Interest group details

weavingInterest Groups will be part of the Pre-Conference Forum, at the Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory.

Register for the Forum

Moving forward: valuing Indigenous culture and identity

Learning is a continuous, cultural process – not simply a series of events. It values and transcends the classroom and the workplace. Access and opportunities to learn should be available to anyone, anywhere and at any time (Rosenburg 2001).

In the wake of the Rudd Government’s apology to Indigenous Australians for past injustices, improving opportunities and outcomes for Indigenous Australians has emerged as an issue of national importance. In this discussion group we will explore approaches to teaching and learning that seek to move beyond systemic blocks to English language, literacy and numeracy education for Indigenous learners. You are encouraged to bring examples of your own approaches to teaching Indigenous learners, as well as ideas and questions that you might have in relation to the achievement of positive outcomes - both academic and social.

Outcomes of this workshop might include:

  • Practical approaches to training that incorporate Indigenous aspirations as a major focus
  • The incorporation and valuing of Indigenous culture and knowledge systems into the delivery of training programs
  • Strategies for engaging disenfranchised learners
  • A greater appreciation of the links between identity and post-compulsory schooling

Anyone interested in Indigenous education is welcome to attend!


Ruth Wallace is the Director of the Social Partnerships in Learning Research Group, at the Charles Darwin University. Ruth has extensive experience in innovative delivery of vocational education and training (VET) programs in regional and remote areas across Northern Australia, with a particular interest in Indigenous learning, learning communities; literacies and flexible learning approaches.

Alison Reedy, Educational Designer, Teaching and Learning Quality Group, Charles Darwin University

Influencing policy and expanding research

This group offers you the chance to increase your network prior to the conference so that the network conversation can continue about the issues raised over the next two days of the conference. We invite contribution from more established researchers as well as encouraging participation by those who interested in undertaking research. We are also interested in the links between research and LLN policy and practice and other inputs into policy decisions.

Some brief information about opportunities to engage in research or to contribute to policy will be provided in areas like:

  • Policy related to LLN workforce capability that might be result from the Australian Workforce Futures: A National Workforce Development Strategy
  • Australian Government policy to develop and implement a national adult language, literacy and numeracy strategy.
  • Research opportunities through scholarship programs funded by NCVER.

So whether you want to influence policy and conduct or contribute to research or work on the connections between research and policy development, come along and share your ideas and meet others with similar interests.

If you have a research idea that you would like to develop in collaboration with others or you want some input into a current research project, come prepared to share.

If you have identified an opportunity to have input into policy or want to put a case for a policy that needs influencing, we will allow some space to hear from you.


Geri Pancini Work-based Education Research Centre Victoria University

Cheryl Wiltshire Curriculum Research and Development WA Department of Training and Workforce Development

Using technology in the LLN classroom

Under the Department of Employment, Training and Workplace Relation’s definition, e-learning is simply the use of information and communication technology to deliver education and training. Put simply, e-learning is the learning process created by interaction with digitally delivered content, services and support.

Today, e-learning offers a much richer and more collaborative experience for students...especially LLN students. It now includes a wide variety of different mediums including audio, animation, game play, podcasts and videos. However, simply placing these in a portal will not lead to any fruition as the content needs to focus on the needs of students, how the content can be delivered and what makes it "easy" and affordable for the LLN teacher.

This facilitated interest group will explore the pedagogy and practice of using technology with LLN students. It will provide opportunity for participants to showcase good resources being used (so, if you have examples, bring them along!) and to develop a network of interested practitioners. For participants attending the interest group, the hope is you take away new ideas and resources ready to use in your classrooms.


Debbie Soccio has worked in the vocational education sector, both in industry, with private RTOs, in the adult literacy sector and within TAFE for 19 years. In her current position, she works as a consultant focusing on the embedding of e-learning into businesses and training. Her particular interests are in the field of supporting teachers to develop programs and e-learning resources for students.

Debbie Soccio is a senior eLearning consultant at e-Works and the Victorian e-Learning Coordinator for the Australian Flexible Learning Framework.

Using learners’ ‘funds of knowledge’ in numeracy classrooms

At the 2009 ACAL annual conference, keynote speaker Dave Baker inspired many conference participants with his presentations about a different way of thinking about numeracy. Drawing on ethnographic research, he illustrated the many different numeracy practices of different people in different contexts. By looking for these diverse numeracy practices, rather than looking for instances of our own pre-conceived ideas of what is numeracy, we can find and build on rich ‘funds of knowledge’ that the learners have.

In this discussion group/ workshop, we will revisit the idea of learners’ funds of knowledge’ introduced by Baker, and consider ways in which we can use this idea to create richer, more inclusive and equitable learning for adult learners. You are encouraged to bring examples of your own approaches in numeracy teaching, ideas and questions that we can examine and discuss together in relation to Baker’s ideas. Outcomes of this workshop might include:

  • ideas of ways to tap into learners’ funds of knowledge
  • opportunities and barriers to a social practices approach to numeracy teaching
  • ideas for action research in numeracy that arise from the discussion

You may wish to go to the website of the 2009 conference and look at the slides from Baker’s presentations to get a taste of the ideas that we will be examining.

All welcome – whether you attended the 2009 conference or not, whether you are new or experienced in numeracy!


Keiko Yasukawa is a lecturer at the University of Technology Sydney. Keiko coordinates and teaches in the Language, Literacy and Numeracy major in the Bachelor of Education in Adult Education, and in the Graduate Diploma in Literacy and Numeracy. She has been involved in the education of adult numeracy teachers for many years, and researches in the areas of adult LLN teacher development and critical numeracy. She is the Executive editor of the journal Literacy and Numeracy Studies.

Working together in DEEWR Funded programs

This group offers people who work in the Language Literacy and Numeracy Program (LLNP) and the Workplace English Language and Literacy (WELL) program or other programs funded directly by the Australian Government to make connections and address issues that affect them.

Bring along your ideas and suggestions for any of the following topics:

  • Ways of connecting providers of LLNP/WELL/ other DEEWR funded programs.
  • Developing workforce skills by shared professional development opportunities, building awareness of qualifications offered
  • Attracting new people to work in adult literacy
  • Sharing expertise about education strategies and developing work readiness
  • Sharing resources developed
  • Shared research needs and opportunities
  • Improving reporting
  • Connecting pathways for participants – e.g. a participant may move from LLNP into the workforce and be supported there by WELL.

We will focus on the areas of most interest to the group members on the day and attempt to formulate an action plan for participants for post forum implementation.


Jenni Anderson coordinates services in the Language, Literacy and Numeracy Program as LLNP Service Manager Tasmania for Mission Australia. She has been involved in adult literacy and numeracy teaching for many years, having started as a volunteer tutor in an adult literacy and basic education program. She has worked in community and labour market programs with a diverse range of clients and in LLNP since 2002. Jenni is interested in professional development, broadening literacy provision by many different means and linking providers to maximise possibilities for professional sharing of knowledge and research.

John Radalj, Gordon TAFE

Prison Education- how it works

Join a group of prison educators in a forum focused on alternative approaches to teaching literacy to imprisoned adult learners. Short and sharp, innovative presentations from a variety of prison locations will take place, interspersed with topic questions and lively discussion about those 'tricky' questions. Topics, amongst others, will include:

  • Student film production: The Forgotten Ones (N.T)
  • Songs from the Inside (W.A)
  • First year of teaching in a prison. Sink or swim? (N.T)
  • Picture books and prisoners (W.A)

Sharing will involve correctional educators from Darwin, Western Australia, Queensland and beyond. Come along and meet other people with a passion for social change!


Helena Zielinska Adult Basic Education Coordinator WA Department of Corrective Services

Lynne Pantaur Teacher, The Bremer Institute of TAFE (working on site at the Wolston Correctional Centre, Wacol, Brisbane)

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