Prepared by Keiko Yasukawa
Geri Pancini, ACAL’s immediate past President has tendered her resignation from the ACAL Committee, due to her mounting commitments in her workplace. Geri was ACAL President during 2009-2012, a critical period for the adult literacy and numeracy community. She came into her role at the beginning of national discussions about a new national policy for adult literacy and numeracy which became the National Foundation Skills Strategy for Adults. As many ACAL members would be aware, participation in policy processes, particularly as a representative of a peak body organisation, is riddled with challenges. Geri led us through this period with a rare combination of integrity, diplomacy and care that ensured that ACAL was recognized as an important stakeholder in these discussions, but in a way that enabled ACAL to say what ACAL needed to say, even if our view was not always aligned with those of other powerful stakeholders.
It is a privilege to make a public statement of appreciation and recognition of a teacher, researcher, colleague, advocate and activist like Geri. While Geri’s CV is impressive - her three Master’s degrees and her doctoral candidature, her appointments at numerous institutions as teacher, researcher, project manager and lecturer, her research and curriculum projects, her publications, and more – it is Geri’s way of working with and drawing in people and her generosity in the way she shares her knowledge and insights that have served ACAL as an organization so well, and powerfully. Often Geri appeared very self-effacing about her knowledge of the ins and outs of various policy debates occurring at the time, but Geri knew what was most important to know about. It was her uncompromising principled position about the role of education in advancing social justice, her critical literacy about the dominant ideology surrounding us, and her respect for learners and teachers that enabled ACAL to maintain its integrity and profile as a professional peak body that is concerned with adult learners and the practitioners who work with them.
The ACAL community is grateful for and proud to have benefitted from Geri’s leadership during her presidency, and hope to have her continued engagement with our work, in whatever capacity she is able. We are honoured to be able to have Geri as our Life Member.
3 August, 2014