Sunday, 07 February, 2016

Berni Brady Retires after 33-Year Involvement in AONTAS

Berni AGMOne of the longest-serving figures in Ireland’s adult education sector has retired.  Berni Brady, who has played a central role in the work of AONTAS for 33 years, stepped down as CEO of the organisation in December. Ms. Brady became involved in AONTAS in 1987, when she joined the organisation’s Board of Directors.  At that time, she was working as an adult literacy tutor in The Dublin Adult Literacy Scheme.  

A special reception took place on the 2nd of December to mark Berni Brady’s retirement from AONTAS at the Ashling Hotel, Parkgate Street, Dublin 8.

Berni said: “I began my career as a teacher and then worked directly with adult learners who were in need of literacy support. Subsequently, I have always kept a strong focus on the learner’s voice during all my work with AONTAS.  

Read more here

AONTAS Announces Appointment of New CEO

NORAONTAS, the National Adult Learning Organisation, has appointed Niamh O’Reilly as Chief Executive Officer, with effect from 1st January 2016. The appointment was made following a competitive open recruitment process, with applications received from a wide range of national and international candidates.

Niamh O’Reilly will take over the role from the current CEO, Berni Brady, who is stepping down from the organisation next month, after 23 years at the helm.  Niamh currently serves as Head of Strategic Development at AONTAS, and has been a member of the senior management team for seven years in the roles of Head of Membership Services and Head of Strategic Development.

Niamh said her priorities as CEO include: increasing membership involvement in advocacy activities; strengthening AONTAS’s position as the National Coordinator of the European Agenda on Adult Learning; and broadening the debate on the wider value and benefits of adult and community education.  Niamh has emphasised AONTAS' continued commitment in keeping learners at the heart of all we do.

Niamh holds a number of qualifications, including a Higher Diploma in Adult Education from UCD, a Postgraduate Diploma in Statistics from Trinity College Dublin, an MSc in Biological Science, also from Trinity College Dublin, and a BSc Hons in Biological Science from the University of Dundee. She is currently undertaking a PhD at NUI Maynooth, exploring the value of non-formal adult education for increasing diversity in higher-level education. She is also an elected board member of the European Association for the Education of Adults since 2011 and acts as a guest lecturer at NUI Maynooth.

To read the press release, click here.  

New developments to ‘One Step Up’ to make it even easier for adults to find their Education and Training Options


OneStepUp2One Step Up is a project set up as an initiative which promotes the EU agenda for adult learning and raises awareness about education and training options available through a website www.onestepup.ie, an online calendar of events and a Freephone Helpline 1800 303 669.

Since the website was launched in November 2013 the project has received  11,189 profiles through the One Step Up website, received over a thousand calls through the Freephone Helpline and promoted over 900 education and training events taking place nationwide.

This year AONTAS, who manage the project and who have been assigned the role of National Co-ordinators for the implementation of the European Agenda for Adult Learning (EAAL) carried out a survey with key stakeholders (learners, providers) to get feedback on the usability of the website. 

To read more about the new developments to One Step Up click here