It's Time to Get Off Your Community & Family Studies Island

Sep 07, 2023

Today, I want to talk to you about something that's been on my mind for a while. It's time to get off your Community and Family Studies (CAFS) Island. Let's explore a better, more efficient and supportive way to navigate your Community and Family Studies journey. Why should you listen to me? Well, I've been there and done it all during my nearly two decades in the world of Community and Family Studies. So, let's dive in and discover how you can step off that island and onto a smoother path that supports you, your time, your energy and your wellbeing.

Where Are You on Your CAFS Journey?

First things first, let's take a moment to reflect on where you currently stand in your Community and Family Studies journey. Some of you might be brand new, just starting out and finding your way in the course. Others might have a few years under their belts, with the excitement of their first end-of-course exams on the horizon. Then there are those of you who have been teaching Community and Family Studies for a while, confidently guiding multiple cohorts. Regardless of where you are, it's important to acknowledge that we all have our unique paths and challenges.

The Messy Middle

The "messy middle" is part of the journey. I've been there, and it's entirely normal. I didn't skyrocket from a novice teacher to a Community and Family Studies “expert” overnight. My journey had its missing middle, and it probably started around the time I took on a Pastoral Coordinator role. In the mid-2000s, I began strategically planning my teaching to elevate my students' outcomes. But here's a confession: I didn't attend a single professional learning course specifically for CAFS. I learned by being in the trenches, learning from my own mistakes and absorbing insights from other experienced Community and Family Studies teachers.

The Power of Professional Learning

Now, you might be wondering how I managed to thrive without formal Community and Family Studies professional development. It's because teachers want to hear from teachers, especially those who have been through the same journey. I recognised the need for support and connections among Community and Family Studies teachers across New South Wales. That's why I've made it my mission to create networks online and in-person to assist CAFS teachers. We have a diverse community, including those just starting and others with over 20 years of CAFS experience. No matter where you are on your journey, you're not alone.

The CAFS Conference

Now, here's the exciting part: Next month we'll be hosting The CAFS Conference in beautiful Killcare on the Central Coast. This is the most exciting thing I've ever done in my CAFS career. It's a chance for CAFS teachers from across New South Wales to come together, speak the same language, and share their knowledge. 

Connecting with Community Organisations

This year, we're taking it up a notch by involving various community organisations. These are the folks who work tirelessly to support the groups we study in Community and Family Studies and now you can ask them your burning questions and gain insights into their work. It's a unique opportunity to make our CAFS lessons even more meaningful.

Join Us and Get Off Your CAFS Island

If you're ready to step off your CAFS Island, mark your calendars for October 13th and 14th. Join us for one day or both, and experience the magic of the Community and Family Studies community. It's time to connect, collaborate, and enhance your CAFS journey. Registration closes on September 22nd, so don't miss out on this incredible opportunity. Click here to save your spot!

To sign up or learn more, visit If you have any questions, feel free to reach out. I can't wait to see your smiling faces on the Central Coast and support you on your CAFS adventure. Together, we'll make this journey smoother, more efficient, and incredibly rewarding. See you soon!