The Mayfield Project

Published: Thursday 3 May 2012

The Mayfield Project 2012 (MP2012) kicked off with a dinner in March followed by an all day workshop at The University of Melbourne. The initial participants flew in from around the country to take part. Those in attendance came from Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane and Melbourne. Philip Idle, Jo Dane, Lisa Horton and Ben Cleveland facilitated the day and Clare Newton and Peter Lawther provided highly stimulating presentations to challenge the thinking of those in attendance.

John Mayfield had a passion for involving young professionals in the organisation and the objective of this project is to get them involved in research that can inform the wider CEFPI family. The Mayfield Project ran previously in 2006 and 2010 with great success.

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The theme of this year’s project is ‘Emergency Response to Change – provision of new, renovated, rebuilt, relocated and replacement education facilities’. The MP2012 team workshopped this theme and identified a new title for the 2012 project:

‘Schools as Sanctuaries of Hope’.

Following this initial workshop, the project team will now work on developing a series of questions and case studies that will be the focus for the research. They will present a workshop at the Australasia Conference on the Gold Coast and the project will culminate in a Symposium to be held in Melbourne on 22 November, 2012.

About John Mayfield Dr John Mayfield, PhD (Harvard) was a leader in education as a teacher, inspector, administrator, author and instigator of ideas. He was recognised as being visionary and yet realistically practical He was involved in the planning and governance of public and private schools and in the design, financing and management of education buildings for more than 30 years. In that time he provided inspirational leadership, innovation and the sharing of ideas locally and internationally. His many achievements included the planning and establishment of shared campus schools, the co-location of government and non-government schools, the sharing of facilities with the local community alongside the recognition and fostering of lifelong learning. He was Chairman of the OECD Programme on Educational Buildings Steering Committee from 1985- 1988.

We particularly honour John as being vitally instrumental in establishing CEFPI in Australia. He was an enthusiastic and energetic man, believing strongly in the idea of a “learning community”. In 1999 John found that together with him there was a small group of Australians attending the CEFPI International Conference in Baltimore. He could see the benefits of extending this organisation to Australia. Subsequently he arranged meetings bringing together a core group to work with him and the International CEFPI Board to form the first Australian Chapter of CEFPI. This was achieved in 2000 in Adelaide, South Australia. He received a special CEFPI International Award for this initiative. John saw the importance of investing in our youth and commenced a professional development program for younger members. This program has continued to develop in our Region and is now known and supported as the Mayfield Project. John had a great capacity to bring people together to share ideas about serious and profound issues and was never thwarted by barriers of language, culture, nationality or geography, or by bureaucracy. He passed away in 2006, but his legacy is far reaching.