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 has issued 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.”

The Stamford Plaza

The Stamford Plaza Brisbane is a premier Brisbane event venue, close to the Botanic Gardens and directly overlooking Brisbane River, featuring more than 200 modern rooms (all with spectacular views of the river), restaurants and bar, swimming pool, gymnasium and sauna.

The hotel is conveniently located in the heart of Brisbane City, close to parking and public
transport facilities.


Old Government House

Built in the early 1860s by the first governor of the newly formed Queensland colony, Old Government House was used as the seat of Government until 1910, before becoming part of the University of Queensland’s first campus. As an unsuitable venue for teaching, It fell
into disrepair until recognised in 1960 as a vital part of Queensland’s heritage. After major renovations by the National Trust and the University, the house reopened in 2009, and is now one of Brisbane’s best-preserved historic landmarks.

Old Government House also houses art works of the renowned Australian artist William Robinson, and our Welcome Drinks attendees will have exclusive access to the exhibition.

View of OGH from roomthreesixty_QUT_20Yr Club Dinner (2)

Getting to the Conference: Transport Options


Secure Parking has a number of car parks within walking distance of Stamford Plaza Hotel. The nearest are:

  • 10 Felix Street (50m)
  • 60 Edward Street (110m)
  • 200 Mary Street (150m)
  • 53 Albert Street (300m)

Public Transport

Trains run from the airport to Central Station approximately every 30 minutes. It is a 10 minute walk to the hotel from Central Station, or alternatively catch the City Loop Bus 40 from Adelaide Street Stop 26 to Edward Street Stop 146 - a minute's walk from the hotel.


Taxis are available at the airport, train station and hotel.  It will take approximately 25  mins from the airport or 6 minutes from Central Station, depending on traffic.

Walking Between our Two Venues

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 has accepted nominations of students who have undertaken formal study with an Australian not-for-profit community education organisation during the period 1 September 2018 through 31 August 2018, submitted through their community education provider.

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

Applications are now closed

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.

Sponsorship Opportunities

August 2019: We are very pleased to announce that we have filled all our Gold and Silver level sponsor opportunities. If you would like to be a sponsor, Bronze level sponsorship is still available: please contact Anne Walter, Operations Manager, to discuss further or fill in the application form at the back of the sponsorship brochure.

Registrations are now open!

CCA members: you will need a promocode to access your discounted tickets - if you don't know the code, please email admin@cca.edu.au to find out.

Want to send four or more to the Conference?

CCA will be offering a group discount for member colleges sending four or more delegates to the Full Conference.  Please email Anne at operations@cca.edu.au to find out how to get your discount.

Registration Options


CCA Members

Full Conference

Includes Conference attendance, Welcome Drinks and Awards Dinner



Day only

Day 1 or Day 2 of Conference (does not include Welcome Drinks or Awards Dinner)



Awards Dinner Only



Welcome Drinks Only



CCA is pleased to be able offer discounts at the following hotels:

Stamford Plaza Hotel

39 Edward Street, Brisbane

The conference venue offers a range of rooms and suites with views across the Brisbane River.  Conference Delegates can book online using the CCA link to book a superior king room at the discount price of $259 for 18/19 November 2019 (subject to room availability).

The link on this page will take you directly to a CCA discount web page.

Royal on the Park

152 Alice Street, Brisbane

The Royal on the Park is perfectly located between the conference and Welcome Drinks Venues, on the edge of the Botanic Gardens.  Conference delegates can book online and use the code GROUP10 for a discount on the market rate (conference dates only).

Once you have put in the dates you requre, click BOOK NOW. This will take you to a new webpage. At the top of this page, click on Add Code, type in GROUP10 in the space provided, and click Add.  This will then give you the discount rates.

Oaks Felix

26 Felix Street, Brisbane

The Oaks Felix is metres from the Stamford Plaza and offers a range of accommodation. CCA attendees booking online using the code CCA2019 will receive 12% off the best flexible online rates.