2019 CCA Annual Conference

CCA's 2019 Annual Conference

The Community Colleges Australia (CCA) Annual Conference travels to Brisbane 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 award ceremonies of the “Community Education Student of the Year” at the Gala Dinner on Tuesday 19 November. Our annual sponsor exhibition will also return with more suppliers than ever before.

This year’s conference theme is Expanding Possibilities, with a focus on how Australia’s not-for-profit community education providers are expanding how they serve their communities, in education, training and community services.

CCA will soon issue a call for expressions of interest to present at the Conference, as well as inviting proposals to participate in our services exhibition. Contact us if you have any questions, and mark your diary now!


Welcome Drinks: Monday 18 November

Conference: Tuesday/Wednesday 19/20 November

Gala Dinner: Tuesday 19 November


Welcome Drinks: Old Government House, QUT, Brisbane QLD 4000

Conference and Gala Dinner: The Stamford Plaza, Brisbane, QLD 4000

Who is the conference for?

Not-for-profit community education organisations

  • CEOs and other senior managers
  • VET managers and senior trainers
  • Boards of directors and other volunteers
  • Marketing and promotions managers
  • Coordinators, planners, project managers, liaison officers and outreach specialists

Along with

  • Not-for-profit organisations delivering employment, health, community and other services
  • Policy-makers working in post-secondary and secondary education roles for Commonwealth, State and Territory governments, who seek a deeper understanding of our sector’s challenges, opportunities and possibilities
  • International guests looking to understand Australian education and training, and who wish to contribute to and engage with Australian experts and practitioners
  • Regional economic development and local government personnel working on the intersection between education, training, industry policy and economic development
  • Researchers who are keen to share their findings with one of the most engaged conference audiences in Australia
  • Consultants working in VET, universities, life-long learning, the future of work and the demand for skills in the next decade of the 21st century
  • Teachers, trainers and educators seeking a strong dose of intellectual stimulation and the cutting edge of community education practices
  • Thinkers, thought-leaders, journalists and others engaging with the breaking trends of Australian education and training

Conference strands

Education and Training

We will look at how Australia’s community education sector can expand its possibilities in education, training and other services to:

  • Disadvantaged and vulnerable learners, including those from lower socio-economic backgrounds
  • people with disabilities
  • learners with low literacy, numeracy or digital engagement skills
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • young people, including special assistance secondary schools
  • rural, regional and remote residents
  • migrants, refugees and those with limited English language skills
  • people who face mental health challenges
  • small businesses

Leadership and Governance

The CCA Conference will provide opportunities for not-for-profit community provider senior managers and board directors to expand their skills in strategic planning, managing board dynamics, developing new business models, strategic finance, fundraising, responding to adversity, managing risk and change management.

Build your Skills

Skills we covered last year include how to approach foundation skills teaching, meeting privacy requirements, digital marketing, community engagement, engaging disadvantaged young people, developing your mentor program, human resources, leadership development and building resilient teams. We expect many more useful presentations this year.

Community and Economic Development

Place-based learning constitutes the core business of our members, however their activities extend well beyond the classroom; they provide numerous opportunities for engagement in community life, learning and work.

Civil society organisations in Australia are essential structures to ensure democratic functioning, as a recent broadcast on ABC Radio National illustrates. All of our sector’s activities lead to increased civic participation and building “social capital”, particularly in regional, rural and outer metropolitan locations where local educational institutions are part of the “glue” that holds communities together.

The Conference will examine how we can increase our participation in and collaboration with new ventures such as social enterprises, education precincts, entrepreneurship and social impact studies.

What participants said about last year's conference

About 120 people attended last year’s conference in Sydney in November. Here’s a selection of what they said about it:

“The tone & content of all presenters was really relevant, to the point, and on the edge of hopeful change.”

“Networking and learning more about community colleges diversity and operating environments was excellent.”

“Social enterprise in action: the diverse range of relevant topics and speakers that I could not access without a CCA conference.”

“Some of the social enterprise information are things we can implement to radically change our organisation.”

“It surprised me with the increased diversity of offerings, you guys keep raising the bar!”

“Take away messages were very practical.”

“Excellent conference!”

“Everyone did a great job.”

Call for Papers and Presentations

Community Colleges Australia (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 “Expanding Possibilities” for Australia’s not-for-profit community education sector. 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 vocational education and training (VET);
  • provide valuable historical, political and social context;
  • present case studies of “things that work” in community education or not-for-profit community services;
  • 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 will cover include leadership and governance, education and training, building skills, and community and economic development, which 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 of not-for-profit organisations to diversify business models through new activities, innovations and development of new sources of funding;
  • social entrepreneurship and supporting small business;
  • integrating community and economic development, including collaborations;
  • 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 fill in the online application form no later than Friday 16 August 2019 . We welcome queries in advance of a formal submission of interest - please email CCA at admin@cca.edu.au.

CCA will be reviewing proposals as they arrive, including early acceptance of selected papers – so we encourage early submission of proposals.

Online Application Form

Community Education Student of the Year Awards 2019

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 at the Stamford Plaza in Brisbane on the evening of Tuesday 19 November 2019.

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 September 2018 through 31 August 2018.  Award nominations must be submitted through their community education provider.

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

To Apply

Read the Judging Criteria and Terms and Conditions (link below)
Complete the online nomination form no later than Monday 2 September 2019 (link below) or download the form as a word document and email to admin@cca.edu.au

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 2019.

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 nominating organisation’s nomination, based on 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.

2018 Student of the Year Winner Lakisha Sloane,
Robinson College, receiving her award from
CCA Chair David Fuller at the Gala Dinner

Details of the 2018 CCA Community Education Student of the Year Award nominees and winners are available here.

The CCA Annual Conference is the premier event for Australia’s adult and community education (often known as “ACE”) providers. Our program of inspirational speakers, education and training experts, facilitated workshops and networking provides an unparalleled business opportunity for sponsors to reach Australia’s dynamic ACE providers through an interactive exhibition and dynamic social events.

Information on our sponsorship opportunities will be out shortly: please email admin@cca.edu.au if you would like to be one of the first to receive details.

information to follow shortly