KCETB Kilkenny and Carlow Education and Training Board
Rialtas na hEireann Government of Ireland
Rialtas na hEireann Government of Ireland
Co-Funded by the European Union

KCETB students are centre stage at ETBI Annual Conference 2022

Kilkenny and Carlow Education and Training Board (KCETB) students took an active part in the recent Education and Training Boards Ireland (ETBI) Annual Conference 2022, which took place at Mount Wolesley Hotel, Co. Carlow.


Young musicians from Music Generation Carlow and from Coláiste Eoin Hacketsown were selected to provide the entertainment on both evenings of the two-day conference. Representing Music Generation Carlow was Reelig, an accomplished collective of young traditional Irish musicians. Since its formation, Reelig has performed locally, nationally and internationally with highlights including performances for President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina Higgins, US President Joe Biden and former Taoiseach Enda Kenny.  

Musician from Coláiste Eoin, Hacketstown performing at the ETBI Annual Conference


Coláiste Eoin was represented by its Grupa Cheoil – a group of 12 musicians who play a variety of traditional and popular music. Their set list reflected the range of ability and talent in the school and included hornpipes, jigs, slow airs and the Coláiste Eoin anthem Small School Big Heart.


Both groups received a fantastic reception from the delegates present and on social media.



Tariq Aziz with Minister for Education Norma Foley, TD


Separately, Tariq Aziz, a 6th Year student at Kilkenny City Vocational School, was a panellist on the second day of the conference for a special discussion on diversity and inclusion. Tariq was born in a refugee camp in Uganda after his family fled war in South Sudan, before moving to Ireland with his aunt in 2019. He spoke of his personal experience as a refugee, how he has settled into Kilkenny City Vocational School and what he hopes to do in the future. He was widely praised for his insight and spoke with Minister for Education Norma Foley TD at the conference.





KCETB board member Cllr Ger Frisby opened the conference in his capacity as President of ETBI.  The chairman of the KCETB board, Cllr Peter “Chap” Cleere, provided a welcome address and introduced the chief executive of KCETB, Eileen Curtis, who offered the delegates present a preview of the new ETBI video campaign entitled #MyETB.


Minister Simon Harris with KCETB Chief Executive, Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Director of FET and ETBI President

An Open Door to Excellence: Why Diversity Matters”

The two-day conference, entitled An Open Door to Excellence: Why Diversity Matters,  focused on equality, diversity and inclusion across the sector and brought together almost 300 delegates to discuss how the ETB sector can further develop its current leadership practices in education and training. They included:

  • Lemn Sissay OBE, the poet playwright, memoirist performer and broadcaster.
  • Dr Shirley Davis, a seasoned HR, and Diversity & Inclusion global thought leader, a senior executive, a certified leadership coach, and a former Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer for several major Fortune 100 companies.
  • Joanne Hession, Founder & CEO of LIFT Ireland (Leading Ireland’s Future Together).

The ETBI Annual Conference 2022 was also chosen to present the findings of the inaugural ETBI Diversity Survey. The survey represented the first time that such data has been collected and how the sector can build upon this in the years ahead.


Minister for Further and Higher Education, Innovation and Science Simon Harris, TD opened the conference and Minister for Education Norma Foley, TD delivered the official ministerial conference address.


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