PETAA AGM 2021 — Call for nominations

Nominations are now open for the election of three Directors to the PETAA Board ahead of our 2021 AGM, to be held remotely via Zoom on Thursday 20 May.

PETAA is governed by a Board of seven elected Directors and two appointed Directors who determine the organisation’s strategic direction and to whom the General Manager and operations team reports. Board members are passionate and professional people who bring a broad range of valuable experiences and knowledge to collaborating and supporting teachers in new, engaging and relevant ways.

In 2021 PETAA is seeking three dynamic, switched-on members to nominate for election to open board positions, and the current Board is especially interested in new directors with interests and skills related to the literacy needs of indigenous students and/or literacy education in rural settings.

Directors receive:

  • enormous professional growth not just in literacies education, but also in corporate and managerial skills
  • a high level interaction and participation within the national education architecture and peer-professional associations
  • the chance to make meaningful change by helping to shape PETAA publishing and professional learning programs, special educational projects and other activities that align with our mission.

Nominations for election opened on 11 March and will close at 5:00pm on 14 April 2021.

Membership of the PETAA Board is an exciting professional challenge and we urge you to consider nominating for election as a Director, or sharing this with colleagues who you would like to see nominated for election. More information is below, including the nomination form to download and details on what's involved and expected (including information on time and logistics) in becoming a PETAA Director. Find further context for our work in the PETAA Strategic Plan 2020–2022 and on our Governance page, including the Constitution and Annual reports.

Nomination form 2021 (.pdf 137 kB)

Continuing Directors at the close of the 2021 PETAA AGM will be:

  • Therese Gawthorne (NSW)
  • Mardi Gorman (VIC)
  • Julie Hayes (SA)
  • Janelle Warhurst (NSW)

From rules in the PETAA constitution that help ensure more equal national representation on the PETAA Board, in 2021 three vacancies can be filled by elected Directors from State/Territories as follows: QLD (2), NSW (2), ACT (2), VIC (2), SA (3), WA (2), NT (2).

Information on becoming a PETAA Board Director

The Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA), is an incorporated not-for-profit national association that supports primary school educators in their focus on the teaching and learning of English and literacies across the curriculum.

PETAA occupies a unique position in the Australian education landscape. Since 1972, it has negotiated the intellectual exchange between universities and the world of the primary classroom, traversing state boundaries and public, independent and religious school sectors. It possesses an impressive back catalogue of print and digital publications written by leading academics, educational literacy consultants and exemplary classroom teachers. It maintains active representation within a number of State and Federal education forums and advocates widely and passionately for the field of literacies education on behalf of members and the wider community.

PETAA provides expertise in English and literacies by:

  • facilitating the development of primary school educators’ professional knowledge and practice
  • contributing to the quality education of Australian primary school students
  • encouraging and enhancing the growth and professionalism of the primary school education community.

In order to achieve their purpose, PETAA:

  • provides a wide range of expert classroom-focused, research-based print and digital publications
  • provides and facilitates research opportunities
  • provides an extensive program of resonant, authoritative and innovative professional learning courses
  • builds the leadership, knowledge, skills, understanding and capabilities of current and future primary school educators
  • provides a platform for primary school educators and individuals to share discourse and research
  • creates strong and significant learning communities of primary school educators
  • creates partnerships with, and a network of, like-minded organisations, leading academics, educational and literacy consultants and exemplary classroom teachers
  • advocates for the professional interests of primary school educators and the wider community through active representation within a number of State, Territory and Commonwealth education forums.

As above, find further context for PETAA's work in the PETAA Strategic Plan 2020–2022 and on our Governance page, including the Constitution and Annual reports.

The Board

PETAA is governed by a Board of seven Elected Directors and two Appointed Directors who determine the organisation’s strategic direction and to whom the General Manager and operations team reports.

The term of office for Board Directors is up to three years. One third of the Member Directors retire each year, though if eligible may wish to stand for re-election at the Annual General Meeting. This structure has been designed to allow for both continuity and renewal at the Board level. In order to fill any Board vacancies that arise outside of the election cycle, the Board is empowered to make Board appointments as necessary.

To function effectively, the Board needs to embody a strong mix of cross-sector education experiences – local and national universities, private, public, denominational and independent schools – and corporate skill-sets — organisational management, corporate governance and financial probity. During its nearly 50-year history, PETAA’s Boards have drawn from a broad range of professional backgrounds including academics, school principals, educational consultants, classroom teachers, business representatives and legal professionals.


In addition to setting and evaluating PETAA’s overall strategic direction, Board Directors are legally responsible for PETAA’s compliance with Australian Corporation law. More plainly Board Directors must ensure that PETAA has risk management procedures in place, that we don’t trade while insolvent, that we fulfil all internal and external financial reporting requirements, that we abide by our own Articles of Association.

Our Articles of Association stipulate the following office holders:

  • President
  • Vice-President (also chairs Professional Learning and Publications Subcommittee)
  • Vice-President: (also chairs Finance and Audit Subcommittee)
  • Company Secretary (Elected or appointed)
  • Directors


Appointment to the Board requires attendance and participation at Board meetings and regular activity within one of PETAA subcommittees. Board Directors meet face to face and by video- and teleconferences.

Board activity comprises preparation and attendance at:

  • Board and Planning meetings (four per year, normally on a Saturday)
  • Annual General Meetings (one-half day a year or video-conference participation possible)
  • Extraordinary General Meetings (as determined).

Sub-committee activity comprises preparation and attendance at:

  • Finance and Audi sub-committee meetings: six each year for approximately 60-mins each and held via teleconference or video-conference
  • Professional Learning and Publications sub-committee meetings: four or five each year, normally mid-week at 5.30 – 7pm. Interstate Directors attend via tele- or video conference.

Additional activity sometimes comprises representation at professionally related gatherings: seminars, conferences, stakeholder forums, prize-givings, adjudication sessions, and etc, as required.

Nature of sub-committee work

As above, PETAA currently has two sub-committees, for Professional Learning and Publishing and for Finance and Audit (the work of these sub-committees is outlined below).

PETAA Directors decide as to which sub-committee they attend. While the sub-committees have PETAA Directors attending, other independent non-executive directors/individuals can also be appointed. Such appointments allow for the specialist expertise within a sub-committee to be broadened for the overall benefit of the sub-committees’ outcomes and PETAA’s overall targets.

The Professional Learning (PL) and Publishing Sub-committee provides strategic advice to the Board on PETAA publications and professional learning matters. It offers guidance on content, processes and procedures and works in close consultation with the General Manager.

A key focus for this committee is to make sure PETAA programs align with the Federal Government’s national school improvement agenda, and integrates PETAA’s intellectual property with work being undertaken by our three national statutory education authorities: ACARA, AITSL and ESA.

Directors as members of the subcommittee:

  • review proposals and manuscripts checking for alignment with PETAA’s mission, theoretical robustness, pedagogic suitability and general readability. This work provides a practical connection with shaping the publishing arm of PETAA.
  • assist in the planning of the professional learning program (which is flexible and arranged to meet the needs the teaching community across the country); inviting proposals from presenters, reviewing proposals and working closely with the PETAA PL Manager.

Directors as members of this subcommittee regularly benchmark emerging trends in PL and, where possible, make strong links with PETAA publishing program. The General Manager and Professional Learning Manager may also attend these meetings.

The Finance and Audit Sub-committee focuses on the financial operations of PETAA. The committee works closely with the General Manager to draft annual budgets, determine appropriate performance indicators, undertake annual performance reviews, refine and update PETAA policies and oversees the organisation’s risk management procedures. The General Manager also attends these meetings.

Advantages of becoming a Board Director

Being a Director of the PETAA Board is both an exciting professional challenge and a position of legal responsibility.

Benefits of being part of a PETAA Board include:

  • an opportunity for personal and professional learning: corporate and managerial knowledge in addition to increasing the range and depth of your discipline-specific knowledge around literacies education
  • high level interaction and participation within the national education architecture and peer-professional associations
  • the opportunity to shape PETAA operations in the areas of publishing and professional learning programs, special educational projects and other activities that align with PETAA mission>/li>


Remuneration for PETAA Board Directors is modest. Board Directors receive an annual fee of between $1000–$4000, depending on the Office held. We ensure Directors do not incur expenses as part of their role and Board Directors may also access a small amount of financial support to further their individual professional learning goals.

General qualities of prospective board directors include:

  • Vision and Leadership
  • Advocacy, Stewardship and Integrity
  • Knowledge (of PETAA and wider community)
  • Personal Commitment and Diligence
  • Collegiality.

Desirable qualities of prospective board directors include a commitment to and understanding of PETAA beneficiaries and the ability to enhance PETAA operations within the context of our core purpose. This might be achieved through:

  • professional experiences and / or leadership accomplishments within education, business, government, finance, legal and HR, philanthropy, or the not-for-profit sector
  • understanding of governance and corporate related issues including policy development, risk management and organisational evaluation
  • an affinity for cultivating relationships and persuading, convening, facilitating, and building consensus among diverse individuals
  • an understanding or willingness to learn about the role of ACARA, AITSL and ESA in the current national educational context
  • interests and skills related to the literacy needs of indigenous students and/or literacy education in rural settings
  • being a financial member of PETAA
  • being free from any conflict of interest.