AMEB Conference – Invitation to all members to attend

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    David Cockburn

    Dear Member,

    I hope that your teaching year has started well.

    I am writing as I have received an invitation from Kiley Tierney (AMEB State Manager) to be extended to all CSPT Inc. members to attend a conference organised by the WA AMEB Speech Examiners, with support from the AMEB (WA) Office and members of the Speech and Drama Teachers’ Association of WA.

    The two-day seminar will be held in Melbourne on Friday 20th and Saturday 21st April, 2018. An evening theatre outing and/or closing dinner is also proposed. There is no cost to attend the conference. However, all delegates are responsible for their own transport, accommodation and related expenses.

    Our Association’s Vice-President, June Finney, will be attending the seminar on behalf of AMEB Qld in her capacity of Principal Speech and Drama examiner. However, any member of our Association is most welcome to attend.

    If you are interested in attending this seminar, you are asked to please send your expressions of interest directly to Karen Goddard, Deputy Chair AMEB (WA) or the AMEB (WA) State Office, State Manager, Ms Anne Winterton at

    Alternatively, should you wish to provide any comments to June, at she will raise them on your behalf at the seminar. June would really appreciate and value hearing our membership’s opinions on the issues that will be discussed at the conference. Likewise, it would be beneficial if members could attend to voice their own concerns, thoughts and opinions. Please see below for some of the types of things that have already been highlighted.

    The WA examiners have identified the following issues as possible agenda items:

    • The changing nature of our language and the pronunciation of words. What is now acceptable and not acceptable in AMEB examinations? How can we ensure consistency of approach to such changes around the country?
    • Interpretation and presentation of text. We are conscious of the different approach to this by some other examining bodies and major acting schools. We are proud of AMEB’s reputation as the premier external assessment body for music and speech and drama, but do not wish to see it out of step with such bodies, or in fact with community expectation.
    • What standards are expected for dress and presentation of material? Does this vary from state to state?
    • The ageing population of speech examiners and of teachers. How will we attract young, vibrant replacements from the Speech and Drama teaching fraternity in the coming years? Is this a problem in other states?
    • The moderation of gradings for examinations (A+, A, B+, B, C+, C). Even among our WA examiners there is a variation in approach to grading, despite yearly moderation in our PD sessions. We are aware of the importance of consistency within the AMEB nationally.
    • Marketing and raising awareness of our subject and of AMEB exams. In WA our speech enrolments are stable, but with our teachers ageing and many young graduates not taking up teaching roles, we are concerned for the future.

    In addition, Bernard Depasquale, CEO AMEB Federal, has put forward the following topics for discussion:
    • updating the syllabuses;
    • marketing the Licentiate examinations;
    • whether or not the Fellowship level should be re-introduced and how; and
    • the possibility of renaming any of the syllabuses.

    Please contact June if you have any feedback or similarly consider actually attending.

    Best wishes for 2018 and I hope to see you at our conference (February 17th & 18th).

    Kind regards,


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