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

  • 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

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Thank you to our Platinum Sponsor:

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Download a quick glance agenda here, or scroll down for a more detailed version.

CCA 2017 Conference Agenda

Full Conference Agenda, updated 11 July 2017


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.

Senator the Hon Doug Cameron, Shadow Minister for Skills and Apprenticeships

Following work as a mechanical fitter in the steel, ship repair, automotive and power industries, Doug Cameron was elected by manufacturing workers to represent them in various positions in the AMWU including delegate, organiser, Assistant State Secretary, Assistant National Secretary, National Secretary and Vice President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions. Doug has played a key role in developing industrial and political strategies designed to improve employment security, wages, and skill and industry development in the manufacturing industry. He has been at the centre of ACTU and AMWU campaigns on workers entitlements, health and safety, work and family balance and the right to collectively bargain. Doug was elected to the Senate in 2007 federal election, and appointed Shadow Minister for Skills and Apprenticeships in 2016. He is also the Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness. He was born in Scotland and lives in the Blue Mountains.

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.

Terry Rawnsley, SGS Economic and Planning, National Leader for Economic and Social Analysis

Terry Rawnsley helps businesses and governments make informed decisions by taking complex data and distilling them into simple to understand options.  He is Australia’s leading thinker on the link between the urban productivity and the macroeconomy. Terry has prepared the Australian Cities Accounts which has filled a key void in economic policy evidence base by measuring urban and regional economic growth. Terry was co-author to a chapter in the book ‘Australia’s Unintended Cities’ looking at the link between urban structure and productivity. In 2017, Terry was selected as the Planning Champion by the Planning Institute of Australia. He will talk about “Is Uneven Economic Growth Dividing Australian Society?”

Bronwyn Lee, Deputy CEO, Foundation for Young Australians

Bronwyn Lee is Deputy CEO at the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA). FYA is committed to young people, their futures and the contribution they can make to Australia and informs the national agenda on the issues that most affect them. Bronwyn is passionate about redefining the role of young people in our society and how the not-for-profit sector can drive social innovation in Australia. She has a deep practical and theoretical knowledge of the community sector, with more than fifteen years experience working in non-profits. She is a also currently a Non-Executive Director at the International Women's Development Agency and a Board Member at the Australian Youth Climate Coalition. Prior to FYA, Bronwyn led the 40 Hour Famine at World Vision Australia.  Bronwyn holds a Masters degree in Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development in addition to a Bachelor of Commerce


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.

Along with her colleague, Dr Roberta Teahan, Dr Chesley will be speaking about "Regional Economic Development: A View from American Community Colleges".

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.

Emma Dawson will be presenting with Warwick Smith (see below) about the results of the CCA-Per Capita collaborative research into the value of infrastructure investment in community education providers.

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.

Ryan Collins, Director of the Participation Branch, TAFE and Participation Division, Victorian Department of Education and Training

Ryan Collins is the Director of the Participation Branch with responsibility for the development and oversight of projects and programs designed to increase outcomes for adult disadvantaged learners, provide place-based support to Learn Local organisations to provide training that responds to industry and community needs, and provide secretariat and governance support to the ACFE Board and Regional Councils. Prior to taking up this role in early 2016, Ryan spent six years leading work on the effective contract management of funded vocational education and training, culminating in implementation of the Victorian Government’s response to the Review of Quality Assurance.

Kira Clarke, Lecturer in Education Policy, Centre for Vocational & Education Policy, Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne

Kira Clarke lectures and researches within the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Vocational Education Policy. Her projects and expertise includes senior secondary education, transitions from school to work and to further study, vocational curriculum and qualifications, career exploration and guidance, and participation patterns in post-school education by disadvantaged young people. She has written several key reports, journal articles and conference papers on VET in schools. She is the higher education representative to the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) Vocational Education Reference Group, the VET representative to the Publications Committee of the Australian College of Educators (ACE) and a Victorian co-convener of Women in Adult and Vocational Education (WAVE).

Louisa Ellum, Chair, Youth Affairs Council of Victoria & Chief Executive, International Specialised Skills Institute (ISS Institute)

Louisa Ellum has worked extensively across the education and training, not-for-profit and philanthropic sectors over the past 20 years. She is currently the Chief Executive for the International Specialised Skills Institute (ISS Institute) that works to facilitate international Fellowships in areas of skills enhancement, innovation and education, training and industry development. Prior to that she was the CEO of the BGK LLEN and Deputy Chair of the Victorian LLEN State Network. Louisa also holds the position of Chair at Youth Affairs Council of Victoria (YACVic). She is undertaking a PhD in Education with a focus on organisational partnerships in the flexible learning provider sector.

Zainab Ahmad, Director of Policy Division, Department of Community College Education, Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia

As Director of Policy Division, Department of Community College Education, Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education, Ms Zainab Ahmad’s responsibilities include overseeing the implementation of national policies and strategic direction for TVET and lifelong learning programs in community colleges; training and career development of lecturers and supporting staff; and internationalisation opportunities for lecturers and students. She was previously Deputy Director (Academics) in Shah Alam Polytechnic. Ms. Zainab holds a degree in Electronics and Electrical Engineering from Loughborough University, United Kingdom; a Masters in Power Engineering from Putra University, Malaysia; and a Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology (Counselling) from National University of Malaysia. She will be talking on “Malaysian Community Colleges: Collaboration is the Way Forward”.

David Pearson, Executive Director, Don Dunstan Foundation, University of Adelaide

David Pearson is the Executive Director of the Don Dunstan Foundation, a leading think tank in South Australia established to promote the values and vision of its founder, the late Premier Don Dunstan. The Foundation focusses on social justice and human rights issues through research, public events, collaborative projects and creating new ventures, including how to establish new business models to make the delivery of community services like education more financially sustainable. Prior to his current role, David was a Senior Adviser to South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill.

Mana Forbes, Board Chair, Tai Wananga High School & Maori Elder, Hamilton, New Zealand 

As a founding member of the Wananga Council, Mana Forbes has been a driving force behind the establishment of Te Wananga o Aotearoa, an innovative tertiary learning institution. Mana has had many roles within the Wananga, from Campus Manager, Foundation Director of Te Arataki Manu Korero, Foundation Manager of the Te Puna Rangahau Iwi Research Unit, Foundation Trustee of the Aotearoa Scholarship Trust and Foundation Licensee of the first early learning centres. Mana has a wealth of experience in bringing a fresh, modern approach to learning that embraces new ways of learning and supports the cultural needs of Maori. In addition to the education field, Mana has been involved with the Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoors Pursuit Centre Trust of New Zealand, Waikato Business Development Board, Hamilton Development Agency, Hamilton Museum of Art and History Board and served as Chairman of a number of Maori Trusts, including Te Kopua 2B3 Incorporation. He is currently a consultant for Minded, an education technology company that provides high school, tertiary and adult learners the critical skills needed to be successful in life.

Duncan Poulson, Northern Territory Regional Commissioner, Australian Securities and Investments Commission

Duncan Poulson joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in October 2000 and was appointed ASIC's Northern Territory Regional Commissioner in December 2005. He has worked for ASIC in a number of roles and, recently focussing on financial consumer protection activities in the Northern Territory, with particular emphasis on boosting financial literacy. He holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws from the University of Tasmania. Duncan was previously a Lecturer in commercial law and international business at the University of Tasmania, and has also taught corporations law and commercial law at Charles Darwin University. Duncan will be talking about Building the Financial Capability of Indigenous Young People in the Northern Territory, drawing from his experiences of working with Indigenous communities and ASIC’s MoneySmart resources.

Kevin Ekendahl, Managing Director, Audit Express

As the Managing Director of Audit Express since 2013, Kevin Ekendahl has taken a leading role in Australian training specialist compliance consulting and internal audit.  Audit Express operates in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, building quality assurance models for regulation and carrying out health checks and internal audits for community colleges and other Registered Training Organisations (RTOs). He has been a vocal and energetic campaigner for the reduction of regulation and red tape in the VET sector, and frequently provides advice to Ministers and Departments at state and Commonwealth levels. Prior his work with Audit Express, he was the General Manager, Social Enterprises with TRY Australia. Kevin will be speaking about the importance of student satisfaction in Australian VET.

Don Sharples, Australian Operations Manager, Bang the Table

A registered B-Corp organisation, Bang the Table’s mission is to improve the quality of public debate and level of community involvement in public life through technology and innovation. The company’s expertise in the online space aims to empower organisations and the communities they care about by providing them affordable and accessible opportunities to learn about and contribute to the decisions that affect their daily lives.

Don has a background in government-community relations in a number of industries. He holds a Masters in Business Administration from Monash University and a Graduate Diploma in Public Relations from Deakin University.

Kaye Bowman, Bowman Consulting

Kaye has worked in vocational education and training (VET) – including in the Queensland system, the former Australian National Training Authority (ANTA) and the National Centre for Vocational Education and Training (NCVER).

She has also worked in regional development including as a strategist in regional Western Australia and State policy developer and Ministerial advisor in Queensland.

For the past ten years Kaye has run her own education research consultancy and undertaken several projects on adult community education.

Dr Robbie Lloyd, Community Relationships Manager, Port Macquarie Community College

Dr Robbie Lloyd has more than 40 years' experience in education and training, as well as specialising in Indigenous development, disability and mental health reform, creating whole-community cultures of wellbeing. Based on person-valuing and community-building practices, Robbie believes in sustainable local solutions which empower people to live in thriving communities where all are equally valued. In his work at Port Macquarie Community College, he builds alliances and partnerships aiming to create new forms of sustainable social enterprise. He is also the National Secretary of Adult Learning Australia.

Toni Cavallaro, Manager, National Collections Branch, National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER)

Toni Cavallaro is the Manager of the National Collections branch at NCVER, a role she has held for 10 years. She has been a senior member of NCVER’s staff for more than 23 years and has extensive experience in the collection and analysis of VET data. Toni is responsible for overseeing NCVER’s major administrative data collections, including the apprentice and trainee, students and courses, and finance collections on behalf of the national VET system. Toni was also instrumental in managing the introduction of NCVER’s Total VET Activity (TVA) data collection including its first release in 2015.

Rowan Cox, Executive Director, WEA Hunter

After experiencing what she describes as a “challenging” adolescence where education wasn’t stressed to her as a priority, Rowan has devoted her life to ensuring that doesn’t happen to other people who are disconnected from support mechanisms. Her community services career started with youth work that combined education with services for disadvantaged young people. She quickly recognised the connection between education and social capital, and has been working on this with WEA Hunter for 17 years. Rowan has developed expertise in educational governance and compliance, including co-founding Alesco Learning Centre (now Alesco Senior College), establishing and developing the WEA Hunter’s Equity Centre and general social inclusion agenda. She holds a Bachelor of Social Science, along with qualifications in counselling, youth work, and community welfare, and is currently undertaking a Master of Business Administration.

Steve Wright, CEO, Advance Community College

Steve Wright has been working with disadvantaged young people in education and training for more than 40 years. He has qualifications in Education and Business Management and been the CEO of Advance Community College (Rosebud, Victoria), a not for profit RTO since 1980. He recently established Advance College of Education, an independent school specialising in VCAL, with three campuses across the Mornington Peninsula. He has a wealth of experience in youth engagement and local area issues.

John Radvan, Compliance Senior Officer, WEA Hunter 

John started working for WEA Hunter as a trainer, and fell in love with the adult and community education sector. He has qualifications in management and science, and currently is studying for a Masters of Tertiary Education Management. John has a passion for quality assurance, compliance, systems and processes, legislative interpretation and Government policy in education. He is currently involved in the project transitioning WEA to Higher Education provision, and oversees quality assurance. John is a passionate and vocal advocate for the community college sector, frequently seen discussing the vital importance of its survival.

Wendy Ratcliffe, WEA Foundation Manager & Educational Consultant

Wendy has worked at WEA for the past 16 years. She is an accomplished teacher and facilitator, with expertise in developing innovative curriculum, writing policy, and systems development.

Wendy’s employment highlights include co-founding Alesco Senior College and Alesco Learning Model and supporting other community colleges in developing their own independent schools based on the Alesco Learning Model.

WEA Hunter launched its Foundation in April 2014 to provide ongoing support for innovative educational programs that are making a real difference to people’s lives.  Appointed manager in 2016, Wendy continues to drive the Foundation’s innovative programs such as ‘The Village’ initiative that delivers special educational support for teenage mums, along with WEA 200: Legends of Learning program that offers scholarships of at least $200 to people who have difficulties accessing education.

Peta Skujins,  Research and Content Officer, Apprenticeships and Traineeships Information Service

Peta Skujins started in the role of Research and Content Officer at the Australian Apprenticeships and Traineeships Information Service in early 2017, after moving from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), where she worked as a Research Officer. With a background working with young people, her interests include youth transitions between compulsory education and the labour market, and pathways through the education system.

Conference Dinner Speaker

Anzac Leidig, Head Tennis Coach/Program Coordinator, Evonne Goolagong Foundation 

Anzac is an Aboriginal Ngarrindjeri man from the lower lakes of the Coorong in South Australia. In 2004 Anzac first began to pursue his passion in mentoring Indigenous school students in and around Adelaide. Anzac has been working for Evonne Goolagong Cawley and her husband Roger for 13 years. In 2006-2007 Anzac moved to Norwich England to coach tennis. Upon returning to Australia Anzac took up a role with the Evonne Goolagong Foundation assisting in running coaching, mentoring, Come N Try Days, State Camps and a National Camp.

Conference Chair

David Fuller, Chair, Community Colleges Australia and CEO, WEA Illawarra

David Fuller is the Chair of Community Colleges Australia as well as the Chief Executive Officer of WEA Illawarra, a registered charity that operates an RTO and a Registered Independent School with headquarters located in Wollongong, NSW. David is also Chairman of Grand Pacific Health Ltd and is a member of the International Advisory Committee of the Asian Science Park Association. David has had considerable experience with community development and educational projects within and outside Australia.

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.

Platinum Sponsor

Gold Sponsors

Program Partner

Silver and Conference Opening Sponsor

Silver Sponsors

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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.

CCA 2017 Awards Dinner

The Bourke Room, Hotel Windsor, from 6.30 pm on Wednesday 26 July 2017.

This year’s Conference Dinner will include the first “Community Education Student of the Year” award. A shortlist will be announced in early July, with the final announcement of the winner at the dinner on the night.

The venue for this year’s Gala Dinner – the Bourke Room at the Windsor Hotel (see photo) – is one of Melbourne’s best event locations, with three tired levels that allow all guests great views of the “action”.

Guest speaker: Anzac Leidig, Head Tennis Coach/Program Coordinator, Evonne Goolagong Foundation. Anzac is an Aboriginal Ngarrindjeri man from the lower lakes of the Coorong in South Australia. In 2004 Anzac first began to pursue his passion in mentoring Indigenous school students in and around Adelaide. Anzac has been working for Evonne Goolagong Cawley and her husband Roger for 13 years. In 2006-2007 Anzac moved to Norwich England to coach tennis. Upon returning to Australia Anzac took up a role with the Evonne Goolagong Foundation assisting in running coaching, mentoring, Come N Try Days, State Camps and a National Camp.

Join us for some good entertainment and a wonderful opportunity to honour some of the best community education students.

Community Education Student of the Year Awards

On 16 July 2017, Community Colleges Australia (CCA) announced the finalists for the 2017 “Community Education Student of the Year”, as part of this year’s Annual Conference.

The official Awards announcement will take place at the CCA Conference “Gala Dinner”, to be held on Wednesday 26 July 2017 at The Windsor Hotel, Melbourne.

The Student of the Year shortlist includes eight students from New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, who have studied in metropolitan, regional and rural community colleges.

The final shortlist includes (listed in alphabetical order by surname):

Madhi Akbari, nominated by Macquarie Community College, Carlingford NSW, studied Skills for Work and Vocational Pathways, Certificate III in Individual Support, Certificate IV in Ageing Support and General Education for Adults. A migrant to Australia from Iran along with his wife, Madhi holds a Bachelors and a Master of Philosophy from his home country. He has overcome the challenges of no local family, not knowing English and requiring re-education, and now works with home care provider “The Cooperative Life”; he has recently won the “employee of the year” award.

Georgia Mary Black, nominated by Western Riverina Community College, Griffith NSW, studies Certificate III in Individual Support (Aged Care). She recently graduated from high school, has a small learning disability, and is supported by Griffith Post School Options (GPSO). Georgia has been a highly assiduous student, committed to her studies and to developing a career and self-sufficiency. Her ability to get along with people makes her a natural fit for her chosen career.

Julia Chant, nominated by Byron Community College, Mullumbimby NSW, studied Certificate IV in New Small Business. A former actor and dancer, Julia has overcome substantial personal, family and health challenges to start a new business, Micro-living Australia, which manufactures expandable, contemporary designed, off grid optional dwellings that are location flexible, easy to install and inexpensive. Her course at Byron rebuilt her confidence and helped her to create a business plan. She has two young adult sons and feels compelled to help them and others achieve the Australian dream of owning their own home.

Anthony (Tony) Dunn, nominated by Port Macquarie Community College, Port Macquarie NSW, studied Certificate III in Individual Support. He has learning difficulties due to dyslexia and two brothers with muscular dystrophy. After losing his job, he decided to change careers and become a qualified carer. With more practice, including support from teachers, trainers and classmates, his reading has improved greatly. Tony is a great raconteur, sharing stories that are enthralling, sometimes riotously funny and sometimes painfully tragic. His own family history means that he understands the challenges of supporting families with disabilities. Tony now works with St Agnes Parish Centacare in Port Macquarie.

Dimitri Galouzis, nominated by The Parramatta College, Parramatta NSW, studied Computers for Beginners and Introduction to Microsoft Word. Growing up in Darwin, Northern Territory, Dimitri’s primary year schooling taught him little. Following Cyclone Tracy in 1974, his family moved to Sydney and he had no clothes. He has worked in the hospitality industry for more than 30 years as bar attendant, waiter, cook and hotel receptionist, and owned his own takeaway shop for 16 years. His further study in computers has helped to advance his career as a Security Officer at the University of NSW, and he looks forward to entering management and extending his leadership skills.

Jolie Kaja, nominated by Coffs Coast Community College, Coffs Harbour NSW, studied Certificate III in Individual Support (Aged Care). Originally from the Congo, Jolie fled to a Zambian refugee camp for seven years before arriving in Australia. Jolie is a single mother with four children who could speak Swahili, French and eight other African languages – but not English – when she first arrived. After earning a Certificate III in English, she decided that aged care was important after seeing the suffering of her people in Congo and Zambia. She works at St Joseph’s Aged Care in Coffs Harbour as an Assistant in Nursing (AIN).

Marcelle Orfali, nominated by Lalor Learning and Living Centre (LLLC), Lalor VIC, studied Certificate I in General Education for Adults. Marcelle arrived in Australia from Egypt in 1968 with her husband and young son. She first lived in a Housing Commission flat in South Melbourne, then purchased a home in St Albans and now lives in Mill Park. She worked for Telecom (later Telstra) for more than 20 years and raised 2 children, with little time to study. Because of how LLLC helped her life, she has joined the Committee of Management and provides a role model for others to study.

Benjamin (Ben) Simpson, nominated by ACE Community Colleges, Burleigh Heads QLD, studied Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing), Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability) and Introduction to Leisure and Health. Born in Melbourne, Ben moved with his family to country Victoria and most recently to the Tweed. His original career in air-conditioning systems brought him in contact with elderly people, and he decided to change careers to work in aged care. His exemplary performance on vocational placements resulted in his gaining employment prior to even completing the placements. He currently works as a disability support worker at Lifebridge.

Nominations were open to students who had recently studied at Australian not-for-profit community education organisations. Judging criteria included career and study achievements, such as personal or career gains,  understanding of the value of learning and training, and integration of training with work; communication, team and leadership skills, such as oral and written communication, self-reliance and resilience in times of challenge, effective participation in teams, taking a leadership role in training, study or industry, and capacity to be an effective ambassador for their organisation or community; and other activities including community, such as personal achievements in areas other than study and work, community involvement, community service activities, clubs or organisations and awareness of current social, economic and political issues.

For more information about the awards, contact CCA.

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 days including Welcome Drinks and Awards DinnerCCA MemberNon-Member
Full Conference Registration $810 plus GST$950 plus GST
One-Day Registrations and Awards Dinner TicketsCCA MemberNon-Member
One Day Only (Day 1 or Day 2 - does not include Welcome Drinks or Awards Dinner $450 plus GST  $560 plus GST
Awards Dinner only (6.30 pm Wednesday 26 July 2017)$150 plus GST$170 plus GST

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

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.

“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.