Full program

(Subject to change without notice)

Thursday, Sept 13, 2018


Welcome – welcome to country, conference welcome


Ron Jones, Wurundjeri Elder


Keynote: Tim Rawlings, Head of Training Product Development for PwC’s Skills for Australia


ACAL have invited Tim Rawlings to address the conference because most people involved in adult literacy across Australia are in some way impacted by the work of PwC’s Skills for Australia. PwC’s Skills for Australia is the Skills Service Organisation (SSO) aligned to foundation skills and education. PwC’s role is described on their website as ensuring that
training packages, and therefore vocational qualifications, reflect employers’ and students’ needs, both now and in the future. The SSO writes and monitors training packages. PwC’s Skills for Australia website explains that To do this, we will engage with employers and students across Australia, conduct detailed industry research and collaborate with experts in the vocational education sector before reviewing and developing training products. There are half a dozen good reasons why we want you to attend this keynote address:
1. Currently PwC’s Skills for Australia are rewriting the 91 FSK units and reviewing the three FSK qualifications. This includes decisions around the qualifications required to deliver FSK.
2. PwC’s Skills for Australia support the ongoing management of the TAE training package, which includes one of Australia’s few remaining formal pathways for becoming a qualified literacy teacher: The Graduate Diploma in Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice.
3. For those of you teaching nationally accredited courses PwC’s Skills for Australia also has a role. No course can be accredited with ASQA unless first scrutinised and endorsed by the SSO. ASQA require letters of support and associated documents before they will consent to review applications to accredit or reaccredit any course that falls within a very broad framework that they consider to be covered by foundation skills (including ESOL courses, HSC equivalent courses, pathway courses and Aboriginal studies, to name a few).
4. The role of the SSO has wide reaching implications for the field of adult literacy across Australia; from what is taught to adult learners, to who teaches it, and ultimately to the future status of the field in terms of qualifications and pathways.
5. Even for those not teaching the training package or nationally accredited courses, the SSO’s decisions can have an impact, for example, on the availability of training (due to demand driven by the content and qualifications set in the FSK).
6. Attending the keynote address by Tim Rawlings will give you an opportunity, as an expert in the sector, to understand the role of the SSO and how you can contribute to the engagement and decision making that is crucial because it ultimately effects your learners.





Session A



Trauma informed approach to assist the learning process


Emma McCarthy, Emma McCarthy Consulting and Karen Dymke, Thoughtful Works

Boosting inclusion and learning outcomes for adult learners with complex needs.
Many students struggle with self-regulation and responding to this requires a holistic approach to increase teacher skills.

  • 1 in 6 children live with a developmental delay and this continues to impact milestones and learning in adulthood
  • 15% of adult’s report that they experienced trauma as children

  1. Workshop on Understanding Trauma theory and its impact on development and learning and strategies to build engagement with the learning process linked to high impact teaching approaches.
  2. Development of behaviour support plans for students with critical needs using functional behavioural analysis techniques.

The support the providers will receive

  • Trauma informed strategies teachers can use in the classroom
  • Practical skills for teaching co-assisted self-regulation across your school
  • Evidence based tools to track and improve student learning
  • Functional Analysis of Behaviour as a tool to modifying student behaviour of concern articulated in behaviour support plans

Facilitator, Emma McCarthy, is a highly-experienced teacher and social worker, with a Masters in Special Education and over 25 years’ experience in the sector. Most of her career she has been at the forefront of working with at risk students surviving complex trauma. Emma successfully established the Berry Street School in Noble Park as the Principal, and now brings her expertise to other schools by developing and running programs that support teams to work with complex and challenging behaviours.

Karen has been an adult educator for over twenty years in a range of environments. She is currently a lecturer at Latrobe University in Alternative Education, a frequent and well respected presenter for the VET Development Centre and travels nationally presenting the latest research on progressing student learning and achievement to school teams. Karen is also the Director of her consultancy Thoughtfulworks. She has recently returned from a Fellowship to Europe with the International Specialised Skills Institute where her focus of research was on Andgrogy and the Professionalisation of Adult Educators.


Learning in Indigenous communities – ‘the pathway of greatest acceptance’

Clarendon A

Rovel Shackleford, Chisholm Institute

Learning in Indigenous communities – ‘the pathway of greatest acceptance’
Cultural sensitivity and awareness in the indigenous learning setting at times can be overlooked and somewhat dismissed. Indigenous communities learning pathways require a well thought out, tested and accepted strategy. This requires seeking a pathway of greatest acceptance as opposed to a pathway of least resistance, which often can be the case.
Pathways of greatest acceptance involve extensive consultation, cultural awareness, sensitivity, and the application of traditional and accepted learning journey principles and methodologies within the community.
In the highlands of the Philippines, Indigenous communities adopt a learning pathway through song and the News Runners. In the PNG Highlands, tribal elders will pass on learning through story telling. In the Outback of Australia, many Indigenous Groups use story telling often by the women in the community and often teachings occur through indirect methodologies.
Two skill sets are required to create effective learning pathways in Indigenous Communities; Community Development and Learning Development.
This workshop will provide examples of learning pathways experienced in three different Indigenous settings; the lessons learnt and tips and traps and some tools which participants may find useful.

Rovel, is an educator with over 28 years’ experience working in the learning environment on aid funded projects in Asia, Africa and Australia.
Projects include Early Childhood Development in the Philippines; Youth learning engagement in the Highlands of PNG, Indigenous Health Education programs in the remote, Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory, Australia, Health Education remote nomadic Sub Saharan Communities of Nigeria.
Rovel has a PhD in Economics from Warwick University and an MBA and Masters in Organisational Psychology from the University of Toronto.


Teaching to Speak – Classroom Action Research in Pronunciation Teaching

Clarendon B

Laura Chapman, Carringbush Adult Education

Pronunciation difficulties can hinder spoken communication and pose a significant hurdle for EAL learners in accessing services, building social networks, completing courses and progressing along employment pathways.
In 2016-2017, Carringbush Adult Education worked with teachers on the ‘Teaching To Speak: Communicating for Pathways’ Action Research Project, funded by the Adult Community and Further Education (ACFE) Capacity and Innovation Fund (CAIF) Round 8. The main objectives of the project were to develop teachers’ knowledge and skills in teaching pronunciation in order to assist students to improve their spoken communications skills and intelligibility, and to develop a centre-wide approach to integrating the teaching of pronunciation into all classes.

This presentation will describe the implementation of the project, including professional development for staff, assessing learner needs, delivering Action Research Cycles, using an online discussion blog for teacher reflection, producing a resource bank of tasks, and ongoing support to enable teachers to deliver a whole-of-school approach.
Participants will have the opportunity to reflect on professional development needs in their own centre and strategies for implementing action research in classrooms.

Laura Chapman coordinates the Volunteer Program and Adult Literacy Tutoring Program for Carringbush Adult Education. She has taught EAL to adults with beginner literacy for 17 years in the adult community and TAFE sectors. Laura has worked on action research in the areas of low literacy background learners, content-based instruction and teaching pronunciation. Her published EAL teaching resources include the ‘Get Wise’ series for youth in the AMEP. Laura is particularly interested in content-based instruction, family literacy, and cross-sector partnerships that facilitate community engagement for learners.


Training packages reformed

Clarendon Breakout

Tina Berghella, Oggi Consulting

Training Packages specify the skills and knowledge required to perform effectively in the workplace. Over the last few years, training package products and processes have undergone significant reform as part of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Industry and Skills Council (CISC) reform of the vocational education and training (VET) system.
This workshop provides an overview of the new operational framework that supports the development of training packages including the roles of key stakeholders, the process for training package development and endorsement and the structure of training packages. We will explore the content of training package products from a range of different industries with a focus on the different approaches used to identify and describe the foundation skills embedded in workplace tasks.
This workshop targets new and existing managers and practitioners who want to update their knowledge of training package processes and products.

Tina Berghella is the Director of Oggi Consulting, providing quality vocational education and training consulting services. Tina is a member of the Department of Education and Training’s Training Package Quality Assurance Panel responsible for undertaking quality, editorial and equity reviews of training package products. She also works for Skills Service Organisations developing training package products. Tina was formally a member of the Department of Education and Training’s Foundation Skills Community of Practice and is the author of Numeracy by Measure, Numeracy in Focus, Numeracy in Practice and the NCVER report, Seeking the N in LLN.


Morning tea

Auditorum foyer


Session B


Slot the client in


Jen Zhao, TAFESA

The research studies the Pre-training assessment interview of the Skills for Education and Employment. As part of a highly regulated program, the interview process has strict compliance requirements to meet. However the requirements have not made it a smooth procedure, rather, they bring about constant tensions in the process. The study investigates the tensions and how the tensions are managed by the assessors in the interview process.
The study adopts a qualitative orientation. The research method is informed by the multi-perspectival approach (Candlin & Crichton 2011), in particular its emphasis on the gathering of data on and mutually informing analysis of multiple perspectives relevant to the focus of the study.
The findings demonstrate that assessors’ mediation of the language assessment process is complex as it is simultaneously affected by multiple factors, in relation to both assessor and the wider context of the assessment. The assessors’ mediation is the process to reconcile the various purposes of and influences on language assessment, which are informed by different perspectives.
The study contributes to research on performance assessment by highlighting that assessors, as mediators, must remain attuned to multiple needs in their mediation of the process. It is an on-going quest for how to mediate to reconcile the various needs and purposes in language performance assessments.

I have extensive experience from more than 20 years of comprehensive involvement in adult education, training and assessment, with specialist expertise in ‘contextualised’ language, literacy and numeracy training and assessment using the Australian Core Skills Framework. I have worked as assessor, senior assessor, assessor trainer and mentor in the Skills for Education and Employment (SEE) program (previously LLNP), being involved in assessor training, mentoring and verifying across the contract delivery sites. I have just completed my PhD research on the Pre-training assessment interview process after working on it for more than 8 years.



A new resource for EAL teachers of beginner level adults

Clarendon A

Margaret Corrigan and Elizabeth Keenan, Carringbush Adult Education

Teaching adults at the beginning of their English language learning journey presents its own challenges. With a paucity of suitable, available resources, the team at Carringbush Adult Education has created a series of teacher training videos to improve teacher skill level, knowledge and confidence in meeting the needs of this learner cohort. The series of training videos includes demonstrations of research-informed approaches to teaching pronunciation, beginner-level literacy and classroom management. These free videos, each 6 to 8 minutes in length, are designed for use as a teacher training resource and can be used by individual teachers, as well as for professional development at an organisation level. The videos feature real teachers in actual classroom settings, with users guided by voice-overs and questions to promote engagement.

Margaret Corrigan is manager at Carringbush Adult Education, in inner-city Melbourne. She has been an EAL teacher for over 30 years and has taught in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as in various settings in Australia. She was awarded an International Specialised Skills Institute Fellowship to investigate best practice models of professional development for EAL/Literacy teachers. She is passionate about improving outcomes for disadvantaged CALD learners through improved teaching practice.

Elizabeth Keenan is an EAL teacher and teacher-mentor at Carringbush Adult Education in inner-city Melbourne. She is particularly passionate about pronunciation teaching of EAL learners and was awarded an International Specialised Skills Institute Fellowship to observe best practice pronunciation teaching in North America.


Analysing and assessing spelling using spelling knowledges

Clarendon B

Jan Hagston and Lee Kindler, Multifangled

The teaching of the different spelling knowledges (morphemic, etymological, phonological and visual) is a way of building the linguistic skills and processes that students need to become proficient spellers. These spelling knowledges also provide a useful framework for teachers to assess students’ strengths and weaknesses in spelling and to identify areas where students can improve their spelling by building their existing linguistic know-how.
This workshop will look at examples of students’ writing and analyse the spelling – what they get right and wrong – through the lens of the knowledges. Participants will then have the opportunity to use this strategy to analyse spelling in student written texts.

Jan Hagston has broad education experience having worked in secondary schools, TAFE institutions, adult and community education providers, universities and workplace programs undertaking teaching, product development, professional training and development and research. Much of this work has been in adult literacy.

Lee Kindler is a writer, educator and instructional designer with ten years’ experience developing resources for primary, secondary and adult learners.


WIIFM? A student perspective

Clarendon Breakout

Marianne Slade, STEPS Group Australia

‘What’s in it for me?’
This is the first question that most students will ask, either out loud or in their heads, when starting a new course or program, or when participating in learning activities.
Students want to see a purpose in what they are learning. They want to feel that the learning is meeting a need in their lives, has relevance to them and will benefit them or their families in some way.
As a SEE trainer and as a developer of Foundation Skills programs, one of my most important goals is to ensure that programs address that WIIFM question. This can be achieved through careful consideration to the planning of aims and objectives, topics, lesson plans, learning activities, resources and assessment tasks, and ensuring that, as much as possible, they cater for the interests, life experiences, social environments, learning needs, as well as learning styles of our varied student cohort, many of whom live in remote areas of Australia.
Learning needs to be engaging, purposeful and fun.
As educators let’s share ways of achieving that.

Marianne Slade is an Adult Literacy and Numeracy trainer, assessor and program developer. She has worked with students in several northern Australia communities and towns facilitating SEE (Skills for Education and Employment) and WELL (Workplace English Language and Literacy) programs.
From dusty cattle stations to remote island communities Marianne has supported many learners, often Indigenous, wishing to improve their chances for employment or further education.
In 2017 Marianne received recognition for her achievements as one of three finalists for the 2017 Australian Training Awards – the Excellence in Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice Award.


Session C



Paulo Freire: Does he matter? Is he still relevant?


Rob McCormack

Every adult literacy educator has heard of Paulo Freire, but does he still matter? Can we still learn from him? Or be inspired by him? Is he even readable? His famous book, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, is so abstract and convoluted that it is almost unreadable, especially in a time of social media induced ‘attention deficit’. Because I have been arguing that ‘founding voices’ are as important to the constitution of practical fields as the practices themselves, I feel I should ‘take my own medicine’ and try to grapple with Freire again who is clearly a founding voice of Adult Literacy as a field – to see what I can make of him 40 years later.
Following a quick survey of his life and times, I will highlight Freire’s discourse and how it diverges from assumptions we bring as readers today. I argue that this mismatch between discourse intended to constitute a community of practice and the reigning academic and critical assumptions of theoretical disciplines today invariably leads to misunderstanding, frustration or rejection. My suggestion is that once this mismatch is cleared away, we are more free to hear what Freire is trying to say and to re-constitute what he might mean for us today.

Rob McCormack retired in 2014 after 45 years as a second chance language & literacy educator. He enjoyed the good fortune to work in practitioner teams to explore new language & learning curricula across many contexts—Secondary School, Adult Literacy, Tertiary Preparation, Return to Study, Undergrad, and Postgrad. His 2000 PhD was titled: Adult Basic Education as Practical Philosophy. Over the years, Rob has written a number of books and articles, especially for Fine Print. In retirement, Rob is hoping to continue writing on language & education in second chance settings through his ongoing study of political theory, continental philosophy and ancient rhetoric.


Plumbing for Numeracy

Clarendon A

Debbie Sperandio and Astrid Donadio, Chisholm TAFE

How do plumbers use numeracy? Let’s tap into how plumbers use numeracy in their work tasks!
This workshop will explore how numeracy is embedded in work skills using plumbing as a case study. We will discuss a framework (which can be applied to any industry) for unpacking numeracy skills required for typical plumbing tasks and explore how we can plan for targeted numeracy skills development for employability.

Debbie has spent most of her teaching career teaching LLN skills in industry and has managed and facilitated over 45 WELL (Workplace English and Language) programs in a diverse range of industries, including manufacturing, construction, engineering, aged care, childcare, food processing and community services. This involved identifying and unpacking foundation skills relevant to each industry and workplace and developing workers LLN skills to meet employability needs. Debbie has worked on a range of vocational programs to support the development of foundation skills. Debbie works in the Academic and Learning Skills Support at Chisholm TAFE.
Astrid has taught in TAFE for many years in a range of foundation programmes including LLN skills in Plumbing, CGEA, VCAL, EAL, Work Education, as well as VET programmes in Business, Retail and Hospitality. She has an extensive background in Hospitality Management and operations, including the development and recruitment of staff. She understands the requirements of employers and has the ability to facilitate the transition of knowledge gained to the classroom.


Pina Pina Jarrinjaku

Clarendon B

Ros Bauer, Ros Bauer Adult Literacy Services and Barbara Napanangka Martin, Yuendumu School, Enid Nangala Gallagher and Sunaina Pinto, Pina Pina Jarrinjaku

The Pina Pina Jarrinjaku is a community learning centre for adults in Yuendumu. It is funded by Warlpiri people and managed by a Warlpiri Board. The presentation will include an overview of the Warlpiri Education Training Trust by Barbara Napanangka Martin (linguist/teacher/board member) and an overview of the operation of the Pina Pina Jarrinjaku by Enid Nangala Gallagher (literacy advisor/board member/cultural mentor).
Sunaina Pinto (program manager) will draw the links between adult literacy and the Jaru Pirrdiji Youth Program, followed by an update on the progress of the Pina Pina Jarrinjaku 26TEN pilot, socio cultural approach to adult literacy and learning by Ros Bauer.

Ros Bauer has significant experience in adult learning and adult language literacy & numeracy (LLN) in Indigenous education contexts. She is committed to adult literacy provision with a sustainable social capital approach embedding community capacity building outcomes. Her commitment to this approach is evident in the projects she undertakes such as the work she is currently doing in remote Northern Territory; which led to her award for Excellence in Adult Literacy Numeracy Practice at the 2013 Australian Training Awards. Ros has qualifications in Aboriginal education, TESOL, LLN, Vocational Education, Neuroscience & Learning; and is principal consultant for her business Ros Bauer Adult Literacy Services.
Barbara Napanangka Martin has 36 years experience as a teacher in Yuendumu and is currently working as a linguist at the Bilingual Resource Development Unit. Her role as Chair of the Warlpiri Education Training Trust (WETT) is testimony to her dedication to education, Warlpiri and English literacies and lifelong learning. Her most recent publication is ‘We always Stay’, a compilation of stories of several teachers from remote central Australia, raising awareness of the achievements of Aboriginal teachers ‘out bush’, highlighting the barriers they face and encouraging aspiring teachers to follow in their footsteps.
Enid Nangala Gallagher is a dedicated educator in her home community, Yuendumu. She works across a number of roles in her community to support adult learning. Enid is a member of the Warlpiri Education Training Trust, Board member of the Warlpiri Youth Development Aboriginal Corporation (WYDAC), Cultural mentor to non-Indigenous employees at WYDAC and literacy advisor to the Pina Pina Jarrinjaku and other engagement programs.In her role as literacy advisor to the Pina Pina Jarrinjaku she supports young Warlpiri people to pursue further studies or employment. Enid is also on the Southern Tanami Indigenous Protected Area (STIPA) committee along with other elders. The STIPA committee advise ranger teams in their land management work.Recently, she has been involved in developing an innovative STIPA digital storybook to ensure that information about traditional and modern land management practices and knowledge of country are accessible to Warlpiri rangers, Warlpiri communities and young Warlpiri people. Enid has been developing content for the storybook, and also advising on design of the storybook to ensure that this rich educational resource is appropriate for community use.
Sunaina Pinto is a feminist and community worker and has 14 years experience working with young people and families who have experienced chronic homelessness, AOD, mental health and justice issues. She is determined advocate for civil rights, young people and Australian Indigenous issues. Sunaina is interested in learning and development, with an emphasis on supporting learning processes and opportunities for marginalised and oppressed people. Sunaina is currently the youth services manager and client services manager at the Warlpiri Youth Development Aboriginal Corporation; and is currently growing her knowledge in how adult literacy and psychosocial imperatives influence youth outcomes in her new portfolio as manager for adult learning.



What to do with creativity when I’m teaching, or is that a contradiction in terms?

Clarendon Breakout

Lindee Conway and Liz Gunn, Melbourne Polytechnic

Liz Gunn and Lindee Conway are interested in two things:
1. What creative teaching and learning is, how teaching changes, how learners’ needs change and what we the teachers need to adapt (what are we now, what should we become?)
2. The 4th Workplaces are said to be in the middle of a ‘fourth industrial revolution’ referred to simply as ‘Industry 4.0’ (Corbell & Farrell) what kind of educators do we need to be, to be seen as digital workers (Robertson)

Should we be afraid, or jump straight in, give away lots of our power, save paper by teaching through the technology our learners have in their hip pockets?
Will becoming a learning teacher annihilate us, or free our spirits to think more about the things that matter: the learners’ needs?
This workshop will do more than pose challenging questions – it will offer practical, mobile, help to convince us all that it’s time for us to change our methods.
‘The workshop aims to demonstrate ‘the ability to generate courage?’ (Pratt, cited in Jones)
At the end, we hope you’ll say:
I was a teacher, now I’m a digital creative – how my life got scary and then got okay again.

Take the creativity survey

Interesting podcast

Lindee Conway has worked in adult education since she was in her twenties. She still loves thinking about creative teaching. Reflecting on her time as an early teacher, she is aghast how teacher-centric she was. Lucky she was well-meaning as well as creative. She loves discussions about learners and learning.
A teacher in the multilingual northern suburbs of Melbourne, Elizabeth Gunn is currently curious about, and reading and thinking about, creativity. Over her career she has developed a comprehensive overview of the education field through her work in a range of settings in the Northern Territory, Victoria and China. Her focus is always on how her work can enhance her learners.



Auditorum foyer


Keynote: Educating Against Storied Assumptions: Leveraging Practice by Changing Mindset


Dr. Darlene Ciuffetelli Parker
Professor in the Faculty of Education at Brock University, Canada

Income inequality is a complex issue. In our current society steeped in myths, stereotypes and assumptions, how can we work together to change mindset? This keynote will focus on storied narrative research in Canadian schools to gain insight on poverty and its intersectionality on mental health, race, gender, identity, policy, and how schools are working to identify and address systemic, persistent inequities and barriers of students’ lived context and the effect on their wellness and achievement. The audience will be engaged with how school districts are working to create a shift in teaching and leadership practices in order to narrow the gap for systemic barriers, and to move beyond tolerance, to equity and action in education.


Session D


CGEA and EAL Framework: what has changed?


Nadia Casarotto and Cheryl Bartolo, Curriculum Maintenance Managers, Victoria University

The Certificates in General Education for Adults (CGEA) and the EAL Framework have recently undergone reaccreditation and contain a number of changes in response to practitioner feedback. This session provides an overview of these changes and how they have strengthened the curriculum.
The Certificates in General Education for Adults (CGEA) are widely used both here in Victoria and across Australia. They are used with diverse learners to re-engage them in learning and to provide vocational and further study pathways through the development of literacy, numeracy and general education skills. The EAL Framework is used across a number of educational settings including Adult & Community Education (ACE), TAFE and private RTOs in Victoria and nationally. The diverse courses in the EAL Framework provide pathways to further study, training and employment for a range of English language learners as well as facilitating community engagement.

Nadia Casarotto and Cheryl Bartolo are the Curriculum Maintenance Managers for General Studies and Further Education. Part of their role includes the monitoring and maintenance of Victorian accredited curriculum in the Foundation skills area including the CGEA, EAL Framework, Certificate I in Transition Education and Certificate I in Work Education and the Certificates in Mumgu-dhal tyama-tiyt .


From heutagogy to meigmagogy

Clarendon A

Leigh Dwyer, Melbourne Polytechnic

Rationale: Vocational education training, English language teaching, and adult education in general have seen the difficulty of students of mixed ability in the same class.
Background: ‘From andragogy to heutagogy’ (Hase, S. and Kenyon, C. (2000)) was an important contribution to realising opportunities for self-determined learning has been useful in the context of mixed ability cohorts.
Objectives: The goal of meigmagogy is be a teacher’s tool box for teaching classes of mixed-ability students.
A core premise of this methodology is that every class, no-matter how homogenous, is a mixed-level class, and that students learn better when they understand and accept the way they are being taught, which is why everything in this method is explained through the use of analogy.
Implications: This presentation outlines a range of strategies and corresponding example activities that help teachers manage classes of mixed ability. Meigmagogy uses fitness analogies such as ‘push ups’ and ‘yoga’ to demonstrate the strategies that are used.
Examples: The presentation shows how some activities (like push ups) involve an activity that can be graded in difficulty through repetition, whereas other activities (like yoga) can be graded to different levels of difficulty through extension (like touching one’s knee or touching toes).

Foundation studies programme leader at Melbourne Polytechnic, Leigh is an experienced English language and VET trainer, having taught both international and local students, and is currently involved in the AMEP programme. He has experience working with refugees and asylum seekers in Nauru and has developed strategies that assist learners to be successful in environments where students of mixed abilities are required to study together. Leigh has held leadership positions in registered training organisations and continues to drive innovative practices in classroom delivery to bring about improved learning opportunities for all students, and to provide support to his teaching team.



Using resources outside the classroom to help students learn

Clarendon B

Svitlana Harasymiv, Olympic Adult Education

This workshop focuses on ways EAL teachers can better ustilise students’ time outside the classroom to learn English. As Australia is in an English-speaking country, students are surrounded with English learning opportunities. Yet, as teachers we often do not draw upon this rich resource and, instead, rely heavily upon what takes place in the formal classroom environment to help students learn. This workshop explores easy, student-centred activities that teachers can include in their lesson plans to help students learn not only in but also outside the classroom and to share such out-of-class experiences with their peers.

Lana Harasymiv has worked in EAL education, in both teaching and management roles, for over 25 years, including 12 years teaching English in Japan. She has a Masters and Graduate Diplomas in TESOL. Since 2015, Lana Harasymiv has presented many national webinars to EAL and ELICOS professionals on a wide range of topics ranging from course registration and compliance to effective teaching strategies. Her focus is on student-centred approaches encouraging students to take responsibility for their own learning, not only in but, also, outside the classroom .


FSKNUM2018 – Use detailed maps to plan travel routes for LN

Clarendon Breakout

Joanne Medlin, ACAL

Element Performance Criteria
Elements describe the essential outcomes.
Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element.
1. Identify and interpret detailed maps
1.1 Identify and interpret different types of LN stakeholders
1.2 Identify key features of LN stakeholders
1.3 Identify and interpret motivations

2. Solve problems using maps for travel routes
2.1 Apply scales to calculate actual distances to goals
2.2 Determine positions using current information
2.3 Plan route by determining directions
3. Apply information from maps to workplace tasks
3.1 Gather information and identify and check relevant factors related to planning a route
3.2 Select relevant equipment and check for accuracy and operational effectiveness
3.3 Plan task

Who is making the decisions on where you go as a literacy and numeracy teacher? Step outside the small-screen GPS view and look at the whole map in this session to identify the stakeholders who are making decisions about adult literacy in Australia. Identify gaps where decisions are lacking, and discuss possible actions to address those gaps.

Jo Medlin is a member of ACAL and NSWALNC and works for TAFE NSW as a SkillsPoints Industry Relationship Lead. A lover of maps (when they can be turned around to match the journey) Jo prefers to see the whole route rather than just the immediate stretch of road.


Afternoon tea (on the go)

Both levels


Session E


Identifying Numerate Behaviour in Adults with Intellectual Disabilities in Everyday Contexts


Lorraine Gaunt, University of Queensland

The way in which disability is conceptualised and defined impacts on policy and legislation and in turn, the way in which societies and communities interact with people with disabilities (Mitra, 2006). A modern society should recognise and value the individuality and contribution of all of its people, including those with intellectual disabilities, affording them the right to fully participate in every aspect of society.
Numeracy is relevant to work, personal and citizenship roles for all adults including adults with intellectual disabilities. Numeracy is a foundation for a modern technologically advanced and productive society (Goos, Dole & Geiger, 2012). Enhancing the development of numeracy for adults with intellectual disabilities improves their quality of life (Faragher & Brown, 2005).
This study investigated the numeracy demands and explored opportunities to enhance numerate behaviour for adults with intellectual disabilities within the context of their daily activities. Through the lens of a modern conceptualisation of numeracy this presentation shares results from the first phase of this research, identifying numerate behaviour of adults with intellectual disability in four different contexts.

Lorraine Gaunt taught secondary maths and science before moving into the field of special education. She spent 25 years in high schools working with students with disabilities in mainstream classes and in the transition of students to successful post school lives.
In 2005, Lorraine obtained a Master of Philosophy after completing research into numeracy and adults with Down syndrome in the Latch-On (Literacy and Technology-Hands-On) program at UQ. She is presently working towards her PhD, researching numeracy for adults with intellectual disabilities, an area important for developing independence in adults with intellectual disabilities.


We need an award for everything we do!

Clarendon A

Kathrin Colgan, Chisholm Institute

Reflection’s of winning the Australian Training Awards Excellence in Language, Literacy and Numeracy Award in 2017 posed some interesting questions. We need LLN teachers everywhere to come and answer them! How do we show leadership, innovation and collaboration in our daily working lives in a way that we can describe on an application form? This workshop focuses on offering reflections from previous winners of the Excellence in LLN Practice Award, the importance of the award as a tool to reflect our own professional practice with in the whole VET sector and promotion of what you do as practitioners. The workshop is for those interested in applying, those who wonder what it’s all about and those who need to give themselves a pat on the back: i.e. all of us!

From Victoria, Kathrin began her career as a drama and dance teacher, eventually moving into a range of LLN roles where she helped Australians of all ages secure meaningful jobs in their chosen careers. Kathrin’s professional efforts were recognised with the 2017 Excellence in Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice Award she received at the Australian Training Awards.



Harnessing the strength in learner diversity to collaborate in authentic contexts

Clarendon B

Joyce Sim and Heidi Viviani, Swinburne University of Technology

Adult learner environments are diverse in nature, more so in a literacy class, where language itself is another source of diversity. With students’ diverse ethnicity, life experiences, age, educational background, skills and knowledge, basic communication is a barrier to participating in classroom and society.

An authentic context motivates learners to overcome their fears. Drawing on students’ diversity and prior knowledge signals to them that their contribution is valued, giving them confidence to move beyond the comfort zone of the classroom.

With a shared belief in student-centred learning, scaffolding empowered students’ independent decision-making. Students undertook the ‘Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea’ as a fund-raiser, developing it as a project. English, computer, and oral communication skills were all used in preparing and implementing this event. Students built on their experience and skills, using them in new, authentic contexts.

The results exceeded expectations. Students reflected that they felt pride and confidence in their abilities, learned teamwork and communication skills, and experienced joy in learning. The teachers shared in the learners’ joy and sense of pride.

Based on the success of this teaching and learning experience, we want to share our approach in the hope that it can be applied across different learning environments.

Heidi Viviani has been teaching adult learners in General Education at Swinburne TAFE for 10 years. Her interest is in making learning relevant and finding new ways to engage students, especially those who have had limited or negative learning experiences.
Prior to joining Swinburne, Joyce Sim taught English and Literature in secondary schools in Singapore. She now teaches adult literacy and computer skills in General Education. Her passion is using student-centred approaches in the classroom to make teaching and learning enjoyable.
In 2017, both presenters were awarded the Swinburne PAVE Excellence Award (Innovations, New Programs or Initiatives) for the ‘Biggest Morning Tea’ project.


Delivering LLN globally

Clarendon Breakout

Dr Chris Ho, Box Hill Institute

The introduction of the using a Learning Management System for the delivery of the LLN411 unit of competence was designed and developed in 2017 for implementation in 2018. The intention behind this introduction was to provide training in our sister colleges from our offshore campuses in Kuwait, China, Malaysia and Vietnam.
We needed to develop a product that was both personal, user friendly, transparent, interactive and compliant. The end product was one which incorporated the use of our student web, interactive echo 360 sessions, online discussion forum, Q & A, confidential dialogues, online quiz, online submission box, online assessment appeal, videos and Power point presentations.
We have today, one submission online and in the process of completing the full unit assessment requirements.

Arrived in Australia in 1978, as a refugee (boat person). Struggled with the English, and family life balance as Mum and two little sisters passed away whilst escaping from Vietnam. However it was this struggled which helped me established an intrinsic need to succeed, both for myself and my father.
Worked hard and persisted with my education, as I build a life for me and my family. At the age of twenty one, I achieve my bachelor in Chemistry. I then went on to achieve further education in the Master degree and in 2016 achieved my Doctor of Education.
I now work in a responsible and challenging role to provide staff development for all teaching staff, and to provide support with special projects in our partnering organisations.
Life is Great, and yes one can achieve anything if one sets their mind to it. A refugee to a Doctor of Education, a dream come true.


Conference Chat and Chill (ticketed event)

Auditorum foyer

Friday, Sept 14, 2018





Keynote: Bad, Wrong, Stupid, Don’t Belong: Shifting Perspectives


Dr. Jenny Horsman, Community-based researcher and educator, Canada

Jenny’s handout





Session F



Making Literacy Stick – providing students with opportunities and practice to apply their newly acquired literacy skills.


Bob Boughton, University of New England and Deborah Durnan, Literacy for Life Foundation

This workshop draws on the experience of delivering the Yo, Si Puedo! (Yes, I Can!) model of literacy for Indigenous adults in Australia. This Campaign approach was developed in Cuba and has been delivered in 30 different countries. The Campaign has been running in a number of sites in Australia over the last six years. As well as the delivery, there has been ongoing research and development of Yes, I Can! The model is made up of three phases: Phase 1: mobilisation and socialisation which includes the preparations and awareness raising in the community that is necessary to drive the campaign. Phase 2 delivery of the 64 literacy lessons, and Phase 3: the post literacy activities.
This workshop will focus on the research and outcomes of phase 3, the coordinated strategy to consolidate and extend, over a 3 month timeframe, the newly acquired basic literacy skills of those participants who successfully complete the 13 week basic skills course. Participants who complete the 64 basic literacy lessons are provided with the opportunity to engage in a range of additional formal and/or non-formal adult education activities over the following months. The Post-literacy Campaign Project Officer and local Coordinator design individual pathways for each participant. The aim is to identify a pathway into further study, training, employment and / or community development work.

Peer reviewed paper

Bob Boughton has worked as a community development worker and adult educator since the 1970s. He is currently an Associate Professor in the School of Education at the University of New England in Armidale, NSW, where his research focuses on the role of popular education in development in marginalised and impoverished communities. From 2006 – 2010, he worked with the Cuban education mission in Timor-Leste on that country’s national adult literacy campaign. Since 2012, he has been researching and evaluating the Literacy for Life Foundation adult literacy campaign in Aboriginal communities in NSW. He is currently the project leader on a longitudinal study of the impact of the campaign on the social determinants of health, funded by the Australian Research Council.
Deborah Durnan has worked and published in the field of Aboriginal adult education and community development for almost 30 years in the Northern Territory, NSW, and the Kimberley region of WA. From 2007 to 2011 she was a member of the UNE team which evaluated the Timor-Leste Adult Literacy Campaign and worked with the Cuban educators to train local staff. Since 2011, the focus of Deborah’s work has been implementing the National Aboriginal Adult Literacy Campaign in western NSW in partnership with University of New England and the Literacy for Life Foundation (LFLF), the national Aboriginal organisation which leads the Yes, I Can! campaign in Australia. Deborah’s role was as the National Campaign Coordinator until 2018. She is currently the Workforce Development & Training consultant for the LFLF.


Keynote followup – Peace Together: Collaborative Research Towards a Human Rights Youth Strategy in Teaching and Teacher Education

Clarendon A

Dr. Darlene Ciuffetelli Parker, Professor in the Faculty of Education at Brock University, Canada

This workshop is based on a Canadian equity research collaborative (university, district school boards, community organizations), that strives to better understand the lived experiences of racialized and marginalized youth based on, but not limited to income, race, gender and sexual identity, (dis)ability, mental health, culture, immigration, and inclusive education. The collaborative network’s mission is to: 1) advance deep understanding via an interactive evidenced-informed and practice-based human rights youth strategy to identify and eradicate systemic barriers, unconscious bias/assumptions, and discrimination in school systems and communities; 2) mobilize strategies and criteria for achieving equitable access to learning and achievement, and; 3) advance educator knowledge, youth voice, and parent engagement that will re-shape curriculum, school programming/systems, and community partnership.

During this workshop participants will have the opportunity to:

  • Learn how to form a collaborative (community of practice)
  • Hear about research data results to look deeply into storied practices of educators, how practices are reformed, and how student voice and parent engagement are solutions for problematizing issues in systems
  • Be involved in innovative activities that will provoke difficult but courageous conversations about systemic barriers in school systems

Activities are interactive and innovative and will include:

  • Simulation of scenarios from the youth strategy research collaborative
  • Active engagement of narrative ‘cases’ from research project with direct participation of participants to build knowledge capacity of student voice, parent engagement, and shifting practices
  • Activity on how to leverage practice, change mindset, and disrupt conversations of systemic bias, practices and processes

Questions that guide participants throughout the workshop:

  1. What do we do about the stark reality of deficit thinking and practices including: discrimination, bias, and systemic barriers in classrooms and educational spaces?
  2. How can we leverage our practice towards equity? (What’s equity in relation to leverage- in -practice?)
  3. How do we change mindset in our changing world (by educators, leaders, community, systems) to leverage practice and achievement?
  4. How can we form authentic relational cross-sector partnerships that attend to the mission of equity in educational spaces, for the trust, respect, integrity and care that all students, educators, communities, and families deserve?


The Language of Character – What is right with you?

Clarendon B

Judy Hilton, TAFE SA

‘The limits of my language are the limits of my mind – all I know is what I have words for’ (Ludwig Wittgenstein)

We are naturally skilled at spotting faults and ‘areas for improvement’ in ourselves and others. When asked to describe our strengths we can struggle to pinpoint what makes us unique, and what supports our optimal performance.

The Handbook of Character Strengths and Virtues (CSV) is a classification of widely valued positive traits that contribute to mental health and optimal functioning. In the same way that the DSM classifies symptoms of psychological illness, the CSV is referred to as a manual of the sanities. Research shows that character strengths can be used to address a variety of life challenges and achieve positive personal and professional outcomes (VIAcharacter.org). By understanding and using the language of the 24 character strengths, individuals can appreciate their own unique character profile, the strengths and value of others, and ways to support their performance and wellbeing.

This interactive session will explore the 24 character strengths and use this language to spot strengths of character. Examples of using character strengths with students and resources to help identify what is ‘right’ with us will be provided.

Judy Hilton is a career educator with over 20 years’ experience in early childhood, school and adult education. She has qualifications in management, counselling and education, and recently completed the Masters in Applied Positive Psychology at University of Melbourne. Judy is currently teaching Positive Psychology and Wellbeing Science at TAFESA, and is passionate about embedding skills to support psychological health and wellbeing into adult education settings.



Spelling knowledges: taking a strategic approach

Clarendon Breakout

Jan Hagston and Lee Kindler, Multifangled

Adult literacy learners often identify spelling as a problem. They see their poor spelling as evidence of deficient writing skills and lack of general English proficiency and, like it or not, we are judged on our spelling.
Spelling knowledge has been found to be connected to other areas of literacy. It can help learners understand how words work at the levels of sound, structure and meaning which can enhance vocabulary and develop reading comprehension. It is difficult for many people to develop spelling skills through exposure to print alone. Research has shown that explicit teaching of spelling can significantly improve students’ spelling performance.
A number of theorists have advocated the teaching of several spelling knowledges as a way of building the linguistic skills and processes that students need to become proficient spellers. In this workshop we will look at developing spelling knowledges – morphemic, etymological, phonological and visual.
We will focus on activities that build on adult learners’ existing knowledge and skills, provide the flexibility that adult learners need, and focus on applying knowledge in real-life situations.

Jan Hagston has broad education experience having worked in secondary schools, TAFE institutions, adult and community education providers, universities and workplace programs undertaking teaching, product development, professional training and development and research. Much of this work has been in adult literacy.
Lee Kindler is a writer, educator and instructional designer with ten years’ experience developing resources for primary, secondary and adult learners.


Morning tea

Auditorum foyer


Session G


Prioritising people: From skills to wellbeing outcomes


Judy Hunter and Jane Furness, WMIER, University of Waikato and Bronwyn Yates, Literacy Aotearoa

For the past two decades, the dominant paradigm of literacy and numeracy provision in Australasia and many OECD countries has been skills-based, underpinned by international and national standardised testing regimes. At the same time, there is a growing awareness of the importance of literacy and numeracy learning as meaningful for people in their everyday lives. In large part, it has been limited to anecdotal commentary and brief acknowledgment in policy documents, despite providers’ widespread recognition. This presentation reports on an ongoing study to capture the nature and extent of wellbeing outcomes of literacy and numeracy programmes in Aotearoa. In partnership with Literacy Aotearoa and in collaboration with literacy and numeracy tutors and learners, it aims to extend the applicability of a 2011 Maori wellbeing framework, Hei Ara Ako ki te Oranga, to diverse multicultural settings. The framework is being refined and trialled in community programmes with the aim of highlighting connections between literacy and numeracy and individual learner-driven wellbeing. It will contribute to awareness of broader outcomes to enhance learners’ ownership of learning and tutors’ ongoing programme planning. It will also enable a more complete picture of outcomes to be recognised, valued and enhanced.

Judy Hunter and Jane Furness are Research Fellows at the Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research, the University of Waikato. Judy’s research approach focuses on understanding the ways that people make sense of their world through language and literacy in use. A community psychologist, Jane brings together her interests in wellbeing and education in her research and teaching. Bronwyn Yates is Te Tumuaki (CEO) of Literacy Aotearoa, the foremost deliverer of adult L/N education in New Zealand. It has an explicit commitment to Maori learners within a broader commitment to all learners. Katrina Taupo is a Literacy Aotearoa researcher. She has particular expertise in research with, by and for Maori learners.


Negotiating Policy-Renegotiating Practice: Understanding LLN Teachers’ Professional Identities within Discursive Weather Systems

Clarendon A

Julianne Krusche, Federation University Australia

This presentation provides a synopsis of a PhD thesis that examined the professional identities of teachers in light of VET policy reform. Although the reform has been national, this study was located within Victoria. It was specifically interested in the professional identities of Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) teachers who work within the Vocational Education and Training sector. This study brought the voices of LLN specialists to the forefront. Poststructural theory, with particular emphasis on the work of Michel Foucault was used to make sense of these voices, collectively known as the ‘voice of practice’.

This study treated professional identity as a multiple term encompassing a range of assigned roles and chosen identities. The teachers involved in this study actively negotiated various discourses related to the shaping of professional identity. The effects of this were threefold: LLN teachers ascribed to certain identity positions in line with government policy and institute directives; they preserved other identities; and they forged new identities based on opportunism and a resistance to policy discourse. Finally, while there has been a decline in the Adult Community Education voice in policy development, within practice, this study found that teachers have retained a voice through the maintenance and creation of teaching practices that sit outside policy.

Julianne has been employed by Federation University Australia (and its predecessor institutions) for over 20 years both as a teacher and manager of a wide range of vocational education and training (VET) programs. Currently she is an Associate Director of Federation College which encompasses diverse roles. This includes overseeing the delivery of Corrections based programs across two prison sites and overseeing the quality and compliance of all VET and Higher Ed courses and programs within Federation College.
Julianne’s specialised area of knowledge and passion is in the adult literacy and numeracy (LLN) which led to the completion of PhD research in this area.


Demonstrating some personal resilience in the face of …..(3.01). Understanding Learning in the ACSF.

Clarendon B

Philippa McLean, Escalier McLean Consulting and Anne Howard, Victoria University, Manager Western Melbourne English Program

The Core Skill of Learning in the ACSF has been a challenge for many to understand and apply with confidence. This session will show how to translate the ACSF Performance Features of the Learning skill into accessible language that teachers and assessors can use to guide practice and rate performance. Can this skill also trap those developments we see in our learners but are more difficult to rate, e.g. improvements in confidence? This new resource, developed by Philippa and Anne, provides examples of all the Learning Performance Features contextualised to different settings, e.g. an Indigenous community program, a large TAFE, a community provider. The presenters will welcome your comments about this new resource and give you support to use the resource as a model to contextualise to your own conditions. Come along and be part of developing this new resource.

Philippa McLean has extensive and successful experience in the VET sector, with particular expertise in Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy LLN. In recent years Philippa’s prime focus has been on the delivery of professional development and project work for the adult LLN sector at a state-wide and national level. She also delivers LLN accredited qualifications at AQF levels 4, 5 and 8. Philippa has worked on national projects developing exemplar LLN assessment tools and delivery resources. Philippa also undertakes independent validation of LLN assessment tools and processes.
Philippa was the project manager and key writer for the development of the Australian Core Skills Framework, ACSF (Commonwealth of Australia 2012).


Between the Lines – seeing invisible trauma: teaching and learning

Clarendon Breakout

Linno Rhodes, Olympic Adult Education

Thanks to the International Specialised Skills Institute, I have had the opportunity to visit thought leaders and experts in the fields of trauma, adult learning and violence in the US, Canada and the UK.
Attachment systems, the polyvagal system, and neuroscience can assist and support adult literacy teachers to understand the dynamics in classrooms and to work with learners to develop a safe and secure space for learners to co-regulate, recognise their optimum learning styles and achieve learning successes.
Students, who access ACE, often have experienced trauma. The effect of trauma on the brain is well documented; it can manifest in distress, which in turn, arrests classroom learning. Upon returning to the learning space as adults, learners come with knowledge of their ‘lack’ of literacy skills and the stigma attached to it. They also often disregard their strengths and the skills and tools they have used to get by. When adult students attend ACE to address their literacy and numeracy needs, they often revert to the coping styles they used in their formative school years. This workshop will give information and invite participants to reflect on their teaching styles and learn new skills in addressing adult learners’ needs with particular focus on growth mindset, regulation of emotions and understanding the brain/mind/relationship triad.

Linno Rhodes is a 2017 International Specialised Skills Foundation Fellowship recipient. She is interested in the idea that adult literacy learners who are trauma survivors are re-traumatised when they re-enter the learning space. As teachers and managers, we need to understand this and find (creative) ways of supporting students to feel safe to learn and succeed in the classroom.
Linno works at Olympic Adult Education as the Education Manager. She coordinates the language, literacy and numeracy programs. She is the Co-President of VALBEC and on the Editorial Committee of Fine Print.


Session H


A literacy perspective on the gig economy


Dr Chris Corbel, University of Melbourne

Workplaces are said to be in the middle of a ‘fourth industrial revolution’. A feature of ‘Industry 4.0’ is the use of freelance workers engaged in ‘micro-tasking’ in what is known as the ‘gig economy’.
We are engaged in a project based on the belief that a key issue in Industry 4.0 is understanding the nature of the literate practice of contemporary work, and the literacy texts and practices that underpin the skills, knowledge and attributes required in the new workplaces. In other words, if we hope prepare people for Industry 4.0, then we need to understand Literacy 4.0.
In this paper we present our initial findings concerning the literacy practices of seven gig economy platforms. We find that textual entry to the gig economy can be quite simple. However, thriving rather than simply surviving may require a much more complex engagement with texts. There is a need to establish status and reputation textually and constantly ‘curate’ it.
We identify four core text types in gig economy platform events- profiles, posts, bids and reviews. Core text types are simple and alphabetic rather than multimodal, while the complexity of other texts varies greatly.
We conclude with the implications for literacy professionals.

Dr Chris Corbel is a member of the Language and Literacy Research Hub and the Centre for Vocational Education and Policy at the University of Melbourne Graduate School of Education. Chris has extensive experience in post-compulsory, vocational and tertiary education, in the public, not-for-profit, and private sectors, leading curriculum, professional and resource development projects, managing teaching and learning support units, and teaching and researching curriculum and pedagogy from an applied linguistics perspective. He is currently working on the Literacy 4.0 project, which is examining the literacy needs of workers in the gig economy and smart factories.


Keynote followup: Learning in the Aftermath of Violence: Getting Practical

Clarendon A

Dr. Jenny Horsman Community-based researcher and educator, Canada

In this workshop we will dig deeper into how to create space for your own curiosity and that of the students you work with.

We will look at what it takes to connect deeply, even with the most difficult students, the ones who are in your face, absent, or seemingly disengaged and unmotivated.

We will explore how to teach students conscious awareness about how brains adapt to violence, trauma, and neglect. Creative solutions can flow when we recognize the ways that the stress of learning something new can activate those old pathways.

You will look at how to create conditions for learning in your setting. So bring your concerns about your most challenging students, and your frustrations with your workplace.

When we turn towards the hard stuff we can become far more creative and successful in supporting learning. Although we are dealing with difficult material we will have fun.

Everyone welcome, whatever your role.


How volunteers are improving literacy and numeracy for current and future generations in Tasmania.

Clarendon B

Kerrie Blyth, LINC Tasmania

This presentation provides an insight into LINC Tasmania’s successful adult and family literacy program. Its focus is on how volunteers are improving literacy and numeracy for current and future generations in Tasmania. Twenty-four adult literacy coordinators work across Tasmania and their role is to recruit, manage, support and retain over 400 volunteers in the literacy program. The program provides personal and small group tutoring support to adults seeking to improve their reading, writing, communication, digital, learning and numeracy skills. As a 26TEN member, our commitment is to help the one in two Tasmanians who lack the basic skills needed for life in a technologically-rich world. The presentation will highlight the significant contribution of literacy volunteers to this core service by investigating their roles, commitment, enthusiasm, training and practice. Our strength lies within the capacity of our volunteers to give so freely to others who have decided to make a positive change in their life. Using multimedia, we will share with you the stories of some of these volunteers who work with literacy coordinators and clients in diverse communities. In sharing these stories and providing information about LINC Tasmania’s literacy program and the 26Ten network, this presentation will provide an opportunity for conference participants to reflect on their own programs and volunteers, to make comments and to ask questions.

Kerrie Blyth is a LINC Tasmania Adult and Family Literacy Coordinator with extensive experience working with adults, and a passion for giving them opportunities to grow. Her base is in the North-West of Tasmania where she works to strengthen and extend learning opportunities and further develop literacy and numeracy skills for this community. Kerrie’s career began in vocational education libraries after which she sought to diversify by becoming a TAFE teacher, Adult Education tutor and an e-learning product specialist. At this conference, Kerrie will share her knowledge and experience of working with volunteer literacy tutors.


Professionalising our Practice

Clarendon Breakout

Karen Dymke, Thoughtfulworks

The Adult Learning sector is a highly specialised sector with significant demands. It has long been regarded as the pointy end of educational need. Yet, as a field it has not always enjoyed the acknowledgement, funding or research meted out to other educational sectors. Karen Dymke has recently returned from a study tour to Europe through the International Specialised Skills Institute and the Department of Education and Training, Higher Education and Skills Group, International Vocational Training Fellowship.
Karen will share her findings from the trip on her particular focus, the Professionalisation of Adult Educators, including implications and recommendations for moving forward in Australia.

Karen Dymke has over thirty years’ experience across a range of sectors, as a teacher, trainer, senior leader, coach and consultant. Her work includes lecturing at Latrobe University in Alternative Educational Models, including ACFE, VET and the VCAL, as well as travelling Australia presenting on the latest research in education. Karen’s work has been acknowledged through the Outstanding Teacher/Trainer of the Year award from the TAFE Development Centre and a Scholarship to investigate Innovative Learning. She has recently returned from Europe on Fellowship from the International Specialised Skills Institute investigating the Professionalization of Adult Educators.



Auditorum foyer


Arch Nelson Address; Cultivating ‘heart power’


Lynne Matheson, VALBEC


Session J


Embedded research informing policy and practice in foundation level workplace training programmes


Anne Alkema, Industry Training Federation

New Zealand’s results in the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) are much like those in Australia. This translates to around 43 percent of our adult populations not being fully equipped with skills in literacy, numeracy and problem-solving in technology rich environments that enable them to participate fully in learning, life and work.

Each year the Workplace Literacy and Numeracy Fund supports around 7000 foundation level learners to gain these skills. Within this work is an embedded research and evaluation programme run by the Skills Highway team at the Industry Training Federation. Its purpose includes:

  • providing evidence to government about the outcomes/impact of funded programmes on individual employees and the companies
  • using research evidence in an ongoing way to inform policy and practice
  • sharing evidence with practitioners so they actively engage with research to inform practice

This presentation describes the research and evaluation methods, findings from projects, and the value of having an ongoing research programme to inform policy and practice. It will also describe a ‘work in progress’, co-funded by Ako Aotearoa, that is investigating the teaching and workplace learning practices that support successful outcomes for Maori and Pasifika workplace employees.

Anne Alkema is the Skills Highway Research Manager and has worked in education as a teacher, public servant, and for the last 11 years as a researcher and evaluator. Her main area of work is in adult literacy and numeracy where her focus has been on the economic and social impact of New Zealand government policies and the extent to which these policy settings are working for target groups and industries.


The Mega Multi Class

Clarendon A

Ruth Ryan and Tanja Cuka, Chisholm Institute

Got 17 levels in one class? 40 people on the roll? Half part time? In out, up, down and around and if you’re lucky you can have a volunteer as well! This workshop is about not just coping in a multi level class, it is about succeeding and conquering and having fun along the way. A mix of technology and role play offers an insight to the skills and knowledge of the EAL teacher. Come along and BYOD as well as your acting skills! Can you take the crown for the most challenging student?

Ruth Ryan is an EAL teacher with a passion for projects and technology as a means to empowering students with tools to learn at their own pace. She prefers a lovely single level class – don’t we all, but the reality of teaching today requires skills in the multi-level EAL world.

Tanja Cuka has worked in a range of teaching roles in Australia and overseas. She has taught English as an Additional Language to children in mainstream primary schools and to adults in the community and TAFE sectors. Tanja has taught beginners through to advanced students and has been involved in designing and delivering literacy and numeracy programs targeting the specific needs of disadvantaged groups such as refugee women and children. She is interested in using technology and innovative teaching practices to engage students and foster communicative classrooms.


Feminist Pedagogy in 21st Century VET

Clarendon B

Helaine Costello and Janette Riggs, TAFE SA

Since the 1990s, the TAFE SA Certificates in Women’s Education, have offered women access to educational opportunities in LLN and preparatory education in the VET sector. The majority of students who participate in this program come from a low socio-economic background, have experienced or are experiencing abuse, have been diagnosed with a mental illness and have been educationally disadvantaged.

With the use of a feminist pedagogical approach and the inclusion of feminist theory, this women only program, has proven to be transformational for its students. Over the years a strong core of committed lecturers and advocates in Women’s Services, have worked hard to maintain the integrity of this course whilst meeting the challenges of the changing VET sector.

In the past year we have faced an additional challenge to re-write the curriculum for re-accreditation under the relevant ‘Standards for VET Accredited Courses 2012, Standards for Training Packages and the Australian Qualifications Framework’ with a focus on meeting current industry requirements. We have succeeded in developing certificates II to IV for women that meet these requirements, while aiming to provide a transformational educational experience for women.

During this workshop we will describe how we have incorporated feminist pedagogy and theory into the newly accredited curriculum and share the voices of students who speak of their own transformational experiences.

Helaine Costello and Janette Riggs are Senior Lecturers in Women’s Education at TAFE SA. Between them they have 70 years of combined experience in teaching in TAFE, with at least 60 of those years in Women’s Education.
During 2017/18 they worked together to develop three Certificates in Women’s Education for national accreditation; the Certificate II in Vocational Preparation for Women, Certificate III in Women’s Advocacy and Certificate IV in Women’s Advocacy.
They are not as old as you think!



Engagement for better learning, retention and pathways: how we can best assist our students

Clarendon Breakout

Julie Randolph-Davis, TAFE Queensland (TELLS)

Despite limited and competitive funding models, there is a need to continue best practice in engaging students in foundational skills training. The discussion in this session will revolve around three areas:
1. Our students:

  • Their backgrounds
  • Barriers to participation
  • Voice in their learning

2. Our practice and how we:

  • Maintain our expertise
  • Focus on customer/client service skills to enhance student-centred teaching and learning
  • Gather student feedback and address it
  • Continue to utilise Adult learning principles
  • Assist those new to the field via mentoring or professional development

3. The networks we need to maintain to support students via:

  • Using student feedback to inform programming
  • Engaging with key stakeholders to identify pathways and opportunities for students
  • Building networks between the sectors of community, education and training industry
  • Working together to demonstrate linkages and share information
  • Identifying competing programs or funding sources
  • And clarifying the role of each program for maximising the benefit to students.

The goal of the session is to share and brainstorm ideas toward building a clearer understanding of our role in supporting students in the current literacy/numeracy context.

Julie Randolph-Davis is a Senior Educational Consultant at TAFE Queensland English Language Services (TELLS). Julie has been in the literacy/numeracy field for 20 years. She has taught in a variety of settings: disengaged youth, students with disabilities, matured aged job seekers and the workplace. She currently mentors TAFE Queensland educational staff in the SEE and AMEP programs. Previous to her work in the sector, Julie has worked in advertising and has been a sign language interpreter.

Afternoon tea (grab and go)

Auditorium foyer



Auditorium foyer

Conference sponsors, supporters and exhibitors

Adult. Community and Further Education


The Bookery

Parliament of Victoria