Lifelong Learning in Australia Workshop: Putting practice into policy and policy into practice

In November 2017, the beautiful Western BACE in Melton welcomed nearly 50 learning professionals to a practitioner’s workshop.

The Lifelong Learning in Australia Workshop: Putting practice into policy and policy into practice invited those people working as a Practitioner in the learning and education sectors to come along and listen to experts from overseas and Australia and enjoy the discourse on embedding lifelong and lifewide learning in policy, strategy and practice across Victorian communities.

Cr. Sophie Ramsey opened the event and welcomed everyone to the City of Melton. The agenda for the workshop was deliberately designed to take participants on a journey of lifelong learning. Beginning with a global perspective of lifelong learning policy and practices, before moving to the Australian landscape and then focussing on the local picture.

The first keynote session by international expert Professor Mike Osborne provided a comprehensive overview of the global landscape relevant to lifelong learning policies and practice. In the second keynote, Ms Jenny Macaffer, CEO of Adult Learning Australia talked about the national lifelong learning scene.

Participants then were given the opportunity to share their thoughts and experiences during an interactive session on lifelong learning policy impact in Australia led by Professor Bruce Wilson from RMIT University.  After some great food and networking, Associate Professor Robbie Guevara, led the group in a fun and engaging activity, that was rather challenging but insightful activity, that was a clear winner for the day.

The best practice sessions then provided an insight into some of the work being done on a local level in the municipalities of Melton, Brimbank and Wyndham.

The high level of engagement at the workshop and the sharing of ideas clearly demonstrated that there is an appetite among learning practitioners for achieving a true learning ecosystem in Australian communities, where no-one gets left behind. The acceptance of all present that in order to achieve a sustainable learning community it requires all organisations, learning sectors and levels of government to work together was a strong message heard throughout the day.

As was the understanding that for any lifelong learning policy in Australia to be effective it needs to be comprehensive and link place, social wellbeing, health and learning together in a holistic approach. Australia needs to create a shared vision of lifelong, life-wide and life-deep learning and then build the capacity and capability of all within the learning ecosystem to achieve the vision.

It was with this goal in mind that the City of Melton and partners organised the workshop, to bring together experts and practitioners from all sectors of learning to enjoy the discussion on the importance of embedding lifelong and lifewide learning in policy, strategy and practice in all learning communities.

It is hoped that the knowledge gathered and shared at the event will provide all of the participants with new ideas for projects and initiatives to help their communities engage in lifelong learning practices, now and well into the future.

This workshop was proudly presented by Melton City Council, in partnership with Adult Learning Australia, EU Centre at RMIT University and the Australian Learning Communities Network.

The workshop report is available below.


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