2017 CCA Annual Conference


Our conference: The Community Colleges Australia (CCA) Annual Conference is the premier event for Australian adult and community education providers.

Our theme: The conference theme Community Education: Investing in our Future recognises the importance that education plays in people’s lives. The community education sector, because of our strong community links and our not-for-profit status, plays an essential role in ensuring that investment in Australian skills development is both meaningful and properly targeted to Australian learners and the communities most in need.

Our venues: Join us in Melbourne at two great venues - the iconic old-world charm of the Windsor Hotel, and the award-winning conference venue at Citadines on Bourke. Both are located in Melbourne’s dynamic “east end”, a diverse shopping and entertainment precinct in what many agree is “the world’s most liveable city”.

Read the 14 reasons why this year's conference is a "must-attend" event.

Conference schedule at a glance

Tuesday 25 July 2017

  • Pre-conference Masterclasses at The Citadines: 2.00 pm to 5.00 pm
  • Opening and welcome drinks: The Grand Ballroom, Hotel Windsor, 6.00 pm - 8.00 pm. Official conference opening by The Hon Karen Andrews MP, Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills

Wednesday 26 July 2017

Thursday 27 July 2017

  • Conference Day 2: The Citadines, 8.45 am to 4.30 pm. Day 2 will be opened by an address by the Hon Gayle Tierney MP, Victorian Minister for Training and Skills

Thank you to our Platinum Sponsor:

CCA welcomes the following speakers to their annual conference:

Formal Conference Opening: Tuesday 25 July 2017, 6.00pm

The Hon Karen Andrews MP, Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills

The Hon Karen Andrews MP was first elected to Federal Parliament in 2010 to represent the electorate of McPherson on the southern Gold Coast and was appointed Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills in July 2016. Mrs Andrews is focused on raising the status of VET and ensuring it provides people with the skills industry is looking for to secure the jobs of the future. Prior to entering parliament, Mrs Andrews’ background was in engineering, industrial relations and running her own business. Her qualifications include a Bachelor of Engineering, Graduate Diploma in Industrial Relations and Certificate in Mediation.

Keynote Speakers:

The Hon Gayle Tierney MP, Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Corrections

Gayle has a strong connection with rural and regional communities, having completed primary and secondary education at rural schools. Apart from being an advocate for regional infrastructure and employment, Gayle is also a strong supporter of environmental sustainability, gender representation, social inclusion and community development. Gayle studied politics and Asian Studies at Flinders University. She was the first woman to become a State Secretary of the Vehicle Division of the traditionally male-dominated Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, serving in this role from 1993 to 2006, and also as the Federal President from 2000 to 2006. Gayle also served on the Executive of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) from 2000 to 2006. She has represented Western Victoria in the Legislative Council since 2006, and was appointed as Minister for Training and Skills, and Minister for Corrections in November 2016.

Susan Pascoe AM, Commissioner, Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission

Susan Pascoe AM is the inaugural Commissioner for the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), Australia's first national, independent regulator of charities established in December 2012. Prior to this appointment, Ms Pascoe was Commissioner of the State Services Authority in Victoria. In this role she chaired or co-chaired reviews into the regulation of the not-for-profit sector (2007-08), the design and governance of regulatory bodies in Victoria (2008-09), and  Victoria's Indigenous Employment Strategy (2008-09).  Ms Pascoe was appointed in 2009 as one of three Commissioners for the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Black Saturday Bushfires.

The Hon Michael Lavarch AO, Commissioner - Risk, Intelligence and Regulatory Support, Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA)

The Hon Michael Lavarch AO has extensive experience in higher education and the public policy process. He is a former Dean of the Faculty of Law of the Queensland University of Technology and Secretary-General of the Law Council of Australia. From 1987 to 1996, Mr Lavarch was a Member of the Australian Parliament, and he served as Attorney-General from 1993 to 1996. He was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2012 for his contribution to the law, education and human rights.

Michael Lavarch commenced as a Commissioner of ASQA on 16 April 2012.

Professor Rodney Maddock, Monash Business School, and President, Economic Society of Australia, Victorian Branch

Dr Rodney Maddock is Professor, Monash Business School, Monash University; Vice Chancellor's Fellow, Victoria University; and President, Economic Society of Australia (Victorian Branch). Dr Maddock was previously a senior executive at the Commonwealth Bank after earlier stints as Chief Economist for the Business Council of Australia, Head of Economic Policy in the Victorian Cabinet Office, and a Professor of Economics at La Trobe University. Rod is a frequent conference speaker. He has also written extensively on different aspects of the Australian economy, and comments regularly of the Australian Financial Review and The Conversation. His books include The Australian economy in the long run and Unlocking the infrastructure.

Peter Noonan, Professor of Tertiary Education Policy, Mitchell Institute, Victoria University, Melbourne

Professor Peter Noonan has played a major role in shaping policy in Australia’s education and training system and has experience working as a policy adviser, senior executive and consultant to federal and state governments, universities, higher education providers and TAFE institutes. His current research work is focused on tertiary education funding including analysis of proposals for fee deregulation, the opening up of higher education funding to private higher education institutions, options for reform of Australia’s income contingent loans system and the development of a more coherent tertiary education system in Australia across the higher education and VET sectors. Peter has extensive international experience having undertaken major in country projects in Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, China, Namibia and Papua New Guinea and as an invited speaker and delegation member in India, Hong Kong, Japan, Brazil, Korea, the USA and England. Peter is also an Honorary Senior Fellow in the Graduate School of Education at The University of Melbourne in the LH Martin Institute for Tertiary Education Leadership.

Lynn Glover, CEO (Director) Victorian Registration and Qualification Authority

Lynn Glover has been CEO (Director) of the Victorian Registration and Qualification Authority since June 2007. She is responsible for the establishment, development and implementation of regulation for the registration and ongoing quality assurance of education and training providers in Victoria. This role oversees home schooling, school education (both public and private), vocational education and training, overseas student exchange programs, apprenticeships and traineeships. Ms Glover represents the VRQA a number of Commonwealth and State advisory committees and works closely with a broad range of education stakeholders.

Professor Erica Smith, Professor and Personal Chair in Vocational Education and Training, Federation University Australia

Professor Erica Smith joined Federation University in March 2008 and is the convenor of the university’s research group Research in Adult and Vocational Education (RAVE). Prior to this she was Professor of Vocational Education and Training (VET) at Charles Sturt University, where she was discipline leader in VET and convenor of Charles Sturt University's research grouping RIVET (Research in Vocational Education and Training). She is Associate Editor of the international journal Education + Training, and on the editorial board of four others, two of which are international. Professor Smith has managed more than 20 national research projects, including four Australian Research Council-funded grants. Her work has been cited in government inquiries many times, she has frequently advised governments, both in Australia and overseas. Professor Smith has also worked as a personnel manager in industry, TAFE teacher, community worker, manager of a Registered Training Organisation and Executive Director of a State Industry Training Advisory Board.

Sarah Davies, Chief Executive Officer, Philanthropy Australia

Prior to joining Philanthropy Australia in October 2015, Sarah was CEO of The Reach Foundation, a for-purpose organisation working to improve the wellbeing of young people so they can get the most out of life. Sarah has also been CEO of the Australian Communities Foundation, a non-profit charitable foundation which enables accessible philanthropy and matches its donors’ interests to emerging social issues and needs of communities. Before moving into the non-profit sector, her professional life included senior executive roles in tertiary education in Australia and private sector consulting in HR, marketing and strategy in Australia, Europe and the Middle East. Sarah’s current community roles include Director of Kids Under Cover and board member of the Centre for Social Impact. Sarah is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management, a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Fellow of the Williamson Community Leadership Program and a Victorian JP.


Dr Laurie Chesley, Provost & Executive Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, Grand Rapids Community College, Michigan USA

Dr Laurie Chesley has many years of experience as a senior academic leader and faculty member in various higher education institutions, including four-year public and private schools, as well as community colleges. Dr Chesley earned her doctorate in English from the University of Notre Dame. In 2013, she received a Distinguished Woman in Higher Education Leadership Award from the Michigan Chapter of the American Council on Education.  She is an accreditation peer reviewer for the United States Higher Learning Commission, and she teaches in the Doctorate in Community College Leadership Program at Ferris State University.

Dr Roberta Teahen, Associate Provost & Director of the Doctorate in Community College Leadership, Ferris State University, Michigan USA

Dr Roberta Teahen has worked for Ferris for 15 years, where her responsibilities include oversight of accreditation, evaluation, and assessment.  Since 2010, she has also led a doctoral program that will have graduated close to 100 individuals with more than 95 currently enrolled.  She has also spent much of her career at Northwestern Michigan Community College in leadership roles including Director of the Business Division and Dean of Workforce Development. Professionally she is active with the regional accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission, as a team chair, member of the Institutional Actions Council, and Assessment and Completion Academies’ mentor. Dr Teahen earned her doctorate in Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Learning from Michigan State University.  In 2014, Dr Teahen was awarded the Athena Grand Traverse Award, in recognition of excellence, creativity and initiative and in assisting women in reaching their leadership potential and as the Distinguished Woman in Higher Education award by the Michigan chapter of the American Council on Education in 2015.

Emma Dawson, Executive Director, Per Capita

Emma Dawson is the Executive Director of Per Capita. Formerly, she was a senior advisor on Digital Inclusion at Telstra, Executive Director of the Institute for a Broadband Enabled Society at the University of Melbourne, and a senior policy advisor in the Rudd and Gillard governments. Emma has published more than 50 articles and opinion pieces on a wide range of public policy issues, which have appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Guardian, The Australian, The Monthly and online publications. Emma holds a BA (First Class Hons) from LaTrobe University and an MA (Distinction) from Monash. She sits on the boards of the Prader-Willi Research Foundation Australia and Arts Access Victoria.

Warwick Smith, Research Economist, Per Capita

Warwick Smith is Per Capita’s Research Economist. He has previously worked as a consultant and freelance writer. His areas of expertise and interest include the economics of ageing populations, environmental economics, taxation economics and the history and philosophy of economics. For three years Warwick was a member of the Australian Greens Policy Coordination Committee and the Australian Greens Victoria Policy Coordination Committee, contributing to the development of both national and state policy platforms. Warwick also has a background in evolutionary and conservation biology. Warwick holds a BA from the University of Melbourne and a Bachelor of Science (Hons) from the ANU.

Unless otherwise noted, all conference presenters will be required to register and pay by 23 June 2017.

Conference Venues: The Hotel Windsor and Citadines on Bourke, Melbourne

The conference will be held at two Melbourne venues, located just 250 metres apart: the official welcome on the evening of Tuesday 25th July and the Awards Dinner on Wednesday 26th July will take place at the Hotel Windsor (111 Spring Street, Melbourne), and all daytime conference sessions will take place at Citadines on Bourke (131 Bourke Street, Melbourne).

Both hotels are located in Melbourne’s dynamic “east end”, a diverse shopping and entertainment precinct in what many agree is “the world’s most liveable city”.  The district has one of Australia’s best selection of restaurants, laneway bars, new and used bookshops, boutique clothing shops, nightclubs, hotels, and other entertainment venues. The hotels are walking distance to numerous parks such as Fitzroy Gardens (established 1848), historic buildings and six historic theatres, which host blockbuster musicals, drama, live music, children’s shows, comedy and festivals.

Often called “Australia’s Most Cherished Grand Hotel”, the five-star Hotel Windsor brims with old-world charm and unparalleled luxury in a grand Victorian style. Hotel Windsor has played an integral role in Melbourne’s cultural history and is the last remaining grand heritage hotel in Australia with 180 immaculately designed rooms and suites. CCA has organised a 10% discount on room bookings at the Hotel Windsor (booking link available shortly).

The award-winning Citadines on Bourke boasts abundant natural light and 380 serviced apartments, each with separate living and dining areas and fully-equipped kitchenettes.  The hotel features a fully-equipped gym, indoor pool and sauna. CCA has negotiated a special rate for our conference: book before 25 June 2017 and only pay $205 per night.  (The special room booking link will be available shortly.)

Abundant tram and train routes service the Bourke Street area, which is adjacent to Melbourne’s large department stores and major cultural institutions like the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) and the Ian Potter Centre of National Gallery of Victoria (NGV).  The Yarra River, Southbank and University of Melbourne (ranked as one of the best in the world) are only a short stroll away.

To Book accommodation at the Citadines or Hotel Windsor, please go to the Registration Page.

CCA has issued its first “Call for Papers” for the conference.  We are looking for innovative presentations and ideas that will engage the conference attendees, who will come from all around Australia and overseas.  While we are interested in presentations that deal with the conference theme of “Community Education: Investing in Our Future”, all presentations that deal with community education will be considered. While all presentations that deal with adult and community education (ACE) will be considered, we are particularly looking for presentations that:

  • relate directly to the experiences of Australian community education providers;
  • present new, unique and challenging perspectives on ACE and vocational education and training (VET);
  • provide valuable historical, political and social context;
  • present case studies of “things that work” in ACE;
  • could be presented in a “workshop” format that allows participants to work with the presenter to develop new skills, insights and understandings; and
  • provide international perspectives that Australian participants will find valuable and stimulating.

Topic areas that we wish to cover include how to invest in:

  • economic development capacity of rural and regional community education providers;
  • skills development of vulnerable and disadvantaged learners and communities, including groups such as people with disabilities, Indigenous Australians, older Australians and people facing mental health challenges;
  • strong governance in not-for-profit community-based organisations;
  • the ability for community-based providers to diversify business models through development of new sources of funding;
  • marketing and branding expertise of community-based organisations in a “noisy” digital world; and
  • our vulnerable young people, through development and operation of senior secondary schools operating in ACE environments.

Please download the Word document as your proposal template, fill it in, and return it by Friday 28 April 2017 to don.perlgut@cca.edu.au, with a copy to admin@cca.edu.au. We welcome queries in advance of a formal submission of interest.

Registrations for CCA 2017 Annual Conference are now open

(All prices are in Australian Dollars)

Registration for the conference does not include accommodation: please contact either of our venues for our special accommodations deals (details below). Alternatively there is a wide range of other hotels and serviced apartments within walking distance of our venues.

Conference Registration Fees


Full Conference – two day ticket
including Welcome Drinks and Awards Dinner

CCA Member


Early Bird –
register before 12 June 2017 and save
$750 plus GST $860 plus GST
Standard Registration
after 12 June 2017
$810 plus GST $950 plus GST


One-day registrations
and Awards Dinner tickets

CCA Member


One Day only (Day 1 or Day 2 - does not include
Welcome Drinks or Awards Dinner)
$450 plus GST $550 plus GST
Awards Dinner only $150 plus GST $170 plus GST

Conference Accommodation

Citadines, Bourke Street

Call or email Lorraine George directly on (03) 9660 5463 or at Lorraine.george@the-ascott.com, quoting “CCA Conference” to get conference rate of $205 per night. This rate will only be available until 12 June 2017, after which time the rate cannot be guaranteed.

The Hotel Windsor, Spring Street

Book online (www.thehotelwindsor.com.au), call (03) 9633 6002 or email reservations@thw.com.au, using the discount code CONF2017 to obtain a 10% discount on the accommodation rate, subject to room availability.

Please note - no refunds will be given for purchased Conference registrations after Friday 14 July 2017

The CCA 2017 Annual Conference provides an unparalleled business opportunity for sponsors through dynamic social events and interactive exhibitions.

CCA has a number of sponsorship opportunities available: to become a 2017 Annual Conference Sponsor, please download the sponsor brochure, complete the application form, and email it to admin@cca.edu.au.

Sponsorship opportunities are strictly limited, so apply early!

Sponsorship Terms and Conditions can be found here.

Platinum Sponsor

Gold Sponsor

Program Partner

Silver Sponsors

CCA 2017 Awards Dinner will be held in The Bourke Room, Hotel Windsor, from 6.30 pm on Wednesday 26 July 2017.

Further details on the content of the evening to be announced soon.

Invest in your future: Pre-conference Masterclasses on Tuesday 25 July 2017 at the Citadines, 2.00 pm to 5.00 pm.

Choose your Masterclass and click on the link below to register. Tickets are only $135 (plus GST) for CCA members and $170 (plus GST) for non members. Groups of 3 or more can qualify for a 15% discount: contact admin@cca.edu.au for details. Click here for details about our Masterclass facilitators.

Masterclass 1

Future Opportunities: From Local to Global

This practical business development workshop explores how to develop local and international business for VET and higher education providers in ways that gets you to rethink what is possible.

  • What skills are in demand? Where are they?
  • How do you find out more detail or get into new markets?
  • What products and services might be of use?
  • What do you need to do to become known to your markets?

Develop insights to match your organisation's strengths and capabilities and plan for the future.

Specifically designed for not for profit community education providers, this workshop is relevant for all training organisations that wish to explore new ways of doing business and expanding their horizons.  It is not about bringing overseas students on your campus, but thinking in new ways that could range from the building next door to the potential student 10,000 kilometres away.

Challenge yourself and solve some wicked workforce and education problems.


New ways of thinking and at least one new local and international opportunity to pursue.

Facilitated by VETrepreneur and workforce development expert Wendy Perry from Workforce Blueprint; this session is guaranteed to provide you with new ideas and real leads and tools to build your business.

Masterclass 2

Building Digital Capacity

This masterclass provides not-for-profit community education providers with tangible tools and approaches to build digital capacity in their organisations, and is suitable for both large and small organisations.

An internal scorecard process undertaken prior to the workshop will ensure participants come away with a customised action plan.

Participants will:

  • identify their current challenges and opportunities with regard to their digital capacity;
  • understand their key internal and external stakeholders and target audiences and how they could be engaged and empowered through the use of digital tools; and
  • develop an action plan/digital toolkit that they can start implementing in their organisation.

Facilitated by Steven Speldewinde, Director of Digital and Innovation, The Social Deck,  this masterclass will empower you to guide your organisation confidently into the digital future.

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

Benjamin Franklin (American “founding father”, author, inventor, printer,
politician, scientist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat)

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."

Nelson Mandela

“Education is an investment on the future of our societies. We need to get it right.”

Angel Gurria (OECD Secretary-General)

“The more that you read the more things you will learn,
The more that you learn the more places you will go.”

Dr Seuss (Theodor Geisel), American children's author

“Education: the most powerful investment in our future.”

Yoka Brandt (Deputy Executive Director at UNICEF)

“Education has its price everywhere - but the only thing more expensive than investing in education is not investing in education.”

Sarah Menne and Anette Stein (Bertelsmann Stiftung Foundation)

“Education is not only a ladder of opportunity but it is also an investment in our future.”

Ed Markey (American politician)

"Investment in infrastructure is investment in change. It represents a people’s belief in something better yet to come, and the willingness to help it along."

David Von Drehle, journalist

CCA acknowledges the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the traditional owners and custodians of our land Australia, and that this conference takes place on the lands of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.