2023 CCA Annual Conference

2023 CCA Annual Conference: Building ACE Futures

The Community Colleges Australia (CCA) Annual Conference returned in-person to Sydney on 10 & 11 October 2023.

The 2023 Conference theme was “Building ACE Futures: Adult and Community Education Reimagined”. During fluid social and economic times, from the impact of automation and AI to evidence-based personalised learning and community partnerships, our presenters, workshop leaders and participants were challenged to reimagine new means for foundational and data-driven learning through collaborative and inspiring sessions.

Our speakers: Chemene Sinson was the Conference MC – view the latest speaker update here.

Community Education Trainer of the Year Award: The Conference Gala Dinner on 10 October hosted the ceremony of the second CCA Community Education Trainer of the Year Awards, which celebrates the work and underlines the importance of Australian ACE trainers and teachers.

Location and venue: The 2023 Conference took place at the Hotel Amora Jamison.

CONFERENCE STRANDS

The 2023 Conference provided both a broad and deep opportunity to discuss and engage with “what matters most” to community education and VET students, including the following topics:

Foundation skills – Language, literacy, numeracy, employability and digital skills, in light of major policy and program developments happening on national and state levels. We will explore how the ACE sector plays a fundamental role in opening life and work possibilities for people from all walks of life. How can we improve pathways for foundation skills learners and increase the foundation skills workforce to meet community need?

Digital literacy, digital inclusion and digital skills – The COVID period has pushed more things online, but what does that mean for training and post-secondary education? How do vulnerable and disadvantaged learners fare? Digital literacy is not possible without proper digital access (inclusion), so what do governments, providers and educators need to do to implement proper digital equity policies? Almost every job needs digital skills, but how do we ensure those skills are available?

Young people – The community sector engages young people very well because of our flexibility and personal attention to learners. But “young people will struggle with the side effects of the COVID-19 recession on the jobs market for years despite the nation’s rapid fall in unemployment,” because “young workers were less likely to transition to employment during COVID-19, partly due to the closure of sectors such as hospitality, the arts and recreational services.” How can Australia’s ACE providers work to address the special challenges which young people face now?

First Nations Australians, training providers and communities, given worse literacy outcomes and the continued inability of Australia to “close the gap” on Indigenous education, employment and health disadvantage. How can Australia’s for-purpose community education sector respond? CCA welcomes two new First Nations training organisations to its membership, and looks forward to a vigorous dialogue with communities, education and training providers, governments and leaders as to priorities, focussed on the question “What can we do to close the gap?”

Re-engagement of learners in training – Frequent natural disasters have combined with the “long tail” of COVID to impact the ability and willingness of disadvantaged vulnerable learners and groups to engage in training. How do we implement outreach programs and support these learners?

Governing the not-for-profit community-based organisation – Conference workshops will provide participants with new skills in strategic planning, new business models, leading high-performance teams, coaching and mentoring and strategic finance, as well as responding to adversity, managing risk and change management. New skills are needed to assist ACE organisations that face unprecedented levels of “disruption, rising volatility and ensuing chaos [that] is the new reality … board directors and executive leaders … need to demonstrate patience and the ability to tolerate the frustration, tension, paradox and anxiety associated with uncertainty.”

Recognition of community development as an important part of training and skills is ingrained in the mission of for-purpose community providers: the needs of the “community” are not equivalent to those of the “economy” and employers and cannot be separated. While place-based learning constitutes the core business of ACE providers, their activities extend well beyond the classroom. How can best practice community and regional development point the way to training that works for communities and learners?

Aged care, disability care and childcare workforce training – ACE providers “punch above their weight” to deliver care training, so the Conference will concentrate on building this capacity, focussing on innovation and sharing of insights from industry researchers and service providers, trainer recruitment and mentoring, with practical strategies that add depth and breadth to the aged care, disability and childcare workforces.

CCA has a reputation of running excellent conferences. Read about our recent conferences held in Sydney (2022), Brisbane (2019), Sydney (2018) and Melbourne (2017) as well as our 2022 and 2021 National Online Summits.

SPEAKERS

Michelle Circelli
Senior Member of the Research and Data Analytics Branch at the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER)

Please click here for biographical and other information.

Professor Mark Considine
Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor of Political Science, University of Melbourne

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Dr Deniese Cox
Online Education Researcher and Professional Development Provider, TeachingOnline.com.au

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Anna Faithfull
Deputy Secretary for Skills and Training, Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (DEWR)

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Shauna Farey
Education Designer/Project Manager, POP Education

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Chris Gandy
Chief Executive, The Essential Foundation

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Mick Gooda
First Nations Leader, Human Rights Commissioner

Professor Eric Klinenberg
Department of Sociology and Institute for Public Knowledge, New York University, USA

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Joanna Maxwell
Educator and Trainer, joannamaxwell.com.au
Chair, Sydney Community College

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Jo Medlin
President, Australian Council for Adult Literacy

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Dr Madeleine Morey
Senior Research Officer, Brotherhood of St Laurence

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The Hon Brendan O’Connor MP

Federal Minister for Skills and Training, Member for Gorton
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Andra Putnis
Social Policy Lead, Equity Economics and Development Partners

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Ross Raeburn
Chief Customer Officer, Future Skills Organisation

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Saxon Rice
CEO, Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA)

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Dr Belinda Russon
Chief Executive Officer, Tranby Aboriginal Co-operative Limited

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Carmen Saunders
Assistant Secretary, Foundation and Transition Programs, Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (DEWR)

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Chemène Sinson
Learning Specialist & Conference Chair, Blackwater Projects

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Dave Tout
Senior Research Fellow, Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER)

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Dr Daniella Trimboli
Researcher at the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) and Honorary Research Fellow at the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation at Deakin University

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David Turvey
First Assistant Secretary, Jobs and Skills Australia

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CCA 2023 ANNUAL CONFERENCE SPONSORS

PLATINUM SPONSOR

GOLD SPONSORS

SILVER SPONSORS

WELCOME DRINKS SPONSOR

BRONZE SPONSOR

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NCVER report details significant impacts of COVID-19 on Australian VET

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CCA calls for expressions of interest to present at the 2023 October Conference

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