President: Vaughan Ellen
Secretary: Amanda Turnbull
Our meetings: The Wednesday before council at 4.30pm, alternating between the Courthouse Hotel in Narromine and the Trangie Bowling Club — to encourage more members to attend.
There’s a turn-up of regulars and some occasionals. It is a very easygoing and welcoming group so most members feel free to come when they can and stay for as long as they can. Our meeting attendance has improved this year (it may be the nibbles) but the weather certainly hit us this year, with floods preventing staff from even getting to school.
How we try to attract members to meetings: Food! (It works to some degree.) We have tried “bring a friend” (some of us are obviously more friendly than others) and holding meetings at schools, which was not so successful. We have had Senior Officers making presentations, which attracted a few more members, and have trialled providing child-minding for special events.
We are looking forward to an association dinner after our Christmas meeting (hopefully another way to get some new faces at the meeting).
Our community: Our association includes Trangie Central School, Narromine High School and Narromine Public School. We are in the state’s central west and our nearest major centre is Dubbo. We are part of the Dubbo state electorate held by Deputy Premier Troy Grant and the Parkes seat held by Mark Coulton, both Nationals. The local population is small: Narromine has fewer than 5000 people and Trangie about 1100.
Narromine and Trangie are well known for wheat, cotton and canola — and the famous Narromine oranges — as well as sheep and cattle. Trangie is home to one of the largest agricultural research centres in Australia. Narromine has bred sporting heroes Glenn McGrath, Melinda Gainsford, David Gillespie and Pat McCutcheon and is host to the National Gliding championships.
Our challenges: Distance is one of our biggest challenges, especially with regard to services for our communities. A large number of families with low socio-economic status and increasing transience also have an impact.
Teacher demographics: All three schools have a range of staff from beginning to experienced staff. Many staff married to local farmers help to promote stability.
Our focus: Gonski always remains a focus and promoting to our local communities the innovative programs our schools implement. At an association level we have also been active in increasing our membership, encouraging participation at our meetings and attending Council when opportunities arise.
The best things we’ve done recently: Other than meeting twice a term to catch up, debrief and celebrate, we give back to our local schools through donations to presentation nights and have successfully obtained the Tree Levy for all three schools over time, helping to beautify our schools. We have hosted Senior Officers and supported Gonski campaign initiatives.
Our executive: This year, most positions have been filled. We have a President (Vaughan Ellen), Vice President (Andy Holden), Secretary (Amanda Turnbull), Treasurer (Ted Wright), Teacher Housing Contact (Suzanne Berkeley), Women’s Contact (Jo Ellis), Aboriginal Education Contact (Dimiti Trudgett), Special Education Contact (Vaughan Ellen) and New Activist Contact (Ben Sippel).