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AONTAS is the National Adult Learning Organisation, a voluntary membership organisation.

 

AONTAS Governance

AONTAS commits to maintaining robust governance procedures in compliance with statutory requirements and as part of the emerging governance landscape. In order to deliver our work we see accountability as central to maintaining our reputation for excellence to our members, stakeholders, funders and the broader field of lifelong learning. The AONTAS Board provides strategic direction and financial oversight to the organisation and promotes the values and vision of AONTAS. The Board also ensures good governance and effective implementation of our Strategic Plan.

 

Meet our Board of Directors

Tara Farrell

Tara Farrell

AONTAS Chairperson - Longford Women's Link

Tara Farrell

AONTAS Chairperson - Longford Women's Link

Tara is the newly elected Chairperson of AONTAS. She is the Deputy CEO of Longford Women's Link (LWL), a community centre that provides a wide range of services to women in Longford and the surrounding areas, including education and training.

AONTAS BOARD

Colm Kilgallon

Colm Kilgallon

AONTAS - The ALBA Programme

Colm Kilgallon

AONTAS - The ALBA Programme

Colm is a mentor, lecturer and former Chair of the ALBA Programme (Adult Learning BA for Personal and Professional Development). He is currently a board member of ALBA Association and sits on the Age & Opportunity’s advisory board for lifelong learning.

Liam McCarthy

Liam McCarthy

AONTAS - The Social Health and Education Project

Liam McCarthy

AONTAS - The Social Health and Education Project

Liam was elected to the AONTAS board in May 2019. Liam is a Senior Training and Development Officer with The Social and Health Education Project (SHEP), which is a significant organiser of Community Education in the Munster area. His main practice expertise involves developing and organising: experiential learning community education courses; reflective practice courses for community and voluntary staff and volunteers; and courses in participatory approaches to community and organisational development.

Seona Hyland

Seona Hyland

AONTAS - Adult Educational Guidance Association of Ireland Organisational Member

Seona Hyland

AONTAS - Adult Educational Guidance Association of Ireland Organisational Member

Seona was elected to the AONTAS Board in May 2019. She is an Adult Guidance Counsellor with Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board (KWETB). She is also a member of the Adult Education Guidance Association of Ireland (AEGAI), a national body of adult guidance counsellors in the 16 ETBs around the country. She has been working as an adult guidance counsellor for 16 years.

Deirdre Markey

Deirdre Markey

AONTAS - ALBA Association

Deirdre Markey

AONTAS - ALBA Association

Deirdre was elected to the AONTAS Board in May 2019. She is a chartered accountant with over 13 years’ experience leading finance teams in the private sector. Deirdre is also a recent graduate of the Adult Learning BA for Personal and Professional Development (ALBA) programme and has a passionate commitment to lifelong learning. She currently works for Spirasi and leads an innovative integration programme for asylum seekers and refugees who are survivors of torture.

Brian Dooney

Brian Dooney

AONTAS - Age and Opportunity

Brian Dooney

AONTAS - Age and Opportunity

Brian was first elected to the AONTAS Board in 2017 and re-elected in May 2019. Brian has worked in adult education for over 20 years, in All Hallows College/Dublin City University (DCU) and more recently in Age and Opportunity, the national non-profit organisation which promotes opportunities for greater participation by older people in society.

Moira Leydon

Moira Leydon

AONTAS - Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland

Moira Leydon

AONTAS - Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland

Moira was first elected to the AONTAS Board in 2017 and re-elected in May 2019. She is currently the Assistant General Secretary with the Association of Secondary Teachers, Ireland (ASTI). Her current role is focused on education & research and includes areas such as lifelong learning, vocational education and training and higher education.

John D'Arcy

John D'Arcy

AONTAS - The Open University

John D'Arcy

AONTAS - The Open University

John is the National Director of The Open University in Ireland and has vast educational & governance experience. He is an active member on the Forum for Adult Learning in Northern Ireland and a former Chair of many organisations including Enterprise Northern Ireland and Audience Northern Ireland.

Alice Mc Donnell

Alice Mc Donnell

AONTAS - Transformative Recovery College

Alice Mc Donnell

AONTAS - Transformative Recovery College

Alice is Coordinator/Peer Educator with Transformative Recovery College Longford/Westmeath and has been involved in adult and community education and volunteering for over 30 years. Her work provides a range of Recovery Education programmes on mental health and wellbeing.

Joy-Tendai Kangere

Joy-Tendai Kangere

AONTAS - Adult Learners Representative

Joy-Tendai Kangere

AONTAS - Adult Learners Representative

Joy-Tendai is an adult learner advocate, blogger, interpreter and aspiring lawyer who is passionate for equality and human rights for women and minority communities. She returned to education for a four-year Bachelor of Civil Law degree in UCD Sutherland School of Law. In 2018, Joy received the prestigious Denham Fellowship.

Tom O'Brien

Tom O'Brien

AONTAS - South County Dublin Partnership

Tom O'Brien

AONTAS - South County Dublin Partnership

Tom qualified as an adult educator in 1999 with an MA in Adult and Community Education and a PHD in 2004. Since then he has worked in the addiction sector managing services, conducting research and teaching at Maynooth. More recently he started working with the South County Dublin Partnership as an adult educator.

Estelle Webb

Estelle Webb

AONTAS - IACTO

Estelle Webb

AONTAS - IACTO

Estelle was elected to the AONTAS board in July 2020. Estelle is an Executive Director of IACTO and leads the membership and management support service through a change process towards new modes of delivery, involving a collaborative and influencing approach. With lifelong experience of working firstly as a careers officer, and then in various management positions in the Education sector, she has seen the difference a positive role model can make to a person’s life.

We advocate for the right of all adults in Ireland to quality lifelong learning.
meet our members

Our AONTAS Board of Directors

The AONTAS Board of Directors is made up of AONTAS members. Board Directors are voted onto the AONTAS Board of Director by their fellow AONTAS members for a three year term. Directors may serve a maximum of two terms and a maximum of two terms as Chairperson and in any event no more than nine consecutive years as a member of the Board. Election to the Board occurs on a rotating basis according to the rules of the AONTAS Constitution.

The Board includes:

  1. Chairperson
  2. General Organisation Members
  3. Community Education Organisation Members
  4. Individual Member
  5. Adult Learners

The Board ensures its professionalism by bringing their individual expertise in adult and community education, and making sure specific skills and knowledge in areas like governance, accounting, and legal are represented on the Board.

Corporate Governance Structures

The Board of Directors meets a minimum of five times per year and has its Annual General Meeting in May of each year. The Board has responsibility for ensuring that the organisation achieves its strategic goals and that AONTAS meets all legislative, charitable and company law requirements, and health and safety standards.

There are two sub-committees that report to the Board of Directors on a regular basis. The subcommittees are:

Audit and Risk Sub-Committee

The Audit and Risk Sub-Committee includes a Board Member who is a qualified accountant.
The Sub-Committee is responsible for:

  1. Ensuring effective financial controls and procedures are in place and functioning to enable AONTAS to operate in an orderly and efficient manner.
  2. Advising the Board on compliance with statutory requirements regarding financial reporting and risk management procedures.
  3. Monitoring the integrity of AONTAS’s financial statements.
  4. Reviewing the income and expenditure of AONTAS and reporting on same to the Board.
  5. Ensuring timely preparation of the annual budget and after review recommending its adoption by the Board.

At the discretion of the Chairperson, and subject to budgetary approval, the committee may engage external advisors to assist it in fulfilling its role.

Governance Sub-Committee

The Governance Sub-Committee is responsible for advising the Board on the effective governance of the organisation by:

  1. Developing and reviewing governance policies and procedures
  2. Ensuring the Board of Directors has expertise in issues of Legal; HR and Finance
  3. Organising induction and training programmes for Board members
  4. Reviewing the performance of the Board

Accounts and Audits

The AONTAS Board of Directors sees the financial governance of the organisation as one of its primary responsibilities. AONTAS publishes its accounts on an annual basis within the AONTAS Annual Report. Our accounts and financial reports also comply with the principles of the Statement of Recommended Practice, Accounting and Reporting by Charities (SORP).

We also comply with the requirements set down by the Charity Regulator Authority including the Charities Governance Code.

External Auditor

At its AGM in May 2019, AONTAS membership approved the appointment of Mazars as AONTAS’ external auditors.

Further to our own auditing procedures, AONTAS is also subject to periodic and random audits by funders including SOLAS and the European Commission.

AONTAS is a company limited by guarantee, our Company Registration Number is 80958, our Registered Charity Number (RCN) is 20013042. For Revenue purposes, our CHY number is CHY 6719.

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AONTAS CONSTITUTION

A voluntary committee drew up the Constitution for the Association which was ratified in 1970 and redrafted in 1978. AONTAS has amended its Constitution over the years to reflect the changing nature of adult education.