What’s next for Community Education – After the Conference

light-bulbsIt is a few days since the Innovation – what’s next for community education conference ended and I already miss the energy and the buzz!    It was great to be able to meet with so many passionate, skilled and engaged professionals.

Stimulated by the range of intellect and ideas on show, I have not been able to stop thinking about the challenges and possibilities lurking just out reach for the sector.

Embedded in most of the narratives presented by our invited speakers was this acknowledgement that community colleges matter, do remarkable work – are agile and highly skilled and access cohorts across the spectrum, oh and lest I forget -seriously undersell themselves!

These speakers – Megan Lilly, Minister Barilaro, Professor John Buchanan, Wendy Perry and the corporate lawyers, to name just a few – highlighted just how uniquely placed community colleges are to take advantage of the changing skill needs in the ‘new world of work’ so eloquently presented by our New Work Order panel.

Information about how rapidly skill needs are evolving, and the clusters of skills becoming apparent was consistent across Ai Group, CSIRO, Foundation for Young Australians, United Nations, US and European reports, cropping up in both economic and social research. Communication and people skills remain key, critical thinking is increasingly essential and oh yeah that ‘scary’ digital literacy skill set is fundamental to the mix. The other buzz word –  Entrepreneurship cropped up a lot too. I personally am really excited about the opportunities for innovative practice these clusters bring up!

In my view, the presentations have helped to deconstruct and to take some of the fear away from these concepts and it feels like it’s time to start exploring how.

CCA wants to help.


Evelyn Goodwin,
Manager, VET Policy and Projects