Welcome to the Home Economics Institute of Australia Inc. (HEIA). Home Economics is a multidisciplinary subject which promotes the wellbeing of individuals families and communities. The Institute is the peak professional body for home economics professionals in Australia.

HEIA provides a national focus for home economics and home economists working in education, community health and industry. HEIA cooperates and affiliates with bodies at a state, national and international level concerned with the education of, and advocacy for, families and households in everyday living. HEIA promotes public recognition of the role of home economists, sets professional standards for the practice of home economics and promotes the professional standing of home economists.

HEIA 2024 National Conference – Fellowship awards
Dr. Leanne Compton: Victoria

Leanne has made an outstanding contribution at both the National and Divisional levels of Home Economics Profession. She has a PhD in Education and a Masters of Information Technology in Education. Leanne taught in schools for a number of years before taking on the role of Curriculum Manager, Design and Technology at the Victorian Curriculum Assessment Authority, which she has held for over 10 years. In this time, she has supported and worked for the improvement of Home Economics. Leanne has been a HEIA member since 1997 and has held position of President of HEIA (V) as well as National President, convenor of the Membership Standing Committee, along with many Academic Committee for Conferences and published many articles for the HEIA journal, as well as many successful text books and various digital resources in the areas of food and health and human development. Leanne worked with McCormick to develop the HEIA/McCormick Recipe challenge and is current Chair of the Advisory Panel for the King and Amy O’Malley Trust.

Rosemarie Sciacca: Queensland

Rosie has been a member of HEIA for many years and worked in areas of Student Liasson, Secretary, Vice President and President of HEIA (Q) over a period of 17 years. Rosie has arranged many workshops and Professional Development opportunities in many Home Economic areas in food and in textiles. As well as presenting at HEIA National and Queensland conferences, as well as the DATTA Queensland conference. Rosie has published many academic articles and contributed to curriculum as well as Chair and panellist for the Kind and Amy O’Malley Scholarships for 5 years over a period of time.

Sandra Fordyce-Voorham: Victoria

Sandra has made an outstanding contribution at both the National and Divisional levels of Home Economics Profession. Sandra studies Home Economics at Rusden State College and holds a Masters in information and communication technologies in education along with a PhD in Food skills in secondary schools. She joined the national body of home economics under HEAA (Home Economics Association of Australia – HEIA’s predecessor) as a student and has been an active member inside these associations ever since, including the IFHE (International Federation for Home Economics), Sandra has chaired and co-presenting at the 2012 World Congress in Melbourne, along with holding the role of president of the VHETTA (Victoria Home Economics and Textiles Teachers Association). Sandra supported a pre-service teacher from Canada, hosting as he conducted research in Australian education, and co-writing a journal article on food literacy education in Canada and Australia, and worked with HEIA McCormick Foods Australia Flavour Forecast challenge over many years. Sandra has written many academic journal articles on technology and home economic areas of education. A King and Amy O’Malley scholar, she has contributed to many areas of home economics education promoting, teaching and inspiring young people.

Cheryl Sonter: Victoria

Cheryl has a Masters degree in Education Administration,, a Bachelor of Education and a graduate Diploma of Business Administration and this has held her in fine stead for the many roles she has undertaken in the field of Home Economics administration. A teacher of Home Economics for over 35 years, Cheryl has lectured at Avondale University and been Head of Teaching and Learning at Edinburgh College.

For over 10 years Cheryl has been president of HEIA (V), national Treasurer of HEIA, as well as president-elect and President of HEIA. During this long era of service to both HEIA domestically and nationally, Cheryl has instigated, prepared position papers for executive and divisions and restructured HEIA’s finances, thereby, safeguarding HEIA’s financial future. She has worked closely with Association Forums specialists and moved the association into the digital and financial future as well as the financial amalgamation of the smaller states that were struggling financially to ensure that HEIA has a unified national structure for the betterment of HEIA’s states and territories. Cheryl has helped run a number of HEIA National conferences and has volunteered her time to improve the lives of others in third world countries providing curriculum planning and training for teachers in Vanuatu and Cambodia.

Carolyn Paulin: Victoria

Carolyn lectured at RMIT and Rusden College in Textiles, and is one of the founding members of HEIA (V) and was Secretary and the initial President of Victoria working for several years in various roles always being supportive and generous with her time. She has been the Victorian representative to the National Council for decades and held numerous positions on a national level, including the Chair of the International Affairs Standing Committee. Carolyn has authored a number of academic and popular press books on body image, colours and dressing for success. She ran ‘Home Economics in the Pacific’ which sent tertiary students to the pacific islands in an extension program where Home Economics and research programs were completed. She involved Pacific Island University staff in the outreach program covering individual and community nutrition and social enterprise programs. She is a quiet mentor for students, staff and fellow HEIA members. She continues to be active to this current day.