ACAL Conference 2019 Sydney Save the date!

Conference Theme: Critical re-imagining: adult literacy and numeracy practices for sustainable development
Dates: Pre-conference Thursday 3rd October 2019; conference Friday 4th October to Saturday 5th October.

Australia is a signatory to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This Agenda has been developed as ‘a plan for action for people, planet and prosperity’. It is a plan to end poverty and hunger, to protect our planet, to enable all human beings to enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives in peaceful, just and inclusive societies.

This conference invites participants to consider the role of adult literacy and numeracy education in promoting this agenda including the most directly pertinent goal to our field: Goal 4 – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

More details in early 2019


VET Review – media release

The government has commissioned an independent review of the vocational education and training (VET) sector. The terms of reference include ‘

‘It may review whether additional support is needed for vulnerable cohorts, including those currently unemployed and at risk of unemployment, or those with low literacy and numeracy skills”

Submissions are due by January 25, 2019


PIAAC media release

Adult Learning Australia (ALA) and the Australian Council of Adult Literacy (ACAL) are urging the Morrison Government not to withdraw Australia from the OECD Survey of Adult Skills. The OECD Survey of Adult Skills (or PIAAC) measures adult skills and competencies in three key areas:

  • literacy
  • numeracy
  • problem solving in technology-rich environments.


Training Awards

Excellence in Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice Award
2018 Winner
Lidia Lipkiewicz, South Australia

Lidia Lipkiewicz

When Lidia was a TAFE lecturer in 1995, she was working with a group of disengaged youths from one of Australia’s most disadvantaged areas. The students had low levels of literacy, low self-esteem, lacked confidence, and didn’t want to be in the classroom.

Lidia found a way to get the students working by creating an action/competency/project based learning environment and has been hooked on this method ever since.

She is now teaching English to migrant job-seekers. With the new funding model, the push for employment outcomes and greater scrutiny on quality and reporting systems, with reduced resources, posed a challenge.  Lidia saw an opportunity, and with the backing of her managers, introduced a weekly, project-based program called ‘Plan a Project’. The program helped students gain the English skills and confidence essential to the work place and develop employability skills. A large percentage of them got jobs.

Full list of 2018 Australian Training Award winners

Have you read it?

A review of documents relating to adult literacy and numeracy

Jo Medlin has reviewed three papers of interest to adult literacy and numeracy educators and provided the links to access them:

  • Ai Group 2018 Survey report on Workforce Development needs Skilling: A national imperative (Sept 2018)
  • ALA: Re-imagining WELL in the 21st Century (June 2018)
  • ACTA: Problems in the Adult Migrant English and SEE Programs (May 2018)

ACAL Conference • September 12-14, 2018 • Melbourne

Presentations are available now ▷

Workplace Literacy in Australia– A Joint Position Statement

from Community Colleges Australia, Australian Industry Group, Reading Writing Hotline, Australian Council for Adult Literacy and Adult Learning Australia here

The second cycle of PIAAC – what’s the story?

blackboard drawing paper planeThe OECD’s Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) conducts the Survey of Adult Skills. The survey measures adults’ proficiency in key information-processing skills – literacy, numeracy and problem solving – and gathers information and data on how adults use their skills at home, at work and in the wider community. PIAAC was conducted by ABS in Australia in 2011/12 and was an extension of the earlier International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS) and the Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey (ALLS) surveys. Australia participated in IALS in 1996 and ALLS in 2006.


Latest News

‘Resilience – Stories of Adult Learning’

This anthology of adult learner stories is testimony to the resilience of human lives and the critical role of lifelong learning. More