June 2020 | VALBEC | Web version

2020: The UN Year of Plant Health
1. From the President
2. Free Book Offer

2020: The UN Year of Plant Health

I recently read Bruce Pascoe’s book Dark Emu. Definitely inspired by Andrew Bolt’s criticism of the book – I thought; therefore it must be good. It highlights gaps in education of the Indigenous history of Australia.
A good start in teaching about Aboriginal Australia would be to see how they domesticated plants: sowing, harvesting irrigating and storing seed for making flour to bake bread. This negates the long held hunter-gatherer viewpoint, where Aboriginal people are seen as nomadic. In turn, we learn they were far more sophisticated than they have been depicted in white Australia. An interesting aspect of Pascoe’s book is that it uses white settlers’ accounts to describe scenes of Aboriginal farming and domestic life.
Now the traditional Aboriginal way of producing natural grains for flour and bread has been restored.
This article also recounts the controversy started by Bolt and escalated by Josephine Cashman, who requested the AFP investigate Pascoe for allegedly benefiting from “false” claims of aboriginality.
Pascoe’s TED talk on Indigenous farming techniques and native plants can be viewed here, where adopting traditional Aboriginal farming is seen as an important strategy to lessen the impact of European style farming on the land.
Allam L. & Moore I. (Weds 13 May) The Guardian Picture Essay from Allam L. & Moore I (2020) How Bruce Pascoe rebounded from a summer of trauma The Guardian
Pascoe B. (2018) A real history of Aboriginal Australians, the first agriculturalists | Bruce Pascoe |

To top

1. From the President

VALBEC held its first webinar in our 2020 Professional Development series on May 14 with a session dedicated to Self-Care for educators who work in LLN. The committee made the decision to provide this webinar to members and non-members for free because we know that this is a difficult time and understanding our emotional responses when they don’t always make sense to us, is critical to our well-being. We had 90 people join on the day, and if you missed it, you can view it on the website for a limited time. The session was led by Kirke Olson and Sher Kamman who were our 2019 conference keynotes. They are both psychologists who work within education and with educators.

Details here

Linno Rhodes
VALBEC President

To top

2. FREE Book Offer!

Free book offer for a lucky member

It is the 50th anniversary this year of the publication of Pedagogy of the Oppressed, by Paulo Freire.

If you would like to win a copy of this book, please email info@valbec.org.au with FREIRE in the subject line, your name and address in the body.

The first email to arrive with the correct answer to the following question – What date is the 2020 VALBEC Conference scheduled for? – will win.

If you would like to know more about the man and his work, you can read Rob McCormack’s 3-part review in Fine Print beginning with 2019 – volume 42-3 and 2020 volume 43-1 (available for free here) and volume 43-2; to be published later this year.

3. The Macklin Review – Skills for Victoria’s Growing Economy

The Victorian Government is undertaking a significant review into Victoria’s post-secondary education and training system to ensure Victoria has the skills we need for our growing economy.
The Review is being led by Ms Jenny Macklin, a prominent Australian social policy expert and former senior Federal Minister with 23 years of experience as a Member in the House of Representatives of the Australian Parliament.
The review is focused on developing a system that meets the needs of both industry and government, while supporting individual students to get the skills and education they need.
TAFEs, universities, private providers, industry, students, community organisations, advocacy groups and post-secondary policy experts are invited to provide input into the shape of Victoria’s future post-secondary education and training system.

Click here to have your say.

To top

4. Upcoming Conferences & PD

2020 VALBEC Conference – Call for papers


Podcasts about the move to digital learning in Australian education


NCVER ‘No Frills’ Conference, Perth 8-10 July 2020


ACAL Conference 2021 Tasmania.

Watch this space for more details…

ALA Webinar: Building Partnerships with Industry June 3rd, 2020



ALA LLN webinar: Validation of ACSF assessment resources June 17 2020


Grad Dip Adult LLN Practice – online at TAFE Digital

For teachers looking for an adult Foundation Skills/Basic Education specialist qualification with a practical focus, NSW TAFE Digital currently offers TAE80113 online in a flexible self-paced format. More course details


ProLiteracy 2021 Conference on Adult Education

Date and location to be announced soon. Watch this space.


To top

5. 2019 Lectures & Webinars

Catch up on the gems from last year you may have missed. They’re still relevant Professional Development

Jack Keating Memorial Lecture “Civil Conflicts and Social Opportunity: Neglected Dimensions of Language and Literacy Policy in a Global Age Joseph LoBianco


The Future of Work Panel Discussion University of Melbourne

Understanding a world being transformed by shifting demographics, digital disruption and emerging technology, discover strategies to prepare for the workplaces of tomorrow at the fourth annual Future of Work: People, Place, Technology.


ProLiteracy: Basic Literacy and ESL Tutor Training

ProLiteracy’s Basic Literacy and ESL Tutor Training Workshops provide you with everything you need to ensure that your tutors and teachers are ready to provide high-quality literacy or ESL instruction to the students in your program.


Explore the Fine Print Archive


To top

6. Resources

Check out these great resources about privacy at the Privacy Commission.


VicTESOL Research Grant July 2020


TAFE staff


Center for the Study of Adult Literacy

Some great resources here. 

Adult Literacy Research Center

Some great resources here.

Australian Journal of Adult Learning 2020 (Special Edition)

Call for papers
Special issue: Australian Journal of Adult Learning 2020
Adult learning: Transforming individuals and communities over the decadesTo commemorate 60 years of publishing research, reflective and other pieces about adult learning, AJAL is calling for articles for a special edition to be published in 2020 on Adult learning: Transforming individuals and communities over the decades. This edition will highlight adult learning in Australia, New Zealand and the Asia–Pacific region. We invite a diversity of articles that research and/or reflect on adult learning in its many contexts including: neighbourhood houses, adult community education (ACE), community houses, family literacies, Indigenous contexts, TAFE, VET and work integrated learning (WIL).Articles should explore both the historical and current pedagogies, perspectives and trends of adult learning and vocational education and training in Australian, NZ and Asia–Pacific Region.To discuss potential manuscripts, please feel free to contact the editors Annette Foley (a.foley@federation.edu.au) and Rob Townsend (r.townsend@federation.edu.au).

7. Special Dates

27 May to 3 June – National Reconciliation Week

Organisation: Reconciliation Australia
National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is celebrated across Australia each year between 27 May and 3 June. The dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey-the anniversaries of the successful 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision.

3 June – Mabo Day

Mabo Day commemorates the anniversary of the 1992 High Court decision in the case brought by Eddie Mabo and others which recognised the existence in Australia of native title rights. The historic court decision buried the legal description of early Australia as ‘terra nullius’, or ‘no man’s land.”
National/State: National


5 June – World Environment Day

Organisation: United Nations
World Environment Day aims to be the world’s biggest and most widely celebrated environmental action event.
National/State: International

International Website

Local Website

16 to 22 June – Refugee Week  (date to be confirmed)

Organisation: The Refugee Council Of Australia
Refugee Week is used to inform the public about refugees and celebrate positive contributions made by refugees to Australian society.

While a refugee’s journey begins with danger, it also begins with hope. Refugees flee their homelands not only because they fear persecution, but also because they have hope: they hope to find freedom from persecution, and safety and security for themselves and their families; they hope to be given a chance to start a new life and recover from past trauma.
National/State: National


To top

8. Fine Print – Collaboration in isolation

To keep us all connected in this period of isolation, the current issue of Fine Print is available to download as a PDF here: https://archive.valbec.org.au/2020/03/30/fine-print-journal-online/. On the last two pages of this issue you’ll find a review of the BookCreator app, a tool that learners can use to author their own books and comics. In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the makers of BookCreator have made the collaboration feature of the tool free for a 90-day trial, so this could be a good time to try it out: https://bookcreator.com/2020/03/support-for-schools-affected-by-coronavirus/#collaboration

If you would like to submit an article to Fine Print or to send feedback, please email fineprintvalbec@gmail.com

To top