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ACCESS - From the President

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From the President

Access, Vol. 35, Issue 2, 2021, p.2.

President, Natalie Otten

It is my great pleasure to have been appointed ASLA President at the AGM in April. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the outgoing President Margo Pickworth for her hard work and dedication to ASLA over the years. I would also like to thank the outgoing Vice President Kerry Pope for her contribution to ASLA. Kerry and Margo are both Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher (HALT) accredited teacher librarians who have led ASLA into a strong position as the national association for school libraries. The other new appointments at the AGM were Claire Elliott as Vice President and Wendy Rutten as Secretary. Robin Zeidler continues as Treasurer.

I am very pleased to welcome Judy Thompson (ACT) as our inaugural Executive Officer. She is contactable on She will be supporting the Board with administrative tasks, managing memberships, social media and our website. She takes on roles previously performed by Sophie Partington and Chris Skrzeczynski whom we farewell with our immense gratitude for their work over the years. In addition to those roles, Judy will work on advocacy for the profession. She brings with her a wealth of experience as a Teacher Librarian, having worked for 16 years as Head of Information Services at Canberra Girls Grammar School. Before that, Judy managed a number of Commonwealth Government departmental libraries, over 15 years.

The ASLA/SLASA virtual conference was held on April 12-13. The conference was attended by nearly 200 delegates from across Australia and internationally. You will have the opportunity to hear about this amazing conference in ACCESS articles this year. In this issue, Lee FitzGerald and members of the ASLA Board have written about the six keynote presentations – Elizabeth Hutchinson, Ron Ritchhart, Rebecca Heyer, Steven Layne, Kay Oddone, and Steve Francis. It was a privilege to hear from such highly acclaimed speakers. The conference theme Keys to Learning: Communication, Collaboration, Critical thinking, and Creativity was highlighted throughout each presentation.

This year, as well as becoming ASLA President, I moved to a new school, which only opened in February this year. As part of the foundation staff, I began the journey of creating the library space from the very beginning. Such an exciting and challenging role. Whether you are in an established school or a brand new school environment, the challenge is how to best utilise the space to enhance learning opportunities for our students.

I hope you enjoy this issue of ACCESS.

Natalie Otten
President, ASLA.

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