2018 CCA Annual Conference

Taking the Lead:
Building Community

Community Colleges Australia Annual Conference

Sydney, 13-15 November 2018

About the Conference

CCA's Annual Conference returns to Sydney this November, promising an informative, inventive and invigorating two days of international speakers, expert presenters and community education provider specialists.

The Conference will feature the “Community Education Student of the Year” Award at the Gala Dinner on Wednesday 14 November. Our annual sponsor exhibition will also return with more suppliers than ever before.

This year’s conference theme is Taking the Lead: Building Community, with four streams:

  • leadership and governance
  • building skills
  • community and economic development
  • social justice

CCA has called for expressions of interest to present at the Conference, and will be inviting sponsorship proposals shortly. Contact us if you have any questions, and mark your diary now.


The Conference starts on Tuesday 13 November 2018 with Welcome Drinks.

Wednesday and Thursday, 14 and 15 November, will be an eclectic mix of key note speakers and streamed presentations, catering for the different areas of interest in the ACE arena.

Our Gala Dinner, featuring the Student of the Year Award, will be on the evening of Wednesday 14 November.


The Conference Venue: The Mercure Sydney, 818-820 George St, Sydney NSW 2007

The Hotel: The Mercure Sydney features more than 500 modern rooms, a busy restaurant and bar and a rooftop indoor swimming pool, gymnasium and sauna. Conference attendees will receive a 10% discount off the best available rate (details to come soon).

The Neighbourhood: The Mercure Sydney sits next to Sydney's historic Central Railway Station, near the centre of Sydney's major transport links. This part of Sydney has been transformed in recent years, with the opening of the new Palace Central Cinema in Broadway’s Central Park Mall, and architectural masterpieces such as the Dr Chau Chak Wing Building, the first in Australia designed by Frank Gehry, one of the world’s most celebrated architects. For those interested in the “new economy”, The Mercure sits in the geographic centre of Australia’s start-up innovation systems, based in Ultimo, Pyrmont and Surry Hills, and “a stone’s throw” from the ABC’s national studio headquarters. The Mercure also sits only minutes from Sydney’s Chinatown, Darling Harbour and iconic Capitol Theatre. The University of Sydney’s classic sandstone campus is a short stroll away, as are the nifty shops and coffeehouses of Glebe.

CCA is looking for innovative, educative and inspiring presentations and ideas that will engage our conference attendees, who will come from all around Australia and overseas.  We are particularly interested in presentations that deal with the conference theme of “Taking the Lead – Building Community”. However all presentation ideas will be considered if they are suitable for our audience of staff and leaders of adult and community education (ACE) organisations, government policy makers, consultants, researchers and other VET leaders. We are particularly looking for presentations that:

  • relate directly to the experiences of Australian community education providers;
  • present new, unique and challenging perspectives on ACE and vocational education and training (VET);
  • provide valuable historical, political and social context;
  • present case studies of “things that work” in ACE;
  • could be presented in a “workshop” format that allows participants to work with the presenter to develop new skills, insights and understandings; and
  • provide international perspectives that Australian participants will find valuable and stimulating.

Topic areas that we wish to cover include those in the four conference strands of leadership and governance, building skills, social justice, and community and economic development, and could include:

  • meeting the needs of vulnerable and disadvantaged learners and communities, including groups such as Indigenous Australians, regional and rural residents, older Australians, young people, people with disabilities and people who face mental health challenges;
  • promoting strong governance in not-for-profit community-based organisations;
  • the ability for community-based providers to diversify business models through development of new sources of funding and activities;
  • social entrepreneurship and supporting small business;
  • integrating community and economic development approaches;
  • leadership, strategic development and human resource management of not-for-profit educational organisations;
  • developing and communicating an inspiring organisational “mission”; and
  • marketing and branding community-based organisations in the “noisy” digital world.

Please download CCA Abstract Word document as your proposal template, fill it in, and return it in Word version by email to CCA by Friday 10 August 2018 to admin@cca.edu.au with a copy to don.perlgut@cca.edu.au. We welcome queries in advance of a formal submission of interest. CCA will be reviewing proposals as they arrive, including early acceptance of selected papers – so we encourage your early submission of proposals.

CCA dedicates the Conference Social Justice strand to the memory of Martin Luther King, who died exactly 50 years ago.

photo credit: Don Perlgut

2018 Community Education Student of the Year Awards

Community Colleges Australia (CCA) is pleased to announce the second annual “Community Education Student of the Year Awards”, with the official ceremony at the CCA Conference “Gala Dinner” on the evening of Wednesday 14 November 2018.

CCA invites nominations of students who have undertaken or are currently undertaking formal study with an Australian not-for-profit community education organisation during the period 1 July 2017 through 31 August 2018.  Award nominations must be submitted through their community education provider.

Prize: Cash prizes will be awarded, to be confirmed soon.

CCA welcomes all nominations, not only from member institutions. There is no nomination fee and no age limit, although students need to be at least 18 years old by 31 August 2018.

Please submit nomination forms by Friday 31 August 2018 in Microsoft Word format as email attachments to admin@cca.edu.au, marked “2018 Student of The Year Nomination”.

Shortlisted entrants will be notified as soon as possible after the closing date through their nominating organisation, and invited to attend the Awards at the Gala Dinner (students do not need to be present at the dinner to receive an award.)

Decisions on the Award winner/s will be based on the nomination and statement, using the judging criteria of career and study achievements; communication, team and leadership skills development; and achievements in areas other than study and work, including community involvement. More details on judging criteria can be found in the Terms and Conditions.

Download a copy of the 2018 Nomination form here (Word document).

View the 2018 Award Terms and Conditions here (PDF document).

Details of the 2017 CCA Community Education Student of the Year Award nominees and winners are available here.

CCA 2018 Conference Sponsorship

Community Colleges Australia (CCA) has released its 2018 Conference Sponsorship Brochure (coming soon), detailing opportunities for sponsors and exhibitors to showcase themselves at this year’s conference.

The 2018 CCA Conference is the opportunity for your company or organisation to connect with not-for-profit community education providers and lift your profile in our sector. The Conference is a unique opportunity to meet with our member adult and community education (ACE) organisation members in person, given that so many of them operate in regional and rural locations.

Our delegates include community education CEOs, training managers, other senior staff and board representatives of CCA members, other ACE organisations, employment service agencies, policy makers, consultants, researchers and senior Commonwealth and state government staff.

Our sponsors: Our sponsors receive acknowledgement prior to, during and after the conference through conference materials, the conference app, CCA’s website and emails. Our sponsors enjoy significant contact with delegates during the conference and social events – at every morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea-time. Attendance at the welcome drinks and awards dinner is encouraged, where sponsors can mingle with delegates in a more relaxed setting.

Our sponsorship levels: We are pleased to offer sponsorship at three levels: Gold, Silver and Bronze, with special one-off opportunities for sponsoring the Conference Opening/Welcome Drinks, and the 2018 Community Education Student of the Year Awards.

CCA extensively promotes the annual Conference, both in Australia and internationally. Sponsors enjoy exposure to our large database of ACE providers, industry experts and stakeholders with regular newsletters, emails and social media posts to targeted groups throughout the conference lead-in. The sooner you sign on as a sponsor, the more recognition you will receive as we promote the Conference. In both 2016 and 2017, all exhibition opportunities were subscribed many weeks in advance.

For more details: download the sponsorship brochure or contact us – email Anne Walter or ring us on (02) 9233 3634.

You're a little early for registration yet but continue to "watch this space" for the Early Bird Specials!

Community Colleges Australia acknowledges the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the traditional custodians of our land, Australia. CCA acknowledges that our Sydney conference will take place on the traditional lands of the Gadigal people of the Eora nation. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and we welcome any Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who wish to attend our conference.