Current News


Notice of VALBEC’s Annual General Meeting, 20 May, 2022 | Face-to-face and Online

The Annual General Meeting on the 20th of May will be online and face-to-face at Angliss Conference Centre.

Are you an LLND* professional who values connection and collaboration in shaping lifelong learning communities? We invite you to share your expertise by joining the VALBEC Committee.

Committee nomination submissions open on April 11. The deadline for online nomination  submissions is May 15th. For face-to-face attendees, hard copy nomination forms are available on the day.

For more details and to nominate for the committee visit https://valbec.org.au/Considering-a-role-on-the-committee

Call for input into ACER’s ACSF and DLSF review

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) has engaged ACER to review the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF) (including the pre-level 1 supplement) and Digital Literacy Skills Framework (DLSF) and tools available to support assessment using these frameworks. Findings will be used to catalogue and report on the use of these frameworks and associated tools, and potential areas for change. Have your say here.

The Draft National Foundation Skills Framework

The draft National Foundation Skills Framework developed by Australian governments is now available at Skills Reform.

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment will hold a webinar on 3-4 PM AEST Friday 8 April 2022 to provide further information and background. Further details on the webinar and how to register are also on Skills Reform.

VALBEC encourages our stakeholders - members, organisations, partners, friends of the LLND field - to read the draft framework and register for the webinar.

“Don’t take it as read” report from parliamentary inquiry into Importance of Adult Literacy

As many of you are probably aware, the 184 page report, Don’t take it as read, generated from the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Importance of Adult Literacy, was tabled by Andrew Laming in Parliament last week (31/03/2022).


The inquiry attracted a huge response from colleagues around Australia; ACAL and the state Councils of Adult Literacy; Adult Learning Australia, the Australian Council of Educational Research and other academic colleagues such as Joseph LoBianco who mentioned the increased literacy demands caused by AI and cyber-physical technologies, to name but a few. Jo Medlin and the ACAL volunteer committee deserve special commendations for colossal efforts combining their expertise in an excellent submission at short notice. In relation to adult low literacy and its negative impact on children's literacy, VALBEC’s submission to the inquiry is cited about halfway in, on page 96.

1. Conference Update

Registrations are open for VALBEC’s 2022 Conference, 20 May, 9am - 2.30pm at Angliss Conference Centre, 555 LaTrobe St Melbourne! Register here

We are thrilled to be hosting this event after so many false starts for live conferences over the past two years. Wow, we never thought we would feel so fortunate and privileged just to see each other FACE TO FACE!

This year’s conference will be a wonderful relaxed way to connect and reconnect with colleagues, and to be re-energised and re-inspired after a tumultuous couple of years for educators across all sectors of the adult education field.

Early bird rates end April 30 so get in quick to catch a great price!

Look forward to seeing you in May.


2. Valbec Membership

New VALBEC Membership Portal and Payment System

To keep costs down, VALBEC has changed its membership payment system. This is good news for members. We hope to be able to reduce membership fees, or at least not to have to increase them for a while.

You can join or renew online via this link: https://valbec.org.au/Become-a-Member/

Member benefits:

      Professional Learning Forums: strengthen communication and knowledge of adult language, literacy, numeracy & digital (LLND) education, webinar recordings and certification provided

      Fine Print three times a year: hard copy professional journal for discussion and debate about adult LLND practice, theory and policy

      Free online numeracy resources

      eVALBEC: newsletter linking members to professional networks, learning activities, and relevant policy changes.

      Discounts for the Annual Conference and other associated statewide professional learning activities.

      Advocacy on significant policy issues impacting the field through representation on relevant government and association bodies such as the Australian Council for Adult Literacy

Member benefits continue to develop to meet member needs. Tell us what you’d like.

Organisation memberships

Organisational memberships include individual bundle members. The bundle administrator, nominated when joining, can manage their organisation's bundle members within the Valbec membership portal. Each individual bundle member will be allocated their own Valbec member login once the bundle administrator has enrolled them in the membership portal.

    3. Resources

    Food! (that got your attention)

    A new book by Lee Kindler (2022), Food! is a teaching resource for EAL learners.

    It contains reading, writing, speaking and listening activities around the topic of food, including a series of videos. There are also practical activities based around cooking that support learners to build literacy and numeracy skills.

    The activities are aimed at learners with very limited English, working at achieving the Course in EAL or working at ACSF Pre level 1 and Level 1. See some sample pages.

    ESLReads.com is a website containing short, engaging and relevant stories for young adults learning English. There are currently six series of books covering everyday and school topics, whilst also highlighting the social, emotional and cultural challenges that migrants, refugees and asylum seekers may face. Each book comes in four levels from beginner to intermediate, and is a narrative, which repeats across the levels to allow for differentiation in your classroom. Details of the levels can be found here: https://eslreads.com/about/the-books/.

    The books are purchased through https://eslreads.com/ and are available as downloadable PDFs that can be printed by you and distributed to your learners. Individual (for one teacher) and School and Organisation Licenses (for an entire educational institution site) are available.

    Titles available: Zahra Has an Appointment, Filan and Mariam Go to a Cafè, Milad Goes to the Library, Sayed’s Test, Taw Meh Can Speak and Layla Wants a Job.

    There are many more books to come so keep checking the website!

    4. Digital Literacy

    Digital Skills

    Defining digital skills is a red hot issue, especially in the current economic climate. The race seems to be on for governments and business to set clear parameters, ‘codify’ digital skills and manage complexity in this space. VALBEC is monitoring these debates and we welcome members' input on the issue.

    Emerging from this flurry of activity last year has been the Federal Dept of Education, Skills and Employment funded Digital Skills Organisation, a hub for training and research around digital skills development.

    For educators interested in expanding digital skills and knowledge, and for organisations wanting to upskill staff capabilities, DSO may be a useful starting point.

    Check out NCVER’s Digital Pathways Identification Project and DSO’s Towards a new model for the development of digital skills Discussion Paper, both released in March 2022. The website also links to affordable micro-skills training in areas such as digital marketing, coding, cyber security and so on.

      5. Numeracy News

      Numeracy News!

      Our first Professional Learning Forum this year was Nurturing your Numeracy with Dave Tout and Chris Tully. With the usual skill and humour we’ve come to know of Dave and Chris, the group shared a range of strategies, mainly focusing on real-world situations that stimulate students’ interest in estimating, categorising, identifying patterns, measuring, calculating, comparing, and generally thinking critically and building confidence about the numeracy demands of everyday life.

      To celebrate our first PL Forum for 2022 and to show you the value of VALBEC membership, we’re sharing the webinar recording with eVALBEC readers in April. And also a heads up that you will be able to catch up with Dave and his red-rimmed glasses at VALBEC’s conference on May 20 in a face-to-face hands-on workshop.



      Hope you enjoy and please, let us know what you think by doing the feedback survey!


      6. Unions

      Australian Education Union


      National Tertiary Education Union



      eVALBEC is the monthly electronic newsletter of (VALBEC) the Victorian Adult Literacy and Basic Education Council and is sent to about 1000 practitioners on the first of each month (other than January). It is also available in the ‘News’ section of our web site


      The activities, goods and services mentioned in eVALBEC are not endorsed by Valbec in any way. People should make their own judgment about the suitability of each item.

      How to submit items: https://www.valbec.org.au/evalbec

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