November 2020 | VALBEC | Web version


VALBEC Conference 2020

All Comers Welcome: Educating for community and growth

Online: Wednesday, 2nd December 2020

The Call for Presentation is open.

The program is gradually filling.

Registrations will open soon.

Early December is desk and file clearing time. Much may go into the bin. But there will be other items you want to hold onto, share or develop for the future. And there may be student stories to share.

Let’s celebrate the unexpected achievements.  There is still time to submit an idea.

1. From the President


Valbec recently held a zoom PD session with Holly Armstrong presenting about how shame affects adult learners – well, it affects all of us really, but the focus was on adult learners. IF you are a member and you missed it you can check out our webpage and access it there.

I was so pleased to see we had people from every state and territory join us (apart from the NT) – even one person from WA – where it was 6am Western Australia time.  It demonstrates how aware we are becoming, as a sector, about trauma and its manifestations in education. The session was so popular, we have decided to ask Holly to present at our conference, which she has agreed to do.

We are fortunate to have Tori Williams, PhD candidate as our keynote this year. Tori’s PhD thesis is about working with adult EAL students in a trauma aware capacity. I am so looking forward to attending.

We also are looking forward to hearing from Maria Peters, ACFE Board Chair,  who is opening the conference this year.

It doesn’t look at all like we will see our students again this year – November and early December are usually when we set aside time to celebrate with our students and take time to acknowledge their accomplishments. We would love to hear about how you have done that this year – please get in touch with us via if you have some stories to share.

Linno Rhodes
VALBEC President

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2. Committee Contributions

2020: The UN Year of Plant Health, from Chris Tully

Recently my husband and I moved house from a large block with a rambling garden to a much smaller block with no real garden. Our new house when we moved in, had garden beds but few plants. The garden beds were covered in black plastic topped with white pebbles.

As a keen gardener, the prospect of planning and then planting out a garden filled me with joy and created some sleep deprived nights as I thought about options. I have admired orderly well-planned gardens with repeated plantings of the same plants just as I admire orderly minimalist house interiors with few knick knacks.

Two years down the track and most of the gardens now created, I have discovered that while I admire those orderly gardens, I am not capable of creating them. Just as I cannot create the minimalist effect in my house. However, I did plan. I wanted to plant a range of native plants to attract wildlife and food plants. I have achieved both these outcomes with four wicking beds for vegetables, apricot, plum, apple, pomegranate, peach, lime, mandarin and nectarine trees planted mainly in pots and many native shrubs and groundcovers.

Recently I have extended the garden to the front nature strip. In the nature strip, I have planted all natives. They are low shrubs and grasses to provide shelter for smaller birds. I am looking forward to identifying the birds that hopefully come to the garden, using and then joining the Aussie Backyard bird count

I also want to share a few more articles that have interested me.

While where I live was not affected by the bushfires, I still saw this article as relevant. This is something we can all do. We can make a practice of pulling out invasive weeds when we see them. It is a small but significant contribution to the native flora. My particular focus has been on mirror bushes!

Happy gardening and weeding.

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3. VALBEC Membership

Join or renew online.

If you join in November, December or January pay full membership and get bonus time. Renewal falls due in February one full year later.
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.

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4. Upcoming PD

Other LN Conferences and Professional Learning opportunities

2020 VDC Virtual Teaching & Learning Conference

19 – 20th November 2020
VET Development Centre

The 2020 program delves into the fundamentals for excellence in Vocational Education practice and consists of highly interactive workshops as well as high-profile keynote presentations on the theme of VET teaching and learning strategies for engaging with industry and learners.


2020 Arch Nelson Address with Pam Osmond

21st October 2020

Arch Nelson played a major role in placing adult education on the government and public agenda and he was inaugural Chairman of the Australian Council for Adult Literacy (ACAL). In case you missed Pam Osmond’s Arch Nelson Address, you can catch all the action here:

ALA webinar: Adults’ Lifelong Learning: the mediation of person + education + ‘community’

11th November 2020 @ 1pm AEDT
Adult Learning Australia

Presented by Dr. Stephen Billett, this webinar explores how adults’ learning can be mediated by the interrelations amongst person + education + community as a means of advancing our understandings and practices as adult educators.


ALA Virtual Event: Looking back, casting forward – 60 years of Adult Learning in Australia

25th November 2020 @ 1pm AEDT
Adult Learning Australia

What can we learn from the history of adult learning and education in Australia and what lies ahead? Hear from Australian and international leaders in adult learning and education (ALE) as they reflect on key milestones in adult learning’s past and discuss their vision for its future.


4th Annual Brian Street Memorial Event: Decolonising Literacy

18th November 2020, 1pm GMT (12am Nov 19 AEDT)

This interactive event will explore the challenging and important topic of Decolonising Literacy and will be co-hosted by BALID (details below) and the UNESCO Chair in Adult Literacy and Learning for Social Transformation. See details attached and click to register.

Please join BALID for this interactive event. BALID is a membership organisation and if you would like to become a member please see their website or click here for details. Membership fees are only payable by those based in High Income Countries: membership for those based in other countries is FREE. If you would like to be added to the BALID contact list and receive notification of our events, please email


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5. Resources

What Works for LLN – video library

Hosted by Adult Learning Australia, What Works for LLN is an online library of free language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) training and professional development videos for:

  • VET practitioners
  • supporting the delivery of LLN specific units such TAELLN411 Address Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy skills
  • LLN professional development for RTOs and their non-training staff
  • learners undertaking qualifications such as TAE40110 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment/TAE40116 Certificate IV Training and Assessment
  • trainers, managers, team leaders and supervisors in the workplace


Education Resource Hub

FYA was established in 2000 through a partnership between The Queen’s Trust and the Australian Youth Foundation. More recently they have been unlocking a new future of hybrid-working – adapting to online, remote working while still delivering high quality projects, including a new organisational strategy.

Edutopia 53 ways to check for understanding

A list of ways to spice up the usual reading/listening comprehension activity timeslot.

National Novel Writing month

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 p.m. on November 30. Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought fleetingly about writing a novel.


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6. Fine Print

The final issue of Fine Print for 2020 is a cracker! It will be posted to members and subscribers this month so make sure your membership is up to date and your address details are correct.

The editorial committee is now turning its attention to 2021 so if you have an idea for an article, now is the time to get in touch. Email Deryn Mansell, Fine Print editor at

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7. Numeracy News

Numbers and how we view them is always interesting. This article may bust some myths.

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8. Unions

Australian Education Union


National Tertiary Education Union


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9. Special Dates

National recycling week

9 – 15th November 2020

Remembrance Day

11th November 2020

Also remembering Ned Kelly and Gough Whitlam on this date.

Social inclusion week

21-28th November 2020

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women – white ribbon day

25th November 2020

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10. Employment Opportunities

Carlton Neighbourhood Learning Centre

Projects CoordinatorPosition description

An exciting job available at CNLC in the Community Development team based at Open Door. The Projects Coordinator role is a varied and meaningful 3 days job working directly with Carlton’s communities.

Applications close at 12.00pm on Monday 9th November 2020. Culturally diverse people are encouraged to apply

Enquiries: Elle Morrell on 0434 374 818 or

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