We are still accepting members to sign-up and join RSTAANZ. At last count there are over 230 individuals in our subject association, representing a range of faith traditions, which is wonderful!
We are conscious that there are several other groups and associations already in existence for Religious Studies in Aotearoa New Zealand. Most of these are organised around particular faith traditions. We wish to assure you that RSTAANZ is in no way challenging or undermining such groups. In fact their continued existence and development only helps to support the strength of this all-inclusive Religious Studies Subject Association. This association was formed in response to a range of needs and requests to have a representative, collective, national, multi-faith (including secular) organisation which can support the development and teaching of Religious Studies in our country, and which can provide a strong voice in this regard with NZQA and MOE. Those involved in Religious Studies are warmly invited to join RSTAANZ and are encouraged to remain part of other supportive organisations and groups which are already working in the field.
Invoices for membership fees were sent out in 2017 to cover the various costs associated with running such an association. This will be an annual fee. Details will be on the invoice but, as for last year, we have agreed to limit whole school/organisation membership to $140 (suited to schools or organisations with 4 or more RE teachers or other interested persons) or $40 for individual membership. Our understanding is that is at the lower end of most other NZ subject associations.
As per the constitution, membership gives certain voting rights within RSTAANZ but also includes people in decision making and information dissemination in general. For example, we have been asked by NZQA to gather data on what people would like for Best Practice Workshops. This is able to be done simply by asking the membership. There are also plans to run a conference in 2018 and we are well underway in readying an application to NZQA for Scholarship for RS.
It’s an exciting time for Religious Studies in general, and great to be developing the broader sense of community in this important subject area.