This is the history of how, why and when ASET NSW was formed.

Funding was granted from DEEWR, in 2007 at CONASTA 57 when it was held in Perth, to conduct a survey in 2008 of all Australian schools. CONASTA is the Conference of Australian Science Teachers Associations. Lab technicians are an important part of science departments in schools, and run workshops at this conference every year.

Prof Mark Hackling collated the responses and tabled his report “The Status of School Science Laboratory Technicians in Australian Schools”, in May 2009, hence known as “The Hackling Report”.

In 2010 at the end of CONASTA 59 in Sydney, a forum was held and as a result 2 working parties (Project Management Group and Project Reference Group) were formed, as a result of the Hackling report. I am a member of the PRG.

Please read :

* 2009 Status of School Science Laboratory Technicians

* 2010 Proceedings from the Forum

* 2013 Lab Technicians Standard

After the Forum , we were aware that NSW was the only state that didn't have an association for Lab Technicians and in light of what lay ahead, a working party was formed and after many meetings of nutting out a constitution, ASET became an incorporated reality and was launched in June 2011, with representatives from all education sectors. The ASET committee currently has 2 DoE, 2 AIS and 2 CEO representatives - as per our constitution – with a vacancy for 1 more.

Currently with around 150 members, we contact members by email and via the website at www.asetnsw.org.au.

Messages are also posted on www.chemtalk.com.au and by an email network group of 150+. Within the email group there are other networks so like a pyramid any information gets spread around.

We are endeavouring to attract more members by word of mouth and offering PD days to feed information on current issues such as WHS, GHS, Hazardous Chemicals and using a program called "RiskAssess" in schools.

ScienceASSIST - www.assist.asta.edu.au -  is an important advisory service for both teachers and lab technicians. It was funded by the Federal Government for 4 years.

SETA – Science Education Technicians Australiawww.seta.edu.au

SETA became incorporated in 2013 and is comprised of 2 representatives from each state and territory, drawn from their state or territory associations. Membership cost is capped at $2 per each state association member and this contributes to the running costs of SETA.

Professional Development that we have conducted :-

2011 – The Australian Museum - Chemical Security/GHS/Clandestine Drug Labs

2012 – Sydney Grammar School – Energy Evolution

2013 – Charlton Christian College - INTO THE FUTURE WITH GHS & WHS/NEW RULES FOR SCHOOLS

2013 – Sydney Grammar School - Lab Management in the 21st Century

2013 – CEO Wollongong – Lab Management – New Rules for Schools

2014 – Dubbo College – Science - Play It Safe

2014 – Sydney Grammar School  –  Food For Thought

2015 – Lidcombe - Be confident in Chemwatch/ChemgoldFFX training – Pt 1

2015 – Lidcombe - Be confident in Chemwatch/ChemgoldFFX training – Pt 2

2015 – Peel HS Tamworth – Science-Play It Safe

2015 – Sydney Grammar School – Illuminating Science

2015 – Bowen Public School, Orange – DoE Science Lab Assistants’ Conference Day

2016 – St Paul’s HS, Booragul - Be confident using Chemwatch/ChemgoldFFX (Advanced)

2016 – CEO Lidcombe - Be confident using Chemwatch/ChemgoldFFX – Pt 1

2016 – CEO Lidcombe - Be confident using Chemwatch/ChemgoldFFX – Advanced

2016 will be a busy year. As well as our annual 2 day conference in September, we have been asked to present full days at CEO Wollongong, CEO Maitland/Newcastle and DoE Dubbo on WHS and GHS, with which we have to be compliant by the 31st December 2016

As you can see we are carrying out our Mission statement of Supporting, Monitoring, Training and Facilitating these events for our members. I am very fortunate to have a Principal who is very supportive of my roles in ASET and SETA otherwise I would be restricted as to what I can do.

I feel very proud to have been part of the evolution of both ASET NSW and SETA and having a good team with me I know both associations will go from strength to strength.

Margaret Croucher

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