A young woman who overcame adversity to continue with her education, in fact now studying for a Bachelor of Business, has been named the state’s ‘Outstanding Learner’ in the 2011 Victorian Learn Local Awards.
Jessica McKenzie, who was asked to leave school at 14 and later had her family home destroyed in the Black Saturday bushfires, was presented with her $5,000 award today at Zinc in Federation Square by Minister for Higher Education and Skills Peter Hall.
Along with Jessica, awards were also presented to five training providers who have excelled in offering programs as diverse as a theatre studies program for adults with an intellectual disability and an ‘English for Hospitality’ course for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
“When you read about the work that is going on in Learn Local organisations you can’t help but be inspired,” Mr Hall said.
“These individuals and organisations are fully committed to the concept of lifelong learning and the level of effort and achievement they display is inspiring.”
Prize money of $45,000 was awarded to exemplary adult education organisations and outstanding individual learners in six categories, recognising their contribution to Victoria’s education and training system and their communities.
More than 320 Learn Local organisations provide education and training for about 100,000 people across Victoria every year. For more information on Learn Local adult education in Victoria see www.acfe.vic.gov.au