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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

John D’Arcy

John D’Arcy

AONTAS Chairperson - The Open University in Ireland

John D’Arcy

AONTAS Chairperson - The Open University in Ireland

John is the newly elected Chairperson of AONTAS. He is the National Director of The Open University in Ireland and has a range of educational and 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.

AONTAS BOARD

Lilian Nwanze

Lilian Nwanze

AONTAS - Maynooth University

Lilian Nwanze

AONTAS - Maynooth University

Lilian was elected to the AONTAS Board in May 2022. Lilian is a PhD student and occasional lecturer in the Department of Adult and Community Education Department in Maynooth University. As an Adult Education practitioner, Lilian is passionate about co-creating inclusive spaces in classrooms. Lilian is a graduate member of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries of the United Kingdom and is trained in engaging with Boards.

Liam McCarthy

Liam McCarthy

AONTAS - The Social Health and Education Project

Liam McCarthy

AONTAS - The Social Health and Education Project

Liam was first elected to the AONTAS board in May 2019 and reappointed in May 2022. 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.

Imelda Gaffney

Imelda Gaffney

AONTAS - Irish Wheelchair Association

Imelda Gaffney

AONTAS - Irish Wheelchair Association

Imelda was elected to the AONTAS Board in October 2021. She is Head of Learning & Development for the Irish Wheelchair Association, with responsibility for learning and development activities as well as the development and implementation of a Supported Employment programme for people with disabilities. She is a qualified Coach and Mediator and holds a degree in Training and Education and a Masters in Guidance Counselling and Lifespan Development.

Martin Flynn

Martin Flynn

AONTAS - Open College Network Northern Ireland (OCN NI)

Martin Flynn

AONTAS - Open College Network Northern Ireland (OCN NI)

Martin was elected to the AONTAS Board in October 2021. He is Chief Executive of Open College Network Northern Ireland (OCNNI). He is the Chairperson of the NI Federation of Awarding Bodies, which consists of all the major awarding bodies offering qualifications in NI. Martin promotes the value of lifelong learning having been an adult learner himself and graduating from the University of Liverpool with a BA in Professional Development and PGC in Management and Leadership.

Pamela Latimer

Pamela Latimer

AONTAS - Longford Women’s Link

Pamela Latimer

AONTAS - Longford Women’s Link

Pamela was elected to the AONTAS Board in October 2021. She has worked with Longford Women’s Link (LWL) as Education and Training Business Development Manager since 2009. Pamela’s role as Education and Training Business Development Manager plays a key role in achieving this vision, providing community education under the guidelines of Women’s Community Education. She is also the current co-Convenor of the National Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Practitioners Network.

Louise Mullins

Louise Mullins

AONTAS - IACTO

Louise Mullins

AONTAS - IACTO

Louise was elected to the AONTAS Board in October 2021. She is the Executive Director of IACTO. She is a HR professional with a Masters in Human Resource Management and experience of working in organisations promoting social inclusion and providing adult and community education services. She has a genuine interest in good governance and a great working knowledge of governance requirements for Charities.

Melíosa Bracken

Melíosa Bracken

AONTAS - Community Education Facilitators' Association (CEFA)

Melíosa Bracken

AONTAS - Community Education Facilitators' Association (CEFA)

Melíosa was elected to the AONTAS Board in May 2022. Melíosa is a Community Education Facilitator with City of Dublin Education and Training Board (CDETB), and Vice-Chair of CEFA, the national Community Education Facilitators Association in Ireland. Melíosa has worked in the adult and community education sector for over twenty years. She is particularly interested in the fields of Development Education, Climate Justice Education and Education for Social Justice.

Anna Jakobek

Anna Jakobek

AONTAS - Adult Learners Representative

Anna Jakobek

AONTAS - Adult Learners Representative

Cora Rafter

Cora Rafter

AONTAS - Adult Education Officers' Association (AEOA)

Cora Rafter

AONTAS - Adult Education Officers' Association (AEOA)

Cora was first elected to the AONTAS Board in May 2022. In her role as an adult education officer with the City of Dublin ETB, with responsibility for delivering adult education programmes in the Finglas/Cabra area, Cora has developed a deep understanding of the strategic priorities, issues and concerns for adult education in Ireland. She is currently a director of the Local Drugs Task Force.

Martina Needham

Martina Needham

AONTAS - Donegal Education and Training Board

Martina Needham

AONTAS - Donegal Education and Training Board

Martina was elected to the AONTAS Board in October 2021. She is an Adult Education Officer with Donegal Education and Training Board (Donegal ETB). Community Education, Adult Literacy provision and Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) are key features of her work in supporting lifelong learning and social inclusion. Martina has a range of experience in promoting and supporting the development of a quality and inclusive service in the Donegal ETB region.

John Buttery

John Buttery

AONTAS - Limerick Community Education Network (LCEN)

John Buttery

AONTAS - Limerick Community Education Network (LCEN)

John was elected to the AONTAS Board in October 2021. He is an advocate for community-based adult education with decades of experience in community development and supporting those who live in areas of high disadvantage across Limerick city and beyond. He has vast experience in areas of governance and is an advocate for lifelong learning and social change.

Colette Ainscough

Colette Ainscough

AONTAS - Individual Members Representative

Colette Ainscough

AONTAS - Individual Members Representative

Colette was elected to the AONTAS Board in October 2021. She is an advocate for lifelong learning and Vice President of Education at the Advanced Online Toastmasters Club. She attained a BA Arts (Politics & Sociology) at University College Dublin (UCD) and began her educational journey via the community education route. She has a passion for adult learning.

Daniel Kenny

Daniel Kenny

AONTAS - Adult Learners Representative

Daniel Kenny

AONTAS - Adult Learners Representative

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

While we do not fundraise from the public at the moment we are aware of the Guidelines for Charitable Organisations Fundraising from the Public and if we should fundraise in the future we will adhere to that standard.

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.

 

Feedback and Complaints

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.