The CCA Conference MC, Chemène Sinson (pictured), provides her Conference highlights below:
Two days of outstanding presentations and discussions at Community Colleges Australia’s national conference has left me feeling energised and optimistic about changes that are starting to happen in adult and community education, and in vocational education and training.
The calibre of speakers was outstanding, including Alister Henskens SC MP, George Liacos, Hugh Guthrie, Ross Raeburn, Sonia Clarke, David Collins PSM, Kira Clarke, Elle McLachlan, Nadine (Lex) Lutherborrow, Melissa Davis, Simone Casey , Jodi Schmidt, Professor Gabrielle Meagher, Steve Brady, Hugh Simpson, Richard Vinycomb, Kerry Johnson, Lidia Morawska, Adam Graham, Kevin Ekendahl, Katrina Higham, Craig Robertson, Saxon Rice, Brendan O’Connor, Russ Wood, Austin Whitehead, Clare Sharp, Vanessa Iles, Jo Medlin and more.
Five Key Takeaways
1) State and Federal governments see skills and training as big priorities, with foundation skills – including literacy, numeracy and digital literacy – emphasised in most presentations and discussions… including those of politicians and practitioners alike.
2) There is an appetite (my words) to ‘restore the heart of VET’ and ensure that we aim for ‘compliance and beyond’ with our programs (credit to Kay Schlesinger for ‘compliance and beyond’ slogan).
3) To offer quality, impactful programs, we must first define our purpose – why we exist – then go from there.
4) We must prioritise upskilling the training workforce if we are to fill increasingly urgent workforce deficits (for example, in aged care) – de-cluttering qualifications and ensuring they cover what is needed for work (and nothing else) is an essential step to increase course completion and ensure graduates are ready for work.
5) The adult and community education (ACE) sector is uniquely positioned to welcome and offer disadvantaged people accessible pathways back into education – the trick is to use data and real-world stories to demonstrate the value that ACE providers offer.
As conference MC, it was an honour to chat with Grahame Neville (pictured below, left, with Chemène) from Tamworth Community College, one of nine students showcased in season 2 of SBS TV Lost for Words series. In my opinion, his story gives us all the data we need to show why what we do matters. Lost for Words is essential viewing for all educators, no matter what sector you work in. Set a date with your TV on 12 October 2022 when Lost for Words Season 2, episode 1, goes to air.