Education Community Committee

Dr Katharina Wolf, FPRIA

Deputy Chairperson
Dr Robert Gill, MPRIA

Dr Leanne Glenny, FPRIA

Committee Members
Dr Donald Alexander, FPRIA
Dr Kate Ames, MPRIA
Catherine Archer, MPRIA
Deb Camden, MPRIA
Paul Cheal, MPRIA
Renae Desai, FPRIA
Madison Fitzgerald, MPRIA
Michaela Jackson, MPRIA
Dr Jane Johnston, MPRIA
Soojin Kim, MPRIA
Elissa Lewis, MPRIA
Dr James Mahoney, LFPRIA 
Sarah Mason, MPRIA

For any enquiries or interest in becoming part of the Education Community Committee, please contact Dr Katharina Wolf.

Terms of Reference (TOR)

  • PRIA Education Community (EduCom)

  • PRIA Education Community Committee (ECC)

The PRIA National Board accepted a proposal at the August 2015 meeting to create a nationwide Education Community (EduCom), bringing together all PRIA special interest groups and individual members with an interest in education, professional development (PD), and related matters.

The EduCom is to meet the identified need for greater engagement of, and participation by, the Institute’s membership who are stakeholders in education and professional development. Up until now, the academic community, professional development think tank and the committee for the professional development framework have worked on separate programs and policies. They will now work together, share knowledge and leverage resources by drawing on the skills and expertise of the entire PRIA membership.

Simultaneously, the Education Community Committee (ECC) is being established to oversee and guide all programs within the Education Community, to represent the interests of stakeholders in PR education and to advise the national board on PRIA policies related to education and professional development, including – but not limited to – accreditation, mentoring, academic matters, bequested foundations, scholarships and trusts. 

The ECC is being established according to section 55 of the PRIA Constitution and this document outlines the terms of reference, as required by the PRIA constitution. As per section 55.3, “all resolutions passed or act done by [the ECC] shall be reported by the [ECC] Chairman to the National Board either orally or in writing prior to the next National Board Meeting of the Company”.

The Education Community (EduCom)

1. Purpose
The PRIA Education Community (EduCom) is the network for PRIA members who are academics, educators, trainers or professional development specialists with a keen interest in educational matters, professional development programs and the career development path for public relations professionals.

The EduCom operates primarily as a virtual community, providing a platform for collaboration, information sharing and exchange. There will be additional opportunities for the EduCom to convene, the most prominent of which is the Academic Research Forum, held as part of the annual National PRIA Conference. There is also scope for State and Territory based chapters and initiatives. Working groups will be put in place around key issues and programs.
2. Roles and Responsibilities
The EduCom is tasked with sharing information and ideas in education, learning and development for the Public Relations and Communication sector. The EduCom can establish programs through working parties and provide feedback and support for major policy initiatives, as agreed with the National Board through the Education Community Committee (ECC).

Members of the PRIA Education Community (EduCom) may contribute to the direction the Institute takes on educational matters via the PRIA Education Community Committee (ECC).

The EduCom shall be governed by the ECC (i.e. its nominated members), which in turn reports to the National Board of the Public Relations Institute of Australia.

3. Membership
Education Community membership is free and voluntary for all full-fee paying PRIA Members, PRIA Associates and PRIA Fellows who self-nominate to this special interest group.

1. All contacts for PRIA Accredited Degree programs will be automatically included in the EduCom (a PRIA Member must be the key contact for PRIA Accredited Degrees).
2. PRIA members with an interest in education and professional development are able to opt-in by expressing their interest to the national PRIA secretariat. 
3. Non-PRIA members may be invited to events or included in activities at the request of a PRIA member.

The PRIA Education Community Committee (ECC)

1. Purpose
The Education Community Committee (ECC) represents a diverse range of stakeholders in the PR educational and professional development fields within the Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA).

The ECC provides strategic direction and leadership on all education and professional development related matters, providing strategic advice and counsel to the National PRIA Board via its Chairperson.

The ECC has been established as a permanent standing committee in accordance with the PRIA Constitution and replaces the National Education Committee (NEC). The ECC sets out to:

a) Further the profession of public relations and communication by ensuring relevant education standards, which maintain and enhance best practice
b) Provide strategic advice and counsel on education and professional development related matters to the National Board
c) Aid the PRIA to take up a leadership role in education in the Asia Pacific Region
d) Support and encourage the ongoing development of the PR Body of Knowledge (PR BoK)
e) Provide strategic advice to the board on its advocacy and stakeholder relationships with government departments and accreditation bodies, and engagement with the programs that recognise and promoted public relations and communication qualifications
2. Roles and Responsibilities
The Education Community Committee (ECC) provides counsel and advice regarding:

a) PRIA Accreditation for Educational Programs, including regular reviews of standards and expectations
b) The annual Academic Research Forum, as part of the National PRIA Conference
c) Local / regional academic conferences and gatherings where practicable
d) Recognition of appropriate trainers and educators supplying programs and courses to the PRIA CPD program to ensure that the education and training standards are maintained for all members 
e) Raising the profile of public relations / communication and related scholarship in Australia and the region, including active participation in the ranking process of discipline specific publications
f) Portfolio related initiatives, such as student membership, student ambassadors, graduate engagement, mentoring programs, etc.
g) Liaison with and benchmarking against other, similar organisations globally to ensure best practice standards
h) Platforms to help grow the PR Body of Knowledge (PR BoK) and exchange of ideas

The ECC and its members furthermore:

i) Facilitate the exchange of knowledge from academia to practice and vice versa
j) Participate in working parties on related initiatives, such as

i. annual conference programs
ii. national professional development schedules and content 
iii. awards and recognition programs

3. Membership
The ECC comprises of up to 15, full-fee paying PRIA members, representing a wide range of skills sets and geographical locations (i.e. a balanced representation of States and Territories and a mix of different sectors & industries, where practicable), plus a chairperson (total  maximum ECC membership of 16).

A call for nominations for the ECC will be sent to all PRIA members. Candidates may be nominated by a Division, a PRIA Member colleague or they may self-nominate.

Candidates for ECC representative positions will be assessed by a subcommittee of the ECC and recommended to the PRIA National Board based on their relevant skill sets, knowledge and potential contribution to the educational community. Diversity and representativeness are to be taken into account in terms of background, location, employment type and industry experience /insight to fill the available positions.

At the first meeting of the ECC following the annual nomination and selection process, a vote of the committee will be taken to determine:

a) ECC Chairperson
b) ECC Vice-Chairperson 
c) ECC Secretary

Each member – including the chairperson – shall have one vote in the ECC.

Each ECC member will be expected to share information and ideas with local colleagues, and help to co-ordinate a local sub-committee of the Education Community.

ECC representatives are to liaise with their respective Divisional Councils, accredited universities and organisations to ensure transparency, representativeness and information flow.
4. Term
Terms for representatives on the ECC are for 12 months.

Committee representatives are able to re-nominate and serve multiple, consecutive terms, although a change in composition is encouraged /to be taken into account when considering nominees’ skill sets, experience and knowledge base. Terms of the ECC Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and Secretary are limited to a maximum of two terms.

Representatives who do not attend three meetings within a 12 month period without reason accepted by the ECC will no longer occupy a position on the ECC and a casual vacancy shall be declared.

If a casual vacancy occurs through the above or through the resignation of a member of the ECC, the ECC may call for a PRIA Member, PRIA Associate or PRIA Fellow, who is already a member of the PRIA Education Community, to join the ECC.
5. Meetings
All meetings will be called by the elected chairperson (or a nominated representative) and an agenda to be circulated at least two days prior to the meeting. Meetings will be held on a monthly basis (where practicable / member availability).

A meeting quorum will be seven (7) members of the ECC.

Decisions will be by majority vote of the ECC representatives attending the meeting. In the case of a 50/50 vote, the chairperson shall have the casting vote.

Meeting minutes will be taken by the ECC Secretary and provided within seven days of each ECC meeting. Confirmed meeting minutes will be made available via the PRIA website to the entire EC and interested PRIA members.

ECC activities are to be reported as a separate agenda item at all PRIA Board meetings via the ex-officio ECC Chairperson (or nominated representative). At the National Board decisions by the ECC can be endorsed, recommended for change, or rejected.

If required, sub/working group meetings will be arranged in addition, at a time convenient to sub/working group members. The ECC will ensure maximum engagement with PRIA stakeholders within the EduCom and external education influencers.
6. Amendment, Modification or Variation
These Terms of Reference may be amended, varied or modified by the National PRIA Board, in consultation with the existing ECC via its Chairperson.