October 2021 | VALBEC | Web version


Latest News

Special Conference Edition

As you know, Valbec conferences are warm and welcoming events. We invite everyone to submit abstracts (proposals) for conference presentations.

It could be a panel, a report, a forum, a provocation, a workshop or a field trip. Amaze us with your ingenuity.

Perhaps you’ve got an idea, or know someone else who has.

Maybe you want to try something new and experimental, or you have a hunch brewing and you’d like feedback on it, or there’s a conversation you’d like to have with colleagues about a burning issue?

Be brave.

Be creative.

Be playful.

And don’t hesitate to reach out and tell us about it!

Think of the conference on 25-26 November as an incubator for growing ideas and expertise about adult language, literacy and numeracy education 😀

Go to Valbec website for presentation and registration details.

Final deadline for presentation proposals 25 October!

Valbec Practitioner Profile – Deborah Mullen

Deborah Mullan has joined the VALBEC committee to represent the broader area of industry LLN. Her consulting business – Training That Works just celebrated 21 years! Having been a Manager of Industry programs she has worked across several TAFE organisations to deliver training, write resources, and assist auditing of documents and processes for best practice. As an Adult Literacy and Learning Support teacher for over 5 years Deborah has worked for the Master Builders Association and now concurrently at NECA- the National Electrical Association – assisting electrical apprentices with their studies. Other ACSF project work and assessing adds plenty of variety. Deborah was a Foundation Skills Champion to help promote Foundation Skills across many industry sectors and states.  She enjoys looking for innovative approaches to various industry scenarios.

Currently Deborah and Liz are looking to sign up partners and sponsors for the VALBEC Conference on 25 November, 2021. If you know an organisation that’s interested in promoting adult literacy and numeracy – and they’d like to contribute products and/or other benefits to our conference delegates in return for promotion via newsletter and conference website, contact us at info@valbec.org.au

1. From the President


The collegiality and professionalism of VALBEC Committee members makes being part of this group really worthwhile. This week I’d like to say a big thank you to the VALBEC Webinar Team for producing a rich assortment of professional learnings in 2021. Here’s the team in action last Thursday with Tina Berghella presenting much valued knowledge of Unpacking Numeracy in a Pandemic.

The post-webinar survey revealed that participants are hungry to learn and extend their knowledge of numeracy going forward. We hope to partner with Tina and other educators in 2022 to expand Valbec’s numeracy offerings. If you would like to be part of a panel webinar, or have ideas you’d like to share about your own practices, please contact info@valbec.org.au

Elizabeth Gunn
Valbec President

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2. Valbec Membership

Join or renew online.


If you join in August, September or October, deduct 50%. Renewal falls due the following February

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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3. International Year of Peace and Trust – Shruti Malavde


The pace with which technology is evolving is rapid. This brings huge opportunities (connectivity, sustainable growth, economical development…) but also poses ethical challenges that undermine sovereignty and human rights. The Australian government on 21st April 2021 launched Australia’s International Cyber and Critical Technology Engagement strategy, setting out goals for safe, secure, and prosperous Australia, Indo-Pacific and world, enabled by cyber space and critical technology. The strategy identifies the need of having a policy to protect cyberspace and critical infrastructure and collaboration with like minded countries. In light of this, Australia will co-sponsor a proposal to establish a new United Nation Program of Action for Responsible State Behaviour in Cyberspace along with the other commitments to achieve Peace and Trust in the region. I am a proud Australian citizen and 2021 enhanced an opportunity which led me to say now I am also a proud Global citizen.

Further read:

Media Release

Ambassador’s Introduction to Cyber affairs and Critical technology

RMIT University Industry Panel – Cyber & Critical Technology in the Indo-Pacific

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4. Digital Literacy

How to deliver excellent online conference workshops

Greenbiz.com has 10 excellent tips:

Be concise.
Be lively.
Call on people.
Require advance reading and preparation.
Interrupt your own flow.
Shorten the session. (💗 Love this one)
Avoid technical complication.
Big group? Get help.
Be interesting.
Enjoy it. (Perhaps the most important tip of all! 👍)

Read more here:

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5. Upcoming PD

Free event: A conversation with Jo Medlin, Adam Nobilia, Liam Frost-Camilleri and colleagues about SBS documentary ‘Lost for Words’

September 29 at 6:00 – 7:00PM AEST

‘Lost for Words’ is SBS’s heartwarming documentary about learning to read as an adult. Jo and Adam spent a significant part of 2021 advising and appearing in this 3-part series about the challenges and triumphs for adults overcoming reading difficulties. Episode #1 of ‘Lost for Words’ airs on SBS 8.30pm Wednesday 22 September. Participants should watch Episode 1 before attending this interactive session.

Join Valbec and the teachers behind ‘Lost for Words’ for a free, BYO ‘drinks & nibblies’ discussion about documentary making and literacy learning

Register here

Free event: A national conversation on adult literacy approaches – what works? Part 2

Adult Learning Australia
October 6 at 1:00 – 2:00PM AEST
Co-convened by: Ros Bauer (ALA) and Jo Medlin (ACAL)
Panelists: Various

Adult Learning Australia’s national conversation continues, bringing together leading adult education organisations to explore their submissions into the Australian federal government’s inquiry into adult literacy and its importance.

More info

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6. Resources

Many things

A free study site for English students have access to  games, quizzes, puzzles, MP3 files with transcripts and listening practice.


Learning Chocolate

Aims to help students with English vocabulary in an easy and efficient way by using images, pronunciation and games. Students can learn the pronunciation and the written form of each vocabulary word and then test themselves.


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7. Fine Print

A Different Kind of Seeing

Would you like a free book? A Different Kind of Seeing is the autobiography of Marie Younan, whose Assyrian refugee family migrated to Australia from Beirut in the 1970s to escape the civil war in Lebanon. Marie was blinded as a baby and was totally dependent on her family until, at the age of 33, she attended The Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind. There she became fluent in English, literate in braille, and physically mobile with the help of a cane.

If this sounds like something you would like to read and review for Fine Print, please email Fine Print editor, Deryn Mansell at fineprintvalbec@gmail.com

Note: you would need to submit your review by mid-January, 2022

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8. Unions

Australian Education Union


National Tertiary Education Union


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9. Special Dates

Dyslexia Awareness Month

Organisation: Code Read Dyslexia Network Australia Ltd
Website: codereadnetwork.org/

October is Dyslexia Awareness Month and every year many events take place during October including the National Awareness Event, Light it Red for Dyslexia, which started in 2015.

Light it Red for Dyslexia is an annual event that is administered by Code Read Dyslexia Network Australia on behalf of the national Dyslexia Support Groups. Throughout the month of October significant monuments and buildings around Australia are lit up in the colour red for Dyslexia Awareness.

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