CCA Brisbane Conference Update

Almost 150 participants, speakers and sponsors attended CCA’s November annual conference at the Stamford Plaza in Brisbane last month.

Highlights: CCA hosted a number of Australian political leaders: Assistant Minister for Vocational Education, the Hon Steve Irons MP (pictured), gave a special lunchtime address on day 1. Shadow Labor ministers for education and skills the Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, Ged Kearney MP and Graham Perrett MP sent a combined video presentation (view it here). Queensland MP Jess Pugh spoke on behalf of the Hon Shannon Fentiman MP, QLD Minister for Training and Skills Development. Fiona Simpson MP, QLD Shadow Minister for Training and Skills, also spoke. Delegates were welcomed to the City of Brisbane by Councillor Tracy Davis, a former QLD Government minister, on behalf of the Brisbane Lord Mayor.

Notable keynote presentations included ASQA Acting Chief Commissioner Saxon Rice (pictured below); Professor John Quiggin on the failure of for-profit education; David Collins PSM, Executive Director of Training Services NSW, on NSW and the ACE Sector; Craig Robertson, CEO, TAFE Directors Australia, on how to navigate the sea of VET reviews; and Professor Rod McDonald of Ithaca Group, who envisioned a VET system “made in heaven”. Read Professor Quiggin's Conversation article, based on his presentation.

Especially notable was Dr Don Zoellner (Charles Darwin University), who presented the results of his research on the results of turning Australian vocational education and training (VET) into a market. Marketisation has disadvantaged VET learners in regional and rural Australia, as well as lower socio-economic status learners. Read Dr Zoellner’s research summary.

Student of the Year Award: The winner of the 2019 Award is Carmel Kentwell (pictured), a student from Atwea College. Carmel completed the Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing). Two nominees received “High Commendations”: Kylie Mahon, Community College Northern Inland; and Aejay Russell, Kiama Community College.

CCA’s fabulous conference sponsors and exhibitors showed new creativity this year, with demonstrations on how to use LinkedIn effectively and providing personalised professional photos (PN Digital), and word-to-text technology (Scribble). CCA especially thanks Coverforce, Ansvar, Australian Government USI, Rio Education, The Learning Resources Group, Training Resource Solutions, Copyright Agency, Total VET Training Resources, Rural Skills Online and Keo for their support, as well the VDC, Coastwide Training and The Print Group.

(image below: Saxon Rice, Acting Chief Commissioner, ASQA, speaking at the CCA Conference on 19 November 2019)

2019 Conference Participant Feedback

Feedback from Conference participants:

  • “Rich topics, engaging speakers, great venue.”
  • “Well-structured and delivered.”
  • “It was a great conference all round- thanks. So well organised! A great combination of serious, interesting, fun, inspirational and useful.”
  • “This year was my first time at the CCA conference and I was impressed and surprised by the variety in workshops and exhibitors.”
  • “All sessions were interesting and engaging.”
  • “Overall, I was exhausted by the end of the conference from the packed agenda and relevance of the content. There was nothing I wanted to miss. It was great!”
  • “Conference very beneficial and a good learning environment.”
  • “Excellent mix of main sessions and workshops.”
  • “Nice balance of governance, stats, policy, HR, practicality and inspiration.”
  • “Thanks, team CCA - one of my favourite CCA conferences, if not my favourite.”
  • “Thank you for your dedication and effort in putting together an interesting and relevant program.”
  • “Thank you so much for all of your hard work, great conference!”

Participants particularly commented positively on the government engagement presentation and workshop, the breadth of Ministerial presence, the funding sessions, the three overseas visitors, the variety of topics and presenters, networking with peers, quality of presentations, the two evening functions, the different perspectives on VET reform, engagement skills, interactivity in break-out sessions and access to discussion with ASQA staff.

CCA will announce its 2020 conference early in the new year.

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