I am very pleased to tell you that Fiona McKenzie, the Co-ordinator, and the community of Koonwarra Village School in Victoria are happy to host the ADEC Conference in 2016. I would like to thank them very much for agreeing to host. They hope to hold the conference during the week of 26th – 30th September 2016 which is the week most common to most of the States and NZ.

As soon as they have the definite dates I will let you know. 

Those of us who were at the 2014 conference at Peregrine School in Tasmania will remember Fiona and Hadassah and I look forward to being able to spend time together with them and their community. Koonwarra Village School began in 2011/12.

The website for the school is

I hope that many of you and members of your school communities will be able to join us for this gathering and we can continue to renew the connections we have made over the years and build new paths for ADEC.

APDEC 2016

Early Bird registration is still open till the end of April for the first APDEC conference being hosted by Miao-Li County Holistic Education school in Taiwan from 18th – 24th July 2016. We hope that many of our friends in ADEC will be able to participate and continue the work to develop the Asia/Pacific Democratic Education Community.

For more information please see the website or follow developments on the Facebook page:


Fitzroy Community School Book Published.

Faye Berryman and Philip O’Caroll, have published the story of  their founding of the Fitzroy Community School in 1976 and their discoveries over the years since then about children, parents, education, schooling and life.
The title of the book is Fitzroy Community School.
It is published by Fitzroy Programs Pty Ltd, Melbourne, 2015.
Faye and Philip have each written their story and though it is about FCS  as Philip wrote, ” the book is mostly about the state of education in Australia today and what it could be in the future.”
Philip is keen to spread the word about the book and hopes that as well as the fascinating story of this specific school, the broader premise of the book will be of interest to many of us involved in the lives of children and working to create education which enables their lives to be rich and fulfilling.


We are very pleased to announce that PEREGRINE School in TASMANIA has agreed to host the 2014 ADEC Conference.

The dates for this gathering are Sunday 28th – Tuesday 30th September 2014.

The gathering will start on Sun evening and conclude Tuesday afternoon. Times to be announced later.

I would like to thank Imogen Hunt, the students, other teachers and members of the community for creating this opportunity for us to all meet in their part of the world. Peregrine school is situated in Nicholls Rivulet about 45 kms south of Hobart. It is in a rural setting and cars are the main means of transport. Imogen advises it is wise to hire them early as there can be a demand on hire cars in Tasmania. So for those considering attending it might be worth connecting up early so that we can organise some car sharing and pooling.  The general theme of the meeting will be around PLAY.

ADEC AGM will be held during the meeting.

When they become available we will put more details about the conference on the ADEC website and the ADEC Facebook page.

We hope many of you will be able to join us.


The 21st Annual International Democratic Education Conference was held in Boulder, Colorado from August 4-8, 2013.

For more news about IDEC2013 see Report by Jerry Minzt in AERO NEWSLETTER 11th August 2013 and “What if School Were Out Forever?” a piece in The Huffington Post about IDEC 2013 and other interesting things.

IDEC2014 will be held July 28 – Aug 2, 2014 in Gwangmyeong, South Korea.

IDEC2015 will be held in NEW ZEALAND so we have some opportunities for strengthening the connections in our region.


ADEC Conference 2012 Pine Community School

COMMUNITY & COLLABORATION and what makes a healthy & vibrant community were the central ideas at the recent ADEC conference hosted by Pine Community school in Brisbane from Friday 5th-Sunday 7th Oct 2012.

The Plains, Mountain, Rainforest and Island Peoples gathered together

The Plains, Mountain, Rainforest and Island Peoples gathered together

For so long education has been expressed as the Three Rs, with occasionally a recognition of a C or two but I think Pine Community, as expressed by Maris Element, Principal of Pine Community School, has given us the Three Hs – HANDS, HEART and HEAD!

Our gathering was a wonderful mixture of them all and enabled us to have so much interaction, active learning and fun. True to their promise they once again showed us by example how the children and students, through introducing us to life on PLANET ENIP, can be co-learners with the adults and leaders in the learning process. They led us in a wonderful experience of story and play as the Mountain People, Rainforest People, Island People and Orange People of the Plains.
For more details about the conference look at ADEC Newsletter No17.

Visit the ADEC Conference website to see some photos of the conference and for access to Dr Marcus Bussey’s papers and to share your comments about the conference.