Association of Open University Graduates

Candidate Statements

Candidates for the election of Officers to the AOUG Committee
Candidates standing for election for AOUG Officer Positions require six assenters from any Region or Nation. Brackets show an assenters Region or Nation and their Executive involvement i.e. EC stands for an Executive Committee member during 2013/2014 and PEC stands for Previous Executive Committee member. All current AOUG members in all Region and Nations may vote for all candidates standing for Officer positions.

AOUG Chairman - Margaret Stobirski
Assenters: Jean Grout (EC 06), Pamela Pearce (EC 03), Lesley Anne Sleigh (Vice Chairman 07), Peter Williams (EC 08), Patricia Cowling (PEC Europe), Audrey Jean Hertzog  (Treasurer 07).

I would like to offer my services as Chairman of AOUG for a further year. In my work as a Public Health Nurse Specialist, I combine the skills achieved over many years in organising, working as a team member, meeting people and working to deadlines, all qualities required for the role of Chairman. The last year has been a very steep learning curve but I have enjoyed the challenges associated with taking on a new responsibility. I have been able to build upon my experience as AOUG OMEGA Editor, Publicity Officer and previous to these roles, an Executive Representative.  I have therefore gained a deeper understanding and knowledge of AOUG in the many various aspects of the Association. I am very passionate about AOUG and I would see it as an honour and privilege to continue in the Chairman’s role

AOUG Vice Chairman - Lesley Ann Sleigh
Assenters: Carol-Ann Churm (07), Violet Rook (Development Officer 09), Margaret Stobirski (Chairman 08), Derrick Franks (EC 07), Pamela Pearce (EC 03), Patricia Cowling (PEC Europe).

I commenced my studies with The Open University in 1973, had to give up in 1976, but was able to restart in 1996, when the children had left home I was only working seven days a week, on shifts, as a bus driver. I finally completed my degree at the end of 1999 – so only twenty six years. I joined AOUG following my Manchester Degree Ceremony but was a sleeping member until the AGM at Crystal Palace – this was near where I grew up. I attended an AOUG in Yorkshire AGM in York and, a year later, became AOUG in Y Secretary. The rest, as they say, is history.
The last year as co-opted Vice Chairman has been a frantic learning curve. I ask for your support in the coming election.

AOUG Treasurer - Jean Hertzog
Assenters: Margaret Stobirski (Chairman 08), Lesley Anne Sleigh (Vice Chairman 07), Pamela Pearce (EC 03), Patricia Cowling (PEC Europe), Lewis McKay (N 11), Michael Bechley (EC 02).

As an active AOUG members in various roles both at Association and local level, for all but six months of AOUG's existence, I believe passionately in its aims and objectives.

Now having served as your elected Treasurer for the last two years, as well as having responsibility for the financial issues during the previous year whilst still completing my duties of the Publicity Officer's role, I have gained a comprehensive understanding of the Association's financial affairs. Many financial research projects were necessary alongside the day to day work of planning and planning budgets and throughout I have tried to give transparent reporting to members and full explanations to allow the Executive Committee to make informed decisions.

My previous background in the Chairman's role gives me experience that helps with financial challenges and thus I offer my services for the next three years.


AOUG Development Officer - Violet Rook
Assenters: Lesley Anne Sleigh (Vice Chairman 07), Mohammad Motawalla (EC 04) Jean Mc Kenna (EC 09), Eileen Thornton (PEC N11), Keith Ward (PEC 04), Dorothy Ford (09)

I obtained my BSc. Hons. Open degree in 2001 and have a PGCert from Sunderland University and I am a trained nurse and midwife and teacher in Adult Education. I returned to study in 1998 with the Open University after a gap caring for my parents who had cancer.

I became the Development Officer in 2012, previously being the Executive Representative for region 09 North. My duties involve processing lists for degree ceremonies, advising and supporting the other Executive Representatives, also a member of the editorial team of OMEGA.
I am active in education and health in Newcastle. I was a regional Director of the National Governor Association and have been a Primary School Governor for ten years. I was Vice Chair of Newcastle Links, and a member of the SHA Patients Safety Group, being given an award for both.

AOUG Publicity Officer - Pamela Pearce
Assenters: Osborn James Green (03), Olive Rosemary Hammick (EC 01), Audrey Jean Hertzog  (Treasurer 07), Pamela Anne Marchant (03), Lesley Anne Sleigh (Vice Chairman 07), June Margaret Venn (PEC 03).

As I am coming to the end of my term as Executive Representative in the South West, I am keen to take on the challenge of Publicity Officer. I think it is important for the AOUG to enhance its profile, so that it can attract new members and retain existing ones.  We need to look for different ways to promote AOUG to a broad range of Open University graduates, from those who have recently achieved their degrees to those in our communities who may not have heard of us.

I have a background in information, having worked as a librarian, administrator and records manager in local government and higher education. I obtained a BA (Hons) from the Open University in 1986 and an MSc (Econ) in Records Management from the University of Wales (Aberystwyth) in 2009. I have been the local contact for the AOUG Bristol Group since 2006.


Candidates for election to the Executive Committee
Candidates standing for Executive Representatives' positions require three assenters from their own Region or Nation. Brackets show an assenters Region or Nation and their Executive Committee involvement ie. EC stands for an Executive Committee member during 2013/ 2014and PEC stands for a previous Executive Committee member .Only current AOUG members affiliated to the Regions or Nations who have a candidate standing for election. Therefore only members from Region (02) South
Region South West (03) and Region West Midlands (04) may vote in this year's election

Executive Representative Region South (02) - Jayne Littlejohn
Assenters: Colin Reed (PEC 02) Michael Bechley (EC 02) David Cox (02)

My name is Jayne Littlejohn and I have been a member of AOUG since I first graduated from the OU in 2000. I started to actively attend social meetings in Oxford about 5 years ago.

I appreciate the work involved in being a volunteer member of the Executive Committee having previously been Vice Chairman of my local District Church Council and currently being the Group Scout Leader of my local Scout Group. The importance of volunteer committee members to any group is to steer the membership forward and to ensure the longevity of the overall group.  With AOUG I see this primarily as a need to increase membership and look forward to working with the other committee members to come up with new ideas to drive this forward. I appreciate the importance of new people working with existing experience for the overall benefit of AOUG.


Executive Representative Region South West (03) - Janet Anne Savin
Assenters: Anthony Ransom (03) Pamela Day (03) Pamela Pearce (EC 03)

I started studying with the OU nearly thirty years ago. I 'switched' the disciplines of my studies, meeting students with a range of interests and from diverse backgrounds. When I graduated in 2000, social media, e‑mail and texts were not established and I didn't keep in touch with fellow graduates.

Pam Pearce introduced me to the Bristol AOUG; this network is not only a way of keeping in touch but also an opportunity to socialise with local graduates, people I would not meet on a day to day basis. All of us had the desire at the beginning of our studies to learn and develop in a personal way that is unique to OU, and want to see this continue for future undergraduates.

I welcome the opportunity carry on Pam’s good work and to represent the views and interests of the graduates in the South West on the Executive Committee.

Executive Representative Region West Midlands (04) -Philip Evans
Assenters: Keith Ward (PEC 04), Brian Mandefield (04), Judith Mandefield (04).

I studied BSc (Hons) Physical Sciences full-time with the Open University between 2006 and 2009 and have been a member of the AOUG since January 2010.  I have worked at a local high school as a teaching assistant; at the local AgeUK as Project & Development Assistant on a one-year project and am currently working with Natural England. I am a Church of England Authorised lay Minister and have been involved in managing the finances of some major projects including the £250,000 tower restoration project at my church. I also enjoy playing the violin, gardening and reading, particularly crime novels. I look forward to the opportunity to represent AOUG members in the West Midlands.