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VCAA CEO John Firth retiring after 12 years

I take this opportunity to thank John for over 30 years of dedicated service at the VCAA, including 12 years as CEO. John has had an extraordinary impact on education in Victoria.

From 1986 at the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Board, John was involved in one of the most substantial revisions of curriculum in Victoria’s history – the development of the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE).  He managed the development of the Social Education studies and worked in the Curriculum Division prior to becoming an Executive in 1993.

John’s dedication to providing Victorian students with world-class senior secondary pathways continued with his oversight of the integration of Vocational Education and Training (VET) into the VCE curriculum, which allowed students the flexibility to undertake vocational studies within their senior secondary certificate. He then went on to manage the implementation and substantial growth of the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) from 2002, giving Victorian students hands-on, practical and work-related senior secondary curriculum.

His curriculum development work extended from the VCE to the development of the initial Curriculum and Standards Framework, introduced in 1994.  Most recently, he oversaw the introduction of the Victorian Curriculum F-10 for Victorian Government and Catholic schools. The new curriculum represents a significant milestone in Victorian education, promoting creative thinking, personal and social capability, ethical capability and intercultural understanding, and introducing digital technology as a key new learning area. It draws on, and enhances, the important innovations introduced in the Victorian Essential Learning Standards in 2005.

John has been a member of the Department’s Leadership group and was a founding member of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority Board.
I thank John for his outstanding efforts and achievements in developing Victoria’s education system over many years, and wish him a happy and stimulating retirement.

Chris Wardlaw
VCAA Chair