May 2020 | VALBEC | Web version

2020: The UN Year of Plant Health
1. From the President
2. Conferences

2020: The UN Year of Plant Health

Exploring your local environment
New to Geelong I went to the Council website to find information on the indigenous plants of my area.  And recently I searched again with, ‘locating plants indigenous to your region Victoria’ and found this page:
Needless to say, I am thrilled. It also reminded me of invasive weeds and so I think this website might be helpful.
It goes without saying, I think, that with local plants you’ll get local bugs – the good, the bad and the ones you’d prefer not to see but need anyway. (I have a steady population of burrowing spiders!)
So it is a good idea to be aware of what is local and what is not. This website might help:
Happy plants – happy gardener.

1. From the President

Thanks to all members and friends of VALBEC who attended the AGM on Wednesday April 22. Special thanks to our guest speaker, Dr Ron Wilson, ACFE deputy chair, and vice president of the Australasian Corrections Education Association (ACEA). Ron spoke about the history of education in the prison system and gave us an outline of the current situation of working in education in prisons.

A new committee was elected, with new members Denise Reynolds and Pariss Frangi joining continuing members Liz Gunn, Pam Mahlis, Sandy Iyngkaran, Chris Tully, John Radalj (Treasurer) an Linno Rhodes (President). The positions of Secretary and Vice President remain open until the next general committee meeting.

Thanks to Rhonda Pelletier who resigned form the committee after joining in 2015. Rhonda served in many roles including Secretary and Conference convenor for both VALBEC and ACAL conferences. We will miss her!

Beth Marr was awarded Life Membership for her generous and extraordinary contribution to adult numeracy education and to VALBEC and beyond. Anyone who has taught any unit of the CGEA that has a numeracy component will have accessed Strength in Numbers the valuable resource Beth wrote and its updated version, Building Strength with Numeracy. Congratulations Beth, and thank you for your contribution.

Thanks to all the committee and looking forward to getting on with things!!
Linno Rhodes
VALBEC President

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2. Conferences

“All Comers Welcome” 2020 VALBEC Conference – Wednesday, 2nd December 2020

William Angliss Conference Centre

More than ever, how students adjust to the changing circumstances of their learning is a focus for teachers and providers. No doubt, there will be plenty of discoveries to explore and celebrate when things settle down. Perhaps there will be some questions remaining to be answered. Share your and your students’ experiences in a workshop, presentation, panel …

The Call for Papers page remains open until October 30th.


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3. Professional Development

A FREE WEBINAR SPECIAL – Self Care Professional Development for LLN educators.

With Kirke Olson and Sher Kamman

Kirke Olson and Sher Kamman

Thursday, 14 May 9:00 am

VALBEC are pleased to offer members and friends of VALBEC a special  FREE professional development session with Dr Kirke Olson Psy.D. and Sher Kamman Psy.D.- 2019 VALBEC conference keynote speakers.

This session will:-

  • Outline the range of normal emotional responses that many of us are experiencing with Covid-19.
  • It will help us understand our very human reactions.
  • Give us some helpful and useful strategies to use to lower stress and to feel more in control of our lives again.
  • We will be guided in understanding what might be happening for ourselves as well as our (adult and young adult) students who already may be experiencing disadvantage through cultural exclusivity, poverty, learning disabilities – other disabilities and general hardship.
  • It will give us ideas about addressing these barriers / issues in a way that allows insight and offers options for action rather than being stuck in overwhelm.

Together, Kirke and Sher run the Positivity Company in Concord, New Hampshire where they are committed to applying the science of positive psychology, interpersonal neurobiology and mindfulness to bring about change. They work as consultants to schools and their leadership teams, to bring about authentic and long term positive change.

The Positivity Company has helped improve the organisational climate in schools and other organisations by using research from neuroscience, the psychology of human relationships, motivation and mindfulness.

Don’t miss out – registrations are limited!


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4. Resources

Time for some family cooking!

Many adult learners are trying to continue their literacy and numeracy studies while at home looking after young children. This article from The Conversation highlights the benefits of sharing cooking knowledge with children while weaving language and numeracy learning into the process. For adults who are proficient at cooking, these sessions are an opportunity to demonstrate their strengths and capabilities, while children will appreciate the chance to show off (ie. practice and reinforce) the numeracy and literacy skills they’ve developed at school so far. The result will be, hopefully, nutritious food, family cohesion and a really ‘lived in’ kitchen. All worth it in the end!


Center for the Study of Adult Literacy

Some great resources here. 

Adult Literacy Research Center

Some great resources here.

Adult Community Education staff in the National Tertiary Education Union.


TAFE staff


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 ( and Rob Townsend (

5. Have you renewed your membership yet?

The VALBEC Committee has determined that the membership fees for 2020-2021 will be:-

  • Small Organisation – less than 4 EFT staff * $165
  • Institutional membership – base rate $245
  • Institutional membership – multi campus (with 3 copies of Fine Print) $425
  • Individual membership – employed 0.6 and above $105
  • Individual membership – part time/sessional $65
  • Individual membership – students/unemployed $45

* Indicates the number of active full-time equivalent employees (based on aggregated hours worked by all full-time and part-time employees). Please ensure you renew, or apply, for membership under the correct level.

Members receive:

  • Fine Print three times a year – a high quality journal for discussion and debate about good practice, theory and policy issues. Feedback and contributions are actively sought from members about content and issues.
  • eVALBEC – our e-mail communication keeping members informed of professional development activities, general committee activities and more up to date policy changes.
  • Discounts for the Annual Conference and other VALBEC statewide professional development.
  • Issues-based forums.
  • Focus on significant policy issues impacting on the field.
  • Free numeracy resources

Renew now (pay online or get an invoice)

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6. 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: 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:

If you would like to submit an article to Fine Print or to send feedback, please email

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7. What’s in the News – Shakira Wins the World Literacy Foundation’s 2020 Global Literacy Award

Posted by Jessica Gilmour on April 28, 2020 in NewsAdvocacy

Shakira Mebarak, a Colombian singer-songwriter, record producer, dancer, actress, and philanthropist, was awarded with the World Literacy Foundation’s 2020 Global Literacy Award for her contributions to literacy around the world.

Shakira, a Colombian singer-songwriter, record producer, dancer, actress, and philanthropist, was awarded with the World Literacy Foundation’s 2020 Global Literacy Award for her contributions to literacy around the world.


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