September 2020 | VALBEC | Web version


1. From the President


2020 – someone said it was the year that was the slowest to go so quickly – and that makes sense to me.
So many people’s lives disrupted and so many of us learning new skills and finding ways to adapt our work to suit our students. I have been full of admiration at the many teachers who have demonstrated what lifelong learning is all about as they learn how to zoom, collaborate with their colleagues and problem-solve so that the hardest to reach learners are still engaged and so that they are able to continue to participate. VALBEC would like to honour our member teachers by offering a few give-aways…please see the competition section below.

Please stay safe and look after yourselves and each other.

Linno Rhodes
VALBEC President

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2. Committee Contributions

2020: The UN Year of Plant Health

On my weekly walk to my local Transition Streets Food is Free Cart to drop off my contribution of rainbow silver beet, rosemary and pak choy, I was thinking about the interesting array of produce I often encounter, grown in the back yards of my neighbours. In this year of plant health, food security has been identified as an important aspect and this lead to thinking about sustainability and a number of terms such as “think global, act local,” “give what you can, take what you need” and “genetic diversity.” Our cart embrace all those concepts and does more than that in our current climate of isolation – it keeps us connected to our local community.

Transition Streets aims to bring local neighbourhoods together to reduce environmental impacts and foster a more connected community. Sharing food grown in your own back yard gives you a sense of contributing to your community. It also contributes to genetic diversity as a greater variety of produce is grown than the produce you can purchase at the supermarket. Many home gardeners save their seeds and share them with others so the range of plants available to us to grow is increased.

A local food cart is a small thing to do, but I think it has a big impact, if every neighbourhood had one, local food security would be increase, community connectedness would improve and we would all be living more sustainably. You can find out more about Transition Streets and food carts at this link:

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3. Competition

Winners are Grinners!

Competition only open to members of VALBEC – answer the question corresponding with the prize you would like to win.

Question1 : Who is the current editor of Fine Print?
Prize 1: 5 back issues of Fine Print 2020 – 2019

Question 2: What date is the VALBEC 2020 conference?
Prize 2: Limited edition VALBEC branded keep cup

Question 3: What is the theme of the VALBEC 2020 conference?
Prize 3: Reading the Fine Print – A history of VALBEC 1978 – 2008 by Beverley Campbell

Question 4: Who was the guest speaker at the VALBEC 2020 AGM?
Prize 4: A Fuller Sense of Self – A collection of stories told by adult literacy students By Tricia Bowen

…and send your email to – one prize per member.

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4. Conferences

VALBEC 2020 – All Comers Welcome – UPDATE

What was intended for the conference in May needs some adjusting for the conference in December. What an incredible time we’re having! And it may well stay incredible well into the new year. By then we’ll be seasoned explorers of virtual pedagogy, and experts in engaging tired and stressed students.

The conference retains its title but now the methodologies and pedagogy available to practitioners has changed. There has been a shift in how practitioners ‘position’ themselves in the process of enabling students to learn. Unable to guide and respond to student feedback in ‘real time’, practitioners have had to adopt different roles – guides, mentors, online course designers… – and elicit student responses to show their learning, their questions and to keep them safe.

We invite you to consider these two propositions:

Necessity is the mother of invention.

Teachers as life-long learners.

Submitting an abstract

The Call for papers will open on September 7th

Your presentation may be

  • Pre-recorded or live
  • Power point with audio presentation
  • Panel discussion
  • Live presentation

All presentation types will have

  • Chat available during the presentation
    • A facilitator will be present to help respond and manage the chat
    • You may like to do a pre-recorded presentation and be in the chat room while your presentation runs so you can answer questions as they arise
  • A facilitator to assist with the session and the chat.

Presenters will

  • Receive technical support to assist with recording your presentation
  • Need to select the best application to use for their presentation
  • Pre-record their presentations as insurance against technical issues on Dec 2nd

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5. Upcoming PD

Tutor Training | ProLiteracy’s Basic Literacy and ESL Tutor Training Workshops

These 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.


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6. Resources


Free international research database for tertiary education, especially as it relates to workforce needs, skills development, and social inclusion. It encompasses vocational education and training (VET), higher education, adult and community education, informal learning, and VET in Schools. It is international in scope and contains over 80,000 English language records, many with links to full text documents.

VOCEDplus Pod network

VOCEDplus Resources

Get Into Neurodiversity

Teacher training for students with neurodiversity.


AVETRA – Research Today

Journal for the Australian VET Research Association.


Microsoft Teams for online education

Jump into the unavoidable world of Microsoft and its Teams app which has various affordances for online learning.


Google for digital literacy

Explore resources and tools created by Google to inspire creativity, encourage hands-on learning, and equip your students with digital skills.


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7. eVALBEC Submissions

Yes, eVALBEC often publishes relevant material from other organisations and individuals, subject to the approval by the VALBEC Committee. You should provide no more than 100 words and preferably include a web address for more information. You need to provide the preferred text rather than expect us to extract it from documents; if the text exceeds 100 words it may not be used. The text will be formatted in the same simple format as eVALBEC. Text should be provided three clear working days before the end of the month (e.g. by November 28 for the December newsletter). All of this is subject to space as we try to keep eVALBEC compact but informative.


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8. Fine Print


Fine Print is out now.
We hope you have enjoyed reading our most recent issue of Fine Print, which was posted to members and subscribers in August. In this issue, Rob McCormack concludes his three-part reflection on the life and impact of Paulo Freire, Victoria Wilson offers research-based and practical insights into trauma-informed teaching of adults and Liam Frost-Camilleri offers a tribute to the life of Julianne Krusche, accompanied by a reprint of an inspiring article Julianne wrote for Fine Print in 2016.

There is lots more to inspire and inform in this issue so if you haven’t done so already, take a little time away from the screen and sit down with a cup of tea to read your hard-copy journal.

If you are not currently a VALBEC member or subscriber, visit to join so you don’t miss out on the next issue.

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

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9. Numeracy News

One Plus One ABC | Kurt Fearnley speaks to school teacher Eddie Woo

Eddie Woo’s love of maths is infectious, and his online lessons have found him a global audience. He speaks to Kurt Fearnley about teaching future generations, and why he moved his lessons online – well before the coronavirus pandemic.  Although this isn’t specifically aimed at adult education, Eddie has advice for families and home schooling, an aspect of adult literacy/numeracy that’s been brought to the fore recently.


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10. Unions

Australian Education Union


National Tertiary Education Union


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11. Awards

Victorian Training Awards Finalists have been announced


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12. Special Dates

Adult Learners Week is here already!

1 – 8 September

Adult Learners Week is a UNESCO initiative supported in Australia by the Commonwealth Department of Education, Skills and Employment and coordinated by Adult Learning Australia. Adult Learners Week runs from 1–8 September and incorporates International Literacy Day, which is celebrated annually on September 8. Find an event here


Black Lives Matter | A Social Sciences Week event

10 September 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM AEST

Exploring how the University of Melbourne can translate the demands of the Black Lives Matter movement into long-lasting meaningful change. The diverse panel of speakers includes Professor Marcia Langton AO, Karen Farquharson, Nikki Moodie, Ghassan Hage, Yadira Perez Hazel, and Dale Wandin.


Indigenous Literacy Day

2 September 12:30pm AEST

A celebration of Indigenous language and literacy.


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13. Other News

ACAL Survey

ACAL wants to know what it was like teaching adult literacy and numeracy using an online platform during the recent COVID-19 isolation period.

Take the brief survey Online teaching in covid19 survey

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