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Teachers Acknowledged - Cath Whiddon

The ABF’s Teacher Accreditation Program, which  supports teachers pursuing professional development, is very pleased to welcome four accreditated teachers to the group.They have all attained 50+ points through their commitment to continually updating their skills. Congratulations to:

Cath Widdon, Peninsula Bridge Club, Sydney. Cath learnt bridge in Sydney, but didn't continue with it, until a move to Singapore enabled her to play with a group of expats. Once back in Australia, she became a member of Peninsula Bridge Club on Sydney's North Shore. Now she is the Head of their  Education Committee, and has a comprehensive program in place. The education team is a collection of teachers, directors and experienced players who have agreed to follow a uniform system with an approved syllabus. Cath also works as a bridge teacher and director on a couple of cruises each year

Recently, Cath has accepted an offer to be the NSWBA Council Bridge Education Representative for NSW and the Metropolitan Representative for all bridge clubs in Sydney. 

Sandra Mulcahy

Sandra Mulcahy, Toowong Bridge Club and Beenleigh-Logan Bridge Club, Brisbane. The picture is Sandre (right) with JB (left) and Audrey Grant (centre)

Like Cath, Sandra started bridge years ago, but did not continue because of work commitments. However, on her retirement in 2009, she returned to it with her inimitable drive and enthusiasm. She also became the ABF National Marketing Officer in 2011.  

Sandra has a strong commitment to best practice in all administrative areas and became so interested in teaching that she decided to give it a go, using the new methods and materials, in - not one club -  but two! She is currently Toowong Bridge Club's Education Officer, and has a wonderful programme of lessons planned for 2015.

Trish Thatcher

Trish Thatcher, from Port Stephens Bridge Club, New South Wales, learned bridge  in the '90s. She and her husband, whom she taught, eventually joined the Bathurst Bridge Club and put themselves on a course of improvement. Later, at Port Stephens Bridge Club, she was asked to teach beginners. In 2012 she joined a colleague conducting bridge on a cruise ship where she provided the lessons.

Trish has enjoyed being part of the ABF program and also the people she's met doing it.  The ideas on modern bidding and recommended topics for intermediate lessons were just what she was looking for, to incorporate into her lessons.

Stuart Packington

Stuart, who teaches at Randwick Bridge Club, Sydney, was allowed to kibbitz  his father playing bridge at home in England, if he'd finished his homework. At 14, his father taught him basic Acol, and he was eventually allowed to join their regular Friday evenings. 

Stuart played bridge at University, but job commitments precluded him from continuing. A move to Australia in the mid-90s saw him take it up again, and upon his retirement in 2005 he became interested in directing and teaching bridge. Stuart also has taught bridge on cruise ships.

Cath and her Students

The pic shows Cath Whiddon, in red, at Peninsula Bridge Club. Innovative ideas, embracing the new ABF education programme, offering shorter courses, using more effective methods fot teaching beginners, have all resulted in more than 100 new members at the club in 2014. 


A Start - 2014 to...

The continuing support offered to teachers by the ABF is now paying dividends. It is my pleasure to work with the teachers who have just achieved Accreditation, and also with others who are on their way. Your enthusiasm is legendary!

The scheme is not meant to detract in any way from the experience and skill of many excellent Australian teachers, who are very successful using their own methods. Insead, it is aimed at  recognising the efforts of newer teachers who are doing a great job, and contributing to  their club's growth.

So, teachers, send in your feedback, give me details of the courses you're running, and let me know what innovative ideas are paying off for you. All these efforts will accrue points towards accreditation. 

You are all invited to attend an Awards Ceremony at the SFOB in Canberra on Saturday 17 January from 6.pm - 7.00, at  the ABF suite (Room 1320 level 13) at the QT Hotel.  Please advise me if you are coming for a drink and a panel discussion. 


Teacher Training Programmes and Professional Development Days in 2015

Teacher Training Programmes (TTP's) and Continuing Professional Development Days (CPD's) which follow TTP's, will be offered in each state (with the exception of the NT) in 2015. 

Videos are available on the ABF site, on a variety of topics.  A training video has been designed to  supplement CPD Days. There's a questionnaire (offering 5 points towards accreditation) at the end of this video (ABF website, Teachers, Accreditation) for teachers unable to attend the CPD day in person.  Actually being there gives you 10 points. 

The ABF site will very soon have be sporting a forum. This will be available for teachers to discuss any aspect of education or bridge strategy with peers and expert players.  

I'm keen to hold an informal Teacher Meeting at the Gold Coast Congress too. Details next issue. 

All the best for 2015