As we come to the end of another year, we’ve been looking back on some of the great opportunities we’ve been part of and some of the work we’ve produced. A few of us were lucky enough to stamp our passports in the name of projects this year – Alex, Peggy, and Keri recount their experiences representing Lift internationally.

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Stateside with CSI Literacy

Keri Trim

Neale and I left for the US in February, a two-week whirlwind tour of the States which covered some 45,000km. We spent about 45 hours flying (plus an extra 24 hours in airports) and churned through 12 boarding passes across visits to 8 states. Phew!

Why? We attended a National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE) conference in Dallas, Texas, and paid a visit to CSI Literacy’s American partner and distributor, Pacific Learning, in LA. Along the way we visited schools across the country and spent time with a number of our great sales reps, updating ourselves on the what the education system looks like under a new government and identifying how we can best serve students, teachers and schools with our learning resources.

Of course, it wasn’t all work and no play. Being my first time in the US, I had a couple of days to be a tourist, as evidenced by this shot of me and Neale at the Empire State Building. New York was definitely a highlight – if you find yourself there, check out St Kilda Coffee in midtown. It was a lifesaver!


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Getting an Ivy League education

Alex Collins

With support from PANZ and the W.E and M.L Forde Memorial Trust, I attended the Yale School of Management Leadership Strategies in Book Publishing course in August.

It was a week-long course that featured presentations and workshops from international publishing industry leaders and speakers from the Yale School of Management. The speakers came from diverse background: an editor from Publishers Weekly, representatives from small independent publishing houses and large multi-nationals, as well as those involved in the acquisition and conglomeration of small publishing houses. From the School of Management came speakers discussing organisational behaviour, innovation, leadership, team decision-making, and marketing. One of the highlights was seeing how engaging the School of Management speakers were and how they brought their research and theories to the audience in a very clear and engaging manner.

There were over 60 attendees at the course. About half were from the United States, but other countries represented included Saudi Arabia, Russia, Scotland, England, Brazil, Italy, Denmark, Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand. This mix allowed for lots of great conversations, both within the classroom programme and during informal times such as lunches and dinners.


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A week in Fiji with A River of Stories

Peggy Nesbitt

In October, Don Long and I flew to Fiji for a week – not for a resort holiday on Denarau Island (sadly), but to visit Suva on behalf of the Commonwealth Education Trust.

The Commonwealth Education Trust is the organisation behind A River of Stories, the anthology of books we published in early 2016. Our trip to Fiji was to represent CET in delivering professional development around using the digital versions of the educational resources that complement the anthologies.

We facilitated two seminars, attended by Fijian Ministry of Education officials and five teachers from three local schools, modelled lessons in five classrooms (with 37–44 students in each class), and met with the Deputy Secretary for Education to discuss the ongoing program in 2018.

It was a busy week, but we managed to find a little time to check out some of the local scenery and enjoy Fiji’s fine hospitality. After a long delay at the airport, we arrived back in Wellington to much colder weather.

Read more about A River of Stories.