference, I knew I had big shoes to fill, having attended plenty of engaging and inspiring concurrent sessions at previous HEIA conferences. Moments before my session was due to begin, it was a little daunting to hear that the 50 delegates that I was prepared to present to was now closer to 70, causing some slight pre-presentation panic. However, my nerves quickly disappeared with the arrival of some familiar and many friendly faces to hear me speak. It was heartwarming to hear the lovely supportive comments from the delegates at my session. This reassured me that my ideas and experiences were worth sharing.

Despite being an early-career teacher, the experience of sharing my passion for fashion with likeminded people was exciting and professionally rewarding. Thank you to the delegates who chose to attend my session. Our afternoon together was a highlight of my conference experience, and it was delightful to share my first presentation with you. I hope it was worthwhile for you too.

Phoebe Hanau
Moreton Bay College

My first-ever HEIA(Q) state conference

After a three-year hiatus, the HEIA(Q) state conference was held on Saturday 13 August 2022 at the beautiful Brisbane Exhibition & Convention Centre. Having previously only attended the HEIA national conference, I was extremely excited to experience the conference at the state level. My expectations were surpassed!

The overarching theme of the day was Global Competence, and how we can act collectively to improve wellbeing and increase sustainable development. Regardless of attendees’ interests or areas of study, the conference catered for everybody.

As I predominantly teach Textiles, I selected sessions that focused on textiles and fashion. A highlight of the day included meeting Emma Bond, a very talented fashion designer and cotton-industry advocate who shared valuable classroom resources in addition to her extensive knowledge on the advancement of Australian cotton. Susan Brandt [HEIA(SA)] gave attendees insight into curriculum-aligned textile materials designed to increase engagement and differentiation.
On the Food front, closing keynote speaker Dr Rosemary Stanton gave an inspiring talk on the relevance of Home Economics to a sustainable future. This talk resonated with me profoundly and challenged me to reflect on my current

practices and ideals as I move forward.
As they were at the national conference, the refreshments, morning tea and lunch were delicious and a highlight of the day! The breaks served as welcome opportunities to socialise with fellow home economics professionals and friends.
The state conference was a huge success for all who attended, and I feel very blessed to have taken home valuable resources to implement in my classroom.

Candice Bek
Sunshine Beach State High School