May 2021 | VALBEC | Web version


1. From the President

Every morning at 6am I tune in to ‘London Writers’ Hour’. It’s a big group-Zoom-hug accountability session, for writers around the world to turn up and get their words down. Yes! These words. These very words you’re reading right now. They’re coming to you from that hour!

And it’s a special privilege to write these words today as Valbec’s President.

I thank Linno and the rest of the Valbec committee for entrusting this spot in eVALBEC to me. I see the President’s role as akin to a spot too, a small roundish mark that draws its meaning and purpose from everything around it. With Valbec it’s the knowledgeable member-base and the passionate steering team; Linno Rhodes (Vice-President), John Radalj (Treasurer), Parris Frangie (Secretary), and general members Manjit Bhamral, Di Buckley, Liam Frost-Camilleri, Pam Mahalis, Shruti Malavde, Deborah Mullen, Denis Reynolds, Kerry Tomkins and Chris Tully. You are all great people to work with. Your energy and dedication to Valbec mean we will continue hosting exciting professional conversations and invigorating the LLN field in 2021 and years to come.

And don’t hesitate to contact us with your ideas for Valbec to continue improving literacy and basic education in Victoria.

Elizabeth Gunn
Valbec President

Photo by Maria Bobrova on Unsplash

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2. Committee Contributions

Consider yourself “Invited”!

Inoculate yourself from FOMOOVFBG (that’s ‘Fear Of Missing Out On Valbec’s Facebook Group’ for our acronym-challenged readers), and consider yourselves ‘Invited’ by joining our growing community of people interested in spreading the word about literacy and numeracy education. The group is a chance to share Valbec’s work with the wider community; whether teachers, librarians, volunteers, support workers, vocational educators, and everyone else who wants to find out more about the rewarding work of adult literacy and basic education.

Get involved:

  • Post questions and ideas to get feedback from colleagues about LLN teaching,
  • Invite interested people from your networks,
  • Join our Friday@4 Valbec Videos. These are zany, fun-filled happy-hour conversations where Valbec members come together to share experiences and knowledge at the end of a busy week,
  • or just simply join the group to prevent the dreaded FOMOOVFBG!

The UN Year of Peace and Trust – Elizabeth Gunn

An important webinar on Aboriginal cultural awareness and engagement to further peace and trust in Australia

We call for the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution” – Uluru Statement from the Heart

In 2021, the Valbec board aims to strengthen connections with Aboriginal communities in Victoria to bolster its key purposes of providing information, professional development and advocacy on curriculum and policy impacting on the adult literacy, language and numeracy (LLN) and basic education sectors in Victoria. (Valbec Constitution 2013)

Part of that process is to increase our awareness and engagement with Aboriginal cultures. This Community Directors of Australia webinar provides guidance for those wishing to open a respectful dialogue with First Nations peoples and communities, helping you learn how to foster authentic participation and establish effective partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. We encourage members to join and share this important and affordable event.

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3. Valbec Membership

Join or renew online.

Members receive:

  • 2021 – the Valbec professional learning series of 6 workshops will be free to current individual members.
  • Discounts for the Annual Conference and other Valbec statewide professional development.
  • Three issues of FINE PRINT per year – a quality LLN 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.
  • Free online numeracy resources.
  • Focus on significant policy issues impacting on the field.

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4. Conferences

AVETRA 21 virtual conference

19-23 April 2021, online conference
Presenter: Tracy Gamlin will present VOCEDplus: building confidence and skill for practitioners through resource discovery; Phil Loveder will chair the panel session Research themes & priorities in education & VET with NCVER’s Joy de Leo as one of the participants. Phil will also be part of the Plenary session on the last day.

Program and registration

Bridging Asia-Pacific and Europe: New Qualifications and Competencies in TVET

27-28 April 2021, online conference
Presenter: Phil Loveder will chair a special panel on the Identification of New Qualifications and Competencies in VET

Program and registration

NCVER conference: 30th National VET Research Conference ‘No Frills’

7-9 July 2021, online conference
World Press Freedom Day, May 4.

Program and registration

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5. Upcoming PD

Valbec Webinar: What works for traumatised English language learners, and everyone else too!

Join veteran ESL/EFL teacher and PhD candidate Victoria (Tori) Wilson as she presents the latest research about trauma-informed English language teaching of adults.

For more details and registration:

What is Literacy?

This must be the most insightful video I’ve ever seen on this important question by new Valbec board member Liam Frost-Camilleri.

ELT Training Library

Just-in-time support for busy English language teachers with 20 minute courses designed to stay on top of learning. New courses are added every month so the training offering keeps expanding.

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6. Resources

Exercise and wellbeing – trying a new sport

Infographic in Teacher Magazine by Jo Earp
This time a teaching resource from Teacher Magazine about the importance of exercise for wellbeing. It includes links to the Tokyo Olympics.


GCF Learn Free

The GCF Learn Free program helps individuals learn the essential skills they need to live and work in the 21st century. From Microsoft Office and email, to reading, math, and more. GCF Learn Free offers more than 200 topics, including more than 2,000 lessons, more than 1,000 videos, and more than 50 interactives and games, completely free.



Fluentland provides English lessons, forums, games which are customised to different levels.


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7. Fine Print

Have you heard about a great book or resource that you would love to get your hands on? Want a free copy? If you are willing to write a review of the resource for Fine Print, we’ll see if we can get you a copy. Contact for more information.

The first issue of Fine Print for 2021 was mailed to members and subscribers last month. It is brimming with great content from LLN practitioners so look for a copy at your institution’s library if you haven’t seen it.


8. Numeracy News

Why numeracy and mathematics both count

Article in Teacher Magazine by Dave Tout, October 2020
Dave outlines why, in the 21st century, it’s crucial for people to have numeracy and mathematics knowledge and skills.

Article link

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9. Unions

Australian Education Union


National Tertiary Education Union


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10. Special Dates


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11. Other news

Declaration statement in support of literacy and numeracy for all adult Australians

This week Adult Learning Australia (ALA) released a declaration statement in support of literacy and numeracy for all adult Australians. The Australian Council of Adult Literacy (ACAL) has a memorandum of understanding with ALA and is a signatory to the letter.

The declaration states that ALA and its coalition partners seek to improve literacy and numeracy outcomes for all adult Australians. They believe literacy capabilities are central to the nation’s social and economic prosperity and that they position Australians to live more healthy, fulfilling, and productive lives.

You can read the full declaration here.

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12. Employment Opportunities

Ravenhall Correctional Centre – 2 full-time teacher positions

Ravenhall Correctional Centre is looking for a full-time CGEA teacher and a full-time FSK teacher.
For more information contact Dianne Mahoney, Campus Manager Ravenhall Correctional Centre
Phone +61 3 8363 2822  or 0434 994 211

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