CEO Message Dec 2012

Adult Australians need to develop their skills across their lifetimes for a range of reasons: including social, emotional, economic, vocational and wellbeing purposes.  Further, these needs will change over the lifespan and will become acute during periods of transition, such as from school to work, from employment to unemployment, into and out of caring responsibilities, from work to active retirement and from wellness and ability to illness and disability, to name just a few.

The Adult and Community Education sector and ALA as its peak body remains committed to this holistic view of the value of and need for education despite recognizing how challenging this can be for policy makers.

Most community based education providers get the bulk of their government support from VET funding sources, particularly in recognition of their great skill in providing pathways to participation for marginalised learners. This edition of Quest looks at some education programs that have a different focus, (financial literacy and parenting) and are funded from non-education parts of government.

As our new Ambassador Julie McCrossin so eloquently puts it “work is a source of pleasure, identity, social connection and money. But work is only part of our lives.” I would go further and say that without the ability to parent effectively or manage ones own finances, participation in stable, meaningful work is nigh on impossible.

There is an old expression: Give a man a fish and you will feed him a day, teach him to fish and he’ll feed himself for a lifetime. This is the underpinning principle of non-vocational adult education programs. Its heartening to see good examples like the program in our feature article of education that provides the opportunity for adults to build better lives for themselves and their children.

You will notice in this edition, a farewell to Roger Harris, who has edited our journal for 22 years. This is also the final edition of Quest to be written by our current Communications Officer Ilka Tampke. Ilka has produced the last eight editions of Quest and her passion for writing and attention to detail is evident in each issue. She also writes content for our website and our growing social media presence. I would like to personally thank both Ilka and Roger for their hard work and wish them well as they take on new opportunities.

Finally a big thank you to Richard Vinycomb and his staff from the Byron Region Community College who hosted our recent conference with such generosity of spirit.  A note for your diaries: next year we will be holding a two day joint conference with ACE Aotearoa in Wellington, NZ from 18th to 20th June. Details to follow.






Adult Learning Australia