The following speech was made by HEIA(Q) President Rosemarie Sciacca at the opening of the HEIA(Q) 2022 state conference when presenting Dr William Blayney with a special Certificate of Excellence in recognition of exemplary practice and commitment to the Home Economics profession.

It is my honour to present a special award to a very dear friend of HEIA(Q). Could I please invite Dr Bill Blayney to come to the stage?

Many of you will recognise Bill’s face or name through his various conference presentations, journal articles or more recently, as the driver behind CQUniversity’s consistent sponsorship at our conferences.

However, what some of you may not know is that Bill is one of the key stakeholders responsible for ensuring the continuation of home economics education in Queensland after Queensland University of Technology (QUT)’ decided to close its course.

Bill started his career as a home economics teacher in Sydney in the early 1980s. His contribution to Home Economics spans over 30 years across a range of contexts, particularly in his role as coordinator of the Home Economics specialisation in the Bachelor of Education (Secondary) Initial Teacher Training course at CQUniversity through to his 2016 appointment as Dean of the School of Education and the Arts. At his core, Bill is a passionate home economics educator with an unwavering commitment to home economics and hospitality education and teachers.

Prior to QUT closing its course, Bill, in his coordinator role at CQU, fostered a working relationship with HEIA(Q), inviting a Committee of Management representative to attend one of CQU’s residential schools to build connections between HEIA(Q) and graduating students. This connection only grew stronger when QUT, the historical home of home economics teacher education, decided to no longer offer Home Economics.

With no backup plan as to how home economics teachers would be trained, Bill asked to meet with HEIA(Q) Committee of Management member Dr Janet Reynolds when she was in Rockhampton running a regional workshop. The rest, as they say, is history!

Bill consulted widely with HEIA(Q) to explore what was needed in the program. Without Bill pushing for this at CQU, we would not have had any home economics teachers graduating over recent years.
Bill, the HEIA(Q) community is sincerely grateful for your foresight and fortitude. As you transition to retirement, we hope you recognise the inspiring legacy you have left for your colleagues and the lasting impact of your decisions for the home economics community.

For your significant contribution to Home Economics, HEIA(Q) would like to present you with a Certificate of Excellence in recognition of exemplary practice and commitment to the Home Economics profession.

Rosie Sciacca
President, HEIA(Q)