Changes in the Steering Committee

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Dear friends, members and partners,

Over the last few months the EPEA SC had called for nominees for various vacant posts. We are happy to announce that we have found excellent candidates for the SC members that are leaving us and all others agreed to stay for another period. Let me give you a quick overview.

Ioannis Papadimitriou –  Southern Region
After representing the Southern Region for six years Ioannis Papadimitriou had to say goodbye to this post in the Steering Committee. Before that, he had been very active as Editor for our magazine and I am pleased to say that we are not losing him completely, for he has recently been chosen chair of the Hellas branch and will help EPEA forward on a Greek-national level. Ioannis has always actively approached the representative in the countries of his region and has especially been very busy supporting our members in Italy and Portugal during the last year, and assisted wherever he could with the formation of their branches. A very nice farewell gift for us and a token of his commitment and dedication. We are saying goodbye to a dear friend, but we are very pleased that our roads will still cross.

Nina Champion – Western Region
Nina joined the EPEA SC in 2015 during the Antwerp conference and from scratch on proved to be an excellent Western Region representative. Busy as always, if not for EPEA than for the PLA in England, she actively found her way and contacted all branches for regular updates and shared information. In those three years she has become a stable source of information, tremendously good advocate for prison education and in particular taught us to as much as possible include the learner’s voice. Nina has found a new job as a director of a small criminal justice charity and will leave the prison education work field. We wish to thank her for all that she has done and wish her all the best in her exciting new career.

We received applications for both these posts and the SC was impressed by how both regions will have competent and experienced representatives, that will now enlarge their scope from the national to the European (and beyond). Since there was one candidate for both the Southern and the Western Region, no elections were needed. The SC unanimously approved of both candidates and we are happy to introduce them to you.

José Alberto Pereira Pinto, Portugal – Secretary
You all know José Pinto who started as our secretary in between two election periods and is now officialy a Steering Committee member, as we received no other applications fort his post. The SC is happy to continue with José as our secretary, for he has shown great talent in doing so and really helps the SC forward. The continuity of our actions is maintained with him in our midst as experienced SC member, which allows us all to spend more time helping the new recrutes get settled.

Patrizia Corasaniti, Italy – Southern Region
Patrizia is very well known to the SC, since she has been working very hard to set up an Italian Branch, which is not an easy mission in Italy. Sharing and Connecting is her vision and this is why she wanted to bring her Italian knowlegde of prison education to a European scope and include EPEA’s vision and European policy in her work. She has a first degree in Foreign Languages and a second degree in Adult Education. Apart from that she has 2 Master degrees in Anthropological & Social Studies and Communication. She has been teaching both in juvenile and adult prisonin Rome, Italy. She became EPEA Italy Contact Person since 2016, followed by becoming an Epale Ambassador for Adult Education and Prison Education in Italy since 2017.

She is the driving force behind the Facebook group “La Scuola in carcere” (Prison School) which gathers about 500 members and where news, information, good practices and opportunities about Prison Education and EPEA events are shared and disseminated.She is Pedagogical Advisor in the field of Prison Education, in the process of setting up a network of teachers/educators from 190 Italian prisons in order to share, learn from each other, do projects together and try to innovate our educational approaches.

We like to welcome Patrizia in our midst and wish her joy and an interesting time in her new post. She takes up her duties as Southern Region Representative for a period of 3 years as from 1st July and can be up for one more period of 3 years as from Juli 2021.
Please feel free to contact Patrizia at:

Ruth McFarlane, England – Western Region
Ruth was not personally known to the SC, but we all know the organisation that she represents. She leads the prison education team at the Open University (OU), that has supported Higher Education (HE) in prisons for over 40 years. We are known as the “Students in Secure Environments” team and we currently support 1400 students across the UK with their degree level study.

She has three main areas of focus :
• Working with the Ministry of Justice to provide a high standard of HE in prisons, which meets
the security requirements. Lobbying government on key areas of development – especially
funding and the use of technology
• Working with prisons at a local level to recruit students and support their studies, aiming to
increase our student numbers and Through the Gate support
• Working with module teams within the OU to adapt learning materials provided for students
in prison and to facilitate tutor support

Ruth has an M Ed in Online and Distance Education, as well as a PGCE teaching qualification and has previously worked as a maths teacher in prisons. She has served for 4 years as Chair of Governors at her local primary school, achieving an Ofsted Outstanding grade for Leadership and Management. We are delighted that Ruth also brings in lots of experience in particular within the realm of the Open University, with a focus on digital skills and virtual campuses. Within the tradition that Nina started, Ruth also emphasizes the student voice in all of her work and she has established connections with student councils in a number of prisons. We also like to welcome Ruth in our midst, and look forward to meeting her in person on our next Steering Committee meeting.

Pris Tatipikalawan, Netherlands -Web-editor
For the first time the EPEA send out a notice and call for a web-editor. Pris was the only applicant but also sent us a very relevant CV fort his new position. Some of you might have met her in projects or at our conferences, where she has delivered a few workshops. Pris has worked as a teacher for special students using the arts to teach key competences and skills. She has 20 years or so relevant experience as a creative artist for Dutch and English clients.

Our webmaster Deirdre Brennan and assistant webmaster Per Thrane both looked at the technical experience Pris has gathered and they are both enthusiastic about having Pris as our web-editor. As from 1st July Pris will, amongst others, edit and compose the EPEA newsletters with assistance of the other Steering Committee members, that will forward material that comes to us from our
members. You will get to know her work soon and the SC is looking forward to working with her.

This brings us to the following overview of the EPEA Steering Committee:
• Chair: Annet Bakker – The Netherlands
• Treasurer: Nyggi Agerneass – Denmark
• Secretary: José Pinto – Portugal
• Regional Representatives
o Central Hubert Skrzinsky – Poland
o East Ioana Morar – Romania
o South Patrizia Corasaniti – Italy
o North Per Thrane – Denmark
o West Ruth McFarlane – England (Co-opted by SC)
• Project Manager Paul Talbot – Austria (Co-opted by SC)
• Webmaster Deirdre Brennan – Ireland (Co-opted by SC)
• Web-editor Pris Tatipikalawan – Netherlands (Co-opted by SC)


Yours truly,

Annet Bakker