ALA webinar: Building Inclusive and Sustainable Learning Partnerships
Presenter: Various When: Wednesday 4th October 3pm AEDT Duration: 90 mins Cost: Free
Place-based learning city frameworks founded on lifelong learning and the concept of a learning society have immense potential to address a wide range of local and global environmental and societal challenges.
The OECD and UNESCO stress the importance of changing approaches to education and learning to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). They recognise the need to address contemporary challenges, promote lifelong learning, foster holistic development, encourage global citizenship education, embrace innovation and digital transformation, promote partnerships and collaboration, and develop evidence-based policies. These changes are crucial for equipping individuals with the skills and knowledge to navigate a changing world and contribute to sustainable development.
UNESCO’s Institute for Lifelong Learning (UNESCO UIL) highlights that when local government empowers communities, individuals, organisations, and groups to actively participate in the implementation of lifelong learning strategies and programs they sponsor the achievement of these UN SDGs goals.
Aim of the Webinar
The aim of the webinar is to showcase practical examples from UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC) Members – Canning and Wyndham in Australia, and Phayao Learning City in Thailand that illustrate how they address actions and implement programs through partnerships that are inclusive, sustainable, and make significant contributions to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) at the local level.
UNESCO GNLC Members
Canning Learning City
Western Australia, Australia
With 45 per cent of its residents speaking a language other than English, Canning is one of Australia’s most culturally and linguistically diverse cities. The city is an industrial and commercial hub, and it has the most diverse economy in Western Australia. Population: 100,822. Average years of schooling 12. Member of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)’s Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC) since 2022.
Phayao Learning City
Phayao has an ageing population and an economy based mainly on cultural tourism and agriculture, where informal laborers (76 per cent) outnumber formal laborers (24 per cent). Population 472,356. Average number of years schooling – 7.5. Member of UNESCO GNLC.
Wyndham Learning City
The City of Wyndham is located on the western edge of Melbourne, Victoria, between Metropolitan Melbourne and Geelong. Wyndham covers an area of 542km² and features 27.4km of coastline bordering Port Phillip Bay to the east. For some time now Wyndham has experienced very rapid growth. Wyndham is one of the fastest growing municipalities in Australia. It is predicted that by 2040 Wyndham’s population will have almost doubled. The highest proportion of Wyndham’s population (308,623 in 2022) is aged between 25 and 59 years. The Wyndham Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander population is the largest in all greater Melbourne. Almost half of all Wyndham residents were born overseas from 162 different countries; almost half of Wyndham residents speak a language other than English. More than half of Wyndham households are families with children. Transport is a key challenge with almost 70% of employed residents leaving Wyndham every morning to go to work. This compounds issues of time spent with family, on recreation, education and sport, and associated health issues. Just under 1 in 10 young people in Wyndham are neither working nor studying. Wyndham experiences lower levels of tertiary attainment than greater Melbourne and a higher unemployment rate. However, housing in Wyndham is 15% more affordable than greater Melbourne (WCC, 2016). It is against this backdrop that the Council has developed successive Learning Community Strategies in Wyndham, with work currently underway to draft the next Learning Community Strategy 2024-2029. Through a succession of Learning Strategies, a strong foundation for the creation of a community of lifelong learners in Wyndham has been created. Wyndham’s Learning Community Strategy is a driver for innovation and change in learning, and functions as a roadmap for developing an equitable, inclusive, and innovative learning community. Member of the UNESCO GNLC since 2019 and, in 2021, a recipient of the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities Award and the Alliance for Asia- Pacific Learning Cities (APLC) Award.
Chief Programme Coordinator a.i., UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning
Mr. Raúl Valdés-Cotera is Chief Programme Coordinator a.i., at the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning in Hamburg, Germany and Coordinator of the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities. For almost twenty years he has worked in international organizations in the field of public policy, lifelong learning, adult learning and education, and educational planning. He has been a forerunner for development and implementation of lifelong learning policies and strategies and for the recognition, validation and accreditation of learning outcomes in several countries around the world. Raúl holds a Ph.D. in Education and has led various research and advocacy projects such as Conceptual Evolution and Policy Developments in Lifelong Learning (2011), Analysis of Public Policies in basic Education of Young People and Adults: Comparing the cases of Mexico and Brazil (2013), Educating Cities in Latin America (2013), Unlocking the Potential of Urban Communities (2015, 2017), Entrepreneurial Learning City Regions (2017), Promoting lifelong learning for all: The experience of Ethiopia, Kenya, Namibia, Rwanda and the United Republic of Tanzania (2018), Realising lifelong learning for all: Governance and partnerships in building sustainable learning cities (2019) and more recently “Making Lifelong Learning a reality: A Handbook” (2022).
Coordinator Learning Community, Wyndham City Council
Diane, Coordinator Learning Community, Wyndham City Council. is an experienced and committed professional with over 30 years local and international experience working in community education, community development, refugee, asylum seeker, migrant, banking and hospital environments in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands. Diane holds a Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) and a Bachelor of Economics and is passionate about mobilising lifelong and life-wide learning as a driver of social, economic, environmental, and cultural change. Diane has worked as Coordinator Learning Community at Wyndham City Council since October 2014, where she has overseen the development and implementation of Wyndham’s Learning Community Strategies and was instrumental in Wyndham receiving two prestigious awards: the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities Award and the Alliance for Asia-Pacific Learning Cities Award. Highlights for Diane have included the implementation of the Wyndham Learning Festival over eight years and the hosting of the Global Learning Festival during prolonged lockdowns due to COVID-19, amongst many other projects, with a strong foundation in effective partnerships.
Senior Resilience Officer, Wyndham City Council
Hayley is a Senior Resilience Officer at Wyndham City Council. Hayley’s role has carriage of the delivery of the Resilient Wyndham Strategy which looks at Wyndham’s long-term resilience, guiding how the city will adapt, survive and thrive in the face of events such as climate change, extreme weather, natural disasters, pandemics and economic downturn. A key deliverable Hayley is responsible for, is the coordination of the Green Living Series; featuring a wide range of sustainable living workshops and events the Series aims to build skills and provide tips for the community to live a little greener.
Community Development Officer - Welcoming Cities, Canning City Council
Gauri Thanasingam has a 20-year career designing engagement strategies for organisations in various parts of South Asia including Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, and most recently Australia. They range from educational institutions to government bodies, multinationals to small businesses. As a partner relations professional, she has gained the understanding, lived experience and ability to articulate the value and impact of engaging communities. Her approach to engaging, places people at the heart of all she does. As a new migrant to Australia, dealing with new experiences, she decided to exit the corporate world and look for opportunities that allowed her to support newcomers in her community to establish themselves in their new home. She now works full-time for the City of Canning as its Welcoming Cities, Community Development Officer. Gauri has helped the City invest in an in-depth engagement process that ensured the community had an active role in developing a brand-new Intercultural Community Centre. This included establishing a reference group with engagement outcomes such as safe and cohesive spaces and curating 6-month program of community-led activities in conjunction with the launch of the centre. The centre has since won a national award for driving a more inclusive approach to designing policies, programs and partnerships and celebrating its community’s cultural, linguistic, and religious diversity. During that time, she also led a project that helped the City break down barriers preventing people from accessing City information or services. This was possible by developing an engagement network of bi-lingual/multi-lingual community champions who help strengthen the City’s relationships and communications with its diverse community. The Cultural Ambassadors Program has become a critical engagement resource for the City, and a focus for a number of other LGAs.
Director of Learning and Teaching, School of Education, Curtin University
I have spent over twenty years as a teacher, teacher educator, and researcher in primary, secondary, and adult education contexts across the world. A large portion of my research is on the secondary English classroom and youth identities, with a specific focus on migrant youth and how schools can become enabling spaces for students and teachers. I was a 2015 U.S. Fulbright Core Senior Research Scholar in Adelaide, South Australia, where I worked and conducted research alongside newly arrived students in Australia’s only stand-alone New Arrival Program for adolescents. I am currently the project lead on three multifaceted Critical Participatory Action Research projects with migrant communities in Local Government Areas of Perth; the projects focus on how learning happens in situational community-driven contexts that can inform sustainable local government initiatives.
Associate Prof. PhanintraTeeranon
“Phayao Learning City”, Thailand
Associate Professor Teeranon is an Assistant to the President of the University of Phayao and is the leader of the “Phayao Learning City” project. She holds an MA and PhD in Liguistics from Chulalongkorn University and a BSc in Economics from Tammasat University. Her research interests include lifelong learning, learning cities, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, psycholinguistics, and innovation. She received an outstanding young researcher award from Scopus-Thailand Research Fund (2003), outstanding research project in Thai Tone Application, and outstanding researcher of Social Sciences from Her Royal Highness Princess Prize in 2021 to 2023. The “Phayao Learning City” project is funded by PMOU-A, Ministry of Higher Education Research and Innovation, and Equity Education Fund (EEF), Thailand. This project is a collaboration with Phayao Provincial Administrative Organization and Phayao Municipality with Phayao Communities promoting lifelong learning ecology for lifelong prosperity for all. Phayao City became a member of the UNESCO GNLC in 2022.
Head Teacher, Career Pathways, Aboriginal Languages & Employability Skills, TAFENSW
Ros has extensive experience in adult education as a language literacy numeracy practitioner. She was the winner of the 2013 Australian Training Awards Excellence in Adult Language Literacy and Numeracy Practice and a recipient of an Executive Fellowship through the Australian Endeavour Awards that included a professional learning experience in Scandinavia. Ros has worked as part of the NT LLN Network Group and an educational consultant to the Warlpiri Youth Development Aboriginal Corporation. She is currently Head of Department – Career Pathways, Aboriginal Languages & Employability Skills at TAFE NSW.
CEO, Australian Learning Communities Network
Dr Leone Wheeler is Hon. CEO Australian Learning Communities Network (ALCN) and Associate in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies at RMIT University and Board Member of PASCAL International Observatory. She has extensive experience as an academic, researcher, manager, and director at RMIT University, Melbourne, as a small business owner, and business educator in the secondary and tertiary sectors in Australia, New Zealand, and Qatar. She is well published on learning city developments and school-community learning partnerships for sustainability.
President of the International Council for Adult Education (ICAE)
Jose Roberto ‘Robbie’ Guevara is an adult, community and popular educator with expertise in education for sustainable development and global citizenship. He is the President of the International Council for Adult Education (ICAE) and a Board Member for Asia-Pacific of the Global Campaign for Education (GCE). He is Associate Professor of International Development at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. In 2016 Robbie was awarded a CONFINTEA Research Scholarship to conduct research on adult education and resilience. Robbie was inducted into the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame in October 2012 for his contribution to adult learning in Asia-Pacific.