The AONTAS Executive Committee comprises of four officers and ten organisational members. The Executive Committee constitutes the Board of Directors of the Organisation. The Officer Board is made up of the President of AONTAS, the Vice-President, the Honorary Secretary, and the Honorary Treasurer.
The Executive Committee meets six times each year, and is responsible for:
- The overall maintenance and well-being of the Organisation
- Human resources, financial policy, and accountability
- Taking a lead role in the development of the Strategic Plan
- Supporting the staff team in implementing the Strategic Plan
- Representing the views and issues of members
- Contributing knowledge and experience on local issues
- Initiating working groups to deal with issues, as appropriate
The members of the AONTAS Executive are:
Elizabeth Waters President - An Cosán
Liz has been involved in An Cosán for the past 15 years, first as a part time tutor, then Manager of the Community Education Centre at An Cosán in 1999 and CEO since 2001.An Cosán is an amazing organisation totally committed to the eradication of poverty through education! She has always worked in the community and voluntary sector, in residential childcare, community education, psychotherapy and then the Shanty. When she discovered the Shanty in 1995 she felt she had come home, all the values she most aspired to in her work were held there. Liz is passionate about her work and feels really privileged to work in the community of Tallaght West. She is a Governor of the Adelaide Society, a member of the Programme Board of the Masters in Leadership and Pastoral Care in All Hallows and is also a member of the Implementation and support group of The Childhood Development Initiative.
Jim Prior Vice President - Limerick Community Education Network
For the past 25 years Jim has been involved in Community based adult education, for 12 years he was a volunteer in Moyross. For the past seven years he has been the coordinator of the Southill Family Resource Centre. The centre provides a mix of both accredited and non-accredited courses on an annual basis. Since 2005 Jim has been a member of the Limerick Community Education Network and in 2009/10 was elected chairperson of this group. Jim is the LCEN representative on the City of Limerick Adult Education Service Board.
Colm Kilgallon Hon Treasurer - All Hallows College
Colm is the Assistant Director of ALBA (Bachelor of Arts for Personal and Professional Development for Adult Learners) at All Hallows College in Drumcondra. He has been in this role since the launch of the programme in September 2009. Prior to the launch of ALBA, Colm worked on the business case and the implementation plan for the programme. Colm is a member of the ALBA Programme Board and the ALBA Advisory Board. His role also involves interfacing with community groups, ETBs and PLCs with the objective of attracting students to the programme. This programme is based on a degree course offered by DePaul University in Chicago specifically for Adult Learners. It is outcome driven with the possibility of getting credit for prior learning and is accredited by Dublin City University.
Tara Farrell Hon Secretary - Longford Women's Link
Tara is currently the Deputy CEO/Head of Direct Services at Longford Women's Link (LWL). They provide a wide range of services, including Education and Training, using their Integrated Service Model. In September 2011 they opened a dedicated Women's Community Education Facility at LWL and are an Outreach Centre for the UCD Women's Studies Programme. Tara is also in the final stages of a PhD at Dublin City University where she is researching diversity management in the intercultural workplace. She has worked in the Community and Voluntary sector for 14 years and has developed expertise in women's community education, enterprise development, conflict resolution and interculturalism.
Gabriel Keating ETBI
Gabriel Keating is a member of the ETBI board and Reserve board. He was also Clare County Councillor in 2009 and was re-elected in 2014. Gabriel is serving his first year of office on the AONTAS Executive committee. He has been involved in Sports administration at club and county level for many years.
Grace Finlay Adult Educational Guidance Association of Ireland
Grace has worked as Adult Guidance Coordinator/Guidance Counsellor with Waterford & Wexford ETB for the past 10 years; to support adults in making informed vocational, educational and life choices. Her masters in Adult Learning & Development involved action research, using Solution Focused Brief Therapy to effect change in adult guidance group work. Grace is currently involved in local agency networks and interagency initiatives that promote a client-centred approach to supporting adult learners. She also served as regional representative on the Executive of the Adult Educational Guidance Association of Ireland from 2012–2014.
Liz O'Sullivan Adult Education Officers Association
Liz is one of the five Adult Education Officers (AEOs) working with City of Dublin Education and Training Board (CDETB). She manages and supports the adult education team including Adult Literacy Organisers, Adult Education Guidance personnel, community education staff and tutors in the areas encompassing Crumlin, Inchicore, Rialto, Ballyfermot and surrounding areas. In addition to the regular duties of the AEO, Liz has overall responsibility for policy development for adult literacy in CDETB.
Liz represents the AEOA on the National Advisory Committee for Adult Literacy and Numeracy. She also represents the AEOA on the Editorial Committee of The AONTAS Adult Learner Journal.
With a background in teaching in the Education Unit in Mountjoy Prison and lecturing in Teaching and Learning in DCU, Liz has a well-rounded perspective and interest in the area of adult education.
Chris Ó Rálaigh
Chris Ó'Rálaigh works as a Learning and Development Coordinator within Community Employment and as an adult educator within the Further Education and Training (FET) sector, specialising in Community Development. Chris has a long track record of working within the community and voluntary sector with a variety of community organisations, charities and social justice campaigns.
Michael Kenny NUI Maynooth
Michael works in the Department of Adult and Community Education at NUI Maynooth delivering outreach courses in community and rural development including distance and blended learning delivery. He has also delivered courses in Maynooth, UCD, UCC and UCG. Michael is currently course director of the Higher Diploma in Further Education accredited by NUI and the Teaching Council of Ireland. He is a board member of Irish Rural link, a member of Louth-Meath Education & Training Board, board member of MOT (Meath opportunities for training) that runs a programme for young men recovering from addiction and board member of Coisceimeanna Childcare Centre (community-based childcare centre in Trim, Co Meath).
Deborah Ryan CEFA (Community Education Facilitators Association)
Deborah Ryan has worked in Tipperary North for 12 years as a Community Education Facilitator, 5 years as Education Officer in LDSIP programme and 5 years working as a Group Work Facilitator in health promotion. Deborah is Director of Tipperary Childcare, and represents the Tipperary ETB on a variety of Committees on social inclusion and childcare.
John D'Arcy Open University Ireland
John D'Arcy is National Director for The Open University in Ireland, with responsibility for operations in both The North and South Ireland. In addition to this, John also brings his experience of working as a member of the Forum for Adult Learning in Northern Ireland, as Chief Executive of Colleges in Northern Ireland. John organised a cross-border briefing for the Northern Ireland Assembly in November 2014 which showcased developments in adult learning in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England. He is also involved in social initiatives such The Oh Yeah Music Centre in Belfast which he is Chair of.