• 2023 CDES Virtual Annual Psychology Teachers’ Conference<br/><span style=Friday, 24th February 2023" />

2023 Virtual Conference

The 25th CDES Annual Psychology Teachers’ Conference on February 24th 2023 will, once again, be delivered virtually via Zoom Webinars. Whilst we acknowledge that the networking benefits of a face-to-face conference are missed, the accessibility a virtual conference provides, particularly for teachers in rural and remote schools, is especially important in terms of equity for all teachers and their students.

In 2023, there will be six sessions of presentations. As in past years, the program will begin with the VCAA Update (Session 1). Teachers will again have the opportunity to hear from and ask questions of Erin Wilson – VCAA Stem Manager with the responsibility for overseeing VCE Psychology. Erin will spend some time outlining the new Exam Specifications as well as referencing aspects of the new Study Design (2023-2027).

We are extremely fortunate to have highly regarded Indigenous Clinical Psychologist, Tanja Hirovnen present Session 2 – ‘Teaching Content Regarding Indigenous Australians Within a Culturally Safe Approach’. Given the emphasis in the new (2023-27) VCE Psychology Study Design on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge and perspectives and the contribution of Indigenous psychology as a field to psychology, it is essential that teachers are provided with some guidance on how to approach these topics with students in a culturally safe, sensitive and appropriate way. For this reason, Tanja’s will be the only presentation in Session 2.


In Sessions 3, 4 & 5, teachers will select the workshops they wish to attend from 25 NEW workshops which have been specifically developed to address the new (2023-27) Study Design. Of these 25 workshops, Dr Meredith McKague from the University of Melbourne – who will be known to many of you from her years as the Chief Assessor of VCE Psychology – has generously agreed to continue her support of VCE Psychology teachers by offering 3 different workshops – all of which address new and potentially challenging aspects of the 2023-27 Study Design.

In Session 6, the only presentation will be the ‘Chief Assessors Review of the 2022 Exam – Part B’. The Chief Assessors – Kenna Bradley and Kerrie Ardley will provide an evaluation of the common mistakes made by students in Part B of the 2022 exam.

In Sessions 3, 4 and 5, teachers will select the workshops they wish to attend from a range of options. The duration of all workshops will be 1 hour – a 50-minute presentation followed by a 10 minute Q & A. During the presentation part of the workshops, participants’ microphones will be on ‘mute’. However, the Zoom webinar platform allows for participants to type and send questions to the presenter during that time. Participants microphones will be turned on again during the final 10 minutes of the workshop for the Q & A in Sessions 3, 4 and 5 only.

There will be a short break between each workshop session and a 30-minute lunch break between Sessions 4 and 5. In each of Sessions 3, 4 and 5 there will be eight or nine different workshops available from which teachers can select. In the week of the Conference, the Workshop Timetable will be emailed to all registered participants. The timetable will clearly show which of the 22 different workshops available will be presented during each of those three sessions.  Each workshop will only be presented ONCE. Each of the 25 workshops will have a designated ‘link’ which teachers will use to access the workshop they wish to attend. The designated links will be emailed to registered participants as part of the Workshop Timetable. On the day of the Conference, participants will select the workshop they wish to attend in each session by clicking the relevant link for that workshop.


Using the Zoom webinar platform is relatively straightforward. However, there are a few key preparations that participants need to undertake to ensure they can access all aspects of the Conference without any technical delays:

  1. Set up a free Zoom account using the same email address you provide when registering for the Conference.
  2. Have your Zoom password readily accessible on the day of the conference. CDES personnel will be unable to assist with your inability to access Zoom webinars as a result of a forgotten password or being blocked by Zoom due to too many incorrect attempts at accessing a Zoom account.
  3. Ensure you have the Timetable that states Session times, the Workshops being offered at that time and the designated links to each workshop readily available before the commencement of the conference.

Importantly, teachers should be aware that webinars cannot be accessed on multiple devices using the same Zoom account. If both you, and someone else, use your Zoom account to login to the webinars, only the first device logged in will be able to join the webinar. Any subsequent attempts to join the webinar will be blocked by Zoom.

As always, access to ALL workshop notes will be available to all registered conference participants after the conference for the remainder of the 2023 school year. As in 2022, it is our intention to record all presentations and to make these recordings available to registered 2023 conference participants until the end of Term 1, 2023. Recordings of some workshops may be edited or unavailable as a result of technical, copyright or cultural sensitivity issues.

Conference Program

9:00am – 9:10am
9:10am – 9:40am
Session 1: VCAA Update Erin Wilson, STEM Manager Science (Psychology & Biology)
9:45am – 10:45am
Session 2: Teaching Content Regarding Indigenous Australians Within a Culturally Safe Approach Tanja Hirovnen, Clinical Psychologist, ABSTARR
11:00am – 12:00pm
Session 3: Workshops
12:15pm – 1:15pm
Session 4: Workshops
1:45pm – 2:45pm
Session 5: Workshops
3:00pm – 4:00pm
Session 6: Chief Assessors’ Review of the 2022 Exam – Part B Kenna Bradley & Kerrie Ardley

Workshop Features

    • VCAA Update
    • Guidance on teaching the Indigenous content in culturally safe ways
    • Review of the 2022 Exam from the Chief Assessors
    • Q & A session with VCAA personnel
    • 25 different workshops
    • ALL 25 workshops are NEW for 2023 and pertain to the 2023-27 Study Design
    • Numerous workshops focusing specifically on newly introduced content in 2023-27
    • Engaging teaching and learning ideas for secondary Psychology
    • Plethora of interesting, engaging and innovative resources

Workshop Descriptions

Detailed descriptions of all 25 workshops on offer at the 2023 February Conference are available on the Brochure.

Download Brochure

Conference Benefits

  • the acquisition of a wealth of teaching ideas and learning activities
  • access to targeted teaching and learning ideas and resources on new Key Knowledge
  • information and suggestions for teaching the new Key Science Skills
  • an opportunity to hear directly from and ask questions of VCAA personnel
  • an opportunity to review and reflect on the 2022 exam
  • access to expert advice on teaching students how to avoid common exam errors
  • guidance on teaching the Indigenous content in culturally safe ways
  • access to a vast range of resources
  • the chance to obtain answers to your VCE Psychology questions
  • hearing different interpretations of the Study Design
  • clarification of ambiguities
  • an opportunity to seek guidance from knowledgeable and experienced Psychology educators
  • electronic access to notes from every listed workshop
  • electronic access to recordings of conference presentations
  • time to reflect on your own teaching practice
  • a chance to reignite your motivation and passion for teaching senior secondary Psychology
  • a certificate acknowledging your participation in 6 hours of PD