Karen Evans - Team Leader, New South Wales

Karen - Positive PartnershipsWhy Positive Partnerships?

I have always been impressed by the passion that the Positive Partnerships team has for the education of parents/ carers and teachers. I like the fact that the approach is not a deficit model, it aims to build on student strengths. Also, no matter what your level of experience, a parent/ carer or teacher can something away from the workshops.

How long have you been working in the autism/disability sector and in what capacity?

I have always worked in the area of disability. I graduated from university as a primary school teacher. My first teaching role was at Holroyd Special School, Merrylands. I then worked for 16 years at a mainstream catholic high school in Northern NSW. The school was only in its third year of being opened and I was the first additional needs teacher. During this time I completed a Masters in Educational Studies and I used this knowledge to meet the needs of the diverse learners in the school. For the past 5 years I have been an Additional Needs Officer for the Diocese of Lismore.

How did you get involved with Positive Partnerships?

A work colleague many years ago had been a facilitator and thought very highly of Positive Partnerships. When a workshop occurred locally, I attended with 12 teachers from the Lismore/ Tweed area. I was impressed by how the teachers were engaged in this professional learning and then implemented change in their schools. I wanted to be more involved with Positive Partnerships and this lead to training a facilitation team who delivered professional learning in our diocese.