It is a pleasure for me to have been elected the President of SAERA for the coming two years. I have been an active member of the SAERA executive since its inception, having served in the portfolio of WERA representative and deputy president. The focus in the first few years of SAERA was on compiling the constitution and making sure all the legal requirements were met; establishing a strong membership base; and setting up processes and systems to make sure the association continues to flourish. In 2016 we drafted a strategic plan which detailed the different portfolios in the executive and their associated duties. We believe this will ensure that no aspect of SAERA is neglected, given that the executive members are all busy academics and give of their time freely for the good of the association. I would like to thank Prof Sechaba Mahlohaholo for his leadership in the past two years. Given his demanding position as DVC, he is unable to remain on the executive and Prof Aslam Fataar has kindly agreed to step into the role of outgoing President. The members of the executive and their portfolios are posted on this site. I encourage you, as members, to interact with the various portfolio holders, and support them with any information or other help you might like to offer e.g. organisation of a regional workshop. We have just had a successful conference hosted by Nelson Mandela University and for this, we must thank Dr Shervani Pillay and her LOC. As SAERA grows, so it becomes increasingly difficult to find venues that can house a large conference and so we have been forced to rely on corporate venues which present issues of affordability and accessibility for some members, particularly students and practitioners. As an executive we are committed to making the conference as affordable as possible, while still maintaining high academic standards, and we will apply our minds to how we can do this in the coming year. We would also like to hear from our members, and so encourage you to complete the survey you were sent this week to voice your opinions of the conference and how it can be improved. I have worked with most of the current executive for some years now, and I know they are all committed to and passionate about SAERA, as the leading education research association in South Africa and its committment to support capacity development of education and education researchers within South Africa. I thank the executive committee, and the larger membership, in advance for your ongoing support during the next two years.
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