In times of change learners inherit the earth – Brisbane conference update

“In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”

This quote from the late moral and social philosopher Eric Hoffer personifies the approach that Community Colleges Australia (CCA) takes in putting together this year’s Brisbane conference program.

CCA represents learning organisations – Australia’s not-for-profit adult and community education (ACE) providers – and our November conference will be a truly indelible learning experience. We have constructed a packed program of stimulating national and international speakers, practical workshops and engaging conversations – all to stimulate your learning and professional development. Some highlights:

Times of change: We are indeed in a time of change, possibly poised on some big policy shifts in national vocational education, training and skills. Our “deep thinkers” will provide guidance to what the immediate past means and what the near-term future may bring: Professor John Quiggin, leading University of Queensland economist; Professor Rod McDonald, former UTS Adult Education; and Dr Don Zoellner, Charles Darwin University. They will be joined by peak organisation CEOs Craig Robertson, TAFE Directors Australia; and Troy Williams, ITECA, and a number of Queensland state and Commonwealth political leaders.

What’s up with ASQA? Acting Chief Commissioner, Ms Saxon Rice, and General Manager, Regulatory Operations, David Garner, will give us the latest in a time of cultural change.

What’s new in Queensland: Residents of “southern” Australia don’t realise how much innovation Queensland has brought to education, training and economic development. Come hear Brett Hall from Jobs Queensland and Lorraine Yabsley from Skilling Queenslanders for Work.

The very best of Australia’s ACE sector: For the first time ever at a CCA conference, three recent member CEO recipients of the Order of Australia will join together to reflect on their experiences in community education and community service: Rodney Wangman OAM, Garry Traynor OAM and Patricia Carroll OAM.

The diversity of Australia’s NFP community sector: Listen to the experiences of VERTO, Brisbane’s Youth Development Foundation, ACE Colleges’ Gold Coast campuses, Port Macquarie’s Mid North Coast Community College and Byron Community College’s Sourdough Business Pathways.

What’s going on overseas? We bring the best of overseas guests, featuring André Gobeil, French-Canadian college leader on how to encourage innovation; and Lene Augusta Jorgensen, Vice-Chancellor of Denmark’s University College North.

Workshop with us: on RTO compliance, getting grants, understanding philanthropy, new leadership approaches and political advocacy.

Community engagement: If the workshops are not sufficient, listen to Canadian-Australian specialist Dr Wendy Sarkissian explore how education practitioners work in community engagement. Here’s a taste: download a copy of “Eighteen Guiding Principles for Community Engagement” (PDF). 

Our venue

All of these activities will take place at one of Queensland’s best conference venues – the Stamford Plaza, with its panoramic views of the Brisbane River, just meters from the Botanic Gardens and only a few minutes stroll from Brisbane’s CBD shopping district.

Interested? Here’s how to sign up

Join us

I close with another Eric Hoffer quote: “The central task of education is to implant a will and a facility for learning; it should produce not learned but learning people.”

Join us on the banks of the Brisbane River on 18-19-20 November, where one of Australia’s best group of learning people will gather.

Don Perlgut, PhD; CEO, Community Colleges Australia

(image above: view of the Brisbane River from the Stamford Plaza)

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