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Members of the independent Judging panel for the STAR Awards projects 2013 are:
Dr Liam Bane worked as an Adult Education Organiser with Co. Dublin Vocational Education Committee from 1980 until his retirement in 2003. During that time, he established the first journal of adult and community education in Ireland, the Adult Learner. He served as editor of this journal until 2003. Liam describes himself as lifelong learner, as he regularly takes up learning activities.
Claire Byrne is the Head of Corporate Affairs and Communications with Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI). This is a new integrated agency amalgamating NQAI, FETAC, HETAC and the Irish Universities Quality Board. Claire worked with the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland since its establishment in 2001 until its amalgamation into QQI in November 2012. She has responsibility for the management, development and implementation of all key corporate and communications functions.
Dr Ted Fleming has been Senior Lecturer and Director of the Centre for Research in Adult Learning at NUI Maynooth. He was previously Adult Education Organiser for Louth and on the Editorial Board of The Adult Learner from 1995. He was a member of the Aontas Executive in the 1980s. He is continuing to research and write though recently retired.
Vivienne Glanville's involvement in community education began when she undertook a personal development course in a local women's group, Ronanstown CDP. She started a Certificate course in Women's Studies in 1999. Vivienne completed her Masters with the School of Social Justice UCD in 2009 and is currently Co-ordinator of Ronanstown Community Development Project.
Eileen Kelly was Director of EGSA (Educational Guidance Service for Adults) for more than 20 years until her retirement in 2011. Eileen is committed to the view that learning transforms lives and, throughout her career, she worked on a number of initiatives aimed at encouraging adults to engage in learning. She was awarded a MBE in 2000 for her contribution to adult education.
Frank Vaughan is the Director of Learning at the Irish Congress of Trade Unions where he has worked since 1992. He has extensive experience, both at policy and project management level, of a wide variety of EU and national programmes dealing with education and training. These have included Euroform, FORCE, various strands of the Employment Community Initiatives, Leonardo da Vinci, Socrates, 5th Framework, ADAPT and EQUAL.
Kevin Hurley is a former Director of Adult Education at UCD and an individual member of AONTAS. He is a former tutor/coordinator of the Return to Learning Programme and Facilitator of the Quality Framework at the Adult Learning Centre, Dun Laoghaire VEC and a former VSO Volunteer placed in the higher education sector, Ethiopia. In 2013 Kevin completed a PhD entitled 'The Principle of Equality in State-funded Adult Education in Ireland: a Critique', at the Department of Equality Studies, UCD.
Maureen Kavanagh was appointed CEO of Active Retirement Ireland in April 2008. Prior to this, Maureen worked in a management position with AONTAS, the National Adult Education Organisation, where she worked with all the groups involved in adult and community education, such as, the Vocational Education Committees, community groups and statutory agencies. She became involved in the area of adult education and community work in 1986 firstly as a volunteer. Having participated in a wide range of learning opportunities over the past twenty years, Maureen holds a Masters in Adult & Community education from National University of Ireland Maynooth.
Bernie Mc Donnell has worked for over 25 years in the community and voluntary sector, primarily in the areas of education, disability, mental health and community development. She has worked at senior management level on Irish and EU educational programmes. Her research interests are in the areas of educational inequality, social inclusion and organizational dynamics. For the past eight years Bernie has work for Pobal, initially as National Education Coordinator with the Local Development Social Inclusion programme, and latterly as Programme Manager for the Equality Programmes in Pobal. Bernie is a Board member respectively - of the National Office for Equity of Access to Higher Education and of Familiscope- a community-based organisation offering early childhood care and education services to children and parents in Ballyfermot. She is also a member of Irish Group Relations Organisation - an organisation that seeks to understand and explore the dynamics of groups and organizations especially in changing times. Bernie holds an honors B.A., Med., and an MSc in Group Relations and Society. She continues to have a keen interest in education and lifelong learning and views education in its broadest sense, as a critical tool in contributing to a more equal society.
Avine McNally is Assistant Director with the Small Firms Association. The Small Firms Association (SFA) is the national organisation exclusively representing the needs of small enterprises (i.e. those employing less than 50 employees) in Ireland. The SFA secures the best deal for small firms by providing dedicated professional support and by offering an unparalleled range of services to members, including economic, commercial, employee relations and social affairs advice and assistance.
Sarah McNerneySarah McNerney works for the Department of Social Protection (DSP) and is based within their External Services Delivery unit. Sarah previously worked in the Employment Services Policy Unit for FÁS and was their representative for them on the Advisory Group to Pilot Projects on the Adult Education Guidance Initiative. She is a graduate of the NUI Maynooth course - Adult Guidance, Theory and Practice. Prior to joining DSP and FÁS, Sarah has been an active member of Macra Na Feirme, which is a rural youth voluntary organisation. She recently won a Leadership Award from Macra in recognition of her voluntary work and is currently the County Development Officer for Kildare Macra and their representative on Macra's National Council Sub Committee - Rural Youth Iniaitive (RYI).
Eithne Ni Dhonnchadha is the Adult Education Officer with Co. Galway VEC. Eithne was a teacher for 16 years with Co. Dublin VEC and held a number of adult learning posts including VTOS Director and Community Education Facilitator with Co. Galway VEC. Eithne is a member of a wide range of boards and is presently the VEC representative on PAC - Programme Approval Cluster for the Connaught Education and Training Alliance comprising of six VECs. She was also a member of the AONTAS Executive for four years.
Donal Walsh is the Community Education Facilitator in the City of Galway VEC since 2003. The Community Education Service has approximately 1900 learners annually and the programme works closely with over 90 community and voluntary groups throughout the city. The aim of the service is to engage those most excluded in society in education and/or in the life of their community. The Community Education service provides grants to community education groups, supports the community education network and delivers a Diploma in Community Development (Community Education) in partnership with NUI Galway.
Tony PettitTony Pettit was recently appointed Head of the Teagasc Education Programme. Teagasc is the main further education provider for the land based sector. Teagasc is also a major higher education provider through it links with seven Institutes of Technology and two Universities. Teagasc operates through a network of seven colleges and twelve regional education centres. In excess of 3,600 learners participated in Teagasc further education and Teagasc linked higher education programmes in 2012. Prior to taking up the position as Head of Education, Tony Pettit held a number of Teagasc education management posts including Head of Curriculum Development and Head of Kildalton College. Tony Pettit holds a Masters in Agricultural Science from UCD and also a Masters of Business Studies.
Mary KettMary Kett has worked in further and adult education since 1976 in both the statutory and voluntary sectors as a tutor, co-ordinator and trainer, in Ireland and the United Kingdom, with particular reference to adult literacy and adult basic education. Mary worked as a Further Education Co-ordinator with the Department of Education and Skills between 2001 and 2012, with responsibility for the Back to Education Initiative. She has recently completed a review of the adult literacy programme funded by the Department of Education and Skills.