2022 National ACE Summit

Community Colleges Australia (CCA) is pleased to announce its second annual National 2022 Adult and Community Education (ACE) Summit, a half-day online and interactive event that will take place on the morning of 5 April 2022.

If you want to go fast go alone. If you want to go far go together. – African proverb

Summit Purpose

To reinforce and explore the value and importance of Australian adult and community education (ACE) providers in delivering essential training and skills that support national educational, social, employment and economic development goals.

The 2022 National ACE Summit will broaden the knowledge of the national ACE sector, exploring emergent themes and capacity building approaches. It will showcase the sector’s community-based, innovative programs and pathways that assist Australian governments and communities to succeed; and chart future directions for ACE providers. The 2022 Summit follows on from CCA’s 2021 National ACE Summit, held in June 2021, which was attended by more than 170 people – the largest CCA event participation ever.


The Summit will be held online on the morning of Tuesday 5 April 2022. Details, including how to register, will come soon.

Summit Value

The Summit will enhance the capacity of the ACE sector to deliver real results for building the skills base of Australian communities, which has been battered by two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ACE sector has unrealised potential and capacity to contribute to ameliorating Australia’s skills shortfall, particularly in the aged, disability and child care sectors, as well as in foundation skills and supporting small businesses. The Summit will examine New South Wales, Victorian, South Australian and national ACE policy settings and programs, and the ACE sector’s strengths, structures and achievements. Importantly, the Summit will examine industry developments and focus on how we can use the learnings of the COVID-19 pandemic to inform the path forward.


The Summit will hear from Australian thought leaders and provide an opportunity for national and state skills political leaders to outline their visions for the Australian ACE sector. The Summit will feature presentations and panel discussions on:

  • how state and national ACE strategies can address training challenges in a pandemic world to meet current and future workforce needs and support economic recovery;
  • foundation skills – language, literacy, numeracy and digital skills – to assist both unemployed and employed adult learners to study effectively and empower their lives in a rapidly digitised world;
  • digital inclusion – the importance of closing the “digital divide” and improving digital literacy to enable disadvantaged adults to participate  in social and economic activities and access essential health and community information; and
  • aged, disability and child care workforce training, industry sectors where ACE providers are such significant contributors.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Dr Cassandra Goldie, CEO of Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) and Adjunct Professor, UNSW Sydney
  • Mary Faraone, World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) Board member, Chair of TAFE Directors Australia and CEO of Holmesglen Institute (VIC), speaking on WFPC Report Global Statement on the Future of Professional Technical Education and Training
  • Nicole Battle, CEO of Neighbourhood Houses Victoria & President of Australian Neighbourhood House and Centres Association (ANHCA); Kylie Fergusen, CEO of Community Centres SA; and Dr Don Perlgut, CEO Community Colleges Australia
  • Dave Tout, Senior Research Fellow, Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER); Dr Keiko Yasukawa, University of Technology Sydney (UTS); Vanessa Iles, Manager, The Reading Writing Hotline; and Jo Medlin, President, Australian Council for Adult Literacy (ACAL)
  • Jess Wilson, CEO, Good Things Foundation Australia

Summit Chair will be Frier Bentley, Director, Amalgamate Communications (& former National Manager, Government Relations, The Smith Family), who chaired the 2021 ACE Summit.

Have Your Say

Have your say about the future of community education in Australia. Just pre-record a video – maximum one minute in length – on your smartphone or via Zoom – in which you describe an idea you have for how ACE can meet a specific community need. Then upload it to CCA’s submission folder by close of business on Friday 18 March.  Contact CCA via email to request an upload link. CCA will select up to 10 of the best videos to play during the National ACE Summit, and award prizes for “most creative” and “most stimulating”. Read video conditions here.

Optional Background Pre-Reading for Summit Participants

The Star Trek formula is work together and share ideas and resources, look out for the best interest of society and the planet, use technology to benefit and advance, and develop each person as a valuable member of society. Local solutions to local problems, solved through inclusive innovation.” – Jacques Putzeys in The Conversation


Help us promote this Summit; use the hashtag #ACESummit2022 in communications and social media.

Acknowledgement of Country: While the 2022 ACE Summit is a virtual event, the “headquarters” of the ACE Summit will be on the lands of the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation, the location of CCA’s main office in the Sydney CBD. CCA acknowledges their Elders, past, present and emerging.

Collective trauma in the time of COVID-19: “We’re living through generation-defining, traumatic period – I’m referring to COVID – that defies description and resists collective experience. It’s a hugely problematic thing that we’re all experiencing trauma, and we’re not experiencing it together by definition, even though our trauma is perhaps similar to one another’s… there’s very little sense of living through it collectively.” – Masha Gessen, in The Argument podcast, The New York Times 5 January 2022

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CCA announces 2022 National ACE Summit

Community Colleges Australia (CCA) has announced a National ACE Summit, which will take place online on Tuesday 5 April 2022. The Summit will reinforce and explore the value and importance of Australian adult and community education (ACE) providers in delivering essential training and skills that support national educational, social, employment and economic development goals. The Summit will enhance the capacity Continue Reading