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Lifelong learning for
a fairer Australia

Lifelong learning for
a fairer Australia

Sharing Insights – Australian Learning Cities: global to local – local to global

Presenter: ALCN and ALA
When: Wednesday 4th May @ 4pm AEST; 8am CEST
Duration: 90 minutes
Cost: Free



A learning city promotes lifelong learning for all and helps lay the foundation for sustainable social, economic, and environmental development.

Explore the principles and features of learning cities, learning communities, and learning municipalities in Australia and globally in this free online session.

How are communities faced with turbulent times adapting and learning from each other to build healthy and resilient cities through learning to contribute to the UN Sustainability Goals?

Hear from the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (Hamburg – Germany), and councils from across Australia, including the award-winning learning cities – Wyndham City Council, Melton City council; Circular Head Council and aspiring learning cities, City of Canning and Wollongong City Council. They will share their experiences and insights on building healthy and resilient communities through learning and how they share knowledge and good practices on a local, national, and global scale.


This webinar is free to attend. Secure your spot by registering below.


See the program here.

Useful links:




Leone Wheeler
Hon. Chief Executive Officer, Australian Learning Communities Network
Leone Wheeler is Hon. CEO of the ALCN a not-for-profit organisation that is a national network of leading-edge practitioners to build sustainable communities using learning as the key element. Leone is an Associate of the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University and a Board Member of PASCAL International Observatory. She facilitates the Connecting Urban and Rural Learning Initiatives Learning Cities Network (LCN) for the PASCAL Network. She has extensive experience in the development of learning cities in Australia and Qatar and has contributed to UNESCO international conferences on learning cities in Mexico (2015) and Cork (2013). 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.
About Leone
David Atchoarena
Director, UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning
David Atchoarena is the Director of the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning since April 2018. He was previously the Director of the Division for Policies and Lifelong Learning Systems at UNESCO, with oversight of education policies, higher education, adult and vocational education and training, and ICT in education. Before working at UNESCO Headquarters, he spent many years at the UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) where he conducted research and technical cooperation programmes in the fields of educational planning, lifelong learning, technical and vocational education, and higher education. He also contributed to the development of the capacities of officials from ministries of education as the head of the Training and Education Programmes Unit of IIEP. Before joining UNESCO, Mr Atchoarena served as Chargé de Mission at the National Agency for Lifelong Education of the French Ministry of Education and as a project coordinator in the Ministry of Finance and Planning in Saint Lucia. Mr Atchoarena holds a Doctorate in Economics from the University of Paris I, Panthéon-Sorbonne.
About David
Diane Tabbagh
Coordinator Learning Community Wyndham City Council and Chair Australian Learning Communities Network
An experienced and committed professional with 18 years of international experience working in community education, community development, refugee, asylum seeker, migrant 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 has continued her professional development in Community Development, Community Engagement, Change Management, Performance Management, Critical Incident and Debriefing. 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. Previously she has held a range of roles in local government and hospital settings in the UK, and locally in community-based organisations working with refugee and asylum seekers.
About Diane
Jenny Macaffer
Chief Executive Officer, Adult Learning Australia
Jenny is the CEO of Adult Learning Australia, a not-for-profit national peak body for adult learning and community education supporting access to learning for all Australians. She advocates for equitable access to learning to support social cohesion and economic prosperity, particularly for groups that face deep and persistent disadvantage. Jenny has an extensive history of working in the community sector and local government in areas of health and wellbeing, community development, human rights and social justice. She is passionate about adult and community education (ACE) and how it can transform lives. Her tertiary qualifications include the social sciences, community cultural development, the arts and adult learning. She aims to support and strengthen individuals and communities to be more informed, active and connected and create ways for more people to reach their best potential.
About Jenny
Lara Pugh
Project Leader Learning City, Wollongong City Libraries
With over twenty years in education and project management including speaking in various contexts nationally, Lara will collaborate with lifelong learning stakeholders across Wollongong City Council and the Local Government Area to establish Wollongong as a UNESCO learning city by 2024. Lara holds a Bachelor of Education (Mandarin/Asian Studies) as well as a Master of TESOL and worked in the education industry for 20 years before moving across to project management in 2019. Lara has always been passionate about meeting the diverse needs of learners through the design, delivery and evaluation life cycle of a learning program, and is grateful to now be involved in developing a lifelong learning strategy that focusses on population-wide outcomes. Lara is interested in how libraries can play a role in learning city initiatives and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, taking their commitment to lifelong learning to the next level through strategic planning and relationship-building. She is also excited to establish a learning city steering committee in Wollongong where lifelong learning is used as a tool for solving complex problems and building social capital.
About Lara
Adam Josifovski
Coordinator Community Activation and Learning, Melton City Council
Adam is the Coordinator Community Activation & Learning at Melton City Council and is responsible for leading the delivery of place-based inclusive learning for the community to develop confident, socially connected, participatory lifelong learners equipped to live a full and active life and contribute to a thriving and prosperous community. He also leads the development and implementation of Council’s community learning objectives, planning, policy and programming which provides strategic options for Council and its stakeholders to respond to community need at both the municipal and local neighbourhood level to deliver enhanced outcomes for community in engagement, empowerment, activity, and community learning objectives. An experienced people leader with a demonstrated history of working in government and not-for-profit sector, event management and community development services. He is skilled in Planning, Management, Leadership, financial management and Strategic Leadership. He is also a strong human resources professional, with demonstrated experience in managing diverse teams of scale. Adam is a passionate, knowledgeable and skilled community development expert that is committed to the design, development and delivery of quality learning programs to help people transform their lives and achieve their dreams through lifelong learning. This is particularly relevant to the ongoing provision of quality, accessible lifelong learning programs for City of Melton residents. With tertiary qualifications in business, leadership and management, Adam’s current passion is in building a learning city that fully integrates formal, informal and non-formal learning to build communities to leverage place based learning programs to equip individuals with the knowledge, tools and skills they need to grow and thrive in the modern world. Adam is thrilled to be working with Melton City Council, an international leader in the learning cities space, to fully embrace the challenge of placing learning at the heart of individual and community life by utilising learning and community development as a key driver for change.
About Adam
Caroline Jones
Community Learning & Capacity Manager, City of Canning WA
With 20 years of local government experience, Caroline Jones Manager Community Learning and Capacity, oversees the public library system of the City of Canning, Canning River Eco Education Centre and Community Capacity team. Caroline is passionate about the role of libraries and local government in extending lifelong learning opportunities within the community enabling empowerment and social cohesion, Caroline, serves as Vice-president of Public Libraries Western Australia.
About Caroline
Anne Shepherd
Smithton Library, Libraries Tasmania
Anne’s career in Libraries began in 2005, with extensive experience working in a range of different roles in public, academic and government libraries throughout Tasmania. Anne has also spent seeral years working in an education role in Yurrwi (Milingimbi), the largest of the Crocodile Islands group off the coast of Arnhem Land, Northern Territory. In her current role as Library Services Coordinator at Libraries Tasmania, Anne is responsible for program and event coordination, adult and family learning and literacy support as well as volunteer coordination and training. Anne enjoys working as part of a team in the Library and in collaboration with other organisations in the community, to help provide meaningful and engaging learning opportunities in Circular Head. Anne is a resident of Circular Head Tasmania, a community which has been a member of the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities since 2019. Anne is also a member of the Circular Head Education and Training Consultative Committee (CHETCC), a special committee of the Circular Head Council comprised of representatives from across education, industry and community, working together towards education and skills outcomes for the community.
About Anne
Peter Kearns
Peter has had careers as a teacher, Australian public servant, consultant, and volunteer in international programs. He was a member of the Board of the PASCAL International Observatory until last November. As a public servant in Canberra and Paris he developed his interest in educational development in other countries, particularly in low income countries, and with educational and cultural relations between countries. As a member of the Australian Delegation to OECD, he was associated with OECD work in areas such as recurrent education and lifelong learning, employment policy, and social indicators. His experience included serving as a member of an Australian Mission that examined approaches to industry training in a number of countries leading to the introduction of a system of competence based training in Australia. As Director of Global Learning Services, his interests included industry training, role of the VET sector, and lifelong learning. In supporting PASCAL as a volunteer, he was the founder of the PIE program for exchanges between learning cities, and the EcCoWell approach to integration and holistic development in learning cities and neighbourhoods. He was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2006 (OAM), and in 2021 he was elevated to a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).
About Peter

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