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Lifelong learning for
a fairer Australia

Lifelong learning for
a fairer Australia

Who we are

Our Board

Assoc Prof Annette Foley
President (VIC)
Annette is an Associate Professor of Adult and Vocational Education at Federation University Australia. She has worked for over 30 years as an adult educator in TAFE, higher education, adult community education, and the private training sector. Before Annette commenced her academic role at FedUni she had first-hand experience as a TAFE manager and CEO in a VET/ACE and youth services organisation, where she worked in a regional community and liaised with industry, community and local government agencies to develop education and training programs for youth and older learners.
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Kathleen Priestly
Vice President (TAS)
Kathleen is the manager of 8 libraries in the NW & West of Tasmania. She has worked with government at all levels to develop policy for learning and to secure funding for opportunities. Her areas of interest are collaborative impact work, building learning communities, technology and helping individuals to see learning as a vehicle to improve their life circumstances. Kathleen has qualifications in General Education, Adult & Vocational Education, Adult Literacy & Library Services. She regularly advocates for learning & presents at conferences. She loves learning herself, being challenged & working collaboratively.
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Judith McKay
Secretary (NT)
Judith is a consultant developing the capacity of local disability and aged care service providers to operate effectively and expand their work forces. Judith is an Australian Training Awards' recipient of the National Achievement Award in recognition of her outstanding leadership and contribution to the Australian VET sector for over 25 years. Throughout her career in VET, Judith has actively sought to promote and deliver awareness of key underpinning LLN skills in education and learning programs by working closely with employers and VET trainers in the design and delivery of targeted programs.
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Dr Ron Wilson
Treasurer (VIC)
Ron has over 40 years experience in education and training as a teacher, principal and TAFE general manager. He has held Board roles including deputy chair, Adult Community and Further Education Board and president, Australasian Corrections Education Assoc. He has received an Australia Day Honour and Public Service medal for introducing VET to Victoria’s prison system. He recently released a book 'Joseph Akeroyd: Rediscovering a prison reformer'. He has a PhD in Mgt, MEd (Leadership and Mgt) and (Educational Research); BA (Social Sciences), BEd (PE), PG Dip Spec. Ed and Dip Teaching (Primary).
ABOUT
Chris McCall
Board member (VIC)
Chris is the manager of Yarraville Community Centre, an NFP delivering a range of programs and services in Melbourne’s inner west. Chris came to education as an adult learner, leading to a Grad. Dip in Community Education and Cert IV in TAA. She has over 20 years experience in the community sector o community organisation boards, neighbourhood house management, RTO establishment and managing adult education programs including youth and Work for the Dole programs. She was involved in establishing a Local Learning and Employment Network, and has experience sourcing grants for programs and services.
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Ros Bauer
Board member (NSW)
Ros has extensive experience in adult education and leadership as a LLN practitioner and is currently Head of Department Career Pathways, Aboriginal Languages & Employability Skills at TAFE NSW. She was the winner of the 2013 Australian Training Awards Excellence in Adult LLN Practice and a recipient of an Executive Fellowship through the Australian Endeavour Awards; which included a professional learning experience in Scandinavia. She was part of the NT LLN Network Group and an educational consultant to the Warlpiri Youth Development Aboriginal Corporation.
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Sally Brennan
Board member (VIC)
Sally has a long history in the ACE sector in both strategic and operational roles, including representing sector peak bodies with government at both state and national levels. She is an experienced board member, including the Adult Community and Further Education Board Board, and has post graduate qualifications in adult education. Sally currently works as an education consultant. Skilled in NFP organisations and working with government at all levels. Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
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Dianne Borella
Board member (NT)
Di's philosophy and practice throughout life has been to make a commitment to lifelong learning and personal development for all Australians, people with disabilities and people with Mental Illnesses or people with special needs. She is passionate about education for all Australians, particularly Indigenous Australians. She believes that if children and adults have access to quality education, they will have fantastic opportunities for their future. Helping people to help themselves is a key component to her philosophy and practice.
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Dr Nigel Wilson
Board member (SA)
Dr Nigel Wilson is an Australian lawyer and teaching professional. He has over 28 years’ experience in legal education, curriculum development, and legal practice. He was awarded a PhD by the University of SA and holds degrees in Law and Economics from the University of Adelaide. He also holds a Master’s degree in Law from Oxford University and has been awarded Harvard University’s Premier Certificate in Cybersecurity. As an expert teaching professional since 1992, he has been a tutor; seminar leader; examiner; course coordinator; convenor; senior lecturer; and director of studies of undergraduate, postgraduate, clinical practice and post-admission law programmes and for Australian judicial colleges.
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Rebecca Arbon
Board member (NT)
Rebecca has been an education professional since 2007, working in adult education, mentoring and professional development for the past 8 years. She is also an Adjunct Education Lecturer for Charles Darwin University specialising in Inclusive Education. For the past 2 years she has been living and working in East Arnhem Land as the Higher Education Manager for the Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corporation (ALPA). The role has enabled her to provide both support and advocacy at local and national levels. Predominantly championing increased access and equity of quality adult education, lifelong learning opportunities and culturally inclusive approaches.
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Professor Stephen Billett
Board member (QLD)
Stephen has been actively engagement in adult, vocational, professional and higher education over the past 35 years. This has included securing undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral qualifications centred on and improving learning experiences for adults albeit through education institutions, workplaces or community. It has been progressed through activities in professional fields (e.g. healthcare, medicine, workplace learning, vocational education), with government (e.g. Queensland, Australia, Singapore) and supra-national agencies (UNESCO, UNESCO-UNEVOC
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Our staff

Jenny Macaffer
Chief Executive Officer
Jenny has an extensive background in community development, social justice and social policy and planning. She has previously worked in local and state government and the not for profit sector. Jenny has been recognised for her commitment to health & wellbeing, human rights, and community place making through national and local awards such as the inaugural LGPRO award for community development. She holds qualifications in community cultural development, social sciences and the arts. Jenny believes that the creative arts and lifelong learning have a key role to play in engaging communities of all persuasions in self-determination and social change, and that a positive connection to nature is critical to our individual and collective wellbeing.
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Catherine Devlin
Operations Manager
Catherine has a background in educational publishing and online learning. She previously worked in information management and online course development. She has also worked as an editor and client services manager at a tertiary institution. She has postgraduate qualifications in education, technology and communication; including M.A. (Communication) and an M.Ed. (Literacy/Information Technology).
ABOUT
Gina Perry
Communications Coordinator
Gina has a background in psychology, adult education and writing. She has worked as a freelance journalist and communications professional in the not for profit and public sectors. Her adult education experience includes teaching professional communication, writing and editing for digital media and journalism at Victoria University and the University of Melbourne where she is an Associate in the Faculty of Arts. Gina is an award winning author and her postgraduate qualifications include a Masters and PhD in Creative Writing.
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Leanne Wu
Finance and Governance
Leanne joined ALA in August 2015 having come from a background in corporate finance. She is enjoying the change in focus and finds working in the not for profit sector very rewarding. She has a postgraduate qualification in Applied Finance and Investment.
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Georgia Firth
Membership Officer
Georgia comes from a long history of customer service and membership management in the events and film industry. Her interest in further education was sparked by her Psychology and Art History degree. Since settling in to this position, Georgia has found great reward in supporting individual learners, as well as educational organisations.
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Henrik Steenberg
Project Officer
Educator with more than 20 years of experience in teaching, coaching, online media, digital marketing.
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Dr Trace Ollis
Editor AJAL
Dr Trace Ollis is senior lecturer, Adult Vocational & Applied Learning at Deakin University. She is discipline leader of the Applied Learning, Professional Education & Training group in the School of Education. Trace was appointed Editor of AJAL in 2017.
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