A key outcome of our recent AGM was the revitalisation of the OCIES General Committee. Constitutionally, the General Committee is the governing body of the Society. It is comprised of the core Office bearers (Co-Presidents, Secretary, Treasurer, Communications Officer and ex officio IEJ Editor) who also make up the Executive Committee, plus up to ten other committee members.

In recent years, OCIES has operated with just the Officer bearer positions in place, and thus the Executive Committee has served the Society’s governance needs. However, our Society has grown over recent years in terms of membership, as well as reach and scale of activities. As such, the Executive identified the need to revitalise the General Committee and appoint additional Committee members to take forward the OCIES vision. This decision was endorsed at our recent AGM, and new Committee positions established to provide oversight and coordination for key areas of work: enhancing engagement with members and our wider community, the New and Emerging Researchers Fono (NERF), and the Co-convening of the 2022 World Congress.

The AGM confirmed Rhonda Di Biase (Engagement), David Fa’avae and Sonia Fonua (NERF), and Eve Coxon (World Congress) in these roles. Each introduce themselves below, and we encourage you to get in touch with them if you are interested in getting involved in these activities in some way. We would ideally like two more people to join the Committee, to assist specifically with Engagement and with the World Congress. If you are interested in these roles, or in becoming more involved in the governance and leadership of OCIES in some other way, please get in touch with us at ocies@gmail.org

David is of Tongan and Samoan heritage. He was born in Niue and educated in Aotearoa New Zealand. He was a secondary school teacher in South Auckland and spent the last 6 years with his wife ‘Elenoa and son Daniel living in Tonga, and working for the Institute of Education at the University of the South Pacific. Currently, he trains teachers at Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato.

Rhonda currently work as a Senior Lecturer at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne.  She previously worked at the Faculty of Education, Maldives National University as part of a post-tsunami aid project focusing on learner-centred education. Her research interests include pedagogical renewal, teachers’ professional learning and education reform with a particular interest in the needs of small island states.
Although now retired from her academic position at the University of Auckland, Eve Coxon continues many aspects of her longstanding work in comparative & international education. Her role on the OCIES General Committee relates specifically to her being Vice President of the World Council of Comparative Education Societies (WCCES) and a member of the convening committee for the WCCES Congress planned  to be held in Bangalore, India in July 2022.
Sonia is Papalangi, born and raised in Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand where she still lives with her Tongan husband, Fire, and their two sons with extended family. She has worked in higher education for twenty years, primarily teaching science in Indigenous contexts, and is dedicated to shifting mainstream thinking about the value and validity of Indigenous and local Pacific knowledges in formal (and informal) curriculum.