2021 National ACE Summit

Community Colleges Australia (CCA) will hold a National 2021 Adult and Community Education (ACE) Summit, a half-day hybrid online and in-person event to be held on 29 June 2021.

Summit Purpose

To ensure the Australian ACE sector can support Australia’s national economic recovery through its education, training and community development.

The National 2021 ACE Summit will also broaden the knowledge of the national ACE sector, and showcase its community-based, innovative programs and pathways that can help governments succeed in meeting Australia’s sticky economic, employment and social problems in the light of the Coronavirus pandemic-induced recession.

Summit Value

Enhanced capacity of the ACE sector, along with stronger connections across states and regions, will deliver real results for the Australian economy. The ACE sector has unrealised potential and capacity to produce local and regional economic benefits and job pathways. The Summit will examine relevant national and state policy settings, programs and support, and the ACE sector’s strengths, geographic and organisational capabilities, structures and achievements.

Join us for this unique opportunity to develop proposals and future programs to engage Australia’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged in skills development.

Hear about some of the best and innovative local, regional, state and national ACE provider programs.

Meet – virtually or in person – some of Australia’s leading “connectors” who are driving change and making a real difference.

Join us at the 2021 National ACE Summit on 29 June 2021

How You Can Participate

The National 2021 ACE Summit will provide numerous opportunities to get involved:

Participate in one of two national working parties: on the future of foundation skills – language, literacy, numeracy, digital and employability skills – or planning the aged care workforce in the light of the recommendations of the final report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care. These working parties will commence in late April and formulate recommendations to be considered at the Summit.

Showcase your innovative response to social, economic, community and employment challenges through our planned short pre-recorded “ACE Summit Innovation Video Challenge” (details to come).

Offer to participate and speak in one of the Summit panel discussions.

INTERESTED – or just want to be on our mailing list?

Email CCA on admin@cca.edu.au with your details, including any special interests.

The Event

Venue: The National 2021 ACE Summit will “broadcast” from the historic Mint, 10 Macquarie Street, Sydney 2000 (location here) – where you are invited to join us in person, and will be accessible through “hybrid” virtual video-streaming, nationally and internationally. We are pleased to showcase the ACE sector from one of Australia’s oldest buildings.

Timing: The Summit will take place on the morning of Tuesday 29 June 2021 – we will commence at 9.00am for welcome coffee & tea, with a formal opening at 9.30am, and conclude at 1.00pm for lunch. In-person spaces will be limited. In the unlikely case of a Sydney “lockdown”, the Summit will proceed solely on a virtual basis.

Speakers and sessions will be confirmed soon.

Cost for participation will be moderate; registration – for in-person or virtual participation – will open in late April.


CCA seeks sponsors to help de-fray the costs of the National 2021 ACE Summit. Contact CCA on admin@cca.edu.au for a sponsorship prospectus. Help Australia’s ACE sector and ensure that your organisation’s message is communicated to adult and community education providers and government decision-makers.

Background - Our Current Not-Quite-Post COVID-19 Moment

Australia’s adult and community education sector has a key role to play in getting vulnerable and isolated Australians back to work and engaged with the community, especially those who have been affected by the pandemic and the economic slowdown. The ACE sector – which has almost half a million students each year in accredited vocational education and training (VET) – 11.6% of the national total in 2019 – consistently “punches above its weight” in engaging Indigenous Australians, people with disabilities, rural and regional residents, people from lower socio-economic groups, mature (age 50+) Australians, people from non-English speaking backgrounds and women. (Read the CCA 2020 analysis of student data from New South Wales.)

Despite the vaccine roll-out, the potential for new small-scale outbreaks of COVID-19 from returning Australians and international transport workers point to a continuing volatile health environment and heightened community level of alertness. While the Australian economy looks likely to continue to recover during 2021, it will probably not reach full “pre-pandemic” economic recovery until 2023 or even 2024.

The pandemic has led to unprecedented investment by Australian governments to stabilise the economy while managing the health crisis. As JobKeeper finishes and JobSeeker benefits are reduced, community and workplace education and training support programs become even more important.


Help us promote this Summit; use the hashtag #ACESummit2021 in communications and social media.

Acknowledgement of Country: The physical location of the ACE Summit will take place on the lands of the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation. CCA acknowledges their Elders, past, present and emerging, and warmly welcomes any Indigenous Australians who will participate in the Summit.