ACE Aotearoa has undergone an interim change of leadership with Analiese Robertson stepping down from her role as Director ACE Aotearoa to focus on a secondment role with ACE Aotearoa Focus. Hannah Pia Baral has been appointed interim Director until 1 March 2024.

Hannah Pia Baral – Interim Director

Hannah Pia Baral will be familiar to many within the ACE community. Along with past roles with ACE Aotearoa, Hannah has completed ASPBAE’s Basic Leadership Development Course and maintained connections with ASPBAE for over a decade. More recently Hannah has been working in Australia, where for the past three years she has held the position of CEO of the Federation of Parents and Citizens Association of NSW (P&C Federation). P&C Federation is the peak body and membership association that provides professional development and advocacy to its 1800 association members (7000 + volunteers) who take on roles very similar to Boards of Trustees in Aotearoa.

During her 14 years in Australia, Hannah also earned her MBA from the University of Newcastle and held volunteer roles with a number LGBTIQA+ organisations, including a board position and expert advisory roles.

“You will be aware that we have recently completed a survey with our ACE community to help identify priorities for 2024 work planning. We received some great feedback,” Hannah says. “I look forward to working with the team to incorporate this into our 2024 strategic planning process which will commence shortly. Thank you to everyone who participated in this survey. You are at the heart of what we do so your ideas and input are crucial to our planning.

“I always enjoy the opportunity to meet with our learners and our educators, so what better way to experience this than the Festival of Adult Learning. I was fortunate enough to attend celebrations on Waiheke Island and in Ōtautahi, Christchurch. It is events like these that remind us of the value of the work we do and the impact this has on our communities and their wellbeing. Thank you to all of you for making this such a memorable week of celebration. There are some great stories on events that took place across the motu in this issue of the newsletter.

“I will be working closely with TEC to plan for the next funding period, and I have already held initial meetings with the agency. I am feeling very positive about our discussions to date and what we can do as an organisation next year.

“On a more serious note, Covid and the impacts of adverse weather events are still impacting services in several regions, with organisations struggling to rebuild services and facilities post these major events. I want to gain a better understanding of how ACE fits into the rebuild picture and how we can support those organisations facing ongoing challenges.

“My 90-day plan is essentially broken down into gaining a good understanding of our strategic priorities and operational systems and getting to know the team in the first 30 days, getting on top of our commitments and plans for the rest of the year in the second 30-day slot and then starting to plan for 2024 in the third 30-day slot. So, there is a great deal to learn and achieve and all these require us working as a team in the office.”

Hannah will also be focusing on ensuring delivery of our ongoing programme of activities and events.

“Relationships, advocacy and engagement are at the heart of our success, and I want to ensure that I commit and invest sufficient time to getting these priorities right. I am passionate about adult education and lifelong learning, and I am delighted that I can once again engage in this space,” says Hannah.