If there’s anything better than having a long-term, informed and committed client who requires you to design, manage and improve a website, it’s having one who has a whole set of diverse, meaningful and purposeful websites.
The Values in Education website is one face that the Australian Council of State School Organisations projects, originally focused on a rebuttal of the infamous 2004 claims of the Howard government.
“There is a growing trend that is discernible to parents that too many government schools are either value-free, or are hostile or apathetic to Australian heritage and values,” [acting Minister for Education, Peter] McGauran said. (source)
This was pretty offensive to the public school communities whose representative organisations make up the grass roots membership of ACSSO through their state bodies.
So we set up a section of the ACSSO website to aggregate research and resources that focus on values within public education systems in Australia and overseas, and to present ‘good news stories’ by teachers and students that demonstrate how values are alive and well in public schools.
By January 2007, I was writing about how this project had evolved into a separate website.
This year, ACSSO decided to give the site a new look and feel to coincide with the start of the 2008 school year under a new Labor government. Which gave me the chance to do a revamp that pretty much turned into a complete overhaul.
I’m incredibly grateful not only that ACSSO is the national peak body for the parents of students in public education, but also that it is prepared to explore what the web can do for it and that I can be the agent of that exploration.